Hello all. Last night online, a skeptic friend told me that maybe I should start reading the skeptical side of Christianity
some. I figured I'd be up to the challenge and another friend and I had discussed such a thing earlier and thought of critiquing
the Jesus Mysteries which many skeptics refer to. The premise of that book is that Jesus never existed but his life was based
on pagan myths like Mithras and Horus and Osiris. Last night I thought about that and thought, "Do I have any general indications
this isn't so?" and I came up with several.
Point 1:Only Jesus was prophesied
When have we ever heard the pagan
mythers tell about a prophecy of the pagan gods? Only Jesus Christ was prophesied and this repeatedly from Genesis to Revelation.
Two: Virgin Birth
Yes. I know the others had "Virgin births" supposedly. (Like Mithra's great virgin birth of being
born out of a rock with a knife in his hand) However, why would someone knowing about such myths and wanting to tell about
a savior risk putting that in his story? UNLESS! Unless it was something true.
Point Three: Oddities
some things that if I was writing a myth I would not put in Scripture. I call it oddities because things would be odd for
one not telling facts as probably best observed by Simon Greenleaf. If you're making something up, you don't give details.
Here are some things I would not put in.
Herod's slaughter of infants: This is something anyone could easily check
up on. Why put in such an event unless you knew it had happened? Why also if you were wanting to make a great story would
you not have something happen to Herod miraculous of some nature? This shows a full reliance on human parents.
voice of John's baptism: How many people could have jumped at the baptism story and said, "Ah ha! We all were there! God didn't
speak!" They couldn't deny it though.
Any miracle: Miracles would be really easy to check on but the gospel writers
don't just say, "A miracle happened here." They say, this is where it happened, when it happened, how it happened, who it
happened to, and sometimes why." Why would you give such specific details if you were making this up and why would four different
writers often times agree on minute details.
The cost of following Jesus: If you're trying to get followers, you don't
paint it as hard and something that costs you. These people were being blunt honest about how hard it would be to follow Jesus.
calling of Matthew:Someone wanting to earn favor with the Jews would NOT list a tax collector on the good guy's side.
of the twelve:I would rather have Jesus go around myself and do all the wonders rather than have to rely on men if I were
making this up.
John the Baptist's doubt:Why include this if you're wanting to show the heroes as wondrous people?
Jesus's answer shows a reflection of Qumran community thought because it was believed as the Dead Sea Scrolls show that when
Messiah came he would heal the lame, the lepers, the deaf, and most of all, raise the dead.
Refusal to do a sign: Why
not if you're wanting to show a story about a great god-man with power would you avoid having him use that from time to time?
Canaanite woman: A Jew would not take kindly to the Gentiles being blessed by Jesus and Matthew knowing Gentiles would read
this would not risk calling them "dogs" if he wanted to win them over to a pagan-god unless that's really what was said.
Triumphant entry: This would really be too easy to disprove. Any Jew could come and say, "Jesus wasn't at Jerusalem at that
time. No one greeted him with palm branches, said Hosanna, and called him the Son of David." It was irrefutable though.
blasting of the Pharisees: If you're wanting to make someone all will respect, you don't have him go after the respected religious
authorities. Matthew makes some remarks in his gospels that all would find offensive in that area. Not what you want to do
if you're trying to attract followers.
Unknown hour: Why would you have Jesus not know the hour? This would be something
wondrous for the church. They didn't even list a secret ritual or something like the mystery religions would. In fact, it's
just barely mentioned and then the story moves on.
Women at the tomb: The first witnesses at the tomb would not be
women. Women's testimonies meant nothing in those days. Why have them be women then? Probably because they were women.
of Arimathea:Why introduce an unknown out of the blue at this hour? (I believe history records his existence even.) Why have
him be from the same group that sentenced Jesus and why have it be in his tomb open for verification? Probably because it
John the Baptist born before Jesus:It was generally thought that the elder should be over the younger
but Jesus is greater than John. This was common in Jewish history but not the norm. In the common mainstream, the elder would
be over the younger.
The Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan: Both of these stories go entirely against Jewish culture.
Luke was writing to Gentiles but why include something the Jews could easily show Luke never said? Probably because Luke is
the great historian and accurate in minute details and Jesus really told these stories. No other Jew would make them up.
before Herod: This would be a really easy point to refute if it could be done. It couldn't be though and if they were making
this up, this would have been a great time for a miracle. It didn't happen.
Water to wine:This is great but is this
what you'd really expect as a first miracle? It's what John records. I'd probably put in some great healing or natural miracle
like calming a storm or even making one. Not turning water to wine.
Teaching started in Jerusalem: History even shows
it started in Jerusalem. Why have it start right next door to the empty tomb? Probably because they all knew it was empty.
Tacitus says the "mischievous superstition" broke out in Judea. This isn't just our claim then. This is history's claim.
are probably many others you could find but if I was making a myth, I wouldn't include these.
Point 4: Details-See
in point 3
Point 5:Miracles with details-see again in point 3
Point 6:Why crucified?
Has anyone ever
heard someone mention why Mithras was crucified? Never? I've never heard it either.
Point 7: No "Horus, Osiris, or
If these were such great gods in their time, then why don't we have people doing deep research
on them? Why did it only just in the past century even be something one would use to show Jesus wasn't real?
8:Lack of pagan followers.
If these religions were so real, how come historians don't record them. Even Plutarch said
the stories being told were myths. Why do we not have churches of Mithras and such today?
Point 9: No Scripture.
anyone were to find a Mithras Scripture today, please turn it in to the proper museum. We have none.
Was it a message of love that kept Christianity going? No. Other religions have taught that? What was it?
It was the empty tomb. That alone had the power to change the world and outlast Rome.
Point 11:Changed lives.
we lead changed lives. Why? Because we've known the savior. In itsself, this wouldn't be proof. Combined with the evidence
though, it's deadly proof.
Why aren't these other religions teeming with followers today but Christianity is? Again,
probably because they weren't built on a foundation of the truth. Christianity was and is.
Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?
Questions? (Insults were due yesterday)