Getting Started
Hellenism Syncretic Judaism Jesus legend
Apostolic Legend Apostolic Scholarship Over Paganism Over other Christianities
No one alive when Jesus lived ever mentioned Him


Here's a factoid you maybe didn't pick up in Sunday school:
There is no contemporary record that Jesus existed. None. There is no Christian record. There is no non-Christian record. I am not making this up. It's part of mainstream modern scholarship.

No non-Christian alive when Jesus lived ever mentions seeing Jesus or hearing Jesus—or even hearing about Jesus!

They don't mention the star that heralded His birth.
They don't mention Herod's slaughter of boy babies.
They don't mention crowds gathered to hear Him preach.
They don't mention His trial.
They don't mention His crucifixion.
They don't mention His resurrection.
They never mention anything He said, or anywhere He went, or anything He thought, or anything He said, or anything He did.

No non-Christian alive when Jesus lived ever mentions Him at all. Not once.


What about the Christian record made by people who knew Jesus? There isn't any! The second part of the New Testament—Acts and letters by Paul and other apostles was of course written after Jesus died, by people who didn't know Him. They say so themselves.

As to the "first" part of the New Testament, the Gospels, partly because Mark mentions the Jewish-Roman war of the 70s AD, and because Matthew and Luke quote Mark, the consensus of mainstream modern scholarship is that the gospels were written decades after Jesus' deathby people who never met Him! Some scholars guess the gospels were written late in the first century, maybe forty or fifty years after Jesus died. But that's just a guess—a low ball guess. The gospels are not mentioned by in any other Christian writings—Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius, for example—until about 150 AD. Many scholars guess they existed before 150 AD—but a scholarly guess is still just a guess.

There is no contemporary record that Jesus existed. None. That's not a guess, that's a fact.

Hey, wait a minute—the uniqueness of Christ is a point the canonical writings hit pretty hard. After Jesus or not, don't the early Christian writings prove Christianity is unique?


No, they don't. The early Christians did not think Jesus was unique. Here at the Pagan Origins web site, you've read directly what the earliest Christians --Tertullian, Justin Martyr, Origen --wrote about Jesus and the Pagan Gods. They said that He was similar. Remember Justin Martyr?

"we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter"? {St. Justin Martyr, First Apology]

Don't believe me, believe the ancients themselves.

You've seen here—directly from the pens of the first Christians themselves—that in the second century, at the foundation of the faith, even before the Gospels were available, Christians worried about the similarities between Jesus and the Pagan Gods, worried about the fact the Pagan Gods came first, and explained the similarity as "demonic imitation"—copying by the Pagans backwards in time! Silly? Yeah. They were in a bind, they had to come up with something. You got anything better, we'd all like to hear it.

What the New Testament and other early Christian writings prove is that after Jesus died, Christians eventually came to believe He was the uniquely true God.

The gospel describes John the Baptist baptizing people. The gospel doesn't describe where John got the idea of baptism. The gospels describe Jesus' miracles; they don't describe where the idea of miracles came from.


The next time you're in Church
ask yourself:"What about what I'm hearing was new and unique with Christianity, and what was already part of other religions in a culture where over and over again new religions were built with old parts?" Next time you're in church...

When they get to the part about the uniqueness of Jesus' life and theology, remember your co-religionists, Origen, Tertullian, Justin Martyr, and how they knew Jesus was not unique.

You'll know you're hearing about stuff that predated Christianity by hundreds of years—in a culture where over and over people built new religions out of old parts.