I just finished reading Euripides play The Bacchae. This is a very important ancient writing as it is one of our best texts for understanding the Dionysus cult. This is of importance to me as Dionysus is one of the most frequent gods presented as an inspiration for the Jesus story by proponents of the Jesus myth hypothesis. The claim is that Dionysus was virgin born, had followers, was arrested and persecuted, all exactly like Jesus. The problem is when you actually read the text. Dionysus is not virgin born. Zeus impregnates a human woman through sexual intercourse but she is killed by one of his thunderbolts while she is still pregnant. Zeus takes the baby and sews him to his thigh until he is fully ready to be born. There was nothing virgin about it! Dionysus is arrested as his female followers who are roaming the countryside in wild worship and partying are causing concern for the men. However, Dionysus is not killed. He escapes and destroys the palace. He then takes the leader, dresses him up as a woman, promising him to show him the worship of his followers, reveals that he is a male in front of the wild crowd, and encourages them, beginning with the man’s mother, to tear the leader apart and kill him. While an interesting story, one can not help but see how far this is from the Gospel story. For those who embrace the Jesus myth theory, I strongly encourage you to read this story itself rather than summaries of the story presented in biblical language.