, 49 tweets, 13 min read
Is #Jesus a #mythical figure based on the #Greek #god Adonis?
Um, #NO, and here is why (#Updated and #Expanded):
Adonis was the son of princess Myrrha and King Cinyras (more on them later). A mortal beloved by both Persephone and Aphrodite, he became the center of a nasty love triangle. Zeus intervened, saying that he should spend 4 months of the year with Persephone, 4 months of the year
with Aphrodite, and could do anything he wanted during the remaining 4 months of the year. Adonis chose to stay the last 4 months with Aphrodite (no doubt to the chagrin of Persephone. Having said that, Hades, Persephone’s husband, would have approved).
However, Adonis died young, and Aphrodite turned his blood into red anemone flowers. Eventually an Adonis resurrection cult was formed, which believed that he was a god of fertility. They also believed that during harvest time he made his annual trip to the Underworld to be with
So, is Jesus based on Adonis?
Let’s see why.
Before we continue: some ancient writers identified Adonis with the Babylonian Tammuz, though this connection wasn’t originally part of the Adonis mythos. Some Jesus Mythicists will no doubt try to say that if something is true of Tammuz, its true of Adonis. Though their myths do
share some similarities, they are also very different. I encourage those reading this to read legit books and websites that go into detail on Adonis and Tammuz, including those I use in both this article and the one on both Dumuzi and Tammuz, and see for yourself how different
they really are.
1. Born December 25th?
2. Born of a virgin?
His mother, Princess Myrrha (some versions Smyrna or Zmyrna), ticked off Aphrodite, who punished her by giving her the hots for her own father, King Cinyras (cue Banjo music). With the aid of her nurse, she
got her father drunk for 12 nights, during which time she had sex with him and got pregnant. When the King finally figured out what happened, he decided to have her killed, but before he could get his chance, the gods turned Myrrha into a Myrrh tree. Eventually, the tree gave
birth to Adonis.
This is not a virgin birth.
Its an incestuous birth.
3. Born in Bethelehem?
4. Wise men, shepherds, and a Christmas star at his birth?
In some accounts, his father cut the tree open, so that he could be born. In another, a boar opened the tree with his tusk (pretty ironic, as well shall soon see).
5. Did miracles?
while a mortal. He would have been a miracle worker after he become a god, but this was true of any deity, big deal.
6. Multiplied bread and loaves?
7. Walked on water?
8. Incurred the wrath of religious leaders?
No, he incurred the wrath of either Ares, Hephaestus,
Artemis or Apollo (depending on the version of the myth).
8. Crucified?
No, he was killed by a wild boar.
In some accounts, the boar was Ares or Hephaestus in disguise.
9. Resurrected?
Aphrodite turned his spilled blood into flowers, but this doesn’t mean that he was resurrected or even reincarnated; his blood was just made into flowers.
The most detailed account of his death and supposed “resurrection” is found in Lucian’s “De De Syria” (“The Syrian Goddess”), which was written in the 2nd century AD (postdating the New Testament, let alone Christ). His death by a boar is mentioned, along with an annual ritual
where his female followers mourn his loss. This is the particular passage that excites Jesus Mythicists the most:
“When they have finished their mourning and wailing, they sacrifice in the first place to Adonis, as to one who has departed this life: after this they allege that he
is alive again, and exhibit his effigy to the sky.” (see the 6th chapter of the book).
Boy howdy! It sure sounds like a resurrection…until you realize that Adonis was thought by his worshippers to be a god, not both man and god. Indeed, like Hercules, he would have been turned
into a god after he died, not physically resurrected. Semele, Dionysus’ mother, went through a similar transformation, which didn’t involve a physical resurrection prior to her becoming a god. Her undead spirit was just turned into a god, and she “lived” again, though not as a
And plus, Lucian wrote this text in the 2nd century AD, which as I’ve noted postdates the time when the New testament was written.
There are other late texts that are thought by some to actually have a resurrection account, but these are, as I said, late (2nd-4rth century AD).
Indeed, I have a sneaky filling that Lucian’s text is considered among their number, and if so…then I am suspicious of the rest. If any knows of these other texts, please let me know what they are and where to look for them.
But no matter what is in them…they still post date the New Testament, let alone Jesus Christ.
Who…is borrowing…from whom?
Some Jesus Mythicists will state that Tammuz was identified with Adonis, and Tammuz was resurrected, so therefore Adonis was resurrected.
Oh brother.
Just because they were identified with each other doesn’t mean that they had the exact same mythology. For example, Ra/Re, the Egyptian god of the sun, was identified with Helios, one of the Greek gods of the sun. Ra, however, was for a very long time considered the highest god
of the Egyptian pantheon, while Helios, a Titan, was subservient to Zeus. Keep also in mind that both Zeus and the Egyptian Seth were storm gods. So…is this god a king of the gods or not? Is the storm god subservient to him, or master over him?
Horus was identified with Apollo. Was Apollo ever said to take the shape of a Falcon? Or have the head of one? Did Horus have a twin sister named Artemis, and was his mother the titan Leto rather than the Egyptian Goddess Isis (try finding similarities between those two!)?
Dionysus and Osiris were identified together. Did Osiris ever turn people into dolphins, or take his mother Nut out of the underworld? Was his mother Nut described as a mortal who became a god? Was she killed by her divine lover Geb?
Oh, and by the way; Zeus was identified by some in the ancient world with the Biblical Yahweh. Do I have to point out the NUMEROUS differences between those two?
Did Zeus destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, according to Greek myth?
Did Yahweh turn the evil king Lycaon into a wolf, according to the Old Testament?
Did Zeus exist before time, and was he omnipotent (Hint: it took him and his allies years to overthrow his Father (repeat Father, Zeus didn’t always exist) Cronus and the Titans, and without Hermes
tending to his wounds, he would never have defeated the monster Typhon. In some, even he could not overcome fate.)?
Was Yahweh the son of Cronus? Did he come into existence after the beginning of the Universe? Was he not omnipotent (Genesis 1:1, Job 42:2, Psalm 90:2, 93:2,
John 1:1-3, 1 Timothy 1:17, Revelation 1:8)?
Was Jesus Zeus’ Son, according to ancient texts on Greco-Roman mythology? Was Hercules Yahweh’s son, according to the Bible?
I think you get the point.
Indeed, Tammuz’ “resurrection” has been argued by some to have been an astralization instead of a resurrection (his divine spirit was taken up to the stars). Dumuzi, his Sumerian counterpart, does have a resurrection in a version of his tale, but his tale has differences from
that of Tammuz also.
Thus, no resurrection.
10. The “Ichtys” (The name for the fish symbol) was a name for Adonis?
No. I challenge Jesus Mythicists to post a mainstream (non-Jesus Mythicist) academic link or book (likewise mainstream, non-Jesus Mythicist) to prove this
assertion. Not only prove it, mind you, but to prove that this was a name for Adonis in either the first century or earlier.
This is a tactic that is used by Jesus Mythicists on occasion, saying that the Icthys symbol (the fish symbol that you see now and again on cars) was
derived from pagan symbols or myth. Fish were a central element in some pagan myths, or a symbol mean to convey reincarnation, or represented a mother goddess, or the word “Ichthys” (Koine Greek for fish) was the name of a goddess who was the daughter of a sea goddess, etc.
However, this tactic fails.
“Ichthys”, as stated above, was a Koine Greek word for “fish”. It’s the most commonly used word in the New Testament for fish. The Ichthys symbol represented how we are to be “fishers of men.” (Matt 4:19). It also represents an interesting acronym:
I=Ieosus (Greek for Jesus)
C=Christos or Christ
Th=Theos (God)
S= Soter (Salvation)
See, Jesus Mythicists? Like Pagans, Christians can come up with their own ideas, and can be inspired by their own texts to come up with their own symbols!
And if any of claim that we appropriated or stole pagan fish symbols, tell them to keep in mind that fish, like numerous animals, have been used as symbols from the ancient world to now. Fish are not copyrighted. If we thought like Jesus mythicists, we would have to conclude…
…That the Houston Texans appropriated the Bull symbol from the Chicago Bulls…
…Or that Panda Express appropriated their Panda logo from that of World Wildlife Fund…
Folks, Jesus wasn’t based on Adonis.
Jesus is real, and he is the real deal.
Herodotus, “The Histories”, 2.42, 144
Ovid's "Metamorphoses", 10.284-559, & 705-39
Antoninus Liberalis, "Metamorphoses", 34
Pseudo-Apollodorus "Bibliotheca", 3.183-85 (See also 3.38)
Pseudo-Hyginus, "Fabulae” 58 and 248
Anthenaeus, "Deipnosophistae", 2.69 (Greek Rhetorician, 2nd-3rd century AD)
Ptolemy Hephaestion "New History Book" (Summary from Photius, Myriobiblon 190)
Propertius, "Elegies" 2.13 (Roman elegy 1 century AD)
Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 29. 4
Diodorus Siculus, “Library of History”, 4.25
“Dictionary of Nature Myths: Legends of the Earth, Sea, and Sky” By Tamra Andrews, 157

"Titans & Olympians" by Tony Allan, Sarah Maitland and Dr. Michael Trapp (Consultant), 57, 126-128
“The Way to Eternity” by Fergus Fleming, Alan Lothian and Dr. Joann Fletcher (consultant), 34.
“The Penguin Dictionary of Classical Mythology” by Pierre Grimal, 13-14 (see also 397)
“The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology” by Arthur Cotterell and Rachel Storm, 261, 312. See also 20-21, 39, 48, 59, 290, 310-312, 316-17
“The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament” by Craig S. Keener, 369
Lee Strobel, “The Case for the Real Jesus”, 77
"Zondervan NIV Exhaustive Concordance: Second Edition" by Edward W. Goodrick and John R. Kohlenberger III, 403, 1559
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