Presentation on theme: "1 THE TRUE ORIGINS OF CHRISTIANITY. 2 Please hold all questions until the end of this presentation. Thank you."— Presentation transcript:
1 THE TRUE ORIGINS OF CHRISTIANITY
2 Please hold all questions until the end of this presentation. Thank you.
3 Most people, Christians included, are quite ignorant of the conditions which led to the emergence of Christianity!
4 Many believe that Christianity evolved in the following manner …
5 1. Jesus’ teachings to the Jews
6 2. After his death, his Jewish followers continued to spread Jesus’ teachings.
7 1. Jesus’ teachings to the Jews 2. After his death, his Jewish followers continued to spread Jesus’ teachings. 3. Paul then took these teachings to the Gentiles and these became Christianity.
8 “ --- the Catholic holds that the inspiration of the Holy Spirit has preserved the message of Jesus intact through all its transmission in the Christian community.” Wansbrough, (1984). Jesus, the Real Evidence. p. 5
9 How many of you believe this was how Christianity began?
10 Then you are wrong; this is not how Christianity began.
11 The origins of Christianity were actually much more complex!
12 Many Christians believe their faith is based on the teachings of Jesus; some even believe Jesus was the first Christian!
13 Many Christians believe their faith is based on the teachings of Jesus; some even believe Jesus was the first Christian!
14 They are wrong!
15 They are wrong! Christianity was actually the creation of Paul, and has little to do with either the historical Jesus or Judaism!
16 “ Paul, not Jesus, was the founder of Christianity as a new religion which developed away from both normal Judaism and the Nazarene variety of Judaism.” Maccoby, H. 1987). The Myth-Maker, Paul and the Invention of Christianity.. p. 16.
17 It is important to understand Christianity did not exist during Jesus’ lifetime; it evolved only after his death!
18 Jesus and his followers were never “Christians”; they remained steadfast to their Jewish faith, “ … they worshipped regularly in the Temple at Jerusalem, … kept the Jewish festivals, and observed the Jewish Law,” Brandon, S.G.F. (1971). The Trial of Jesus of Nazareth, p. 26.
19 So, how did Christianity evolve?
20 Was Jesus, as some claim, merely a mythical figure?
21 “That there was an actual historical Jesus, … no intelligent individual can doubt; but as regards his life and utterances there is considerable variation of opinion.“ Cook, S. (1945). An Introduction to the Bible,, p. 164
22 Born on an unknown date in Nazareth, (not Bethlehem), he was known as Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 26:71; Mark 1:24)
23 “--- the birth of Jesus cannot be regarded as historical. It would thus appear that, almost certainly, Jesus was born at Nazareth, and that from his place of birth he was called Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus the Nazarene.” Barnes, E.W. (1948). The Rise of Christianity, p. 80
24 There was nothing remarkable bout hi birth. His mother may have been called Mary. Joseph was probably his father, it was certainly not the Holy Ghost, (Matthew 1:18).
25 “ … Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? “ Matthew 13:55-56
26 “Presumably he was an obscure Galilean, until his preaching made him famous, and the details of his birth and childhood were not known. Mark, the oldest of the gospels has nothing to say about his birth and childhood. Rather, Mark starts his tale of Jesus with Jesus as an adult, beginning his ministry.” Asimov, I, (1981). Asimov's Guide to the Bible, p. 781
27 In ancient societies although adulthood began at twelve years of age, “full adulthood” was not attained until thirty years of age.
28 Jesus began his mission about 29 AD, (Luke 3:1 – 15 th year of Tiberius), at about 30 years of age; to the Jews this was, “when a male arrived at a man's estate” (See: Genesis. 41:46; Numbers 4:3; 4:23 and 4:30; 2 Samuel 5:4).
29 Jesus attracted followers primarily from the common people, creating what was, in effect, a small apocalyptic Jewish sect (Acts 1:15),.
30 Jesus’ message to the Jews was that the Day of the Lord and the Kingdom of God were fast approaching and they needed to prepare for these events! (See Luke 8:1)
31 “ … the Day of the Lord … a day of wrath for the heathen world and of triumph for Israel. … it ends with the glory of the remnant of Israel, while the assembled heathen powers are annihilated.” Encyclopedia Judaica, (1971), Eschatology
32 "...inaugurating the reign of the "Kingdom of Heaven" for Yahweh's elected people here and now." Encyclopaedia Judaica, (1971). P
33 This message was for the Jews alone. It had no relevance for, and was certainly not meant for the Gentiles!
34 “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Matthew 15:24
35 The Romans viewed promises of a new kingdom as “royalist” sedition; propaganda designed to incite people to rebel against their authority.
36 SEDITION: Conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.
37 Because Jesus promised a new kingdom was coming which would replace Roman rule, he was arrested for sedition !
38 Tried for sedition, Jesus was sentenced to death by Lucius Pontius Pilate, the Roman Prefect* of Judaea * Vardaman, H. "A New Inscription Which Mentions Pilate as "Prefect. Journal of Biblical Literature 81 (1962) 70–71.
41 Pilate was, “ … a worldly man, knowing the right and anxious to do it …, but yielding easily to pressure from others. He would gladly have acquitted Christ and even made serious efforts in that direction, but gave way at once when his own position was threatened. “ Catholic Encyclopedia, Pilate
42 Pilate was a vicious despotic ruler, with no respect for the Jews or their religious customs. He was, “ … vindictive, had a furious temper, and was self- willed and inflexible, ". Philo of Alexandria
43 Pilate would never have risked freeing any enemies of Rome for fear complaints to Tiberius would expose his cruel conduct, bribes, insults, robberies, wanton injuries, and executions without trial,
44 What do Hitler, Osama bin Laden and Jesus, all have in common?
45 No bodies and no graves
46 Pilate would never have given Jesus’ body to his followers, risking that his grave would become a place of worship for rebels! (See Matthew 27:57-58)
47 Tombs of Samuel the Prophet ( BCE) and of the great Rabbi Yehuda Ha Nasi, ( ) still attract pilgrims.
48 “The usual imperial custom was to leave the crucified exposed for a few days as a salutary warning; in that time they became the prey of wild animals and carrion birds. When the stench became unbearable the remains, still on their crosses, were dumped in the Hinnom Valley.” Thomas, G.(1987). The Trial. p. 238.
49 Gehenna, the valley of the sons of Hinnom, (Ge bene Hinnom) a small valley south of Jerusalem.
50 “It became the common lay-still (garbage dump) of the city, where the dead bodies of criminals and animals and every other kind of filth was cast.” Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, …” volume I
51 Why does the fire and brimstone of Gehenna feature so prominently in the Christian concept of Hell?
52 But for a series of unusual events after his death, Jesus would have been quickly forgotten and Christianity would never have evolved.
53 “Hundreds of hysterical persons must confuse these phenomena with messages from the beyond and take their glory to the bishop rather than the eye doctor.” James Thurber, writer and cartoonist ( )
54 Cognitive dissonance — mental anguish experienced when holding conflicting ideas or beliefs. There is an instinctive need to resolve the feelings of discomfort. One means is by rationalization.
55 Resurrection myths! “It was argued that if a grain of wheat, buried naked, sprouts forth in many robes, how much more so the righteous! “ (Sanhedrin 90b).
57 Despite antipathy to the Pharisees in the gospels, the Nazarenes followed their teachings concerning the resurrection of the dead.
58 “ For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.” Acts 23:8
59 The tale of the Lord’s body being recovered, and then resurrected, was based on the Egyptian myth of Osiris.
62 Although to the Jews a dead messiah was inconceivable, the Nazarenes found “evidence” to validate Jesus’ suffering and death. (See Luke 24:25-26).
63 They rationalized that Jesus’ soul had risen, that soon he would be physically resurrected and would return to fulfill his promises!
64 Deluded in their belief that Jesus would “return”, the Nazarenes were destined to soon disappear from history!
65 Their demise began with the arrival of the enigmatic Saul* of Tarsus * Acts 7:58; and 9:4
66 “ … one of the remarkable men of history. As much as any single human being - and more so than Jesus if we do not accept the divinity of Jesus - he was the creator of Christianity and the Christian Church.” Fast, H., (1968).The Jews, p. 118.
67 Paul a Jewish scholar “… born at Tarsus … brought up in this city* at the feet of Gamaliel, educated according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God…”. Acts 22:3 * Jerusalem
68 Ancient Tarsus; Mithra, Dionysus, Stoicism and Gnosticism
69 Jewish astralism, magic, mysticism.
70 Secret Names of Power – “I am who I am.” Exodus 3:14
71 The Golem
72 Names of power: - “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, … “ Philippians 2:9
73 Names of power: - “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, … “ Philippians 2:9 “ … whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.‘” Acts 2:21
74 Term – The Name of …Used Jesus7 Lord7 Lord Jesus7 Jesus Christ6 Lord Jesus Christ5 Christ1
75 Paul’s conversion revelation or catharsis?
76 “ … his conversion was the result of a miraculous vision. … The accounts of his conversion on the road to Damascus come from the Acts of the Apostles. Paul himself says far more simply, 'God called me through his grace and chose to reveal his Son in me' (Gal 1).” Wansbrough, H.J. (1984). Jesus: The Real Evidence, p. 10
77 We first hear of Saul in Acts 7:58 where it is claimed he was a witness to the stoning of Stephen, (circa AD)
78 The problems begin. “ … Lord Jesus receive my spirit “ Acts 7:59
79 The problems begin. “ … Lord Jesus receive my spirit “ Acts 7:59 Was Stephen a time traveler or was this story fiction?
80 The problems continue. “ … if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” Acts 9:2
81 The problems continue. “ … if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” Acts 9:2 Why go to Damascus?
82 What followed after Paul left Damascus is uncertain. Different versions are given by both Luke and Paul.
83 “ …. but his disciples took him by night and let him down over the wall, lowering him in a basket. And when he had come to Jerusalem he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. “ Acts 9:25-26
84 “ … nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas…“ Galatians 1:17-18
85 “ … I went away into Arabia …”
86 When Paul began to preach, “my gospel”* his message was quite different from that of the Nazarenes. * Romans 2:16; 16:25; 2 Timothy 2:8;
87 Paul’s teachings had two major aspects: —  The existence of a transcendental being, the “CHRISTOS” (Jesus Christ), who could deliver salvation to all who believed in him!
88 “The central myth of the new religion was that of an atoning death of a divine being. … Paul derived this religion from Hellenistic sources, chiefly by a fusion of concepts taken from Gnosticism and concepts taken from the mystery religions, particularly from that of Attis.” Maccoby, H. 1987). The Myth-Maker, Paul and the Invention of Christianity. p. 16.
89 and: -  An eternal cosmic dual between the forces of good and evil, which predated the creation of the universe!
90 “ Underlying most of his thinking was a concept very like the ancient dualism of the Persians, the endless struggle between light and darkness, right and wrong, good and evil - a view which Judaism had abandoned centuries before. “ Fast, H., (1968). The Jews, p. 119.
91 In this cosmic struggle, God represented the powers of light and goodness, while the dark, evil forces were represented by the Archons, “… spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12.
92 The Nazarenes adhered strictly to their Jewish beliefs, with one addition — they believed Jesus was the messiah who would soon return, as god’s agent, to drive out the Romans and restore sovereign power to Israel.
93 To the Jews, “... the Messiah or Messiahs were always human beings even if sometimes supernatural qualities were connected with them.” Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1971 ed., volume 11, 1410, Jerusalem.
94 Paul, however, replaced the mortal Jewish “messiah” with a divine being, the saviour of all humanity — Jesus Christ!
95 Paul claimed Jesus Christ was not only the “Son of God” but a “god” in his own right; a divine being through whom the world had been created… “ … of the Son he says, "Thy throne, O God, Hebrews 1:8
96 As a “god” Jesus Christ could grant salvation to all who believed in him! “ … there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12
97 To the monotheistic Jews such claims would have been not only alien, but also totally abhorrent!
98 Paul’s gospel was not for the Jews, but for, “ … all the Gentiles …” Romans 1:5
99 Paul’s concepts were based upon Gnostic teachings!
100 The Gnostics – various pantheistic mystery sects predating Christianity.
101 They sought “Gnosis” – knowledge of nature’s secrets which, they believed, would enable them to reach heaven and gain salvation!
102 Paul speaks of a “mystery” – a secret knowledge hidden from humanity. “… the mystery which was kept secret for long ages” Romans 16:25
103 The “mystery” was a Gnostic conspiracy theory which related to an eternal struggle between the powers of good and evil and which was being kept a secret from humans by the powers of evil.
104 These evil powers are referred to in 1 Corinthians 2:6 as, ” … rulers of this age,” however Paul was not referring to the Roman or Jewish rulers.
105 These “rulers” were in fact … “ …elemental spirits of the universe'. (Galatians 4:3 and Colossians 2:8) “ … the prince of the power of the air,” (Ephesians 2:2) “… the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
106 “In the original Greek, (archontes tou aiones toutou), the words … denote the demonic powers that were believed to govern this present world-order, and their use in this passage reveals that Paul was thinking in terms of current Graeco- Roman astralism. “ Brandon, S.G.F. (1971). The Trial of Jesus of Nazareth, p. 19.
107 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
108 Paul states, “…the mystery was made known to me by revelation, …” Ephesians 3:3.
109 Paul appears to be saying the “revelation” he had on the road to Damascus gave him a personal insight into a great cosmic plan for human redemption in which god would allow his son, the Christ, to be killed by these evil powers.
110 By killing the Christos, (who had willingly sacrificed himself for this very purpose), the evil powers would be tricked into believing they had won a cosmic victory over god.
111 However, this was simply a plan by god to trick these evil powers. “ None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. “ 1 Corinthians 2:6-8
112 Gnostic Salvationist ideas were adapted by Paul as the basis of what he claimed was “… the gospel of your salvation, “ Ephesians 1:13
113 “My gospel” (Romans 2:16) “the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:19 ) replaced the Pharisaic concept of obedience to the law with Gnostic concepts in which belief, (faith), in Christ, guaranteed salvation.
114 This salvation was, “… a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. “ 1 Corinthians 2:7
115 Paul believed god would reveal his secret gnosis to all who believed in his Son — the Christ!
116 “ … that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, …” Ephesians 1:17
117 Believers would be granted, “ --- full wisdom and insight. He has made known to us his hidden purpose ---;” Ephesians 1:7-9
118 Paul suggests god’s plan for salvation was being kept hidden by the evil powers, from the unbelievers, so they would not receive the gnosis, and be “saved”.
119 “ … our gospel is veiled, … to those who are perishing. … the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God. “ 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
120 Gnostic terms used throughout the Epistles.
121 TermUsed Wisdom 12 Wisdom of God3 Wisdom of the world2 Jesus Christ our wisdom1 Secret and hidden; of the age; Earthly; spirit of; spiritual; secret and hidden; depth of; eloquent; of the wise; Greeks seeking; of men; human wisdom. 1 Term “Wisdom” used 31 times in Epistles
122 “Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. “ 1 Corinthians 2:6-7
123 “ To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, “ 1 Corinthians 12:8
124 “For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ.” Ephesians 1:9
125 “ … that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, …” Ephesian 1:17
126 “… to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. “ Ephesians 3:9-10
127 “ … to have all the riches of assured understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. “ Colossians 2:2-3
130 The Roman aristocrats considered the common people as "dishonorable and base – “the work of all artisans is sordid, there can be nothing honourable in a workshop". (Cicero)
131 Salvationism Elitist religious system
133 Gentile converts had many pagan beliefs which were totally alien to the Jews.
134 “ …, the Greek and the barbarian, were alike accustomed to receive - -- a long succession … of angels, of deities, or aeons, or emanations, issuing from the throne of light. … their religions were teeming with such ideas, as happening in the past, and they were looking for and expecting an Angel-Messiah. Doane, (1992). Bible Myths and Their Paralells in Other Religions. pp
135 “ … Christ was made up from the features of various Gods, “ Massey, G, The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Jesus, p. 21.
137 Christian shopkeepers bad reputation
138 Heated arguments with Christian who had different beliefs
139 Because Paul’s teachings were antagonistic to those of the Nazarenes there is little doubt there was a doctrinal struggle; see Galatians 1:5-8 and 2 Corinthians 11:3-4
140 Known as the "brethren," "the faithful," "elect," "saints," "believers.“ “ … in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians. “ Acts 11:26: also Acts 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16
141 The Council of Jerusalem, circa 50 AD, sought to establish a balance between Jewish believers and Gentile converts. Peter’s decision was that, “ … we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled and from blood.” Acts 15:19-20
142 In the struggle between Paul and the Nazarenes, events came to a climax in 66 AD.
143 After an anti-tax revolt, Florus, the Roman procurator stole silver from the Temple; the Jews rioted wiping out the local Roman garrison - Jewish War, AD
144 Reinforcements from Syria, under legate Cestius Gallus were routed, and this led to the four year siege of Jerusalem by Titus!
145 Disciples, “ … not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father,” Acts 1:4
147 After the Jewish-Roman War the remnant of the Jewish Christians fled Jerusalem and settled in Pella. (Eusebius)
148 “History is written by the victors” Winston Churchill.
149 “History is written by the victors” Winston Churchill. With all opposition gone, the Gentile Christians were frre to write their own version of “history”.
150 The gospel writers removed all references to disputes between Paul and the Nazarenes, so that it appeared the teachings of Jesus had been transmitted intact and unchanged.
151 They were free to add fictional material, pagan myths and to fill the “gospels” with non-Jewish terminology!
152 “ … the high priest said to him, "I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.“ Matthew 26:63
153 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
154 Terms such as the “Son” and “Holy Ghost” were pagan, and would have made no sense to the monotheistic Jews!
155 Yahweh could not have a “Son” — furthermore, as the “chosen people” the Jews believed they were all the sons and daughters of Yahweh!
156 Such terminology provides strong evidence that the gospels were written by Gentiles presenting their own version of the life and teachings of Jesus.
157 Mark70- + AD Matthew80 – 90 AD Luke80 – 90 AD John100 AD Approximate dates when gospels written
158 With little knowledge of Judaea or Jewish practices, the Gentile authors of the gospels made many errors.
159 “Christianity probably began... with a different idea of the resurrection than is claimed today. The evidence suggests the first Christians, at least up to and including Paul, thought Christ's "soul" was taken up to heaven and clothed in a new body, after leaving his old body in the grave forever. “ Carrier, R.C. (2005). The Spiritual Body of Christ and the Legend of the Empty Tomb. In Price, R.M.; Lowder, J.J., eds. The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.. p. 105.
160 This version did not need a tomb, this story developed later, probably from Egypt as an attempt to glorify Jesus!
161 “ … now there was a man named Joseph from the Jewish town of Arimathea.” Luke 23:51 No record of Arimathea in the Old Testament, Torah, Talmud, or anywhere else, except in the Gospels … Joseph of Arimathea a fictional character.
162 Joseph of Arimathea sealed the tomb of Jesus with a large stone ( Matthew 27:60, Mark 15:46 ), very unlikely.
163 Jesus’ paternal grandfather? Matthew 1:16 says it was Jacob. Luke 3:23 says it was Heli.
164 “The genealogies included in each of the two Gospels are not only different they are incompatible. “ Spong, J.S. (1992), Born of a Woman, p. 48
165 The Ten Commandments. In Mark 10:19, incorrectly cites “do not defraud” as a commandment
166 The Ten Commandments. In Mark 10:19, incorrectly cites “do not defraud” as a commandment Either Jesus did not know the Ten Commandments, or else these words were written by an author not fully aware of the Jewish commandments?
167 Matthew 8:2 “When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; and behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, “ Lepers did not wander freely around the countryside. Leviticus 13:46. “ … he shall dwell alone in a habitation outside the camp.
168 E.g. Luke 3:2 claims there were two high priests Annas and Caiaphas. Annas was deposed in 15 AD, Caiaphas elected 18 AD; John 18:13 claims Caiaphas, “ … was high priest that year.
169 After Jesus’ arrest he was taken directly to the home of Caiaphas (Matthew 26:57; Mark 14:53; Luke 22:54) yet John 18:13 clearly states that he was taken to the home of Annas.
170 Jesus attacks the money lenders in the Temple; ( Matthew 21:12) — two problems!
The traders and money- lenders were in the streets leading to the temple!
172 Fortress Antonio 2.
173 Where was the Sermon on the Mount delivered? Matthew 5:1: When he saw the crowds he went up the hill … and this is the teaching he gave: In this version Jesus delivers nine beatitudes.
174 Where was the Sermon on the Mount delivered? Luke 6:17: He came down the hill with them and took his stand on level ground …. Then turning to his disciples he began to speak [verse 20] In this version Jesus delivers four beatitudes.
175 Who took Jesus down from the cross and placed him in his tomb?
176 Who took Jesus down from the cross and placed him in his tomb? Joseph of Arimathea (Luke 23:53)
177 Who took Jesus down from the cross and placed him in his tomb? The people of Jerusalem (Acts 13:27-29)
178 How did Judas die?
179 How did Judas die? He hanged himself (Matthew 27:5)
180 How did Judas die? He fell down in the field. “ and all his bowels gushed out.” (Acts 1:18)
181 “ … the four gospels … cannot be regarded at all points as reliable and factual reports. … Neither is there agreement about the authenticity of the miracle accounts. ” Holl, A. (1971), Jesus in Bad Company, pp
182 The gospels, written during the latter part of the first century, sought to record oral records of Jesus’ life as well as the beliefs that had evolved by this time …
183 “ … by then, Jesus had become the Christ, the Suffering Saviour and Redeemer of Mankind and the Son of God, it is quite certain that anything in the historical Jesus story that conflicted in any doctrinal way with the then-image of Him was discarded.” Joyce, D. (1973). The Jesus Scroll,. p. 4.
184 “ … the Gospels are also the work of men who believed that they were recording the earthly life of a divine being, whose death was the culminating episode in a divine plan designed to accomplish the salvation of mankind. “ Brandon, S.G.F. (1971). The Trial of Jesus of Nazareth, p. 18.
185 Jesus mythos continued to expand after 70 AD. “So filled are the birth stories of Jesus with legendary details that their historicity collapses when they are placed under the microscope of modern scholarship.” Spong, J.S. (1992), Born of a Woman p. 44.
186 “ … the birth narratives, (of Matthew and Luke) … most analytical scholars, --- now class as midrash, religious teaching conveyed by poetic fancy and allegory, not sober history.” Barnes, E.W. (1948), The Rise of Christianity, pp
188 Christ is the Good Shepherd! So was Horus. Christ is the Lamb of God! So was Horus. Christ is the Bread of Life! So was Horus. Christ is the Truth and the Life! So was Horus. Christ is the Lord! So was Horus. Massey, G, The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Jesus, p. 22
189 MITHRA: Born of a virgin mother in a cave, on rd December; Priests called “fathers”, followers brothers and sisters; As bearer of the keys of heaven he opened the gates of heaven to the faithful; Put to death wearing a crown of thorns; Raised after 3 days. in a rock tomb
191 Concept of “salvation” - saving of the soul from sin, and “survival” in an eternal afterlife, the basis of many religions.
192 “Let me not be rejected …” Egyptian Book of the Dead
193 Salvationism in a new guise.
194 Christianity — Paul’s creation, a synthesis of primitive superstition, Gnosticism, mysticism, and dualism.