Letters | Sunday, 20 September 2009

Bookmark and Share

In search of the ‘truth’

I read with interest the article ‘This is my Truth, tell me yours’ by Raphael Vassallo, whose articles I usually find interesting and their sarcasm really amusing.
However I would really like to know from where he got the information regarding Osiris and Orpheus. In one of the most recent books I read about the subject; ‘The Riddle of Resurrection’, T.N.D. Mettinger, who is a senior Swedish scholar, professor at Lund University and member of the royal Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities of Stockholm, states that the consensus among modern scholars – nearly universal – is that there were no dying and rising gods that preceded Christianity. They all post-dated the first century!
Obviously the timing is absolutely crucial: Christianity couldn’t have borrowed the idea of the resurrection if myths about dying and rising gods weren’t even circulating when Christianity was birthed in the first century AD. So who is copying who? Mettinger caps his study with this stunning statement: ‘There is as far as I am aware, no prima facie evidence that the death and resurrection of Jesus is a mythological construct, drawing on the myths and rites of the dying and rising gods of the surrounding world.’
In short this leading scholar’s analysis is a sharp rebuke to popular–level authors and internet bloggers who make grand claims about the pagan origins of Jesus’ return from the dead.
A Christian cannot be convinced that ‘his own truth is simply more true than everybody else’. It is just because that of ‘Truth’ there can only be one. Relativism, here, has absolutely no place and contempt for other religions is simply not the case.
I feel it is a pity for intelligent people to give up on finding the truth, or at worst, base their opinions on shady and suspect writings which are anything but scholarly. Such a quest should be a lifelong endeavour. Yet it is also clear that the vast majority of men are little interested in searching but willingly believe only what they wish.

Raphael Vassallo writes: Dr Hewitt is mistaken when he claims that “there were no dying and rising gods that preceded Christianity”. Resurrection is in fact a recurring theme throughout mythology, as a cursory read of Frazer’s The Golden Bough will readily confirm. Dr Hewitt may also wish to consult ‘The Cult of Isis in the Roman Empire’ by Malcolm Drew Donalson (2003). Donalson suggests that the fourteen rites associated with Osiris later provided the model for the Way of the Cross. As for Orpheus (son of Apollo), he has since the Renaissance been widely and openly interpreted as a precursor to Christ.


Any comments?
If you wish your comments to be published in our Letters pages please click button below.
Please write a contact number and a postal address where you may be contacted.



Download MaltaToday Sunday issue front page in pdf file format

All the interviews from Reporter on MaltaToday's YouTube channel.


A tight space for the economy


Saviour Balzan
The cabinet meets

Raphael Vassallo:
The morning after the century before

Evarist Bartolo
Tapping a huge world education market

Claudine Cassar
The flaws in taking on single mothers

David Friggieri
Le temps qui reste

Copyright © MediaToday Co. Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 9016, Malta, Europe
Managing editor Saviour Balzan | Tel. ++356 21382741 | Fax: ++356 21385075 | Email