14 January 2010

Reinventing Jesus (Pt. 5)

Section five is the final section of the book I've been discussing, Reinventing Jesus, and it takes a look at the accusations that Christianity and its elements are simply a relabeling of pagan religions. This is a very fascinating section, since it is one of the root issues even today among Christians who oppose a celebration of Christmas for similar reasons; a group of which I was formerly a member of.

Why should we consider the stories of Osiris, Dionysus, Adonis, Attis, Mithras, and other Pagan Mystery saviors as fables, yet come across essentially the same story told in a Jewish context and believe it to be the biography of a carpenter from Bethlehem? ... Jesus was a Pagan god...and Christianity was a heretical product of Paganism!
- Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy,
The Jesus Mysteries, 9

Nothing in Christianity is original.
- Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code, 232

The traditional history of Christianity cannot convincingly explain why the Jesus story is so similar to ancient Pagan myths.
- Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy
The Laughing Jesus, 61

11 January 2010

Reinventing Jesus (Pt. 4)

If we take away all the miraculous events surrounding the story of Jesus to reveal a human, we would certainly find no one who could have garnered huge crowds around him because of his preaching. And the fact is that this crowd-drawing preacher finds his place in "history" only in the New Testament, completely overlooked by the dozens of historians of his day, an era considered one of the best documented in history.
- Acharya S,
The Christ Conspiracy, 100
Continuing on in section four of the book Reinventing Jesus that we have been discussing, they look at the evidence for Jesus in history, from sources outside of the New Testament writings.

Comments like those of Archarya S that imply that Jesus never existed because he is not mentioned outside the New Testament are remarkable for their bluster. This would be an interesting topic to pursue fully, but our goals are more focused. (pg 195-196)

It is a remarkable thing that we have any statements about Jesus by non-Christian writers. After all, he was a Jewish carpenter who spent most of his time on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, occasionally journeying to Jerusalem with his disciples. What's more, writers in the Roman Empire were typically upper-class men who looked down on Eastern religions and gazed back on Rome's celebrated past. So why would they ever pay attention to a Nazarene who founded a religion embraced by the lowest rungs of society? Simply put, be couldn't be ignored. (pg. 196)

04 January 2010

Reinventing Jesus (Pt. 3)

The holiday weekend allowed me to catch up on a bit more reading than usual, so I was able to finish this book I have been discussing, Reinventing Jesus. Picking up with part four of the book, this section deals with the divinity of Jesus. Some of these modern writers like to claim that Jesus was only "declared" diving centuries after his death at the council of Nicaea. I found this, as well as section five to be probably the highlight of this whole book, as far as things I really wanted to know more about. OK, so I think I could probably say the same thing about part three. Actually, this whole book has been a fascinating read, and I highly recommend it.

Jesus' establishment as "the Son of God" was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicaea.
- Dan Brown
The Da Vinci Code, 233
There is nothing recorded in the Gospels showing that Jesus clearly affirmed his own divinity.
-Shabir Ally
Muslim apologist on PAX's Faith Under Fire program
November 27, 2004