The Mythological Origins of Christianity Pt. 2 of 3

 

 

The Mythological Origins of Christianity

–Part Two of Three–

 

 

By Thomas Keane (DoubtingThomas)

 

 

Continued:

 

The story of Daniel, who the bible shows to be a contemporary with Nebuchadnezzar, was written in Aramaic, a language not adopted by the Jews until centuries later.

 

The scriptures call Belshazzar a king, but the historical Belshazzar was only regent for Nabonidus, never king. Also he was not the son of Nebuchadnezzar AND it was Nabonidus, the last of the Neo-Babylonian dynasty, who became ill not Nebuchadnezzar.

 

And what of King David’s son, Solomon (both men completely fictional characters). According to 2 Chronicles 9:23: “… all the kings of the earth sought his (Solomon’s) presence.” Odd then, that none of them mention him. He was supposed to have lived just prior to Homer and Hesiod, but these men never mention this richest and wisest one. Herodotus who traveled throughout the entire Middle East never mentions Solomon OR even the Jews!

 

Solomon’s “holy temple” is exalted as one of the greatest of all buildings, yet if you judge it by its measurements it was fairly small, only about 40 by 125 feet, and the chancels built around it were comparatively insignificant. Nagkon-Wat in Cambodia is 769 by 588 by 250 feet and is covered in elaborate carvings and surrounded by great columns. The stonework depicts approximately 100,000 figures, one picture spanning 240 feet. Three different times the bible states that Solomon built the walls of Jerusalem, yet in the fourteenth century B.C. the historical Jerusalem was already a walled city. Also historically false, the suggestion that Solomon began to build the temple four hundred years after the Exodus from Egypt. And when Ezim-geber, said to be the site of Solomon’s navy yard, was excavated an article stated: “Not a vestige was found of the cradles and ways where for centuries the ships of the Jewish navy were built and launched.” Truthfully it’s very unlikely that the Jews of that time ever had a ship larger than your basic fishing boat, and it is even more unlikely that they ever had a mighty kingdom, king or temple. Ancient Israel’s military power is constantly touted in the bible, but this was likely as mythical as its naval power. In fact, whenever other nations even mentioned the Jews in their military accounts, it was only ever to record their triumph over them. The literature of the Jains of India tells a very similar story as that of Solomon. And Proverbs 22:17-23:11 is almost a word for word translation of The Wisdom of Amenemope, an Egyptian book written about 1,000 B.C.

 

And what about the second Jewish captivity? There is just as little proof for it as there was for the first. Around the time the scriptural “return” was happening, the Greek historian Herodotus visited Babylon, yet he makes no mention of it. And his history of ancient Egypt reveals no mention of the first captivity. In fact, Herodotus never mentioned the Jews; neither did Homer, neither did Plato; neither did Socrates. But this doesn’t bother the die hard believer.

 

So Elijah was supposedly taken up bodily into heaven in a fiery chariot? Romulus, the founder of Rome, was also taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire. Similarly Mithra of Persia. But it only really happened with Elijah, right? The other stories are clearly fictional, why not the biblical one as well?

 

The story of Jonah and the whale is clearly a fairy tale, but is it an original fairy tale? In the Heracleid it is said that Hercules was also swallowed by a whale, and how about this, it occurred at exactly the same place, Joppa. And how many days did he remain in the whale’s belly? You guessed it, three. The Persians say that Jamshyd, their hero, was eaten by a giant sea monster and was later vomited out safe and sound upon the shore. And in the Samadeva Bhatta, and even older mythology from India, we learn of Saktadeva who was swallowed by a giant fish but was able to step out later completely unharmed.

 

And then we come to the Messiah. A story that is clearly unique, right? But wasn’t Hercules also born of a virgin, Alcmene, and didn’t he also have a god for a father (Zeus)? The mother of Sosiosh, the Persian was also a virgin, as was Nana, the mother of Attis. Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were sons of the god Mars, so it was with Bacchus, Aesculapius, Zarathustra, and many others. And Sanchoniathon tells us that Saturn offered his “only begotten son” to his father Uranus.

 

There were many historians that lived during and around the time of Jesus and some of them were the most illustrious of all time – Tacitus, Plutarch, Livy, the two Plinys, Philo and Josephus, etc. Not to mention many other men of note such as Seneca, Martial, Juvenal, Epictetus, Plotinus, Porphyry, Vergil, Horace, and Ovid, the latter living till Christ, if real, would have been twenty-two. All these men were deeply interested in the doctrines and morals of their day and were all men of great intellect. So one must ask why they didn’t record this wonder-working Savior of the race? Is it because they wrote about historical matters and not mythological ones?

 

Livy died before Jesus began performing his miracles, however he was alive at the time of two of the most sensational and unnatural events in human history; the Immaculate Conception and virgin birth, and yet he failed to mention them. Plutarch was alive from about 46 to 120 A.D. (A(fter) the D(elusion)) but apparently never heard of Christ. Pliny the Elder was Christ’s contemporary, yet makes no mention of him. The younger Pliny, 62-110 A.D., mentions the Christians of Pontus and Bithnia but as for Jesus, he is only referred to as the object of their worship and never as a man. And Tacitus and Pliny had nothing but contempt for this new religion. Seneca, brother of Gallio, was proconsul of Achaia when Paul is said to have preached there. Seneca documented many lesser things but nothing of Paul or the wonder-working Christ. How could Jesus’ miracles, virgin birth, etc. not have been worth mentioning? Philo, a philosopher historian, lived both before and after the time of Christ, yet never mentions him. This would trouble me if I were still a believer in Christian mythology.

 

When Justin Martyr was attempting to convert the Jews to Christianity, he encountered a Jew named Trypho who had this to say: “Now Christ, if he has indeed been born and exists anywhere, is unknown and does not even know himself and has no power until Elias come and make him manifest to all. And you, having accepted a groundless report, invent a Christ for yourselves and for his sake are inconsiderately perishing.” Trypho also referred to Jesus as “that Jesus who you say was crucified…” A clear and very early Jewish denial of Christ’s existence.

 

Matthew 1: 22&23 — “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

 

This passage was translated from the Greek text which used the word parthenos, which does mean virgin, but in the original Hebrew, from which the Greek was taken, the word used is almah, which translates simply to young woman. The error was corrected in the later Greek translation, the proper Greek equivalent neanis being substituted. But, of course, the Church chose to leave it in its “virgin” Greek, and so it remains. Just another example of how these multiple revisions are less about creating a more accurate bible and more about manipulating man into believing a lie.

 

Matthew 2:11 – “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

 

Why do none of the other gospels mention these gifts? Could it be because the author of Matthew was clearly copying earlier mythology? When Socrates was born, 469 B.C., “Magi came from the east to offer gifts at Socrates’ birth, also bringing gold, frankincense and myrrh” (The Anacalypsis). At the birth of Krishna, 1200 B.C., “angels, shepherds and the prophets attended, gold, frankincense and myrrh were brought to him.” And when Confucius was born in 598 B.C., “Five wise men from a distance came to the house, celestial music was heard in the skies and angels attended the scene” (The Five Volumes).

 

Rabbi Wise, an eminent scholar of the nineteenth century, searched the records of Pontus Pilate’s court, still extant, for evidence of Jesus’ trial but could find nothing.

 

The cross was used by the Aztecs and they never heard of Christ until his followers came to rob, rape, and murder them. Like all Christian paraphernalia, the cross is just another appropriation of pagan mythology.

 

Justin Martyr thoroughly chronicled the early Christians and yet never mentioned Paul or his Epistles. The same with Tertullian, who stated that “The Epistle to the Hebrews” was written by Barnabas. And the second century writer, Marcion, said The Epistle to the Ephesians was formerly called the Epistle to the Laodiceans.

 

The title originally given to Jesus was Chrest but by the time the Christians got done with it, second and third century, it was Christ. In his Apology, Justin Martyr calls his coreligionists Chrestians. Massey said, “In Bockh’s Christian Inscriptions, numbering 1,287, there is not a single instance of an earlier date than the third century wherein the name is not written Chrest or Chreist.” The devotees of this somewhat obscure doctrine were called Chrestianoi. Their headquarters was located in Asia Minor, specifically Antioch, and it was here, not in Jerusalem, that they first became known as Chrestians, now written Christians. The Judean sect didn’t even call themselves Christians; they preferred Nazarenes, Galileans, and Brethren. It was only later, disdainfully, that the label Christian was applied to them.

 

Regarding the teachings of Jesus, almost identical principles were suggested by Hillel: “Judge not thy neighbor until thou hast been in his place.” “Do not do unto others what thou wouldst not they should do unto thee; this is the whole of the law…” And similar ideas were taught by Socrates and Plato, Buddha and Confucius. “The doctrine of our master (Confucius) consists in having an invariable correctness of heart, and in doing towards others as we would that they should do to us.”

 

In his History of Moral Philosophy, Staeudlin said, “In reading Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius or Seneca, I often believe myself hearing the sage of Nazareth. The dignity of man, the all surpassing value of virtue, the independence and fortitude of the righteous man, the superior value of spiritual qualities as compared to all worldly goods, the sacrifices of selfish enjoyments and of life for the sake of virtue and truth – all these ideals, so worthy of reverence, we find in the one as well as in the other. The striking resemblance between the Christian and the stoic doctrine … cannot escape being noticed by all.”

 

 

This is the end of Part Two.

 

Part Three can be found here:

 

https://doubtingthomas426.wordpress.com/2008/06/01/the-mythological-origins-of-christianity-pt-3-of-3/

 

 Part ONE can be found here:

https://doubtingthomas426.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/the-mythological-origins-of-christianity-pt-1-of-3/

 

 

Please visit my main page (https://doubtingthomas426.wordpress.com/) to gain a better understanding of where I am coming from. There you will find all my observations regarding religion and the bible categorized on the Right hand side of the page. Please feel free to read through them and leave a comment or two if you like.

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9 Responses to “The Mythological Origins of Christianity Pt. 2 of 3”

  1. […] Doubting Thomas426’s Weblog A Born Again Skeptic Seeking Answers « The Mythological Origins of Christianity Pt. 2 of 3 […]

  2. RevRomansky Says:

    I’d love to see one reputable source.

    Quit fighting. We are not so smart as God is dumb.

    RevRomansky

    http://revromansky.wordpress.com

  3. I must got the wrong page.. this is the lousy joke pages..

    Jesus is alive and well and i still do I talk with him everyday

  4. krissmith777 Says:

    You say:

    “The scriptures call Belshazzar a king, but the historical Belshazzar was only regent for Nabonidus, never king. Also he was not the son of Nebuchadnezzar AND it was Nabonidus, the last of the Neo-Babylonian dynasty, who became ill not Nebuchadnezzar.”

    This claim is oud dated and invalid. Babylonian tablets indicate that Belshazzar could very well be called king because he father Nabonidus “Entrusted the kinship” to him:

    I quote:

    “After he [Nabonidus] had obtained what he desired, a work of utter deceit, had built this abomination, a work of unholiness -when the third year was about to begin- he entrusted the army [?] to his oldest son, his first born [Belshazzar], the troops in the country he ordered under his command. He let everything go, ENTRUSTED THE KINSHIP to him [Belshazzar], and, himself, he started out for a long journey. The military forces of Akkad marching with him, he turned to Temâ deep in the west.”

    Link: http://www.livius.org/ct-cz/cyrus_I/babylon03.html

    I placed in the brackets for the context. Nabonidus “ENTRUSTED THE KINGSHIP” to Belshazzar so therefore there is nothing wrong with calling him King of Babylon.

    Granted, he wasn’t the De facto King, but since his father ignored politics in favor of his passion (archaeological investigations) and left everything in his sons hands, Belshazzar was much more a king (the king de jour) than Nabonidus.

    For more, read here: http://explanationblog.wordpress.com/2008/06/17/belshazzar-the-son-of-nebuchadnezzar/

    As for the supposed parallels between the infancies of Sacrates and Confucius I have searced but am unable to find any unbiased referenced not on any anti-Christian sites.

  5. Duncan Brannan Says:

    “This passage was translated from the Greek text which used the word parthenos, which does mean virgin, but in the original Hebrew, from which the Greek was taken, the word used is almah, which translates simply to young woman. The error was corrected in the later Greek translation, the proper Greek equivalent neanis being substituted. But, of course, the Church chose to leave it in its “virgin” Greek, and so it remains. Just another example of how these multiple revisions are less about creating a more accurate bible and more about manipulating man into believing a lie.”

    Regarding your fallacious presumption above and ignorance of the Bible languages…

    “Almah (עלמה) or plural: alamot (עלמות) is a Hebrew feminine noun, for a girl who has reached puberty but is still under the shielding protection of her family; she is a young, marriageable (i.e. unmarried) girl. In Bibles, almah is typically translated as virgin, maiden, young woman, damsel or girl. For theological reasons, the meaning and definition of this word (especially the definition of “virgin”) can be controversial, particularly when applied to Isaiah 7:14.”

    “Almah seems to be the only word in the Biblical Hebrew language which unequivocally signifies an unmarried woman[4] and children born to an almah would be illegitimate.[5] The English word that corresponds most closely to this concept is maiden or maid which means “an unmarried girl (especially a virgin)”.[6]” — Courtesy of Wikipedia, “Alma”

    Thanks,

    Duncan Brannan

  6. A comment on this tad bit:
    “This passage was translated from the Greek text which used the word parthenos, which does mean virgin, but in the original Hebrew, from which the Greek was taken, the word used is almah, which translates simply to young woman. The error was corrected in the later Greek translation, the proper Greek equivalent neanis being substituted. But, of course, the Church chose to leave it in its “virgin” Greek, and so it remains. Just another example of how these multiple revisions are less about creating a more accurate bible and more about manipulating man into believing a lie.”

    If we use the term “young woman” instead of “virgin” in the text, the text no longer makes reasonable sense.

    BEHOLD!!!! A young woman will give birth and this will be a sign.

    What would be to behold?? What kind of sign would that be? Hundreds of women were giving birth…the sign would be obscure. However, if a true virgin gave birth…that would be something to behold and would be a rarity which would provide a great sign to look for.

  7. There seems to be a question that not many people are willing to ask and that is, Even if the Christian god exists, why would anybody in their right mind worship a god that would so readily slaughter millions of innocent children?

    It seems to me that when men do the same things that gods do, like commit genocide, they are called monsters, but when gods do these things they are supposed to be worshipped.

    The hate and violence that spews forth out of most religious books makes me sick. All that religion really does is perpetuate close mindedness to the world around you, ignorance to the religions and cultures of the other people we share this planet with, and hatred for everyone that does not worship the same god or gods that you do.

    Religions are basically insanity wrapped up in a nice little package.

  8. SuperPhil Says:

    Just as a side note, I think that any ideology that isn’t readily accepted by the majority of the people most likely is incorrect. The fact that ideologies like religion and communism have to be rammed down peoples throats through the use of scare tactics and outright violence, should be the first sign that they are wrong.

    The biggest problem with religion is that, not only does it only give one side of the story, but it also refuses to even acknowledge that there is another side of the story at all.

  9. resi kumboyono Says:

    I thought you were a seeker. A seeker is searching for something for his own life. But after reading your articles, I am sure that you are not seeking. You have already found what you said you sought, and you are so certain about it that you are preaching it to anyone else. So actually you are a prophet. A new prophet. Maybe you are divine. This is interesting. But please do not call yourself an atheist because that would give a bad name to atheism.

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