Welcome to Dorset Humanists

Dorset Humanists is a welcoming group for humanists, atheists and agnostics who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. We meet in Bournemouth for informative and enjoyable presentations, debates and discussions on a wide range of subjects including ethics, science, religion, philosophy, politics, our environment and much more. We also organise regular social events.

The Myth of Jesus by Geoff Jones, Dorset Humanists, Bournemouth

Geoff  Jones, committee member of Dorset Humanists, spoke to a packed Dorset Humanists audience on 9 January 2010 about The Myth of Jesus.

Predating Jesus by 500-1500 years, the Godmen of the Mysteries religions are Dionysus from Ancient Greece, Osiris from Ancient Egypt and Mithras from Persia. A typical Godman characteristics are that their Father is a God and the Mother is a human virgin. They are all born in a cave or a cattle shed on 25th December before three shepherds. They offer their followers the chance to be born again through baptism. They die at Easter time as a sacrifice for the sins of the world and are reborn again. After their death they descend into hell and on the third day they rise from their death and ascend into heaven in glory.

For instance, similarities between Dionysus and Jesus are:- The birth place of Dionysus was indicated by a star. His Father was God and his mother was a human virgin. He was born in a cave or humble byre on 25 December before shepherds. Dionysus came riding into town on a donkey while crowds waved branches. He was hung on a tree or crucified. Dionysus turned water into wine at a wedding ceremony; as did Jesus. Dionysus was baptised; this had been a ritual practice for centuries in the Mysteries. Dionysus is followed by twelve disciples.

Geoff explained how the Gnostics in Alexandria, who claimed that Jesus was a myth not a real person, were persecuted by the Christians in Rome. Almost all  traces of the Gnostics documentation was destroyed, but some still remains.

Geoff concluded that Jesus like Dionysus, Osiris and Mithras, never actually existed - they are all myths.

Review by David Warden:
Jesus „not historical. At our packed January meeting, Geoff Jones presented a convincing argument for doubting the historicity of Jesus. It was common knowledge in the first few centuries that there were striking similarities between Jesus and pre-Christian mythical gods such as Osiris and Dionysus. The parallels include virgin mothers, born on 25th December, dying at Easter time as a sacrifice for the sins of the world and resurrection on the third day. The Christians claimed that this was „diabolical mimicry. but the more plausible explanation is that the Jesus story was created out of pagan and Jewish motifs. The thesis presented by Geoff is that a Jewish version of the so-called mystery religions was created in Hellenistic Alexandria, possibly in the early part of the first century. This version of the mystery religions incorporated the Jewish figure of Joshua (the name means „saviour.) to be a dying and rising god on the pattern of Osiris and Dionysus. The name given to this figure was, of course, „Jesus. which is the Greek version of Joshua. The earliest Christians practised a mystical version of the faith and did not intend their allegorical gospels to be understood as literal history. This original version of Christianity came to be known as Gnosticism and it is thought that Paul was in fact a Gnostic Christian. In time, however, the appeal of a real, historical saviour rather than a mythical one proved overwhelming and the Jesus myth came to be understood as history by an anti-Gnostic faction. This faction evolved into the Roman Catholic Church which eradicated Gnosticism with predictable brutality.

This theory is supported by the fact that there are no convincing historical records of Jesus. Roman sources such as Tacitus and Suetonius are either too late or too vague to be taken seriously, and there is a scholarly consensus that the key passage in Josephus.s Antiquities of the Jews is a late addition by a Christian scribe. The historical reliability of the gospels has long been doubted, even by Christian New Testament scholars. Geoff stated that without a historical Jesus Christianity would collapse. Perhaps it is only a matter of time before word gets out. Contact Geoff for a reading list.

Stephen Fry on QI says of Jesus, 'he's frankly not original':-

Live in Dorset but only express your Humanist views in internet forums? For £1 a month support our vital work and join Dorset Humanists for one year of monthly meetings in Bournemouth.

No comments: