Afterword: The Christ Myth Theory

In this series of posts, one side issue I tried to argue was the idea of Jesus as a mythical entity who was crucified in outer space as Richard Carrier argues for doesn’t make sense of the evidence, primarily because the crucifixion is trying to arouse guilt to inspire repentance and this theme doesn’t fit with sky demons executing Christ. But there is another related issue.

Carrier argues original Christianity was just another dying-rising God cult that were numerous at that time. The problem is that if original Christianity was just another one of these, it would make sense to the Gentiles. But, Paul says the gentiles found the idea of the religion centered around the cross to be ridiculous:

  • 23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to gentiles, (1 Cor 1:23)”

So, the first Christians were not just trying to sell another dying-rising God. My solution is that the gentiles would have been familiar with the idea of a personal and societal transformational death such as that of Socrates, but would have thought it foolish to think such a death would have the ability to have as profound personal and societal transformation as Jesus’ death was supposed to have. To overcome this unlikelihood, people would have to come to see Jesus as the specially chosen by God Davidic heir who was wrongly humiliatingly executed as a criminal. The more one sees Jesus as the specially and profoundly favored one of God, the more individual and societal hidden vileness is disclosed and hence the opportunity for repentance.

For the gathering post for this series of posts, see: https://secularfrontier.infidels.org/2022/05/i-get-interviewed-on-freethinker-podcast-about-mythicism-atonement-and-gnosticism/

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading!