The Resurrection of Jesus Comes from Ancient Religious Myths?

by Ross Hickling

In the continuing series of arguments that atheists use to attack the New Testament, I will focus now on the claim made by atheist scholars that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was developed from mythical stories that preceded the resurrection accounts in the New Testament. One such scholar who puts forward this idea is Dr. Richard Carrier, among others. Regarding Christians borrowing from “dying and rising  gods,” Dr. Carrier states:

So, it is far more likely a resurrected Adonis cult was not new. The more so as we can confirm several other examples of clearly pre-Christian dying and rising gods well known across the Roman Empire: the savior cult Zalmoxis (of Thracian origin) is clearly attested in Herodotus centuries before Christianity; the imperial cult of the resurrected Romulus is likewise attested in several pre-Christian authors…and the Egyptian savior cult of the resurrected Osiris is likewise undeniably ancient (Richard Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt, (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014).

Is Dr. Carrier’s contention supported by evidence? Does Dr. Carrier offering multiple sources for the “resurrection myth” strengthen his case? It will be helpful to conduct a brief survey of the myths that Carrier mentions and we’ll go over those in more detail in the next blog post.  But first, before getting into the details, let’s talk about a major problem that Dr. Carrier has “right out of the gate.”

In the field of argumentation and debate, there are certain rules that govern how one should proceed when arguing with someone…


The Resurrection of Jesus Comes from Ancient Religious Myths? | Ross Hickling, M.A.