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The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors
In his book The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors, American writer Kersey Graves shows that many demigods all over the world, share similar stories, traits or quotes with Jesus. The similarity between the story of Christ and his many predecessors gave rise to what is now called the Christ myth theory. This theory holds the view that the story of Jesus is either a piece of mythology, or, if Christ really existed, he had probably nothing to do with the founding of Christianity.
Historical Christ researcher David Strauss and Godfrey Higgins with his Anacalypsis (1836), arguing that the Hindus, Jews and Greeks in essence had the same myths, which were corrupted by Christians, were its pioneers. After Higgins, the Christ myth theory culminates in Kersey Graves, and in 1875 he publishes this book, destined to become the most influential and controversial work in this line of thought, up to this day.
Many have been inspired (and annoyed) by his flaming argumentation and exhaustive detection of biblical flaws and errors. Among the authors he influenced was bestseller author Dan Brown, who apparently used The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors as a source, investing Mithra, while writing The Da Vinci Code.
While one must critically put Kersey Graves in the historical context of his own time, as well as the validity of his claims, The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors remains an explosive work.
About the author
Kersey Graves was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania on November 21, 1813 and past away on September 4, 1883 in Richmond, Indiana. That is physically, as this flamboyant skeptic, God-critic, rationalist, spiritualist, reformist writer, who gained so much popularity among the 19th century American free thought circuit, still manages to stir up the moods. His devastating comments on the Christian foundations and assumptions are still feared by those God-fearing believers who sold their soul to this religion, and Graves’ controversial books are still quoted and debated. The occasional modern historian who criticizes Graves historical research is mostly right. However, this offers the Christian believer little comfort. The point is, Graves cannot be solely commented on from the historical perspective alone. The latter would make him an easy victim of modern historians who hold the (rather extreme and ungrounded) vision, that every historical book written before 1950 is virtually worthless in the 21st century.
Graves and his legacy are simply too big for academic shortcuts. The authors’ main objective was not primarily centered around academic aspirations. Instead, he wrote passionately about his subjects as the Bible, Christ, Satan and church dogmas, from the perspective of a socially engaged researcher, using the historical data of his time as a plaster, in search for uninvestigated, denied or repressed truths beyond our “taken for granted-Christianity”.
For a better understanding of his argumentation and style a little insight in his Quaker background is invaluable.
Read more about Kersey Graves in the post scriptum of The Biography of Satan.