Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ignorant Appeals To Paganism

It's common for critics of Christianity, particularly those of a more ignorant variety, to cite alleged parallels to Christianity in ancient paganism. The large majority of skeptics who use such argumentation don't know much about the subject, and they're often relying on sources who are themselves grossly incompetent and/or dishonest. For a recent illustration, see the comments section of the thread here.


  1. Could you perhaps recommend some good books on the subject?

  2. Mathetes,

    I don't know what sort of information you want, but you can get a good overview and references to other resources in a book like Paul Eddy and Gregory Boyd's The Jesus Legend (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2007) or Reinventing Jesus (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 2006) by J. Ed Komoszewski, et al. Lengthy Biblical commentaries often address the subject where it's relevant. See, for example, the books I recommend here on the historicity of the infancy narratives. All of them address the relationship between the narratives and paganism to some extent. Steve cites some useful resources in his e-book This Joyful Eastertide as well.

    The appeal to paganism is more popular among skeptics who are less educated, like the ones you'll commonly meet online, than it is in scholarly circles. There's a lot of material on the subject online. See J.P. Holding's web site (especially here), Glenn Miller's, and CADRE Comments, for example.

  3. Hi Jason,

    Yes, I was mostly looking for titles having to do with comparitive mythology, and these suggestions do seem quite helpful. Thanks!