I'm reading a book and this morning I got to a part where it claimed that the life of Jesus was very similar, if no downright copied on ancient pagan myths of different men-gods. (Amongst them Osiris, Dionysos, Attis, Adonis, Bacchus and Mithra.)
It said that in the different versions of the stories these elements could be found:
The character is god incarnated, the savior, the son of god.
His father is god and his mother a mortal virgin.
Born in a cave or stable on the 25th of december, in front of three sheperds.
Offers his followers to be born-again through baptism.
Changes water into wine at a wedding ceremony
Comes into a city, glorified, on the back of an ass, with people waving palm leaves in his honor.
Is sacrified on Easter to save the world from it's sins.
When he dies, goes down to sheol for three days then comes back to life and goes up to heavens.
Followers wait for his coming back in the last days.
His death and resurection are celebrated with a ritual meal of wine and bread, symbolising his blood and body.
How do christians explain the similitudes? The book mentioned that the first fathers of the church (Justin, Tertullien and Irénée) were troubled by the talk that was going on and were saying that the ressemblances were the fruit of demonic imitation. That the devil copied in anticipation, making the previous myths like the story of Jesus would be.
Any refutations? Things to add?
(By the way, this is just a discussion, I respect everyone, Bible beleivers or not.) Hppy Valentines day!