The Jesus myth theory (the idea that there was no historical Jesus and that the Christ of the Gospels is based on pagan myths) has become quite popular in recent years. I have talked to numerous people who are very much convinced that it is true and believe those who accept a historical Jesus are foolish. I believe that Jesus was real and that he has nothing to do with pagan myths. Here are some reasons.
1. The Gospels are good historical sources. The Gospels have been shown to be ancient biographies with a strong historical nature. They are good historically aside from their religious purpose.
2. Paul’s letters are early testimonies of Jesus. Paul believed in a historical Jesus. He quoted Jesus sayings and recounted some of the events in his life.
3. Josephus speaks about Jesus. It is not true that this passage is a forgery. Josephus had a basic statement about Jesus which a later Christian embellished.
4. Christianity emerged out of a Jewish context. The earliest Christians were from a Jewish background and would not have built a Messiah out of pagan myths.
5. Most myths do not include a virgin birth. While mythicists claim that Horus, Dionysus and Mithras were born of a virgin, that is simply not true. Horus and Dionysus were conceived through intercourse and Mithras was born from a rock.
6. These pagan gods were not crucified. Again, mythicists claim Horus, Dionysus and Mithras were crucified. Horus was stung by a scorpion and Dionysus and Mithras never died. Mythicists doe not want people to read the actual myths.
7. Jesus was not born on December 25. Mythicists point to suggestions that these god men were born on December 25. It is not clear how many of them were born on that day, and even so it was actually the winter solstice. This does not mean anything as the Bible never claims that Jesus was born on December 25.
Was Jesus created as a Jewish version of pagan gods? No. The evidence goes completely against it. If you want a fuller discussion on this topic, read Unmasking the Pagan Christ.