Will the real Jesus please stand up?

All around the world, Christians are celebrating the death and rebirth of Jesus… the son of God, who’s also God… and a Spirit… by attending sunrise services; eating spicy buns, chocolate eggs and sending each other cards bearing pictures of cute rabbits and chicks. Unless you live the Philippines that is, and feel like getting out in the fresh air for Easter. Somehow, I have a feeling the message got a little bit mixed up along the way.

That’s what happens when you shoehorn your new religion on to an existing pagan fertility rite, in order for it to gain some sort of acceptance. After all, the people are already partying, how hard is it to say “Oh, you’re all celebrating rebirth? Well, there’s this guy I want to tell you about…”

And that’s where the problem comes in. You see, just which guy are they talking about? Oh, sure – most of us know the story of Jesus: born of a virgin, in a stable, walked on water, performed miracles, rose the dead, was the son of God, was crucified to save the world, descended into hell, rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. Ok, that’s the 50c tour of Jesus’ life, but it’s near enough as dammit.

The problem is, there isn’t a single eyewitness account to verify these happenings… and if you just said, “The Bible!” you go to the back of the class. Even if you do use the Bible, those are hardly contemporary accounts… especially when you consider that the man credited with selling Christianity to the heathen masses, never even knew the man. Nowhere else are the events records as Christians would have believe they happened.

Unless you go back in time.

You see, using the potted history above there are more than enough characters floating around that meet exactly the same criteria. Let’s have a look at some of them:

Attis (c. 1,200BCE)

  • Born on December 25th, to a virgin
  • He was seen as a saviour figure, who would die to save the world.
  • His worshipers ate bread as a symbol of his body
  • He was called both a Devine Son and Father
  • He was crucified on a tree
  • He descended into the underworld.
  • He rose from the dead after 3 days

Osiris / Bacchus / Dionysus (2.500 BCE onwards)

  • Born on December 25th, of a virgin and was placed in a manger
  • His birth was foretold by a star
  • Taught and performed miracles
  • Rode in a procession on the back of an ass
  • He turned water into wine
  • He was considered the “Only Begotten Son,” Savior,” “Redeemer,” “Sin Bearer,” Anointed One,” and the “Alpha and Omega.”
  • He was likely hanged or crucified on a tree
  • Three women visited the cave where he was buried
  • He rose again after 3 days

Krishna (400 BCE)

  • Krishna was born of  the Virgin Devaki (“Divine One”) on December 25.
  • His earthly father was a carpenter.
  • His birth was signaled by a star in the east and attended by angels and shepherds, at which time he was presented with spices.
  • He was persecuted by a tyrant who ordered the slaughter of thousands of infants.
  • He worked miracles and wonders, raising the dead and healing lepers, the deaf and the blind.
  • Krishna used parables to teach the people about charity and love, and he “lived poor and he loved the poor.”
  • In some traditions he died on a tree or was crucified between two thieves.
  • He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven “in the sight of all men.”

Buddha (563 BCE)

  • He was born of the virgin Maya.
  • He was of royal descent.
  • He performed miracles and wonders, healed the sick, fed 500 men from a “small basket of cakes,” and walked on water.
  • He was transfigured on a mount.
  • He was crucified in a sin-atonement, suffered for three days in hell, and was resurrected.
  • He ascended to “heaven.”

There are plenty of other examples, perhaps the best being Mithra, but I think I’ve made my point. It would appear as if there have been a lot of people – real or mythical – who seem to fit the story of Jesus, centuries before the time.

Once again, if I wanted to shoehorn my new religion onto existing practices, wouldn’t help if my hero was also magical?

Not to mention plagiarised.

About PsyGremlin

PsyGremlin is a former Conservapedia sysop (although the position was earned nefariously), stand up comedian, DJ, and is currently a self-employed financial adviser, who impersonates a responsible adult at least 5 days a week. However, highlighting and poking fun at the crazies out there remains his first love. Well besides pork crackling. And custard. And cricket.
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4 Responses to Will the real Jesus please stand up?

  1. Ely says:

    All around the world, Christians are celebrating the death and rebirth of Jesus… the son of God, who’s also God… and a Spirit… by attending sunrise services; eating spicy buns, chocolate eggs and sending each other cards bearing pictures of cute rabbits and chicks.

    ^ We Latin Americans (oh, you know, just the region of the world with the most Catholics and most of the countries are more than 70% Christian) don’t do this. Where I come from this is called a “gringada”, that is, an American thing that no good countryman should do and only gringueros and Americans do. It’s widely loathed. It isn’t done in Africa, either, and there are a hell of a lot of Catholics there. We only do the sunrise service part because it’s symbolic, which is the same reason many cultures before us did a sunrise service

    All around the world, Christians are celebrating the death and rebirth of Jesus… the son of God, who’s also God… and a Spirit…

    ^ Most Protestants don’t even believe this. And I don’t think most Christians in the US (but for the ones in the Episcopal Church and Catholics) believe this either.

    It’s a pity that for such a well researched and interesting article there were these heinous oversights. Please don’t extrapolate the Anglo-saxon situation (USA, UK, etc.) to the rest of us Christians.

    Aside from that is a good article, and thank you for the data.

    Have a good day.

    • PsyGremlin says:

      Thanks for that reply, Ely. Admittedly, I was writing from very much a Western perspective, and as you said, they’re the ones that seem to go for all the pagan trappings… even down here in Africa. It is worth mentioning that the sunrise mass probably has more to do with Constantine’s Sol Invictus sect than Christianity.

      I’ll have to check up your comments on the Trinity – I know the Anglicans believe in it. Maybe the fundies don’t.

      • Ely says:

        They do it in Africa? The egg thing? Because I’ve got family in Africa and they told me a few years ago they didn’t (I asked for a school project). I thought they did other pagan stuff like some shamanism symbols and such… Admittedly, my (very far removed) family lives in Tanzania so maybe it’s different in South Africa?

        You are indeed correct in the Sunrise mass. Also, I think Mithras’ birthday was also on the 25th December and (since by then everybody had forgotten when was Jesus birthday) they decided that Jesus should be born on the 25th in order to compete with and supersede Mithrasism, the most widely practised religion at the time.

        Not to be rude, but last time I checked Latin America was part of the west… We consider ourselves to be! There might be some pretty big differences amongst English speakers and Romance speakers but the basic stuff is the same to our very cores….

        Thanks for the reply, that was nice! And have a nice day 🙂

        • brxbrx says:

          He’s from South Africa.

          Also, interesting fact: in France, it’s not a bunny that brings the chocolate eggs, but bells that drop them from the sky

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