You know, it's kind of frustrating when I think I have a good idea for a post, then I find out I've made most of the same points before. I found this CNN article through Twitter and thought it might be interesting to respond to it, but I addressed the topic back in 2009. I've also reviewed the Timothy Freke book mentioned in the article. My general conclusion about the idea of Jesus simply being an adaptation of a pagan myth is that it's really not all that close to any pagan myths I know of. Yes, there were gods and heroes who died and came back to life, but not in the same manner. Osiris was cut into pieces and reassembled, not hung on a tree. And who's to say that third-century amulet Freke mentions wasn't influenced by Christianity? These things can work both ways, after all. And speaking of the criterion of embarrassment that's frequently used in research on Jesus, it's interesting that Robert Price mentions Hercules. He's said to have murdered his own children, and that's totally embarrassing for a hero to have done, so it must have actually happened, right? Yeah, I know it's not really that simple, but I do sometimes come across arguments that Jesus and other Biblical figures must have existed because the records on them by believers say some bad things about them. But then, every hero has a tragic flaw, right? But then, if you think Yahweh is perfect, something nobody could claim about Hercules' father Zeus, then it makes more sense that his son would be the one hero without flaws. I am interested in seeing the show about Jesus mentioned on the page. It apparently started two years ago, but the older episodes are On Demand.
In more personal news, Beth and I met David, whom we've known online as long as we've known each other, and from the same place. Amongst ourselves, we still usually call him "Davey-Bob," the name he went by on the e-mail list. It's weird how there are people whose real names we know, but we still call them by their Internet names, and sometimes even ones they don't use anymore. And the list itself was one made for They Might Be Giants fans to talk about subjects other than the band, partially as a response to people whining about off-topic conversations on the mailing list run by tmbg.org. That's pretty confusing, isn't it? I think the list officially still exists, but like most Yahoo groups, it's nothing but spam now. Anyway, we met at Heartland Brewery at the Empire State Building, a restaurant Beth and I both enjoy. Is it weird that I don't like beer, but think brewery restaurants tend to have good food? We saw the live-action Beauty and the Beast with Tavie and Erin on Friday at the Alamo Draft House. Seems like there's kind of a theme here. They have one of those movie theaters where you can order dinner, but Beth and I just got soda, milkshakes, and little baked pretzels. They also have a collection of death masks near the bar. I feel like I should make a "remember the Alamo" reference, but why bother when conservatives forgot Pearl Harbor?