Sourcing the Legend

The Syncretic Heritage of Christianity

Forget the fairy story. Many currents fed the Jesus myth, like streams and tributaries joining to form a major river. As Christianity cut its way through the centuries it became a very murky and dangerous torrent, sweeping away civilizations and all who stood in its way.

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Kenneth Humphreys



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From Mixed Parentage.

Pagan and Jewish motifs share the roof decor of this ancient tomb in Rome.









Have I got a story for you ...







Pss ... Secret wisdom?







Painful sacrifices for some






Christianity – the ultimate product of religious syncretism in the ancient world.

'Constantine Jesus'. One of the earliest depictions of the Christian god.

Picture Essay

From Apollo to Jesus Christ! How the Godman is Made and Remade

Through the centuries, the Christian godman has been made and remade. The image of history's greatest superhero has morphed from Greek god to Roman politician, from youthful shepherd to Renaissance prince. An imaginary paragon can always be in step with fashion.


Horus becomes a Christ on horseback..

Egyptian Roots of Catholicism – Relics, demonology, miracles

In Egypt, early Christianity regurgitated the fables, reused the symbols, and recycled the sacred space of the Pharaohs. When the Patriarchs of Alexandria came to write much of Catholic theology, they recast an ancient religion, copying rituals, ceremonies, and demonology. Even monasticism was born here.


Alexandria – the light of science, the cauldron of superstition.

Witness to Jesus? Philo of Alexandria finds the 'Logos'

Right time, right place – yet Philo says not a word about Jesus, Christianity nor any of the events described in the New Testament. Yet it was in Alexandria that Hellenised Judaism fashioned and influenced the early Christians.


Seneca – epiphets of wisdom.

Seneca and the Stoics – Witness to Jesus or an inspiration?

The ancient world was not on hold, waiting for a Christian godman to teach it ethics and morality. The much vaunted selflessness, compassion and humanity of Christianity was an inheritance from Stoicism. The Church Fathers even tried to claim Seneca as their own!


Buddha shares homespun wisdom with his disciples.

The Buddhist Influence in Christian Origins

It was in Alexandria that a Buddhist influence impressed itself upon the faith. Opportunity, motive, method and scripture itself provide evidence of a profound and detailed Buddhist influence in Christianity's origins.


An encouraging thought: retribution for enemies of the faith.

The Angry Jew Revealing Truth Behind 'Revelation'

In Judaea itself, hatred for the Roman conquerors bred a genre of apocalyptic curses, anticipating an End of the World. It infused the early faith with the intolerance of divine certainty.


Mithaic saviour sheds blood.

MithraismDress Rehearsal for Christianity

From Persia, too, came a Saviour God and notions of rebirth, a Mithraic dress rehearsal for Christianity. The first ‘universal religion’ of the Greco-Roman world anticipated Christianity in almost all major respects, but whilst triumphant in Rome it was fatally weakened by an exclusion of women.








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Copyright © 2005 by Kenneth Humphreys.
Copying is freely permitted, provided credit is given to the author and no material herein is sold for profit.