Good question......was Jesus Christ just a CopyCat Savior Myth?


(Part A1) MAJOR Revision May/2001 // Part B    (6/13/97)
So, with the Mystery Religions, we once again come up without "numerous, complex, detailed" parallels with parallel "underlying ideas and structure"...
 

..................................................................................

Pushback: "WHOA, WHOA, WHOA--wait a minute, glenn! Did you just say "TARSUS" was a major center for Mithras, and for other mystery cults?! As in the "Tarsus, where Paul was born?!"...You mean the Apostle Paul grew up in a place teeming with the kinda stuff we have been talking about here? And you weren't gonna say anything about it, were you, O Deceitful Apologist?! Amazing!...but if Paul did grow up there, then that explains EVERYTHING--I can  see now why his epistles are TEEMING with MR images: of Jesus being born from a rock, of Jesus slaying a bull, of Jesus partnering with the Sun God, of the Great Mother's lions and the required castration of all church leaders, of Dionysus' giant phallus festivals, of all the zodiacal celebrations in caves, of the seven grades of initiation,  of Jesus being killed by a boar and turning into a flower--Wow, it all makes so much sense, now! ...And to think, I almost believed all this junk you had written so far..."

Wow, what can I say to that?--other than "you caught me"...mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maximus culpa...?

Well, all the data we have indicates:
 


But I do appreciate you trying to keep me honest...(smile)

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  Third, there are the more "major players" (e.g. Buddha, Krishna)

Let's do Buddha first...
"He [the king of the Shakyas] had a wife, splendid, beautiful, and steadfast, who was called the Great Maya, from her resemblance to Maya the Goddess. These two tasted of love's delights, and one day she conceived the fruit of her womb, but without any defilement, in the same way in which knowledge joined to trance bears fruit. Just before her conception she had a dream." (WR:BS:35).]

"The oldest accounts of Buddha's ancestry appear to presuppose nothing abnormal about his birth, and merely speak of his being well born both on his mother's end and father's side for seven generations back. According to the later legend he is born not as other human beings, but in the same was as a universal king he descends from the Tusita heaven by his own choice, and with this his father is not concerned. This is not properly a virgin birth, but it may be called parthogenetic, that is, Suddhodana was not his progenitor." WR:LBLH:36]
 

  • He performed miracles and wonders. [We have already seen how this is expected, not surprising.]
  • He crushed a serpent's head. [Strangely enough, even though this is commonly associated with the Messianic figure in the OT from Genesis 3, there is no point of contact with the NT portrayal of Jesus. The history-of-religions field, however, argues that this pervasive theme could be related to some primeval religious revelation/insight.]
  • He abolished idolatry. [Not only is this HIGHLY questionable, given the various deities/tantric deities/manifestations in many of the forms of Buddism(!), but it can also be pointed out that Jesus never did this. Idolatry as a heresy was legally abolished in the Law of Moses, but was practically eradicated in the Exile. Some of buddhism is atheistic; some of it has thousands of spirits/deities. Indeed, the 1st-century buddhist biographer cited above from WR:BS, in canto 21 ("Parinirvana"), in describing the events that happened at the death of the Buddha, says this: "But, well established in the practice of the supreme Dharma, the gathering of the gods round king Vaishravana was not grieved and shed no tears, so great was their attachment to the Dharma. The Gods of the Pure Abode, though they had great reverence for the Great Seer, remained composed, and their minds were unaffected; for they hold the things of this world in the utmost contempt."]
  • He ascended to Nirvana or "heaven." [This is a misunderstanding of the Buddhist teaching on Nirvana. It is not a 'place' nor is 'ascension' (especially BODILY, VISIBLE, and HISTORICAL ascension as in the life of Christ) a relevant concept. This is another example of imprecise and misleading language. The Buddha is said to have traversed (on his death-couch) all nine of the trance levels--twice, and then his body was cremated (WR:BS:64-65; WR:BIG:42)].
  • He was considered the "Good Shepherd." [Again, this is expected and common, especially in pastoral-based cultures; not a cause to suspect borrowing]

  •  
    These 'similarities' turn out to be either superficial, misunderstood, or simply irrelevant. As in most of the cases we will look at in this paper, it is the differences that are the most striking.

    Just to cite a few:
     


    Now, to be complete (and fair), I should mention that when the History-of-Religions school was in full bloom, there were scholarly works that identified possible parallels between Buddha and Jesus, and these were to be evaluated and investigated for possible borrowing by the historian. In  WR:LBLH, Edwards lists/discusses several that were discussed in the literature in the first half of the twentieth century:
     

    1. Simeon in the temple
    2. The visit to Jerusalem (Luke 2)
    3. The Baptism
    4. The Temptation
    5. Praise by Kisa Gotami (Luke 11.27)
    6. The widow's mite
    7. Peter walking on the sea
    8. The samaritan woman
    9. The end of the world
    10. The Annunciation
    11. Choosing the disciples
    12. Nathaniel
    13. The Prodigal Son
    14. The man that was born blind
    15. The Transfiguration
    16. Miracle of loaves and fishes


    Edwards then notes that the number of 'alleged parallels' advanced is "inversely proportional" to how much a scholar knows about the Buddhist literature(!):
     

      "If scholars could come to an agreement on what instances are 'cogent parallels' or cases of actual borrowing, we should then have the data of a problem for the historians to decide. But so far this hope is illusory. Seydel's fifty instances are reduced by van den Bergh to nine. In proportion to the investigator's direct knowledge of the Buddhist sources the number seems to decrease. E. W. Hopkins discusses five ' cogent parallels ', but does not consider any of them very probable. Garbe assumes direct borrowing in four cases, Simeon, the Temptation, Peter walking on the sea, and the Miracle of the loaves and fishes. Charpentier considers Simeon the only unobjectionable example. Other scholars reject all connexion." [WR:LBLH:247f]
    And concludes that the comparision fails, due to lack of "strong parallels" in the important (central) areas:
     
      "In any case the chief events of the life--birth, renunciation, enlightenment, and death, the very items which might give strength to the comparison--disappear from the question" [op cit]

     

    ...........................................................
     

    Now, Horus...

    Again, the list from the (submitted) website:

    1. Horus was born of a virgin on December 25th.
    2. He had 12 disciples.
    3. He was buried in a tomb and resurrected.
    4. He was also the Way, the Truth, the Light, the Messiah, God's Anointed Son, the Good Shepherd, etc.
    5. He performed miracles and rose one man, El-Azar-us, from the dead.
    6. Horus' personal epithet was "Iusa," the "ever becoming son" of "Ptah," the "Father."
    7. Horus was called "the KRST," or "Anointed One," long before the Christians duplicated the story
    Let's look at these:
    1. Horus was born of a virgin on December 25th. [We have already seen that Horus was NOT born of a virgin at all. Indeed, one ancient Egyptian relief depicts this conception by showing his mother Isis in a falcon form, hovering over an erect phallus of a dead and prone Osiris in the Underworld  (EOR, s.v. "Phallus"). And the Dec 25 issue is of no relevance to us--nowhere does the NT associate this date with Jesus' birth at all.

    2. Indeed, the description of the conception of Horus will show exactly the sexual elements that characterize pagan 'miracle births', as noted by the scholars earlier:
       

        "But after she [i.e., Isis] had brought it [i.e. Osiris' body] back to Egypt, Seth managed to get hold of Osiris's body again and cut it up into fourteen parts, which she scattered all over Egypt. Then Isis went out to search for Osiris a second time and buried each part where she found it (hence the many tombs of Osiris tht exist in Egypt). The only part that she did not find was the god's penis, for Seth had thrown it into the river, where it had been eaten by a fish; Isis therefore fashioned a substitute penis to put in its place. She had also had sexual intercourse with Osisis after his death, which resulted in the conception and birth of his posthumous son, Harpocrates, Horus-the-child. Osiris became king of the netherworld, and Horus proceeded to fight with Seth..." [CANE:2:1702; emphasis mine] [BTW, the Hebrew word 'satan' is not a 'cognate' of the name 'seth' by any means: "The root *STN is not evidenced in any of the cognate languages in texts that are prior to or contemporary with its occurrences in the Hebrew Bible" DDD, s.v. 1369f]

       
    3. He had 12 disciples. [This would be so incidental as to be of no consequence--even if I could verify this fact!

    4. But again, my research in the academic literature does not surface this fact. I can find references to FOUR "disciples"--variously called the semi-divine HERU-SHEMSU ("Followers of Horus") [GOE:1.491]. I can find references to SIXTEEN human followers (GOE:1.196). And I can find reference to an UNNUMBERED group of followers called mesniu/mesnitu ("blacksmiths") who accompanied Horus in some of his battles [GOE:1.475f; although these might be identified with the HERU-SHEMSU in GOE:1.84]. But I cannot find TWELVE anywhere... Horus is NOT the sun-god (that's Re), so we cannot use the 'all solar gods have twelve disciples--in the Zodiac' routine here.]
       

    5. He was buried in a tomb and resurrected. [We have already seen that the DARG pattern simply cannot be demonstrated in ANY case. And the data is against this "fact" even being true. I can find no references to Horus EVER dying, until he later becomes "merged" with Re the Sun god, after which he 'dies' and is 'reborn' every single day as the sun rises. And even in this 'death', there is no reference to a tomb anywhere...The massive difference between this metaphor of life/death, and the claims of the apostolic band about the real death and bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth should illustrate why the 'numerous, complex, and detailed' and 'non-superficial' criteria have to be insisted on by scholars in this field... ]

    6.  
    7. He was also the Way, the Truth, the Light, the Messiah, God's Anointed Son, the Good Shepherd, etc. [We saw above that the commonality of religious terms means almost nothing.]

    8.  
    9. He performed miracles and rose one man, El-Azar-us, from the dead. [Miracle stories abound, even among religious groups that could not possibly have influenced one another, such as Latin American groups (e.g. Aztecs) and Roman MR's, so this 'similarity' carries no force. The reference to this specific resurrection I cannot find ANYWHERE in the scholarly literature. I have looked under all forms of the name to no avail. The fact that something so striking is not even mentioned in modern works of Egyptology indicates its questionable status. It simply cannot be adduced as data without SOME real substantiation. The closest thing to it I can find is in Horus' official funerary role, in which he "introduces" the newly dead to Osirus and his underworld kingdom. In the Book of the Dead, for example, Horus introduces the newly departed Ani to Osirus, and asks Osirus to accept and care for Ani (GOE:1.490). ]

    10.  
    11. Horus' personal epithet was "Iusa," the "ever becoming son" of "Ptah," the "Father." [Again, a case of religious epithets without any force for this argument.

    12. This fact has likewise escaped me and my research. I have looked at probably 50 epithets of the various Horus deities, and most major indices of the standard Egyptology reference works and come up virtually empty-handed. I can find a city named "Iusaas" [GOE:1.85], a pre-Islamic Arab deity by the name of "Iusaas", thought by some to be the same as the Egyptian god Tehuti/Thoth [GOE:2.289], and a female counterpart to Tem, named "Iusaaset" [GOE:1.354]. But no reference to Horus as being "Iusa"... ]
       

    13. Horus was called "the KRST," or "Anointed One," long before the Christians duplicated the story [This is still yet another religious name or symbol, without import for our topic. Anointing of religious figures was a common motif in ANE and AME religion anyway. I cannot find this anywhere either.]

    14.  
    Most of the above 'similarities' simply vanish, become irrelevant, or contribute nothing to the argument for some alleged 'identical lives' assertion for Horus and Jesus. To further highlight this, let's look at the thumbnail sketch of Horus' life given in Encyclopedia of Religions, s.v. "Horus":
    "In ancient Egypt there were originally several gods known by the name Horus, but the best known and most important from the beginning of the historic period was the son of Osiris and Isis who was identified with the king of Egypt. According to myth, Osiris, who assumed the rulership of the earth shortly after its creation, was slain by his jealous brother, Seth. The sister- wife of Osiris, Isis, who collected the pieces of her dismembered husband and revived him, also conceived his son and avenger, Horus. Horus fought with Seth, and, despite the loss of one eye in the contest, was successful in avenging the death of his father and in becoming his legitimate successor. Osiris then became king of the dead and Horus king of the living, this transfer being renewed at every change of earthly rule. The myth of divine kingship probably elevated the position of the god as much as it did that of the king. In the fourth dynasty, the king, the living god, may have been one of the greatest gods as well, but by the fifth dynasty the supremacy of the cult of Re, the sun god, was accepted even by the kings. The Horus-king was now also "son of Re." This was made possible mythologically by personifying the entire older genealogy of Horus (the Heliopolitan ennead) as the goddess Hathor, "house of Horus," who was also the spouse of Re and mother of Horus.

    "Horus was usually represented as a falcon, and one view of him was as a great sky god whose outstretched wings filled the heavens; his sound eye was the sun and his injured eye the moon. Another portrayal of him particularly popular in the Late Period, was as a human child suckling at the breast of his mother, Isis. The two principal cult centers for the worship of Horus were at Bekhdet in the north, where very little survives, and at Idfu in the south, which has a very large and well- preserved temple dating from the Ptolemaic period. The earlier myths involving Horus, as well as the ritual per- formed there, are recorded at Idfu."

    Notice how "almost identical lives" Horus and Jesus had (smile):


    .....................

    And finally, Krishna....

    (Again, the list from the (submitted) website):

    1. Krishna was born of the Virgin Devaki ("Divine One")
    2. He is called the Shepherd God.
    3. He is the second person of the Trinity.
    4. He was persecuted by a tyrant who ordered the slaughter of thousands of infants.
    5. He worked miracles and wonders.
    6. In some traditions he died on a tree.
    7. He ascended to heaven.
    Looking a little more closely,
    1. Krishna was born of the Virgin Devaki ("Divine One") [We have already seen how these 'virgin birth' parallels are not close enough to constitute a 'compelling similarity', but this one is particularly inappropriate. The facts are simply otherwise--cf. Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology, p. 342:
    2. "In India a like tale is told of the beloved savior Krishna, whose terrible uncle, Kansa, was, in that case, the tyrant-king. The savior's mother, Devaki, was of royal lineage, the tyrant's niece, and at the time when she was married the wicked monarch heard a voice, mysteriously, which let him know that her eighth child would be his slayer. He therefore confined both her and her husband, the saintly nobleman Vasudeva, in a closely guarded prison, where he murdered their first six infants as they came. (emphasis mine).
      According to the story, the mother had six normal children before the 7th and 8th 'special' kids--a rather clear indication that the mom was not a virgin when she conceived Krishna [remember, this is not an issue of 'special births', but of 'virgin' ones].
       
       
    3. He is called the Shepherd God. [So he was a cow-herd...so what?...Simply a common religious title, not a 'compelling similarity'...and we noted above that even this was different when applied to Jesus.]

    4.  
    5. He is the second person of the Trinity. [This is a misunderstanding of the Hindu pantheon/s. The Hindu pantheon differs from the Christian trinity substantially (e.g., one's a pantheon and one isn't...). The biggest problem with the assertion, however, is that it is simply wrong. Although the Hindu pantheon has changed considerably over over time, Krsna has NEVER been the 'second person of a 3-in-1'. In the oldest layers of Hindu tradition--the Rig Veda--the dominant three were Agni, Ushas (goddess), and Indra, although there were a number of other important deities [WS:SW:84]. After the Vedic period (before 1000 bc), and before the Epic period (400 bc - 400 ad) is the period in which a DIFFERENT "trinity" emerged. So WR:RT:105:
    6. "Traces of the original indigenous religion are plain in the later phases of the history of Hinduism. In the course of time, large shifts occur in the world of the gods. Some gods lose significance while others move into the foreground, until at last the 'Hindu trinity' emerges: Brahma, Visnu, and Siva..."
      Krishna was one of the avatars (manifestation, incarnation, theophany) of Visnu. As such, Krishna only appeared on the scene during the Epic period, and most of the legendary materials about him show up in the Harivamsa, or Genealogy of Visnu (fourth century a.d.) and in the Puranas (written between 300-1200 a.d.). He is one of TEN avatars of Visnu (what does that do to a trinity?). [WR:Eliade:133; WR:SW:91f; WR:RT:105f].

      This is another exampe of someone 'loosely'  using Christian terminology to describe non-Christian phenomena, and then being surprised by the similarity.
       

    7. He was persecuted by a tyrant who ordered the slaughter of thousands of infants. [Now, this is interesting. The only event in the life of Krsna I can find that is close to this kind of event is the story cited above at his birth, involving only 6 infants. How this person would turn that into "thousands" is beyond me (and probably beyond responsible writing as well). And, this motif of a king attempting to kill a supposed 'infant rival' is common to royal settings--not just divine ones. Hence, one can find this plot-line--a common one throughout human history--in the lives of Gilgamesh, Sargon, Cyrus, Perseus, and Romulous and Remus.(BM:227) This, of course, has nothing to do with mythology--it is simply a historical tendency of vicious kings...Herod's killing of some dozen or two children in Bethlehem is a matter of predictable aggression, not some 'mythic motif'...human monsters can be at least as grotesque as divine ones...)

    8.  
    9. He worked miracles and wonders. [Surprise, surprise--another religious leader is credited with miracles...Hmm, did Krishna 'borrow' from Buddha or from Thor? From Horus or from...?]

    10.  
    11. In some traditions he died on a tree.[The tree in India would in no way have the despicable connotations of the Roman cross of execution, even if this were true/known.]

    12. From the standpoint of accuracy, let me mention that I cannot find any reference to him dying on a tree. The records (not from iconographic sources, btw) I have on his death run something like this :

      "Krishna was accidentally slain by the hunter Jaras...when he was mistaken for a deer and shot in the foot, his vulnerable spot." (WR:SDFML, s.v. "krishna")

      "One lance-like (poisonous, cursed) reed was eaten by a fish and then caught by a hunter. In a drinking bout, Krishna, Balarama, and the Yadavas picked the reeds, killing each other. As Krishna sat lost in thought, the hunter, mistaking him for a deer, shot him in the foot with the reed he had found in the fish, and killed him." [WR:DWM]

      "Just after the war, Krsna dies, as he predicted he would, when, in a position of meditation, he is struck in the heel by a hunter's arrow." [WR:DAMY; was he meditating 'on a tree'?]

      Perhaps he died sitting under a tree, but would that constitute a non-superficial parallel?
       
    13. He ascended to heaven. [This is a misunderstanding of Hindu thought. "Heaven" is not actually a place in Hindu thought, for 'bodies to go', nor does one 'ascend' to it--especially not 'bodily' as did Jesus.

    14.  
    These similarities just don't seem to illustrate 'numerous, complex, detailed' parallels--of the type needed to suggest borrowing. And the differences between Jesus Christ and the Krishna of the legends is considerable. The earlier warrior-images of Krisha are those of a worthy and noble hero-type, but the later child/young man legends stand in stark contrast to Jesus. Krishnaic legends portray his playfulness and mischief in positive terms, but his consistent thievery (he stole cheese ROUTINELY from the villagers and lied about it to his mom--he was nicknamed the 'butter-thief' in the literature), his erotic adventures with all the cow-maidens of the village, his tricking the people into idolatrous worship of a mountain--just to irritate the god Indra, and the hiding of the clothes of the village women while they were bathing, and then forcing them to walk naked in front him before he would give the clothes back--these all draw a line between him and the figure of Jesus of Nazareth. [These stories can be found in the Myths of the Hindus and Buddhist reference above, as well as in many summaries of his legend.] The adult images of Krishna were considerably more 'worthy' and he came to be worshipped as a supreme deity. But his overall life (above) and his death as a hunting accident are so completely dissimilar to the life and voluntary crucifixion of the Son of God on earth. The similarities are paltry; the differences are staggering.

     

    .....................................
     

    Finally are the figures that are allegedly linked by broader motifs such as 'miracle worker', 'savior' or 'virgin born'--along the line of the "divine man" or hero image in later times, without an explicit death/resurrection notion (e.g. Indra, Thor, Horus?)
     
     

    These generally do not carry the force of the above categories, and so the borrowing/dependence claim is much weaker here. These 'overlaps' are simply explained:

    Thus, it is difficult to make a case for "material, significant, and pervasive" borrowing between Jesus and the plenitude of other religious deities of the world.

    ..................................................................................................

    The Net of the allegation of material, significant, and pervasive borrowing:
     

    1. For alleged parallels to be considered 'strong enough' for evaluation, the parallels must be numerous, complex, detailed, non-superficial, 'striking'/uncommon, difficult to explain expect by borrowing, central to the belief/text, sharing the same underlying ideas and related by system or structure.
    2. The history-of-religions school, which saw the background of Paul's 'dying and rising with Christ' theology in the Mystery Religions (e.g., taurobolium ritual) has been essentially abandoned, due to the insufficiency of the parallels and the better explanatory power of newer theories, based on better data (e.g., DSS, unofficial Judaism at the time of Jesus)
    3. The background for the New Testament is now seen to be in Judaism and the OT, instead of the cults of the Roman Empire.
    4. The details of the Cybele-oriented taurobolium ceremony are vastly different in practice, purpose, and belief-content.
    5. By scholarly criteria, there are no known very-close-parallels to the virgin conception as recorded in the New Testament.
    6. Only data relevant to New Testament formation can count as evidence for 'creation' or 'modification' of some 'original' Jesus from pagan sources--not later church actions.
    7. Any alleged syncretism by the later church does not in itself constitute data or evidence that the same process occured in NT times.
    8. The 'stealing' of Christmas (as it is sometimes represented) is not a clear case of culpable syncretism; indeed, as an 'oppositional feast' it is the OPPOSITE of a syncretistic action.
    9. All the data we have about Paul and the early church indicates that they were 'violently' anti-syncretistic, and exceptionally exclusivistic, and therefore pre-disposed to NOT accept anything 'tainted' by pagan theology.
    10. The pagans in this period were not confused about the Church's exclusivity--they called the Christians 'atheists' because of their fundamental unwillingness to compromise or syncretize.
    11. Long after the NT was finished, the church was thrust into a difficult situation when it became the "State Religion". The practical difficulties of trying to help immense numbers of new 'converts' created situations in which some reclaiming of traditional pagan elements had to be undertaken, albeit reluctantly and with all attempts to avoid confusing the folk.
    12. But even through these semi-adaptations occured in later church history, the central creed of the faith remained the same during that time.
    13. Another example sometimes advanced as a case of borrowing is the symbol of the Cross, but this was not used symbolically in the New Testament at all.
    14. The religious language used in the New Testament was part of the shared vocabulary of the ancient word, and not the property of the cults. As such, these terms didn't have to be 'borrowed' from anyone, since no one 'owned them' exclusively.
    15. Religious terms for religious leaders are examples of common, shared linguistic stock (often very general and arising all over the world) and not items that have to be 'borrowed'.
    16. This usage of language was effective for the young church, for even her critics such as Celsus could see clearly how her doctrines of Christ and of the resurrection were different from pagan concepts.
    17. The Frazerian concept of Dying and Rising gods (as set out in the Golden Bough) has been discredited and abandoned by modern scholarship.
    18. There is no ambiguous data in antiquity--especially in records indigenous to each cult--to support the belief that DARGs existed (and/or are a meaningful conceptual construct for understanding the history of religion).
    19. There is, therefore, no 'model' or 'models' from which the NT authors could have gotten this concept.
    20. The various gods surveyed--Adonis, Baal, Attis, Marduk, Osiris, Tammuz and Melqart--do not conform to the Frazerian "pattern" of DARGs; they either don't really die, don't really rise after death, or both/neither...
    21. Even in those cases in which the god dies or is 'raised', the parallels to Jesus are still quite superficial, and do not fit the criteria of 'numerous, complex, detailed, etc'.
    22. The data from the later church fathers--seemingly disagreeing with the scholars--are too easily understood as Christian paranoia, Christian (mis)interpretation, or actual reports of actual imitative adaptations by the cults to the rising influence of Christianity.
    23. There is evidence that the cults/empire did imitate aspects of the Christian community/belief system/praxis.
    24. Justin Martyr's comments on the virgin birth do not offer strong support for the view that Christians believed that their set of miracles were 'same as' pagan ones.
    25. Even the practices of the more general Mystery Religions are very different--especially at the underlying concept and structural level--than those used by the early church, in spite of some common elements (e.g., washing, common meals).
    26. The MR's differed substantially from Christianity in areas of : initiation, baptism, "communion", salvation, the afterlife, rebirth, resurrection.
    27. The death of Jesus was uniquely substitutionary, voluntary, purposeful.
    28. The Christian difference in worldview, ethics, compassion, and social action was conspicious to the church's enemies and to those who longed for hope.
    29. It is not at all clear as to what extent the pagans even believed their own myths.
    30. The more general MR's of Isis/Serapis and Dionysos/Bacchus offer very few possible parallels even for consideration, and these are too general to have much force.
    31. Jesus' turning water into wine is not believed to have been 'based on' the various miraculous traditions in the Dionysos cult (but rather on the Judaic background).
    32. Neither the Roman nor the Indian/Iranian versions of the Mithras cults offer a DARG or even 'striking parallels' in matters of practice. The parallels accepted by scholars some 30 years ago have all either been abandoned or come under serious doubt recently.
    33. Paul's being born in Tarsus--a hotbed of MR cult activity--does not seem to influence him. His writing style and missionary style show no influence of his background in Tarsus.
    34. Alleged parallels between Jesus and Buddha--at a numerous, complex, and detailed level--are not recognized by scholars deeply familiar with both traditions.
    35. Horus is particularly 'unlike' Jesus of Nazareth.
    36. Alleged parallels between Jesus and Krishna--at a numerous, complex, and detailed level--do not exist.
    37. The category of Divine Man--once thought to be a concept useful in explaining the origin of some of Jesus' literary characteristics--has lost its following in scholarship over the past 30 years.
    38. Philostratus, in his Life of Apollonius of Tyana, seems to be dependent on the New Testament literature--and not vice versa.


     

    That these similarities are of such a nature to either require borrowing, or be best explained by borrowing;
     
     

    This point is rather moot--we do not have anything to explain.
     

    But, for the sake of argument and completeness...let's move on to the issue of...
     

  • That we can come up with a historically plausible explanation of HOW the borrowing occurred;

  •  

     


    Additional resource(s) used:
    [X02:TAMMT] Theios Aner and the Markan Miracle Traditions: A Critique of the Theios Aner Concept as an Interpretive Background of the Miracle Traditions Used by Mark. Barry Blackburn. Tubingen: Mohr, 1991. (revision of Ph.D thesis of 1986 for Univ. of Aberdeen]

     
     
     

  • The Christian ThinkTank...[http://www.Christian-thinktank.com] (Reference Abbreviations)