“To make the story even more obviously a mythical creation, Matthew will tell us later that this Jesus was a carpenter’s son (Matt. 13:55). Very few kings in real life will notice the birth of a commoner, much less become involved in a defensive plot of protecting the throne from the threat such a child would bring. These motifs in Matthew’s original birth story of Jesus are clearly not history…
“…no reputable biblical scholar today would seriously defend the historicity of these magi. This story, which is told only in Matthew, has about it all the marks of an interpretive sermon, developed rather dramatically from a passage in Isaiah 60…”
Bishop Shelby Spong, Jesus for the Non-Religious (18)
These are the words of Bishop Spong, a well-known and widely respected authority on Christianity who appears on the mainstream media yet is here basically saying the same things I am, except that I go on to apply the same analysis and make the same general conclusions concerning many other aspects of the gospel story, particularly, of course, the supernatural motifs such as the virgin birth, miracles, transfiguration, resurrection and ascension. Essentially the entire basic tale. The rest can be explained by ancient mysteries sayings, as well as elements out of certain individuals’ lives. Thus, my basic premise is that the New Testament story of Jesus Christ is a mishmash of Pagan mythical motifs, Old Testament scriptures and various biographical details from a number of individuals.
“The New Testament story of Jesus Christ is a mishmash of Pagan mythical motifs, Old Testament scriptures and various biographical details from a number of individuals.”
Naturally, being a former Episcopalian/Anglican bishop, Spong finds a “baby Jesus” somewhere underneath all these mythical layers, whereas I say that if you keep digging down in precisely the same way, with as much data as you can possibly have, you will find no historical core to that mythological onion. Indeed, a composite of 20 people, whether mythical, historical or both, is still no one.