First: The Dead Sea Scrolls
These ancient scrolls were uncovered in 1947 by a Bedouin shepherd.
In reading this account of the Crucifixion and Resuscitation of Jesus we cannot look to the sciences of Paleography or Archaeology for verification ... We can only search for internal evidences of truth and reliability, and compare these documents’ references to the Order of Essenes with that which has been found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. In this connection it is most interesting to note that ... Jesus spent his last days with his Essene brethren ... on the shores of the Dead Sea.
It is quite possible that future discoveries may at some time corroborate the incidents which are related in this very interesting document.
... Matthew and John, in their writings, do not inform us a single word about the ascension. Even then the Essene letter's account would be a very interesting one -- that Jesus on the Mount only took a usual departure and afterwards fulfilled the duties of the Essene order by living a secluded life.
When we further pursue the letter and compare it with the gospel reports, we will in neither of them find contradiction as regards facts. The only difference is that in the gospel, all is transformed into a miraculous Oriental tradition, when the Essene letter, on the other hand, pays no attention to any supernatural, undefined and imaginative illustration, but records the facts as they are.
A dead corpse cannot walk about, for as long as the world has existed God never did contradict himself by overthrowing eternal laws of nature. Even if a single law of nature was set aside, that whole endless chain of cause and effects, where every law keeps the other in balance, they would fall together in chaos.
Various correspondences between the traditions of Mithraism and Christianity were pre-Christian, as admitted by a number of important patristic writers such as Justin Martyr, Origen and Tertullian. See http://truthbeknown.com/mithraism.html.
Why did the religion of Mithraism so bother the early Christians that they were compelled to write against it? The early fathers of the Christian church discussed Mithraism's similarities to Christianity, unfavorably and with the intent to make it appear as if the prescient devil "aped" the coming Christ, based on interpretations of so-called "messianic prophecies" in the Old Testament.
In other words, the Church fathers essentially admitted that these similarities, parallels and correspondences between the religion and biography of the Perso-Roman god Mithra and the Jewish messiah Jesus existed before Christ supposedly lived, and that the Christian savior and religion were therefore unoriginal and not unique.
extraordinary account claims that Jesus was