The mythological Pagan roots of Christianity
Most Christians are unaware that the motif of the dying and rising Savior is not unique to Christianity, but in fact has been prevalent in many ancient myths and religions throughout the world. The similarities and parallels with the story of Jesus are astounding. Thus it has led many historians and scholars to conclude that Christianity evolved from these motifs, incorporating them into its doctrine as well.
In the first part of the revolutionary film Zeitgeist The Movie, Peter Joseph explains the Pagan mythological connections with Christianity, such as Sun worship and the dying/rising savior motif. His sources are based on the work of Archarya S, author of The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold. You can watch it below in these parts from YouTube.
Of course, in desperation, Christian Apologists from ancient times til now attempt to argue that Satan created these same counterfeit motifs before Jesus in Pagan myths in order to deceive people into thinking that Christianity is copied from them. Early Church apologists, such as Tertullian, went to great lengths to break these associations, even claiming that the devil caused the similarities to occur:
"The devil, whose business is to pervert the truth, mimics the exact circumstance of the Divine Sacraments. He baptizes his believers and promises forgiveness of sins…he celebrates the oblation of bread, and brings in the symbol of the resurrection. Let us therefore acknowledge the craftiness of the devil, who copied certain things of those that be Divine." Tertullian, (155 - 222 AD , CHAP. XL.- THE PRESCRIPTION AGAINST HERETICS. )
Justin Martyr, another early Christian apologist, alluded to the fact that pre-Christian pagan religions with the same features and motifs existed in his time, in these writings:
"When we say that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was produced without sexual union, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into Heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those who you esteem Sons of Jupiter." (First Apology / The Apostolic Fathers: Martyr and Irenaeus by Philip Schaff. Eerdmans Pub.)
"He was born of a virgin, accept this in common with what you believe of Perseus." (I Apol., chs. xxi, xxii; ANF. i, 170; cf. Add. ad Grace. ch. lxix; Ib. 233)
It's obvious that Justin and other early Christians knew how similar Christianity was to the Pagan religions. However, Justin had a solution. As far as he was concerned, the Devil did it. The Devil had the foresight to come before Christ, and create these characteristics in the Pagan world (Freke & Gandy: The Jesus Mysteries, Three Rivers Press, Chapter 3 -"Diabolical Mimicry")
What’s funny is that such explanations that “the Devil was behind it” contradicts another teaching of theirs that had Satan known that Jesus would rise from the dead and offer Salvation to those who would believe in him, he would not have had the princes of the world crucify him, which of course implies that Satan did not anticipate that Christ would become a dying/rising savior.