Bennett places himself in a long line of mythicist sympathetic scholars who try to argue the dying/rising God theme was conspicuous in the ancient world, and so Jesus was just another example of this theme. For example, regarding Baal, Bennett concludes that:
- The sources and scholarship firmly establish that Baal was a dying and rising god, the risen son of El, who conquered death and reigned henceforth upon his heavenly throne. Given Jewish familiarity with the Baal myth—the long constancy of his worship in Israel and the indelible mark his story made upon the scriptures—it should come as no surprise that Baal served as a prototype of Christ, the risen Son of God who vanquished death, was enthroned as Lord, and comes upon the clouds of heaven in power and glory.
- (W. Loftus, John; M. Price, Robert. Varieties of Jesus Mythicism: Did He Even Exist? (p. 60). Hypatia Press. Kindle Edition.)
This echoes similar scholarship by Carrier on the issue. See: Dying-and-Rising Gods: It’s Pagan, Guys. Get Over It.
While it is certainly sound historical reasoning to argue for the inclusion of someone in a class (in this case Jesus as a dying rising god) if there are many historical analogies, in the case of Jesus the extensiveness of the analogies actually speaks against the Chris Myth Theory, as I will show in future posts.