Is Jesus Christ a Copy of Pagan Religions?

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As Dan Brown in his book The Da Vinci Code (2003) writes, “Nothing in Christianity is original.” In recent times a number of people are claiming that the historical Jesus is simply a rehash of older pagan secretive religions, and of the religions of dying and rising gods. This is a view expressed in media such as Zeitgeist, The Da Vinci Code, and Irreligious which attempt to be factual and convincing. But how factually based are these claims? This article argues, in reference to reputable scholars, that these claims are false and, on many occasions, deliberately deceitful in their fabrications. 

Who are the Mythicists?

New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman asks, “What is driving the mythicist’s agenda? Why do they work so hard at showing that Jesus never really lived? I do not have a definitive answer to that question, but I do have a hunch. It is no accident that virtually all mythicists (in fact, all of them, to my knowledge), are either atheists or agnostics. The ones I know anything about are quite virulently, even militantly atheist.”

Ehrman’s hunch is correct. Leading or well-known mythicists like Richard Carrier, Robert Price, Brian Flemming, and Bill Maher are committed atheist evangelists. However, very few mythicists have credentials to their name and none are reputable scholars in the field. Bill Maher is a comedian, Dan Brown an author, Brian Flemming a documentary maker, etc. Carrier and Price are credentialed with Ph.Ds, but neither have teaching positions as professors at reputable institutions. None of these individuals have recognized names either; Carrier has contributed very few (I recall only two) peer-reviewed articles in established journals and has received few responses from established scholars. This leaves mythicism at an intellectual poverty in the scholarly arena where very few academics take them seriously or care to consider their work. Those professional scholars who do engage the mythicists will usually respond outside of scholarship, often in a self-published book or on a website or blog. Historian of religion Daniel Gullota reveals that,

“Given the fringe status of these theories, the vast majority have remained unnoticed and unaddressed within scholarly circles. In the rare instances where these theories have been addressed, they are predominantly countered by self-confessed (and typically evangelical) Christian apologists and scholars. Some of the more popular versions of the Jesus Myth theory have been directly challenged by New Testament scholars such as Maurice Goguel, Shirley Jackson Case, James D.G. Dunn, Morton Smith, R.T. France, Robert E. Van Voorst, Susan M. Elliot, and most recently, Maurice Casey, Bart D. Ehrman, James F. McGrath, Candida Moss, and Joel Baden.”

Generally speaking, engaging the mythicists is a waste of time for scholars who have very little free time as it is given their career engagements. This background knowledge is important because it helps us know where the mythicists are coming from and what likely constitutes their agenda. That the mythicists are almost always atheist is particularly informative. Those with the greatest ideological ax to grind with religion are often atheists and what better way to eliminate a religion’s credibility than by proving its founder did not exist historically? Gullota rightly acknowledges that mythicists may “be accused of being apologists for a kind of dogmatic atheism.”  This brings us to the next point: what are the mythicists claiming?

The mythicists claim that Jesus Christ did not exist historically. The origin of the Christian religion is based in myth rather than on objective history in the form of a historical individual who really did and said things. There was no Jesus who ministered in first-century Palestine, who underwent trial in Jerusalem, was crucified, and later buried in a tomb. These events were all fabricated for some purpose by early Christians and have since become the religion’s staple narrative. The other major claim is that what we know of Jesus through the gospels is nothing more than a copy of popular dying and rising fertility gods from various locations around the world. Some of these gods purportedly include Tammuz in Mesopotamia, Adonis in Syria, Attis in Asia Minor, and Horus in Egypt.

Scholars reject the claim that Jesus is a pagan copy

Just about every contemporary scholar in the relevant historical specializations rejects the notion that the historical Jesus is a copy of pagan gods. A few voices can be taken as representative of the whole. Tryggve Mettinger of Lund University comments that “There is, as far as I am aware, no prima facie evidence that the death and resurrection of Jesus is a mythological construct…” Professor Ronald Nash, a prominent philosopher and theologian, agrees that the,

“Allegations of an early Christian dependence on Mithraism have been rejected on many grounds. Mithraism had no concept of the death and resurrection of its god and no place for any concept of rebirth—at least during its early stages… Today most Bible scholars regard the question as a dead issue.”

New Testament scholar Craig Keener says that “When you make the comparisons [between the historical Jesus and the claims made by mythicists] you end up with a whole lot more differences than you do similarities.”

Michael Bird, a member of the editorial board for the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, says,

“Now I am normally a cordial and collegial chap, but to be honest, I have little time or patience to invest in debunking the wild fantasies of “Jesus mythicists”, as they are known. That is because, to be frank, those of us who work in the academic profession of religion and history simply have a hard time taking them seriously.”

According to James Dunn, “Myth is a term of at least doubtful relevance to the study of Jesus and the Gospels.”

Historian Michael Grant says, “To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ-myth theory. It has ‘again and again been answered and annihilated by first-rank scholars.’

According to Richard Burridge has said, “I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that (that Jesus did not exist) anymore.”

Scholars agree that Jesus lived and that we can know things about him

The most credible religion, New Testament, Biblical, historical, and early Christianity scholars agree that Jesus existed. Issues debated are on what scholars can know about Jesus, and what events and sayings found in the gospels can be deemed likely historical. That scholars engage in these discussions clearly separates Jesus from many of the dying and rising gods that have no place in history as historical figures. As the once skeptical and influential professor Rudolf Bultmann penned, “Of course the doubt as to whether Jesus really existed is unfounded and not worth refutation. No sane person can doubt that Jesus stands as founder behind the historical movement whose first distinct stage is represented by the oldest Palestinian community.”

Historian Paul Maier agrees emphasizing the depth of the historical evidence at the historian’s disposal: “The total evidence so overpowering, so absolute that only the shallowest of intellects would dare to deny Jesus’ existence.”

Professor Craig Evans says that “No serious historian of any religious or nonreligious stripe doubts that Jesus of Nazareth really lived in the first century and was executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea and Samaria.”

Bart Ehrman, an ideological opponent on the popular level to Christianity, compares mythicism to young-earth creationism, both of which he takes to be absurd,

“These views are so extreme [that Jesus did not exist] and so unconvincing to 99.99 percent of the real experts that anyone holding them is as likely to get a teaching job in an established department of religion as a six-day creationist is likely to land on in a bona fide department of biology.”

Mythcists are not credible and reputable scholars

It is clear that the mythicists are not seen as credible scholars. A mythicist like Richard Carrier can indeed have a Ph.D., but this makes him no more credible in the eyes of scholars than a holocaust denier with a Ph.D is deemed credible to historians of Jewish history. Indeed this reflects in the voices of mainstream scholars. The reputable Ben Witherington remarks that “Not a single one of these [mythicist] authors and sources are experts in the Bible, Biblical history, the Ancient Near East, Egyptology, or any of the cognate fields…. they are not reliable sources of information about the origins of Christianity, Judaism, or much of anything else of relevance to this discussion.”

Historian of early Christianity and Judaism, John Dickson writes that “anyone who dips into the thousands of secular monographs and journal articles on the historical Jesus will quickly discover that mythicists are regarded by 99.9% of the scholarly community as complete “outliers,” the fringe of the fringe.”

Michael Bird categorizes mythicists as fringe atheists no-one takes seriously, “There is a reason why this view is the sole possession of an energetic bunch of fringe atheists and has never been entertained as a possibility by experienced and respected scholars working in the field of Christian Origins.”

As we noted earlier, the majority of the mythicists are atheists who are anti-religion generally and anti-Christianity specifically. But beyond the theism-atheism debate, few give the mythicists any thought; according to Mettinger,

“From the 1930s… a consensus has developed to the effect that the ‘dying and rising gods’ died but did not return or rise to live again. Those who still think differently are looked upon as residual members of an almost extinct species.”

Scholars know very little about these pagan secretive religions.

The pagan religions mythicists often claim were the resources used by the early Christians to invent Jesus were really only known by those in the relevant communities. Most of the members of these communities had no intention of sharing their views with outsiders. The dearth of data leaves modern historians knowing only snippets of who these groups really were. As Ehrman writes, “We know very little about mystery religions – the whole point of mystery religions is that they’re secret! So I think it’s crazy to build on ignorance in order to make a claim like this.”

C. S Lewis, an atheist turned Christian and a talented writer, explained that “The Pagan stories are all about someone dying and rising, either every year, or else nobody knows where and nobody knows when.”

Jonathan Z. Smith, a reputable religion scholar and historian of religion, concluded that “The idea of dying and rising gods is largely a misnomer based on imaginative reconstructions and exceedingly late or highly ambiguous texts.” They are imaginary because the mythicists have to resort to using their own imagination to reconstruct largely unknown history in order to apply it to the historical Jesus and claim parallels.

If what the historian has are very few late and ambiguous texts, many of which postdate Christianity (more on this in the following point), then where, some have wondered, are mythicists getting their alleged parallels from? As Smith noted above, it must come from speculative and imaginative reconstructions conjured up solely in the minds of the mythicists who are driven by an anti-religious agenda.

Most of what scholars know about secretive pagan religions comes after Christianity, not before it.

If most of what historians know of these secretive religions postdate Christianity, then why are mythicists claiming these ideas predate Christianity? Why do they claim that the early Christian community copied elements of these secretive religions when they could not have done so?

Mettinger says that the consensus is that there were no dying and rising gods before Jesus or prior to the origin of Christianity in the early first century CE: “The consensus among modern scholars — nearly universal — is that there were no dying and rising gods that preceded Christianity. They all post-dated the first century.” Mettinger claims that the references to a resurrection of the Greek goddess Adonis “have been dated mainly to the Christian Era”, and therefore did not precede the resurrection of Jesus. No Christian copying could have taken place.

Scholar Edwin Yamauchi writes that “the supposed resurrection of Attis doesn’t appear until after AD 150.” And in the case of Mithra, Ronald Nash explains that “Mithraism flowered after Christianity, not before, so Christianity could not have copied from Mithraism. The timing is all wrong to have influenced the development of first-century Christianity.” Mithraism in its Roman form emerged probably in the late first century CE, so Jesus cannot be a copy of events or stories from that religion.

The Jews were a people who refrained from allowing pagan myths to invade their culture.

In the Old Testament the Jews occasionally rejected their God and engaged in idolatry. Although scholars know this because it is reported in biblical texts, there is no evidence to suggest that anything similar occurred in the Jews of first-century Palestine. In fact, the New Testament confirms that the Pharisees were strict in the application of the law. The Apostle Paul, while still a Pharisee (prior to his conversion to Christianity), authorized the killing of early Christians for their blasphemous claims of a crucified and raised Messiah. It is against this background that Jesus must be viewed. In the words of William Lane Craig: “For Jesus and his disciples they were first century Palestinian Jews, and it is against that background that they must be understood.”

What was this background? Whatever it was, Ben Witherington notes that it was not one in which a bodily resurrection (which the Christians claimed of Jesus) was “a regular part of the pagan lexicon of the afterlife at all, as even a cursory study of the relevant passages in the Greek and Latin classics shows. Indeed, as Acts 17 suggests, pagans were more likely than not to ridicule such an idea. I can understand the apologetic theory if, and only if, the Gospels were directed largely to Pharisaic Jews or their sympathizers. I know of no scholar, however, who has argued such a case.”

William Lane Craig argues this demonstrates that,

“… pagan mythology is the wrong interpretive framework for understanding the disciples’ belief in Jesus’ resurrection… anyone pressing this objection has a burden of proof to bear. He needs to show that the narratives are parallel and, moreover, that they are causally connected… It boggles the imagination to think that the original disciples would have suddenly and sincerely come to believe that Jesus of Nazareth was risen from the dead just because they had heard of pagan myths about dying and rising seasonal gods.”

Professor Ed Sanders agrees that the historical Jesus can be made sense of within the world of first-century Judaism, “the dominant view [among scholars] today seems to be that we can know pretty well what Jesus was out to accomplish, that we can know a lot about what he said, and that those two things make sense within the world of first-century Judaism.”

It is because of this background that Martin Hengel says that “Hellenistic mystery religions… could gain virtually no influence [in Jewish Palestine].”

The gospels are biographical and contain historical information

The gospels and the New Testament literature are the primary sources of information for historical Jesus and the early Christian movement. The gospels, for example, are classified as Greco-Roman biography. Graham Stanton writes that it is no longer “possible to deny that the Gospels are a sub-set of the broad ancient literary genre of ‘lives,’ that is, biographies.”

New Testament scholar Charles Talbert in his book ‘What are the Gospels’ speaks highly of another influential book that influenced scholars of the true genre of the gospels; he claims that “This volume ought to end any legitimate denials of the canonical Gospels’ biographical character.” Likewise, David Aune, a specialist in ancient literature, suggests that “while the [Gospel writers] clearly had an important theological agenda, the very fact that they chose to adapt Greco-Roman biographical conventions to tell the story of Jesus indicated that they were centrally concerned to communicate what they thought really happened.”

Understanding the genre of any text is important. If an author intended to write romantic fiction it would be different than if he decided to write historical biography. There is intention behind the author’s selection of genre. Archaeology also highlights the gospels’ biographical constitution. As Urban von Wahlde of the Society of Biblical Literature states, archaeology “demonstrates the full extent of the accuracy and the detail of the Evangelist’s knowledge… The topographical references …. are entirely historical… some are quite accurate, detailed and historical.” Although archaeological corroboration is never proof of a text’s narrational reliability, it is usually taken as a clue pointing in that direction by placing narrated events within space and time. According to Ehrman,

“If historians want to know what Jesus said and did they are more or less constrained to use the New Testament Gospels as their principal sources. Let me emphasize that this is not for religious or theological reasons—for instance, that these and these alone can be trusted. It is for historical reasons, pure and simple.”

Unlike the pagan secretive religions, we can know things about Jesus

With the extensive testimonial and textual evidence at their disposal, historians can know many details about the historical Jesus. Craig Evans says that “the consensus is, look, Jesus existed, he was Jewish, he wasn’t out to break the law. He was out to fulfil it. Jesus understood himself as the Lord’s anointed, that is as the Messiah.”

According to Sanders,

“Historical reconstruction is never absolutely certain, and in the case of Jesus it is sometimes highly uncertain. Despite this, we have a good idea of the main lines of his ministry and his message. We know who he was, what he did, what he taught, and why he died… the dominant view [among scholars] today seems to be that we can know pretty well what Jesus was out to accomplish, that we can know a lot about what he said, and that those two things make sense within the world of first-century Judaism.” Sanders goes on to say explain that miracle healings and exorcisms are part of what we can know about Jesus, “I think we can be fairly certain that initially Jesus’ fame came as a result of healing, especially exorcism.”

Graham Stanton elucidates that “Few doubt that Jesus possessed unusual gifts as a healer, though of course varied explanations are offered.” Peter Tomson explains that “Although he apparently considered himself the heavenly ‘Son of Man‘ and ‘the beloved son’ of God and cherished far-reaching Messianic ambitions, Jesus was equally reticent about these convictions. Even so, the fact that, after his death and resurrection, his disciples proclaimed him as the Messiah can be understood as a direct development from his own teachings.”

Professor Robert Grant suggests that “Jesus introduced a very singular innovation. For he also claimed that he himself could forgive sins… Jesus lived his last days, and died, in the belief that his death was destined to save the human race.” Similarly, late scholar Maurice Casey said that Jesus “believed that his death would fulfill the will of God for the redemption of his people Israel.”

According to Sanders, we can know that Jesus’ resurrection appearances convinced his earliest followers of the resurrection: “That Jesus’ followers (and later Paul) had resurrection experiences is, in my judgment, a fact. What the reality was that gave rise to the experiences I do not know.”

Leading experts in the field do not doubt that they can know quite a few details about the ministry of the historical Jesus. The consensus is that Jesus existed, that one can know what he set out to accomplish, and what he thought of himself.

9. The Jesus of history does not fit the profile of someone that would be a myth.

Many details from Jesus’ life and ministry do not seem to be likely candidates for myth. The fact that he gained a following seems natural and it is unlikely that those closest to him, like the disciples and other early followers, would have so readily risked their lives and livelihoods for what they knew to be a mythological figure. According to Edwin Judge,

“An ancient historian has no problem seeing the phenomenon of Jesus as an historical one. His many surprising aspects only help anchor him in history. Myth and legend would have created a more predictable figure. The writings that sprang up about Jesus also reveal to us a movement of thought and an experience of life so unusual that something much more substantial than the imagination is needed to explain it.”

C. S. Lewis, whose expertise in literary criticism renders him a helpful voice in this discussion, explicates,

“All I am in private life is a literary critic and historian, that’s my job. And I am prepared to say on that basis if anyone thinks the Gospels are either legend or novels, then that person is simply showing his incompetence as a literary critic. I’ve read a great many novels and I know a fair amount about the legends that grew up among early people, and I know perfectly well the Gospels are not that kind of stuff.”

It is uncontroversial within mainstream scholarships that the gospels do contain historical information on Jesus and his ministry. Numerous gospel depictions of Jesus do not gel with the idea of him entirely being mythological, particularly the baptism and crucifixion.

10. Much of these secretive pagan religions have little to do with concrete history.

Many of the secretive pagan religions and “cults” were founded on the stories of mythological figures that probably did not exist. According to Edwin Yamauchi, “All of these myths are repetitive, symbolic representations of the death and rebirth of vegetation. These are not historical figures…” William Lane Craig  writes that “In fact, most scholars have come to doubt whether, properly speaking, there really were any myths of dying and rising gods at all!”

11. The uniqueness of the virgin birth conception

Jesus is famously said to have been born of a virgin. It is not relevant whether or not one accepts miracles such as supernatural births, rather what is relevant is the uniqueness of the virgin birth conception as it is communicated in the gospels. According to scholar Raymond Brown, the virgin birth is indeed a unique phenomenon for “No search for parallels has given us a truly satisfactory explanation of how early Christians happened upon the idea of a virginal conception…”

Historian Louis Sweet writes,

“After a careful, laborious, and occasionally wearisome study of the evidence offered and the analogies urged, I am convinced that heathenism knows nothing of virgin births. Supernatural births it has without number, but never from a virgin in the New Testament sense and never without physical generation, except in a few isolated instances of magical births on the part of women who had not the slightest claim to be called virgins. In all recorded instances which I have been able to examine, if the mother was a virgin before conception took place she could not make that claim afterward.”

Thomas Boslooper agrees, “The literature of the world is prolific with narratives of unusual births, but it contains no precise analogy to the virgin birth in Matthew and Luke. Jesus’ ‘virgin birth’ is not ‘pagan’.” William Lane Craig  claims that “The Gospel stories of Jesus’ virginal conception are, in fact, without parallel in the ancient Near East.”

But mythicists have alleged many parallels to other figures who they claim were too born of a virgin. A popular candidate is the god Mithras who was purportedly born of a virgin. However, numerous reasons bring this parallel into question. The strongest objection is that sculptures depict Mithras being born from a rock while holding a torch and a dagger; according to ancient historian Manfred Clauss, “The sequence of images from the mythical account of Mithras’ life and exploits begins, so far as we can make out, with the god’s birth. The literary sources here are few but unmistakable: Mithras was known as the rock-born god.” However, few would view rocks as virgins and that gods born from rocks as virgin-born.

12. Jesus’ death had a radical impact on his disciples

The American journalist and educator Peter Steinfels once questioned, as many others have done, what could have so drastically changed the lives of so many after Christ’s death,

“Shortly after Jesus was executed, his followers were suddenly galvanized from a baffled and cowering group into people whose message about a living Jesus and a coming kingdom, preached at the risk of their lives, eventually changed an empire. Something happened … But exactly what?”

The significance of this has not been lost on scholars. Bart Ehrman boldly states that “We can say with complete certainty that some of his disciples at some later time insisted that… he [Jesus] soon appeared to them, convincing them that he had been raised from the dead.” The skeptic Rudolph Bultmann remarked in his day that “All that historical criticism can establish is that the first disciples came to believe the resurrection.” Scholar Luke Johnson of Emory University claims that “Some sort of powerful, transformative experience is required to generate the sort of movement earliest Christianity was.”

Did Jesus really appear in a resurrected body to his early followers and opponents? As interesting as this question is, it is not one we need to answer here. Rather, what we do want to highlight is the unlikely scenario envisaged by the mythicists, which is that the early followers of Jesus went from a fearful “baffled and cowering group”, who had just witnessed their leader be crucified, to a galvanized one, who were fully aware of the possibilities of persecution and even death that faced them for their message, on the basis of a mythological figure who did not exist. This leads historians to the most obvious conclusion: Christianity’s origin only makes sense if there was in fact a flesh and blood historical figure at its root.

13. The uniqueness of the resurrection conception

The resurrection of Jesus is widely recognized to be a unique concept, which brings into question the many parallels mythicists try to draw between Jesus and pagan gods. One such speculative parallel is made to the Egyptian god Osiris. But Ehrman argues that this connection is false for “there’s nothing about them [Hercules and Osiris] dying and rising again… It is true that Osiris “comes back” to earth… But this is not a resurrection of his body. His body is still dead. He himself is down in Hades, and can come back up to make an appearance on earth on occasion.”

Referring to Dumuzi/Tammuz, Mettinger concludes that “there were no ideas of resurrection connected with Dumuzi/Tammuz… The category of dying and rising deities as propagated by Frazer can no longer be upheld.” Edwin Yamauchi asserts that “there’s no resurrection of Marduk or Dionysus… there was no real resurrection of Tammuz. Jonathan Smith agrees stating that “There is no unambiguous instance in the history of religions of a dying and rising deity.” Evidently the Mithras parallel emerges again, but Ronald Nash is confident that the “Allegations of an early Christian dependence on Mithraism have been rejected on many grounds. Mithraism had no concept of the death and resurrection of its god and no place for any concept of rebirth—at least during its early stages.”

The strongest reason to doubt that the Jesus resurrection conception was borrowed from Pagan religions is that it is unique. The resurrection is conceptualized as physical and bodily, which, it seems, is a unique notion in the history of religions and makes sense in the context of first-century Judaism; as Mettinger writes, “While studied with profit against the background of Jewish resurrection belief, the faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus retains its unique character in the history of religions.”

58 comments

  1. Wrong. The nail has not been knocked in at all. In fact some historians are busy forcing the lid off of Pandora’s Box.

    Don’t be at all surprised if the bubble isn’t eventually pricked and your man-god doesn’t turn out to be a complete work of fiction after all.
    And considering how fallacious so much of the bible truly is why is it so difficult to imagine that the character, Jesus of Nazareth was simply a ”vehicle” to drive a plot?

    • Your butt is hurt. need a tissue for your issue? repent or perish, Jesus is real, stop crying, get over it. Accept Jesus as saviour or be cast into the lake of fire.

  2. Proponents of this view, known as mythicists, say that Jesus was nothing more than a copy of popular dying and rising fertility gods in various places from around the world, some of these gods would include Tammuz in Mesopotamia, Adonis in Syria, Attis in Asia Minor, and Horus in Egypt.

    This is one view but by no means the only view.
    Your arguments against could quite easily be used for, by the way, as you have not provided any concrete evidence to dissuade a neutral reader,simply listing reams of rehashed material.
    Why don’t you tackle the issue of mythicism honestly and rather than knock the opposition simply provide conclusive evidence that Yeshua ben Josef existed.

    Start with a list of contemporary evidence.

  3. This is a great article. Denser and pithier writing would help its “distributability”-factor though. Not intending as an insult…really like the contents here and would like to pass along, but the “shell” or rhetoric is lacking. Writing muddles what it intends to clarify. Could you rewrite? Beautiful background too. Lovely, lovely.

  4. […] Now, this would be the central argument in films like Irreligious, Zeitgeist, and the Da Vinci Code. For brevity sake I will include an example or two, as well as what contemporary scholars think on this issue. For instance, Dan Brown in his Da Vinci Code boldly states: “Nothing in Christianity is original.” For a full response to this allegation, please consult my other article. […]

  5. WHen persons styling themselves as “pagans” say that Christ was a combo of several, or even a dozen or more, pagan gods & goddesses, are they intending to compliment those who must have conspired to create such a thing; which is like a mega-pagan super god? It just seems kind of like a backhanded-slap that misses the target & becomes an open-handed slap to the face that is their own.

  6. What strikes me is how we lose ground just by considering these ideas when they are presented by people who are not genuinely considering them but rather are positing these ideas to discredit Christianity.

    If Jesus existed and did the things that the Bible claims that he did, then it does not matter one bit whether or not there was an identical character in some earlier pagan religion.

    Giving into this line of thinking and defending Jesus as being different than pagan stories about mythical beings who were not divine and who, in many cases, never existed is akin to fighting with one hand behind our back.

    Jesus is the genuine article; Not because he is unique but because he is the one and only Son of God.

    I am not saying that it is not worthwhile to understand and be able to debunk false claims by those who are antagonistic to Christianity. My primary point is that we should not unwittingly accept a false premise in our attempt to defend our true religion.

    • Muslims say their religion is true and are willing to kill and die for it. If there was any truth to Christianity or Islam, the respective Gods would have settled this question ages ago. All religions are man made. The religious documents were written by men. It was all conceived in the minds of men. All imaginary notions set to pen and paper, parchment before.

  7. […] man is by no means analogous to Zeus or any other god from Greek/Roman pantheons (see my article: 23 Reasons Why Scholars Know Jesus Is Not a Copy of Pagan Religions.) This is where the ignorance of the meme shines most brilliantly. The two other gods depicted in […]

  8. The enemy of souls is a fallen angel, was a “covering” angel, who betrayed all of heaven and earth, is knowledgeable of Scripture, which he used to try to tempt Christ, knew of God’s plan of redemption, and has had his own plans to ruin. satan’s not only a counterfeiter who wants to be “like the Most High” or have His position, he hates us, which is why he deceives us, and leads us to believe he doesn’t exist, depending on which era you live in.. in the days of myth,.. lying wonders, fairies, superstitions reinforced,..Also in satanic worship circles where people are seduced in their desiring power, only to find it is the beginning of the loss of their control and power..hear their testimonies when they’ve escaped the traps, and he is very real to them. He shows himself sometimes when he thinks you’re so far gone, you’ll never return to God. Some of those who have escaped his hold are later, believers, who you can’t tell that there is no spirit world. He can counterfeit before prophesy is fulfilled because he knows it will be fulfilled. He tried to murder Christ before Christ could redeem man, hence the slaughter of the MALE babes in Moses’ time, and in Bethlehem,” Rachel weeping for her children” for they were not’.. after Jesus’ birth was announced. Seeing, and not seeing, hearing, and not hearing. satan will be what you want him to be, until he has you so hardened that the Holy Spirit doesn’t impress the “seared” conscience, and then satan claims authority to destroy you. Some people “cost” a little more, so they’ll be seduced with millions or fame,.. others can be snared for less, or with vices, etc. -Not desirable paths. With God, is freedom. With satan is death and loss, addiction,.. but so many somehow still believe (until their losses), that everyone in control or with God as their guide,.. are those who are “missing out.” he’s the copycat, not Jesus.

    Quote:
    “ the kjv is based off of the masoretic text and until this last century there was no way to prove its authenticity that it aligned with the original text till the discovery of the dead sea scrolls which was 1000 years older than the masoretic text and when the fragments were translated it was proven that the masoretic text perfectly matched the dead sea scrolls” proving that God in fact did preserve the bible. the kjv perfectly matches the masoretic text which perfectly matches the dead sea scrolls proving that God in fact preserved his word in the kjv”
    End Quote

    – God’s signature is everywhere. We inherently can identify truth in simpler things of life,
    sometimes by how it affects us, or others, interestingly. We learn from Scriptures that God often uses concepts simple for us to understand, and refers often to stones when teaching. ”
    Psalms 118:22 and Acts 4:11 (KJV) “… The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.” Matthew 3:9 “.. God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” Matthew 13:20 ” Some seed fell on the stony ground..” Matthew 7:24 “.. a wise man.. built his house upon a rock.” Luke 19:40 “And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” ..There are lessons of the heart, there’s agriculture, there’s architecture and engineering.. As God teaches with stones, then and now, and helps scientists learn, and tinker with their experiments and formulas, as they can only describe what happens, but can’t really explain,.. many nonetheless pride themselves, (with His air they breathe), and declare God as opposed to the science of the earth He made in His universe. While many cannot deny that He would have to exist.I
    //////////////

    Truth is resisted by the majority of man.
    The rocks indeed have cried out.. the rocks of excavation. But we don’t need rely on man’s ? science to prove God. Science is used too often to try disprove God. A thing to ponder.. will science one day announce the finding of giant bones, in order to prove some alien theory or other deception, while as for Bible believers, we know that mankind isn’t evolving/improving but that mankind is rather shrinking in the onslaught of sin, and that the Bible tells of giants from Goliath to those spied in Canaan, to the people in Adam and Methuselah’s day.

    With regards to being at odds, were there an equal campaign to dispel beliefs geared toward other religions, by the secular world, as the campaign seems heavily geared toward Christianity, one would not have as much to question. We too frequently hear that science is at odds with God, and Christianity is here to control people,.. while the same voices admire eastern religions for the tranquility they induce… One must pause.

    – God lets us join in His mission, teaches us to Love, give us conviction when we learn, we teach and in turn learn more. He is great! A beautiful statement about His generosity and humility is expressed in the Bible, and in our lives, and as repeated regarding the end of this world, and upon His return, He will reward Us for the wonderful things We did ( rather, that He helped Us accomplish).. if we could only understand what He accomplished, we would understand a great deal.
    //////////////

    HIS NAME IS ABOVE ALL NAMES
    GOD EXISTS AND HE PRESERVES HIS TRUTH
    “Concerning the Name of THE Creator, is Exodus 3:14 which in the KJV says “And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you”.
    According to Strong’s Concordance, which is actually a concordance of the Babylonian Aramaic Language (when referring to the Old Testament), the words “I AM That I AM” comes from H1961 H1961: “hayah hayah”. However in (paleo)-Hebrew Scriptures, it actually said
    “EHJEH ASHER EHJEH”. (Pronouned I-JE Asher I-JE)

    Source 1. Source 2, Source 3.
    NOT “hayah hayah” and NOT “I Am, I Am”.
    “EHJEH ASHER EHJEH” is hard to translate into just 3 or 4 English words. It means “I am JEH (the h is silent so it’s pronounced JE, the same sound in JEsus) the beginning, currently self-existing, and eternally existing, JEH”. HE was speaking a sentence that basically says “”I am JE the beginning, currently self-existing, and eternally existing, JE”, or in other words, HE was saying I am JE, The Alpha & the Omega, the beginning and the end, the eternal”. He said that HIS Name is JE as in JE-sus, JE with us, GOD with us.”

    “In Greek, the I in Iesous would be pronounced with a J sound. NOT with an i sound. It was the letter called “iota”, which could carry either an i or j or y sound. In the first century A.D. and in the era of the 1611 King James translation, they only had one letter for both the i sound and the j sounds. But later on, people developed a separate letter for each sound. But the J sound did exist in both paleo-Hebrew and Greek during the original writings of the Old and New Testaments. Since paleo-Hebrew and Greek look alike and sound alike, the rules of the true Hebrew language would apply for the name of a Hebrew person. The rule of the true Hebrew language states that if the iota comes directly before a vowel, it must be pronounced with a J sound. Even the word iota was originally pronounced with the j sound. It was called the jota, jot, jod and Jud.

    The modern English spelling and sound of the word iota results from Aramaic influence. Language history is very clear that the word iota had the j sound in Paleo Hebrew and Greek. So when we see the name IESOUS, we therefore would have Jesous.”
    “The Apostles wrote JEH and Iesous. In the New Testament, they wrote Iesous. But the first letter which looks to us as an capital i was called the Jot. It was pronounced with the J sound whenever followed by an vowel such as E. Thus we have Jesous, which we pronounce as Jesus. Thus, the Apostles wrote what was spelled Iesous. It is still Jesus.”

    ” His Names include but not limited to: JEH, JE, JESUS, LORD, GOD, EHJEH, Adonai, EHJEH ASHER EHJEH, Alpha and Omega, The Word of GOD, KING of Kings, LORD of Lords, Emmanuel, GOD with us, Father, Saviour, Messiah, Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Rev.19:12 says He has a name that no man knows! Rev. 19 uses THREE “name”‘s for Him! One is the one that “No man knows”, one is “Word of God” and What name will be written on Him when He returns?
    Rev 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
    -“A NAME WE CAN TRUST”

    God said unto Moses,
    “I AM THAT I AM”
    //////////////

    GOD is not imaginary, nor fabled.
    As we are,…(and it’s wise to speak prudently), to see God, is to die. Isaiah 6:2 Even angels hid their faces before Him, and to forget reverence or be “unworthy” while approaching the very Ark of the Covenant was to die. Matthew 18:3,4 (KJV)3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. Hebrews 12:29 (KJV) “For our God is a consuming fire.” Matthew 28:3,4
    And though both being fallen/evil, when you are upset with someone, do you need time away from them to appease your anger? How much so should it be for heaven seeing evil is rampant? We know the term “stunning beauty”.. have you ever been “stunned” by the sudden visual beauty when encountering another human being? Then try to consider how much more “STUNNING” it would be to behold God in His Eternal Righteousness and Perfect Glory. It was a great act of Love and humility that Christ dwelt and walked among us, as a man, (and God), knowing all He knew and saw of sinfulness, yet while we were yet sinners (enemies), Christ died for us. All that people are when thinking no one is looking, to the change lived when eyes are opened, and upon conversion, and awareness of the heavenly host and His presence; it is evidence, demonstration of a changed heart, and unto salvation. Be glad that God is patient. Do not think that God is mocked. Galatians 6:7(KJV)

    GOD PRESERVES HIS TRUTH
    Why is truth lost to so many? Satan was a liar and murderer from the beginning, a counterfeiter, he corrupts. He can use a Nostradamus and help his predictions, (only so much as what God allows,) he can distort accounts of Biblical events, and promote myth by his lying wonders, and sometimes by people choosing to never learn more truth: people are led astray with fables that are passed down…and he can give you all the miracles and proof you need, if he’s your god, and that’s what you seek after. In Eden, Adam turned dominion over to him when he sinned, and by way of Eve’s believing a subtle lie. Then, for redemption, by One, Jesus, came to pay the ransom that won man (many) back to God, that all might be saved if they have faith in Him. There’s a thing called faith; Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)”Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” We also know throughout history and today, people have seen miracles to strengthen their faith, when in good faith, searching. When held on to, faith brings more knowledge. Matthew 6:33 (KJV) “33 … seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” If you can’t discern truth, at least begin by discerning a lie.

    Start with evolution, for example, it is a religion, which takes more faith to believe than Creationism. If you search youtube videos Kent Hovind evolution, (his ideas on mark of the beast, and pre/post rapture etc.-not agreed with) but his evolution stance is noteworthy. There’s also Doug Batchelor and Walter Veith’s videos (on long-known verifiable facts) against the religion of evolution’s ideas. Be surprised to learn what year Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” first came about, and the rest of its title. People are tainted and the spiritual battle for truth is ages old and continues. So if you don’t have faith, at least start with questioning the lies and their agendas, to help find truth. God, our Creator can preserve His truth even where lies make their presence known. Call upon His Name.

    Open the Manual of Life inspired by the Creator.
    Read the KJV Bible, the unprecedented beauty, poetry, truth and
    guidance- the living Word.
    Recommended:
    KJV Bible Dramatized Audio- Luke, Matthew, Corinthians, Psalms,
    Proverbs, Hebrews, Genesis, Revelation- youtube

  9. Jesus is not Pagan-
    All things are possibe with God.
    God has, and will preserve His truth for the faithful.

    Did Jesus give any? NO “graven image” to worship, of Himself, (as there is enough evil for the day,) and that would be wrong,..
    is against the Second Commandment, plus, satan corrupts as much as he can. You”d have a problem with the exposes on the images portraying Jesus if you were worshipping the image,.. then so much for satan’s success. Still we know that the majority in heaven was not deceived, but on earth, it will be.

    I could not fully appreciate Dr. Walter Veith’s Total Onslaught series enough until recently learning of the Total onslaught of not only Jesus Christ and His rightful place in the universe, but on His Name, the Bible, but also on our ability to worship happily. This is not of God. God desires that we know Him better, change our hearts, daily, as described in Corinthians 13:1-13, not doubt Him. I have, in research that Luke was raised as a Greek and that Greek was a language commonly spoken among the people at the time, is closer to Paleo-Hebrew than Aramic or Modern Hebrew, and was the language of text Jesus read often from. Whatever Jesus and the apostles did, is what I’ll go by. Jesus reminds repeatedly that the object of His mission was to fulfill and save, not destroy, that goes for people and the law. Also, the Samaritans would not have accepted the gospel in the traditional language of those they thought hated them. I’ve read that Jesus spoke the word “Amen” after His model prayer, that Paul never said to be an even moderate alcohol drinker or eat pork, but that he referred to the eating of meats devoted or that gave hommage to idols, and that to consider always the weaker brother, ( and also, grapejuice, (translated wine) was sometimes used as medicine, and not the potent manufactured wine we have today) that the TEN COMMANDMENT Sabbath!, (not feasts or other frequent sabbath days), was not done away with, think,, it’s part of the TEN COMMANDMENTS, THE IMMUTABLE LAW, that even the secular world agrees with on points, so why get rid of the one God told us to Remember, and keep the nine? “Under grace, not under the law”, does not mean lawlessness, which God is not of, and if it could be changed, He would have done that than for Jesus to die to redeem us. Under grace means you love the law, and by His power seek to keep it all the better); and thus, to continue,… whether in respect of select ancient Bibles,… (the more reliable today, the King James Version)- its poetry and multi-faceted meaning not lost or watered down as many versions, and it vital truths preserved…
    oh it goes on…
    We are mankind and our failings do not negate our Lord God, also both fine to say. All should search Scripture for themselves. It is reverse to what we are being led to believe. Jesus is the Rock and He thought of us long ago. All we need do is have faith and live it. He did the rest.When searching don’t necessarily look up “Is.. Pagan?” Look up the word as “.. is not of Pagan origin” (to the exception of words like halloween and/or other holiday-related error, things that aren’t foundational). One great example was the word God.Right now we say people have other gods, “such as money,”.does that have anything to do with the living God we serve? Or words that are in two different languages, but have no relation, though one is positive and another negative. Also, with a simple bing or google images search, you can look up “charts comparing Paleo-Hebrew to Ancient Greek”

    The Scripture of Love:
    1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 King James Version (KJV)
    “13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
    2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
    3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
    4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
    5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
    6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
    7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
    8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
    9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
    10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
    11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
    12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
    13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

    John 6:37King James Version (KJV)
    “37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

    Jeremiah 31:3King James Version (KJV)
    “3 The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

    John 16:33King James Version (KJV)
    “33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

    ————————————————–
    ————————————————–

    Matthew 16: 15-17King James Version (KJV)
    “15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
    16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
    17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
    ————————————————–

    Romans 10:13King James Version (KJV)
    “13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
    ——
    All we are given is truly sufficient. Call upon His Name, search the Scriptures, worship on the day He kept, follow, as did the apostles, worship as they worshipped, and call upon Whom they called upon, whether in Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic.

    //////////////
    _Excerpt:
    “Names:EXAMINING CLAIMS ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF “CHRIST” AND “LORD”
    “The Greek translation was called the Septuagint (abbreviated as “LXX” because LXX is the Roman number for 70, which reflected the Hebrew belief that 70 men translated it). The simplest way to verify this is to visit http://www.unboundbible.org You can have it print out Joshua 1:1 (or any other verse that mentions Joshua) with the English next to the OT Greek. It is obvious the Hebrews chose “Iesous” for “Joshua/Yeshua.” That was Greek spelling that to them sounded most like the Hebrew “Yeshua,” The Greek alphabet does not have either a “Y” or a “J,” nor does it have a “sh” sound, so they could not have spelled it either “Yeshua” or “Jesus.” You can also find “Septuagint” in Webster’s dictionary (maybe not a pocket size, but the desk size will have it)… The Hebrew world chose to use the word “Christ,” not the Greeks This translation was widely in use among Hebrews in the first century, so many Jews called the Messiah “Christ.” The “ous” ending on “Jesus/Iesous.. put there in the LXX, as noted above, because of how the Greek language works… English is a word order language in which nouns and names are always spelled the same, and you understand what they mean by where they fall in the sentence. It makes a big difference whether you say “Jeff went to the store” or “The store went to Jeff.”
    Greek is not that way. Greek changes how the names are spelled to help you understand what they mean. This is called “declining” words and giving the nouns “case.” You can find definitions of these words in Webster, too. For instance, if the name “Jeff” was used in ancient (and modern) Greek, it would be spelled different ways depending on their use. A sentence would say “Jeffous (the subject of the sentence) sent Jeffov (the object of the sentence) to get the book of Jeffou (“Possessive”- Jeff’s book).” You’ll notice that “Jeff” always has an ending added to it. It has to have an ending, or the readers wouldn’t understand the sentence, because word order means nothing.
    The same thing happened with the name Yeshua/Joshua. Hebrews took the root of the name, “Yes” transliterated it to Greek letters “Ies” and added the case endings so that the name was spelled “Iesous,” “Iesou” or “Iesov” depending on its use in the sentence. This wasn’t an option. Greek speakers did this with every name and nouns, whether it was Simon, house, cow, table- whatever. The “ous” (or other word endings) weren’t added because they indicated Greek gods. They were a natural part of talking Greek.
    English does not decline nouns, except for the pronoun “he.” We say, “He (nominative) drove him (accusative) to the store in his (genitive) car.” It wouldn’t make sense to us to instead say “He drove he to the store in he car,” because you have to decline the word for it to make any sense. In the same way, Greek had to decline nouns in order for them to make any sense.
    Adding “s” to the end of Christ (or Messiah) was necessary when the words were used by Greek speakers. Nouns in Greek (and some other languages, but not English) must be “declinable.” That means that the last couple letters of the noun change with how they are used in the sentence. When “Christ” or “Messiah” is used as the subject, it is spelled with an “s” at the end (e.g.: Messias). When the noun is used as a genitive (as in “followers of Messiah”) it is spelled with a “u” at the end (e.g.: Christou). English shortens it to the root, “Christ,” because English doesn’t decline nouns. Regardless of exactly how different languages spell it- as Messias, Messiah, Mashiyach, Christ, Christos,.. etc, it is the same name or title.”
    — “The “s” ending was applied to literally all masculine nouns… Plus, names were actually spelled with “u” and “n” endings, too, depending on the case (as noted above)… But check this out for yourself by looking at any Greek grammar…
    — The Greeks never used the word “Christ” for their gods, or in any sacred context, or as any kind of title of honor at all. The verb form of the word meant “to rub lightly, spread.”
    On the surface, it may seem odd to some people that such a “secular” word as christos would be used for anointing Messiah, which people see as a very spiritual use. But the noun Messiah, also has a verb form, messah. Some of the Prophets use the verb in everyday ways- to rub (messah) a shield with oil (Isaiah 21:5), to paint (messah) a house (Jeremiah 22:14), and apply oil (messah) to a body (Amos 6:6). You can verify that the verb massah is used in these verses by checking a Hebrew text or Strong’s concordance. This shows that the verb form of Messiah is sometimes used in the same nonreligious ways that the verb form of christos was used by the Greeks. This made christos a good match for translators to use, since they were looking for a Greek root that had both verb and noun forms which were used in much the same ways as the Hebrew words. Messah was used more often to describe anointing kings, prophets and priests, but it was clearly used in both secular and religious ways.

    — The Hebrews, chose to use the word “Christ(os)” and “Messiah” interchangeably. The Hebrews themselves translated the Old Testament into Greek in about 150 B.C. in what is called the Septuagint They say that the High Priest himself chose 72 elders from Judea who were experienced in the law, beliefs and customs of the Torah and were able to translate from Hebrew to Greek. This means they were fluent in both languages, and used both Messiah and Christos, Throughout the LXX, “Christ” is used for the Anointed One, such as in Psalm 2:2. You can check this for yourself by looking it up in the Septuagint online at http://www.unboundbible.org or in a paper copy at a library.
    The Apostle John himself used both words when he wrote, “(Andrew said,) we have found the Messiah, that is the Christ” (John 1:42), and “The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah, called Christ, is coming” (John 4:24). John considered “Christ” and “Messiah” to be synonymous, and used Christ when speaking to Greek speakers, and Messiah when speaking to Hebrew speakers. (This article follows the Gospel’s practice of using Messiah and Christ interchangeably, too.)

    — …The only ancient author to suggest that any part of the NT was authored in Aramaic or Hebrew is Papias, and he said only that Matthew was, not the rest of the NT. Some writers claim that many ancient authors claimed the NT was written in Aramaic, but that is entirely false. I challenge you to find the name, book title, and chapter of even one ancient author or church leader (other than Papias) that said so. They absolutely do not exist.
    — Many Hebrews of the first century B.C. who strictly observed the Torah spoke and wrote in Greek, not Hebrew.” end quote
    -See the videos “The 7000 Year Pattern” and
    “Who is Jesus?” by Doug Batchelor.
    Discover the multiple prophecies that predicted JESUS’ birth, life, mission, and death, to the letter. So many prophecies, and how many texts and true prophets agreed and were in harmony over centuries.
    //////////////
    Excerpt—
    The book of Acts and the epistles were all written in Greek. Almost all the conversations in the book of Acts had to have taken place in Greek, not Hebrew. Think about it.
    Luke, the author of Acts, was a Greek and he addressed it to another Greek, Theophilus (both names are Greek). Saul (Paul) and Luke accordingly used the Greek form Christos,” because the vast majority of their hearers would have understood that, but would not have understood “Messiah,” because they did not know Hebrew. Acts 6 mentions the large body of Greek-speaking Hebrews in Jerusalem, the heart of Hebrew country (6:1). Phillip preached to the Samaritans, and surely used Greek or Aramaic (Acts 8). The Gentile centurion Cornelius, some of his soldiers, and his whole household could not have understood Hebrew, yet understood Peter preaching- no doubt in Greek (Acts 10).
    Paul, Barnabas and others taught the many Greeks who came to faith at Antioch (Acts 11,13). Paul persuaded the Roman proconsul on Cyprus, Sergius Paulus to believe (Acts 13:6-12)… Acts never mentions a synagogue in most of the cities Paul visited. Paul could not have communicated in Hebrew to his own coworkers such as Timothy and Titus, who were raised as Greeks. In fact, most of Paul’s coworkers had Greek names- Titus, Timothy, Apollos and Dionysius (names of Greek gods), Eutychus, the seven (Acts 6:6), the teachers at Antioch (Acts 13) and the long list of saints in Romans 16. Some names were Hebrew, such as Barnabas, which indicates that Luke wasn’t trying to expunge everything Hebrew and replace everything with Greek- he was just factually reporting the prevalence of both Hebrew and especially Greek in the early church.
    Paul spoke with the judges and jailer at Philippi, a Roman colony, though they surely did not know Hebrew. Paul’s message to the Areopagus in Athens (Acts 17), and his defense when on trial before the Roman proconsul Gallio (Acts 18) were in Greek. The idolmakers in Ephesus (Acts 19) surely didn’t riot in Hebrew. Paul spoke Greek to the Roman commander and centurion who arrested him in the temple (Acts 21:37, 22:25), as did Paul’s nephew (23:19-21). Paul didn’t need a translator. Paul made his own defense when on trial before Governors Felix (Acts 24) and Festus (Acts 25-26). Paul surely spoke Greek to the captain and everyone on the ship on his voyage to Rome (Acts 27) and to the superstitious islanders on Malta (Acts 28). Since Paul spoke Greek to them, he always had to use “Iesous Christos” with the Greek endings on the name in order to be understood.
    — An Aramaic NT did not have to exist in order for the Greek NT to transliterate “Yeshua” into “Iesous.” As I mentioned above, Paul and others spoke to many groups of people in Greek, using the “declined” word forms in order to be understood. Luke was quoting him.
    — The New Testament sometimes uses a variety of spellings for names. The Greek form “Iesous” is used for Jesus in the NT, and is used for Joshua in the OT (you can check this in the Septuagint, as I mentioned above.) So every translator who sees “Iesous” in Hebrews has to guess by the context whether it refers to Jesus or Joshua, as in Hebrews 4. It’s a fluke that people commonly translate the Iesous as either Joshua or Jesus. But it is not uncommon to have different spellings for the same name. For instance, Jude, Judah and Judas are all exactly the same name, and are spelled the same in Greek.. You can check this yourself by calling up Mat 1:2, 26:47 and Jude 1 in Greek at http://www.unboundbible.org . Matthew and Matthias are the same Greek name.
    Why is the same Greek sometimes transliterated in different ways? It wouldn’t have to be. But it saves some explaining- you don’t have to tell every child, “no, Judas the betrayer didn’t write a book of the Bible.” Sometimes translators chop off the Greek “s” ending (like in Jude, Herod, etc) and other times leave it on (as in Judas, Jesus).
    — When people translate the Greek New Testament into English (and other languages), why don’t the translators convert Greek forms of names like Iesous into Hebrew forms such as Yeshua? There are a few reasons for this. First, the Greek does not read Yeshua, it reads Iesous. Is it sound translation to write in sounds that don’t actually exist in the Greek original? Second, in conversations recorded in the second half of the book of Acts, such as Paul’s conversations in Ephesus, Philippi, etc, the speakers certainly used the Greek forms of the names (as noted above). To replace words that apostles actually said with Hebrew forms that they did not use is a stretch that translators think would be inappropriate or misleading.”
    //////////////
    Excerpt:
    ”In Acts 9: 13-18 the sons of Scheva, exorcists, though they knew the name of Jesus, and how to pronounce it, did not prevail against the evil spirit because they did not know Him as their Lord… Paul understood God’s character and could cast out demons by the name of Jesus. The demons obeyed because of Paul’s faith and the authority and the power of Christ’s name. “[Paul] turned and said to the spirit, ‘I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ And he came out that very hour… and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.”
    “When people are “[settled] into the truth,” both intellectually and spiritually,” faith has reached its goal. Genuine faith joins the head with the heart, not just information alone and not just emotional feeling. These last-day Christians have discovered the validating assurance of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and they live in accordance with His guidance. Their intellectual grasp of the truth has reached its transforming purpose; these are men and women who have developed characters that will vindicate God’s wisdom and patience, contradicting Satan’s lies that God’s will is impossible for humanity…
    The book of Hebrews quotes a prophecy from the book of Isaiah: “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them” (Hebrews 10:16). The results of this promise will be the “settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved.” To have God’s name means having His law—not just the written words of the Ten Commandments, but its spirit—written in our hearts. A Name We Can Trust”
    “Pray in What Name?
    Yet while God’s name is the holiest of names, He is also our friend. Following a bloody Civil War battle, Jack kneeled by a mortally wounded soldier on the field. He could see that Bill, his best friend, was dying. Bill also knew he was dying, so with trembling fingers he reached into his blood-stained pocket and handed a letter to his comrade. “Jack,” Bill said in a raspy tone, “I didn’t have time to mail this letter. I know you don’t have much family or money. If you live through this war, take this letter to my folks in Connecticut. I told them all about you and what close friends we are. They’ll take good care of you, and anything that was mine is yours.” Moments later, Bill breathed his last.
    Jack did survive the war, but times were tough. For months, he and other war veterans would ride the trains looking for some farm work hoeing weeds in exchange for a hot meal. They came to be known as “hoe boys,” later called “hobos.”
    In the course of his wanderings, Jack eventually found himself in Connecticut. He made his way to the address on the letter Bill had given him so many years before and found there a large New England home. Jack timidly walked up the steps and hesitated. He looked down at his torn, ragged clothes and dirty hands. He mustered the courage and knocked on the great oak door. When the door opened, there stood a dignified grey-haired gentleman and his wife. But before Jack could speak, the man said in sympathetic tones. “I’m sorry, young man. These are hard times, and we just can’t feed and clothe every hoe boy who knocks.” Dejected, Jack turned away, but then he remembered the letter. “I have a letter from Bill.”
    “You knew our son?” The woman asked.
    “My name is Jack; we were best friends.” With that, Jack handed the blood-stained envelope to the surprised couple. With tears welling up in their eyes, the couple read the last letter from their beloved son. When they recovered their composure, they pulled Jack into the house, saying, “Anything that was his is now yours.”
    What made the difference? The name of their beloved son opened the door. Jesus promises that when we come to the Father in His name, we will have the same reception. “Most assuredly, … whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. … Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23, 24).
    However, always remember that “to pray in the name of Jesus is something more than a mere mention of that name at the beginning and the ending of a prayer. It is to pray in the mind and spirit of Jesus, while we believe His promises, rely upon His grace, and work His works.”
    Controversial Subject Matter
    The subject of God’s name remains one of the most confusing and disputed issues in Christianity. This is partly because God has many names in Scripture. But each name that God reveals serves as an important key in disclosing His power, holiness, and desired relationship with His people. His names provide a composite picture revealing different facets of His awesome character.”

    Whom do we say that He is?
    Truth answers beautifully.

    Recommended:
    The Disciple of Trials C D Brooks
    The New Testament Sabbath C D Brooks
    The 6th Seal and the San Andreas Fault Ben Anathoth
    Final Events Part 1 Doug Batchelor
    Final Events part 2 Doug Batchelor
    The Witch of Endor Doug Batchelor
    KJV Bible Dramatized Audio- Luke, Matthew
    Proverbs, Psalms, Hebrews, Corinthians, Revelation…

  10. Everyone who lives(ed) on this earth, we can believe, God is aware of the
    approval they would give to know existence. Luke 1:41 “And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit..” We can know we are in His reality; not robots, our free will is active; We are made in His image; we create and destroy,
    even with our words. So then, it is God who gives power to trust, free will to distrust, and even to love, which is not of ourselves. His patience worketh repentance. Romans 2:4(KJV)
    “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of god leadeth thee to repentance?”
    then much of the remaining questions, we know will be revealed, as we are able, by His grace to count the rest to faith; unless we think ourselves more righteous than God; or unless some who will not do the minimum, would like more required, as they have worked harder for far less, considering how much time God is given. We are not absent of thorough thought, considering that in all walks of life, even in (vital, not incidental, facets in Some Bibles newer than KJV, (of which truth we have sufficiency in, and no man can rob the faithful of, or has yet to match)…(see Walter Veith’s Battle of the Bibles)… that there are in all walks of life, infiltrations, pretenders, the insincere, the ignorant, and then there are the faithful. We trust. He reveals. Daily should there be prayerful thanks that Christ succeeded on the cross, for God forbid we should be so completely subject to man or satan, as to Him, the Omnipotent One, in Whom we trust, and Whom we love. When this life is over, farther along, everything that lives will trust and praise Him, and sin will never be in existence again.
    Phillipians 2:10-11 “10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    commentary-“A Greek speaking person …technical… will call him “Yeasoo”. (a short study of greek proves that no Greek speaking person in the first century called him yeazeus. The last letter of his name in Greek (S in English) is silent and only points out the masculine form of his name. The Greek language to this day still does not have a spelling for the “sh” sound so it is easy to understand why it got dropped over time through transliteration…
    First there is no “sh” sound in Greek.
    The final sigma (V) or “s” on the end is part of the standard transliteration from other languages to Greek. Greek nouns and names almost always have case endings, so the sigma (V) or “s” is added at the end of the word to distinguish that the name is the masculine form, and also makes it declinable.
    What we end up with is the name Iesou(IhsouV), pronounced Ee-ay-soo or Yaysoo. The Greek Iesous then got transliterated into Latin as Iesu[s], and then into Old English as Jesus, but initially the J was at that time, still pronounced like the German J, which was pronounced with more of a ‘Y’ sound (think Jägermeister). This is the way that it still is spoken in Germany today. Over time, the J sound eventually began to harden into sounding more like the French J which is where the Modern English J originated from. The end result is the current English pronunciation of Jesus.”
    – cited Scripture:
    “Judges 12:5 The men of Gilead captured the places where people cross the Jordan River. Those places led to the country of Ephraim. Any time a survivor from Ephraim came to the river and said, “Let me cross,” the men of Gilead would ask him, “Are you from Ephraim?” If he said, “No,” 6 they would say, “Say the word ‘Shibboleth.’” The men of Ephraim could not say that word correctly. They pronounced the word “Sibboleth.” So if the man said, “Sibboleth,” then the men of Gilead knew he was from Ephraim. Matthew 5:6,7″

    – commentary:”I’ve caught a lot of fish through the years, but I’ve never caught a filet. ”
    “He instructs us to catch them. He will clean them.”
    Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19)
    -“Should the gospel be excluded from even those who can’t say “Shibboleth”?
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    -“And remember, God is the one who created the kaleidoscope of different languages at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11). -”

    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    “2Kings 6:10-22
    10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.
    11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel?
    12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.
    13 And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan.
    14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
    15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
    16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
    17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
    18 And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
    19 And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria.
    20 And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.
    21 And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them?
    22 And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.”

    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    God would win battles such as when Jericho’s walls fell by the march and the trumpet, but according to their faith, He still made his people triumphant.

    -Much is wrong with individuals, not with our Savior and Lord.

    Matthew 11:4-6, 13-14, 18-19, 25-28
    “4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:
    5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
    6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me…13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come…18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children… 25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 5:6,7 “6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”

    “By faith…” Hebrews 11:8…

  11. Matthew 5:6,7,8 (KJV)
    “6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
    7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
    8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
    Hebrews 4:2-9,15-16 (KJV) King James Version
    “2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
    4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
    8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
    9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God…15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
    Hebrews 8:1,2 “1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
    2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.”

    Total Onslaught:
    – interesting texts:

    Bible Translations:
    [–Quote from: Wally on December 29, 2007,01:29:52 PM —Have you seen “The Battle of the Bibles,” and “Changing the Word?” Both are part of Dr. Walter Veith’s Total Onslaught series. The give a very interesting perspective regarding the various translations of the Bible.
    — End quote —-

    Quote from: Wally on December 29, 2007, 01:29:52 PM —Most of them use the KJV now, not because I talked them into it, but because they have found it to be more reliable.
    – End quote — —
    Quote from: Dora on December 27, 2007, 08:22:47 PM
    —We just watched a video of Veith’s “Changing the Word,” and though I had heard and read some things about the changes, I was truly shocked when I watched his presentation. He had three people come up and compare texts from three versions. They read from the KJV first, then from the other two versions, the RSV and the NIV, the last two people would say, “That verse is just not here.” The only way one could grasp it all (or even most of it) would be to pause the DVD and write it all down.

    Yes, it was amazing!!

    — End quote –
    Yes, it is, Dora. Get this:

    Romans 8:1 KJV: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    NKJV: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

    NEB: The conclusion of the matter is this: there is no condemnation for those who are united with Christ Jesus.

    NIV: Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

    RSV: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

    “it does show how many who use other versions on this particular text could be taught “just believe on Jesus and be saved” as well as “saved in their sins” teaching. These are rampant among most churches…”

    The Veith DVD (thank you, Dora) on this subject is incredibly enlightening.

    He points out the systematic downplaying of Jesus’ divinity in most all modern translations; the atonement; Jesus’ High Priesthood and many other things relative to salvation – but primarily taking Jesus out of the spotlight of being Savior, Redeemer, in the flesh, High Priest and Advocate, Judge.

    James 5:16 – changes “faults to one another” to “sins to one another” Makes man a confessor to man

    RSV
    Luke 9:55, 56 – left off majority of verses – Jesus not to destroy but to save•

    Rev 22:14 – “wash their robes” vs. “do His commandments”

    Hebrews 7:21 – “after the order of Melchisedec” is missing. Denying Jesus’ higher priesthood
    Recommended:
    1844 & The Final Onslaught/Total Onslaught
    Inside God’s Temple- A Study of the Sanctuary- Doug Batchelor
    Why the Sabbath? Doug Batchelor

  12. The problem with your ideas is that a great many in history have indeed seen parallels between the Jesus of Catholicism and their pagan gods. (not the Jesus of the bible, but the Catholic one).

    This is what C.S.Lewis meant when he said that “Jesus is the fulfilment of mythology”! Then he went and began the process of joining the Roman Catholic Church!

    There certainly are parallels between Semiramis and the Catholic version of Mary. It really looks like you are ignoring the fact that the Catholic Mary and the Catholic Jesus are NOT the characters of the bible. They have been modified to fit the pagan myths!

    • Would you care to list the differences between the “Biblical Jesus” and “Catholic Jesus”? I’m honestly curious.

  13. I KNOW that Jesus Christ did not exist as an historical figure, but was the Inner Christ of the first Christians, the Gnostics. I have investigate this thoroughly. I do not have a shallow intellect – please do not be insulting. Just because loads of people think he existed, does not make this true.

    There were dying and resurrecting gods long before Christianity. What about Osiris, for example? Of course the stories are not exactly the same. Why would they be? And the Gods were by DEFINITION mythical, subjective, and on the Inner Planes of the mind.

    You need to do further research. Then prove your points properly. Start by reading “The Jesus Mysteries”. That proves my point.

    • Julia, fortunately there is a great deal of evidence the prove the contrary. To speak specifically to the historical Jesus, please watch this video and let me know your thoughts. https://youtu.be/4bLlpiWh9-k

      I will also look for the book you recommended and maybe we can speak more about both.

  14. I was raised Catholic. As a teen, I began to question the Church’s teachings, and discovered that what I had been told was “God’s Law” dated from Medieval econo-politics. When I got to college I tossed the baby out with the bathwater. I was able to construct elaborate arguments about how the Bible was wrong, Christianity a hoax, etc. It’s easy if you make certain assumptions, such as assuming that the Bible is wrong and Christianity is a hoax.

    I investigated a lot of different religions and worldviews to see what made sense. Judaism was really complicated. Way too many rules to follow. Islam was interesting (this was in the early 80s); there didn’t seem to be nearly as many hypocrites – these people really lived their faith. But the more I learned about how Mohammed got the ball rolling, the shadier the whole deal sounded. Mormonism? Science fiction. Hinduism? Your basic Animism, not too different from Native American beliefs, dressed up with a couple of thousand years of post-stone-age civilization, literacy, and culture.

    I even tried being atheist for a couple of weeks. I didn’t have enough faith. I mean, how likely is it that there can possibly exist no thing, no state of being, that our puny, fragile, finite, fallible electrochemical-jelly brains can’t wrap themselves around? So I figured SOME belief system had to be True. And if there was indeed Truth “out there” I wanted to know what it was.

    Still, I scoffed at Christianity. Dead guy coming back to life? Pull the other one. But still…. Just to keep an open mind…. suppose that the God of the Old Testament really did exist? Fat chance, but… You have to admit that a God who spoke the Universe into existence would also be able to bring a dead guy back to life, especially if it was to prove a point. Besides, this was low-hanging fruit for the process of elimination.

    Now, I’ve always loved stories, and I’m a storyteller as well as an amateur historian. So I figured, what’s the central pillar of Christianity – the one that if I can pull it down, the whole tent collapses? That has to be the story of the Resurrection.

    That’s when it hit me – Christianity is the only major religion that’s founded on an historical claim rather than some guy’s ideas. Hm.

    But on to the origin of the story. I did a lot of thinking, and a lot of research. I came to the conclusion that there were five possible ways the story got started.

    1. Hogwash – the whole thing was made up. Fiction.
    2. Hallucination – the disciples only *thought* they saw Jesus.
    3. Hoax – the disciples conspired to concoct the tale and spread it
    4. Healing – Jesus revived in the coolness of the tomb. He was only “mostly dead” when they brought him down
    5. History – it really happened. The least likely explanation, I thought, but let’s keep an open mind, right? That way when I debunk the tale I can state that I was being intellectually honest.

    The more I learned, the more those alternative explanations withered and died.
    1. If the Gospels are fiction, they’re worse than most science fiction / fantasy fan-fic. The climax of the story – the moment of resurrection itself – and there are no witnesses other than a couple of dazed and confused Roman guards, who don’t even get any dialog. And the first person to actually see the Risen Jesus is a woman with a questionable background. She would not have been allowed to testify in court!

    2. There are well-documented cases of group hysterical hallucination. But they don’t fit the scene of those disciples huddling, fearful back in that upper room. No pounding music or drums, no expectations of a miracle. They were fearing for their lives. And remember, right to the last they didn’t understand when Jesus told them that he would die and rise again on the third day.

    3. The greatest conspiracy of all time. Perpetrated by a guy whose nickname was “Blockhead,” who had a serious problem with impulse control and follow-through. And EVERYONE bought it, and stuck with the story through persecution, torture, and execution? It’s easier to believe that a dead guy came back to life.

    4. This theory is DOA. Jesus was professionally executed by professional soldiers, who got handed death-watch duty on a regular basis. Put yourself in that centurion’s dusty sandals. You’re in the armpit of the Empire (could be worse – could be Britain), and you’ve got this crap job once more. The guy in the middle gives up pretty quickly – most victims take days to die – and the word comes to make sure he’s dead.
    Now, you *could* pick up that big mallet and break his shins – that’s what you’re going to do to the other two before sundown anyway. But you can tell a dead body when you see one. So just to make sure, you take your razor-sharp leaf-bladed spear and slip it between the ribs just SO. Blood and what looks like water comes out. (The “water” is likely serum fluid that collects in the pericardium under extreme trauma.) Now, there is NO theological significance to that. But it’s an eyewitness detail that confirms that the heart was pierced. A Level One trauma team wouldn’t have been able to save him.

    5. A.C. Doyle put these words in Sherlock’s mouth: “When all other avenues have been exhausted, what remains, no matter how unlikely, but be the truth.”

    • The Jesus mysteries never proves anything,the shroud of Turin is the burial cloth and proves his existence scientifically and cannot be disproven!

    • @BrendantheBard,

      I found your personal story fascinating. You made an excellent case for the resurrection as well. I am curious as to whether Christianity was a choice you returned to. It seems easy to speculate that you did.

      • For Jews a day ended at the sunset.
        Jesus was crucified on Friday afternoon.
        The first day ended at friday evening,the second day started at friday evening and ended at saturday evening,the third day started at saturday evening and ended at sunday evening, Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday.
        So he rosed on the 3rd day.

    • Right, you stick to the story to persecution of crucifixion, boiling oil, torture. And mass hallucination??? Yes this just happens all the time. Reject it if you will on basis of ignorance, you know the consequences, you have been taught.

  15. Zeitgeist is poorly supported by the evidence, although it does make many valid criticisms of monotheism. Maher’s film is “Religulous”, not “Irreligious”.…and “The Da Vinci Code” is a work of fiction.

    The rest of this article is so poorly written and unsupported by evidence that I’d wager Dr Ehrman would pass it back to you for a rewrite.

    And for the record, I accept what scholarship opines about the existence of an itinerant deluded preacher like Yeshua of Nazareth, although there are significant questions about the evidence.

    Your problem is that you can’t support your claims of his divinity, which scholarship rejects whole cloth.

  16. I have a difficult time with you referring to the Holy Land as “First Century Palestine”. During the time of Jesus, there was no such place as “Palestine”. That name was given to the region in AD 135 by Emperor Hadrian.

  17. I have a hard time with you referring to the Holy Land as “First Century Palestine”. No such place existed in the first century. The region’s name was changed by Emperor Hadrian in AD 135.

  18. Ladies and gentlemen,
    If Jesus truly existed, then the Romans would have to have made an example of him; a political prisoner, not some common rabble (oh right, he was supposedly a carpenter).

    Aside from ONE text, Jesus would have been a popular man and he would be written about often; yet only one text mentions him. If anything, if you read the gospels carefully, he sounds more like a hippie from Woodstock in the 1970s.

    Besides, the “mythicists” have said that there are strange parallels to Jesus. They would say it would be possible that Jesus would have been a made up out of conglomerate myths. After all, the “commandments and laws” in the Old Testament have strong connections to the law codes of Babylonia and Sumeria.

    In summary, I leave some text from one of the most hilarious religious jokes ever said about Jesus.

    “Of course, Jesus was Jewish. Thirty years old, living at home with his parents, come on. Working in his father’s business, his mother thought he was God’s gift; he’s Jewish, give it up!”
    — Robin Williams “Live on Broadway”

    • They DID make an example of him. It really doesn’t get much harsher than a public execution.

      Jesus was a popular man among the Jews, who were a marginal group in the Roman Empire. Most of that group was illiterate, except for the Jewish religious scholars, among whom Jesus was NOT popular.

      The fact that we have have four gospels – which are SEPARATE texts, only later put together in an anthology of texts that is known as ‘the Bible’ (which literally means ‘the books’ in Latin, check for yourself) – another text known as Gospel of Thomas, as well as three mentions by Roman historians (Tacitus, Suetonius and Pilny the Younger) and one mention from a Jewish historian (Josephus) as well as seven letters from a ‘disciple’ to several different communities of followers, all written mere 20 years after Jesus’ death is actually quite astounding.

      Much more than you should expect, considering the circumstances. Many unquestionably historical figures of that time are only known by ONE source. Check up how many people wrote about Socrates, besides Plato.

      As for the “strange parallels”, here’s the academic stance on that:

      http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dying-and-rising-gods

      I personally think that Johnatan Z. Smith (check hm on wikipedia) is a better authority on this topic than Robin Williams.

  19. […] 23 Reasons Why Scholars Know Jesus Is Not A Copy Of Pagan Religions by James Bishop “It is in recent times that a great number of people are claiming that Jesus is simply a rehash of older pagan secretive religions, and of the religions of dying and rising gods. We see this masqueraded as truth in films such as Zeitgeist, The Da Vinci Code and Irreligious which, to the layperson, seem to be factual and convincing. But how factually based are these claims? Surely anyone can misconstrue evidence to suit their presuppositional biases, especially if they don’t want to believe something. The first step for anyone really seeking to understand these allegations would be to consult the scholars in the relevant and necessary fields of expertise. What do they have to say? Is such an issue even on the table of debate nowadays? If so, or if not, then why?” […]

  20. Regarding jesus of Nazareth as a historical figure: Yes. historical methodology is always based on probability in light of existing historical sources as well as principles such as: multiple independent attestation — whether multiple historical sources and witnesses (which are not dependent on one another but independent) attest to an event or person. This can be said about Jesus of Nazareth (though there are some who deny the criterion of “independent’ attestation). More than such historical methods, however, there are literary criteria, also, indicating historicity. Take clear examples, where something is entirely fictional (made up), whether that be an ideology or a character. Consider forgeries. How do you know they are forgeries? usually there are signs. Then ask about our sources re: Jesus of Nazareth. Are such signs of forgery present? Or other thorough-going fictionalizing features? Answer: NO, there are signs of historicity all over the place. It would be way more improbable that all of it could be made up than the contrary.

  21. Thank you for writing this article. There is a need for this information. I read it often. You are extremely intelligent.

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