Langdon smiled. “When the early Christian converts abandoned their former deities-pagan gods, Roman gods, Greek, sun, Mithraic, whatever-they asked the church what their new Christian God looked like. Wisely, the church chose the most feared, powerful . . . and familiar face in all of recorded history.”
Hitzrot looked skeptical. “An old man with a white, flowing beard?”
Langdon pointed to a hierarchy of ancient gods on the wall. At the top sat an old man with a white, flowing beard. “Does Zeus look familiar?”Continua...
“And yet according to the Bible, Christ was born in March, so what are we doing celebrating in late December?”
Langdon smiled. “December twenty-fifth, my friends, is the ancient pagan holiday of sol invictus-Unconquered Sun-coinciding with the winter solstice. It’s that wonderful time of year when the sun returns, and the days start getting longer.”
Now the girl in front looked furious. “You’re implying Christianity is just some kind of . . . repackaged sun worship!”
“Not at all. Christianity did not borrow only from sun worship. The ritual of Christian canonization is taken from the ancient ‘god-making’ rite of Euhemerus. The practice of ‘god-eating’-that is, Holy Communion-was borrowed from the Aztecs. Even the concept of Christ dying for our sins is arguably not exclusively Christian; the self-sacrifice of a young man to absolve the sins of his people appears in the earliest tradition of the Quetzalcoatl.”Continua...