THE FATHER IN THE NEW TESTAMENT In the New Testament it advises souls not to call any man your father on earth (Matthew 23:9). This was done to separate and distinguish Christians from Mithraism. In Mithra, the highest grade was the 7th called,*pater, is far the most common found on dedications and inscriptions - and it would appear not to have been unusual for a Mithraeum to have several persons with this grade. The form*pater patrum*(father of fathers) is often found, which appears to indicate the*paterwith primary status. There are several examples of persons, commonly those of higher social status, joining a Mithraeum with the status pater*- especially in Rome during the 'pagan revival' of the fourth century. It has been suggested that some Mithraea may have awarded honorary*pater*status to sympathetic dignitaries. The Catholics are close with Mithra in calling each other fathers a direct violation of Matthew 23:9. The 7th degree Pater/father was associated with a ring/staff and a cap associated with Saturn. The 2nd degree Bridegroom its symbol was a lamp and the planet was Venus. The NT does associated Brides with lamps. The Greek biographer*Plutarch*(46 - 127) says that the pirates of*Cilicia, the coastal province in the southeast of*Anatolia, were the origin of the Mithraic rituals that were being practiced in Rome in his day: "They likewise offered strange sacrifices; those of Olympus I mean; and they celebrated certain secret mysteries, among which those of Mithras continue to this day, being originally instituted by them." (Life of Pompey*24 Its no accident St. Paul is from Cilicia (Acts 21:39/22:3) and he saw God (Jesus) as a circle of fire (Mithra) Acts 9:3. Paul mixed in the rites of Mithra, Osiris and other strange religions into Christianity. The idea of a relationship between*early Christianity*and Mithraism is based on a remark in the 2nd century Christian writer*Justin Martyr who accused the Mithraists of diabolically imitating the Christian communion rite Justin Martyr,*First Apology,*ch. 66: "For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body; "and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood; "and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn."