This chapter reminded me of the movie Religulous which tries to show everything about the Jesus story was copied from earlier religious belief. For instance, the Cana wine miracle is prefigured by the lore of Dionysus (Which Dennis MacDonald fleshes out in a recent book). The author comments:
- Nothing in Jesus’ myth occurred at random; every detail was part of a formal sacrificial tradition, even to the “procession of palms” which glorified sacred kings in ancient Babylon.
(W. Loftus, John; M. Price, Robert. Varieties of Jesus Mythicism: Did He Even Exist? (p. 49). Hypatia Press. Kindle Edition.)
Of interest is the critique of the historicity of Jesus’ relationship to Pilate. She writes:
- The most “historical” figure in the Gospels was Pontius Pilate, to whom Jesus was presented as “king” of the Jews and simultaneously as a criminal deserving the death penalty for “blasphemy” because he called himself Christ, Son of the Blessed (Luke 23:3; Mark 14:61-64). This alleged crime was no real crime. Eastern provinces swarmed with self-styled Christs and Messiahs, calling themselves Sons of God and announcing the end of the world. None of them was executed for “blasphemy.”
(W. Loftus, John; M. Price, Robert. Varieties of Jesus Mythicism: Did He Even Exist? (p. 50). Hypatia Press. Kindle Edition.)
In the end, this chapter makes some interesting connections between the Jesus story and other religious figures, but the article attempts too much because any one of these points would need a much more substantial treatment to properly explore and defend.