The parallels between Jesus Christ and Harry Potter are actually closer than most people may realize. The book also looks at where Jesus in the Bible came from, an actual person, or a collection of stories?
When the first Harry Potter book was released, does anyone remember the uproar from the religious community? The lawsuits and book burnings came about because the book supposedly promoted witchcraft. By the time the last book was released, the attitude was very different because of the Christ-like images and things that happened to Harry. Many people considered Harry as a Christ-like figure (which J.K. Rowling freely acknowledges).
The assertion that Jesus, as a historical figure, never existed is hardly new; the claim has been made all through out history. A central question to ask is: Which Jesus are we seeking? Are we looking for someone who was born of a virgin, died, rose again and ascended to Heaven? Are we looking for a rebel leader during a time of occupation?
From time to time, an archaeological discovery is made which references a person or place mentioned in the Bible. That would seem to increase the possibility that the Bible is true, since there is now independent evidence that the person or place referenced really existed. Right? Using that line of reasoning, books like The DaVinci Code or the Harry Potter books are just as real as the Bible, because they also mention places that really exist. Another assertion is that Jesus invented ethics and morality; before Him, there was nothing. Really? The various civilizations that existed before Christianity, ranging from Sumeria to Egypt to China, might have something to say about that.
The life of Jesus has supposedly been thoroughly discussed and analyzed in the writings of other historians, including Pliny, Tacitus, and especially Flavius Josephus. The problem is that the total analysis of Jesus amounts to just a couple of paragraphs per author. There has been much controversy over the centuries as to whether or not those paragraphs are real or fakes. The similarities between the life of Jesus and those of people like Dionysus, Asclepius, Mithras and Pythagoras (who was known for a lot more than just his mathematical Theorem) are more than just coincidence.
Large parts of the Bible were taken, or otherwise re-interpreted, from ancient pagan myths and stories. The Great Flood, for instance, came from the Epic of Gilgamesh. The idea of a flood that covered the whole world will mean a lot more to a people who live between two great rivers, like the Tigris and Euphrates, than to residents of an arid place like Palestine.
Why did all the ancient religions, including Christianity, seem to use the same images and shapes? Observations of the constellations in the sky led people to construct myths about them, which truned into stories and eventually became religion.
This is a very fascinating and eye-opening book. It is full of footnotes, so this is more than just some anti-Catholic rant. Those who treat the Bible as a group of stories and parables about the right way to live should not have their faith damaged by this book. It is very much worth the reader's time.
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About the reviewer
Paul Lappen (plappen)
I am in my early 50s, single and live in Connecticut. I am a lifelong very, very avid reader and am a freelance book reviewer with my ownblog (http://www.deadtreesreview.blogspot.com). Please visit. It … more
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