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Linkage between Jesus and various Pagan saviors:

Introduction

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Introduction:

There are many dozens of events in the gospels that are very similar, or identical, to incidents which appeared centuries before, in the stories of Pagan hero/saviors. These "god-men" were worshiped by the priesthood and laity of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern religions.

Modern-day conservative Christians generally discount the similarities between gospel and pagan stories. Some of the most radical of liberal Christians see Jesus as simply the Jewish equivalent of a Pagan savior, such as the Egyptian Horus, Hindu Krishna, or Greek Dionysus. They view Jesus' biography in the gospels as having been largely lifted from Paganism.

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Pagan saviors of humanity:

Pagan spirituality in ancient times from the Mediterranean region was composed of two components: 

bulletThe Outer Mysteries consisted of Pagan beliefs and practices which were widely disseminated and taught to the general public. Knowledge of these has been largely preserved in historical records.
bulletThe Inner Mysteries were revealed only to those who had been initiated into the Pagan religions. The initiates learned that Osiris-Dionysus was not a historical person. His legends were simple "spiritual allegories encoding spiritual teachings." 1 Late in the 4th century CE, Christianity was established as the state religion. Pagans were given the choice of converting to Christianity, being exterminated, or being exiled. Their temples were either stolen for use as Christian churches, or destroyed. Eventually, detailed knowledge of the inner mysteries was lost.

The core of the Outer and Inner mysteries was a mythical, male entity who was part god and part human -- often referred to as a "god-man." The biographies of these god-men were consistent from religion to religion. The main difference among the faiths was his name:

bulletAlexandria: Aion
bulletAsia Minor: Attis
bulletBabylonia: Antiochus 
bulletEgypt: Osiris and Horus
bulletGreece: Dionysus and Asclepius
bulletSyria: Adonis
bulletItaly: Bacchus
bulletPersia: Mithras

These were viewed as mythical characters. There were also some self-proclaimed god-men -- humans who actually lived on earth. Two are:

bulletSamos, Italy: Pythagoras (569 to circa 475 BCE)
bulletSicily: Empedocles (circa 450 to 390 BCE)

Osiris in Egypt may have been the first god-man. His story has been found recorded in pyramid texts which were written prior to 2,500 BCE

These saviors were truly interchangeable. Coins have been found with Dionysus on one side and Mithras on the other. A person who was initiated into one of the mysteries had no difficulty switching to another Pagan mystery religion.

In the 3rd century CE, these god-men were referred to by the composite name "Osiris-Dionysus." Authors Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy have used this term in their book "The Jesus Mysteries." 1  

References

  1. Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy, "The Jesus Mysteries: Was the 'original Jesus' a Pagan god?" Acacia Press, (1999). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
  2. Tom Harpur, "The Pagan Christ; Recovering the Lost Light," Thomas Allen, (2004), Page 5. Read reviews or order this book.

Site navigation:

Home page > Christianity > Christian personalities > Jesus > Pagan link > here

or Home page > Religious information > God > Jesus > Pagan link > here

or Home page > Spirituality > God > Jesus > Pagan link > here

Copyright © 1999 to 2004 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Originally written: 1999-NOV-14
Latest update: 2009-APR-01
Author: B.A. Robinson

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