Monday, 13 June 2011

Not even a new myth!

The posts in the last 24 hours are a small part of the reason why I find it difficult to see why anyone can still be a christian.  We have examined some key aspects of the Jesus myth - indeed most of the important features that make Jesus seem to be a son of god - and found that it is somewhat wanting.

We have seen that several characters have stories with close similarities to that of Jesus. The individual details are not important, but there are so many points that it seems inconceivable that they are coincidences (or all untrue).

Admittedly we have to allow for the fact that these stories come from ancient texts that have been copied and re-copied throughout the centuries, and then interpreted in different ways by 'experts' in recent times. But clearly all three characters, Mithra, Horus and Krishna, predate the Jesus character, with Krishna easily being the earliest version of the story.

The canonical gospels of the New Testament were only agreed long after the time of Jesus, by which time the truth could easily have been 'improved'. Remember that none of the bible was written by eye-witnesses to the life of Jesus, and that human memory is pitifully fallible.  The evidence was, at best, anecdotal.

Perhaps in early centuries CE, these were the features that a god needed to have in order to be credible? The tried and tested formula was just applied to Jesus.

Or else it was all true, and all just coincidental. You have to decide for yourself, either on the basis of evidence or on the basis of faith. (You can safely ignore reports that Mark Twain once said that “Faith is believing what you know ain't so”.)

This is a big decision for christians, because surely if you can't believe any of these magic stories from the life of Jesus you have to ask yourself which other parts you do believe. If the bible really is the inspired word of god, perhaps your god isn't being completely straight with you. (This would be consistent with his performance in the Old Testament - and yes, he IS the same god.)

But no 'true christians' would find any of this reasoning at all compelling - I know.

My own faith is that the Jesus story is a myth, and not even a new myth at the time of writing.

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