Mithra the Pagan Christ: Did Christinaty borrow from Mithraism?

D.M. Murdock

A study of the ancient evidence from the religion of Mithraism, both the Roman version and its root mythos, ritual and tradition from Persia, Armenia and other parts of the Near East and Anatolia, reveals many correspondences with the Christian religion. These parallels were noted in antiquity with great consternation by a number of Christian Church fathers, while others have been discerned since at time, significantly in the works of Mithraic scholar Dr. Franz Cumont and many others.

Going against a modern trend of "anti-Cumontism", this paper seeks to demonstrate that many elements in Roman Mithraism do indeed have their origins in Persian, Armenian and Near Eastern Mithraism and that the aforementioned parallels are not only valid but also possibly one source for many Christian doctrines, motifs and traditions. (Note: For space considerations, this paper does not exermine the popular Mithraic subject of the bull-killing or tauroctony, which requires a fuller treatment elsewhere.)