Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:02 pm
Location: Klamath Falls, OR
meh, actually Santa was a composite of several characters including St. Nicholas and others. Same with Jesus, he's a collage of characters. The fact remains that there's no core to the onion."Numerous parallels have been drawn between Santa Claus and the figure of Odin, a major god amongst the Germanic peoples prior to their Christianization."
The claim by ApostateAbe that: "The hypothesis that Jesus was a composite of many mythical characters seems to be little more than the imaginings of authors in the 19th century who wanted to believe in that idea but did not seem to have much in the way of ancient evidence."
You don't seem to be aware of 2 John 1:7: "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
The Gnostic sect of Docetism denied Jesus had come in the flesh. If he didn't come in the flesh then he never existed except mythically. Abe, you can now stop repeating nonsense like it was all made up in the 19th century because that is a lie that gets repeated across the net. The concept that Jesus is a composite character is based on overwhelming evidence, as even more honest Christian NT scholars concede:
"...Christian scholars over the centuries have admitted that ... "there are parallels between the Mysteries and Christianity"1 and that "the miracle stories of the Gospels do in fact parallel literary forms found in pagan and Jewish miracle stories,"2 "...According to Form Criticism the Gospels are more like folklore and myth than historical fact."3See more Christians quotes here
1. Metzger, HLS, 8.
2. Meier, II, 536.
3. Geisler, CA, 320.
- Who Was Jesus? 259
There are two simple insights to keep in mind when it comes to the mythicist position:
1. When the mythological layers of the story are removed, there is no core to the onion.
2. A composite of 20 people is no one. In other words, a collage of 20 different people whether historical or mythical or both, is simply not one person and never will be.
^And that's fine, but as Gerald Massey summed up in The Historical Jesus & The Mythical Christ- "..., a composite likeness of twenty different persons merged in one, that is not anybody."
I actually think that the comparison between Jesus Christ and Santa Claus is a good one. Just as the character of Santa Claus was not apparently a composite of other mythical characters, there seem to be no good reasons to think that Jesus Christ was any different. The hypothesis that Jesus was a composite of many mythical characters seems to be little more than the imaginings of authors in the 19th century who wanted to believe in that idea but did not seem to have much in the way of ancient evidence.
Hi, Freethinkuluva. I hope you had a merry Christmas and a happy new year. I am obligated to give you respect for leading me to knowledge that I didn't have before. There is actually good evidence that the character of Santa Claus adopted character traits from at least one other character, which was Odin. "Chris Chringle" just seems to be another name of Santa Claus, though I could be wrong on that point, too. Maybe the character of Jesus likewise adopted character traits from other ancient figures. The claim that Jesus is a composite of 20
or so different characters still seems to be a stretch, though I would give it more plausibility than I did before, in light of Santa Claus being a composite of at least two. Maybe I ought to still hold back somewhat, because Santa Claus would be a myth of conscious falsehoods told from adults (informed of other myths) to children (uninformed of other myths), which is seemingly where the analogy to religious figures weakens, because religious myths are told to and from people and almost everyone believes, and there would seem to be little reason for outside myths to be integrated. Well, as always, I am open to be influenced by the primary relevant evidence.
Evidence from the second century CE, such as 2 John 1:7, is appropriate for that end, in my opinion. We need to make the most probable sense of evidence like that. According to ancient Christian heresiologists, the ancient Christian docetists apparently believed that Jesus was a ghostly divine figure but he seemed
to be a human being (dokeo = "seem"). When Jesus was seemingly crucified, the docetists believed that it was all a divine trick, and Jesus never really died at all, because gods cannot die. We have many ancient sources that wrote about docetism, but the docetists were never accused of believing in a Jesus who was merely myth
, at least not according to the evidence that remains. The docetists believed Jesus was like a phantom. This belief would be expected from the ancient Grecco-Roman way of thought that the gods and men were two distinct essences belonging to two distinct realms, and it made no sense at the time to believe that a person could be fully god and fully man at the same time, though of course Heracles was believed to be half man and half god. The orthodox belief that Jesus was fully god and fully man is normal today but it seemed too bizarre to many of the ancients, and docetism was a way to solve that problem. They believed that Jesus was fully god and no part man.
The ancient source that wrote most fully about docetism was Tertullian, in Book III Chapter 8 of "Against Marcion." This is where we would expect to learn about the docetic perspective. Tertullian uses about the same phrasing here as in 2 John 1:7--"Christ had come in the flesh."Our heretic must now cease to borrow poison from the Jew--"the asp," as the adage runs, "from the viper"--and henceforth vomit forth the virulence of his own disposition, as when he alleges Christ to be a phantom. Except, indeed, that this opinion of his will be sure to have others to maintain it in his precocious and somewhat abortive Marcionites, whom the Apostle John designated as antichrists, when they denied that Christ had come in the flesh; not that they did this with the view of establishing the right of the other god (for on this point also they had been branded by the same apostle), but because they had started with assuming the incredibility of an incarnate God. Now, the more firmly the antichrist Marcion had seized this assumption, the more prepared was he, of course, to reject the bodily substance of Christ, since he had introduced his very god to our notice as neither the author nor the restorer of the flesh; and for this very reason, to be sure, as pre-eminently good, and most remote from the deceits and fallacies of the Creator. His Christ, therefore, in order to avoid all such deceits and fallacies, and the imputation, if possible, of belonging to the Creator, was not what he appeared to be, and feigned himself to be what he was not--incarnate without being flesh, human without being man, and likewise a divine Christ without being God! But why should he not have propagated also the phantom of God? Can I believe him on the subject of the internal nature, who was all wrong touching the external substance? How will it be possible to believe him true on a mystery, when he has been found so false on a plain fact? How, moreover, when he confounds the truth of the spirit with the error of the flesh, could he combine within himself that communion of light and darkness, or truth and error, which the apostle says cannot co-exist? [2 Corinthians 6:14] Since however, Christ's being flesh is now discovered to be a lie, it follows that all things which were done by the flesh of Christ were done untruly,--every act of intercourse, of contact, of eating or drinking, yea, His very miracles. If with a touch, or by being touched, He freed any one of a disease, whatever was done by any corporeal act cannot be believed to have been truly done in the absence of all reality in His body itself. Nothing substantial can be allowed to have been effected by an unsubstantial thing; nothing full by a vacuity. If the habit were putative, the action was putative; if the worker were imaginary, the works were imaginary. On this principle, too, the sufferings of Christ will be found not to warrant faith in Him. For He suffered nothing who did not truly suffer; and a phantom could not truly suffer. God's entire work, therefore, is subverted. Christ's death, wherein lies the whole weight and fruit of the Christian name, is denied although the apostle asserts it so expressly as undoubtedly real, making it the very foundation of the gospel, of our salvation and of his own preaching. "I have delivered unto you before all things," says he, "how that Christ died for our sins, and that he was buried, and that He rose again the third day." Besides, if His flesh is denied, how is His death to be asserted; for death is the proper suffering of the flesh, which returns through death back to the earth out of which it was taken, according to the law of its Maker? Now, if His death be denied, because of the denial of His flesh, there will be no certainty of His resurrection. For He rose not, for the very same reason that He died not, even because He possessed not the reality of the flesh, to which as death accrues, so does resurrection likewise. Similarly, if Christ's resurrection be nullified, ours also is destroyed. If Christ's resurrection be not realized, neither shall that be for which Christ came. For just as they, who said that there is no resurrection of the dead, are refuted by the apostle from the resurrection of Christ, so, if the resurrection of Christ falls to the ground, the resurrection of the dead is also swept away. And so our faith is vain, and vain also is the preaching of the apostles. Moreover, they even show themselves to be false witnesses of God, because they testified that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise. And we remain in our sins still. [1 Corinthians 15:13-18] And those who have slept in Christ have perished; destined, forsooth, to rise again, but perhaps in a phantom state, just like Christ.
What is your take on this evidence?