FOUR ITEMS APPEAR BELOW:
1 Brief History of Religion Part 2
2 Brief History of Religion Part 3
3 A Brief Delusion
4 Jesus Versus Mythology
BRIEF HISTORY OF RELIGION PART 2
(Investigator 126, 2009 May)
Of the major religions the most recent inventions are Christianity followed by Islam (Muhammad's invention about 610 AD).
Christianity copied and embodied almost all from the Heathen/Pagan religions features and rituals, claiming at the same time ownership:
1. The virgin birth.
3. Holy Ghost.
4. Miracles – like raising the dead, walking on water, etc.
6. Divine Word.
7. Atonement for sins.
10. Commandments to followers.
11. Saving a sinful world by the god-man's death, going down into hell after dying for three days (The standard requirement was three days for all saviors to be dead.) Then rising from the dead and going up into heaven.
The myth of world creators / world saviors goes back to the Heathen/ Pagan religions, thousands of years before Christianity. Listed below are some of these supreme gods, with country.
1. Akditi – mother of Gods (
2. Ahriman – son of Zuruam – all powerful (
3. Aibit and Alom-Bhol – creator of humans (Mayan)
4. Amon Re – king of Gods (
5. Aten – God of sun – (
6. Bochica – supreme creator and law giver (
) Chibcha, India
7. Brahma – creator and absolute god (
8. Coyote –god of creation (Crow Indian)
9. Dohit – god who created the first mortal from clay (Mosetene)
10. Gamid – supreme god living in heaven (Damarus,
11. Inti – supreme god / god of the sun (Inca, pre Columbian)
12. Jar-Sub – god of universe (
13. Juck-Shilluck – creator of the world (
14. Kumani – virgin goddess (
15. Mahaskti – divine mother / supreme creator of the universe (
16. Num – supreme 1st. god, creator, lives in 7th heaven (Samoyed,
17. Manibozho – god who created earth and mortals from clay (Algonquin Indians)
18. Marduk – supreme god / sun god (
Maui– son of the sun (Polynesian)
20. Pachacamac – supreme god, creator of all (Yuncas,
) Lima, Peru
21. Parica – god who flooded the earth (before Noah) (
22. Rado Gast – god of sun (Slav)
23. Tengri – god of sky (Mongol)
24. Anunnaki – sky god (Sumerian)
25. Ptar – creator god (
26. Neteru – sky god (
26. Hurakan – creator god (
Mexico/ Central America)
27. Yahweh – god invented by the Jews in the 6th century BC; also known as Elohim, Baalim, Adonai, Yhwh, Ieue, Jehovah (Jewish)
28. Allah – invented by Muhammed in the 5th century AD (Islam)
"…And that inverted bowl we call the sky, where under crawling coop't we live and die, lift not thy hands to it for help, for it rolls impotently on as thou and I." Omar Khayyam
Brian de Kretser
Institute for Research into Religions,
. Darwin, Australia
A BRIEF HISTORY OF RELIGION
(Investigator 128, 2009 September)
Christianity copied everything from Heathen/Pagan myths recycled down the ages. Christianity falsely claims that Jesus Christ was the one and only crucified savior of the world. But historical records show that there were many crucified saviors from thousands of years before the Christian era. Jesus Christ was the last of about 23 earlier crucified saviors.
They are listed below with country and approximate dates:
1. Osiris (
- 3000bc) Egypt
13. Iao (
- 622bc) Nepal
2. Bel (
- 1750bc) Babylon
14. Sakia (
- 600bc) India
3. Atys (
- 1700bc) Phrygia, Turkey
15. Alcestos - Female god (
- 600bc) Pherae, Greece
4. Thulis (
- 1700bc) Egypt
16. Mithra (
- 600bc) Persia
5. Krishna (
- 1200bc) India
17. Quexalcote (
- 587bc) Mexico
6. Crite (Chaldea,
- 1200bc) Babylon
18. Wittoba (
552bc) Travancore, India
7. Tammuz (
- 1160bc) Syria
19. Prometheus (
- 547bc) Greece
8. Dionysius (
- 1100bc) Greece
20. Ixion (
- 400bc) Rome
9. Hesus (Celtic Druid - 834bc)
21. Devatat (
- ?) Siam
10. Quirinius (
- 753bc) Rome
22. Apollonius (Tyana,
11. Indra (
- 725bc) Tibet
23. Jesus Christ (Jewish - 33ad) - The last recorded crucified savior
12. Bali (
- 725bc) Orissa, India
It was a case of "My God is better than yours." There seems to have been boundless competition between the disciples of the various religions, including Jews, Pagans, Christians, etc. as to which god-man could do whatever better or whose god could out perform all others in achieving astonishing prodigies that could set the laws of nature at defiance. Religions in each era added attributes to their deities so that they could claim that their god was far greater than any previous god.
Krishna(Hindu god 1200bc) compared to Jesus (Christian god 33ad) were both the 2nd part of their respective trinity.
Several historians have found 346 points of comparison between these two although 1200 years apart. It's not hard to see that the
Krishnamyth was grafted almost in total to the Jesus myth.
It must also be pointed out that the
Krishnamyth was also recycled from earlier god myths, Osris – 3000bc, Bel – 1750bc, Atys – 1700 bc, Thulis – 1700bc. And so it goes on.
- The advent of each savior was miraculously foretold by prophets.
- Both came to save a sinful world.
- Both are considered divine saviors.
- Both taught that atoning for sins a necessity.
- In each case as a "son of god" is selected as sacrifice for atonement. (Second person of the Trinity)
- Both are sent down from heaven in the form of a man.
- Both are born of a holy virgin – Krishna of Maia, Jesus of Mary. Both born in obscure situations.
- Both had a miraculous conception.
- Both had adopted earthly fathers, both fathers carpenters.
- Both claimed that god was their real father, with conception by a holy ghost or spirit.
- Both claimed royal descent. Both born on 25th December.
- Both visited by wise men and shepherds led by a star.
- With both an incumbent ruler wants to kill him, but both saved by angel warnings.
- Parents flee to safety, Krishna's to
Mathura, Jesus' to . Egypt
- Each had a forerunner,
Krishnahad Bali Rama, Jesus had John the Baptist.
- Both were very clever when young, teaching learned opponents.
- Both fasted and meditated in the wilderness.
- Both deliver sermons and moral lessons. Both claimed to be without sin. Both forgave sins and had a mission to deliver the world from sin, by destroying the devil and all his works.
- Both proclaim "I am the resurrection" "The way to the father" "Son of God", etc.
- Both were regarded as the "Lord from Heaven" "Lord of Lords" and both claimed to be omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omni-everything.
- Both performed miracles, cure the sick, blind, lame, walk on water, raise the dead, cast out devils, etc.
- Both had disciples, apostles following them and spreading their master's religion.
- Both opposed the priesthood and the established religion, and made enemies who plotted.
- Both had a memorable "Last Supper".
- Both put to death by crucifixion with thieves on either side of them also crucified.
- Darkness and strange happenings accompanied each crucifixion.
- Each forgave their enemies before dying; both gave up the ghost and descended into hell.
- Both remained "dead" for 3 days (standard requirement).
- Both rose from the dead on the 3rd day and was seen by a selected few.
- Both ascend into Heaven, supposedly witnessed by many.
Brian de Kretser
Institute for Research into Religions,
A Brief Delusion
(Investigator 129, 2009 November)
In Investigator #128 Brian De Krester provided his 3rd part on the Brief History of Religion. In that article he repeated his assertion that Christianity copied pagan religions. He listed 22 "crucified saviours" who preceded Christ. As usual, Brian does not provide any evidence or references to support his claim, so should we believe him?
His list dates from 3,000 BC (Osiris). Crucifixion probably originated with the Persians during the reign of Darius (550 to 485 BC). He is recorded to have crucified 3,000 Babylonian captives in 519 BC (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1993, Vol.3, p.762). Brian's list includes at least 17 crucified saviours that preceded the origin of crucifixion. So most of his list is complete hogwash.
I am not going to critique all of his claims. The onus is on Brian to provide the evidence. However, I will cite some examples.
1) Number 1 was Osiris. Osiris was not crucified. Osiris' brother Seth envied his power and popularity and killed him by luring him into a coffin, which he sealed with lead.
2) Number 17 was Quexalcote from
. Give us a break, Brian. How could the NT writers copy something from Mexico ? Mexico sailed the ocean blue in 1492. The NT writers wouldn't have known that Columbus existed. Surely in this case Brian has shot himself in the foot. This example merely demonstrates that a similarity does not necessarily mean that any copying has occurred. Mexico
3) Number 22 was Appolonius. Brian didn't give a date. It is likely that Appolonius was born after Jesus. Most biographical information about Appolonius is derived from Philostratus who wrote his biography about 150 years after the 1st NT writings, so who copied who? Anyway, Appolonius was not crucified. He disappeared from the courtroom.
I believe I have given enough examples to show that it would be an understatement to say that Brian's assertions are unreliable.
Most religions address the basic problems of our existence, which are evil, suffering and death. Thus it is not surprising that religions have some common elements. The solution to evil must entail some form of judgement. Death must be overcome by some form of afterlife. This, combined with the fact that there is an enormous volume of ancient religious literature, means that it is quite easy to find similarities without there being any causal connection.
The copycat thesis was popular among sceptical theologians during the 1920s. During this period Rudolph Bultmann and C.H. Dodd each compiled lists of 300 parallels between pagan religions and the Christ story. The problem was that they only had 8% overlap. What this demonstrated was that the selection of parallels is highly subjective. It is more the product of a vivid imagination.
The huge number of claimed "dead ringer" parallels is in itself a cause for suspicion. For example, Brian claimed Jesus is a copy of
Krishna, but Laurie Eddie claimed Jesus is a copy of Mithra (Issue #87, also without any evidence). Mithra and Krishnaare different. Who is right, if either? "Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree" (Mark 14:56).
It is very easy to construct historical parallels that look convincing on the surface, but in fact have no causal link. For example, the following table lists similarities between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.
John F Kennedy
Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846
John F Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946
Abraham Lincoln won his presidential election in 1860
John F Kennedy's won his presidential election in 1960
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on "Friday" & was shot in the head
John F Kennedy's was also assassinated on "Friday" & was shot in the head
's assassin was "John Wilkes Booth" and he had a 3 word name with 15 letters Lincoln
John F Kennedy's alleged assassin was "Lee Harvey Oswald" with 3 words and 15 letters
John Wilkes Booth was shot and killed before being indicted or tried.
Lee Harvey Oswald was also shot and killed before he could be indicted or tried.
Abraham Lincoln was shot in the "Ford's Theatre"
John F Kennedy's was shot in a car made by "Ford Motors"
Abraham Lincoln's wife was with him when he was shot
John F Kennedy's wife was also with him at the time he was shot
Abraham Lincoln successor was by Vice-President Johnson (Andrew Johnson)
John F Kennedy's successor was also named Vice-President Johnson (Lyndon B. Johnson)
Andrew Johnson was born on Thursday December 29 1808
Lyndon B Johnson was born on Thursday August 27 1908
Abraham Lincoln's son (Edward Barker Lincoln 1850) died while he served in the White House
John F Kennedy's newborn son (Patrick Bouvier Kennedy 1963) died while he served in the White House
If you believe there is a causal link between Abraham Lincoln and John F Kennedy, then I feel sorry for you. Rather, this example illustrates how easy it is to construct dodgy parallels.
The notion that the New Testament writers copied pagan religions to construct the story of Jesus Christ is psychologically implausible. Apart from Luke, the New Testament writers were pious Jews (and Luke was probably a "God fearer"). The Jews despised the idolatry of pagan religions and opposed any form of syncretism.
In addition, the New Testament writers were too preoccupied with integrating the Christ story with the Old Testament to be bothered with copying pagan religions. In fact sceptical theologians no longer pursue the pagan copycat theory and have gone in a different direction. While conservative theologians assert that Jesus is the fulfilment of the OT, sceptical theologians, such as Bishop "Jack" Spong, assert that the Christ story was contrived to fit the OT prophecies.
One post-modern critique of Christianity is against its uniqueness. After all, "Don't most religions teach the same sort of things?" However, the similarities are peripheral and break down on closer examination, just as, "All Asians look the same", unless of course you are an Asian.
Christianity is unique in a number of ways, such as:
1) The Jewish faith, on which Christianity is based, was the first major instance of monotheism. All of the examples that Brian provided were from polytheistic religions.
2) Christianity is based on falsifiable claims about historical events surrounding Jesus of Nazareth. If Jesus was not crucified, killed and then raised to life, then Christianity is stripped of all meaning. By contrast, all other major religions propose a system of beliefs or way of life that is not dependent on historical claims.
I encourage readers to read the original source material for other religions and compare them with the New Testament. There is actually no comparison. Most of these alternate religions have died out because they are actually quite bizarre, whereas the story of Jesus of Nazareth is still coherent in our modern world.
By the way, I am still fascinated by Brian's "Institute for Research into Religions". I can't find anything about it on the web. Brian, does it have more than one member?
JESUS Versus MYTHOLOGY
"The demons mislead mankind by imitating the things of the true God." (Justin Martyr 100-165)
(Investigator 129, 2009 November)
There are critics who claim Jesus is myth fabricated by Christians who re-worked stories from Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Rome, India, etc.
Mythological figures such as Hercules, Osiris, Mithra, Perseus, Horus and others supposedly share such features with Jesus as:
- Had a god for a father and a virgin mother;
- Birth announced by a heavenly display;
- Visited by wise men;
- Life threatened after birth by a tyrant;
- Fasted 40 days;
- A violent death;
Virgin births are attributed (among others) to:
Egypt, Horus from Isis*;
, Adonis from Myrrha; Hercules from Alcmene*; Greece
India, Buddah from Maya; Krishnafrom Devaki;
Quetzalcoatl from Sochiquetzal; Huitzilopochtli from Coatlicue; Mexico
, the god Mithra*; and Zoroaster; Persia
Dionysus/Bacchus from Semele*; Rome
- In Scandinavian, Balder from Frigga;
, Indra. Tibet
The * indicates birth near December 25th. But December 25 as Jesus' birthday was made official by the Church and is not in the Bible – the Star of Bethlehem probably appeared mid-year. (Investigator 81)
A series of 19th century writers publicized Biblical/Pagan parallels and claimed Christianity fabricated Jesus from Pagan mythology. For example:
- Godfrey Higgins (1771-1834);
- Mitchell Logan (1842) The Christian Mythology Unveiled;
- Kelsey Graves (1875) The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviours;
- Doane, T.E. (1882) Bible Myths and their Parallels in Other Religions;
- Gerald Massey (1828-1907) – The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ (1886).
Gravesoften ignored chronology and geography in assessing what caused what, and fabricated much of his material. The Britannica says crucifixion was practiced "from about the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD." Documentation for Graves' "sixteen crucified saviours" remains elusive. Most just lived on; several died by arrow, burning, or bleeding. Some have cycles of death and rebirth instead of one resurrection.
20th century critics expanded the 19th-century framework. For example:
- Robertson, J.M. (1903) Pagan Christs;
- Drews, A. (1865-1935) The Christ Myth (1910);
- Dujardin, E. (1938) Ancient History of the God Jesus;
- Jackson, J.J. (1938) Christianity Before Christ;
- Kuhn, A.B. (1880-1963) – Who is this King of Glory? (1944);
- Freke, T. & Gandy, P. (1999) The Jesus Mysteries (1999).
- Harpur, T. (2004) The Pagan Christ.
D.M. Murdock writing as Acharya S. authored:
- The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold (1999);
- Suns of God:
Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled (2004);
- Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ (2007)
- Christ in
: The Horus-Jesus Connection (2009). Egypt
Thomas Harpur – Canadian theologian and journalist – claims the essential ideas of Christianity came from Egyptian mythology. Harpur does not cite contemporary Egyptologists or primary sources but depends on Higgins, Kuhn and Massey. He calls Kuhn a "genius" whereas Kuhn was a high school teacher who advocated Theosophy and mostly self-published.
Harpur writes: "The 180 similarities which the scholar Gerald Massey found between the Egyptian Christ, Horus, and the Jesus of the Gospels, are there for all to read in Massey's two-volume shocker, Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World and in his The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ."
Acharya parallels the life of Christ with
Krishna, Buddha, Mithra, Horus, Adonis, Quetzalcoatl, etc and claims the similarities reflect a common source, the myth of the sun-god.
Romehad no contact with , any Christ/Quetzalcoatl parallels were either copied from Christianity after the Spaniards arrived, or originated independently. America
All the above critics rarely quote alleged parallels directly from Pagan texts – they give their interpretations instead, or cite each other.
Investigator 115 in "History Lesson" listed "weird" similarities between presidents Lincoln and Kennedy. The Internet lists scores more – search for "
+Kennedy+Parallels" in Google. Lincoln
In #74 I listed correlations between Horus and Hitler. My correlations were "off the cuff" yet sufficient to be surprising.
Clearly, to declare established history myth on the basis of parallels is false reasoning. To argue "Kennedy is recycled myth based on
", or "Hitler is myth based on Horus", is stupid. Lincoln
Compare any two people: Probably they "Went to school". Check whether the schools were in the same city or have any other similarity. If no further parallels are noticed we still have "Went to school". Investigate also the two persons' travels, friends, interests, experiences, medical history, accomplishments, families, beliefs, environments, etc. Did both write? If yes then list "Writer". If both wrote for Investigator – good the odds are millions to one! If not, we still have "Writer". See the trick? Just stop the comparison at that level of detail where the similarity stops.
The concepts of "similarity" and "parallel lives" are subjective. The rules of logic don't tell us when "similarities" are relevant and constitute evidence for fabrication. Comparison of any two people would generate thousands of similarities – the number is limited only by one's imagination and time.
The "copycat" thesis is absent in standard modern works such as:
- The Religions of Ancient
- The Religion of the Ancient East (1959);
- New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (1968);
- Egyptian Mythology 1968;
- Mythology An Illustrated Encyclopedia (1980);
The World of the Pharoahs (1998). Egypt
The Sacred Texts Archives DVD-ROM has the text of thousands of ancient myths. I checked the DVD for Horus/Jesus parallels in The Egyptian Book of the Dead and Legends of the Gods (translated 1895 & 1912) but found very few, therefore suspect many have been made up.
Ward Gasque (British theologian) asked 20 Egyptologists about contributions of Kuhn, Higgins and Massey to Egyptology and whether Harpur's key ideas had merit such as:
- The name of Jesus was derived from the Egyptian "Iusa";
- Horus is an Egyptian Christ and his mother, Isis, the forerunner of Mary;
- Horus had a virgin birth, was a fisher of men and had twelve disciples;
- The letters KRST appear on Egyptian coffins and signify Christ.
Professor Kenneth A. Kitchen of Liverpool pointed out that Kuhn, Higgins and Massey are not mentioned in M. L. Bierbrier's Who Was Who in Egyptology (1995) or I.B. Pratt's bibliography on Ancient
Ron Leprohan, Professor of Egyptology at
, pointed out that "sa" means "son" in ancient Egyptian and "iu" means "to come" but the name "Iusa" did not exist. "KRST" is the Egyptian word for "burial" and is unconnected to the Greek "Christos". Toronto
The Egyptologists regarded the attempt to source the story of Christ's birth in Egyptian religion as bogus.
Most 19th century copycat theorists were likewise fringe writers ignored by learned societies that dealt with antiquity.
To establish NT reliance on Pagan myth, critics would need to demonstrate quotes from Pagan texts in the Bible but have failed.
Some copycat ideologues therefore surmise that Christians acquired pagan myths not from texts but by social interaction, and reworked the myths to make them palatable to Jews. The idea of resurrection, however, occurs a dozen times in the Old Testament (OT) and Christ's death and resurrection was foretold therein – see Investigator 120. So why not leave out the supposed social connection and conclude that Christians interpreted the OT?
Judaism accepted one God and would have notice any incorporation of Paganism into Christianity – but Jewish criticism didn't take this approach.
The Bible teaches an exclusivist faith, warns against syncretism (Colossians 2:8), and insists on one God, one Saviour.
Roman Empiremystery cults, in contrast, were non-exclusive and members could join many cults.
The oldest still-existing NT documents are 2nd-century. But the oldest available documents of Pagan religions are often much later. The beliefs of a Pagan cult described in, for example, a 10th century document may therefore differ to its 1st-century beliefs since sectarian doctrine sometimes changes quickly. This raises the probability that it's the Pagans who did the plagiarizing!
Scholars and critics often adopt biblical terminology to describe non-Christian myths and rituals. This establishes a conceptual link but is misleading:
Many religions practiced ritual bathing but it's not baptism, or communal meals but it's not "the Lord's supper", or had a "saviour" but different to the biblical "messiah".
The mistake is like applying the term "President" to ancient kings – such mislabeling could generate misleading implications.
Horus in Egyptian mythology was the son of the gods Isis and Osiris. Acharya, relying on Massey, claims 200 parallels with Jesus. Egyptian texts on the Sacred Texts DVD lack many of them including:
- Born of the virgin Isis-Meri on December 25th;
- Birth announced by a star, angels and three wise men;
- Taught in the
at age 12; Temple
- Was baptized, the baptizer later beheaded;
- Had 12 disciples;
- Exorcised demons;
- Walked on water;
- Was called "Iusa," the "ever-becoming son" and "Holy Child";
- Called "the KRST," or "Anointed One;"
- Raised "El-Azar-us "from the dead;
- Transfigured on the Mount;
- Crucified between two thieves, buried three days, and resurrected;
- Called "Son of Man," "Lamb of God," "Word made flesh";
- Would reign for 1000 years.
"Meri" (Egyptian word for "beloved") was not a name but a description unconnected to "Mary" in the Bible.
Some similarities rely on word games:
"Horus raised Osirus from the dead. He was referred to as ‘the Asar,'... Translated into Hebrew, this is ‘El-Asar.' The Romans added the prefix ‘us' to indicate a male name, producing ‘Elasarus.' Over time, the ‘E' was dropped and ‘s' became ‘z,' producing ‘Lazarus.'"
Harpur writes: "Herodotus, the ‘father of history'…says that the priests at
Thebestold him…that the great gods of existed over 17,000 years earlier in the oral history. These deities included Iu-em-hetep, the coming bringer of peace. The name Iu is basic to the later name Yeshua/Jesus, as well as to Isaac, Isaiah, and many others." Egypt
Actually "Isaac" means "laughter", and "Jesus" corresponds to the Hebrew "Yehoshua" and means "Jehovah is salvation" as does "Isaiah". Drawing connections with supposed oral history going back 17,000 years is nonsensical. The Bible on Christ's resurrection gives definite times, places, names and other details that are still checkable and was accepted doctrine before 100CE.
Isiswas wife to Osiris without any claim she was a virgin. Osiris was killed and dismembered but magically reassembled by Isis who then had intercourse with the body and produced Horus. A story of miraculous conception, but not of a virgin birth!
Virgin births are attributed to Buddha and
Krishna. But Buddha's mother was married, therefore unlikely a virgin; and Krishnawas 8th-born!
Most "virgin births" in Pagan stories were stories of gods impregnating women by sexual intercourse. For example, Dionysius in
"Semele [a king's daughter] begged Zeus to show himself to her in his Olympian splendour. She was unable to endure the dazzling brilliance of her divine lover… Zeus gathered up the infant and, as it was not yet ready to be born, enclosed it in his own thigh. When the time was come he drew it forth…" (New Larousse Encyclopedia, p. 157)
The nearest to "virgin birth" might be the Greek deity Adonis "Born of a tree into which his mother had transformed herself..." (Ibid p. 81)
The most numerous parallels are between Jesus and the Hindu god
Krishna. De Kretser (2009) refers to "historians" – actually Gravesgot the ball rolling – who "found 346 points of comparison". I found a website which claims "346 Striking Analogies" but lists only 133.
The Sacred Texts DVD includes The Vishnu Purana (translated 1840 by H.H. Wilson) with
Krishna's birth described in Book IV. says: "It is highly probable, that of the present popular forms of the Hindu religion, none assumed their actual state earlier than…in the eighth or ninth century." Wilson
There's more about
Krishnain the Bhagavadgita which date from the 2nd century AD.
According to the NT, the first Christian converts included Jewish visitors from Mesopotamia and
. These would have spread the Christian message in the East when they returned home. Within 30 years Jesus was known "in the whole world". (Colossians 1:6) The Apostle Thomas, according to tradition, preached in Persia . The Council of Nicea India included a bishop who represented the churches of Persiaand . India banned Christianity c.325CE which suggests Christians were numerous enough to be considered a threat. (325CE) Persia
The late completion of Hindu texts and Christianity's expansion eastwards, suggest Hinduism copied from Christianity. The book Christ Versus Krishna (1883) is on the Internet and argues: "The Brahmins…tampered the sacred records [and] introduced a character whom they name
Krishna, who was presented to have…performed deeds similar to those which Jesus Christ performed."
Textual evidence for other alleged Christ-like forerunners is even more tenuous than the above. One-time scholarly support for Baal (Canaanite deity) as paralleling the death and resurrection of Jesus has evaporated.
Mithra was an Iranian deity whose worship spread west and rivaled Christianity in the 3rd and 4th century
Roman Empire. The originator here of parallels with Christ was Franz Cumont (1868-1947) Professor at who authored The Mysteries of Mithra (1902). However, texts of Roman Mithraism postdate the NT and Cumont's work has lost credibility. Ghent
The Bible presents the "Serpent" or "Satan" as the "deceiver of the whole world", the first and greatest liar. (John 8:44; Revelation 12:9) Genesis 3 foretells a "seed" or descendant who would eventually crush the "Serpent". Since no human could accomplish such a thing the prophecy implies a combined human/god origin of that "seed" – hence a virgin birth. This doctrine, this expectation is, according to Genesis, as old as humanity.
We have then a scenario whereby a deceitful, supernatural entity inspires numerous miracle-birth stories even in places unconnected by trade such as
America, SE Asia and Europe, to distract people from the truth. (For evidence of the supernatural based on anomalies in gravity, "Flatland", other dimensions, and unexplained psychology see Investigator 126; 125; 104; 102.)
The copycat claim is a conspiracy theory. It's ignored by mainstream scholars because:
- Copycat theorists rarely quote the ancient texts – they give their interpretations or quote one another;
- To overturn history with lists of subjective "parallels" is false reasoning;
- Many parallels have no basis – they were made up;
- Applying Christian terminology to Pagan myths establishes misleading conceptual links – in effect it assumes what has to be proven;
- The NT does not quote Pagan literature – but often quotes the OT;
- Many Jesus-like parallels postdate the NT – indicating Pagans copied Christianity;
- Two things existing side by side does not prove one caused the other – correlation and similarity do not prove causation or dependence.
De Kretser, B. Investigator 128, September 2009.
Eddie, L. Investigator 87, November 2002.
Plimmer, M. & King, B. 2005 Beyond Coincidence.
L.A.1883 Christ Versus KrishnaA Brief Comparison.
The Sacred Texts DVD-ROM.