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The Birth Of A Myth - Summary

Posted by RIP Joe Bloe , 06 April 2010 · 355 views

For a longer version of this story check out "The Birth Of A Myth"

The pagans worshiped a son of god who was born at the Winter Solstice, on or about 25 December. He spent his time on earth doing good until he was killed by his enemies – but he didn't stay dead. He rose up and went to live with the other gods – but promised that he would return and judge all mankind according to their deeds.

Back in the days of Ezekiel (8:14) and Jeremiah (10:3-4) the Jews were already worshiping some of those pagan gods, and a few hundred years later, Daniel (chapter 12) casually refers to the resurrection of the dead at the end of time. It was the first time that pagan ideas were included in Jewish holy books.

The Jews enjoyed self-rule for about 100 years after the time of Daniel, but once again came under foreign domination when they were conquered by the Romans in 63 BC. Many prayed that god would send a “messiah” to lead them to freedom. They were familiar with the book of Daniel and they knew that some of his ideas came from the pagans, and that got them wondering…

Maybe the Jewish messiah was similar to the pagan “sons of god”. Maybe he had appeared in the holy land way back in the dim, distant past. Maybe he had died. Maybe he had come back to life. Maybe he had ascended into heaven. And maybe he was preparing to return to earth to judge all mankind. After all, Daniel had made it clear that such things could happen.

Naturally people wanted to know more about this messiah and there was always somebody ready to provide the details. His name was Joshua – Joshua the Messiah (which would be later translated into Greek as Jesus Christ). He was the “son of god” and he was as good as any of the pagan sons of gods being worshiped at that time:

The pagan son of god healed the sick – so did our messiah.
The pagan son of god rose from the dead – so did our messiah.
The pagan son of god changed water into wine – so did our messiah
The pagan son of god will return to judge all mankind – so will our messiah.

In 10 AD Philo wrote about one of these Jewish groups known as the Theraputae and 300 years later Eusebius declared them to be the very first Christians. They weren't – the term “Christian” hadn't been invented in 10 AD – but it's not surprising that the mistake was made, because the story told by the Theraputae was pretty much the same as that which Eusebius was reading in his own “New Testament”.

The idea spread and soon there were “messiah worshiping” churches in towns and cities all over the Roman Empire – but not in Jerusalem. That city was controlled by the temple priests, and no way were they going to let a bunch of rebel Jews start up a new religion in their jurisdiction.

It was about 30 AD when James, John, Peter and Stephen opened a Church in Jerusalem, and right away the temple priests went on the attack. They hired a gang of thugs to get rid of them. One of these bruisers was Saul of Tarsus (later known as Paul) and he boasts, in Acts 7:54-60, that he was there when Stephen was stoned to death.

Ten years later Paul changed sides and converted to the new religion. He tried preaching to the Jews, but Peter put a stop to that, and Paul found himself preaching only to the Gentiles.

As it turned out, the Jews eventually lost interest in “messiah worship” but the Gentiles stuck with it, and it was they who became known as “Christians”.

The pagans (and the very early “messiah worshipers”) had always known that their son of god was a mythical character from the world of the supernatural, but the Gentile Christians came to the opinion that Joshua the Messiah (whom they called Jesus the Christ) was an historical character who had lived on earth just a few decades earlier. They no longer regarded him as a myth and the stories about him were now interpreted literally rather than symbolically.

Two thousand years later and they're still at it...