Author's note on the subject of procedure:
In order to determine in what regard and to what degree Greek
thought influenced Christianity
, I developed a list of certain criteria that had to be met.
Firstly, the people who initially helped develop Christianity
had to be exposed to Greek thought
. If there had never been any exposure to Greek thought
, then, obviously, no influence could have taken place.
Secondly, I had to draw many firm, specific correspondences between the fundamental ideas of the Mystery Religion
s and the theology of the early Church
. Early Christianity
would never have admitted to inheriting ideas from Greek Religion
and thought, and therefore some detective work was in order. Because the Mystery Religion
s were secret by their nature, and much of early Christianity
was hidden from view due to persecution
, it was impossible to clearly see and understand their natures, and therefore comparing their cruxes was impossible. Rather, I had to settle for building a fairly circumstantial case based on the high number of parallels between Christian theology
and rites and the theology and rites of Greek Religion
Thirdly, I had to find a need. I had to locate some kind of dissatisfaction with Greek Religion
and thought that would have been answered by Christianity
. If Christianity
by its very nature neatly responded to Greek
problems, then certainly that would a significant point in the argument for a strong Greek
influence. This also required showing why Judaism
didn't fully satisfy Greek
problems, for if it did, then that previous argument would be defunct: Christianity
wouldn't have been necessary because Judaism
would have been an adequate response.
Finally, I had to respond to certain major objections to aspects of this whole idea, the argument for generic myth
. They are very significant, and they had to be addressed because there are
very real issues with some of these conclusions by their nature.
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