Patterns of Myth-Making

(Κέλσος) – Matthew W. Ferguson:

Many myths are formed by modeling the person in question upon mythical and heroic archetypes. The myths about Alexander the Great were not being made out of thin air. Instead, Alexander was being modeled on mythical figures, such as Hercules and Achilles, which caused similar myths to be told about his own life. The same pattern occurred with Jesus. His depiction in the Gospels is based on the stories of Moses, David, Elijah, and Elisha, which caused similar stories to be told about Jesus, especially since he was considered to be a Messianic figure who would surpass previous Old Testament heroes. We don’t need to assume, however, that these stories go back to actual historical events. We have ample evidence of literary antecedents that can explain how these stories were fashioned in later literature. But the power of such literature, and the mythical archetypes upon which it is modeled, can still shape the memory of individuals in remarkable ways, nonetheless. …

adversusapologetica 2016/05/24 patterns

Richard Stoneman: The Greek Alexander Romance


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