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The origins of Crucifixion and Resurrection myth

In the early days of Christianity, the practice was to appropriate pagan practices and celebrations. The Roman emperor Constantine presided over the First Council of Nicaea and it was there that Dec 25 was picked as the birth date of Yeshua. During those times, two important pagan festivals were celebrated – the first one starting on Dec. 17 honored Saturn, a major Roman deity of agriculture and harvest and the second one starting on Dec 25, celebrated the birth of Mithras, the Persian god of light. Constantine combined both and we now have Christmas.[Dec 25, 326 CE | varnam]

Now it turns out that even the story of crucifixion and resurrection has a pagan connection. According to Valerie Tarico, “it is an historicized version of a very ancient myth from Mesopotamia.” In the Sumerian tradition it is called “The Descent of Inanna” and “The Descent of Ishtar” in the Babylonian version.

Let’s start with the first part of the myth. Inanna and Jesus both travel to a big city, where they are arrested by soldiers, put on trial, convicted, sentenced to death, stripped of their clothes, tortured, hung up on a stake, and die. And then, after 3 days, they are resurrected from the dead. Now there are, to be sure, a number of significant differences between the stories. For one thing, one story is about a goddess and the other is about a divine man. But this is a specific pattern, a mythic template. When you are dealing with the question of whether these things actually happened, you have to deal with the fact that there is a mythic template here. It doesn’t necessarily mean that there wasn’t a real person, Jesus, who was crucified, but rather that, if there was, the story about it is structured and embellished in accordance with a pattern that was very ancient and widespread.[Valerie Tarico: Ancient Sumerian Origins of the Easter Story]

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7 Responses to The origins of Crucifixion and Resurrection myth

  1. rakesh April 20, 2009 at 10:01 pm #

    its an obvious madeup story, nobody with commonsense would belive that jesus was re-surected. and only mary magdaline saw him resurrect so its obvious she just lied

  2. Daniel Knight April 22, 2009 at 2:08 am #

    Rakesh: Whatever is true cuz u said so and feel so. Sorry Rakesh, you aren’t God, and your word isn’t true merely because you believe it. It’s obvious you are full of hate and deluded and could care less about truth, and find pleasure in babbling your opinions. Hint: Instead of pretending to care about the truth for a vain show, how about actually caring and checking the facts rather than being swayed by your own emotions to believe “whatever”? Second hint: Learn the definition of evidence really means, as well proof and truth, and stop insulting Christians you refuse to get to know, yet hypocritically condemn.

  3. kedar April 22, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    Daniel:
    Ouch! It hurts, doesnt it?

    Well, now you know how we feel when salesmen of the book walk all over us, talking abt “harvesting souls” and “false Gods”, when we stand for “all paths lead to same truths” thingy.

  4. Berts May 10, 2009 at 8:41 am #

    for what is truth, will be true and for that who are true ,will seek truth. false teachings like these go on since 2000 years before. but there are people in history who gave their life for christ and still today, leaving all the worldly pleasures behind. I am proud to be a christian because my God gave his life through shameful death and showed the power of love. It is this love that every true christians reflect.
    There are numerous historical evidence pertaining to life of jesus christ which were and still are discovered in Israel such as a stone tablet bearing the name of pontius pilate as governer of the province of judaea he was the one who ordered the death of Jesus by crucification. one must know that Jesus was not an important personality during that time whose life is to be recorded, but lived like a vagabond going around places teaching about virtues of human life and met death like a criminal and laid to rest in a donated tomb as scripture tells; foxes had holes, birds have their nest, but the son of God had no where to be laid. After Jesus they also tried to put his disciples to death to prevent people from knowing Jesus. But their own leader told them. “If Jesus is from God then we cannot fight God, preventing people to know about him. If Jesus is not from God, his disciples in due course of time will have no interest in preaching and things will die on its own”. but what started with twelve men(Jesus disciples) were transformed to millions of christians world wide today. That very much explains the truth about Jesus.

    • jk May 11, 2009 at 12:03 pm #

      Berts, “false teachings like these” ? Right. Looks like you have not understood or not cared to understood what was written here.

  5. rohit June 13, 2009 at 12:49 am #

    Resurrection is a plain lie. Only an idiot will believe that a person will die to be reborn after three days only to die once again. For more reading one can go through http://www.atheists.org

    • jk June 13, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

      Rohit, see this debate on resurrection between “the prominent Christian philosopher and apologist William Lane Craig and the prominent New Testament historian Bart D. Ehrman” William Lane Craig vs Bart Ehrman

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