General overview of many theories, not taken seriously by scholars but
taught by skeptics quite a bit; these are notions that Jesus never existed as a man in history but was made up out of pagan
myth. Demonstrates the bad scholarship that makes up the Jesus myth movement.
This page refutes the notion that pagan mythology is full of dying/rising
savior gods who resemble Jesus and pre-date Christianity. Also refutes in detail the notion that certain mystery cults could have influenced
Christianity; Mithraism, Osiris' cult and others are prove not to have influenced Christianity to any great extent.
Earl Doherty is probably the champion of a theory not taken seriously by major scholars, but
taught on the internet by skeptics quite a bit; that Jesus never existed, was derived from pagan
mythology; that Paul was a Gnostic and the early church was a mystery cult. The historical trappings of the faith were written in the second century by "church fathers." This first page follows the basic overview statements given by Doherty on his website and refutes the theory in general terms.
Refuting Earl Doherty's "Evolution of Jesus"
The Theory states that since there is no mention of the cross or the tomb in the Q document (saying source) then there must have been an ancient original
Christian community that didn't have the idea of the cross and the tomb. This is the theory of Burton Mack and others. Doherty takes it a step further and
argues that it proves there was no Jesus. I argue that it means there was no Q or not Q community, but the early
church didn't make up Jesus in stages, but it learned to tell stories in stages.
Many lost Gospels, existing either in fragment or hypothetically, or in readings found in lost books, many of them contemporary with or pre-dating Mark, demonstrate that Jesus was understood to be a
historical figure of flesh and blood from the earliest days of Christianity.
Doherty claims that Paul was involved in Gnostic
mystery cult and thus saw Jesus as a disembodied spirit. A close examination of Paul's teaching shows that he used quasi Gnostic
language to dissuade the early church from belief in Gnosticism.