Jun 30, 2008

Did Jesus Have Pagan Origins? The "Pagan Copycat Theory" And The Work Of Kersey Graves - A Myth That Needs To Be Put To Rest

If you go around the internet today, you will find a surprising number of people spouting the complete nonsense that the idea of "Jesus" originated from earlier pagan religions.

Of course this is complete and utter nonsense, and will do many more posts on this topic, but for now let us look at the root of the problem.

This whole "pagan copycat myth" nonsense is based on rumors that developed from the work of Kersey Graves (The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors).

This work had been completely discredited and debunked over and over and over. There were ZERO other "crucified saviors" and people who are actually informed and educated laugh at the work of Graves.

Are you willing to put your reputation and credibility on the line for something that even the atheist websites on the internet mock as completely ridiculous and unreliable?

Here is what one of the leading ATHIEST websites had to say about this work:


Kersey Graves and The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors

The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors: Or Christianity Before Christ is unreliable, but no comprehensive critique exists. Most scholars immediately recognize many of his findings as unsupported and dismiss Graves as useless. After all, a scholar who rarely cites a source isn't useful to have as a reference even if he is right. For examples of specific problems, however, see Hare Jesus: Christianity's Hindu Heritage, and some generally poor but not always incorrect Christian rebuttals. A very helpful discussion of related methodological problems by renowned scholar Bruce Metzger is also well worth reading ("Methodology in the Study of the Mystery Religions and Early Christianity" 2002). In general, even when the evidence is real, it often only appears many years after Christianity began, and thus might be evidence of diffusion in the other direction. Another typical problem is that Graves draws far too much from what often amounts to rather vague evidence. In general, there are ten kinds of problems that crop up in Graves' work here and there:

Graves often does not distinguish his opinions and theories from what his sources and evidence actually state.

Graves often omits important sources and evidence.

Graves often mistreats in a biased or anachronistic way the sources he does use.

Graves occasionally relies on suspect sources.

Graves does little or no source analysis or formal textual criticism.

Graves' work is totally uninformed by modern social history (a field that did not begin to be formally pursued until after World War II, i.e., after Graves died).

Graves' conclusions and theories often far exceed what the evidence justifies, and he treats both speculations and sound theories as of equal value.

Graves often ignores important questions of chronology and the actual order of plausible historical influence, and completely disregards the methodological problems this creates.

Graves' work lacks all humility, which is unconscionable given the great uncertainties that surround the sketchy material he had to work with.

Graves' scholarship is obsolete, having been vastly improved upon by new methods, materials, discoveries, and textual criticism in the century since he worked. In fact, almost every historical work written before 1950 is regarded as outdated and untrustworthy by historians today.

1 comment:

  1. what atheist site are you referencing? I am trying to convince a guy at work that the copy cat theory is false and need some help. thanks