Christianity was a myth when it was invented, and it is a myth still today. It's fun to spot modern myth being made.
Here at POCM, "myths" are the stories people tell when they start with the answer and fill in "facts" to match what they know to be true. For some people the fact that our Jesus stories are made up myths is important because it means the stories are not true. If you grew up Christian, you may be one of these people.
There's more than "not true" to take from the Christ stories' mythicuosityness I think it's fun to pay attention not to the stories, but to the myth that contains them. It's fun to watch myth being made. It's fun to read the ancient Jesus stories, and spot the ancient ideas they were made up from. It's even more fun to watch myth being made today. It's fun to hear modern Jesus stories, and see the mythic way they are created, told and retold. Look at the myth. Watch the myth. Enjoy the myth.
Away back in bible times Paul and Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John knew what a God was, and they knew Jesus was one. So when they told stories about Him, they naturally included God properties He must have had. Divine father, mortal mother. Prophecies. Powers. Reads minds. Lives in the sky. Like that. It happened in that order. First people knew Jesus was a God, then they told stories about His God properties.
Modern Christians do the same. They start off knowing Jesus is real, then they tell stories about Him. As they tell their stories, they put in facts that make Jesus real. And since modern people are modern, the facts they put in are modern too.
Here are markers to look for in modern Christian story telling. When you see these markers, you're seeing myth being made. Wow.
Modern people know science works. Nowadays, when people tell stories about how Jesus and God are real, they fill their stories with science ideas. The Big Bang proves God. Fine Tuning proves God. Archaeology proves the New Testament. Papyrology proves gospel dates. Textural criticism proves gospel reliability. Historical methods prove Jesus' resurrection. On and on.
Enjoying Proving God with Science
That's myth being made. That's cool to watch.
The "Kalam Cosmological Argument" isn't about cosmology. It isn't about science. It's about proving Jesus is real. The guy re-re-re-telling you the Kalam story isn't persuaded by the story. He believed the conclusion before he heard the proof. That's how myth works. You're watching one right now.
Let me suggest an attitude you might like to have the next time you're confronted by Christian myth-makers' unscientific scientific proofs of Jesus. Don't get mad. Don't get frustrated. Don't argue. Look at the myth. Watch the myth. Enjoy the myth.
Why doesn't electricity leak out of sockets, and dribble down the wall? I don't know. Every day, all day, we're confronted by technology we understand only vaguely. We rely on experts. Experts know and do amazing things. Experts are a huge part of modern culture. So when believers tell stories about Jesus, the "facts" they make up naturally include experts —scholars.
The point is not that scholarship is dumb. It isn't. The point is that when people who already know Jesus is real tell stories about Jesus, they make up facts about scholarship. They use "scholars say" to fill in gaps in their story. That's myth making. It's fun to watch.
"Scholars say..." myth making
Once you know that "scholars say"
myth making is a thing, you'll start to wonder,
"Is it really true, what that guy just
said? Do scholars really say that?" Go
look it up for yourself.
Hillbilly Bible Scholar Dr. Gary Habermas, PhD, MA, BRE, OBE, Chairman of the Department of Philosophy & Theology at Liberty University, the Largest Christian University in the World, and Distinguished Research Professor holding an Appointment teaching in the PhD Program, has come up with a list of "facts" that he has convinced himself "most biblical scholars" agree on. The idea is to prove the bible stories about Jesus' resurrection are true, without using the words "because the bible is true." According to Distinguished Professor Dr. Habermas, Jesus' resurrection is real ...because scholars say. You don't have to think. Our guys have done that for you.
Distinguished Professor Dr. Habermaseses' hands are moving fast, so pay attention. Remember, all the world's available "facts" about Jesus come from the New Testament. But Distinguished Professor Dr. Habermas doesn't want to say "because the bible is true." Instead he effectively says, the bible stories about Jesus' resurrection are true "because scholars say the bible stories about Jesus' resurrection are true." Delicious.
And the bit about "all scholars agree"? Distinguished Professor Dr. Habermas made that up.
I really think you should surf right now to any one of the 17,000 Habermas Minimal Facts YouTube videos. See how hard Distinguished Professor Dr. Habermas hits the scientific-historical hoo-ha. He's using data. He's using facts. Aw shucks, he's just following scholars. You don't have to think. Our guys have done that for you. See the myth. Enjoy the myth.
know God created the world, and Jesus was the
son of God who lived the life described in their
New Testament. Christians are not always clear
on the details. When they tell stories about
Jesus and the Bible, they fill in details the
way they know they must be ...because they know
Jesus is real. This does not mean Christians
are liars. It does mean they are myth makers.
It does mean the stories Christians tell about
Jesus and the Bible are myths.
Made Up Stuff
The real way to spot Made Up Stuff is to track down the primary evidence. Ask "How do you know that?" Keep asking. How do you know P52 was written in 125 AD? Colin Roberts said so. How did he know? Papyrology. What facts did Colin Roberts use? Papyrology. What evidence is there about the accuracy and precision of papyrology? Colin Roberts said so.
Do this, and you'll discover that the trail ends early, before you get to a dispositive objective fact. Your Christian friend doesn't know what facts Colin Robert's used, because Colin Roberts didn't say. He doesn't know how accurate and precise papyrology is, because that science hasn't been done. Follow Christian stories back toward their origins, and you generally find the fundamental facts just got made up by someone.
Enjoying Made Up Stuff
Starting with your conclusion