You dont have to read this, I just need to scream and get it out!
I am wanting the reach through the computer and strangle this person.... If you do take the time to read it, I sent him what is in bold print. Dear Mell,
Due to the time that I spend researching this stuff to reply, I only compared Jesus and Heracles to the author’s criteria (much of which is pretty broad or vague)...
Taking a page from Vladimir Propp's book (who in turn took a page from Claude Levi-Strauss' book) Lord Raglan took a structuralistic look at the hero legends of the cultures of the world in his book The Hero: A Study in Tradition, Myth and Dreams. In the book Raglan explains a structural pattern that he believes is common to all hero legends. There are twenty-two points in the structure and they move in a chronological order, from conception, to birth, to life, and then to death. Not all points apply to every hero, that is no hero actually follows all twenty-two points, but most hit ten or more, generally over fifteen. The points are as follows:
1. Hero's mother is a royal virgin
2. His father is a king, and
3. Often a near relative of his mother
4. The circumstances of his conception are unusual
5. He is also reputed to be the son of a god
6. At birth an attempt is made, usually by his father or his maternal grand father to kill him, but
7. He is spirited away, and
8. Reared by foster parents in a far country
9. We are told nothing of his childhood, but
10. On reaching manhood he returns or goes to his future Kingdom
11. After a victory over the king and/or a giant, dragon, or wild beast
12. He marries a princess, often the daughter of his predecessor and
13. And becomes king
14. For a time he reigns uneventfully and
15. Prescribes laws, but
16. Later he loses favor with the gods and/or his subjects, and
17. Is driven from the throne and city, after which
18. He meets with a mysterious death
19. Often at the top of a hill
20. His children, if any do not succeed him
21. His body is not buried, but nevertheless
22. He has one or more holy sepulchers.
Raglan and others have applied this pattern to a great many legends. A few are included as examples:
Heracles - Greek
His mother, Alcmene, is (1) a royal virgin,
>>> “Heracles was the son of the affair Zeus had with the mortal woman Alcmene. Zeus made love to her after disguising himself as her husband” Not a virgin: fails #1<<<
and his father is (2) King Amphitryon,
>>>”Amphitryon (Greek: Ἀμφιτρύων, gen.: Ἀμφιτρύωνος; usually interpreted as "harassing either side", in Greek mythology, was a son of Alcaeus, king of Tiryns in Argolis.
Amphitryon was a Theban general, who was originally from Tiryns in the eastern part of the Peloponnese.” Amphitryon was the son of a king and a general. NOT a king: fails #2<<<
who is (3) her first cousin.
>>> Having accidentally killed his uncle Electryon, king of Mycenae, Amphitryon was driven out by another uncle, Sthenelus. He fled with Alcmene, Electryon's daughter, to Thebes” Was her 1st cousin: Passes #3. Marrying cousins was common in the ancient world.<<<
He is reputed to be (5) the son of Zeus,
>>>Was son of Zeus: Passes #5<<<
who (4) visited Alcmene in the guise of Amphitryon.
>>>I guess having an adulterous affair with a “god” would be considered unusual: passes #4<<<
At his birth (6) Hera tries to kill him.
>>>” A few months after he was born, Hera sent two serpents to kill him as he lay in his cot.”
On reaching adulthood he (11) performs feats and fine victories,
>>>Passes #11, but that’s pretty broad<<<
after which he (10) proceeds to Calydon,
>>>Heracles does go to Calydon, but it never mentions it as his future or past kingdom nor is he ever mentioned as ever being a king: Fails #10<<<
where he (12) marries the king's daughter,
and (13) becomes ruler.
>>>Could find no mention of him staying in Calydon (he went there to kill a wild boar, one of his 12 punishments), neither do I find any mention of him becoming its ruler. Flunks #13 & 14<<<
He remains there (14) quietly for some years,
after which an accidental manslaughter compels him (17) to flee from the country.
>>>Checked several sources, found nothing on this: Fails #17<<<
He disappears (18) from a funeral pyre
>>>” Heracles then uproots several trees and builds a funeral pyre, which Poeas, father of Philoctetes, lights. As his body burns, only his immortal side is left. Through Zeus' apotheosis, Heracles rises to Olympus as he dies.” Sort of close but “mysterious death” is pretty vague and general: Passes #18<<<
(19) on the top of Mt. Oeta.
His sons (20) do not succeed him.
>>>His immortal half only ascended to Olympis his mortal body remained on the pyre: Flunks #21
and (22) he is worshipped in temples.
>>>Was in the past but I doubt anyone does today: A temple is not a sepulcher: Fails #22<<<
>>>Fails #7, 8, 9, 15, 16<<<
Jesus - Christian
His mother, Mary, is (1) a royal virgin (descendant of King David),
>>>Yes, she was a descendant of King David, but she was also a peasant. I wouldn’t call her a “Royal Virgin”, but, she was a virgin so I’ll give that one. Passes #1<<<
and his father is (2) Joseph,
>>>His step-father, Joseph was not king, he was a carpenter, but I guess you could say God is King so I’ll give this one. Passes #2<<<
who is (3) her close relative.
>>>Although Joseph and Mary were both descendants of David, the best you can do as far as them being related is distant cousins: Flunks #3<<<
He is reported to be (5) the son of God,
>>>Yes, he is: Passes #5<<<
who (4) sends his Holy Spirit to Mary.
At his birth King Herod (6) tries to kill him,
>>>Herod was not his father or grandfather, but yes, he did try to kill him: Passes #6<<<
but he and his parents (7) flee to Egypt.
>>>Passes #7 Flunks #8<<<
We are told (9) almost nothing of his childhood,
>>>I’ll concede that one, but Luke does mention some of his childhood<<<
but on reaching manhood he begins to enter (10) his future kingdom.
He teaches successfully (14) for some time,
>>>Fails #14: A teacher/preacher/healer, but not an earthly ruler<<<
prescribing (15) ways of behavior and belief.
His enemies (16) persecute him,
and he is executed (18)
>>>Sure, but I wouldn’t call crucifixion “mysterious”: Fails 18<<<
on top of a hill (19).
He defeats the forces of evil (11)
>>>Number 11 is VERY broad. Jesus didn’t kill any giants, wild beasts, or dragons, but he did defeat death & Satan: Passes #11<<<
and eventually returns (10) to his heavenly kingdom.
He has (20) no children to succeed him.
His body is (21) not buried,
>>>His grave was cut out of rock in a hillside: Flunks #21<<<
but he has a sepulcher (22) in Jerusalem.
>>>Fails #22 see above<<<
His body (21) is not found,
>>>Not a dead one anyway. 21 is mentioned twice<<<
>>>Fails 12,13, & 14<<<
Heracles fails 10 out of 22
Jesus fails 9 out of 22
Can’t you see the weaknesses of this argument that Christianity is a copycat religion? Do you even check this stuff out or just take it on faith?!? These assertions that Christianity is a copycat religion have been around since the 19th century and have been debunked over and over. Few scholars Christian or non-Christian give any of these arguments any credibility.
I also read your posted article on Did Jesus Exist, and if the author has ANY credentials whatsoever, then he is one of the poorest scholars I’ve ever read.
A note on Julius Caesar: The earliest copies we have are 1,000 years after the fact and there are only ten in existence, and no originals. Look it up, do some research, don’t just go to anti-Christian websites or even Christian ones, seek out experts in the field of ancient literature, no matter what their faith is or isn’t.
New Testament Manuscripts: Earliest copies appear about 30 years after the originals and we have over 5000 Greek manuscripts...
If there is one thing I would like for you to get out of any of this is to think critically and logically. Check your sources, are they credible and reliable? To believe that Jesus never existed is just pure atheistic wishful thinking; to say that evolution (one species changing into another) is the only option is just not good science. You seem to accept every latest or rehashed conspiracy theory that comes down the pike on pure faith, but when it comes to objective reasoning, you seem to have a great deficit.
Sincerely Your Friend,
The Bible's Manuscript Evidencedebate.org.ukUnlike the Qur'an, when we consider the New Testament manuscripts (MSS) we are astounded by the sheer numbers of extent copies which are in existence. Muslims contend, however, that since we do not have the original documents, the reliability of the copies we do have is thus in doubt. ...Share
Anarchism is the only philosophy which brings to man the consciousness of himself; which maintains that God, the State, and society are non-existent, that their promises are null and void, since they can be fulfilled only through man's subordination. Anarchism is therefore the teacher of the unity of life; not merely in nature, but in man.