08. Neither New Nor Strange



In Neither New Nor Strange: How Jesus Mythicists Misrepresent the Church Fathers, Albert McIlhenny dissects the mythicist abuse of patristic writers to “prove their point.” In reality, most have never read the passage in context and are merely repeating bogus claims made by some crank author. The title is taken from an often used quote by Eusebius that Christianity was neither new nor strange but had always existed. Jesus mythicists have cited this for over a century as evidence that Christianity copied earlier pagan religions, but in context Eusebius is actually stating that Christianity is the rightful successor to the religion of the Old Testament. This and similar comments as well as other outrageous claims using the Church Fathers as evidence are placed under the microscope and thoroughly refuted. By the end of the book, the quotes used by mythicists are shown to be either taken out of context or else completely fabricated.

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The contents of the book are as follows:

Preface

Series Introduction

Introduction

Chapter 1 – Jesus Mythicists on the Church Fathers
1.1 – Disturbing Quotes
1.2 – Pagan Parallels
1.3 – The Usual Suspects
1.4 – Conclusion

Chapter 2 – Eusebius of Caesarea
2.1 – Recycled Christianity
2.2 – Known to the Ancients
2.3 – Eusebius on the Therapeutae
2.4 – Falsehood as a Remedy
2.5 – Glory and Disgrace
2.6 – No Clear Footprints
2.7 – Allegorical Contents
2.8 – Eusebius and the Pastorals
2.9 – Conclusion

Chapter 3 – Augustine of Hippo
3.1 – Never Absent from the Beginning
3.2 – Priests of Mithras
3.3 – Egyptian Resurrection
3.4 – Augustine on Paganism
3.5 – Augustine the Parrot?
3.6 – Augustine on Romulus
3.7 – Augustine at Nicaea?
3.8 – Eyes in Their Bosoms?
3.9 – A Religion of Threats and Bribes
3.10 – Augustine and Expedience
3.11 – Augustine on Science
3.12 – Augustine on Educating Women
3.13 – Augustine on Mathematics
3.14 – Augustine on the Shape of the Earth
3.15 – Conclusion

Chapter 4 – Justin Martyr
4.1 – Understanding the First Apology
4.2 – Christian-Pagan Comparisons
4.3 – Initial Considerations (Chapters 1-3)
4.4 – Guilty of a Name (Chapter 4)
4.5 – Refuting the Charge of Atheism (Chapters 5-6)
4.6 – Christians Convicted for their Confession of Christ (Chapters 7-8)
4.7 – The Proper Service to God (Chapters 9-13)
4.8 – Serving Christ and Serving Demons (Chapters 14-17)
4.9 – Comments on the Resurrection (Chapters 18-19)
4.10 – Analogies between Christianity and Paganism (Chapters 20-22)
4.11 – Contrasting Christians and Pagans
4.12 – Demonic Imitations (Chapters 54-58)
4.13 – Plato and Moses (Chapters 59-60)
4.14 – Worship and Final Remarks (Chapters 61-68)
4.15 – Summary of the First Apology
4.16 – If He Has Indeed Been Born …
4.17 – There Exists Not a People …
4.18 – Conclusion

Chapter 5 – Tertullian
5.1 – Understanding Tertullian
5.2 – Tertullian and Crucified Gods
5.3 – Tertullian and Christian Sun Worship
5.4 – Athens and Jerusalem
5.5 – Believe the Absurd
5.6 – Conclusion

Chapter 6 – Irenaeus
6.1 – Understanding Irenaeus
6.2 – Four Winds, Four Gospels
6.3 – Jesus as an Old Man
6.4 – Denying the Crucifixion
6.5 – Denying the Incarnation
6.6 – Conclusion

Chapter 7 – Jerome
7.1 – Bethlehem and Adonis
7.2 – Jesus and the Phantom
7.3 – Jesus and Other Gospels
7.4 – Deceiving the Crowd?
7.5 – Conclusion

Chapter 8 – Other Church Fathers
8.1 – Clement of Rome
8.2 – Polycarp of Smyrna
8.3 – Gregory Thaumaturgus
8.4 – Athanasius
8.5 – Firmicus Maternus on the “Devil’s Christs”
8.6 – Pope Leo X and the Christian Fable
8.7 – Conclusion

Conclusion

Bibliography

Notes