The Christian Bible is a collection of myths after all
When I was reading the book of Romans some time last month, I was pondering over the possibility that the story of Pharaoh in the old testament was not a true story and only an allegory.
That thought led me to question whether Moses existed in real life, because since most, if not all, of the Bible is a collection of allegories and myths, then Moses could well be an allegorical character who symbolised an archetype of the law mindset (based on the illusion of ego and separation). So, I decided to google “Did Moses exist?”, and I came across several interesting websites.
“There is no physical evidence of the existence of Moses (eg mention of him on pottery shards, as is common for other significant figures). Textual analysis shows that the books of the pentateuch, attributed to Moses, were not written by a single author. Some scholars believe that these books were a much later confection of stories centred around a figure with no historical basis.”
This discussion forum shares similar views on the mythical nature and non-historicity of Moses.
“Although many scholars of the past century to today are clear on the mythical nature of the Exodus tale and the probable (to them) non-historicity of the Moses character, there are a number of historical or quasi-historical individuals and events that have gathered attention as the possible “real Moses” and “real Exodus”.”
The person called Acharya who wrote the above has an interesting blog that has some links on how the christian religion came about. http://freethoughtworld.wordpress.com/
The following websites also have something to say about how the myth of Jesus came about.
“The question “Did the Biblical Jesus really live?” has been debated by scholars for centuries. While literalist Christian scholars prefer to seek evidence that supports their belief in a historical Jesus, impartial historians, including some Christian ones, have shown that there is in fact no evidence to support a historical Jesus.”
“The theme of a divine or semi-divine child who is feared by an evil king is very common in pagan mythology. … Examples of myths which follow this plot are the birth stories of Romulus and Remus, Perseus, Krishna, Zeus, and Oedipus. Although Torah literalists will not like to admit it, the story of Moses’s birth also resembles these myths (some of which claim that the mother put the child in a basket and placed him in a river).
“However, the story of the twelve apostles lost its original allegorical interpretation and the Christians began to think that the “twelve apostles” were twelve real people who followed Jesus. The Christians attempted to find names for these twelve apostles.”
“The biblical Jesus was a composite, fictional character created by the writers from the stories of several real historical persons being put together to create the composite biblical Jesus. The legendary King Arthur and Robin Hood characters were created the same way. The first century Jewish historians Josephus and Philo of Alexandria traveled throughout Palestine in the first century and wrote about many false messiahs and miracle workers including John the Baptist and James the Just, but NEVER wrote about the biblical Jesus. “
Last but not least, I discovered that even the apostle Paul may not have existed in real life, according to some views, such as the one below.
“here’s what I think.
Paul is not a real person at all.
Certainly Paul draws from Apollonius of Tyana and the works of Josephus. He appears to be a conglomerate of wise characters, that the early church wanted to assimilate under one to give credibility to their movement. Its easier to twist a history to make it fall in line, than it is to outright declare war on it. Especially when Apollonius was well respected amongst his contempories.
It also occured to me that there is also the possibility that Paul is meant to be the forerunner character of Jesus – but ‘gnostically’, he represents the struggle of a man, who has received enlightenment, but not yet reached the ‘Christ’ status the gnostic interpretation aims for. Clearly this would mean him entirely spiritual and not real, as in the gnostic interpretation of Jesus.”
I am still chewing on these findings and I will take some time to digest the information myself.
Waking up from the mythological world of the Bible
I was reflecting that as I come to see the Bible as a collection of myths, fables and legends borrowed from different cultures and belief systems such as paganism, Egyptian folklore and so on, I began to see a parallel between my journey in understanding the Bible and the story in the movie “Inception”.
In that movie story, the people entered into a dream world, and then in that dream, they entered into another dream world, and again in that second dream, they entered into yet another dream world. After some time, it can be hard to tell what is reality and what is imagination.
So similarly, in the Bible, we see one fictional character (eg Moses) being mentioned by another person (eg Jesus), who turns out to be a fictional character who was mentioned by another person (eg Paul), who himself also turns out to be fictional. So I can see how this realisation can result in a mini spiritual crisis for people (including myself) who have all along been taught that these characters are real, even as they/we came to grasp that these characters are merely archetypes borrowed from some other religions, fables and myths.
Come to think of it, those people in the olden days thousands of years didn’t have modern day conveniences such as computers and cars, so life was very slow-paced. No wonder they had a lot of time sitting around and telling stories, and comparing their own culture’s stories with other cultures’ stories as they travelled and interacted and traded with one another, and they inevitably added and modified some elements from one another’s stories, and formed new stories. I suppose that’s how we have many religions today containing a mixture of elements, since they all borrowed some plots and characters from one another, and created their own characters’ names and backgrounds.