|Isn't the Jesus story just a retelling or 'copycat' of earlier godmen stories?|
|No. The first time I heard this theory, I was in a chat room and
a person came in listing comparisons between Jesus and Horus (such as that
Horus was also born of a virgin, had 12 disciples, resurrected someone named
El-Azarus, was crucified and resurrected, etc.). Wanting to see if
this was true, I hit a few websites about Egyptian mythology so I could read
the Horus story for myself. None of them gave any such details, and
even said things which clearly contradicted this person's claims. I
also went to my local library, and even a bookstore, looking at books on
Egyptian mythology, and found nothing in the way of comparisons to Jesus.
I then went to as many websites as I could find where similar lists
were given, and asked the people running the websites to back up their claims.
I heard back from only two of them, one of whom agreed that the list
was probably bogus and agreed to take it down. The other was Acharya
S, the author of "The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold" who
claimed the list was valid, but couldn't name one unbiased source to back
it up (to see the content of our discussion,
click here). I then
found a couple of Christian sites that had already discussed the supposed
'comparisons' between Jesus and Horus, as well as His supposed comparisons
to other ancient godmen. Their work was quite thorough, and what I'm
posting on my site here is simply a summary of their work, plus my own research
into these (and other) godmen stories. Their lists can be seen at
The Copycat Thesis and
Jesus A Copycat?.
Of course, as you'll see on my pages, there are a few (very few) valid similarities. So what does this mean? Honestly, not much.
Look at this list of comparisons between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy:
1. Both Lincoln and Kennedy were elected to Congress in '46
(1846 in Lincoln's case, 1946 in Kennedy's). Both became President
By the logic of the critics, this list is absolute, undeniable proof that John F. Kennedy is a fictional character based on Abraham Lincoln. Of course, I haven't verified all of the items on this list, so it's possible that some are untrue. But by the logic of the critics, that doesn't matter. A list with untrue items will do just fine, right? The reason that this list really doesn't mean much is that we're looking ONLY at what they have in common. For each thing they do have in common, there are dozens of differences between them. It's the same with Jesus and the earlier deities. There are a few similarities in some cases (though not nearly as many as the critics would have you believe), but the differences far outweight them. If you're open-minded, I challenge you to read any or all of the four New Testament gospels and then read the mythology of the other deities for yourself (there are many books and websites available).
So why are people who are so skeptical of the claims made by Christianity so gullable as to believe these supposed comparisons with pre-Christian religious figures without asking for evidence? There's a definite lack of critical thinking on their part when it comes to these lists. There are many who seem to want to believe that Christianity is a copycat religion and thus accept any evidence that they feel backs up their beliefs whether that evidence is truthful or not. Being a relatively recent convert to Christianity myself, I am fully aware that not all non-Christians are as deceitful as those who create and spread these bogus lists. Many non-Christians are honest and ethical people, and give valid arguments. The few who spread obvious lies in pathetic attempts to keep people from Jesus give the rest of them a bad name.
Here are the individual pages of mine with the truth about the comparisons between Jesus and the other religious figures. If anyone feels that I have erred, please E-mail me to inform me of what my error is. Anyone who wants to argue in favor of the Jesus story borrowing from the earlier godmen stories, all I ask is that you back your information up with unbiased evidence, such as websites giving the godmen stories or the names of unbiased books where I can see the information for myself. If I'm wrong about anything, I will gladly fix my error (I've already fixed a few). Just E-mail me at David@KingDavid8.com and I will post whatever evidence you want to offer.
By the way, I recently had a discussion with a reader over the argument that the early church fathers acknowledged similarities with pre-Christian religious figures and wrote it off as being "diabolical mimicry". To see our discussion, go to Letters: Diabolical Mimicry.
Please send me E-mail at David@KingDavid8.com.
The Copycat Thesis
Jesus A Copycat?