Orphism included wandering, proselytizing adherents who acted out plays that contained religious themes. Much of the Orphic religion and mysteries revolved around the Greek savior Dionysus, the son of God born of a virgin mother on December 25th long before the purported advent of Jesus Christ. Centuries prior to the Christian era, Dionysus's religion was spread by a group of missionaries in the very same area recorded in the New Testament as having been proselytized by Paul. One of Dionysus's epithets was "IES," which, with the Latin terminus "-us," becomes Iesus or Jesus. Thus, hundreds of years before the existence of Christianity and the alleged savior Jesus Christ, missionaries were traveling around the Mediterranean, spreading the "good news " of IES, the savior son of God born of a virgin on December 25th.
In The Paganism in Our Christianity, Christian apologist Sir Arthur Weigall describes the Dionysus myth:
"Dionysos, whose father, as in the Christian story, was 'God' but whose mother was a mortal woman [Semele], was represented in the East as a bearded young man of dignified appearance, who had not only taught mankind the use of the vine, but had also been a law-giver, promoting the arts of civilisation, preaching happiness, and encouraging peace. He, like Jesus, had suffered a violent death, and had descended into hell, but his resurrection and ascension then followed; and these were commemorated in his sacred rites. According to one legend, he had turned himself into a bull, and in this guise had been cut to pieces by his enemies; and according to another he had been transformed into a ram. His worshippers were wont to tear a bull or a goat to pieces and to devour the meat raw, thereby eating the flesh and drinking the blood of their god in a frenzied eucharist. Various animals were sacred to him, amongst which were the ram and the ass; and in regard to the latter there was a story that he had once ridden upon two asses and had afterwards caused them to become celestial constellations, in which legend we may perhaps see him as a solar god and may connect him with the zodiacal sign of Cancer, which, in the Babylonian zodiac, was the Ass and Foal, and which marked the zenith of the sun’s power and the beginning of its decline towards winter.As Weigall outlines, the similarities between the Dionysus and Jesus myths include not only the torturous death and the resurrection but also the water-to-wine miracle, the Christian myth even keeping the same Pagan date for its celebration, January 6th. That this "miracle" predates Christianity is proved by the ruins of the water-to-wine sluice used by Greek priests at Corinth at least four centuries before the common era. Indeed, correspondences between the Dionysian and Christian cults can be found in Paul's epistles to the Corinthians, which is appropriate since Corinth in specific was a locus for the Dionysian mysteries.
"...the connection of Jesus with Dionysos in men's minds is shown by the introduction into the Gospel story of the incident of the turning of water into wine at the marriage-feast of Cana..."
A relatively recent and exciting find of Europe's oldest "book," dating to the 4th century BCE, provides us with yet more concrete evidence of the fact that the "Christ Code," i.e., the gospel tale, is not an original, true story but was taken from older myths and rituals.
ATHENS, Greece - A collection of charred scraps kept in a Greek museum's storerooms are all that remains of what archaeologists say is Europe's oldest surviving book — which may hold a key to understanding early monotheistic beliefs....
The scroll contains a philosophical treatise on a lost poem describing the birth of the gods and other beliefs focusing on Orpheus, the mythical musician who visited the underworld to reclaim his dead love and enjoyed a strong cult following in the ancient world.
The Orpheus cult raised the notion of a single creator god — as opposed to the multitude of deities the ancient Greeks believed in — and influenced later monotheistic faiths.
"In a way, it was a precursor of Christianity," Pierris said. "Orphism believed that man's salvation depended on his knowledge of the truth."
Veleni said the manuscript "will help show the influence of Orphism on later monotheistic religions."...