Linda E. writes concerning an agnostic friend who wrote in support of the copycat thesis: the idea that the gospels copied its stories about Jesus from pagan myths. CMI’s New Testament specialist Lita Cosner demonstrates how the copycat thesis is utter nonsense. Her comments are interspersed.
Please see my comments interspersed.
I’ve been e-mailing the agnostic son of my pastor. I’ve sent him the list of 15 questions for evolutionists, but, as he is not much of a science person, he responded with questions about the Epic of Gilgamesh and the flood (which I could answer—in fact, I sent him an article from your site) …
I presume you mean Noah’s Flood and the Gilgamesh Epic.
… as well as a site that claims that Jesus is simply a re-hashing of ancient mythological gods. I plan to continue the science issue with him as well, and I know how to do that. I don’t know enough about these myths to be able to give him a satisfactory answer. The site he sent is [Weblink removed as per feedback rules—Ed.]. I’ve copied the article in question below for your convenience. Can you help me answer this?
Jesus’ Story Is An Obvious Rehashing Of Numerous Previous Characters
Perhaps even more compelling is the story of Christ himself. As it turns out it’s not even remotely original. It is instead nothing more than a collection of bits and pieces from dozens of other stories that came long before.
The article claims that the Bible is not original, but the thing that’s not even remotely original is the article itself. There’s not anything that hasn’t been refuted many times over, and much of this information is available freely on the Internet for anyone who cares to do the research. We have a few articles on our site, for example, Was Christianity plagiarized from pagan myths? For much of this, I’m going to be referring you to resources on the Tekton Apologetics Ministry page, as there’s much more information on pagan parallels there. Some general background is available at: Was the story of Jesus stolen from pagan savior figures? More specific information on several of the alleged pre-Christs is available at Were Bible stories and characters stolen from pagan myths? For general information about the figures, I went to Wikipedia (not a site I generally recommend, but okay for really general information like this) and a few other sites that a Google search can easily bring up.
Here are some examples.
Asklepios healed the sick, raised the dead, and was known as the savior and redeemer.
The term Soter was applied to Asklepios, an appellation that Christians argue only applies to Jesus. But ‘savior’ can mean many different things, and there is no indication that Asklepios was known as a savior in the same sense that Jesus is. Since he’s a god of medicine, and maybe a deification of an actual person who was a physician, we shouldn’t be surprised that he’s credited with healing people, and he is credited with raising Hippolytus from the dead, though he was killed for doing it and accepting gold for it….
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