(Continued from part one)
In part one, we looked at what atheists are saying about the gospels being copied from Pagan myths. We found that it was not true. Bluntly, what these people say about Pagan myths is one hundred percent wrong. In the relevant mythology, the Pagan deities and characters simply don’t do what proponents of the myth say they do. None of the Pagan characters in question were born of a virgin, none were resurrected, none had twelve disciples, &c… &c… So in short, there’s nothing to see here. Are all the atheists who promote this theory just big, fat liars?
Yes and no, but mostly yes. If we want to know where the copycat hypothesis came from, we can trace it back to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. At that time there were a few scholars, though not many, who believed it. Modern-day proponents of the copycat hypothesis constantly quote books that are more than a century out of date, since all more recent and rigorous scholarship flatly contradicts their beliefs. Francis Cumont’s The Mysteries of Mithra, published in 1903, is a favorite of these people.
Are there more modern sources that support the copycat hypothesis? Yes. The best known is Achyra S., a pseudonym for a women who claims to be “scholar” but has never published any academic material or held any position in any field relating to the history of Jesus. She describes her website as a hub of astrology and other things that scientific atheists normally despise, yet they continue to quote her abundantly. Why? Beats me.
Ms. Achyra’s articles are classics of intellectual dishonesty, fact-twisting, and outright absurdity. For example, take a gander at this article entitled Was Krishna Crucified? Achyra says the answer is yes because Krishna was shot with arrows, which is kind of like being crucified. Her source this is the book Bible Myths and Their Parallels in Other Religions, which was published in 1882. She does not present any more recent source to justify her claim about similarity between Krishna myths and the gospels. Likewise every article on her website is littered with ridiculous, out-of-date sources and nonsensical arguments.
So besides Achyra S., is there anyone still upholding the Christ myth theory today. The name one most commonly hears is G. A. Wells, who the atheists will refer to as “a scholar”. They do not mention that he was a scholar of German language, with no credentials in any field related to the Gospel. They also don’t mention that Wells ended up changing his mind and acknowledging that Jesus did exist.
I could go on. And on. And on. Thanks to the technological marvel known as the internet, anyone can post anything, and among atheists there will always be plenty of people willing to believe whatever they read, rather than asking critical questions. Anyone who puts real research into the topic will quickly find that the advocates of the copycat hypothesis don’t have a leg to stand on. The same is true regarding the old flat earth argument and countless others. Why is this? Don’t we all know that atheists are rational, skeptical, and plunge through the layers of mythology to find the cold, hard truth? And that Christians are deluded and credulous and brainwashed? So why is it that whenever we do actual research on an issue, the actual facts found by actual scholars always support the Christian viewpoint?
Bede’s Library. A short but professional and well-written list of articles responding to copycat claims and others.
Tektonics. An excellent online apologetics ministry with a comprehensive debunking of copycat claims.
GakuseiDon. More apologetics work, though unfortunately not updated often.
The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, by Dr. Craig Blomberg
Lord or Legend: Wrestling with the Jesus Dilemma, by Gregory Boyd and Paul Rhodes
The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel