Saturday, October 4, 2008

Apollonius of Tyana

About 2000 years ago a pregnant woman got a visit from a heavenly agent who told the mother-to-be that her son would be the son of God. His birth which was associated with some supernatural signs and as a boy he made himself a name among the religious leader. When he got older he left his home to walk around from town to town and convinced people to give up on their material belongings and instead focus on the spiritual dimension of life.

His followers were convinced that their teacher was divine, and indeed he was able to heal the sick as well as casting out daemons. Towards the end of his life he was prosecuted by the roman authorities, and then he disappeared. However, even after he were gone, his followers continued to believe in him and there are even reports of him showing up after he was dead. He came down from heaven to convince the spectators that there is a life after death.

Does this man sound familiar to you? Who am I talking about? Many books have been written about this pagan philosopher. His name is Apollonius of Tyana and his historical existence is not disputed due to the fact that there are several independent sources. These survive in spite of the fact that the catholic church actively tried to destroy all records of Apollonius existence. Apollonius followers had heard about Jesus and they believe he was a fake.

I did not hear about this man Apollonius until recently and I must admit that I was quite surprised to hear that Jesus is not unique at all, at least not if you go by historical documents which is really the only proper way to go about if you do not want use subjective arguments such as "I feel (or know) that Jesus existed and that he did all those things written about in the gospel".

I have found a number of webpages claiming that a lot of what is written in the New Testament was really about Apollonius and that only later was names changed. This could explain some of the discrepancies between different books of the bible, but I guess it is very hard to tell one way or the other. I am no historian so I will merely say that I find it unlikely that those who wrote the New Testament had not been influenced by the books or tales about Apollonius in any sense. The stories of Jesus and Apollonius of Tyana simply have too much in common with each other for everything to just be random chance

Here is another blogpost from "atheism and happiness"


Bart said...

Apollonius isn't the only messiah to share common traits with Yeshua Cristos. Look up Mithra, Krishna, Attis, Dionysus, and perhaps the original is Horus of Egypt. Most of this gods had very similar stories. Virgin births, resurrections, after 3 days, miracles, 12 disciples, the similarities are uncanny. There is a decent documentary on them at The movie has good info, but needs to be taken with a grain of salt. After they talk about religion, they get into a bit of woo woo conspiracy theory about 9/11. Another movie called 'The God Who Wasn't There' talks about these proto-Jesus gods, but is more entertainment than scholarly.

To sum up, the consensus seems to be that they are all forms of sun worship. The birthdate of December 25th coincides with the winter solstice, where the sun reaches its lowest point for 3 days. On the 3rd day, it begins to rise earlier, and it does so in the constellation of Virgo the virgin. Of course there are 12 astrological signs, and when put upon a disk, the 4 seasons form a cross with the 'son/sun' in the middle.

The coincidences are just too great to ignore. The catholic church even had a saint that gave the official explanation as to why these stories are so similar to Jesus. The devil went back in time, and created these stories to discredit Jesus. Seriously, thats the official explanation.

Either way, the two movies I referenced are fun to watch and have some good information in them.

rasmussenanders said...

Thank you bart for that comment. I found it highly interesting and I hope my readers will too.

I would very much like to get my hands on the catholic church's statement on the issue (the one about the devil going back in time). Do you know where I can find it?

Felicia Gilljam said...

Indeed, the Jesus myth is simply the one that happened to survive longest. Question is, what do christians say about myths identical to but predating their own? Would be an interesting topic for a debate...

Bart said...

Sorry, I neglected to include the name of the apologist.

His name was Justin Martyr, and the relevant quote is from his own writings "For when they say that Dionysus arose again and ascended to heaven, is it not evidence the devil has imitated the prophecy?"
- Justin Martyr, church father. [22:55]" And, in context, he was trying to convince pagan worshipers that the new religion, christianity, had a great deal in common with the pagan faiths.

A google search of Justin Martyr will bring enough reading, pro and con, for a month. He was an early christian apologist from AD100–165.

Anonymous said...

Do you read books that support Christianity? I suggest Evidence Demands a Verdict if you are interested in both sides and are really interested in the truth.

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Nazorean said...

While the Catholic Church would have you believe that Gnosticism was a second century heresy, it is clear that the Early Church Fathers considered 'Paul' and his epistles to be Gnostic. Why is this important? There were actually 2 mainstreams of the new 'Christian' religion. The first was a Gnostic kabbalistic practice known as 'The Way' and had been in existence for hundreds of years. This was the original religion of John the Baptist and Yeshu (Jesus).

Unfortunately, this was also the religious practice of the Messianic Jewish Movement which the Romans, in particularly the Piso family, wished to subvert.

Apollonius made 2 trips to India. On the first he brought back 9 documents from Taxila India which were the basis for the original 9 epistles of 'Paul.' After the second he brought back 4 manuscripts of the Tamil people of far India which were written about the stages of life of the Indian Christ Sanat Kumara. These 4 documents were the basis for the 4 gospel accounts.

Apollonius is referred to as Apollos in the epistles. He is clearly the real 'Paul' who is a non historical person probably created by Marcion in the second century. Apollonius along with his beloved Disciple Damis and Leucis, who may have actually been Lucius Piso, formed a pact with the then Roman General Vespasian and Josephus. It is quite probable that these individuals were responsible for writing the gospels.

Dead Sea Scroll archivist Joseph Atwill in 'Caesar's Messiah' clearly outlines 12 consecutive parallels between the ministry of Jesus and the military campaign of the Roman Emperor Titus, son of Vespasian. He also uses the empty tomb narrative to clearly show that the gospels were the work of not 4 quasi-literate Jewish Apostles, but 1 author or group. If you read the account in John first, followed by Matthew, Mark and Luke, you will find that Mary sees the scene in Matthew precisely as she left it in John and so on. This indicates that these so-called 9 independent witnesses were actually working together and not independently.

All of the quotes used by Apologists, including the 'Testimonium Flavianum' made by Josephus, were made during the end of the first century and the beginning of the second century. This includes those made by St. Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, Suetonius, Tacitus and Pliny the Younger. Strangely, Paul makes no mention of Jesus of Nazareth in the epistles which were penned during the 50s. There is also no mention of Jesus of Nazareth in the early scriptures 'The Sheperd of Hermes' or 'The Epistle of Barnabas.' These writings were obviously written before Jesus of Nazareth was created. To learn more about how the Romans subverted the teachings of Yeshu and the Nazoreans and proclaimed them the revelations of their godman Jesus Christ visit: