This is nothing new for those who read this blog, but Richard Carrier has posted an excellent example of a problem that plagues the case for mythicism: Parallelomania. I’ve stated over and over (and over and over) again that correlation does not equal causation. Here is a snippet from his blog on the subject:
Parallelomania is the particular disease of Jesus myth advocates who see “parallels” everywhere between early Christianity and all manner of pagan religions. Many of those parallels are real; don’t get me wrong. Some are even causal (Christianity really is a syncretism of Judaism and paganism, which point I will soundly prove in my coming book On the Historicity of Jesus Christ). But most parallels are not real, or are not causally related (remember that basic rule in science: correlation is not causation). Some don’t even exist (and here bad scholarship becomes the disease: see my cautionary review of Kersey Graves’ Sixteen Crucified Saviors).
One important example of a “non-parallel” is the Egyptian nativity narrative at Luxor. I reviewed this claim years ago (Brunner’s Gottkoenigs & the Nativity of Jesus: A Brief Communication). Acharya S (aka D.M. Murdock) responded to that by claiming I was reading the wrong text (and also not reading it right), but she’s mistaken. She also claimed that the meaning of “immaculate conception” is up for debate; it is not. She simply cites other people making the same mistake she did, as if a mistake many people make ceases to be a mistake, which is a non sequitur. It would have been better if she had not doubled down on her error and just corrected herself. But that’s her own look out. What concerns me more is her poor treatment of the details of Egyptian history and the texts in the Luxor case.
His conclusion is too good to simply quote here out of context. Do read on.
Filed under: Ancient Literature, Ancient Near East, Belief, Defining Mythicism, Jesus, Scholarship | Tagged: Acharya S, christianity, historical jesus, historicity, Luxor, mythicism, Richard Carrier, Zeitgeist |