The fastest growing religious cult in the 1st century surrounded the worship of a god called Mithras. Many link the birthday of this god - December 25 - to the dating of the Christmas celebration as we know it today.
Mithras was envisioned as a powerful god who had the ability to control the cosmos. There are no sacred writings from this cult, only the sculptures found within the Mithras worship sites - called Tauroctony. The Tauroctony tells the story of Mithras through the symbols of the zodiac.
Due to the discovery of the Procession of the Equinoxes by Hipparchus many in the ancient world were looking for a god that was bigger than the cosmos. By the time of the advent of Jesus the world is primed to be looking for a God that has the power to enter the cosmos and bring shalom.
Join us in this faith lesson as we explore the origins of this mystery cult.
For further study I recommend the work by David Ulansey.
You can find an article on the Cosmic Mysteries of Mithras at David Ulansey's website. A link is provided here: http://www.mysterium.com/mithras.html
I also recommend an article that was published in the Journal of Biblical Literature on the cosmic symbolism found within the gospel of Mark. A link provided here: http://www.mysterium.com/veil.html
Scott Broberg - I have a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from Bethel Seminary - San Diego.
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