In the 19th century a group of scholars listed all the parallels between Jesus and previous religions. This view is no longer held among the consensus of New Testament scholars. There are two general reasons for this:
- Most of the parallels are superficial at best. One would have to conflate many different beliefs of various religions together to arrive at the Gospel narrative.
- There is no evidence of a historical causal link of those beliefs to the 1st century Jews who would have had to make the story up.
This is not to say that there aren’t some interesting parallels between stories of the Bible and other ancient religions. Noah’s Flood and the Epic of Gilgamesh, Moses and Sargon, and others are good examples. Each has their own explanation. A good rule of thumb is to check the parallels between Jesus and the supposed “original” religious beliefs. One who actually believed in that religion might be surprised that you can even compare the two.
This argument’s strongest point is it’s emotional effect on believers that Christianity is “just another religion” (not unique) among many others.
Book to Read: The Case for the Real Jesus by Lee Strobel