People who subscribe to the Jesus Myth Theory argue that there is nothing unique to the incarnation of Jesus. They attempt to draw all sorts of parallels that end up disappearing as soon as you examine them. Far from being a copy of myths, the incarnation of Jesus Christ is very different. Here are four ways in which the incarnation is unique.
- The incarnation is rooted in history. They stories of miraculous births found in myths are placed in the mythic past. There is no connection to history. It is closer to “Once upon a time” or “A long time ago in galaxy far, far away.” The story of Jesus is placed in history and we can date it within a couple of years of accuracy. The biographies of Jesus were written during the lifetime of people who knew him.
- The incarnation of Jesus included a true virginal conception. What mythicists call a virgin birth, is actually sexual intercourse between two gods or a god and a human. The conception of Jesus was a special act of creation and did not include sexual intercourse. God the Father does not have a physical body.
- Jesus was not a demi-god. In the myths, the offspring are often considered to be half god and half human. That is not the case with Jesus. He was an incarnation of the one true God. The New Testament teaches that the pre-incarnation Jesus created all that there is. In the myths, not even the parents of the demi-gods and heroes can claim that.
- The humanity of Jesus was essential. The fact that Jesus was a human being is not just a footnote to the story. The humanity of Jesus was necessary for Jesus to represent the human race when he died on the cross.
The story of Jesus being born in Bethlehem is not just a quaint folktale meant to entertain us. That birth was the coming of God into the world as a human being. It was the bridging of an immeasurable between divinity and humanity. It is absolutely unique and is grounded in fact.
[Jesus] Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:6-8, NIV)