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Why We Shouldn’t Be Surprised Some Pre-Christian Deities Are Similar to Jesus
by J Warner Wallace
I’ve written about pre-Jesus mythologies and why they fail to prove Jesus is a myth. I originally investigated the issue in an effort to respond to what’s been written or produced in the past 10 years to popularize the notion that Jesus never existed. Movies like Zeitgeist: The Movie and The God Who Wasn’t There attempted to convince a generation of skeptics Jesus was simply a mythological creation of the past, shaped and modeled after the mythological gods who preceded Him. Even though Bart Ehrman (the prominent skeptic and Biblical scholar) has concluded that Jesus actually existed, many of his fellow skeptics continue to argue against this conclusion. In an effort to make the case that Jesus is simply a re-creation of prior deities, many “Jesus Mythers” have referenced similarities between the real Christ and His imaginary predecessors. While these similarities are always dramatically overstated (more on that in tomorrow’s post), I think it is fair to first address why there might be any similarities at all between Jesus and the ancient mythologies to which He is often compared.
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It really shouldn’t surprise us that there may be some broad similarities between Jesus and the “deities” imagined prior to His arrival. I think it is reasonable to envision something that later becomes a reality (even if only in part), and there are good examples from history to illustrate this. A man named Morgan Robertson, for example, once wrote about a British ocean liner that was approximately 800 feet long, weighed over 60,000 tons, and could carry about 3,000 passengers. The ship had a top cruising speed of 24 knots, three propellers, and about 20 lifeboats. This ocean liner hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage in the month of April, tearing an opening in the starboard side, forward portion of the ship, and sank along with about 2,000 passengers. Recognize the ship? Let me give you another clue: The ship’s name was spelled T-I-T-A-N… If I stopped right there, I bet you would recognize this ship as the Titanic, right? If so, you would be wrong. While the description is eerily similar to the Titanic, the ship Robertson described is the “Titan” and it is a fictional vessel from his book, The Wreck of the Titan (also called, Futility), published by Buccaneer Books (Cutchogue, New York) in 1898. This book was written fourteen years before the Titanic disaster took place, and several years before construction was even begun on the Titanic…
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