For your enjoyment and edification, I have created a new article from Barbara G. Walker’s fabulous book Man Made God, which I edited and published. I believe you will really enjoy this fascinating piece, so be sure to check it out!
by Barbara G. Walker
Thanks to centuries of the most insistent and aggressive indoctrination campaign the world has ever seen, the biography of Jesus is more familiar to more people than any other. Socrates, Charlemagne, Shakespeare, Napoleon: there are many who never heard of them, or who only vaguely recognize their names. But all of Western civilization and most of the rest of the world “knows” Jesus’s life story.
But during the past century or so, scholars have shown that all these “known” details of Jesus’s life story are mythic: That is, they were told for many centuries before his time about many previous savior-gods and legendary heroes in pre-Christian lore. Not a single detail of Jesus’s life story can be considered authentic. Some investigators have tried to peel away the layers of myth in search of a historical core, but this task is like peeling the layers of an onion. It seems that there is no core. The layers of myth go all the way to the center.
The truth is that the gospels are not reliable “historical” accounts to tell us what Jesus was—or even if he was. But it is fairly clear that he was connected with the myths of pagan saviors, who were mostly nature deities, representing the eternal cycles of life and death. In this respect their myths might point toward an updated religion more firmly founded on the realities of our world.
Once the Jesus myth is more widely understood as a composite relic of a credulous past, we may be able to go forward toward a more satisfying set of spiritual hopes and insights, and leave behind the simplistic magics of a less enlightened people. We have “modernized” nearly every other aspect of our Western culture. Perhaps it is time to modernize its religion into a form that enlightenment may embrace without insulting its own intelligence. Read more…