Take the 2-minute tour ×
Skeptics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scientific skepticism. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In Edward Carpenter's, "Pagan & Christian Creeds : Their Origin and Meaning" one of the claims is made that the golden calf story in Exodus is allegorical due to the astrological turning of the age of taurus. There are also claims that the death, 3 days, and then subsequent resurrection coincides with a solar cycle at the winter solstice. These claims are also repeated in numerous other sources, such as the popular (but in all ways horrible and shoddy) movie Zeitgeist. The second source (due to its questionable conclusions) has led me to question if this is at all an accepted theory, or even matches actual timing.

However, there seems to be a lot of confusion about astrological signs, their naming, the history surrounding them, and how those symbols were used in other cultures (whether symbolic or allegorical).

Do other more reputable sources support Carpenter's assertions about the allegorical nature, as drawn from regular astronomical cycles, of the Christian myths?

share|improve this question
2  
I am inclined to say that if Zeitgeist says so, then it's bollocks. But YMMV. ;-) –  Ebenezer Sklivvze Oct 21 '12 at 20:22
1  
If the Exodus from Egypt was a historical event (rather than something invented later) then it probably took place in 1200 BC or before, several centuries before the Babylonians identified Taurus as a sign of the Zodiac. –  Henry Oct 21 '12 at 20:32
2  
@Henry The thing is though, there are some documents that indicate that they had astrology based on these constellations as early as 1800BCE, with other documents suggesting it was started during the reign of king Sargon of Akkad (2334-2279 BCE). At least, that's what wikipedia suggests. –  Larian LeQuella Oct 21 '12 at 21:10
2  
@LarianLeQuella But the claims are ABOUT what the Bible means. –  DJClayworth Oct 22 '12 at 13:14
2  
The problem here is that astrology is not science and how it works is not even agreed upon throughout history. There have been many interpretations and the modern pagan Pantheon is just the most popular currently. These(pagan) writings were actively suppressed by the catholic, and islamic churches so that it is very difficult to track any contributions to christian mythos that popular paganism would have had from the first through the 3rd centuries when the original biblical accounts were collected and published. –  Chad Oct 25 '12 at 17:32

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.