Did the word “Pagan” have its origins in Christian intollerance.?

Question by Lakely: Did the word “Pagan” have its origins in Christian intollerance.?
There is a city in Burma called PAGAN… in which there are thousands of temples… and very obviously the ancient people there were very devoted to God (as they knew God… in their own tradition)

Now, I suspect that when the western missionaries saw this Holy Town they were shocked to realize that these people were worshiping God in a way that they did not understand, so they called them “Pagans.”

So do you think the word “Pagan” had its origins in Chrisitian intollerance?

Best answer:

Answer by Sir Offenzalot
Can you please cite an example where Jesus was seen as being intolerant? (other than being intolerant of evil I can’t find any examples)

Add your own answer in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Did the word “Pagan” have its origins in Christian intollerance.?

  1. No, pagan has its roots in the Latin word “paganus” from “pagus” which meant a rural district, and it meant country-folk.

    Yes it was meant as an insult more or less, but it’s the same thing as calling someone a “country bumpkin”, nothing to do with religion at first, simply the urban “sophisticate” against the less educated farmers.

    EDIT:
    Sir Offenzalot – he didn’t ask about Jesus being intolerant, but Christians – and there is a HUGE difference, there. You seem to be being deliberately obtuse and looking for a way to BE offended, rather than TO offend, which whould seem to be the meaning behind your name.

  2. The word literally means “country dweller”. It was a derogatory term used to denote a lack of education/intellect. It would be like calling someone a “hick” or “bumpkin” today.

    Brightest Blessings

  3. No, it has its roots in ancient Rome, which meant ‘country dweller’.

    The negative connotation came from Christian intolerance.

  4. The word pagan is used to describe someone who is not Christian, Jewish, or Muslim.

    And as for modern words stemming from intolerance….

    “Surprisingly, the word “Christian” appears only three times in the New Testament. The New Testament’s use of this term indicates that it was a term of derision, a term placed upon Christ’s followers by their critics.”

    http://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/openhse/christian.html

  5. It did have its origins in Christian intolerance. At least how it has become to be used. I have always advocated identifying yourself by the actual religion rather than this “umbrella term.”

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