Five Reasons Christianity Did Not Copy Mystery Religions
by Dr. Doug Potter
It may come as a shock to hear some who say Christianity borrows the beliefs of ancient mystery religions. Was the story of Christ, Christmas itself, just taken from the pages of pagan religions? Is the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the resurrection and salvation from sin copied from ancient Greek and Roman cults? If so, this would seem to suggest that Christianity is a copycat religion. Perhaps, no more true than other religions with made-up stories about gods no one believes today.
So, What Are Mystery Religions?
Such religions began in ancient Egypt, Greece, Asia Minor, and the region of Iran/Syria. They are an outworking of polytheism, the belief in many gods. They are called ‘mystery’ because some of their beliefs and practices involved secret ceremonies known only to select adherents. They appealed more to people’s emotions offering a psychic or mystic experience to bring union with their gods. They became popular during the Hellenistic Age and the Roman Empire. Little evidence of what mystery religions believed or practiced exists before the second century A.D. and most of what we know about them comes well after this time…