All About GOD

All About GOD - Growing Relationships with Jesus and Others

The theory that Jesus did not exist as a historical figure or that he simply is a copy cat of pagan God's is often referred to as the Jesus Myth. Though dead as a serious academic position, the notion that Jesus did not exist or that He simply is a copy cat, is advanced by skeptics through their various publishing arms and on the internet. Others have argued that though some sort of founding historical figure is possible, the miracles attributed to him must be legendary developments.

As a result, one of Apologetics priorities is to educate readers about the overwhelming evidence of Jesus' historicity and His uniqueness among all others.

Well theologians, you want to help? Jump in!

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If you were to google copy cat Jesus, you would run into numerous websites that want to sell you books about the topic and will make statements something like the ones below, which i found in one of those websites:

How come didn't anyone ever tell you Christianity borrowed from other ancient religions? And the fact they didn't tell you that, that's got to make you think this Pagan Origins business is nutty, right?
Part of the problem may be you haven't stumbled across the right books. The idea that Christianity borrowed from Paganism dates back to the 1400s, when anti-Catholic protestants began finding Pagan ideas in the Roman church. By the mid to late 1800s archeology had uncovered and translated Assyrian, Babylonian, and Egyptian texts a thousand years older than the earliest hint of Judaism. The legends in these texts proved striking parallels with Old Testament legends, leading reasonable people to realize many OT bible stories were knock offs of the older middle eastern myths. Eager but incautious professional scholars came up with a similar myth-by-myth-copy theory for the New Testament stories about Jesus.

If we trust our history books of today, then we must at least trust the historical writings of the past. The one that I am speaking of is Josephus. I can not etll you the exact dates of his ritings but I believe that it was no later than 150 - 200 years after Jesus' life. In his writing he states that yes there was a Jesus that did miracles and called himself the CHrist.
This information is in the book "A Case For Christ" by Lee Strobel
Thank you Charles,

If I would have read your comment before commenting on Rodney's impute i would have save my self some work. hahaha

Great info.
Thank you Charles. That is great information. I had forgotten about the years that he as alive. And I toally agree that he would would be a good source of information historically.
Thanks so much
Amen brother Rodney!

I own the book title: "The Works of Josephus," by Hendrickson Publishers and on page 815, Dissertation 1 starts "The Testimonies of Josephus concerning Jesus Christ, John the Baptist and James the Just, Vindicated."

On the third paragraph of said page we find Josephus making the following notation:

"About A.D. 110 Tacit. Annal. 15.44. - Nero, in order to stifle the rumor, (as if he himself had set Rome on fire), ascribed it to those people who were hated for their wicked practices, and called by the vulgar Christians: these he punished exquisitely. The author of this name was Christ, who, in the reign of Tiberius, was brought to punishment by Pontius Pilate the procurator."

I could go on quoting his historical descriptions of Jesus for they are many, but instead will give a brief biography using

Josephus (AD 37 – c. 100),[2] also known as Yosef Ben Matityahu (Joseph, son of Matthias) and, after he became a Roman citizen, as Titus Flavius Josephus,[3] was a first-century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and royal ancestry who survived and recorded the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.[4] His works give an important insight into first-century Judaism.

Josephus was an important apologist in the Roman world for the Jewish people and culture, particularly at a time of conflict and tension. He always remained, in his own eyes, a loyal and law-observant Jew. He went out of his way both to commend Judaism to educated Gentiles, and to insist on its compatibility with cultured Graeco-Roman thought. He constantly contended for the antiquity of Jewish culture, presenting its people as civilised, devout and philosophical. Eusebius reports that a statue of Josephus was erected in Rome.[5]

A Roman portrait bust said to be of Josephus.

Our Faith has historical evidance as well as the writings of non-Christian historians such as Josephus.
The Jesus myth Position sees Jesus a fictional character largely based upon pagan figures from mythology. It is said that these figures are dying/rising savior gods, born of virgin births and thus each forms a pattern for the fictional Jesus of Nazareth. A typical expression of this view is made below:

Farrell Till:

"I could take saviors like Krishna, saviors like Osiris, saviors like Dionysus, saviors like Tammuz, who presumably lived centuries and centuries before Jesus of Nazareth allegedly lived, and they were born of virgins, they worked miracles, they died, most of them through crucifixion, and they were resurrected from the dead, and their followers were zealous for them." (Geisler-Till debate, 1994)

The most important point to make here is that when one uses actual mythology books and not books written by "mythers," that is books by scholars talking about mythology for its own sake, not trying to prove a point about Christianity one way or the other, the similarities vanish.
1) Calling them all "saviors" distorts the evidenceNone of them are saviors in the manner of Jesus Christ They are all heroes, so they all saved people in some sense. Some of them did offer eternal life to their followers so we can look at that latter. But none of them are saviors in the sense of dying for the sins of the world.

2) "Presumably lived..." is a big distortion, no proof that they did live.
A few of them may have been based on actual people. In fact the Greek Herakles (Hercules) was probably two people fussed together into myth from two different times in history (Charles Seltman, the Twelve Olympians, Thomas Y. Corwell company: 1962, p.175-177. But there is nowhere near the kind of documentation for this that there is for Jesus. We have no writings of anyone who claimed to have known Herakles, we have no writings that even approximate eyewitness testimony, we have no proof that he existed at all. No body of his teachings, not even one saying by him has come down to us through history. Everything about him is totally speculative or mythological. And this is also true for every single figure mentioned; it is probable that Mithra was a real figure, or based upon a real figure but we have no way of knowing. Osiris was pure mythology and we have no idea who he might be based upon, it may be a good guess that Krishna was a real figure at one time, but we know nothing about any of these characters that is not purely mythological.

3) "They were born of Virgins" actually none of them were.

This is a tricky one. Some of these figures were not even claimed to have been produced by Virgins. Others, it depends. That is, none of them were produced without the benefit of sexual contact. For some, such as Herakles that contact came between the mother and god, the mother may never have "known" a mortal man, and so in a technical sense is a 'virgin' but she not conceived without benefit of sexual contact. Jesus Christ was so conceived. The notion of the "Virginal conception" does not say that God was Mary's lover, Mary did not have sex with God, when the Holy Spirit "came upon her" it was more like artificial insemination, not sexual contact. And none of these "saviors" were touted as products of "virginal conceptions" as part of their theological doctrine.
4) "They worked miracles" As mythical figures they did "amazing thing" but none went about healing the sick.

None of the figures that Till mentions above were miracle workers in the sense of Jesus. They did not Rome the country healing people or praying over fish and loaves in order to supernaturally expand one meal into a repast for several thousand people. Mythological events follow them, thus when Mithras kills the Bull wheat springs from its tale. But of course, it is mythology. They were not flesh and blood people whom eye witnesses saw heal the sick. That did not happen in the case of any of these figures.

5) "They died, most of them through crucifixion" This is an outright lie, no credible source shows any of these being crucified.

None of the figures that he names died through crucifixion. Some of them became associated with the cross through pagan borrowing after the time of Christ, but in the pure mythical content of their stories none of them were crucified.

6) "They were Resurrected from the dead" this claim is true of some but not all, and even of those not in the manner of Christ.

None of them were seen by real flesh and blood eye witnesses after their deaths. In stories of Dionysus he does come back to life, but only in a mythology and only in relation to dying rising of nature cycles. see below. And not all of them came back to life.

The differences go on and on and on... There is no comparison between Jesus and these mythological figures, except a desperate attempt by the skeptics to sell books, feeding upon people do not do real research and uninformed Christians.
That is some really great information David. I think that I willl be reading this from time to time to stay re-freshed, on the materiail. Thanks for taking the time to gather and post the great info

I am seriously interested in working on a book about this topic, namely the erroneous idea that Christianity is just another myth among many, I think that if we could join forces maybe we can flesh out some fundamental information here at ALL ABOUT and see if we have enough material, and enough passion, for a book length project.

What do you think?

Your Sister in Christ,

Wow - Sheron it would be a well worth project, but there are some great books already out. If you wre to google "is Christianity a myth" you would get lots of hits.
Background material about Horus:
Various ancient Egyptian statues and writings tell of Horus, (pronounced "hohr'-uhs;"
a.k.a. Harseisis, Heru-sa-Aset (Horus, son of Isis), Heru-ur (Horus the elder), Hr, and Hrw), a creator sky God.

He was worshipped thousands of years before the first century CE -- the time when Jesus was ministering in the Galilee and/or Judea. 2 Horus was often represented as a stylized eye symbol, symbolizing the eye of a falcon. He was also presented "in the shape of a sparrow hawk or as a man [or lion] with a hawk's head." 3 He is often shown as an infant cradled by his mother Isis.

He was considered to be the son of two major Egyptian deities: the God Osirus and and the Goddess Isis. In adulthood, he avenged his father's murder, and became recognized as the God of civil order and justice. Each of the Egyptian pharaohs were believed to be the living embodiment -- an incarnation --

Tom Harpur, author of "The Pagan Christ; Recovering the Lost Light," 2 suggests that ancient Egyptian religion was henotheistic. That is, they recognize a single deity, Ra. They view other Gods and Goddesses as manifestations or aspects of that supreme God. [We use the present tense in these sentences because the ancient Egyptian religion is still in existence in the form of a Neo-Pagan reconstruction.
Harpur writes:

"A list of the names of all the gods of Egypt would fill pages. But all these gods were only forms, attributes or phases of Ra, the solar god, who himself was the supreme symbol or metaphor for God....Horus, the son of Osirus and Isis, is himself an aspect of Ra."


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