In the previous two articles, we looked at the false charge that the resurrection of Christ was borrowed from pagan myths. We saw in the first article that there were many fallacies in this theory, and we provided rebuttal for specific charges of myth-borrowing in part 2 of this series. Now we want to look briefly at the unique character of the death and resurrection of Christ to show how it makes no logical sense for it to have been borrowed from any pagan mythology.
His death and resurrection, unlike pagan myths, were events firmly rooted in history. Claims of resurrections in other religions do not explain the powerful historical evidence for Christ’s resurrection. They don’t explain the appearances to the disciples, their willingness to suffer and die for what they saw, the empty tomb, or the conversion of Paul or James. There is just no comparison in terms of soundness of historical evidence.
Christ was unique in His being the fulfillment of many, many prophecies, including His death for all mankind and His resurrection. For more see article on Jesus-Unique Savior here.
Finally, scholar Ronald Nash (Christianity and the Hellenistic World, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1984. p. 187) outlines six reasons why the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ is very different from the mythical so-called “savior gods”:
None of the pagan ‘gods” died for someone else.
Only Jesus died for the sins of mankind.
Unlike the pagan cycles of death and life, Jesus died only once.
Jesus’ death was an actual historical event.
Jesus died voluntarily.
Jesus’ death was a victory, not a defeat.
And I would add, Jesus’ bodily resurrection was a totally foreign concept to all pagan notions of life after death.
The theory that Christ’s resurrection was borrowed from pagan myths is itself a huge myth. It’s time that this theory was given its own death and burial.