Then they'll put it on a web site, or put it in a book that's published by what people think is a respectable publisher. And so you get the lie repeated many times, mostly by people who aren't lying, who really do think it's true but just didn't check." (Richard Carrier from "The God Who Wasn't There" DVD) Unfortunately for Brian Flemming and his DVD, I've checked. One of the early "sources" of this argument is the 19th century pseudo-historical work of Kersey Graves The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors (35 pagan gods or religious leaders are listed in chapter 1, several of them overlapping Flemming's list) : "These have all received divine honors, have nearly all been worshiped as Gods, or sons of God; were mostly incarnated as Christs, Saviors, Messiahs, or Mediators; not a few of them were reputedly born of virgins; some of them filling a character almost identical with that ascribed by the Christian's bible to Jesus Christ; many of them, like him, are reported to have been crucified; and all of them, taken together, furnish a prototype and parallel for nearly every important incident and wonder-inciting miracle, doctrine and precept recorded in the New Testament, of the Christian's Savior.
And then hundreds, thousands of Christians will read this and believe it because they assume, well this guy wouldn't lie. Surely, with so many Saviors the world cannot, or should not, be lost." (Kersey Graves, chapter 1 "Rival Claims of the Saviors" also here) "....
As a Catholic, those are the claims that interest me and matter to historical Christianity.
So the argument goes: All of these gods and religions are based on myths, fables, or legends; Jesus is on par with Dionysos, Mithras, and Osiris.I'll try to be as fair and objective as possible using standard scholarly sources (see my sources and links below).There is not an attempt in Part 1 to prove the validity of miracles or the historicity of these gods (although see Part 2: The Evidence for Jesus).They are mentioned in short interview clips with unsuspecting Christians leaving a Billy Graham crusade.
"Have you heard of Osiris, or Mithras, or Dionysos?
Graves's hypothesis [is] that these various godmen were all 'historical personages' who patterned themselves after this archetype...." and "....[Graves] was an evermerist, i.e.