> Christ made two promises about eternal life : one, that he
> was the resurrection, that those who died could still live
> again; the other, that he was the life, that it was possible
> for some to NEVER die. I argue in my books that the second
> promise was new, but that the first was old as time itself,
> the same promise held by all mystical religions.
Oops, reverse that typo. The promise that it was possible for people to achieve a spiritual breakthrough while alive ("living in Christ" -- think "Enlightenment" or "gnosis") that would allow them to avoid death altogether was old, and found in numerous religions at the time to Christ. But his promise that it was possible for believers ("believing in Christ") who suffered death to still be resurrected at a later point in time was completely new.
The Christian church that followed Christ's appearance quickly splintered into two branches, one, the gnostics, which embraced the "never die" promise, and the orthodox church, which embraced the "resurrection" promise.
- Peter Novak