Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Pagan Christianity?

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays

 

The origins of Christianity and the original customs thereof come not from pagans. They come from the Holy Bible and ancient Hebrew thought.

Pagan Christianity?

Pagan Christianity 2

Many, if not most, of the claims of those who say “Christians are pagan” are erroneous.  Some are outright lies, some are half-truths but the result of bearing false witness is still seen. These lies are dividing the body of Christ and are abominable in the eyes of God.

I believe most who believe and teach these things, like myself in the past, are sincere people seeking the truth who have been misled by men of cunning craftiness (Ephesians 4:14).  I hope to share some things in this article which I’ve learned which have helped me see more clearly the errors of the “Christians are pagan”camp and hopefully edify the body of Christ in so doing.

Pro 6:16  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Pro 6:17  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Pro 6:18  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Pro 6:19  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

 

I have found that these seven things which are abominations to God are prevalent in the “Christians are pagan” movement.  The Lord has greatly rebuked me, showing that in my zeal for truth I had fallen into an abominable state.  I was deceived into thinking that my Christian brothers were committing “abominations” in their traditions when in reality I was the one walking in an abominable way.

 

In my zeal I thought I was pleasing God, I thought I was “altogether like Him”…
Psa 50:19  Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.
Psa 50:20  Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son.
Psa 50:21  These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
Psa 50:22  Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
Psa 50:23  Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

The knowledge I was sharing was not the peaceable fruit of the Spirit…it was poison of the adversary
Jas 3:9  Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Jas 3:10  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Jas 3:11  Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
Jas 3:12  Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
Jas 3:13  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Jas 3:14  But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15  This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Jas 3:17  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

I was spreading knowledge, not truth.  I was dividing the body of Christ, the pillar and ground of truth (1 Timothy 3:15), and in my zeal to serve Him, I was actually persecuting Christ, THE truth (John 1:14, 17; 14:6).  Just like Paul I zealously persecuted the church but came to find in reality it was Jesus I was attacking (Acts 9:4-5; 22:5-8; 26:13-18; 1 Timothy 1:4-16).

But (like Paul)…He has shown me mercy.

1Ti 1:13  Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
1Ti 1:14  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
1Ti 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
1Ti 1:16  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Even though the Lord has “shed abroad” His Spirit in my heart (Romans 5:5), I am still a man who is walking in carnality and as a result can go astray (Romans 7:1-25), corrupting the image of the God of love (1 John 4:7-21) who dwells in my heart (Ephesians 3:17; 2 Corinthians 4:6; John 14:17, 23; Romans 8:9-11; Colossians 1:27; Galatians 2:20; 1 John 4:4,16; Romans 10:8).

 

The zealousness I had to worship God in Spirit and truth (John 4:24) was corrupted into carnal envy.  The Spirit of truth (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13) will cause us to bear fruit of “goodness and righteousness and truth” (Ephesians 5:19) unto unfeigned love of the brethren (1 Peter 1:22).  If we aren’t bearing this fruit, we are more than likely walking in carnal envy.

1Co 1:12  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
1Co 1:13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
1Co 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying {ζῆλος ‘zēlos’}, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

The word for “envying” in 1 Corinthians 3:3 is ζῆλος ‘zēlos’ which also means zealousness.  Zealousness for God’s truth is great (Revelation 3:19; Titus 2:14), but we must be careful that this zealousness does not turn into carnal envy.  Although we have been given God’s Spirit, we still have sin dwelling in our carnal flesh (Romans 7:11, 17-18).  Carnality is carnality whether or not it is disguised as religion or not.  Sadly, many times our zealousness for God can be used by Satan to lead us into persecution of one another in the guise of religious zeal (Acts 22:3-4; Philippians 3:6; Romans 10:2-4).

This religious ‘passion’ does not bring forth the righteousness of God (James 1:20).  It is ‘devilish’ (James 3:13-18).

Jas 1:20  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Jas 3:13  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Jas 3:14  But if ye have bitter envying {ζῆλος ‘zēlos’} and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15  This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
Jas 3:17  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
Love envies not
1Co 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

The love of God does not behave in this manner for love ‘envies’ not (1 Corinthians 13:4).

When we walk in God’s love we realize that we do not have the corner market on truth.  As a result we must be patient with one another focusing on faith, hope and love. These three things constitute the armor of God, in specific His breastplate of righteousness (1 Thessalonians 5:8-9).  It is in this love that we can stand (Ephesians 6:11-18; Romans 5:1-2).

Knowledge puffs us up and leads to division.  Love does not puff us up, love edifies (1 Corinthians 4:4-7; 13:4; Colossians 2:18-19).

1Co 8:1  Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
1Co 8:2  And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
1Co 8:3  But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

Eph 6:23  Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 6:24  Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

United We Stand Divided We Fall

 

chains

 

We are not to worship the LORD as the heathen worship their gods (Jeremiah 10:2; Leviticus 18:3; 20:23; Deuteronomy 12:30-32; 13:1-5; 18:9; Ezekiel 20:32; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 1 Corinthians 10:6-7; Ephesians 4:17-18), however discernment and wisdom must be applied to this principle lest we become enchained by our perverse hearts.

Tit 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
Tit 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
Tit 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

 

When it comes to “pagan parallels” we must use wisdom and discernment lest our desire to walk in the fear of the LORD ends up being superstition.

“To believe there is connection when there is none, is only superstition…by mixing facts and fables together, nearly anything can be made to appear “pagan.” {Babylon Connection? – Ralph Woodrow pg 109}

 

“Take enough names, enough stories, and enough centuries; translate from one language to another; and a careless writer of the future might pass on all kinds of misinformation. Gerald Ford, an American president, might be confused with Henry Ford, the car manufacturer .  Abraham Lincoln might end up as the inventor of the automobile, the proof being that many cars had the name “Lincoln.” The maiden name of Billy Graham’s wife is Bell.  She has sometimes gone by the name Ruth Bell Graham. The inventor of the telephone was Alexander Graham Bell.  By mixing up names, someone might end up saying Billy Graham was the inventor of the telephone; or that he invented Graham Crackers. In fact, the inventor of Graham Crackers was Sylvester Graham. Again, similarities could be pointed out. Both men were named Graham. Both men were ministers. But the differences make a real difference: Sylvester was a Presbyterian and Billy a Baptist, and they were from different generations.

Building on similarities while ignoring differences is an unsound practice. Atheists have long used this method in an attempt to discredit Christianity altogether, citing examples of pagans who had similar beliefs about universal floods, slain and risen saviors, virgin mothers, heavenly ascensions, holy books, and so on.  As Christians, we don’t reject prayer just because pagans pray to their gods. We don’t reject water baptism just because ancient tribes plunged into water as a religious ritual. We don’t reject the Bible just because pagans believe their writings are holy or sacred.  The Bible mentions things like kneeling in prayer, raising hands, taking off shoes on holy ground, a holy mountain, a holy place in the temple, pillars in front of the temple, offering sacrifices without blemish, a sacred ark, cities of refuge, bringing forth water from a rock, laws written on stone, fire appearing on a person’s head, horses of fire, and the offering of first fruits.

Yet, at one time or another, similar things were known among pagans. Does this make the Bible pagan? Of course not!

If finding a pagan parallel provides proof of paganism, the Lord Himself would be pagan. The woman called Mystery Babylon had a cup in her hand; the Lord has a cup in His hand (Ps. 75:8). Pagan kings sat on thrones and wore crowns; the Lord sits on a throne and wears a crown (Rev. 1:4; 14:14). Pagans worshiped the sun; the Lord is the “Sun of righteousness” (Mal. 4:2).

Pagan gods were likened to stars; the Lord is called “the bright and Morning star” (Rev. 22:16). Pagan gods had temples dedicated to them; the Lord has a temple (Rev. 7:15). Pagans built a high tower in Babylon; the Lord is a high tower (2 Sam. 22:3). Pagans worshiped idolatrous pillars; the Lord appeared as a pillar of fire (Exod. 13:21).  {The Two Babylons:  A Case Study in Poor Methodology}

“If the teaching about pagan origins has a positive side, it would be that it forms a consciousness that there can be things in our lives and churches that do not please the Lord and hinder the flow of the Holy Spirit.  but, if the anti-pagan teaching is carried too far, it can have a negative and fruitless effect.  Pretty soon virtually all churches are wrong – not just the Roman Catholic Church – so that one might suppose he is doing God’s work by condemning churches and fellow Christians as pagans.  His message to others may become “I have no need of you” (1 Cor. 12:21).  So who does he align with?  Himself?

Too long it has been said:  “We saw one over here ministering in the name of Jesus, but we rejected him because he did not belong to our group.”  But Jesus says: “Do not reject him, he who is not against us is for us” (cf.  Lk. 9:49, 50)- emphasizing the principle of inclusion, not exclusion.”

“This is not compromise, but compassion, as we become “all things to all men” that we “might by all means save some” (1 Cor. 9:22, 23).  {Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 118-119}

 

For those who are convinced that the New Testament was written in a way to mix the sun-god worship beliefs in regards to the pagan christs with the historical facts of Jesus, the same case can be made for virtually every important person/story in the TaNaKH (Old Testament). There are pagan “counterparts” to the Garden of Eden, Adam & Eve, the serpent & the tree of knowledge, Noah and the Flood, the Tower of Babel, Abraham, Moses, David etc. So if one wants to proclaim the New Testament writings are full of “pagan sun-god doctrine,” then one must throw out the whole Bible because the same claim can be made against the TaNaKH (Old Testament).

If one wants to throw out Christian holidays such as Christmas & Easter because they supposedly look like pagan festivals then one would need to do the same to the Feast of Tabernacles. The Greek historian Plutarch supposed that the Jews worshipped Bacchus “because he had a feast of exactly the same kind called the feast of tabernacles, which they celebrated in the time of vintage, bringing tables out into the open air furnished with all kinds of fruit, and sitting under tents made of vine branches and ivy”.

The Roman author Pliny spoke of the Romans always giving their firstfruits to the priests to offer to the gods, in the same manner that Israel offered their first-fruits to God (Lev. 23:10). We need to really examine what we accept as truth in order not to walk in hypocrisy (1 Timothy 4:1-2).

“The concern about not wanting anything pagan in our lives can be likened to a ship crossing a vast ocean. This concern has taken us in the right direction, but as we come to a better understanding as to what is actually pagan and what is not, a correction of the course is necessary in our journey. This is not a going back, but a correction of the course as we follow “the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day” (Prov. 4:18).” Ralph Woodrow

“To all my brothers and sisters in Christ who feel that finding Babylonian origins for present-day customs or practices is of great importance, my advice is to move cautiously in this area, lest we major on minors. If there are things in our lives or churches that are indeed pagan or displeasing to the Lord, they should be dealt with, of course. But in attempting to defuse the confusion of Babylon, we must guard against creating a new “Babylon” of our own making.” {Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 32}

 

“By citing pagan similarities, the Bible itself could be condemned as being “pagan.”

“If we build on similarities, ignoring differences, nearly anything can be made out to be pagan. Atheists have used the same method, rejecting the Bible altogether, supposing its writers borrowed their ideas from paganism. But in many cases, it was the other way around. Adam Clarke, from whom many of the references mentioned here were gleaned, says pagans often borrowed from events and practices recorded in the Bible. This point was emphasized by Tertullian.”
“If we base conclusions on similarities alone, not only the Bible, but the Lord himself would be pagan!
The pagan “woman” called “Mystery Babylon” had a cup in her hand; the Lord has a cup in his hand (Psa. 75:8).
Pagan kings sat on thrones and wore crowns; the Lord sits on a throne and wears a crown (Rev. 1:4; 14:14).
Pagans worshipped the sun; the Lord is the “Sun of righteousness” (Mal. 4:2).
Pagan gods were likened to stars; the Lord is called “the bright morning star” (Rev. 22:16).
Pagan gods had temples dedicated to them; the Lord has a temple (Rev. 17:15).
Pagans built a high tower in Babylon; the Lord is a high tower (2 Sam. 22:3).
Pagan gods were pictured with wings; the Lord is pictured with wings (Psa. 91:4).
Janus, “the god of doors and hinges,” was represented with a “key,” and called Patulcius and Clusius, “the opener and shutter.”  But the Lord Jesus, speaking to the church at Philadelphia in Asia Minor – as though to counter this – says He has a “key” and that He “opens, and no man shuts, and shuts, and no man opens” (Rev. 3:7).  Pagan may have regarded Janus as their opener and shutter, but to Christians, the true opener and shutter is Jesus Christ!
In each of these examples there is a similarity – but the differences are AWESOME! Primitive men may have worshipped a rock, but as a Biblical writer put it, “Their rock is not as our Rock!” (Deu. 32:31).”  {Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 105-106}

 

Following are a couple examples of “pagan parallels” in the feasts celebrated by Israel.

firstfruits
The Babylon Connection? pg 105

 

 

feast of tabernacles
The Babylon Connection? pg 104

 

More pagan parallels from Ralph Woodrow’s book “The Babylon Connection?”

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 100
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 100

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 100
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 100

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 101
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 101

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 101
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 101
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 101
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 101

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 101
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 101

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 102
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 102

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 102
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 102

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 102
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 102

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 102
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 102

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 102
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 102

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 102
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 102

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 103
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 103

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 103
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 103

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 103
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 103

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 103
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 103

 

rod
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 103

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 103
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 103

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 104
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 104

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 104
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 104

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 104
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 104

 

Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 104
Babylon Connection – Ralph Woodrow pg 104

 

 

Towards a Legitimate Methodology

“Whenever one encounters a proposed example of pagan influence, one should demand that its existence be properly documented, not just asserted.  The danger of accepting an inaccurate claim is too great.  The amount of misinformation in this area is great enough that it is advisable never to accept a reported parallel as true unless it can be demonstrated from primary source documents or through reliable, scholarly secondary sources.

After receiving documentation supporting the claim of a pagan parallel, one should ask a number of questions:

1.  Is there a parallel?

Frequently, there is not.  The claim of a parallel may be erroneous, especially when the documentation provided is based on an old or undisclosed source.

For example: “The Egyptians had a trinity.  They worshiped Osiris, Isis, and Horus, thousands of years before the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost were known” (Robert Ingersoll, Why I Am an Agnostic).

This is not true.  The Egyptians had an Ennead—a pantheon of nine major gods and goddesses.  Osiris, Isis, and Horus were simply three divinities in the pantheon who were closely related by marriage and blood (not surprising, since the Ennead itself was an extended family) and who figured in the same myth cycle.

They did not represent the three persons of a single divine being (the Christian understanding of the Trinity).  The claim of an Egyptian trinity is simply wrong.  There is no parallel.

2.  Is the parallel dependent or independent?

Even if there is a pagan parallel, that does not mean that there is a causal relationship involved.  Two groups may develop similar beliefs, practices, and artifacts totally independently of each other.

The idea that similar forms are always the result of diffusion from a common source has long been rejected by archaeology and anthropology, and for very good reason: humans are similar to each other and live in similar (i.e., terrestrial) environments, leading them to have similar cultural artifacts and views.

For example, Fundamentalists have made much of the fact that Catholic art includes Madonna and Child images and that non-Christian art, all over the world, also frequently includes mother and child images.  There is nothing sinister in this.  The fact is that, in every culture, there are mothers who hold their children!

Sometimes this gets represented in art, including religious art, and it especially is used when a work of art is being done to show the motherhood of an individual.  Mother-with child-images do not need to be explained by a theory of diffusion from a common, pagan religious source (such as Hislop’s suggestion that such images stem from representations of Semiramis holding Tammuz).

One need look no further than the fact that mothers holding children is a universal feature of human experience and a convenient way for artists to represent motherhood.

3.  Is the parallel antecedent or consequent?

Even if there is a pagan parallel that is causally related to a non-pagan counterpart, this does not establish which gave rise to the other.  It may be that the pagan parallel is a late borrowing from a non-pagan source.

Frequently, the pagan sources we have are so late that they have been shaped in reaction to Jewish and Christian ideas.  Sometimes it is possible to tell that pagans have been borrowing from non-pagans.  Other times, it cannot be discerned who is borrowing from whom (or, indeed, if anyone is borrowing from anyone).

For example: the ideas expressed in the Norse Elder Edda about the end and regeneration of the world were probably influenced by the teachings of Christians with whom the Norse had been in contact for centuries (H. A. Guerber, The Norsemen, 339f).

4.  Is the parallel treated positively, neutrally, or negatively?

Even if there is a pagan parallel to a non-pagan counterpart, that does not mean that the item or concept was enthusiastically or uncritically accepted by non-pagans.  One must ask how they regarded it.  Did they regard it as something positive, neutral, or negative?

For example: circumcision and the symbol of the cross might be termed “neutral” Jewish and Christian counterparts to pagan parallels.  It is quite likely that the early Hebrews first encountered the idea of circumcision among neighboring non-Jewish peoples, but that does not mean they regarded it as a religiously good thing for non-Jews to do.

Circumcision was regarded as a religiously good thing only for Jews because for them it symbolized a special covenant with the one true God (Gen. 17).  The Hebrew scriptures are silent in a religious appraisal of non-Jewish circumcision; they seemed indifferent to the fact that some pagans circumcised.

Source.

We would do well to follow such a methodology. It is logical, rational, objective – and above all, intelligent. It is just the sort of methodology that we would wish others to employ when examining our own faith.

Conclusion
The evidence presented in Leeming’s book (combined with my time at university and my personal studies in Greek, Norse, Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Arabian, Christian and Jewish mythology) has led me to believe that there are common sources for many of the primal myths found throughout history. The first of these (naturally enough) is history itself, while the second is the predisposition of the human psyche.

To argue (as Hislop does) that the sole source is a shared religious tradition, is to ignore the plain facts of history and invite any amateur scholar to deconstruct the entire Christian faith on the basis of a few coincidental similarities.

A foolish mistake indeed.”

 

Pagan Parallels to Jesus?

 

pagan parallel research

It is not the purpose of this series of articles on Christian holidays to examine the “pagan copycat” theory in regards to Christ Jesus but I thought it important to bring up the subject here for those who want to research further.  I have found that the claims made by those that the New Testament testimony of Jesus Christ is merely an amalgamation of former pagan myths is very similar in nature to the claims that Christian holidays are founded in paganism.
This is a subject I believe more in the body of Messiah need to become more knowledgeable in. Most of us are very ignorant about what the Mysteries teach and as a result can be hoodwinked by people claiming Horus, Mithras, Bacchus etc. are all similar to Christ when in reality that is very far from the truth.  So too, many of us are ignorant about Church history, in particular early Church history and can be hoodwinked in regards to the origin of Christian holidays and customs as well.

How to Respond to Claims Jesus Is a “Copycat Savior”

“1. Expose the False Claims:
Close scrutiny of pre-Christian mythologies reveals they are less similar to the story of Jesus Christ than critics claim. The gods of mythology were not born of a virgin as Jesus was born to Mary, they did not live a life that was similar to Jesus in detail, they did not hold the titles attributed to Jesus, and they were not resurrected in a manner remotely similar to the resurrection of Christ. Primitive mythologies simply fail to resemble the Biblical account of Jesus when they are examined closely. Expose the false claims of those who say Jesus was copied from prior mythologies.

2. Expose the Errant Strategy:
Critics typically “cherry pick” from the mythological attributes of a variety of pagan gods and exaggerate the alleged similarities to construct a profile vaguely similar to Jesus. They search for singular similarities to the Christ of the Bible and then assemble these similarities from a variety of gods spanning the centuries and originating in geographically diverse regions (as if the 1st Century creators of the Jesus story would have access to these mythologies in the first place). Given this strategy, nearly any person from history can be said to be a recreation of preceding characters, either fictitious or historical. There is no single prior mythology significantly similar to Jesus. Expose the selective strategy of those who say Jesus was copied from prior mythologies.

3. Expose the Common Cultural Expectations:
Many alleged similarities are extremely general in nature and would be expected from any group of humans considering the existence of God. The primitive cultures who were interested in God’s nature reasoned He would have the ability to perform miracles, teach humans and form disciples. These are universal expectations failing to invalidate the historicity of Jesus. As Paul recognized on Mars Hill (Acts 17:22-31), men thought deeply about the nature of God prior to His arrival as Jesus. Sometimes they imagined the details correctly, sometimes they didn’t. Expose the common cultural expectations of ancient people groups to those who say Jesus was copied from prior mythologies.

4. Expose the Unlikely Approach Being Offered:
It is unreasonable to believe Christian conspirators would create a story designed to convince Jewish believers Jesus was God by inserting pagan mythological elements into the narrative. Judaism is a uniquely monotheistic religion, and the God of Judaism provides strict prohibitions against the worship of pagan gods. It is unreasonable to think the New Testament authors would utilize pagan mythology in an attempt to influence adherents of Judaism. Expose the unlikely nature of this claim by those who say Jesus was copied from prior mythologies.

5. Expose the Reliable Nature of the Gospel Eyewitness Accounts:
There are sufficient reasons to believe the history of Jesus is reliable, even if there are marginal similarities between Jesus and pagan mythologies. The evidence for the early dating of the Gospels, the corroboration of their claims (both internally and externally), the reliable transmission of their content, and the lack of bias on the part of their authors provides sufficient reason to believe they accurately describe the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Prior mythologies were not written, nor were they intended to be considered, as true history; the Biblical account of Jesus is a reliable historical record. Expose the reliable nature of the Gospels to those who say Jesus was copied from prior mythologies.

Take the time to study the truth about alleged similarities between Jesus and ancient pre-Christian mythologies of “rising and dying” saviors. Claims of similarities are extremely exaggerated and based on the selective promotion of the common expectations of cultures contemplating the nature of God. The ancient Jewish audience of the Gospel authors would never have accepted such claims, and the reliable nature of the Gospels can be established beyond reasonable doubt.” {How to Respond to Claims Jesus Is a “Copycat Savior”}

“Critics typically “cherry pick” from the mythological attributes of a variety of pagan gods and exaggerate the supposed similarities to construct a profile that is even vaguely similar to Jesus. Skeptics search for singular similarities to the Christ of the Bible and then assemble these similarities from a variety of gods spanning the centuries and originating in geographically diverse regions. Given this strategy, nearly any person from history can be said to be a recreation of preceding characters, either fictitious or historical. There is no single prior mythology that is significantly similar to Jesus.”

“Given this strategy, nearly any person from history can be said to be a recreation of preceding characters, either fictitious or historical.” {J. Warner Wallace, a ‘cold case Christianity investigator’}

For more on this subject see:

Copycat copout: Jesus was not made up from pagan myths

 Claims of Jesus’ comparisons to the various deities

Were Bible stories and characters stolen from pagan myths?

pagan-christianity

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays part 1

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays part 2

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Examine Yourself

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Alexander Hislop

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Ralph Woodrow

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Pagan Parallels

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Church Fathers & Paganism

Hebrew Roots of Christian Holidays – Constantine

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