“Christ Jesus” (as he is called by early Christian writer Paul. It literally means “Anointed Savior” or “Savior Messiah”) or Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (as he is called by later gospel writers) is the mythical figure at the centre of the Christian religion.
Christians would have you believe that there really was a figure called “Jesus Christ” who walked the earth, performed a bunch of miracles, died “for our sins” and ascended into heaven.
But the evidence suggests that it is unlikely that the mythical “Annointed Savior” was even based on a real person!
Articles Worth Reading:
Earl Doherty: Putting the Jesus Puzzle Together in 12 Easy Steps
Doherty examined the evidence for Jesus at great length in The Jesus Puzzle, but 12 Easy Steps explains the core problems with the Jesus myth. Here’s a taste:
Paul and other early writers speak of the divine Son of their faith entirely in terms of a spiritual, heavenly figure; they never identify this entity called “Christ Jesus” (literally, “Anointed Savior” or “Savior Messiah”) as a man who had lived and died in recent history. … Paul makes it clear that his knowledge and message about the Christ is derived from scripture under God’s inspiration.
Christ’s features and myths are in many ways similar to those of the Greco-Roman salvation cults of the time known as “mystery religions”, each having its own savior god or goddess. Most of these (e.g., Dionysos, Mithras, Attis, Isis, Osiris) were part of myths in which the deity had overcome death in some way, or performed some act which conferred benefits and salvation on their devotees. Such activities were viewed as taking place in the upper spirit realm, not on earth or in history.
Frank R. Zindler: Did Jesus Even Exist?
Zindler Systematically debunks “biblical evidence” for the existence of Jesus. The article is worth reading in full, but here’s a taste:
Despite the claims of Christian apologists, there is absolutely nothing in the Old Testament (OT) that is of relevance to our question, apart from the possible fact that some prophets may have thought that an “anointed one” (a rescuer king or priest) would once again assume the leadership of the Jewish world.
The name Jesus occurs only seven times in the entire book [Revelations], Christ only four times, and Jesus Christ only twice! While Revelation may very well derive from a very early period (contrary to the views of most biblical scholars, who deal with the book only in its final form), the Jesus of which it whispers obviously is not a man. He is a supernatural being.
The notion that the four “gospels that made the cut” to be included in the official New Testament were written by men named Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John does not go back to early Christian times.
The…Pauline letters…are so completely silent concerning the events that were later recorded in the gospels as to suggest that these events were not known to Paul, who, however, could not have been ignorant of them if they had really occurred.
If there was a Jesus, these people would have noticed:
by Frank R Zindler
John E. Remsburg, in his classic book The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidence of His Existence (The Truth Seeker Company, NY, no date, pp. 24-25), lists the following writers who lived during the time, or within a century after the time, that Jesus is supposed to have lived:
Justus of Tiberius
Appion of Alexandria
Theon of Smyrn
According to Remsburg, “Enough of the writings of the authors named in the foregoing list remains to form a library. Yet in this mass of Jewish and Pagan literature, aside from two forged passages in the works of a Jewish author, and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there is to be found no mention of Jesus Christ.” Nor, we may add, do any of these authors make note of the Disciples or Apostles – increasing the embarrassment from the silence of history concerning the foundation of Christianity.
Christ’s features and myths are in many ways similar to those of the Greco-Roman salvation cults of the time known as “mystery religions”, each having its own savior god or goddess. – Earl Doherty
Just how unique is this Jesus concept? Were elements of the Jesus story inspired by the stories associated with other gods in the Graeco-Roman world, and even further back in time?