For more information, see: Kersey Graves and The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors by Richard Carrier
IN Chapter XXXI we have traced Christianity to Essenism. This may need a fuller explanation than we have yet devoted to this point, though we have stated several times we consider them essentially one. The Essenes had their "Exoteric' and their "Esoteric" doctrines. The latter, which seems to have included the incarnation, atonement, trinity, and all the other Buddhist doctrines as set forth in Chapter XXXII (and now included in the term Christianity), they never published to the world. Hence Chapter XXXI sets forth only their Exoteric doctrines. But as Philo, Milman, Tytler, and other eminent authors show they held all the doctrines of Buddhism, we assume they were a Buddhist sect. Hence, when we speak of Christianity growing out of Buddhism, in Chapter XXXII, we mean Buddhism under the name of Essenism. We believe Christianity is from Essenism and Buddhism both, because they are essentially one; and that Christianity is merely a continuation of Buddhism as taught by the Essenian sect of Buddhists. Hence we have sometimes used the term Essenism, and sometimes the term Buddhism, as being the fountain head of Christianity. We have stated Christ may have been an Essene either by birth or by conversion. But our conviction now is, that he was one by birth. And we now think it probable that that portion of the Jewish nation which became known as Essenes sprang up in the Buddhist school of Pythagoras, in Alexandria, in the second or third century before Christ, and thus became Essenian Buddhists; i.e., a sect of Jewish Buddhists who called themselves Essenes. And consequently, neither Christ nor his disciples made any changes in the Essenian religion, when they changed its name to Christianity, except to ingraft a few unimportant tenets borrowed from the principal Buddhist sect. We are now convinced that Essenism was complete Buddhism, that Christ was born of Essene parents, and that no important changes were made by dropping the term Essenism, and adopting the term Christianity in its place.
NOTE BIRTH OF JESUS
IT may not be improper to explain more fully the reason for the opinion that the Gospel writer John did not believe that Christ first came into existence through human birth, but believed that he, like some of the oriental Gods, was "The Word" personified, without the process of birth; though he may, like the heathen orientalists, have cherished the tradition that the second God in the trinity (as he represents Christ to be), after having sprung into existence as "The Word," was subsequently subjected to human birth. Either so, or else his allusion to "the mother of Christ" was done in condescension to the general belief among the people, that he had a human mother. Be that as it may, he declares, "The Word was made flesh" (John i. 14); nearly the same language used by the orientalists, -- which with them did not imply human birth. And the declaration, "All things were made by him" (John i. 3), is proof positive he believed in Christ's existence as the creator, before his human birth. Much of John's language is so strikingly similar to that employed by the disciples of some of the oriental religions, who believed that a second God emanated from the mouth of the Supreme, to perform the act of creation, that we cannot resist the conviction that this was John's belief; especially as many of them believed, like him, that this creative "Word" became afterward a subject of human birth. Thus, as we conceive, the proposition is established.
NOTE: BABYLONOUR most reliable authorities testify that Babylon never was destroyed, but successfully resisted, for one hundred and fifty years after Isaiah's time, many of the most powerful sieges, and "the mightiest munitions of war," conducted by seven of the most skilful generals that ever wielded the sword -- Cyrus, Darius, Alexander the Great, Antigonus, Demetrius, Poliorcetes, and Antiochus. She then gradually declined by the removal of her inhabitants to other and newer cities; thus falsifying the prediction of Jeremiah (li. 8), "Her end has come," and of Isaiah (xiii. 22), "Her days shall not be prolonged," and that "desolation shall come upon her in a day," and her destruction shall be effected suddenly -- all of which are falsified by the facts just presented. And even if Babylon had been destroyed, the present existence of Hillah, built in 1101 upon the same spot, with a population, according to Wellstead, of twenty-five thousand, is a signal overthrow of Jeremiah's prophecy, that it "shall become a wilderness, wherein no man dwelleth" (Ii. 43), and of Isaiah, also, that it should not be dwelt in from generation to generation. Jeremiah first predicted that her sea and springs should dry up (Ii. 38), and then declared the waves of the sea should come upon her (Ii. 42); and finally, that she should sink to rise no more (Ii. 64). And Isaiah's prediction of ruin and destruction included with Babylon, "the land of the Chaldeans" (1. 39), which was then, and is yet, a great commercial country, with an annual revenue at this time, according to Harvey Brydges, of a million pounds sterling. Here, then, is a long series of prophecies falsified. Our authority for saying that Hillah occupies the site of ancient Babylon is Malte-Brun's Geography (page 655), which declares, "Hillah is situated within the precincts of Babylon;" thus proving it is not "a wilderness, wherein no man dwelleth." Had we, space, we should present an extended view of the prophecies.