Merry Mithras and a Happy New Year

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season. I trust you had an amazing Thanksgiving, that you’re enjoying the Christmas music on the radio, and I also hope that you recognize that Jesus is just a re-imagined myth of Horus—check out this documentary. Your beliefs are a lie, Stupid Christian!

Oh, no!

That’s right.

I almost forgot that Christmas brings out the most unreasonable stupidity in the ‘skeptical’ community. Chances are you’ve encountered the claim that Jesus wasn’t a real, historical person, and that he is actually an invention; a copy-cat from earlier mythological people.

As a bit of history, the popularity of this line of thinking began in 2007 with a wonderfully misinformed ‘documentary’ known as Zeitgeist. If you haven’t seen it as yet, I strongly suggest that you do (it’s on YouTube), just to be culturally aware of what your 14 year old nephew will be watching at his goofy friends’ houses. Or to know what those Internet Atheists will be posting in the weeks surrounding Christmas because watching Netflix makes them the foremost expert on all topics.

Fast-forward a few years, and nearly all of humanity has rejected this mythology about Jesus being reincarnated mythology. Experts have publicly denounced the conspiracies put out by Zeitgeist’s director, Peter Joseph. But that doesn’t stop people from creating delightful memes (like this) that promote the message of the movie.

It is hard to know what the point of memes like this is. For the sake of discussion, let’s grant the list of similarities. What argument is being presented?

  1. Jesus has some similarities to some pre-Christian mythical beings.
  2. ??????????
  3. Therefore, Jesus didn’t exist and is just a reincarnation of these pre-Christian mythical deities.

As this Wikipedia article points out, there are many similarities between the historic Titanic and the pre-Titanic, fictional story of the Titantic, but that doesn’t mean that the Titanic story is false. A similar story that predates a real does not negate the real event automatically.

But more importantly, is it reasonable to think that there are similarities between Jesus and the pre-Christian mythologies at all?

Of course not. Anyone who promotes this message has done no research. They haven’t read the primary source documents. They haven’t looked into the facts of the matter. And worst of all, they’re deliberately promoting a message that they haven’t even bothered to confirm.

Over the last few years, I’ve compiled a fairly extensive list of sources that completely destroy the arguments presented by Zeitgeist and the subsequent memes.

If you want some Christian Apologetics resources, here’s an awesome list:

  • Dr Glenn Peoples has a post that he calls “Copycat Theories” here, and he has a podcast where he shows how remarkably silly the Zeitgeist is… here. I love this episode. If you’re going to listen to one thing on this, listen to this.
  • Mary Jo Sharp has written a post called “Flawed Theory in Zeitgeist, the Movie
  • Jonathan McLatchie presents a handful of point-by-point rebuttals to many of the claims made by Zeitgeist, over at the Christian Apologetics UK blog, here.
  • Dr. William Lane Craig has responded to some of the claims made in Zeitgeist here (article), and here (Q&A video).
  • Are Ancient Myths, Like Osiris and Horus, the Foundation for Jesus’ Life? Dr. Mark Foreman addresses the claim here.
  • Stand to Reason has a post called “The Zeitgeist Movie & Other Myth Claims About Jesus” where Greg Koukl explains why we believe Jesus of Nazareth was a real historical figure, and not the others. And that is because there are “… good primary source documentation… for Jesus of Nazareth and not for the others.”

Perhaps Christian Apologetics isn’t really your thing and you’d rather listen to atheists tear apart this kind of thinking? Well, Merry Christmas, my friend:

And there you have it. I hope you enjoy these resources—I know I have. And remember… if someone you know makes the claim (or posts the meme) that Jesus = Mithras = Horus, you don’t have to defend the contrary right out of the gate. They are the ones who are making the claim—they shoulder the burden of proof.

But hey… if you want to dive on in to destroy the nonsense, perhaps you can start by linking to this post. I’m sure it’ll  be a good conversation starter.

And, for something a little less academic, but possibly more effective, check out this video!

Photo by Tallis Keeton via Flickr

Elijah Thompson