- Many Christians believe that God himself impregnated Mary and that her son, Jesus, was God Incarnate. Yet they don’t accept that numerous others, including Perseus, Buddha and Vishnu, who were all fathered by gods, are in any way divine. Why not?
- Evangelicals and other Christians believe that Jesus performed many miracles. However, they dismiss other miracle workers as frauds or mythical beings. As John Oakes puts it on the Evidence for Christianity website, ‘religious figures (such) as Osiris, Empedocles or Krishna almost certainly were not real people, making stories of supposed miracles they worked irrelevant’. Why?
- Christians believe Jesus fed 5,000 people with 5 fish and 2 loaves. They don’t believe the Qur’an’s story that Muhammed did much the same thing. Why not?
- Christians believe Jesus was visited by the long dead Moses and Elijah. They believe Paul saw Jesus after he died. Yet they dismiss the Mormon claim that Joseph Smith saw Jesus and God himself. Why?
- Christians believe Jesus came back to life a day and a half after he was killed. However, they regard the resurrection stories of Dionysus, Osiris and Attis as counterfeit. Why?
- Christians believe Jesus rose into the sky to take up his place in heaven. Yet they think it preposterous that Muhammed went there on a flying horse. Why?
When it comes to their own stories Christians are adamant that they are reliable accounts of events that really happened. Jesus really was God’s son. He really did do magic; really did feed 5,000 people with a few scraps; really did rise from the dead and really did beam up to heaven. Paul really met him on the road to Damascus.
Even liberal Christians like Joel Anderson, while acknowledging there is much that is suspect in the Jesus story, argue with all the cognitive dissonance they can muster, that the gospels are nevertheless ‘historically reliable’. This really won’t do. Evidentially, the gospels are as ‘historically reliable’ as the tall tales involving Osiris, Buddha, Vishnu, Muhammed and Joseph Smith. Gods only make visits to the Earth in stories, individuals only rise from the dead in stories, magic and miracles only occur in stories. The Christian examples of these tropes are as imaginary as all the others. The heroes of such stories – be it Empedocles, Perseus, Mithras, Buddha, Krishna or Jesus – are fabrications too.
If it’s constructed like a story, has all the components of a story and reads like a story then that’s exactly what it is.