Hello Dr Oakes. I read your articles about the Zeitgeist movie and they did help a lot. However, after viewing a video by Acharya S, she made a rebuttal to not only your claims but the claims by other apologists. She said there are many details that apologists don’t take into consideration when trying to refute her claims. They can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgBOKL9a6-A&feature=youtu.be
I watched this little video. It is nicely produced, but it offers nothing new from Acharya S. She is simply repeating what she has said before, so I do not feel a particular need to respond to this video. She repeats the same mythical figures about whom she has previously proposed parallels, such as Horus, Krishna and others. She also continues to defend her use of Dec. 25 and the three kings idea, despite admitting that these things are not even part of the biblical story, defending them based on Christian tradition which I certainly do not accept as biblical. Here is the bottom line:
1. Her “facts” are cherry-picked. In other words, out of a very large story about Horus or Isis or Empodocles or other figure, she finds a couple of things that seem, taken out of context, to be similar to the story of Christ. But, if we look at the whole story, there is virtually no similarity to the story of Christ.
2. She ignores the fact that virtually all of the statements about Krishna, Mithra, etc. come from sources AFTER AD 100, when the New Testament was completed, which makes any claim of borrowing to be very dubious. If there is any borrowing at all, it is from Christianity to the story of Mithra or others, which were written down later.
3. Many of these so-called parallels are pure fabrications. If we look at the primary sources, we will literally not find her claimed parallels at all.
4. She ignores the fact that Krishna, Horus, Isis and others are literally fictional. They are not real, actual people who actually lived, whereas Jesus is definitely a real person. We know where and when he was born, where, when and how he was killed. We know the names of his mother, his adoptive father, three of his brothers and dozens of his close friends. The factual story of an actual person cannot be created out of the invented stories of mythical figures.
5. She ignores the fact that it is ludicrous to propose that sincere Jewish believers, who were prepared to die defending their monotheistic faith, would compose a false god by using pagan sources. This is so obviously a calumny, yet Acharya S. continues to propose this a priori false idea.
We put on a debate several years ago with Robert Price, who also defends this Jesus/myth idea. He made very similar claims as Acharya S. The audio of the debate is available at www.ipibooks.com
It is titled, Jesus: Man, Myth or Messiah? In the debate, my good friend Douglas Jacoby patiently and lovingly pointed out that to propose this Jesus myth idea requires really stretching the truth to an almost unrecognizable extent. He challenged Price to propose one single example of a really good parallel between a religious figure and Jesus. Price’s “best” example was Apolonius of Tyana. The problem with this is that if one looks at the supposed parallels between Apolonius of Tyana and Jesus, the claim falls apart of its own weight. Apolonius lived AFTER the four gospels were written! The only source on Apolonia of Tyana comes from the fourth century, long after the factual stories of Jesus had spread throughout the Greek world. Then, if we look at the supposed parallels, they are virtually non-existent. The silliness of these proposals becomes obvious when we give them a serious look. Please go to the summary of this debate, which is available at https://evidenceforchristianity.org/review-of-the-jacobyprice-debate-jesus-man-myth-or-messiah/
Really, this idea that the Christian church was built on a complete fabrication is so obviously a lie it is hard to understand how people like Acharya S or Robert Price can continue to even have an audience. I believe it is because people do not know the Bible and do not take the time to ask some of the most basic possible questions about these conspiracy theories of Acharya S and Robert Price, as this is exactly what they are–conspiracy theories. A theory about what would have to have been the greatest conspiracy in history. If Jesus is a myth, then those who created this myth were a group of many hundreds, all of whom would have had to agree on the nature of the myth, all of whom would have had to support this massive lie and cover-up, and all of whom would have been willing to die, rather than admit to the conspiracy. This is craziness, in my opinion. Let us stop giving space to the likes of Acharya S. and Robert Price.