Let’s Compare Jesus To Apollo

To the Greek people of that time the god, Apollo, was real. There was much detail about his mission, what he like and disliked and his life’s history.

Let’s review what people knew of Apollo.  He was the god of arts, music, knowledge, healing, plague, prophesy, poetry, manly beauty and archery. He was extremely handsome, athletic and had no beard.

Apollo was the son of the god, Zeus and had a sister, Artemis.

But, because Apollo was so real and so like people on earth he had weaknesses. He was cruel and destructive. His love affairs were well known and were regarded as disasters. There were animals he regarded as sacred, deer, swans and pythons. Some thought he was the god of the sun. Apollo never walked the earth, his life was in the heavens.

Jesus, on the other hand, walked the earth. He also walked on water, did miracles of many kinds was killed and then came back to life.

We have no reliable records that Jesus did any miracles or that he came back to life. No one who wrote quoted what he said claimed to have been present when he spoke There is not even a reliable record that he ever walked to earth.

Whenever we question the existence of Jesus, the response from defenders is often, “Prove that Jesus did not exist.” They make a point, we cannot prove he never existed.

We cannot prove Apollo never existed in the heavens either. Perhaps we have a tie here.

19 Responses

      1. Perhaps this is a good time to examine Jon on this topic of the existence of Jesus Christ the man. I seem to recall him writing here that there is little or no proof of the existence of Jesus; that all the stories about him were made up by rich Arab goat-herders. I also wonder about all the caves in Israel with hermits, even to this day. The hermits live solitary, religious lives. It seems an odd thing to do if there wasn’t an historical precedent. The only modern day equivalent of this ‘lifestyle’ might be those get-away-from-it-all Alaska frontiersmen. I am watching a TV series on the 7 remaining families in the ANWR; a vast chunk of America they occupy until their children die off. Then, no more residents in the ANWR.

        So, Jon, did the historical Jesus Christ exist, or do you split with Bart Ehrman on this one?

        1. Matt 9:26 So, Jon, did the historical Jesus Christ exist, or do you split with Bart Ehrman on this one?

          I discussed this several times here, but not recently. I don’t know if there was a human Jesus or not. There is not a completely independent source of information that verifies his existence. There are other references but many point out those all seem to have as their source the propaganda work of believers at that time.

          Ehrman has a theory there are two separate threads in the Bible that develop the Jesus character. He has written a book on this. He maintains that two threads make a historical case for a Jesus. Others do not agree on these two threads being separate. The thing is, a human Jesus makes the rest of Ehrman’s work a lot easier. I remain a constant skeptic, even of Ehrman.

  1. Meanwhile, in my real world of coaching soccer, my teams had a pretty good weekend at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, MN – http://www.inforum.com/sports/4413265-two-fargo-soccer-club-teams-win-tournament-title

    The boys won the Under-19 championship and the Under-16 championship. I’m sad to say that my Under-14 and Under-12 teams did well but did not win their respective championships.

    I find it very rewarding to coach. I’m not too arrogant to think that I had that much to do with their victories but not modest to think a coach can’t have an impact on winning, character and effort.

    1. Retired Major

      Congratulations on your teams win. I always thought the Shattuck campus was beautiful, they were separate campuses when I was young,

      1. Thanks, Retired Major. For those unfamiliar with Shattuck-St. Mary’s, it is an Episcopalian institution, somewhat the ‘Hogwarts’ of Minnesota. While not a school for magicians or the religious, it has centers of excellence in ice hockey (male and female), ice skating, soccer (male and female), golf, bioscience, engineering, boy’s choir, vocals, pre-conservatory and “the Major”. While religion, it appears to me, is clearly not the focus of the prep school, it is in the mold of an Eastern boarding school. One attends if one is very adept and focused on a particular academic, fine arts or athletic pursuit. It is about the population of Fargo Shanley but at easily but at easily 6-10 times the cost; probably more depending on one’s focus. Yes, it is a beautiful campus.

        1. Juan Ruiz

          Shattuck used to be a military school. If you go back to National Geographic of the 30s and 40s you’ll see it advertised. It is now basically a hockey school. It recruits players from all over the world, and a number of NHL stars went there before college: Okposo, Oshie, Parise, et al. They don’t even play in the MN High School League; they’re too good.

  2. Brad Leeser

    Factually, Jon is correct. There is no first party account of Jesus. No actual witness of what he did or said amongst them who wrote the Greek Scriptures. Yes, Christianity has parallels to other religions. So, what does that prove? It proves that there is no first party account of Jesus, no actual witness of what he did or said amongst them who wrote the Greek Scriptures, and that Christianity has parallels to other religions.

    Yawn.

    So what else is new? My faith is just that….faith. I think there is evidence for what I believe, but I’m also aware that unless a person has experienced what I have experienced or something similar, all there is is just that….evidence.

    So, my fellow believers, don’t let such stuff bother you. Rather, I think we have a lot to learn from some of our critics.

    1. Henry

      BL3:14″ There is no first party account of Jesus.” How about Peter? “…For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

  3. Mike E Vespa

    Brad — Are you kidding me Jesus is the most historically verifiable person to ever walk the earth !

    1. Bradley Leeser

      On first read, I thought Mike was being sarcastic, but in re-reading his post I think he really believes that “Jesus is the most verifiable person to ever walk the earth”. Now, as a Christian, I believe he was real, but I’m mature enough to know the evidence is scarce, not “the most historically verifiable”. All we have are third party accounts written well after he lived. We all need to be honest about this stuff. To do the contrary leaves us open to ridicule as we ignore facts. All that said, yes, I most certainly believe He was real and is the Messiah. But can’t empirically prove either of those two assertions.

      1. Bradley 8:08 On first read, I thought Mike was being sarcastic, but in re-reading his post I think he really believes that “Jesus is the most verifiable person to walk the earth.”

        Mike is a little prone to hyperbola. There are some references outside of the Bible, but most find their source to be the Bible, or, other promoting the faith. In our times, the faith is what it takes to believe there was a human Jesus. There is nothing wrong with having that faith. It does need to be separated from history. There may or may not have been a Jesus. And, if there was, that person may or may not have done magical things called miracle or been a deity. Historian Bart Ehrman thinks there is evidence of a human Jesus, but not of a Jesus who was a deity.

  4. Dallas Johnson

    Hmmm, I have a better idea: let’s compare Jesus to Jon Lindgren.
    A lot of North Dakotans believe Jesus was and is the real, live Son of God, who “walked the earth . . . did miracles . . . was killed and then came to life.” However, Jon claims, “We have no reliable records” of any of this. That’s strange. The Biblical and ancient NON-Biblical records of Jesus are better than the records for other widely accepted historical figures in ancient times. Better, because the accounts of Jesus’ life are more numerous and more contemporaneous. The documentation of the lives for other ancient persons is often scant and sometimes in copies only available many centuries after the purported events took place. But of course if the evidence for Jesus’ life is inconvenient for what we’d rather believe, we can choose to ignore it.
    On the other hand a lot of North Dakotans think Jon was and is a real, live person, who was a professor of economics at NDSU and even the “mayor of Fargo for 16 years.” Now I could conveniently claim, “But I have never seen what I consider ‘reliable records’ that Jon ever did these things or that he even exists.” I can choose to ignore the stories in the Fargo Forum and the old interviews people have seen on TV. But I would be a fool to do so.

    1. Dallas 7:17 Thanks for posting.
      The Biblical and NON-Biblical records of Jesus are better than the records of other widely accepted historical figures in ancient times.

      That statement, of course, it what the controversy is all about. I think I’m correct in saying the majority of New Testament academics do not support you. There are non Biblical references but they are not eye witnesses and, in nearly all cases, got their information through the propaganda sources of the time. At least, that is the way the argument is presented. We know none of those who wrote the Bible saw a living Jesus. Paul had a vision, or dream, of a Jesus.

    2. Dallas 7:17 But, of course it the evidence for Jesus’ life is inconvenient for what for what we’d rather believe, we can choose to ignore it.

      Those who believe and do not believe in the historical evidence of Jesus all have the same material to work with. There are rooms full of published material going over this same evidence. They differ on what is good evidence and what is not. For example, perhaps you believe that Paul’s account of meeting Jesus in a vision is evidence there was a physical Jesus. I do not. You may believe that Josephus’ reference to a Jesus is reputable history. There are good reasons to doubt that.

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