Zeitgeist the movie

Zeitgeist The Movie, really three movies, is a film that attempts to demonstrate that several widely-believed things are myths. The first film deals with Christianity. Broadly, it begins by claiming that Jesus is nothing more than a "Sun God" in new clothes, and presents lots of arguments to support this, and then ends with a brief sidebar about how Christianity, specifically the Catholic Church, was created through political motives at the Council of Nicea. While it's true that the Council of Nicea was likely put together for political motives, and it's also true that the Catholic Church has a several blotches on its permanent record, one can't claim, based on the evidence in the film, that Jesus is a Sun God and that Christianity is merely a re-packaging of old Egyptian beliefs.

The film presents many similarities between astrology, sun-worship, and Jesus. First, it identifies many deities who share similar characteristics with Jesus, namely a birthday on or near the winter solstice, various nicknames such as "Prince of Peace", death then resurrection, and other similarities. The film proceeds to discuss how many icons and themes associated with Jesus are reminiscent of astrology, such as Christian artwork showing a cross and halo behind Jesus's head resembles the zodiacal chart. There are, however, some flaws with these arguments.

First, artwork showing cross and halo behind Jesus's head, is said to resemble a pagan symbol of a cross inscribed in a circle.
This symbol is shorthand for the sun and 12 zodiacal signs. The problem with this argument is that a symbol can have different meanings in different contexts. For example, the word "cong" would be pronounced "kong" (or maybe "song") if it were an English word, but in Mandarin Pinyin it'd be pronounced "tsong". One can't claim that the "c" in that word has any special significance, or that it somehow connects English and Mandarin. What happened is the Pinyin co-opted the symbol but gave it a new meaning. This is co-opting is a common theme in early Christian history: the incorporation of old ideas re-interpreted in a new light was often used as a tool to make Christianity more palatable to the new converts. Furthermore Christ was crucified; it stands to reason that he might be depicted on a cross. Is the cross a pagan symbol? Certainly, but we need to be careful not to reason in a circle: Do Catholics believe that Christ was crucified on a cross because crosses are an old symbol, re-used for a new story? Or was he crucified on a cross because the Romans used crosses, since crosses were already (astrologically) significant? Christ either died on the cross because that's a good way to tell the story, thus incorporating a pagan symbol (as the film says), or else Christ died on the cross because the symbol was important to his killers. The film itself claims that the cross was already important to the legions of sun worshippers; the fact that there is a similarity is not proof of a connection.

Another problem this film has is that it blindly accepts that Jesus was born on the 25th of December. Even the Catholic Church admits that they don't know when he was born. The early Church didn't even celebrate his birth but rather his conception. In the 4th century his conception was believed to be March 25th because the Church believed that he DIED on the 25th, and all prophets must live a whole number of years. The Bible doesn't tell us when Christ was born, the Church doesn't know, nobody knows. The Church claims that Christ's birthday was chosen to be on the same day as a pre-existing "Sun God" holiday, the feast of the Unconquered Sun. Again, this was done not because Jesus was a Sun god, but because the parallels made the new religion easier to accept for the new converts. Linking Christ's birth to the astronomical events (Sirius lining up with Orion's belt at the solstice) as is done in the film is circular reasoning: The film claims that Jesus is astrological because his birthday falls on an astrological day, however in reality the day was chosen to BECAUSE of the coincident, pre-existing astrological similarities. Jesus doesn't represent astrology: the astrology was co-opted to represent Jesus.

There are several other arguments in the film that also rely on convenient coincidences or circular reasoning. One that springs to mind is the argument that Moses's anger toward Jews worshipping a bull idol (when he returned from the mountain) was because, astrologically, a new age was beginning and the new age (Aries, the ram) was replacing the old (Taurus, the bull). The film claims that this is why Jews blow into a ram's horn. A simpler explanation is that the Hebrew people farmed sheep, and thus would be quite familiar with rams horns and use what's at hand.

Overall the film is entertaining and highlights some amusing similarities between Christianity and Astrology. But since the only evidence in the film is circular, this film falls short of being a documentary or research paper, and instead is merely sensationalist and reminiscent of a conspiracy theory.

17 comments:

Adam said...

Hello, My name is Adam and I am a Christian. Obviously I was extreamly disturbed by this movie when I watched it. But the more I investigated it, the more I found that the whole movie is made up of embelishemnt, truth stretching, claims without sources, circular reasoning, and mostly, well, flat out lies. And the worst part about it is that so many people are watching this video and accepting it for truth without doin any of their own reserching. I can not believe the idiocy going on here. How can anyone take the Zeitgeist movie seriously? Im not here to debate parts 2 and 3, its hard to argue those, but part one is absolute garbage!
First of all, any bone-head who does their own reserch, or knows alittle bit about mythology will tell you not one single deity mentioned shares any similarity to Jesus. Horus? not born of a virgin. nor was Krishna, nor was Dionysus. and not one of them were ever crucified! Gods like Horus, Attis, and Dionysus all were around wayyyyyy before crucifixion was ever used as a means of execution. Anyone who took the first part of Zeitgeist seriously should look at this website:
http://www.thedevineevidence.com/jesus_similarities.html
what they did their was acctualy go back to the religious holy texts of the religions of gods such as horus, and found out their real story. what you will find is that Horus, Attis, Krishna, and the host other deities mentioned in the film share absolutly NO COMMONALITIES WITH JESUS. and the claim that the movie makes about their not being eveidence that Jesus was even a real historical figure is bullcrap as well. their are numurous non-religious historical accounts of Jesus being a real person. not to mention the mentions of him in the Koran and the Talmud. I could go into detail about ever single flaw this movie made but Id be typing for hours so ill just leave it at that. Zeitgeist part one is 100% grade A BULLSHIT.

Anonymous said...

"Another problem this film has is that it blindly accepts that Jesus was born on the 25th of December."

no, it accepts that a cult formed around Christ that postulated his birthday as being in late December, and that this is very common among Middle Eastern sun gods for the astronomical reasons mentioned in the film.

Christianity is repackaged snake oil, Adam, not divine wisdom. sorry. Some good is done in its name, but more bad. Just like government, hmm.

Signed, former Presbyterian

Anonymous said...

>>Another problem this film has is that it blindly accepts that Jesus was born on the 25th of December."

Am I the only person who has grown up around images of baby Christ born in a stable on Christ-mas day?!

MalRenalds said...

This is fun. No one i see brought up the irrefutable known issues with the story of jesus. there is no evidence he actually existed. and the gods that match him the (HEROES) of old are too much like him to be coincidence. how far is it ok to alter history to make new conversions easer?

Lem said...

You stated:
"....one can't claim, based on the evidence in the film, that Jesus is a Sun God and that Christianity is merely a re-packaging of old Egyptian beliefs."

Please demonstrate how one cannot claim this.

In the meantime, you can reference the term "age" all over the new testament as it relates to the zodiac. Ever wonder why the christian symbol is a fish? You got it, we're in the age of Pisces.

www.gnosticmedia.com explains it better than I ever could. ZEITGEIST got it's info from there.

The end of the Age is not the final judgement day or the end of the world. It is simply the end of the Age of Pisces.

See: Luke 18:30,

Ephesians 1:2:
"Far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present Age but also in the one to come."

Hebrews 6:5:
"Who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming Age

Jesus in Luke 22:10.
Astrotheology abounds throughout the entire bible:
"And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in."

Who is that man bearing the pitcher of water?
Click: http://www.zodiac-symbols.info/aquarius.gif

So as the Age of Pisces comes to an end, would the indication be that Jesus is saying, "move on, people. Move on to the coming age. It was good while it lasted. Now there is something new down the pike."

Same went for the Levites (Exodus). Moses was angry at their not moving past the age of Taurus (the bull or golden calf). The Age of Aries was upon them. Incidentally, the Jews refused to accept the age of Pisces (Christ) and still b,ow the Rams horn (shofar) in their orthodox ceremonies.


Matthew28:20: "...and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the End of the Age.

peace,
Lem

Mr. Shiny & New said...

Lem,

The problem with the film is that it doesn't present any hard facts or references for its conclusion. It merely compares a few things, finds some patterns, and deduces that, because there is a pattern, there can be only one conclusion, and that is that Jesus is a Sun God and the Bible is astrological.

There's a long list of cases where someone has done "research" such as this and inferred or concluded things that have proven to be false in the end. These are big claims and a few anecdotes don't make a proof. If this film wants to demonstrate credibility it should list sources and reference experts in the fields of archaeology and history and anthropology. Otherwise it's an entertaining story with no real meat.

The problem with taking the movie at face value is that it has obvious flaws, such as their linking "Christmas" with "Sol Invictus" and claiming that because they are nearly the same day they must be the same thing. There is a different explanation, which I discussed, which better fits the history and which is not refuted or even mentioned in the film. With this kind of discussion you have to dismiss the film's claims until they present better evidence.

They could be right, but they sure haven't proven anything.

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting film to watch because it presents many ideas as to the roots of many Christian symbols, but for the most part, there is no supporting evidence for many of their claims, therefore it is better to dismiss most of this film as speculation. Some of it, as mentioned before, sounds like it was simply made up to intrigue a gullible audience. One thing I noticed that none of the previous posters have mentioned is the film's claim that no historian mentioned Jesus of Nazareth in their records...Wasn't there one who did mention him? The historian's name escapes me, but all I know is that the man recorded a few things about a "Jesus of Nazareth". Of course, he didn't call Jesus 'Christ', because that word is greek, and he didn't believe that Jesus was a messiah as the historian was a Jew. Perhaps I'm wrong, but it's a little thing that's been bugging me ever since I saw this movie.
As for the rest of the film...Well, I suppose it all depends on what people take as 'fact'.

Lem said...

Lem,

The problem with the film is that it doesn't present any hard facts or references for its conclusion.
=================================
Lem: You may referecne the book: The Crucifixion of Truth" and The Bible Fraud" by Tony Bushby. The Vatican vaults have had some doozies slip out over time regarding how things were put together and admissions of forgeries that are openly published.
=================================
It merely compares a few things, finds some patterns, and deduces that, because there is a pattern, there can be only one conclusion, and that is that Jesus is a Sun God and the Bible is astrological.
==================================
Lem: There have been 16+ savior gods throughout the thousands of years. Detectives, prosecutors all follow patterns to establish fact, statistically. Using pure intellect often gets you no where because of the starting premise in one's or societies paradigms. "Garbage in, garbage out." Intuitive discernment is key and it is the true key to discoveries, new and past.
=================================
There's a long list of cases where someone has done "research" such as this and inferred or concluded things that have proven to be false in the end. These are big claims and a few anecdotes don't make a proof. If this film wants to demonstrate credibility it should list sources and reference experts in the fields of archaeology and history and anthropology.
===================================
Lem: OK, here's one, aside from research authors and Vatican staff who have had their conciousness shifted dramatically from their documented discoveries: the late Dr. John Allegro. A former devout Christian and expert on Semitic languages who was engaged to decipher the Dead Sea Scrolls. He lost his faith and was witness to massive censorship of parchments which make no mention of a Jesus or a Christ by any name, except as referring to Essene priests. Gnostic media has an excellent DVD about this. His BIO:
http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/information/biography/abcde/allegro_john.html
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Otherwise it's an entertaining story with no real meat.
================================
Lem: Really? When you study texts from pre-christians eras, they are littered with christ figures with identical qualities (i.e., born of a virgin, dies on the cross, winter solstice, etc).
=================================
The problem with taking the movie at face value is that it has obvious flaws, such as their linking "Christmas" with "Sol Invictus" and claiming that because they are nearly the same day they must be the same thing.
=================================
Lem: The Int'l Herald Tribune just published an article about a recent archeological find regarding Roman Christmas (25 December) celebrations before Christ.
==============================
There is a different explanation, which I discussed, which better fits the history and which is not refuted or even mentioned in the film. With this kind of discussion you have to dismiss the film's claims until they present better evidence.

They could be right, but they sure haven't proven anything.
=================================
Lem: The Vatican has confirmed that the historian Josephus' mention of Christ was a forgery. They were challenged because the writing style is different. For all the other historians, no mention of a "Jesus" type.

"How well we know what a profitable superstition this fable of Christ has been for us and our predecessors." Pope Leo X, as recorded by Cardinals Bembo and Jovius in 1514.

Mr. Shiny & New said...

Lem,
Thank you for the reply. I'll look into the references you gave, however my points still stand:

1. "Zeitgeist" doesn't prove their points,
2. The Catholic church admits that Jesus wasn't born on the 25th of Dec, but that they chose that date because of pre-existing celebrations, and in fact started celebrating Christmas centuries after Christ died. Therefore the movie's fixation on this is irrelevant because it's a straw-man argument. It doesn't prove anything.

As for examining patterns to deduce things, I agree that it is useful but it needs to be proven, not just assumed. To say that there are 16 messiahs and that many of them were born of a virgin or died on the cross is not proof of anything, even if it is true. Similarity doesn't prove sameness and correlation doesn't imply causation. You can show a correlation between the decline of pirates on the high seas and the rise of global temperatures, but that doesn't mean those facts are related.

Throughout history there have been lots of people with similarities to other people. Heck, my mother and wife have similarities: both their mothers were above average age for having a child, and they were both married to a man 12 years older. That doesn't mean I'm married to my mother. My wife and my mother are distinct people with some coincidental similarities. A pattern of messiahs doesn't prove anything about those messiahs and it doesn't prove that the messiahs are the same cult figure just re-branded.

Again, I'm not saying that Zeitgeist is wrong. But they haven't convinced me that they're right either.

Anonymous said...

The most important part about Christianity is mainly it's messages and teachings of how to basically be a better person and do good, the religion is based upon principles of how to use the time on Earth that we have been given - it is interesting how people want to belittle this most impressive course of belief and standard of moral code. Though organized religion is greatly harmful and humans make a mockery of not actually practicing what their own religion tells them to, it is unwise to attack the principles of religion, for they are good principles (when you subtract the human bullshit aspect which is added in).

You can study anything, and then find thousands of ways it could seemingly be connected to other things, and if you want to, you can conceive that it means whatever you want. But how can you connect all of the dialog and Jesus' teachings to mere astrology? How can you look at all the messages this religion attempts so hard and so newly and so hopelessly and label them as mere hogwash? You can connect anything to anything if you look for the way to, the world is full of coincidences and resemblances, everything is somewhat similar in this universe, it does not mean issues of morality and teachings of a certain way of life are refutable. So they can compare some pages of the bible to astrology, you can compare anything to anything, and still, what about everything else in it?

Believe what you want, but I believe part one of this is very misguided. Parts two and three were great though, and for that I would still recommend this movie to everyone!!!

Lem said...

Thank you for your response.

Research is indicating that the elite have given us Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism etc., for the little people to practice. It is in partnership with the state (ROMANS 13). The elite practice ancient Egyptian spirituality in what is high freemasonry (and use this brotherhood network to sap our productivity). One bit of evidence of this set up, take a look at how similar a church altar and a courtroon are in appearance, bar and all.

Nothing wrong with Christ conciousness. Whether such a human figure later called "christ" walked the earth 2,000 years ago or 5,000 years ago or at all is irrelevant to me. The christ said in the New Testament that he is the Son of Man. Where do we get this Son of God stuff? Is one condemned to hell for not accepting this christ? If so, this is dogma which is built to attach itself to the ego in order to induce an immune-like violent reponse from believers if there is questioning from other quarters (some of which would have a questioner killed in times past). Much of the current christian dogma also promotes a god separate from us, which is counter to this christ teachings (LUKE 17:20-21).

Much of the New Testament was put together (Council of Nicaea) using Druid and eastern spiritual wisdom and it contains many truths and I have studied the KJV bible extensively (under the tutelage of Jesuits and Marianists believe it or not). The druidic christ was called "Hesus." Similar, isn't it?

One indispensible resource for the strong willed to read, is THE IRISH ORIGINS OF CIVILIZATION, by Tsarion.

peace,
Lem

Rachael said...

A book doesn't prove anything either. Especially coming from mythological times.

Anonymous said...

To Adam
Have you even checked back at these post after you made yours. If you're going to make a claim then support it with credible sources, furthermore YOU admitted that Gods like Horus, Attis, and Dionysus existed way before Christianity, which contridicts the fact that the Christian God is the one and only true god. And you went to a site that presented only one side of the argument, and when a site that argues only one side of an argument, what's to stop them from feeding you bullshit?

Anonymous said...

First, everyone is biased. Know that.

Second, Zeitgeist does present many facts that, honestly, can't be argued unless you suffer from massive confirmation bias and refuse to believe that anything could be true other than what you already believe.

Finally, Christians as a whole are blind. The Church is an organization that pays no taxes yet always needs more money to "spread the word of God." Have you ever wondered who pockets the profits? Money hungry pigs. You could slap "miracle manna bread!" on any package of 12 grain, and it'd sell out before you could say "holy scams batman!"

for the truth,
a former christian

man with desire said...

This article refutes and disproves claims of Zeitgeist movie, from the part of Christianity:

http://koti.phnet.fi/petripaavola/zeitgeist_movie.html

I suggest to read the article!

Anonymous said...

The astrological commonalities to Christ just enforce to me that ALL things are connected to Christ our savior...the moon, the stars, the sun, the earth, everything should align to our redeemer...he is the creator of this world so it would make sense for all things to align to him...from the beginning of time, to his birth and death, to where we are now...one can either use all this mythology correlation to Christ to disprove him or use it to reinforce his divinity and ownership of all things....

Mr. Shiny and New said...

@Anonymous:
Seeing patterns in the world that confirm your beliefs about Christ doesn't actually prove anything about Christ. That's bad pattern recognition. It's like when you see Christ's image on a piece of burnt toast. Yes, it may look a lot like the paintings of Christ. But it doesn't prove anything. What about all those other pieces of burnt toast? All the patterns in nature and mythology that remind you of your religious beliefs are just confirmations of what you already believe. They are not proof that supports your beliefs. Also the fact that they can just as easily be used to refute your beliefs makes them pretty much useless as a kind of evidence at all.