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 and religion. 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 Religions 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 Religions 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.

<<<Back | Main | TOC | Works Cited | next>>>

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.