Sunday, 27 February 2011

Is the New Testament a pagan myth?

I sent you an e-mail for Rev. Polkinghorne a few months ago, saying that reading "Belief in God in an Age of Science" and "Questions of Truth" had turned me from a person in doubt, intro a person who rather believes than doubts the existence of God.

First of all, I'd like to thank you for your prompt answer on that occasion. In the meantime, I also read "Quantum Physics and Theology" and learned a lot of thinks about Christianity.

I recently watched the documentary "Zeitgeist" and I must admit it is pretty shaking to my beliefs.
In part I it asserts that the New Testament is a pagan myth personifying astronomical events: the birth of Jesus on the 25th December as the first day the sun starts moving north (and so upwards), the resurrection as the spring equinox, the disciples as the signs of the zodiac, etc. It is also claimed that the Old Testament is mostly inspired from the religion of Egypt, which in it's turn is similar to others all over the world (as actually worshiping the sun and stars). Jesus' figure is said to be similar with the figure of Joseph from the OT.
Could you please help me with your views on that?

I haven’t seen or heard of this documentary, but it seems obviously nonsensical.

Of course 12 is a symbolic number in many contexts: Jesus picked 12 special disciples to symbolise the 12 tribes of Israel and it’s ridiculous to pin this on any other 12 (shillings in the pound, semitones in an octave) and the resurrection is linked to the Passover. As for Dec 25th – this is a pretty late tradition which is not in the Bible at all.

Of course all religions contain some truth, and the truth of all religions is one, so Jesus fulfils any truths there are in any religion. But this does not remotely undermine his Gospel. To take a scientific example, astronomy and chemistry grew directly and continuously from astrology and alchemy but this does not remotely undermine the truths that have been found.

No comments:

Post a Comment