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Ancient Pagan cultures shared a common set of ideas about Gods. Christianity adopted those ideas, and applied them to Jesus.

Christianity is a product of its time and place.


  is about a question you probably never thought about: Did Christianity borrow ideas from other religions?

If you're like me, you grew up thinking it didn't. We were taught Christianity began with a big bang, with Jesus. Jesus changed the world with ideas about God that were new and revolutionary.

It ain't so. Our Christianity doesn't come from Jesus and a big bang. It comes from the accumulation of legends and theologies by people who believed in Jesus. The origin of those ideas wasn't Jesus. The origin was the myths, legends, philosophies, prejudices, literature, superstitions, and primitive cosmology of ancient western culture. Christianity is a product of its time and place.

That's what POCM is about.

Notice what POCM is not about. An example: our gospels tell a story about the time Jesus met a crazy man, who was inhabited by devils, who spoke to Jesus, who cast those old devils out, into a herd of pigs, who ran down a hill, into the Sea of Galilee, and drowned. POCM is not about the details of this story. It's not about whether insanity can appear to be cured because it's really just psychosomatic. It's not about whether there were pigs in Jewish Galilee, or whether there really is a hill by the Sea of Galilee that pigs could run down. POCM is not a naive hunt for the historical "facts" of our Jesus stories.

What POCM is about is the ideas inside the Jesus and Demons story. Hang on a second; according to the bible, the first Christians believed in demons. Demons. They believed in demons. They actually believed there are actual beings that live inside people and cause illness. That think, and hear, and talk, and move around, and do stuff. The first Christians had the idea, the concept of demons. The first Christians thought demons recognized Jesus, and talked to Him, and He talked to them, and overcame their supernatural power with His own. How can that be? Where can these ideas have come from? POCM is about where Christianity got the ideas that shape our first stories about Jesus.

Jesus, third century AD

Athens, sixth century BC

Jesus was the Son of God who suffered, died, and came back to life. But He wasn't the first Son of God who suffered, died, and came back to life. He brought salvation; but He wasn't the first God to do that either. His dad was a God and his mom was a mortal woman; He wasn't the first God there either. It's the same with miracles, disciples, ascending to heaven—the list goes on and on. Before the first Christians had these ideas about Jesus, Pagans had the same ideas about their Gods. That's what POCM is about.

Let's start thinking about Christian origins by asking a simple question: By what criteria can we decide what ancient godman stories were new and original, and what ancient godman stories were myths built up from the religious ideas of their day?

Here's what I mean...

Don't believe Greg. Click the thumbnails to see the ancient evidence.

<< When Osiris is said to bring his believers eternal life in Egyptian Heaven, contemplating the unutterable, indescribable glory of God, we understand that as a myth.



When the sacred rites of Demeter at Eleusis are described as bringing believers happiness in their eternal life, we understand that as a myth. >>

<< In fact, when ancient writers tell us that in general ancient people believed in eternal life, with the good going to the Elysian Fields and the not so good going to Hades, we understand that as a myth.


<< When Vespatian's spittle healed a blind man, we understand that as a myth.


When Apollonius of Tyana raised a girl from death, we understand that as a myth. >>

<< When the Pythia , the priestess at the Oracle at Delphi, in Greece, prophesied, and over and over again for a thousand years, the prophecies came true, we understand that as a myth.


When Dionysus turned water into wine, we understand that as a myth. When Dionysus believers are filled with atay, the Spirit of God, we understand that as a myth. >>

<< When Romulus is described as the Son of God, born of a virgin, we understand that as a myth.


When Alexander the Great is described as the Son of God, born of a mortal woman, we understand that as a myth. >>

Mr. A. Great

<< When Augustus is described as the Son of God, born of a mortal , we understand that as a myth.


When Dionysus is described as the Son of God, born of a mortal woman, we understand that as a myth. >>

<< When Scipio Africanus (Scipio Africanus, for Christ's sake) is described as the Son of God, born of a mortal woman, we understand that as a myth.




Jesus in the 3d century, healing the sick by touching them with a magic wand!

So how come when Jesus is described as
the Son of God,
      born of a mortal woman,
         according to prophecy,
            turning water into wine,
            raising girls from the dead, and
              healing blind men with his spittle,
                  and setting it up so His believers got eternal life in Heaven contemplating the unutterable, indescribable glory of God, and off to Hades—er, I mean Hell—for the bad folks...
how come that's not a myth?

And how come, in a culture with all those Sons of God, where miracles were science, where Heaven and Hell and God and eternal life and salvation were in the temples, in the philosophies, in the books, were dancing and howling in street festivals, how come we imagine Jesus and the stories about him developed all on their own, all by themselves, without picking up any of their stuff from the culture they sprang from, the culture full of the same sort of stuff?


 is about the history of ideas in western civilization.

POCM in NOT about religious belief, at least not in the sense that I care whether you are Christian or not. I don't. POCM is not about changing your faith.

I'm not pushing one religion over another; I'm not pushing a-religion or atheism over faith. I will say I'm not a Pagan. But if I did it right you'll go through everything here without otherwise figuring out what my religious convictions are.  


POCM has three sections: Facts, Reasons, Guesses 

Since the idea of Christian-Pagan similarities is probably new to you, most of POCM is set up to help you discover the simple facts for yourself. Read the ancient sources and decide for yourself.

You don't have to believe Greg. You'll discover the facts for yourself, in extended quotations of ancient writers. Look for the blue Ancient Quotation boxes.

Then later on, we'll talk about what those facts mean. I'll review the modern scholarship for you, then we'll talk about the reasoning behind the claim that Christianity borrowed ideas from the Pagan culture around it. We'll also analyze the various believer's attacks on the idea of Christian - Pagan borrowing.

You'll discover:   there is no consistent, reasoned analysis of the evidence that can pick out Christianity as fundamentally different from other ancient Pagan religions. Christianity is an ancient Pagan religion.

At the very end I break the no opinions rule. Feel free to skip this bit.

Good Books starts with a list of four books that will give you a powerful grasp of the subject, and several dozen more that will help you fill in details.


Why the blank pages?
Someday POCM will work best when you read it end to end like a book. The  and buttons help you do that. But for now there are too many empty pages for that to be fun.

To get a quick look at the basic ideas, you can go to the big tabs at the top:


Where to go for the quick scoop.

Skip the Poindexter stuff and quick discover exactly how Christianity copied from Paganism.

The End > Getting Started

To see what a God looked like when He was specifically made up to fit the religious ideas of ancient cultures, see

Pagan Christs > Glycon

To see that the idea of people being raised from the dead was common to ancient Greco-Roman culture, see

Pagan Ideas > Raised from the dead.

To discover a Pagan theology borrowed by Christianity, see

Pagan Ideas > Eternal life

Advanced students will want tips on how to enjoy modern myth being made.

Myth then, myth now


Finally, if you've committed yourself to a literal bible, well, you're starting with an axiom that makes everything here impossible, so you won't miss much clicking away. No hard feelings.

Greg Kane


  What other people think about POCM  

I can't say that i'm Pagan, but i am looking into it. I'm trying to find out as much as i can about it. Your page, though informatively seen from a different point of view (your point), i didn't find that great. You have a couple of grammatical errors and a couple of verbal misuse (I have a prefectionist habit and if you would like some examples, i would be happy to show you, but i won't include them in here).

You might be thinking that I didn't like your page simply because of your errors... well, it goes back further than that. You talk about Paganism like you know everything about it (i'm not saying you do know everything about it, but rather you sound like it). Now if you have errors in the language you're using to describe it in, how can i be sure that there are no errors in your teachings? (I know you say you're not trying to pursuade, but want it or not, those are considered teachings) On a more happier oppinion, this could just be the habit talkin. I'm not saying your writing is false, I don't even know that much about the religion. However, i would like you to think on it. 

Thanks. -Daniel 2

You are free to copy and paste any words you find at POCM, as long as


You don't charge anyone for the stuff you borrow


Every time you borrow, you tell folks it came from POCM and
link back to the page you got it from, or just to:


You really really promise to live with goodness and goodwill in your heart.

A NEW FEATURE: A scholarly and handsome reader Kicks POCM's Ass

< YOUR brainiac opinion here! >

Can you KPA?


A scholarly and handsome reader Kicks POCM's Ass

Dear Mr. Kane,

Thanks so much for your site POCM. More people should know about the origins of Christianity, especially people who seek to use non-original elements of it to further their own agendas. You've clearly put a lot of work into the site.

I see that you've included a helpful list of books for the interested reader to learn more. Otherwise, however, I am not finding documentation of many of the specific facts the site provides, at the level of documentation expected of a college paper. (If it's there and I've missed it, my apologies.)

I would like to recommend this site to students interested in these issues. I'm reluctant to do so, though. We teach our students to use sources that are either meticulously documented or are prepared by an authority in the field.

If you teach religious history or related field at a university, or if there's a section of your site that documents all the various facts you site, then I would be thrilled to highly recommend your site, as well as use it myself.

Otherwise, your site isn't much more credible than sites such as anti-climate science propaganda sites that sound plausible to those predisposed to those viewpoints. And that would be sad, because the information at those sites is obviously garbage while the information at your site appears to be very legitimate and of high quality.

Thanks for considering my feedback, and thanks for the hard and careful work you've done preparing POCM.

Ron Cronovich

Associate Professor and Chair,
Department of Economics
Carthage College.



You don't have to believe Greg. You'll discover the facts for yourself, in extended quotations taken directly from ancient writers. Look for the blue Ancient Quotation boxes.

Click on this button:
Don't believe me, believe the ancients themselves.