From Midnight Moonchild
Mythology surrounding the ancient god Attis clearly predates those of Jesus Christ. Before and during the years the Christian Gospels were written (from the reign of Claudius, AD 41to 54) a celebration known as The Festival of Joy, celebrated the death and rebirth of Attis. In the mythos, Attis was born of a virgin named Nana. He grew up to become a sacrificial victim and savior slain to bring salvation to mankind. His body was eaten by his worshipers in the form of bread. He was crucified on a pine tree, "from which his holy blood poured down to redeem the earth." A Christian writer of the fourth century AD, recounted ongoing disputes between Pagans and Christians over the remarkable similarities of the death and resurrection of their two gods. The Pagans argued that their God was older and therefore original. The Christians admitted Christ came later, but claimed Attis was a work of the devil whose similarity to Christ, and the fact he predated Christ, were tricks of the devil intended to confuse and mislead men.
Similar arguements have been sparked concerning the Zoroastran god Mithras. When the Christian mythology was new, Mithras and Mithraism were already ancient. Worshipped for centuries as God's messenger of truth, Mithras enjoyed a lengthy reverence by the Persians (Zoroastrianism) as well as followers in India (as referenced in Vedic literature).
Historical texts indicate Pompey imported Mithraism into Rome around 70 BC, and statues of Mithras were present as late as 101 AD. According to the mythology, Mithras was born in a cave, on December 25th, of a virgin mother. He came from heaven to be born as a man and to redeem men from their sins. He was known as "Savior", "Son of God", "Redeemer", and "Lamb of God". As with Attis, writings of Christian apologists denounce the devil for having sent a God so similar to Jesus... yet preceding him.
In other mythology of India, Krishna was born while his foster-father Nanda was in the city to pay tax to the king. His nativity was said to have been heralded by a star.
Krishna died pierced by an arrow while hanging on a cross, descended into Hell from which He rose again on the third day, and ascended into Heaven. It is written that He will return on the last day to judge the quick and the dead.
In Christian mythology there is the story of Jesus. Born of a virgin in a stable (some texts have translated this to mean a cave), He traveled widely, doing good works. He was betrayed, sacrificed and buried, his body placed in a tomb.The record of the roman army's execution date of Yeshua Ben Nazareth (later known as Jesus Christ) has been lost, however the mythology avers that he arose on the third day and ascended into Heaven.
Among other things he has been called "Savior", "The Light of the World", "Only Begotten Son", "The Lamb of God", "The Prince of Peace", or "The Son of Righteousness".
Finally, we would like to give you Dionysus the god of wine and the son of Zeus and Semele, a mortal woman. Zeus promised Semele anything she asked of him. The pregnant Semele asked only to see him in his splendor as the god of gods, a sight no mortal could witness and live. She died and Zeus took their baby from her body and hid it within his own until the child was born. Dionysus was raised by nymphs, and when he grew up he travelled to faraway lands, performing feats that proved he was a god. What he longed for most was the mother he never knew, so he journeyed to the underworld to find her. Defying death he escaped with his mother and brought her to Mt. Olympus where she was allowed to dwell with the gods.
The worship of Dionysus was unique in that it did not occur in either temple or wild places, but, rather, in theatres. Followers would perform plays about him as acts of worship and it is thought that these were the forerunners of today's "Passion Plays". Dionysus descends into the underworld, overcomes death, and rises again. As the god of the vine he dies each year and is then resurrected in the following spring. For this reason his rites were held in spring, when the vines put forth new shoots.
As you can see the common thread in all the Deity names having to do with Springtime is resurrection. The return to life from apparent death