The Jesus Myth

 The most radical statement I have heard in the last few years is that Jesus Christ a myth, and His characteristics were borrowed from several ancient religions and myths that existed before and after His time.  “Maurice Casey, professor at Nottingham, has taken on the rather thankless task of refuting recent claims that Jesus never existed, a belief greatly stimulated by the windy cave of the blogosphere.”[1]  This philosophy has been popularized by a documentary called “The Zeitgeist Film Series” directed by Peter Joseph, which claims “the character of Jesus, a literary and astrological hybrid, is most explicitly a plagiarization of the Egyptian Sun-god Horus.”[2]  Although a disbeliever in Christianity, Tim Callahan reviewed Joseph’s work, stating that “when it comes to Egyptian sources of the Christ myth, Joseph seems to have conflated Horus with his father, Osiris.”[3]  Joseph goes on to say that “Mithra, of Persia, born of a virgin on December 25th, he had 12 disciples and performed miracles, and upon his death was buried for 3 days and thus resurrected, he was also referred to as “The Truth,” “The Light,” and many others.”[4]  However, this assertion is none other than a blended copy, or albeit, plagiarized and invalidated assumption that was dealt just over a hundred years after the death of Christ by Justin Martyr. 

Martyr said,

“For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do in remembrance of Me, this is My body;” and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood;” and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.”[5]

Justin Martyr says that the mythicizing of Jesus Christ is none other than mere copies of devils in an attempt to overthrow the power of Christ’s efficacy for salvation.  The Jesus myths today are simply copies of what ancient apologists like Martyr dealt with, and we will continue to deal with as time progresses, precisely why our apologetics must be firm and coherent.  Even Callahan states that “the evidence for Jesus as a real, historical personage, though meager, is solid.”[6]  The information Joseph’s often cites are “The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ” (1887), and “Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World” (1907) written by a 19th century layperson and Egyptologist Gerald Massey.  Heralded secularist New Testament Scholar Bart Ehrman “rejects their claims about Jesus”[7] and invariably calls them outright fools[8] in the end.  “As British Professor C. S. Lewis–who specialised in Greek and Roman mythology–has pointed out, the Greek and Roman accounts are clearly mythical, storytelling literature. By contrast, the writings in regard to Christ pin the details to an actual historical figure and are not written in mythic form but in a journalistic style. So essentially, no parallel to the Christian story prior to Christ.”[9]  In the end, all that remains is the ancient claim that Mithras was what Christianity borrowed itself from, but in essence, this commits a false analogy, because the myth attributed to Jesus Christ itself was fabricated after the Christ event[10], and “it is almost a certainty that Mithraism pirated key doctrines from Christianity”[11] to give it more credence because Christianity was flourishing into a movement “which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever,” (Daniel 2:44b, KJV). 


[1] Pervo, Richard I. “Jesus: Evidence and Argument Or Mythicist Myths?” Sewanee Theological Review 57, no. 4 (2014): 562-3,

[2] Truth11, “Zeitgeist Movie Transcript,” Published March 19, 2009, accessed May 31, 2016,

[3] Tim Callahan, “The Greatest Story Ever Garbled,” Skeptic, February 25, 9009, accessed May 31, 2016,

[4] [4] Truth11, “Zeitgeist Movie Transcript,” Published March 19, 2009, accessed May 31, 2016,

[5] Justin Martyr, First Apology, Chapter LXVI.

[6] Tim Callahan, “The Greatest Story Ever Garbled,” Skeptic, February 25, 9009, accessed May 31, 2016,

[7] James F. McGrath, “Review of Bart Ehrman, Did Jesus Exist? Part Two,” Patheos, Published April 13, 2013, accessed May 31, 2016,

[8] Abî Sarh, Abdullâh, “Did the historical Jesus exist -Bart Ehrman,” Published January 2, 2015, YouTube Video,

[9] Wishart, Ian. “The Jesus myth: is Christianity’s central story borrowed from older legends?” Investigate, December, 2009, 54. Academic OneFile. Web. 1 June 2016,

[10] Sorenson, Jon, “Exploding the Mithras Myth: Christianity did not borrow its beliefs from a Roman mystery religion,” JONSORENSON.NET, A Blog About Catholic Apologetics, Published April 17, 2013, Accessed June 1, 2016,

[11] Ibid., 54.