The Jesus Myth | Did Christ really exist?

For your enjoyment and edification, I have created a new article from Barbara G. Walker’s fabulous book Man Made God, which I edited and published. I believe you will really enjoy this fascinating piece, so be sure to check it out!

The Jesus Myth

by Barbara G. Walker

Thanks to centuries of the most insistent and aggressive indoctrination campaign the world has ever seen, the biography of Jesus is more familiar to more people than any other. Socrates, Charlemagne, Shakespeare, Napoleon: there are many who never heard of them, or who only vaguely recognize their names. But all of Western civilization and most of the rest of the world “knows” Jesus’s life story.

But during the past century or so, scholars have shown that all these “known” details of Jesus’s life story are mythic: That is, they were told for many centuries before his time about many previous savior-gods and legendary heroes in pre-Christian lore. Not a single detail of Jesus’s life story can be considered authentic. Some investigators have tried to peel away the layers of myth in search of a historical core, but this task is like peeling the layers of an onion. It seems that there is no core. The layers of myth go all the way to the center.

The truth is that the gospels are not reliable “historical” accounts to tell us what Jesus was—or even if he was. But it is fairly clear that he was connected with the myths of pagan saviors, who were mostly nature deities, representing the eternal cycles of life and death. In this respect their myths might point toward an updated religion more firmly founded on the realities of our world.

Once the Jesus myth is more widely understood as a composite relic of a credulous past, we may be able to go forward toward a more satisfying set of spiritual hopes and insights, and leave behind the simplistic magics of a less enlightened people. We have “modernized” nearly every other aspect of our Western culture. Perhaps it is time to modernize its religion into a form that enlightenment may embrace without insulting its own intelligence. Read more…

Updated: November 2, 2010 — 3:05 pm

4 Comments

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  1. Thanks Acharya!
    I would only disagree that this Jesus figure is a ‘Nature God (Jefferson’s God)’. I think it’s clear, that with Buddha and Jesus, only these two of many legendary figures stood against all things natural. Although very uncharacteristic, one would imagine that if these figures ever existed, the very word “nature” would make both of them feel nauseas.

    1. Thanks, Dan. In the original essay I linked the “nature deities” phrase to my “Astrotheology of the Ancients” article.

      She’s simply talking about the fact that these mythical figures are remakes of gods and goddesses who are personifications of natural elements and celestial bodies.

      That’s astrotheology in a nutshell, and as far as I am concerned she certainly is correct.

      If you’re saying these manmade creations foisted upon us as “real people” have ended up being “unnatural” because they have been corrupted and bastardized, yes, that’s correct, but that’s another issue.

  2. Dear Acharya,

    In some sense Buddha and Jesus are nature gods because they have shamanistic elements (ex. blood drinking and Sramana= ascetic and a name for Buddhists& other religious Indian hermits known to ancient western historians and Church fathers). I only meant to suggest that Buddha and Jesus should not be grouped with other nature gods because, although they are seen as being in harmony with nature, they stand against most things that we would call natural. And so with this in mind one author on this subject writes, “”The mission of the Galilean ascetic, like the gospel of Buddha Sakyamuni, was a declaration of war against nature”-Secret of the East, or, The Origin of the Christian religion.” This point is well known in Buddhism and if we take “the world” to be natural Jesus says that he has no part of this.

    Thanks again for all the great posts!

  3. 😯 is there a common thread running through all religions or just some ? could you enlighten me miss Murdock ? 😡

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