Yes, I know, I’m always cautioning people about parallelism/parallelmania and that doesn’t change here. A scholar (Jill, Duchess of Hamilton) went on air and discussed the similarities between Jesus and Adonis. I am uncertain of her qualifications on the matter, though she is clearly working on her PhD. You can listen in here and there is a transcript available if you just want to cut through it all. Here are a few snippets:
Could an archaeological dig under the monumental 6th century Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem verify facts about the ancient written records which tell of the people of Bethlehem venerating a grotto as the birth cave of that central cult figure Adonis, Tammuz in various mystery religions? Some mythologists insist that the Adonis shrine is the very same one as the Christians revere, that instead of originating with Jesus and Christianity, the shrine began with the cult of Adonis, a deity of rebirth and vegetation. They say that the holy cave was consecrated by the heathens to the worship of Adonis and that it was the Christians who took over this pagan centre giving a precedent later for the many early churches in Europe and America being built on the sites of pagan temples.
Indeed, the actual existence of Adonis worship in Bethlehem cannot be disputed it is just a matter of when it took place – before or after the birth of Jesus. Yet the fact that the Church of the Nativity, the oldest continuously used Christian place of worship in the world covers the site of a former temple to Adonis is seldom mentioned.
You’ll have to listen in or read on to find out more details. My concern is that people might jump to the false conclusion that because of these similarities, Jesus did not exist. This is silly; fictional stories can be written about historical figures. The case for the historicity of Jesus doesn’t hinge on the nativity scene being historical. H/T David Meadows.
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Filed under: Belief, Defining Mythicism, Early Christianity, Jesus, Minimalism, Scholarship | Tagged: Bethlehem, Bible, christianity, conspiracy theories, historicity, jesus, Nativity | Leave a comment »