All the Gods That Rose From the Dead in Spring Before Jesus Christ (Garrett Griffin)
Mar27

All the Gods That Rose From the Dead in Spring Before Jesus Christ (Garrett Griffin)

  In the same way many ancient Mediterranean societies told tales of gods born to virgins(some on December 25) before the time of Christ, the archetype of gods rising from the dead is likewise older than Christianity, an uncomfortable historical fact for many religious people but not necessarily unforeseeable given the power of human imagination and the long stretch of human history before the Common Era (or Anno Domini, A.D., if you prefer). By Garrett Griffin In human religion, gods often die and return to life, sometimes in their old form, sometimes in a new one (see All About Adam and Eve, Richard Gillooly, and Godless, Dan Barker). They also often came to earth disguised as mortals, especially in Greek and Hindu myths. Dionysus was killed, descended into hell, and was reborn — in Zeus’ thigh of all places. Greek gods, goddesses, and mortals often descended into hell for various reasons and later rejoined the living. Demeter’s daughter, Persephone, descended into Hades and returned in the spring. Attis, a Phrygian-Greek vegetation god born of the virgin Nana, castrated himself and, depending on the version, either bled to death from this or was hanged on a pine tree. He was reborn after three days, his blood redeeming the earth as it fell from his body. His worshipers celebrated the salvation from death offered to them by Attis by decorating a pine tree each spring. This took place on March 25, a date later used by Christians for the Easter celebration (while no longer used for Easter, Catholics still use it to celebrate the Feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary). In Egypt, Osiris died, was resurrected, and ascended into heaven. Horus came back from the dead. Like many gods related to vegetation, Adonis, worshiped in Babylonia and Syria as early as the 7th century B.C., died annually (in the fall) and was resurrected (in the spring). In Greece, Heracles was mortal but rose into heaven to take his place among the gods just before he died. In Hindu mythology, Shiva cut off Ganesha’s head but Pavarti convinced him to bring the god back to life. Krishna is accidentally killed by a hunter, but comes back to life and ascends into heaven. The Sumerian king Tammuz was killed but resurrected by the gods and made a god himself. According to the Mesoamerican people, Quetzalcoatl killed himself, but after a few days in the underworld returned to heaven. Then there’s Mithra, made the “Protector of the Empire” by the Romans in 307 AD, right before Christianity was declared the official religion, but actually a Person god worshipped before 200 B.C. Some versions of Mithra’s story make...

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Mythicism against religious intolerance (Greek Mythicists)
Nov15

Mythicism against religious intolerance (Greek Mythicists)

  In January 2015, the Greek Mythicists publicly declared their horror for the murders of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper employees in Paris, intended as a blow against the freedom of expression in the heart of the French capital. By Greek Mythicists Eleven months later, the home of the Illustration received an even heavier blow, the mass murders of dozens of French citizens, perpetrated a few hours ago by Islamist extremists who, according to eyewitnesses, where shouting “God is great” as they shot at their defenceless victims. There is no doubt that this is yet another wound for the Western world, which after 9/11 is once again experiencing the sentiments of fear and terror at its doorstep. Naturally, we have to acknowledge the fact that the West has indeed been digging its own grave, by financing and supporting illegal organizations aimed at destroying secular states of the Orient during the last few decades. Now the hands they themselves have armed are turning against them in a most typical manner. Mythisicm, on the other side, is neither a religious movement nor a political organization, nor even an organized group. In spite of that, all individuals and all groups involved in this investigation, agree that “the establishment of dogmas and the claims of a “unique truth”, which have been typical of monotheistic religions for centuries and which have often caused bloodsheds in mankind, is promoted in great part by blind faith in the acts of personages who apparently have never existed historically.” From this viewpoint, the study and spreading of Mythicist ideas is not merely a field of investigation promoting scientific research, but an approach that may offer a fresh perspective to the course of the world’s religions (everyone is free to believe in the transcendent or not), eliminating violence and fanaticism between believers. Particularly in our days, when the Dark Middle Ages seem to be once again before our planet’s gates and everyone is seeking the generative causes of this situation exclusively in the field of politics. Warm greetings and support to our colleagues of the Cercle Ernest Renan in Paris. Greek Mythicists,...

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Jesus ‘not a real person’ many believe (BBC News)
Nov08

Jesus ‘not a real person’ many believe (BBC News)

Forty percent of people in England do not believe Jesus was a real person, a Church of England survey suggests. However, 43% of the people asked said they did believe in the resurrection – although many did not think it happened as described in the Bible. The figures found while 57% classified themselves as Christian, fewer than 10% read the Bible and prayed regularly, or go to church at least once a month. The Church of England’s General Synod will discuss the survey in November. The survey of more than 4,000 people was commissioned by the Church, Hope – which represents churches of all denominations – and the Evangelical Alliance – which represents evangelical Christians in the UK. Many scholars agree that Jesus was a real man, who lived in Galilee more than 2,000 years ago, although many details surrounding his life are still debated. But, the Church of England survey found that four in 10 people did not believe Jesus was a real person, with a quarter of 18 to 34 year olds believing he was a mythical or fictional character. The poll was part of a wider research project looking at both practising Christians and the wider population. After Christians, the second biggest group identified in the poll – 12% – were atheists, while 9% were agnostics, Muslims represented 3%, with Hindus and Jews both making up 2%. English Christians are more likely than the average English adult to work in education, or professional jobs, but less likely to work in finance or insurance, the survey concluded.  ...

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Help Make A Better Movie on the Jesus Myth!
Sep29

Help Make A Better Movie on the Jesus Myth!

  Mythicist Milwaukee & King’s Tower Productions are going to produce a well-researched film about the Jesus myth theory that deliberately eliminates the flaws of past films (like that awful Zeitgeist thing) and pays attention to the best scholarship on the issue, while also introducing a lot of entertaining features as well as educational ones. By Dr. Richard Carrier They have a great plan. They have a great team. I and others will be vetting the end product. I highly recommend that you help them out by contributing to their IndieGogo campaign. The working title is Batman & Jesus. Their theme is to compare the evolution of mythology for both characters and use that as a springboard to explain how demigods come to exist and what they represent. They have a detailed four minute appeal video here. Well worth watching, to see what their plans are, what they need, and how well they have thought this out. They offer a lot of levels of support with varying benefits. So check out the options and help make this film happen!  ...

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Jesus is a MYTH’: Christ stories appeared decades after his “death”
Apr18

Jesus is a MYTH’: Christ stories appeared decades after his “death”

Jesus Christ was not a real person and is probably the result of a combination of stories about several different individuals, according to a writer and leading atheist activist. David Fitzgerald, a San Francisco based author, believes he has compiled compelling evidence that proves Jesus did not exist. He claims there are no contemporary mentions of Jesus in historical accounts from the time when he was supposed to have lived, yet other Jewish sect leaders from the time do appear. Instead he insists the disciples of Jesus were also probably not real and their names only later attached to the gospels to lend them credence. In a new book due to be published later this year, he will argue that the figure of Jesus was actually a combination of pagan rituals and stories about other people. Speaking to MailOnline, he said: ‘There is a paradox that Jesus did all these amazing things and taught all these amazing things yet no one heard of him outside his immediate cult for nearly 100 years. ‘Or it means he didn’t do all these things at all. ‘The first gospel of Christianity appears to have been a literary allegory that were written decades after the time they portray. ‘I believe that Christianity started as one of the many mystery faiths that appeared at the time where old Gods and old traditions were rebooted. ‘Christianity appears to have been a Jewish mystery faith. ‘By the time of Paul there appears to have been plenty of different “Lord’s suppers” as he complains about the existence of other gospels and messiahs. ‘It appears that early Christianity managed to take the stories from these other faiths and incorporate them into the story of Jesus.’ Mr Fitzgerald, whose first book ‘Nailed: Ten Christian Myths that Show Jesus Never Existed at All’ was published in 2010, believes it is no longer reasonable to assume there has to be a single historic figure who began Christianity. Instead he says early Christians drew upon the beliefs and rituals of other cults and faiths around in the first century. He argues that John the Baptist’s cult is one such example and had initially been a competitor to the cult of Jesus before being incorporated into the Christian story. Mr Fitzgerald said: ‘There is nothing implausible to think that Jesus was a real person, but I just don’t think that he can have been a single person if he existed at all. ‘We also have no mention of Jesus in other historical texts from the time. There were certainly people writing about Judea at the time like Philo of Alexandria. ‘During this period...

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Did historical Jesus really exist? The evidence just doesn’t add up (Raphael Lataster)
Dec18

Did historical Jesus really exist? The evidence just doesn’t add up (Raphael Lataster)

  Did a man called Jesus of Nazareth walk the earth? Discussions over whether the figure known as the “Historical Jesus” actually existed primarily reflect disagreements among atheists. Believers, who uphold the implausible and more easily-dismissed “Christ of Faith” (the divine Jesus who walked on water), ought not to get involved. By Raphael Lataster Numerous secular scholars have presented their own versions of the so-called “Historical Jesus” – and most of them are, as biblical scholar J.D. Crossan puts it, “an academic embarrassment.” From Crossan’s view of Jesus as the wise sage, to Robert Eisenman’s Jesus the revolutionary, and Bart Ehrman’s apocalyptic prophet, about the only thing New Testament scholars seem to agree on is Jesus’ historical existence. But can even that be questioned? The first problem we encounter when trying to discover more about the Historical Jesus is the lack of early sources. The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional Christ of Faith. These early sources, compiled decades after the alleged events, all stem from Christian authors eager to promote Christianity – which gives us reason to question them. The authors of the Gospels fail to name themselves, describe their qualifications, or show any criticism with their foundational sources – which they also fail to identify. Filled with mythical and non-historical information, and heavily edited over time, the Gospels certainly should not convince critics to trust even the more mundane claims made therein. The methods traditionally used to tease out rare nuggets of truth from the Gospels are dubious. The criterion of embarrassment says that if a section would be embarrassing for the author, it is more likely authentic. Unfortunately, given the diverse nature of Christianity and Judaism back then (things have not changed all that much), and the anonymity of the authors, it is impossible to determine what truly would be embarrassing or counter-intuitive, let alone if that might not serve some evangelistic purpose. The criterion of Aramaic context is similarly unhelpful. Jesus and his closest followers were surely not the only Aramaic-speakers in first-century Judea. The criterion of multiple independent attestation can also hardly be used properly here, given that the sources clearly are not independent. Paul’s Epistles, written earlier than the Gospels, give us no reason to dogmatically declare Jesus must have existed. Avoiding Jesus’ earthly events and teachings, even when the latter could have bolstered his own claims, Paul only describes his “Heavenly Jesus.” Even when discussing what appear to be the resurrection and the last supper, his only stated sources are his direct revelations from the Lord, and his indirect revelations from the Old Testament. In fact, Paul actually rules out human sources (see Galatians 1:11-12). Also important are the...

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