The Messiah Myth


Now that almost two weeks have gone by since Christmas it’s time to reflect on it’s (historical) meaning beyond the shopping discounts, santa hats and incessant cheesy music.

We know that Christmas falls on two different dates depending on whether you follow the Gregorian or Julian (orthodox) calendars.

We know that many Christmas traditions were poached and re-purposed from rituals and traditions that predate the birth of Jesus, regardless of which calendar you adhere to: the 12-days of Christmas (christmastide) originated from the ancient Germanic mid-winter, more recently Norse, festival of Yule; the tradition of gift giving and partying came from the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia; the Western Christian church settled on December 25 based on the ancient Roman date of the winter solstice; holiday lights came from the ancient pagans who lit bonfires and candles on the winter solstice to celebrate the return of the light.

And, let’s not forget the now ubiquitous westernized Santa Claus. We know that Santa has evolved over the centuries from a melting pot of European traditions including those surrounding Saint Nicolas, who was born to a Greek family in Asia Minor (Greek Anatolia in present-day Turkey), and the white-bearded Norse god, Odin.

So, what of Jesus? We know that the gospels describing him are contradictory, written by different, anonymous and usually biased authors, and at different times, often decades after the reported fact. We have no eye-witness accounts. We lack a complete record — there is no account for Jesus’ years 12-30. Indeed, religion aside, many scholars, now question the historic existence of Jesus, the man.

From Big Think:

Today, several books approach the subject, including Zealot by Reza Aslan, Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All by David Fitzgerald, and How Jesus Became God by Bart Ehrman. Historian Richard Carrier in his 600 page monograph: On the Historicity of Jesus, writes that the story may have derived from earlier semi-divine beings from Near East myth, who were murdered by demons in the celestial realm. This would develop over time into the gospels, he said. Another theory is that Jesus was a historical figure who become mythicized later on.

Carrier believes the pieces added to the work of Josephus were done by Christian scribes. In one particular passage, Carrier says that the execution by Pilate of Jesus was obviously lifted from the Gospel of Luke. Similar problems such as miscopying and misrepresentations are found throughout Tacitus. So where do all the stories in the New Testament derive? According to Carrier, Jesus may be as much a mythical figure as Hercules or Oedipus.

Ehrman focuses on the lack of witnesses. “What sorts of things do pagan authors from the time of Jesus have to say about him? Nothing. As odd as it may seem, there is no mention of Jesus at all by any of his pagan contemporaries. There are no birth records, no trial transcripts, no death certificates; there are no expressions of interest, no heated slanders, no passing references – nothing.”

One biblical scholar holds an even more radical idea, that Jesus story was an early form of psychological warfare to help quell a violent insurgency. The Great Revolt against Rome occurred in 66 BCE. Fierce Jewish warriors known as the Zealots won two decisive victories early on. But Rome returned with 60,000 heavily armed troops. What resulted was a bloody war of attrition that raged for three decades.

 Atwill contends that the Zealots were awaiting the arrival of a warrior messiah to throw off the interlopers. Knowing this, the Roman court under Titus Flavius decided to create their own, competing messiah who promoted pacifism among the populous. According to Atwill, the story of Jesus was taken from many sources, including the campaigns of a previous Caesar.

Of course, there may very well have been a Rabbi Yeshua ben Yosef (as would have been Jesus’s real name) who gathered a flock around his teachings in the first century. Most antiquarians believe a real man existed and became mythicized. But the historical record itself is thin.

Read the entire article here.

Image:  “Merry Old Santa Claus”, by Thomas Nast,  January 1, 1881 edition of Harper’s Weekly. Public Domain.

65 thoughts on “The Messiah Myth”

  1. Right here is the right webpage for everyone who hopes to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally will need laugh out loud). You certainly put a brand new spin on a topic that has been written about for many years. Excellent stuff, just excellent!

  2. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did
    you hire out a designer to create your theme? Exceptional work!

  3. It is the best time to make a few plans for the longer term and it’s time to be happy.
    I’ve read this post and if I may I desire to recommend you few
    fascinating things or advice. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles regarding this article.
    I wish to read more issues approximately it!

  4. This is really fascinating, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your
    fantastic post. Additionally, I have shared your website in my
    social networks

  5. Hi are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you
    require any coding expertise to make your own blog?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  6. Hey! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a
    group of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done
    a wonderful job!

  7. Hi! I’ve been reading your site for a while now
    and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give
    you a shout out from Houston Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the great work!

  8. Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress
    or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed ..
    Any suggestions? Appreciate it!

  9. Torsemide No Prescription Australia [url=]Cheap Deltasone[/url] Levitra Generika Strips Cialis Alle Erbe Effetti Collaterali [url=]Kamagra Gel Oral[/url] Amoxicillin 350mg Tid For 7 Days Propecia Success Stories [url=]Buy Cialis Online Usa[/url] Side Affects To Amoxicillin In Children Prednisolone For Sale [url=]Generic Propecia Cvs[/url] Viagra Eccitazione Metamucil Taken With Amoxicillin [url=]Buy Cheap Cialis On Line[/url] Viagra Sale In Canada Amoxilline Antibiotique Penicillines [url=]Buy Viagra Online[/url] Isotretinoin Find Acheter Kamagra Gel [url=]Buy Cheap Zoloft Site[/url] Donde Puedo Conseguir Viagra Levitra Uk Generic [url=]Buy Kamagra Online[/url] Dapoxetine Buy Priligy Argentina Venta [url=]Buying Cialis Online[/url] Amoxicillin Long Term Effects Dapoxetina Indicaciones [url=]Cialis Online No[/url] Canadian Generic Levitra Is 25mg Viagra Enough [url=]Viagra Discount Sales[/url] Renova Cialis Chiasso [url=]Cialis Order[/url] Pharmacy Viagra Prices Viagra Cialis Wirkung [url=]Zoloft Online Usa[/url] Viagra Via American Express Card Zithromax Swollen Lymph Nodes [url=]Cheap Kamagra Usa[/url] Generic Company Propecia Bystolic Canadan Provider [url=]Kamagra Chewable[/url] Oral Amoxil Solution Where Can I Get Zithromax Over The Counter [url=]Priligy Usa[/url] Lilly Icos Cialis Cephalexin Medication [url=]Cheap Viagra Online[/url] Buy Propecia Online Usa Louer Levitra [url=]Cialis 40mg[/url] Bronchitis Zithromax Smart Rx Online [url=]Cheap Viagra 100mg[/url] Zithromax With Alcohol Cialis Pour Femme [url=]Brand Cialis Online[/url] Acheter Tadalis Sx France Viagra Online Bari [url=]Cialis Cheap[/url] Macrobid 100mg Where To Buy Canadian Express Pharmacy [url=]Kamagra Pill[/url] Propecia 15 Rebate Buy Zofran From Mexican Pharmacy [url=]Generic Viagra Online[/url] Buy Doxycycline With No Prescription Pills For You 24 Basket Htm [url=]Propecia Cost Usa[/url] Domperidone New Zealand Pharmacy Cialis Achat Belgique [url=]Zoloft Free Trial[/url] 2 Day Shipping On Viagra 1.25 Mg Propecia Finasteride [url=]Cheapest Cialis[/url] Como Tomar Compra Kamagra Brand Name Propecia Become Pregnant [url=]Viagra Cost[/url] Online Deltasone No Prescription Cialis Commenti [url=]Buy Sertraline Online Uk[/url] Levitra Vantaggi Keflex For Bv [url=]Deltasone Tablet[/url] Propecia Tra Amici Tomar Viagra Anos [url=]Brand Zoloft Online[/url] Levitra Mejor Que Viagra Nimesulide [url=]Buy Cialis[/url] Viagra Alternativen Test Ic Cephalexin [url=]How To Buy Lasix[/url] Rxmeds Hub Puedo Tomar Cialis Y Alcohol [url=]Buy Viagra[/url] Cheap Celebrex Amoxicillin Clavulanate Potassium Tablet Nausia [url=]Order Kamagra[/url] Hplc Amoxicillin Protocols

  10. You really make it seem so easy together with your presentation but I find this topic to be really
    one thing that I think I’d by no means understand. It kind of feels
    too complicated and extremely huge for me. I’m taking a
    look ahead in your next post, I’ll attempt to get the hold of it!

  11. A person essentially help to make seriously articles I’d state.
    This is the first time I frequented your website page and up to now?
    I surprised with the research you made to make this particular submit
    extraordinary. Wonderful activity!

  12. I’m curious to find out what blog system you happen to be utilizing?
    I’m experiencing some small security problems with
    my latest blog and I would like to find something more safeguarded.
    Do you have any recommendations?

  13. Hey there are using WordPress for your site platform?

    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you need
    any coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  14. I believe everything said was very reasonable. However, what about this?
    what if you were to write a killer headline? I am not saying your content is not solid, however suppose you added a post
    title that grabbed a person’s attention? I mean The Messiah Myth | theDiagonal is a little boring.
    You should look at Yahoo’s home page and watch how they create article headlines to grab people to open the links.
    You might add a related video or a related pic or two to get people interested about what you’ve got to say.
    In my opinion, it could bring your posts a little livelier.

  15. An interesting dialogue is value comment. I believe that you should write extra on this subject, it won’t be a taboo topic however generally persons are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  16. Neat blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from
    somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out.
    Please let me know where you got your theme.
    Thank you

  17. I was suggested this website by way of my cousin. I’m now not certain whether this post is written via him as no
    one else recognise such unique approximately my difficulty.
    You are incredible! Thank you!

  18. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after reading through some
    of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

  19. Ahaa, its fastidious conversation on the topic of
    this piece of writing here at this website, I have read all that, so now me also
    commenting at this place.

  20. Excellent website you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any forums that
    cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get comments from
    other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know.

  21. Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking
    and checking back frequently!

  22. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site provided us with valuable info
    to work on. You have done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  23. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics
    to drive the message home a bit, but other than that,
    this is great blog. A great read. I will certainly be

  24. I’ll right away clutch your rss feed as I can’t in finding your email subscription link or newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me understand in order that I may subscribe.

  25. I’ve been browsing online more than 4 hours today,
    yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth
    enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made
    good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever

  26. Somebody necessarily help to make critically articles
    I might state. That is the very first time I frequented your web page and to this
    point? I surprised with the analysis you made to make this
    particular put up amazing. Magnificent job!

  27. naturally like your web site but you need to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts.

    A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very
    bothersome to inform the reality on the other hand I
    will definitely come back again.

  28. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  29. I am usually to running a blog and i really admire your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your site and preserve checking for brand new information.

  30. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you, However I am experiencing difficulties with your RSS.

    I don’t understand why I am unable to subscribe
    to it. Is there anybody getting similar RSS problems?

    Anybody who knows the answer can you kindly respond?

  31. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My blog site is in the very same niche as yours and my users would certainly benefit from a lot of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Thanks!

  32. Hello terrific website! Does running a blog such as this take a massive amount work? I’ve absolutely no expertise in computer programming but I had been hoping to start my own blog in the near future. Anyway, if you have any recommendations or tips for new blog owners please share. I understand this is off topic but I simply wanted to ask. Cheers!

  33. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  34. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information particularly the final part 🙂 I deal with such info a lot. I was looking for this certain info for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  35. I have been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.

    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and
    bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  36. I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for fantastic information I was looking for this
    information for my mission.

  37. you’re in point of fact a excellent webmaster. The site loading pace
    is amazing. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick. Moreover,
    The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a great task in this subject!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.