Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Redundancy of the Christ

I've posted this short clip from Brian Flemming's The God Who Wasn't There once before, but it's been a while.



The clip briefly illustrates what seemingly few Christians realize or pause to consider: that far from being singular, the story of Jesus shows every sign of having been patched together from elements of existing pagan -- not only Judaic -- myths and traditions.

There are striking parallels between Jesus and Horus; between Jesus and Dionysis-Osiris; and the list goes well beyond these instances:

According to author Robert Price, specialists in mythology such as Lord Raglan, Otto Rank, and others have developed a concept called the "Mythic Hero Archetype" -- a type of larger-than-life man found in many Indo-European and Semitic cultures. They have analyzed stories and myths of Aeneas, Arthur, Buddha, David, Gilgamesh, Heracles, Lohengrin, Moses, Odysseus, Oedipus, Perseus, Romulus, Siegfried, etc. and have identified twenty-two recurring elements in these myths. Typically, the life story of any one hero contains many, but not all, of the twenty-two components.

Author Alan Dundes has compared this archetype with events in the life of Jesus, as recorded in the Christian Scriptures. He found that Jesus' life contained almost all of the twenty two elements.
It's a controversial topic to be sure -- there may be valid points to be scored in favor of the view that some of these parallels are exaggerated -- but it's worth noting that Biblical scholarship has lagged behind the general course of philology out of "respect" for belief. And among the scholars who have set scruple aside in recent decades and looked at what the evidence shows, Robert M. Price (the expert speaking in the clip and cited above) is a pretty formidable name to attach to the conclusion. Jesus is, to all appearances, a patchwork deity.

1 comment:

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