Readers familiar with my work in comparative religion will know that for years I have asserted that most of the germane characteristics of the Christ tale long predate the Christian era. In this regard, the following information regarding apparent Stone Age religion ranks among the most important I have yet encountered.
In the book Shamans, Sorcerers and Saints, archeology professor Dr. Brian Hayden states:
“…in some myths, the bear, as master over the entire animal kingdom, is sent to earth by his father to understand the problems of humans and to find solutions for them. In a scenario recalling the story of Christ, the bear sacrifices himself for humanity; afterward there is a communion in which the participants eat the body and drink the blood of the bear. This leads to his resurrection…” (115)
This bear-savior cult Hayden dates to some 50,000 years ago, its object of worship along the lines of the Ursus spelaeus or cave bear in the image here. Hence, the idea of a dying-and-rising savior is extremely old and did not appear suddenly 2,000 years ago. Indeed, numerous pre-Christian gods were depicted as dying and resurrecting. It’s an ancient story – the greatest story ever sold.
Forum thread: Our Lord and Savior Ursus