From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!
I'm not buying it. Why would the writers of the Gospels pattern their stories after pagan myths, which they reviled? I'm not seeing the paralells in the Odyssey, either. Polyphemus is not possessed and Odysseus is not a demigod. I don't recall his sheep falling off a cliff, either.I'll answer your previous reply to me first, before I proceed to something else.
I might agree with you that the similarities are overplayed, but I acknowledge there are some there. Indeed, I said in my initial post you quoted that they are comparable, but didn't say identical. That was on purpose, because I know there are differences between them.
As for the Gerasene demoniac story. I know it would do no good to point this out to Christians, but most of the miracle stories are not intended to be literal. That becomes painstakingly clear when you know the origins of the miracle narratives. I can think of hardly a single miracle attributed to Jesus not able to be found in older sources- including Greek mythology.
The miracle in question: the Gerasene demoniac exorcism, is clearly from the Odyssey. It is a retelling of the Odysseus and Polyphemus episode, rather humorously- from beginning to end. Jesus gets into a boat and goes to that land. Why is that an important element of the narrative?
We are then told about the discourse Jesus allegedly enters into with the man. It is there we find our clues. Just as Polyphemus asked Odysseus who he was and he replied no man- Jesus asks the demoniac, who replies he is many. A very interesting turn about on the part of the gospel author, who doubtless was familiar with Homer.
The uncleanness that brought the man into his state, again mirrors Homer. Polyphemus ate all kinds of filth, bones, and human flesh we are told by the Greek poet. The Homeric narrative appears exorcistic in nature because Odysseus proceeds to make him vomit out all the filth, through the use of a predictable agent in these kinds of myths: wine.
We are even told that Polyphemus cries out in horror when he learns Odysseus's identity, that he knows who he is- the one foretold to come there and do it to him. "We know who you are. The holy one of God!"
As for the pigs- well is it a stretch to say rather, sheep? We are told Polyphemus kept sheep.
Most of Jesus's miracles can be explained in this way. His feeding of the thousands is Elisha's miracle in Kings, where we are told "there was some leftover, according to the word of the Lord". Likewise, Jesus's healing the woman with a hemorrhage and raising Jarius's daughter is a reworking of Elijah and the widow, whose son he raised.
The miracle aspects of the gospels are doubtful, and like Jefferson and others I question that dimension of them. Not the sayings though. There are good arguments for the sayings belonging to a man named Jesus.
Now to the other issue. @Phantasman is correct to compare Buddhism with Christian gnosticism in the way he did- though I'd question what he means by it to be certain. Buddhism agrees with his brand of gnosticism that nothing belonging to the paradoxical or ultimate: "Buddha-nature", can really be described in human terms fully. The teachings of the Buddha are called rafts. When some of the masters said the Buddha never spoke a word, this is what they mean.
Jesus's miracles sometimes being a retellong of miracles in the Hebrew Bible I can understand.