Jesus and Hercules*Overcame the serpent and assassination attempts during infancy.
There was indeed an attempt on his life while he was still an infant, when his step-mother, Juno, put a serpent in his cradle (which Hercules kills), but this hardly compares to Jesus.
*Divine Father and Mortal Mother.
Yet was not a virgin and had a twin brother, Iphicles.
Which prophets were those? No such thing appears in the Hercules story.
*Consoled mother upon time of death with reference to Heaven
Hercules never really 'died' in any version of the story, and I can find no mention of his mother or any disciple in the one version in which Deianara poisons him.
*Final words: "It is finished"
(Scroll to 2.4.8 to read the story)http://www.theoi.com/Text/DiodorusSiculus4A.html#8http://www.theoi.com/Text/HesiodShield.htmlhttp://www.theoi.com/Text/HomericHymns3.html#15http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidHeroides2.html#9http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidMetamorphoses9.html#1http://www.emufarm.org/~cmbell/myth/hercules.htmlhttp://www.tektonics.org/alcy.htmlhttp://www.mythweb.com/encyc/entries/hercules.html
Jesus and Dionysus:
*Dionysus was the god of wine, agriculture, and fertility of nature
Dionysus was indeed "the God of the Vine". However, Jesus wasn't.
*Divine Father, Mortal Virgin Mother
His mother, Semele, was impregnanted sexually by Zeus. He was never referred to as the "Holy Child" or placed in a manger in any version of the story.http://www.theoi.com/Text/DiodorusSiculus4A.html#3
*Healed the sick
Jesus' miracles were healings and such - all positive miracles. Dionysus' miracles were judgments against those who defied him.
*Turned water into wine
The earliest possible reference to Dionysus turning water into wine was by Achilles Tatius in the Greek Romance, "The Adventures of Leucippe and Clitophon" which was written in the 2nd century A.D. It mentions a Tyranian myth about Dionysus introducing wine to the world, with Dionysus calling it "the water of summer" and saying "This is the water, this is the spring". It's not clear whether this a real Tyranian myth being mentioned here (in which case it may be pre-Christian) or just something Tatius was inventing for the purposes of this story. Either way, Dionysus is not actually turning water into wine, but simply calling the wine a type of water. And we cannot reliably date this myth to any earlier than the second century A.D.
*Killed, and resurrected to immortality
This story is hardly similar to the story of Jesus' resurrection and is an unofficial story anyways. There is an ancient reference to Dionysus being "a god who renews himself and returns every year rejuvenated", but this doesn't involve death.
*Depicted on a Donkey
Dionysus was depicted riding a donkey while a crowd waved ivy branches - the typical homecoming for any royal figure. The crowd welcoming Jesus to Jerusalem were imitating this sort of homecoming, though using the traditional palm branches of Israel. So while this could be called a sort of imitation, it's an imitation committed by the people in the story itself, not by any writer, and had nothing to do with Dionysus in particular. The latter quotes come from the book "The Jesus Mysteries" by Freke and Gandy. Their only reference is to a depiction of a scene from Orphic eschatology which, oddly, has nothing to do with Dionysus.
*Death was greatest accomplishment delivering humanity
Actually Jesus' Resurrection is the greatest accomplishment in delivering humanity. Dionysus is only referred to as 'savior' and in the context in which he is referred to 'savior', he is saving people from the wrath of Pentheus, not from sin or eternal damnation. So even this is hardly a comparison to Jesus. http://www.theoi.com/Text/Apollodorus3.html#5http://www.theoi.com/Text/DiodorusSiculus4A.html#4http://www.theoi.com/Text/HomericHymns1.html#1http://www.theoi.com/Text/HomericHymns3.html#26http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidMetamorphoses3.html#6http://www.gods-heros-myth.com/godpages/dionysus.htmlhttp://www.tektonics.org/tekton_04_02_04_DDD.htmlhttp://homepage.mac.com/cparada/GML/Dionysus2.htmlhttp://www.mythweb.com/encyc/entries/dionysus.html
The Epic of Gilgamesh and Noah's Ark:
*Worldwide flood caused by rain would destroy everything
*A single righteous man: Ut-Napishtim or Noah
*The main characters were instructed to build an ark of wood with compartments, and have a single door
*The arc settled on a mountain in the Middle East
*Two birds returned to the ark, but not the third
*An animal was offered as a sacrifice upon landing
*The Gods in both stories expressed remorse for what they did
I have not researched the claims of parallels here, but don't see quite how they matter. Moses was writing about events that supposedly took place before Gilgamesh was written. If the flood really happened, and the writer of Gilgamesh simply wrote about the flood first, then of course Moses, writing about the exact same flood, is going to write a similar story. Just as someone writing about the Kennedy assassination today is going to write a similar to story as someone who wrote about the Kennedy assassination in the seventies.
*Body chopped up and scattered throughout the nation - Judges 20:6
In most versions, he's slain and cut into pieces by Seth (his son in many version, his brother in other versions), so this hardly corresponds to Jesus.
Nope. His mother was the goddess Nut (I'm saying her name is 'Nut', not that she's a nut).
*Rose from the grave to judge the souls of the dead
In almost every version, he does not come back from the dead. There is one version in which Isis resurrects him, but I've only seen it mentioned in one source, and even that source admits this version is rare, and was thus likely unknown to the Israelites. http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/society/A0836984.html
1. His mother was a virgin woman: Jesus, Attis, Buddha, Dionysus, Krishna, Mithra, ZoroasterAttis
: While Attis was conceived non-sexually, no texts make the claim that Nana was a virgin. Buddha
: According to Ashvaghosha, Buddha was born of the King of Shakyas and his wife, Maya. He wrote that they "tasted of love's delights" before Buddha was born, thus Buddha was certainly not born of a virgin. The earliest accounts suggest nothing unusual about Buddha's birth, but later (still pre-Christian) versions suggest Buddha was conceived non-sexually.Dionysus
: As addressed above, his mother, Semele, was impregnanted sexually by Zeus. (http://www.theoi.com/Text/DiodorusSiculus4A.html#3
: Since, according to legend, Krishna had seven older siblings, it's unlikely his mother, Devaki, was a virgin (and there's no tradition saying she was).Mithra
: There is no support for the idea that Mithra was born of a virgin.Zoroaster
: Zoroaster's mom was married when she gave birth to him, and there's nothing suggesting she was celibate while married. The "ray of divine reason" was apparently a purely spiritual thing, and Zoroaster's body actually was created the usual way.
2. He was born on December 25: Jesus, Attis, Buddha, Dionysus, Horus, Krishna, MithraAttis
: While many gods have their birth dates celebrated on December 25th (including Jesus, though this date is not ascribed to his birth in any biblical writing), Attis’ birthday has never been celebrated on December 25th.Buddha
: His birthday is never celebrated on (or believed to be) December 25th (by some traditions, it's May 8th - hey, that's my birthday! I guess I'm a myth!), and there was no star or angels at his birth by any tradition. The king did invite 108 Brahmins to the palace to celebrate his birth, and these could be called 'wise men'. However, there were no 'wise men' of any sort at Jesus' birth, as the Biblical appearance of the wise men happened at Jesus' home in Bethlehem when He was one or two years old. Dionysus
: Actually, his birth was always celebrated on January 6th.Horus
: Horus was given three different birthdates in mythology, one of which does correspond to December 25th. But since Jesus wasn't, per the evidence, born on 12/25, this isn't a parallel. Krishna
: According to krishna.avatara.org, Krishna was born on the "8th day of the dark half of the month of Sravana. This corresponds to July 19th 3228 BC." I've seen other sites say he was born in August.Mithra
: Since nowhere in the New Testament does it state that Jesus was born on December 25th, this could not be called a comparison.
3. His earthly (adopted) father was a carpenter: Jesus, KrishnaKrishna
: No, his human father (his only father, for that matter) was a man named Vasuveda. I have found no sources suggesting that he was a carpenter. I even did internet searches on the combination of "Vasuveda" and "Carpenter" in Google, Yahoo and Infoseek, and got no hits except for articles written about Krishna by people whose last names were 'Carpenter'. In fact, he was most likely a dairy farmer. In some versions of the Krishna story, his father is King Kansa (who is also not a carpenter), who is also Devaki's brother. Some web sites state that Kansa is Devaki's cousin or uncle, but followers assure me Kansa is Devaki's brother.
4. His birth was signaled by a heavenly star: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, KrishnaBuddha
: There was no star at his birth by any tradition.Horus
: By Acharya's source for the claims appears to be Massey, who says "the Star in the East that arose to announce the birth of the babe (Jesus) was Orion, which is therefore called the star of Horus. That was once the star of the three kings; for the 'three kings' is still a name of three stars in Orion's belt . . . " Massey's apparently getting mixed up, and then the critics are misinterpreting it. Orion is not a star, but a constellation, of which there are three stars in a row making up the belt of Orion. However, there is no evidence that these three stars were called the "Three Kings" prior to Jesus' time, nor even prior to the 17th century, for that matter. And even if there is a specific star called 'the star of Horus', there's no legend stating that it announced Horus' birth (as the critics are claiming) or that the three stars in Orion's belt attended Horus' birth in any way. Krishna
: I've found no mention of this in any Krishna story.
5. At his birth, shepherds presented him with gifts: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, Krishna, MithraBuddha
: As said before the king did invite 108 Brahmins to the palace to celebrate his birth, and these could be called 'wise men'. However, there were no 'wise men' of any sort at Jesus' birth, as the Biblical appearance of the wise men happened at Jesus' home in Bethlehem when He was one or two years old. The forementioned Brahmins did predict that Buddha would be either the ruler of the world or the greatest religious founder of the world, and Buddha (apparently quite smart for an infant) chose the latter. So in Buddha's case, he was not pronounced ruler of the world. And as for Jesus, He was not pronounced ruler of the world at His birth, either, so how would it compare even if this was true for Buddha? As for the gifts, while it could be assumed that, as the child of a king, Buddha would be given costly presents, no texts specifically say that he was bestowed with such gifts. And, again, as for Jesus, He was not given costly gifts at His birth. The delivery of the frankincense, gold, and myrrh happened when the wise men came to Jesus' home when he was one or two years old, not at the manger when he was just born. Horus
: There were no “three wise men” at Horus’ birth, or at Jesus’ for that matter (the Bible never gives the number of wise men, and they showed up at Jesus’ home, not at the manger, probably when Jesus was a year or two old). Krishna
: I found this site (http://www.vedanta-atlanta.org/stories/Krishna2.html
), written by a follower of Krishna, which gives the story of the birth of Krishna, and even makes some general comparisons between Krishna and Jesus (that they were both born of a woman, born in this world and were 'God-on-Earth'), yet it mentions nothing about angels, shepherds, or spices. I haven't found such comparisons anywhere else, either. Manali points out that Krishna was visited by cowherds after his birth, since his family was in the dairy business. Mithra
: There are texts suggesting that shepherds were present at Mithra’s birth and helped dig him out of the mountain, but these are Roman texts dating to no earlier than the 2nd century A.D., and thus were most likely influenced by the New Testament writings, instead of being an influence upon them.
6. He was born in a manger or a cave: Jesus, Dionysus, MithraDionysus
: He was never placed in a manger in any version of the story.Mithra
: Mithra was formed within a solid mountain, not within a cave. While, logically, a cave was left behind once Mithra dug himself out, saying he was born in a cave is wrong. There are texts suggesting that shepherds were present at Mithra’s birth and helped dig him out of the mountain, but these are Roman texts dating to no earlier than the 2nd century A.D., and thus were most likely influenced by the New Testament writings, instead of being an influence upon them.
7. As a baby, he is declared a king. Wise men present him with gifts of gold: Jesus, Buddha, KrishnaBuddha
: I'm just going to repeat what has been said. Sort of true for Buddha, but not true for Jesus. The forementioned Brahmins did predict that Buddha would be either the ruler of the world or the greatest religious founder of the world, and Buddha (apparently quite smart for an infant) chose the latter. So in Buddha's case, he was not pronounced ruler of the world. And as for Jesus, He was not pronounced ruler of the world at His birth, either, so how would it compare even if this was true for Buddha? As for the gifts, while it could be assumed that, as the child of a king, Buddha would be given costly presents, no texts specifically say that he was bestowed with such gifts. And, again, as for Jesus, He was not given costly gifts at His birth. The delivery of the frankincense, gold, and myrrh happened when the wise men came to Jesus' home when he was one or two years old, not at the manger when he was just born. Krishna
: It seems like you repeated the claim. I'll repost. I found this site (http://www.vedanta-atlanta.org/stories/Krishna2.html
), written by a follower of Krishna, which gives the story of the birth of Krishna, and even makes some general comparisons between Krishna and Jesus (that they were both born of a woman, born in this world and were 'God-on-Earth'), yet it mentions nothing about angels, shepherds, or spices. I haven't found such comparisons anywhere else, either. Manali points out that Krishna was visited by cowherds after his birth, since his family was in the dairy business.
8. Angels or other good divine spirits sang songs or danced at his birth: Jesus, Buddha, KrishnaBuddha
: No angels at his birth by any traditionKrishna
: As said above no mention of angels or divine spirits in the tradition.
9. He was threatened by a king or tyrant who tried to kill him as an infant: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, MosesBuddha
: First of all, there are many versions of the Buddha story, and this event occurs only in a rare version unfamiliar to most Buddhists. Secondly, this event doesn't correspond to the Biblical story of Herod's attempt to kill Jesus in Matthew chapter 2. Matthew wrote that killing Jesus was Herod's idea. In the Buddha story, the king in question (Bimbasara) is advised to destroy Buddha, but rejects this advice. So while Bimbasara is advised to kill Buddha, Herod is not advised to kill Jesus. While Herod wants, and attempts, to kill Jesus, Bimbasara does not want, or attempt, to kill Buddha. Krishna
: While there is a parallel here, it's not the one the critics claim. According to Manali, "after Kansa failed to kill Krishna, and came to know that the baby has been born and is living somewhere, he called upon his army to search the entire city of Mathura and its suburbs, to find and kill all the infants born in the same period as Krishna. Thus he ended up killing several infants, and there are several stories of how miraculously Krishna as a baby escaped the killings." So it was "several" infants, not thousands. Also, the number of infants killed by Herod when he found out about Jesus couldn't have been much more than about twenty according to most scholars, so it wasn't "thousands" there, either. So replace "thousands of" with "several" in the claim, and there is a parallel. However, the earliest version of this story in the Krishna tradition probably dates from the 4th to 6th century A.D., well after the Jesus story had been in circulation. Some date the Krishna story as early as 2nd century A.D., but even this is after the Gospel accounts were written. Moses
10. He was of royal lineage: Jesus, Buddha, HorusBuddha
: This one's true, but not very meaningful. Buddha was the son of a king, while Jesus was a distant descendant (along with most of His neighbors) of King David. Millions of people are descended from royalty somewhere down the line (I've even heard a theory that all Europeans are descendants of Charlemagne), so this one is hardly unique of either of them. Horus
: This one’s true! But it's not really a comparison to Jesus. When followers speak of Jesus being of 'royal descent', they usually mean His being a descendent of King David, an earthly king. Horus was, according to the myth, descended from heavenly royalty (as Jesus was), being the son of the main god.
11. He taught at the temple as a child and astounded all who heard him with his wisdom: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, ZoroasterBuddha
: Well, the first word is true. He indeed 'taught'. But it wasn't in a temple. Also he was fifteen.Horus
: He never taught in any templeZoroaster
: Nope. At age 7, he was put under the care of magi, who he frequently argued with. Later, the magi had him imprisoned, but he was freed after he made the legs grow back on a horse.
12. He was baptized at a river: Jesus, Buddha, Horus, ZoroasterBuddha
: There's nothing in any Buddha story or tradition about his being baptized. Horus
: Again, Horus was never baptized.Zoroaster
: Zoroaster receives a revelation while on the banks of a river. That's the closest parallel to be found.
13. His hapless baptizer is later decapitated: Jesus, HorusHorus
: There is no “Anup the Baptizer” in the story.
14. He was tempted in the wilderness by the devil: Jesus, ZoroasterZoroaster
: There is a parallel in the Zoroaster story to Jesus' temptation, and, yes, it does apparently predate the Jesus story by a couple hundred years. However, Zoroaster's "temptation" wasn't by the "devil" (in Zoroastrian literature, Ahriman) and it may or may not have been in the wilderness (the texts don't say). Zoroaster is tempted by a demon, not by Ahriman himself. And his temptation doesn't involve turning stones to bread or leaping from towers, just dialogue between Zoroaster and the demon.
15. He was a traveling teacher of great wisdom: Jesus, Buddha, Dionysus, MithraBuddha
: Depends on the wisdom, claiming the natural world does not exist isn't quite wisdom. And he pointed to an abstract truth, whereas Jesus IS the truth because He is the God-incarnate.Dionysus
: Jesus traveled in a limited area, while Dionysus supposedly traveled to most of the known world (including Greece, Persia and Arabia) and his wisdom was based on judgment not positive.Mithra
: First of all, any religious figure could logically be described as a great traveling teacher and master. However, this label does NOT seem to apply to Mithra. Great and Master, perhaps. But nowhere in his story does he travel or teach.
16. His ministry preached a message of charity, peace and love. He lived in poverty and loved the poor: Jesus, KrishnaKrishna
: A Hindu follower has said that "Krishna never lived as a poor person. The Yadav Caste (of which Krishna was a member) are dairy farmers, and, since milk is an important commodity, they have always been quite wealthy by Indian standards". A second follower, Manali, says that "Krishna did live poor during parts of his childhood, when he was under the care of foster parents. When Kansa's reign ended and he was welcomed back into the royal family, he never lived poor again." But when we say that Jesus "lived poor", we're talking about his entire life, childhood and adulthood, so this isn't a comparison. Besides that, many people throughout history have lived poor and loved the poor, it's not hard to believe that Krishna and/or Jesus may have been among them.
17. He taught of heaven and hell, revealed mysteries, resurrection, judgment, salvation and the apocalypse: Jesus, ZoroasterZoroaster
: Zoroaster did teach about heaven and hell, and resurrection into a non-dying body. Judgment is done by other gods, but with Zoroaster pleading the case of those who are faithful to him, though, unlike with Christianity, the faithful are not automatically saved. Salvation is achieved by works alone, unlike Christianity. And the apocalypse Zoroaster spoke of was a flood of molten metal. Sounds like a pretty good comparison, huh? However, most of this is from post-Christian writings. Also, most of these subjects begin on the Bible's Old Testament, which predates the earliest Zoroastrian references by several hundred years.
18. He gave a famous sermon on a mountain: Jesus, HorusHorus
: Horus never delivered such a sermon.
19. He had 12 disciples: Jesus, Horus, MithraHorus
: Horus had four disciples (called ‘Heru-Shemsu’). There’s another reference to sixteen followers, and a group of followers called ‘mesnui’ (blacksmiths) who join Horus in battle, but are never numbered. But there’s no reference to twelve followers or any of them being named “Anup” or “Aan”. Mithra
: In the Persian version of the Mithra story, he has one disciple, Varuna. In the Roman version, he has two, Cautes and Cautopatres. The source for this claim seems to be an old carving of Mithra slaying a bull while 12 people watch on. That these 12 people are companions or disciples is not suggested, and besides, this carving dates to post-Christian times anyways, so if they WERE meant to be disciples of some sort, they were likely influenced by Christianity, not the other way around.
20. He gave his disciples the power to work miracles: Jesus, KrishnaKrishna
: Not found in any version of tradition.