Other christlike figures

There were other figures in history with Christlike attributes:

**Zoroaster **was born of a virgin and “immaculate conception by a ray of divine reason.” He was baptized in a river. In his youth he astounded wise men with his wisdom. He was tempted in the wilderness by the devil. He began his ministry at age 30. Zoroaster baptized with water, fire and “holy wind.” He cast out demons and restored the sight to a blind man. He taught about heaven and hell, and revealed mysteries, including resurrection, judgment, salvation and the apocalypse. He had a sacred cup or grail. He was slain. His religion had a eucharist. He was the “Word made flesh.” Zoroaster’s followers expected a “second coming” in the virgin-born Saoshynt or Savior, who is to come in 2341 AD and begin his ministry at age 30, ushering in a golden age.

Dionysus was born of a virgin on December 25 and, as the Holy Child, was placed in a manger. He was a traveling teacher who performed miracles. He “rode in a triumphal procession on an ***.” He was a sacred king killed and eaten in an eucharistic ritual for fecundity and purification. Dionysus rose from the dead on March 25. He was the God of the Vine, and turned water into wine. He was called “King of Kings” and “God of Gods.” He was considered the “Only Begotten Son,” Savior,” “Redeemer,” “Sin Bearer,” Anointed One,” and the “Alpha and Omega.” He was identified with the Ram or Lamb. His sacrificial title of “Dendrites” or “Young Man of the Tree” intimates he was hung on a tree or crucified.

Homeric tales about Odysseus emphasize his suffering life, just as in Mark Jesus said that he, too, would suffer greatly. Odysseus is a carpenter like Jesus, and he wants to return his home just as Jesus wants to be welcomed in his native home and later to God’s home in Jerusalem. Odysseus is plagued with unfaithful and dim-witted companions who display tragic flaws. They stupidly open a magic bag of wind while Odysseus sleeps and release terrible tempests which prevent their return home. These sailors are comparable to Jesus’ disciples, who disbelieve Jesus, ask foolish questions, and show general ignorance about everything. It’s amazing that either Odysseus or Jesus ever manage to accomplish anything, given the companions they have, but this simply demonstrates the power and ability of the one true leader who has a divine mandate to lead the people out of darkness and into a brighter future.

But they are not Jesus Christ!

agreed. Christine, as a Catholic, what is your thesis here?

listverse.com/religion/10-christ-like-figures-who-pre-date-jesus

I don’t have one. I just thought it was interesting.

Interesting.

Did any of these claim to be God?

Are they truly historical persons as we know Jesus is?

Did these figures leave a Church that survives to this day?

On a related note, I’ve read that the gospel account of the dead rising at Jesus’ resurrection was “borrowed” from Homer. What do you think?

Thanks.

The sacrificed/dying and raised God is a universal mythos which many cultures share. It is no stretch of the imagination for me to believe those first followers of Jesus used similar myths and stories to “flesh out” the Christ story they had come to believe.

I was given this link by PhilVaz here on the forums when I asked something similar about this movie called Zeitgeist. here’s the link it could be helpful

bringyou.to/apologetics/JesusEvidenceCrucifiedSaviors.htm

God bless

Not much known about Zoroaster’s life definitively but the religion which arose from him in Persia is fundamentally unlike Christianity in that Zoroastrianism propagates the belief that Good and Evil are Absolutes represented by two gods, Ormazd and Ahriman, who are in constant warfare. In Christianity, there is only one God, and, on the other side so to speak, Satan is not a god at all with equal power to the Christian God. In Zoroastrianism, good and evil gods seem equally matched so this right off the bat makes it irreconcilable with Christianity which believes that Good is stronger than evil.

Indeed, in Christianity I believe there is no Absolute evil, as Satan himself was created by God and Satan can only create evil by taking something that is good and twisting and mutilating it to such an extent that it becomes unrecognizable and evil (i.e. think equality twisted into Communism, patriotism twisted into Nazism). Someone else may need to explain this better than I.

Dionysus was not a historical figure but myth, the god of wine Bacchus. Odysseus myth too.

Jesus Christ was a historical figure. The fact that there are archetypal myths in humanity of a dying god speaks something to the fact that we were all created for the real thing - Jesus Christ.

Christ was a savior who unlike others was foretold in history in the Old Testament.

Finally, there is the fundamental fact that unlike dying gods in Greek mythology, Jesus actually had a concrete Morality associated with His message - ethical monotheism, something no civilization - apart from the Jews of course into which He was born - had had before.

Fulton Sheen: “…every other person who came into this world came to live. Jesus came into it to die…to Christ, death was the goal and fulfillment of His life, the gold that He was seeking. Few of His words or actions are intelligible without reference to His Cross.”

Jesus Christ came into this world to die and conquer death, and with His death and Resurrection give us the hope and opportunity to too conquer death and be granted Eternal Life.

Hope this helps. God Bless. :slight_smile:

The kings of Persia were called “King of Kings” ; so was Osiris; so is God in the OT. Are they Dionysus ?

and “God of Gods.” He was considered the “Only Begotten Son,” Savior,” “Redeemer,” “Sin Bearer,” Anointed One,” and the “Alpha and Omega.” He was identified with the Ram or Lamb. His sacrificial title of “Dendrites” or “Young Man of the Tree” intimates he was hung on a tree or crucified.

Dionysus, historical ? Pull the other one LOL :slight_smile: Don’t forget that, as with Jesus, the Titans ripped the infant Dionysus to pieces, eat the pieces, & were thunder-struck by Zeus for so doing.

ISTM your source has been reading “The Two Babylons”, & “Anacalypsis”: Anacalypsis (which was published in the 1830s) is a major source for the notion of “pre- Christian Christs”. You don’t include Horus in the list of “Jesuses before Jesus” - what’s Horus done to be excluded :slight_smile: ? And where’s Adonis ? Or Mithras for that matter ? It’s not right to leave people out - in fact, it might be called rude. :slight_smile:

Antiochus Soter was Antiochus “Saviour” - one can be called Saviour without being a Redeemer in the Christian sense. Otherwise, one might as well argue that Antigonus Monophthalmus, Antigonus “One-Eye”, was the same as Polyphemus the Cyclops, “Goggle-Eye”. The notion that because words are the same or similar in meaning or overlap in meaning, they therefore indicate similarity in all respects, is mistaken: are the George Bushes in US history the same person ? Using the method that shows Jesus is Dionysus, it would be easy to show that George Bush was US President in 1988-92, then again from 2000 to 2008. All the Kings of France from 1643 to 1793 are called Louis - are they the same person ? There are three Jesuses in the NT: the famous one, a disciple, & Joshua in Greek form - are they the same individual ?

Homeric tales about Odysseus emphasize his suffering life,

JP2 suffered a lot too, not least when he was shot. This vague method that patches together pre-Christian Christs by taking bit and pieces from entirely unrelated & unlike characters is so lax that it could “prove” that Odysseus is a pre-figuring of JP2.

just as in Mark Jesus said that he, too, would suffer greatly. Odysseus is a carpenter

That is fiction upon fiction - Odysseus did not build the Wooden Horse; Epeius did. The idea for the Wooden Horse was Odysseus’ - the contructing of it was the work of Epeius.

like Jesus, and he wants to return his home just as Jesus wants to be welcomed in his native home and later to God’s home in Jerusalem. Odysseus is plagued with unfaithful and dim-witted companions who display tragic flaws.

Who are turned into pigs (temporarily), spitted by the gigantic Laestrygonians, devoured by the monster Scylla, eaten by Polyphemus, drowned, or killed at Troy. Just as happened to the disciples. :slight_smile: That leaves only Elpenor, who is killed when he falls from Circe’s roof as a result of sleep & wine.

They stupidly open a magic bag of wind while Odysseus sleeps and release terrible tempests which prevent their return home. These sailors are comparable to Jesus’ disciples, who disbelieve Jesus, ask foolish questions, and show general ignorance about everything.

It’s amazing that either Odysseus or Jesus ever manage to accomplish anything, given the companions they have, but this simply demonstrates the power and ability of the one true leader who has a divine mandate to lead the people out of darkness and into a brighter future.

Except for the minor detail that Odysseus is the only survivor of his entire fleet. Thanks to his very foolish identification of himself to Polyphemus, son of Poseidon - who at the prayer of Polyphemus pursues Odysseus with unrelenting hatred. Which is slightly different from the character of the Father of Jesus.

Apart from being entirely unlike, Jesus & Odysseus have no end of things in common - Odysseus:
[LIST]
*]was from Ithaka - like Jesus
*]was the son of Laertes & Eurycleia - like Jesus
*]was the father of Telemachus by Penelope daughter of Icarius - like Jesus
*]had a scar from a hunting wound - like Jesus
*]is called polymētis, “much-contriving”, by Homer - like Jesus
*]stays with Circe on her island Aeaea - like Jesus
*]with her help, visits the world of the dead (in Book 11) and finds his mother has died - like Jesus
*]encounters the ghost of Aias son of Telamon, still resentful that Odysseus won the arms of Achilles - like Jesus
*]encounters the ghost of Achilles, & cheers him by telling him of the exploits of Neoptolemus Achilles’ son - like Jesus
*]And so on…
[/LIST]Someone badly needs to read the Epic Cycle & the Homeric Poems: only those unfamiliar with the texts about Odysseus could even begin to see Jesus & Odysseus as similar. It is the resourcefulness & long endurance of Odysseus, not his sufferings, that are emphasised in Homer. Everything he does, from his attempt to avoid having to go to Troy, to his self-identification to Penelope when he has disposed of the suitors 20 years later, shows his unwearying resourcefulness.

This shows that the idea of Jesus is not original. Which is rather interesting…

We go through this, mostly on Apologetics, around three threads a month. It was actually in my hobby (which I call “shooting fish in a barrel”) of refuting the Da Vinci Code version of this theory (which has many names, of which I prefer the term “copycat theory” because it’s short), that I found Catholic Answers and ended up becoming Cartholic. I don’t spend as much time around the fish barrel as I used to, being busy and all, and having so much reading to do, but basically, it’s balderdash from start to finish.
For a well-documented though roughly edited and casually-presented refutation of the copycat theory, check out Tektonics apologetics page. The author is a little abrasive at first, but the links will lead you to thorough, heavy-duty documentation of how very very much is wrong with these ever-changing “parallels” between Jesus and mythological figures. If you don’t feel like wading through it, there’s plenty in CAF’s Apologetics Forum for the searching. I keep meaning to set aside more time soon to bring some excellent links to the subject; I’m just scattered.
Long story short – the similarities that remain when you remove the serious modern distortions are the kind that exist between any two people, real, fictitious or one of each. I have found more similarity between former President Gerald Ford and Elvis Presley than between Dionysius, Mithra, Horus, Osiris, Orpheus, Innanna, et al as their ancient adherents actually knew them and Jeus Christ. In fact, the best list of parallels I have come up with so far, way better than any copycat Christ theory I ever ran into, is between Goldilocks and me.:curtsey::curtsey::smiley:

Way to state the obvious lol :stuck_out_tongue:

I think it’s interesting for you to post this, and I thank you for doing it, I love reading about things as such. Interesting read.

Listen BareKnuckler i know you have your reservations about Christianity but I’m sure you just as anyone else appreciates the truth. Not a distorted truth but the truth. I may love reading about such things but the fact is that what was posted was nothing short of blatant lies or distorted truths, and I’m sure someone such as yourself who is intelligent and rational would be annoyed with such myths and conspiracy theories as they do nothing but make proponents against Christianity or Athiests who want to be rational look like liers and decievers.

That being said, like Gottle of Geer posted, If you look into the actual tales and mythologies behind these figures you would find that they are nothing LIKE Jesus. This is a case of distorting the truth. Whoever authored such claims looked for any similarities and amplyfied them, and where similarities did not exist, he or she made them up (Acharya S right?)

Btw There were alot of mythological figures that resembled Jesus much much later in time, but this all happened AFTER they time of Christ. Thus the story of Jesus was MORE LIKELY influencing other religious figures than other religious figures were influencing the story of Jesus.

When it comes to the attack on Jesus Christ, it seems to have two faces:

The Copycat: Similarities to other persons are noted, but the differences are not
The Cattle: “Historical” Jesus, whose face resembles the ideas and beliefs of men

Yep. And the copycattists’ similarities seem to me to break down like this:
35% exaggerated or distorted (a character who was said to have two sidekick-companions turns into a teacher with twelve student-companions e.g.)
30% invented long after the tellers of the legend in question had been exposed to Christianity and some had converted – and in fact a majority of these were invented int eh 20th and early 21st centuries
20% things that apply to so many people or are such obvious elements in any story worth telling that their presence is no indicator of relatedness (walking a long distance e.g. or leaving home either early, late, on a quest or mission of some kind or during a conflict or crisis at home e.g.)
15% things that apply to just about anyone (had a companion e.g.).

The other theorists seem more interested in making Jesus Christ exactly as they see themselves – and thereby making Him “relevant” to “today”, as if they were the only people today and as if Jesus Christ weren’t infinitely more relevant to any day than their passing dusty academic trends all put together ever could be.

The myth Odysseus may have a historical core too. The fact that the Jesus story follows mythological archetypes shows that the events told in this story are a myth, perhaps constructed around a historical figure but surely not history itself.

lol, I think your thinking I read that differently. I read that as a collection of stories from Greek History/Myth, I didn’t see it as a “attack” on Jesus, just cause their similiar, or even related, doesn’t make Jesus not true (I do not believe Jesus was a god, but that is irrelevant in this matter, I’d think). Jesus is true or not, based on the individual belief’s, not on the story of someone else. I do not see how you got conspiracy theory out of that, maybe they are myths, but I didn’t research the topic afterwards, cause I prefer researching topics that draw my attention completely, not just partly. If they are not true, then their OP obviously either had a false source, or he lied. Either way, it’s his fault for not researching the Source, before using it, or it’s his fault for lying. If they are true, then it would be whoever claims him to be a liar’s fault for the false claim. Either way, I think it’s interesting that their “could” have been people that done things similiar to Jesus.

You’re joking right Atheist? Odysseus may have had some historical core but we know nothing of certainty about Homeric tales.

On Jesus the Historical Figure: what have you specifically read that shows Jesus was a myth, in your words, or constructed around a historical figure. Where is your historical support for such a claim which I find incredibly bizarre. What: some new age book written by someone with no historical background? You’ve made a strong statement: Back It Up.

For the historicity of Jesus, give a look at E.P. Sanders The Historical Figure of Jesus, the Anglican bishop Tom Wright’s works on the life and resurrection of Jesus, and for a rebuttal to the Jesus Seminar (who never claimed Jesus was myth) read Luke Timothy Johnson’s: The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels (1996). ISBN 0060641665, ISBN978-0060641665.

Why not do yourself a favor and give these books a read. Or have you personally studied something that is heftier than these books?

The fact is that we have the 4 Gospels written within the lifetime of witnesses to Jesus, and we even have St. Paul writing letters to Christians within 20 years of Jesus’ crucifixion. The Apostle Paul actually wrote to a church in Rome that had already been in existence before he even got there. Nero actually blamed the Christians for setting fire to Rome around 30 years after Christ’s crucifixion. Some Myth!!!?? Apparently thousands were willing to be slaughtered for this fairy tale in the first century rather than renounce it.

The fact is that we know very much about the Historical Jesus. We know next to nothing of the Persian myth-god Mithras who was worshipped by Roman soldiers around the first three centuries A.D. Go figure?

Atheist: You made a blanket statement: Back it Up!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.