Jesus, Pagan Gods, and Mythers
August 30, 2013 Kurt Jaros

Jesus, Pagan Gods, and Mythers

Posted in Forum Post

I’ve recently been in a discussion online with some people who believe that Jesus is merely a myth, copied from earlier pagan myths. I want to use this post to entice mythers to come forward with primary sources from pagan mythology that support that claim.  I also want it to be known that even if it were the case that there were parallels, correlation does not necessitate causation, and one must build a case for causation.  Dr. Mike Licona mentions this in the video below, too.

Myth #2: Pagan Parallels in the Mystery Religions from Credo House on Vimeo.

Here’s a link to various responses to the pagan myth claims: http://www.alwaysbeready.com/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=124

Lastly, there are a couple good articles found in Come Let Us Reason (Nashville: B&H, 2012).  Mary Jo Sharp has written one, “Does the Story of Jesus Mimic Pagan Mystery Stories?” and Mark W. Foreman also has a good one, “Challenging the Zeitgeist Movie: Parallelomania on Steroids.”

So, it seems simple enough: provide for me some examples from primary sources on the parallels, and illustrate the correlation is also causation … and voila!  I’m looking forward to your comments.

Comments (5)

  1. I like WLC’s response in the video from the link you provided….”this is just garbage that’s spread on the internet”. I’ve seen that video clip before and it made me chukle then too! 🙂

  2. schorah.mail@virgin.net

    Two things I don’t think the responses to pagen myth claims mentioned.
    C.S. Lewis, who was an authority on mythical literature, says the Gospels look nothing like fictitious hero and deity tales of the ancient world which, unlike the Gospels, contained almost no temporal, geographical or cultural details. Finally, if Christianity was simply borrowed from pagan faiths why was it so successful in comparison to the originals?

    1. Hi Chris! Thanks for your comment.

      Just to play devil’s advocate, they might say something like:

      1. Lewis was a specialist on medieval literature (so the time periods would be off).
      2. Christianity won because the winners write history (or something like that).

      I think those two responses are inadequate. Maybe we’ll just have to see if a myther will offer their view for us.

  3. schorah.mail@virgin.net

    Yes Kurt, I take the first point, although I’m sure Lewis would have been more ‘specialised’ in ancient mythology than almost any myther today.
    But the second doesn’t square with the evidence. It was written, spread and succeeded long before Christians became ‘winners’. By doubting, frightened, unconnected and uneducated Jews, following the death of their leader, using a counter-intuitive message of enemy-loving and sacrificial care and peace to all men. The growth occurred without the support of political power, economic largesse or military might. It was completely against the views of the ruling authorities and the pluralist culture of the time and, as a result, suffered periods of intense persecution when thousands died for their faith. No other religion with such limitations and disadvantages has succeeded so quickly and effectively and spread so ubiquitously. The only satisfactory explanation is that it was true and powered by the presence of God’s Spirit, unlike the pagan competiton.
    Shalom
    Chris

  4. schorah.mail@virgin.net

    6 weeks down the road and no mythers wish to have their myths challenged off their own turf. Why am I not surprised?

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