Jesus lived in the first three decades in the first century, allegedly dying somewhere along the year 33 CE, although there were groups of ancient Jews and Jewish Christians who believed that Jesus was killed a century before. The Gospels, beginning with Mark, were written after 70 CE That’s a four decade gap, the only information we have in the gap comes from Paul who claims that Jesus came to him and told him to spread the word. Paul wrote around eighty thousand words about Christianity, Paul’s documents represent, essentially, all we have with regards to the history of Christianity during this four decade gap. What’s further is that Paul was unaware of the “fact” that Jesus allegedly lived as a human on earth, he was unaware of the story of Mary, of Bethlehem, John the Baptist, any of the miracles of Jesus, Paul never quotes anything that Jesus allegedly said, Paul never mentioned the ministry of Jesus, Pontius Pilot, any Jewish mob, any trial; Paul was unaware of what we would consider the story of Jesus save for the last three events, events which Paul did not even place as having happened on earth. To Paul Jesus lived, died and ascended all within the confines of a mythical realm. I find it interesting, rather suggestive, that the only link we have between the time frame given for the life of Jesus and the appearance of the first gospels, Paul, never even believed that Jesus was a human being, he was actually unaware of the idea altogether.
When looking at the Gospels one must be aware of the fact that allegorical literature was very common at the time, many of the gospels – the apocryphal – were thrown out due to their being too unbelievable and based on folk lore stemming from a plethora of various other myths; there has been a concerted effort – the Jesuits being an example – of people actively attempting to demythologize the bible, trying to take away the folklore (such as the “virgin birth”).
The folklore inherent in Christianity was nothing new or original. Jesus shared some twenty odd characteristics with other mythical heroes, heroes such as Oedipus, Theseus, Romulus, Hercules, Perseus, Zeus, Zoroaster, Thor, Tammuz, Orpheus, Mithras, Krishna, Horus, Hermes, Dionysis, Baal, Attis, Adonis, etc. the shared characteristics being: the heroes mother is a royal virgin, stars appear at his birth, visited by Magi from the east, his father is a king, the circumstances of his conception are unusual, is reputed to be the son of a god, at birth there is an attempt by his father to kill him, but he is hidden away, is raised by foster parents in a foreign country, we are told nothing of his childhood, on reaching manhood he returns and goes to his future kingdom, after a victory over a king, a giant or a dragon, marries a princess, turns water into wine, heals the sick, performs miracles, becomes king, reigns uneventfully, proscribes laws, later losses favor with subjects, is driven from the throne of the city, meets with a mysterious death, death is often at the top of a hill, killed on a cross or a tree, his children if any do not succeed him, his body not buried, etc.
It is a staggering fact to note that Jesus shares the majority of these common hero characteristics with other heroic figures such as Oedipus, Theseus,
“When we say that Jesus Christ was produced without sexual union, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended to heaven, we propound nothing new or different from what you believe regarding those whom you call the sons of Jupiter.” – Justin Martyr, church father.
What’s even more is that many pagans, after being proselytized to by the early Church fathers, claimed that what the Christians were saying about Jesus had been what they claimed about Dionysis for years and they didn’t actually believe in such myths either anymore. To which the early Christian apologists would respond with the claim that the difference being this time, with Jesus, the story was true, for it was Satan who counterfeited in advance the other stories with the foreknowledge that this day would come and wished to subvert it.
“For when they say that Dionysus arose again and ascended to heaven, is it not evident the devil has imitated the prophecy?” – Justin Martyr, church father
This is clear evidence that the early church was well aware of the fact that their story, their mythology, was perfectly similar to others which came before and in response to this had to resort to claiming that these other similar mythologies were the work of the devil, a sorry argument if there ever was. It is important to keep in mind that the first celebration of easter was in 2400 BCE long before any alleged existence of Jesus.
For thousands of years humanity has been obsessed with blood sacrifice, it is no coincidence that the story of the crucifixion of Jesus gave Christians a suffering and tortured hero whose flesh they could eat and whose blood they could drink – this is the absolute height of religious sacrifice - and for all those who claim that modern Christians are no longer obsessed with blood sacrifice I submit to them that they watch The Passion of the Christ, the most bloody, gory, violent movie of Jesus ever made and also, far and away, the most popular; many Christians claim this movie is the most profound ever made and it is centered around nothing other than blood sacrifice.
In summation of all of this I find it more than fair and logical to question even the very idea that Jesus ever existed. It seems far more plausible to me that the story of Jesus, the Christian faith, is nothing more than a parsed together story, incorporating the common characteristics of a heroic mythology with a concerted effort to align it with the “prophecy” of the old testament, and nothing more. Thus is, the mythology of Jesus.