I'm just now learning about Greek mythology, is it true that the figure of Dionysus was a precursor to Christ?
>son of god and mortal
>revealed secrets of eternal life
>cultists partake of his body
Maybe the idea of this figure soaked into the greeks and influenced the idea of a Christ who "fulfilled" the old testament Yahweh cult.
Or is it just a coincidence.
I wouldn't really call him a precursor except superficially, the main similarity being that you eat and drink him (a not uncommon concept with crop or vine gods, since they were seen as the personification of crops or wine). In substance, though, they are not similar at all.
It just seems like subconsciously they would create the Christ figure to have the well-known traits of the existing gods of their era. Esp when the New Testament is such a chronological and thematic break from the Old Testament.
All the parts from the Bible that are actually from Jesus are just allegory and philosophy borrowed from past religions and mythologies. This makes it no less valid, since we still do these things today, in fact it adds credibility to it in my mind. But yeah.
Dionysus specifically doesn't have much in common with Jesus. Christianity was influenced by the various mystery religions of the time though and Dionysus also had a cult in that fashion.
Most Christians are uncomfortable with admitting that though.
Well, yes and no. If we're taking about popular Christianity than no less influential a thinker than C.S. Lewis (keeping in mind we're speaking about popular Christianity) specifically embraced these similarities add a kind of typological, unconscious prefiguring of the truth that was to come.
Why would the fact that religions freely trade and incorporate older mythologies lend credibility to the Bible?
Wouldn't it rather take away from the explicitly biased account of one particular religion from a single time and place?
What I don't get is how people realize that mythologies are just cultural fabrications, and then go ahead and buy into the one you get handed from your own culture.
Like, you can clearly see where they literally invented things, but then still believe it because... ?
Whoa, back up. I never said I "believed" it. I understand it as allegory and mythology. But in the same way that it TAKES AWAY credibility from a writer when it's exposed that s/he has barely read any classics or more importantly the source materials which they work with or criticize, having content from previous mythologies and religions adds credibility to the Bible to me. At least from an allegorical and mythological perspective, it's not complete horseshit - there's some tradition to be found in it, even if it adds its own spin overall.