“LOOK out,” wrote the apostle Paul to Christians living in the latter half of the first century C.E. What was he warning against? “Perhaps there may be someone who will carry you off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men.”—Colossians 2:8.
Despite Paul’s warning, from the middle of the second century C.E., some Christians began using concepts borrowed from ancient philosophers in order to explain their beliefs. Why? They wanted to be accepted by the educated people of the Roman Empire and thus make more converts.
Justin Martyr, one of the most famous of these Christians, believed that God’s Spokesman had manifested himself to Greek philosophers long before the arrival of Jesus. According to Justin and like-minded teachers, the contribution of philosophy and mythology to Christianity made this form of religion truly universal.
Justin Martyr’s form of Christianity became very successful in gaining converts. However, the adoption of one myth led to the creation of others and produced what is now commonly believed to be Christian doctrine. To expose these myths, compare what the following reference works say with what the Bible actually teaches.