Jesus mythicists argue that Jesus never existed and the Jesus of the Gospels are based on pagan god-men, mostly Egyptian and Greek. I have examined the myths and have not found the parallels they claim. I have examined the historical evidence for Jesus and have found it more than adequate.
Here are seven reasons why I reject the Jesus myth theory.
But for the sake of argument, let’s pretend that there wasn’t evidence for Jesus and let’s pretend that Adonis, Attis, Dionysus, Horus and Mithras really were dying and rising gods (even though they aren’t). If the Jesus myth is true, let’s attempt to get into the minds of those who created the myth.
We need to ask who did create the Jesus myth? I expect that most mythicists would agree that Paul’s letters are earlier than the Gospels. Paul’s letters are our earliest Christian writings.
Did Paul make up the Jesus myth? It seems unlikely as he indicates that there was a Jerusalem community of disciples before him (Galatians 1-2). Paul met with Peter and John (two of the Twelve, who some mythicists also claim as mythical) and James the brother of Jesus.
What would be the motivation of the earliest Christians to invent a Jesus who supposedly was active in the same area of Judea where they were living only a couple of years before they created the myth? It is so unlike other myths which are far removed from the events and are rarely anchored in historical events.
So was there a Jewish group (Peter, James and John?) who wanted to introduce a pagan style rising and dying myth? And if so, how would such a plan do in Roman occupied Judea where compromise with the Gentiles was looked down on strongly? There was plenty of variety within Judaism, but they did not go to the Gentiles for religious inspiration. The Roman occupation only made them hold onto their traditions tighter.
What about Paul? Presumably, if the Jesus myth is correct, he knew that Jesus was a myth. But why would he be interested in sharing another dying and rising god if there already plenty of them among the Gentiles? The Jewish trappings of the Jesus story would not attract the Gentiles as there were strong anti-Jewish feelings and resentment.
Did Paul believe in a historical Jesus? Read my article here.
To be honest, I just can’t get my head around how a Jesus myth could get started in the first place. It is not just the same as how every other myth started. The Jesus of the Gospels is claimed to have interacted with historical people who were still alive when the myth supposedly began.
To me, the Jesus of the Gospels and of Paul makes more sense by seeing him emerge from actual historical events.