These are my concluding comments to my previous blog Church Fathers on Christ as Scarab.
Many scholars over the last couple of centuries have been quoting various in reference to Christ as Scarab. This is a truly profound fact and it’s utterly amazing how ignorant the average Christian is of . Some apologists dismiss these quotes out of hand. Going by my research, even academic scholars have seemingly ignored this topic for the past century, not even attempting to disprove anything. Apparently, these quotes and the claims about them, correct or not, were widely known in the 19th century and then there was deafening silence. It reminds me of what Robert M. Price has written (in his Introducing the Journal of Higher Criticism). He points out how old scholarship has been forgotten without ever having been refuted and new scholarship has become very conservative.
Gerald Massey’s scholarship is an example of this which D.M. Murdock discusses in her book Christ In Egypt. In my research, I confirmed a point that Murdock made numerous times (also with an extensive analysis in the introduction). Throughout the book, she compares Massey’s scholarship against that of other scholars. By doing this, she verified that at least some of his sources were reliable and that he wasn’t just inventing his claims out of thin air, although there remains much question about what the Church Fathers actually said in reference to the scarab (it makes me wonder about the original sources as many people, not only Massey, were quoting various sources over several centuries).
Two of the critics of Massey’s scholarship are Stanley E. Porter and Stephen J. Bedard. In their book Unmasking the Pagan Christ, they respond to Tom Harpur’s use of Massey. But it seems telling that they don’t even mention Augustine’s quotes about the scarab. It is true that Massey’s writings are a century old and so much has been discovered since then. Also, it’s true that he had no formal education. Still, he relied on the scholarship of the best scholars of his day including having his work proofed by some of these academic scholars. Porter and Bedard are apologists, and so they’re criticisms aren’t fundamentally academic. If they were to research as deeply as Murdock has, then they couldn’t as easily dismiss Massey’s work, whatever one thinks about the scarab issue.