The reason I’m writing is because of a friendly discussion with friends
regarding the well-written novel by Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code.

The following has been put to me regarding Jesus Christ and the ancient
god, Mithras:

1. Mithra was born of a virgin on December 25th in a cave, and
his birth was attended by shepherds.

2. He was considered a great traveling teacher and master.

3. He had 12 companions or disicples.

4. Mithra’s followers were promised immortality.

5. He performed miracles.

6. As the “great bull of the Sun,” Mithra sacrificed himself for world

7. He was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again.

8. His resurrection was celebrated every year.

9. He was called “the Good Shepherd”and identified with both the Lamb
and the Lion.

10.He was considered the “Way, the Truth and the Light,” and the “Logos,”
“Redeemer,” “Savior” and “Messiah.”

11.His sacred day was Sunday, the “Lord’s Day,” hundreds of years before
the appearance of Christ.

12.Mithra had his principal festival of what was later to become Easter.

13.His religion had a eucharist or “Lord’s Supper,” at which Mithra said,
“He who shall not eat of my body nor drink of my blood so that he may be
one with me and I with him, shall not be saved.”

14.”His annual sacrifice is the passover of the Magi, a symbolical
atonement or pledge of moral and physical regeneration.”

15.Shmuel Golding is quoted as saying that 1 Cor. 10:4 is “identical words
to those found in the Mithraic scriptures, except that the name Mithra is
used instead of Christ.”

16.The Catholic Encyclopedia is quoted as saying that Mithraic services
were conduced by “fathers” and that the “chief of the fathers, a sort of
pope, who always lived at Rome, was called ‘Pater Patratus.'”

Apparently these points were raised by someone called, Acharya S. and I’m
wondering if any of this is substantiated by recognized scholars. I have
checked a few web sites, but as I’m not knowledgeable in this area of
research, I would appreciate any suggestion you might care to make in
researching the above assertions.

The book is on my “must read very soon” list, but I am afraid
I have not yet read it. I understand that this is a very well written
book, but I am extremely, let us say EXTREMELY skeptical of the claims of
Acharya S. I have read some of her stuff and she impresses me as the type
who will bend, mold and perhaps even make up information in order to
create a sensational scandal. I am sorry to appear overly cynical, but I
believe that she is a publicity hound with financial gain as a motive. I
would begin by assuming that everything she says is either not true or is
taken out of context in a very biased way. That is not to say that you
should automatically reject everything she says. I am going on the
assumption that there is at least a grain of truth in much of what she
writes. However, unless I could find original sources which, upon a
reasonable reading by a reasonable person, agrees with her conclusions, I
would be very very skeptical of this person. I believe that if you went
to the original sources you would find yourself saying Huhhhhh??!!!!!
Where did she get that?

Having said some pretty strong stuff, let me repeat that I
suggest you be open minded, but extremely skeptical It is not
intellectually fair or honest to simply blow Acharya S off without a fair
hearing. I do not know this person personally, obviously, so you should
take my fairly strong statements about her character with caution and
reach your own conclusion.

John Oakes

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