Historical evidence of Jesus

Aug 2012
1,554
There has been a trend in history for people to claim to be dead historical figures. Anastasia, Perkin Warbeck and so on. Jesus was likely a real figure, but what interests me is the Ressurection. Is it possible another Messianic claimant appeared after his death claiming to be him? Or was that aspect of the Christ story inspired by other deities like Dionysus, who also had aspects of death and rebirth woven into their mythos?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tammuz
Nov 2016
1,156
Germany
Or was that aspect of the Christ story inspired by other deities like Dionysus, who also had aspects of death and rebirth woven into their mythos?
I think that the resurrection ´reports´ in the gospels are the fruit of pure imagination which ascribed to the Christian hero a capability not seldom found with other mythic antique heros / gods such as Heracles, Dionysos, Osiris, Attis, Tammuz, and so on. For example, the resurrection of god Dionysos, lying in his grave in the temple of Delphi with his body torn by the titans, was celebrated every two years by his (mostly female) followers. In case there was a historical figure to which the fairytale-like figure of the gospel Jesus could be traced back, he is to be thought as a Jewish itinerant preacher, either personally pretending messiahship or being charged with that attribute by his followers. Anyway, the resurrection motif should be regarded as a purely mythical ingredient of the Jesus narrative which can naturally be also suspected to be mythical as a whole.

Another matter is hallucinations. Maybe one or some Christians at the end of the1st or in the 2nd century experienced endogeneous visions what either initiated the mythically invented account mentioned above, or was inspired by that very ´account´.
 
Last edited:
Aug 2008
87
There has been a trend in history for people to claim to be dead historical figures. Anastasia, Perkin Warbeck and so on. Jesus was likely a real figure, but what interests me is the Ressurection. Is it possible another Messianic claimant appeared after his death claiming to be him? Or was that aspect of the Christ story inspired by other deities like Dionysus, who also had aspects of death and rebirth woven into their mythos?
Anything is possible, but I don't know of any good evidence for either hypothesis.

It's helpful to remember that the notion of a resurrection is quite an obvious one. People don't need inspiration to come up with an idea like that.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,932
Anything is possible, but I don't know of any good evidence for either hypothesis.

It's helpful to remember that the notion of a resurrection is quite an obvious one. People don't need inspiration to come up with an idea like that.
Here are ten people (including Jesus but not including Matthew's night of the living dead) brought back from the dead in the bible... So it seems to have been quite a regular business... Nothing exceptional

9 Times People (Besides Jesus) Rose From the Dead in the Bible
 
Nov 2016
1,156
Germany
It's helpful to remember that the notion of a resurrection is quite an obvious one. People don't need inspiration to come up with an idea like that.
It´s a big step from the idea of a revenant to the assumption that a concrete person has actually risen from the dead without being feared as a zombie or a demon.

Anything is possible, but I don't know of any good evidence for either hypothesis.
The Dionysos example combined with the resurrection narratives about some other deities and heroes (see my post #173) are more than enough evidence for making the hypothesis plausible that the Jesus resurrection was modelled on those preliminary concepts in order to make the Christian teaching internationally competitive. Even Justin Martyr conceded in 1 Apol. 21:

When we say (...) that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propose nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you consider sons of Zeus.

Of course you can also close your eyes to the obvious.
 
Last edited:
Aug 2008
87
It´s a big step from the idea of a revenant to the assumption that a concrete person has actually risen from the dead without being feared as a zombie or a demon.

The Dionysos example combined with the resurrection narratives about some other deities and heroes (see my post #173) are more than enough evidence for making the hypothesis plausible that the Jesus resurrection was modelled on those preliminary concepts in order to make the Christian teaching internationally competitive. Even Justin Martyr conceded in 1 Apol. 21:

When we say (...) that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propose nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you consider sons of Zeus.

Of course you can also close your eyes to the obvious.
You can always find similarities between religious beliefs. I just don't see any good evidence that Christianity was directly influenced by the religions you mention in your post #173, nor any other religions than Judaism and Greco-Roman paganism.