Jesus Christ Byzantine Portrait c. 7th-11th A.D
Jesus is a mythological character derived from many different gods way before he came to be. let's take a look at a couple of deities that look very similar to him and have done miracles very similar to his as well. Yes, there are many more deities like him but I will only touch base on a couple that I believe resemble the Christ figure the most. And for the sake of keeping this article as short as I possibly can.
DYING AND RISING DEITIES
~ Serapis Christus AKA Serapis Christ Portrait c. 100-200 A.D
Created around 300 BC by Ptolemy 1, It is no coincidence that this man deity shares a remarkable resemblance with his complexion to that of Jesus Christ. His last name "Christus" which some people credit him with is also another word for "Christ" hence you can say "Serapis Christ." (masc. Christus = Christ.* Is this still coincidental to you? I don't think so. Ptolemy 1 created him to be the bull of sacrifice, "Apis" and the dying and rising god, "Osiris" to unify the greeks and egyptians in his region.
A quick summary of Apis and Osiris: Apis was a very prominent deity used for bull sacrifice and worship by the egyptians. (Osiris on the other hand is a dying and rising god. Osiris was a dying and rising deity who, in the Osiris Myth, was killed by his brother Set and chopped up into 14 pieces but Osiris' wife Isis was able to resurrect him so that she could have sex with him. She then bore the child named Horus. Immediately after this Osiris went to the underworld and rules it to this day 1.)
So thus the name Serapis was derived. Serpais would then attain these attributes of dying and rising and being the bull of sacrifice (2). Jesus was the sacrificial lamb and was a dying and rising deity as well.
~ Dionysus, God Of Wine Pottery c. 400 B.C
He came to be around the 13th century BC. In this work of art, I again can't help but look at him and think of the Jesus figure. He's yet another dying and rising deity. He is also known as the "twice-born" God where the first incarnation of himself was "Zagreus - first born dionysus." After his resurrection he became "Dionysus - the God of wine." There are some that claim he could turn water into wine like Jesus but this could not be corroborated. Even so, it is worth mentioning.
According to the information from the Dionysus | Encyclopedia Britannica n.d) "In Orphic legend (i.e., based on the stories of Orpheus), Dionysus—under the name Zagreus—was the son of Zeus by his daughter Persephone. At the direction of Hera, the infant Zagreus/Dionysus was torn to pieces, cooked, and eaten by the evil Titans. But his heart was saved by Athena, and he (now Dionysus) was resurrected by Zeus through Semele. Zeus struck the Titans with lightning, and they were consumed by fire" (3).
Lastly, I want to debunk one REALLY important concept of Jesus. His virgin birth of course.
Rhea Silvia And Her Two Sons, Romulus and Remus Statue c. 1400-1499 A.D
Meet Rhea Silvia. She was a vestal virgin which in ancient Rome is a 30 year vow of chastity. According to the story, she was the daughter of king Numitor of Alba Longa who later on was deposed by his younger brother Amulius. Amulius then made her a vestigial virgin so she couldn't have any Claimants to the throne that Amulius now usurped. Some day afterwards something rather unusual unraveled.
She was met by the God of Mars when she went into his grove and he wanted to conceive her two children named Romulus and Remus. After the incident she then went around claiming she had just been raped by the God of Mars and is now pregnant. Then she gave birth to Romulus and Remus (4). And mentioned in Romulus and Remus | Encyclopedia Britannica) "Amulius, enraged over the ordeal, ordered the infants to be drowned in the Tiber River. The guards, having pity on them because of their innocence, decided to raft them down the Tiber River instead. They hit an end down the river and were suckled by a she-wolf and woodpecker which were sacred animals to Mars and were later found by the herdsman Faustulus" (5). It's very similar to the baby Moses story.† Check out the birth story of 'Sargon of Akkad' as well if you want to see what inspired the Exodus story relating to baby Moses.‡
I want to also note that the earliest known manuscript for This virgin birth story about Rhea Silvia dates to the 3rd century BC even though the story is about the birth of Rome which occured in 753 BC. We have no known documents as of now for the Romulus and Remus story dating at the time in which Rome was founded. Wikiped ia Contributors 2022, June 20 - Rhea Silvia. Wikipedia). From a historical standpoint, This is at least 200 years before the purported virgin birth belief of Jesus through Mary and about 300 years before the idea of a Christian virgin birth was penned on paper. Therefore, we can reasonably say that the Christian NT scribes borrowed the virgin birth story from Roman and perhaps even Greek mythology for the sake of their own belief about Jesus. It obviously did not start with Christianity as we can see though.
I find no real reason to believe in the Jesus story as the overwhelming amount of evidence points in the opposite direction of him being a real historical figure. And that these ideas of resurrection and a virgin birth were already incorporated into various religious beliefs centuries before Christianity was even a thought amongst the common folk.
~ Only Reason
1. World History Edu. (2022, April 19). Birth, Death & Resurrection of Osiris, the Ancient Egyptian God of the Underworld. Birth, Death & Resurrection of Osiris, the Ancient Egyptian God of the Underworld - World History Edu
2. Serapis Christ. (n.d.). Lost-History. The Dying-and-Rising Gods: Sereapis
3. Dionysus | Powers, God, Parents, Meaning, Symbols, & Facts. (n.d.). Encyclopedia Britannica. Dionysus | Powers, God, Parents, Meaning, Symbols, & Facts
4. Wikipedia contributors. (2022, June 20). Rhea Silvia. Wikipedia. Rhea Silvia - Wikipedia
5. Romulus and Remus | Story, Myth, Definition, Statue, & Facts. (n.d.). Encyclopedia Britannica. Romulus and Remus | Story, Myth, Definition, Statue, & Facts