Dionysus is another solar hero, born of a virgin on “December 25th” or the winter solstice, performing miracles and receiving divine epithets, being killed, giving his blood as a sacrifice, resurrecting from the dead after three days in Hades/Hell, and ascending into heaven.
The Greek god of wine, Dionysus or Bacchus, also called Iacchus, has been depicted as having been born of a virgin mother on December 25th; performing miracles such as changing water into wine; appearing surrounded by or one of 12 figures; bearing epithets such as “Only Begotten Son” and “Savior”; dying; resurrecting after three days; and ascending into heaven.
Dionysus was the son of the god Zeus and the mortal woman Semele. In the Cretan version of the same story, which the pre-Christian Greek historian Diodorus Siculus follows, Dionysus was the son of Zeus and Persephone, the daughter of Demeter also called Kore, who is styled a “virgin goddess.”
In the common myth about the birth of Dionysus/Bacchus, Semele is mysteriously impregnated by one of Zeus’s bolts of lightning–an obvious miraculous/virgin conception. In another account, Jupiter/Zeus gives Dionysus’s torn-up heart in a drink to Semele, who becomes pregnant with the “twice born” god this way, again a miraculous or “virgin” birth.
“The virgin conceived the ever-dying, ever-living god of bread and wine, Dionysus.”
”While the maiden goddess sat there, peacefully weaving a mantle on which there was to be a representation of the universe, her mother contrived that Zeus should learn of her presence; he approached her in the form of an immense snake. And the virgin conceived the ever-dying, ever-living god of bread and wine, Dionysus, who was born and nurtured in that cave, torn to death as a babe and resurrected…” – Joseph Campbell
”Dionysus, son of Zeus, is born of a mortal virgin, Semele, who later became immortalized through the intervention of her divine son; Jesus, son of God, is born of a mortal virgin, Mary… such stories can be duplicated over and over again.”. – Sir Dr. Edmund Ronald Leach
Turning water to wine.
This story is really the Christian counterpart to the pagan legends of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, who at his annual festival in his temple of Elis filled three empty kettles with wine-no water needed! And on the fifth of January wine instead of water gushed from his temple at Andros. If we believe Jesus’ miracle, why should we not believe Dionysus’s? – Dr. A.J. Mattill
“Dionysus’s blood is the wine of the sacrifice.”
”Dionysus-Bacchus-Zagreus-or, in the older, Sumero-Babylonian myths, Dumuzi-absu, Tammuz-…whose blood, in this chalice to be drunk, is the pagan prototype of the wine of the sacrifice of the Mass, which is transubstantiated by the words of consecration into the blood of the Son of the Virgin”. – Campbell
Dionysus is ‘first-born,Savior’ and ‘Father.
”The title “King of Kings” and other epithets may reflect Dionysus’s kinship with Osiris: During the late 18th to early 19th dynasties (c. 1300 BCE), Osiris’s epithets included, “the king of eternity, the lord of everlastingness, who traverseth millions of years in the duration of his life, the firstborn son of the womb of Nut, begotten of Seb, the prince of gods and men, the god of gods, the king of kings, the lord of lords, the prince of princes, the governor of the world whose existence is for everlasting.” – Budge
”Dionysus’s death and resurrection were famous in ancient times, so much so that Christian father Origen (c. 184-c. 254) felt the need to address them in his Contra Celsus (IV, XVI-XVII), comparing them unfavorably, of course, to those of Christ. By Origen’s time, these Dionysian mysteries had already been celebrated for centuries. Dionysus/Bacchus’s resurrection or revival after having been torn to pieces or otherwise killed earned him the epithet of “twice born.” – DM Murdoch
Dionysus/Bacchus “slept three nights with Proserpine (Persephone),” referring to the god’s journey into the underworld to visit his mother. Like Jesus, the god is claimed also to have “ascended to heaven,” such as by Church father Justin Martyr (First Apology, 21; I, 170). Note that Dionysus is depicted here as an adult, rising out of the underworld after death, with a horse-driven chariot so typical of a sun god. One major astrotheological meaning of this motif is the sun’s entrance into and exit from the cave (womb) of the world at the winter solstice. – Classical Journal
In an Orphic hymn, Phanes-Dionysus is styled by the Greek title Protogonos or “first-born” of Zeus, also translated at times as “only-begotten son,” although the term Monogenes would be more appropriately rendered as the latter. He is also called “Soter” or “Savior” in various inscriptions, including a bronze coin from the Thracian city of Maroneia dating to circa 400-350 BCE. Like Jesus in his aspect as the Father, Dionysus is called Pater, or “father” in Greek. – Wright/Adrados