5 Reasons the Resurrection of Jesus is NOT a Copy of Ancient Pagan Myths
by Alisa Childers
We are coming up on a time of year when the resurrection of a virgin-born child whose followers called the “Good Shepherd” and “Messiah” is celebrated. He had twelve disciples, performed miracles, and sacrificed himself for the peace of the world. He was buried in a tomb only to rise from the dead three days later. His followers went on to celebrate his resurrection every year, and this celebration eventually became what we call “Easter.”
Think I’m talking about Jesus? Nope. I’m talking about Mithras.
This is a common claim that is made by skeptics all over popular media, the internet, and even in some universities. The only problem—it’s simply not true. According to Mithraic tradition, Mithras was born out of solid rock (I guess it counts if the rock was a virgin?) His birth was celebrated on December 25th, but Christians already knew that wasn’t the real date of Christ’s birth. There is no evidence that he had twelve disciples, sacrificed himself for world peace, or that he was called “Good Shepherd” or “Messiah.” Many mythological characters were thought to be miracle workers (so maybe they can have that one), but there is no evidence he ever even died—which makes his “resurrection” a wee bit of a dilemma.
Church Father Tertullian wrote about Mithraic believers acting out resurrection stories, but this was well after the time of the New Testament. So, if there are a couple of similarities between Jesus and Mithras, it could be that Mithraic believers copied the Christians….rather than the other way around.
Mithras isn’t the only pagan myth that Christians are accused of copying. Although most scholars are agreed that no such “dying and rising gods” existed before Christ,* here are 5 reasons the resurrection of Jesus could NOT be a copycat…