Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning
[508:1] "For knowledge of the man Jesus, of his idea and his aims, and of the outward form of his career, the New Testament is our only hope. If this hope fails, the pillared firmament of his starry fame is rottenness; the base of Christianity, so far as it was personal and individual, is built on stubble." (John W. Chadwick.)
[508:2] M. Renan, after declaring Jesus to be a "fanatic," and admitting that, "his friends thought him, at moments, beside himself;" and that, "his enemies declared him possessed by a devil," says: "The man here delineated merits a place at the summit of human grandeur." "This is the Supreme man, a sublime personage;" "to call him divine is no exaggeration." Other liberal writers have written in the same strain.
[509:1] "The Christ of Paul was not a person, but an idea; he took no pains to learn the facts about the individual Jesus. He actually boasted that the Apostles had taught him nothing. His Christ was an ideal conception, evolved from his own feeling and imagination, and taking on new powers and attributes from year to year to suit each new emergency." (John W. Chadwick.)
[510:2] Scythia was a name employed in ancient times, to denote a vast, indefinite, and almost unknown territory north and east of the Black Sea, the Caspian, and the Sea of Aral.
[510:3] See Herodotus, book 4, ch. 82.
[510:4] See Dupuis, p. 264.
[510:5] See Knight's Anct. Art and Mythology, p. 96, and Mysteries of Adoni, p. 90.
[510:6] See Dupuis, p. 264.
[510:7] See Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 7.
[510:8] See Ibid. vol. i. p. 27.
[510:10] Ibid. vol. i. p. 2, and Bonwick, p. 155.
[510:11] See Chambers, art. "Jonah."
[510:12] See Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 152, and Goldzhier, p. 280.
[511:1] "Whilst, in one part of the Christian world, the chief objects of interest were the human nature and human life of Jesus, in another part of the Christian world the views taken of his person because so idealistic, that his humanity was reduced to a phantom without reality. The various Gnostic systems generally agreed in saying that the Christ was an Æon, the redeemer of the spirits of men, and that he had little or no contact with their corporeal nature." (A. Réville: Hist. of the Dogma of the Deity of Jesus.)
[511:2] Epiphanius says that there were TWENTY heresies before Christ, and there can be no doubt that there is much truth in the observation, for most of the rites and doctrines of the Christians of all sects existed before the time of Jesus of Nazareth.
[512:1] "Accipis avengelium? et maxime. Proinde ergo et natum accipis Christum. Non ita est. Neque enim sequitur ut si evangelium accipio, idcirco et natum accipiam Christum. Ergo non putas cum ex Maria Virgine esse? Manes dixit, Absit ut Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum per naturalia pudenda mulieris de scendisse confitear." (Lardner's Works, vol. iv. p. 20.)
[512:2] "I maintain," says he, "that the Son of God was born: why am I not ashamed of maintaining such a thing? Why! because it is itself a shameful thing—I maintain that the Son of God died: well, that is wholly credible because it is monstrously absurd. I maintain that after having been buried, he rose again: and that I take to be absolutely true, because it was manifestly impossible."
[512:3] King's Gnostics, p. 1.
[512:4] I. John, iv. 2, 3.
[512:5] II. John, 7.
[512:6] 1st Book Hermas: Apoc., ch. iii.
[512:7] Chapter II.
[513:1] Chapter II.
[513:2] Chapter III.
[513:3] Chapter III.
[513:4] I. Timothy, iii. 16.
[513:5] Irenæus, speaking of them, says: "They hold that men ought not to confess him who was crucified, but him who came in the form of man, and was supposed to be crucified, and was called Jesus." (See Lardner: vol. viii. p. 353.) They could not conceive of "the first-begotten Son of God" being put to death on a cross, and suffering like an ordinary being, so they thought Simon of Cyrene must have been substituted for him, as the ram was substituted in the place of Isaac. (See Ibid. p. 857.)
[513:6] Apol. 1, ch. xxi.
[514:1] Koran, ch. iv.
[514:2] Chapter XX.
[514:3] Chapter II.
[514:4] Col. i. 23.
[514:5] I. Timothy, iii. 16.
[514:6] The authenticity of these Epistles has been freely questioned, even by the most conservative critics.
[515:2] Quoted by Max Müller: The Science of Relig., p. 228.
[515:3] Ch. cxvii.
[515:4] Ch. xxii.
[516:1] Ch. iv. 5.
[516:2] Josephus: Antiq., b. xx. ch. v. 2.
[516:3] It is true there was another Annas high-priest at Jerusalem, but this was when Gratus was procurator of Judea, some twelve or fifteen years before Pontius Pilate held the same office. (See Josephus: Antiq., book xviii. ch. ii. 3.)
[516:4] See Appendix D.
[516:5] See the Martyrdom of Jesus, p. 100.
[516:6] According to Dio Cassius, Plutarch, Strabo and others, there existed, in the time of Herod, among the Roman Syrian heathens, a wide-spread and deep sympathy for a "Crucified King of the Jews." This was the youngest son of Aristobul, the heroic Maccabee. In the year 43 B. C., we find this young man—Antigonus—in Palestine claiming the crown, his cause having been declared just by Julius Cæsar. Allied with the Parthians, he maintained himself in his royal position for six years against Herod and Mark Antony. At last, after a heroic life and reign, he fell in the hands of this Roman. "Antony now gave the kingdom to a certain Herod, and, having stretched Antigonus on a cross and scourged him, a thing never done before to any other king by the Romans, he put him to death." (Dio Cassius, book xlix. p. 405.)
The fact that all prominent historians of those days mention this extraordinary occurrence, and the manner they did it, show that it was considered one of Mark Antony's worst crimes: and that the sympathy with the "Crucified King" was wide-spread and profound. (See The Martyrdom of Jesus of Nazareth, p. 106.)