> So we start with the fact that a lot of
> astronomical myths and symbols predated
> Christianity, such as what are found in Mithraism,
> or ancient Egyptian or Gaulish religion.
> There are many individual similarities between the
> gospels and earlier religions and myths that the
> astrotheological case is built upon. Some of
> these are already apparent in the letters of Paul
> and other early non-gospel texts of the NT, but
> the full story comes out in the gospels, the
> earliest of which (thought to be Mark) is
> typically dated around 70-90 AD.
> This is the problem. When we talk about the
> earliest evidence for the historical Jesus, we are
> citing these same documents where the
> astrotheology elements are already present. As
> far as I know, an astrotheological interpretation
> of Christianity was never promoted by the church,
> whether it was the early churches or the official
> one later in Rome.
> We know the theologies developed by the early
> church fathers because we have the literature and
> can see how it evolved over time. But the
> astrotheological elements are already present in
> the earliest documents, the same that we would
> use for building the purely historical case.
> Based on that alone I wonder how any historical
> information can be teased out at all. If we
> remove everything that is similar to earlier myths
> then we might literally have nothing left but a
> few names such as Caiaphas or Herod, and even
> Herod at least has been challenged on various
The fact that certain myths and symbols predate Christianity (or Judaism) is an interesting but oversimplified way to look at the question of historicity. It only speaks to the relative occurrence in time of those myths and symbols. It certainly can't prove that the latter borrowed from the former. It doesn't address the question of accessibility of those former myths and legends by the latter. In the end, from an historical point of view, it's little more than a curiosity.
For example, flood myths: Flood myths are quite common in cultures around the world, in pretty much every period. But, it doesn't mean that the latter ones borrowed from the Epic of Gilgamesh.