Other Messiahs?

June 8, 2014

Topic Notes

  • Is there anyone who did what Jesus did?
  • Introducing: Apollonius of Tyana
  • Born around the year 4BC.
  • He Died and rose from the dead!
  • He ascended bodily into the Heavens.
  • And was a great philosopher and teacher.
  • He was not afraid to stand up to the authorities of the day and was put on trial.
  • He preached about moral goodness and did miracles!
  • He was preceeded by a “messenger” who told of his coming.
  • Many people trying to disprove Christianity use Apollonius of Tyana as a proof that Jesus’ claims are not unique!
  • Does this make you nervous?
  • Dave’s Faux Pas!
  • Chipping away at Apollonius
  • Norman Geisler notes that His writings about Apollonius match the Novels in style and length!:

    “The style of writing used by Philostratus was a popular literary form of the day called “romance” or “romance fiction.” It is not to be taken literally or historically. The plot unfolds through contrived situations; it involves exotic animals and formal descriptions of works of art; and it has lengthy speeches by the characters.” (1)

  • Also…

    “There is nothing supernatural in Apollonius’s biography, either as to claims of deity or miracles done to prove such a claim. The postresurrection miracle stories are not even part of his biography. They are simply called “stories” by his biographer, Philostratus.” (2)

  • Furthermore:

    “Philostratus was not an eyewitness but was commissioned to compose his book by Julia Domna, wife of the Roman emperor Septimus, 120 years after Apollonius’s death. The writers of the New Testament were contemporaries and/or eyewitnesses of the events. A possible motive for the publication was a desire to counteract the growing influence of Jesus. One historian says, “It was she (Julia Domna) who encouraged Philostratus to put together a life of Apollonius of Tyana as a counterblast to Jesus” (ibid., 51). Another said that, since she was to become the high priestess of the Hellenistic polytheism, “Realizing the need of finding a historical figure fitted to counter the propaganda of the subversive gospels, she sought particularly to revive the memory of a hero of pagan hagiology, Apollonius of Tyana” (Cook, 613).” (3)

  • Introducing: Sabbatai Sevi
  • According to Norman Geisler

    He was a seventeenth-century Jewish teacher who claimed to be the Messiah and was heralded by a contemporary named Nathan. It was reported many years later that, after Sevi’s death in 1676, his brother found his tomb empty but full of light. (4)

  • There are very few sources about Sevi, and historically there is little that we can know is true.
  • He supposedly did miracles: One attributed to him was cursing a church and then the church subsequently sunk into the ground.
  • But his forerunner Nathan made it clear that he did not do miracles.
  • He believed that the Messiah was of God and did not need to “prove” anything by miracles.
  • Nathan also says that Sabbatai is in a “God-induced sleep.” I.e. swooning.
  • There is no resurrection story about Sevi, except the story of his brother which is only an empty tomb story, not a resurrection story.
  • Reality Check: Interestingly, Sabbatai was captured by Muslims who forced him, upon punishment of death, to say that he was not the Messiah and that people should convert to Islam. Sevi did what the Muslims requested, denying that he was the messiah and telling people to convert to Islam. Afterwards he lost many of his followers and the Muslims kept him under house arrest until his death.
  • 1. Both Lincoln and Kennedy were elected to Congress in ’46 (1846 in Lincoln’s case, 1946 in Kennedy’s). Both became President in ’60.
  • 2. Both had lazy eye muscles which would cause one eye to wander.
  • 3. Both had been skippers on boats (Lincoln on the Mississippi river boat ‘Talisman’ and Kennedy on the PT-109)
  • 4. Both were the second sons in their families. Each lost a sister to death before becoming President. Both married 24-year-old brunettes who had been previously engaged to other men, and who spoke French fluently.
  • 5. Both had a child die while living in the White House.
  • 6. Both were related to U.S. Senators, U.S. Attorney Generals who graduated from Harvard, and ambassadors to the Court of St. James.
  • 7. Both were acquaintances of a man named Adlai E. Stevenson who ran for either Vice-President or President, a doctor named Charles Taft and a man named William Graham.
  • 8. Both were advised not to go to the place where they died.
  • 9. Both Lincoln’s theater box and Kennedy’s car were altered for their benefit (Lincoln’s theater box had a partition removed to accomodate his party, Kennedy’s car had a raised rear seat)
  • 10. Both were slain on a Friday before a major Holiday (Lincoln on the Friday before Easter, Kennedy on the Friday before Thanksgiving). Both were shot while sitting next to their wives and in the presence of another couple. Of the other couple, the man was also wounded by the assassin, but neither wife was wounded.
  • 11. Both were shot from behind and in the head. Both of their wives cradled their husband’s heads after they were shot.
  • 12. John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln from inside a theater, and fled to a warehouse. Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy from inside a warehouse and fled to a theater.
  • 13. Lincoln was shot while inside the Ford theater, in box 7. Kennedy was shot while inside a Ford automobile, in car 7 in the motorcade.
  • 14. Both were pronounced dead in places with the initials P.H. (Lincoln in the Peterson House, and Kennedy in Parkland Hospital)
  • 15. Both of their assassins escaped, and were killed before going to trial.
  • 16. Both of their assassins were privates in the military. Each was detained after the shooting by a policeman named Baker. Both were eventually killed by a Colt revolver.
  • 17. Both Lincoln and Kennedy were succeeded by southern ex-senators named Johnson who were born in ’08. Both Johnsons were in their mid-fifties when they took the office and both suffered from urethral stones (the only presidents to have them). Both Johnsons could have run for re-election in ’68, but chose not to.
  • Bible Contradiction via theThinkingAtheist.com
    • Did Jesus Speak at His Hearing Before Pilate?
    • Matthew 27:11-14 vs LJohn 18:37
  • A quick look at Mithra

This show originally aired June 8th, 2014


Was Jesus a Copycat Savior? (The Lincoln and Kennedy Connection)


(1) Geisler, Norman L. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Baker reference library, Page 44. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1999.
(2) Geisler, Norman L. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Baker reference library, Page 44. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1999.
(3) Geisler, Norman L. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Baker reference library, Page 45. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1999.
(4) Geisler, Norman L. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Baker reference library, Page 650. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1999.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *