Redaction: Horus Vs Jesus

You might have seen that on my post Nothing New Under The Sun? I updated with a redaction.

 I was informed by a kind reader (J_Agathokles) that this graphic contained what we might kindly call inaccuracies. Mea Culpa

I was far to quick to use it. It looked kind of clever and so I am guilty of passing on bad information and misinformation through nothing more sinister than laziness. Please see my post on Redaction: Horus Vs Jesus for more information. The graphic has been removed to prevent it spreading further at my hand.

I am leaving the original and will update with a link to the follow up post. The original has comments that I didn’t want to simply delete. Thanks for your understanding.

Having said that, it’s time to get better information both for myself and for any interested readers.

One thing is immediately certain. That graphic was not the only source of this misinformation available on the Internet. There are a great number of sites which seem to get it wrong when it comes to comparing Jesus and Horus. A lot of this seems to stem from the video Zeitgeist, which I wont’ link to. I found a seeming fairly robust study of the comparison at Ending The Myth Of Horus by Stupid Evil Bastard. I’ll use this as an example and point to other sources which were sent to me by my kind reader J_Agathokles and friend.

From Stupid Evil Bastard:

Upon further research, I’ve concluded that this theory originated with Gerald Massey, an English poet, born 1828, died 1927.  He published primarily poems, but had an interest in Egypt.  He parlayed that interest in Egypt into several books and lectures in which he set forth the proposition that Horus was in essence the first Jesus, and Jesus was a cheap imitation.  The primary basis for his writing is the Egyptian Book of the Dead.  This is available on-line and you can easily look it up to read it yourself.  Be forewarned that forced reading of this would be an extremely efficient form of torture.

It should be noted that Massey’s actual proposition was that Jesus was a copycat from more than just Horus.  According to Massey, Jesus was a compilation of an innumerable number of Egyptian deities.  There were over 2,000 deities who had every human and godlike characteristic one can think of, excepting Superman’s power to stop a speeding bullet.

This is a great starting point, and I am of the opinion that the Jesus story is taken from every myth available at the time of writing which would give credence to the story and deity. That was, in general, the reason that the Jesus character has so many names: titles to profess his accreditation. It seems to have been fairly common back then to make sure that you worshiped the most high god and not the lesser ones.

What I want to do here is not simply regurgitate what others have taken so many pains and effort to produce, nor simply to link to their work. If you’re stopping here you deserve a little bit extra. The reason that anyone can get away with the claim that Jesus is a copy of other deities is plainly because so many deities had the same or similar claims. Many of them were astrologically based religions so you can only make so many different claims about the sun god etc. There is going to be overlap. What I’m driving at here is that the Jesus story does not introduce anything that is Earth shattering new. It’s all the same-old-same-old with some one up-man-ship in the mix. I personally think that somebody took a trip to the far east and then made it back to the middle east, not quite wanting to give up on the Jewish traditions but really wanting a bit of Buddha in their lives. The ‘good message’ of the Christ sounds a lot like Buddhism.

Was any of that right at all?

Anyway, the claims of Jesus vs. Horus are many, but few are true. Lets check the score boards. We’ll start with a great post: Ending The Myth Of Horus by Stupid Evil Bastard. The colored texts are from the sources listed at the bottom.

SUMMARY: In short, of the claims outlined in this entry, I find the comparison between Horus and Jesus to consist of the following: they were of royal descent, they allegedly worked miracles and there were murder plots against them.

SUMMARY: I concur with these, although the healing miracles are associated with Horus-the-Child. Horus was (like Jesus) a “son of God” since he was son of Isis and Osiris, and he was (like Jesus) a lord and a king, as Jesus was “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords” (book of Revelation). [1]

Claim #1-Horus and Jesus are born from a virgin.

Horus’s mother is Isis.  Isis was married to Osiris.  We do not know for what length of time, but presumably the marriage was consummated.  Whether it was or wasn’t doesn’t matter though.  After Osiris is killed, Isis puts him back together again (he was hacked into 14 pieces) except for his penis which was tossed in a river or a lake.  Iris fashions a substitute penis for him, humps him and here comes Horus.  There is nothing virginal about that.

Claim #2-Both Horus and Jesus were born to a Mary and Joseph. (Seb)

As noted Isis is Horus’s mother’s name not Mary.  In addition, Seb is not Horus’s father, Osiris is.  Seb is Osiris’s father.  Further, Seb is a distinct name from Joseph.  Putting them side by side does not make them synonyms, and that appears to be what was done here.

Claim #3-Both were born of royal descent. 

This is accurate. (Both were also son’s of gods [1])

Claim #4-Both births were announced by angels and witnessed by shepherds.

I can find nothing that mentions that the birth of Horus was announced by an angel or witnessed by shepherds.  I have found that Horus was born in a swamp, which is a pretty unlikely place for shepherds.  In addition Acharya mentions that Horus was born in a cave.  Massey makes no mention of this, although he does represent that Mithra was born in a cave.

Claim #5-Both were heralded by stars and angels.

There is no star that heralded Horus’s birth nor is there any angel announcing it.  Archarya in a footnote in The Origins of Christianity indicates that that there are three stars named the three kings in Orion and then relates this to the birth of Jesus.  When we look to the stories regarding Horus, we find no star or angel announcing his birth.  To the extent that Acharya S relies upon Massey and Massey relies upon what is depicted in the panels at Luxor see (from an atheist) further regarding virgin birth and pronouncement by angels http://www.frontline-apologetics.com/carrier_luxor_inscription.htm

Claim #6-Both had later visitors (Horus-3 deities and Jesus-3 wisemen.)

There is no indication that there ever were 3 wisemen.  The bible never mentions the number of wisemen, nor is there any document that reflects 3 deities at the birth of Horus.  See the website referenced in Claim #5.

Claim #7-Both had murder plots against them.

There is mention that Seth did want to kill Horus, and Herod wanted to kill Jesus.  so this is accurate.

Claim#8-Both came of age at 12, were baptized and their baptizers were executed.

There is no indication that Horus was preaching in a temple when he was 12.  In fact, Massey indicates that Horus the child was depicted as a “weakling.”  That doesn’t jive with story of Jesus preaching in the temple.  Again this appears to have been a confabulation from Acharya and repeated by others.

Horus was never baptized in any of the Horus stories.  In addition, Acharya mentions that John the Baptist is actually Anup the Baptizer.  This individual is never mentioned anywhere in any Horus account.  There is not even a footnote in Archaya’s on-line work The Origins of Christianity to support this.  There is nothing.

Claim #9-Both had 12 disciples.

According to the Horus accounts, Horus had four semi-gods that were followers.  There is some indication of 16 human followers and an unknown number of blacksmiths that went into battle with him.  Horus did not have 12 disciples. Jesus reportedly did.  Acharya failed to give a footnote to support this.

Massey points to a mural in the Book of Hades in which there are twelve reapers.  Horus is not present in this scene.  For Massey to make this connection he goes to a different scene within the same mural.  In this scene there is a picture of a god whose name is the Master of Joy.  Horus is never depicted although in other murals the artists do depict Horus.  Had the artists ascribed 12 reapers in any relation to Horus all they had to do was put Horus at the scene.  They did not.

Claim #10-Both walked on water.

Horus didn’t, or at least there is no record that I can find that he did.  Massey does not maintain that Hours did.  Massey uses wild conjecture to connect the story of fish man, Oannes, not Horus, to Jesus.  Oannes came out of the sea during the day, and went back into the sea at night.  Massey makes the two analogous because by his calculations, Jesus walked on water during the day.

As to Acharya, she as usual provides nothing to substantiate this.

Claim #11-Both performed miracles.

This is true although the miracles were different in scope and nature. Horus did healing magic as a child. [1]

Claim #12 Both exorcised demons and raised Lazarus.

The actual claim is that Horus raised Osiris from the dead and that the name Osiris morphed to Lazarus.  It doesn’t matter because Horus did not bring Osiris back to life.  There is no mention of this in any document regarding the story.  Horus did avenge Osiris’s death, but that did not raise Osiris from the dead.

Claim #13-Both held a Sermon on the Mount; both were transfigured on a mountain, died by crucifixion along with two thieves and were buried in tombs where they paid a quick visit to Hell and then rose from the dead after 3 days time, both resurrections were witness by women, and both will supposedly reign for 1,000 years in the Millennium.

These are the most damning claims if they were proven true in my opinion.  Yet, I can locate none of this.  No sermon, no transfiguration, certainly no crucifixion w/ two thieves, no trip to hell and no resurrection.  There was an incident in which Horus was torn to pieces and Iris requested the crocodile god to fish him out of the water he was tossed into, which was done, but that’s it.  I am at a loss to refute this because I can not find anything to support it.

Massey does compares a story about the Autumn Equinox related to Osiris, not Horus, as the symbolic crucifixion.  There is no indication that Horus is involved in any way.  There is no mention by Massey of any Sermon on the Mount.  No mention or any actual crucifixion, no two thieves, no burial in a tomb.  Massey does not maintain that anything of the sort occurred with Horus.

At skepticproject.com there is an article on Zeitgeist and Horus is included. They report the following:

Horus

This is Horus. He is the Sun God of Egypt of around 3000 BC. He is the sun, anthropomorphized, and his life is a series of allegorical myths involving the sun’s movement in the sky. From the ancient hieroglyphics in Egypt, we know much about this solar messiah. For instance, Horus, being the sun, or the light, had an enemy known as Set and Set was the personification of the darkness or night. And, metaphorically speaking, every morning Horus would win the battle against Set – while in the evening, Set would conquer Horus and send him into the underworld. It is important to note that “dark vs. light” or “good vs. evil” is one of the most ubiquitous mythological dualities ever known and is still expressed on many levels to this day.

At this time, he was the god of the sky, and Ra was the god of the sun. Perhaps inevitable, since he was the sky, eventually the moon and the sun were considered his eyes. At this point he was known as Heru-khuti, and by-and-by he was combined with Ra as the god “Re-Horakhty”[13][11]. While there was a battle between Set and Horus, it was hardly every night. In fact, the battle really only happened once, and had more to do with testicles and semen than night and day[14].

In fact day and night in Egyptian Mythology was much more complicated than the film suggests. The goddess of the sky was called Nut (or Nuit), her name also means “night”. At dusk she would swallow Ra, the son god, and he would stay in her uterus until morning when he would be reborn. She wore a blue dress that was covered in stars[15]. Set was the God of the desert, primarily because Horus cut off one of his testicles and he became “infertile like the desert”. At this time, Set was not considered evil, it was not until around 100 A.D. that the Romans in Egypt turned Set into a demonic figure[16].

Broadly speaking, the story of Horus is as follows: Horus was born on December 25th of the virgin Isis-Meri. His birth was accompanied by a star in the east, which in turn, three kings followed to locate and adorn the new-born savior. At the age of 12, he was a prodigal child teacher, and at the age of 30 he was baptized by a figure known as Anup and thus began his ministry. Horus had 12 disciples he traveled about with, performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water. Horus was known by many gestural names such as The Truth, The Light, God’s Anointed Son, The Good Shepherd, The Lamb of God, and many others. After being betrayed by Typhon, Horus was crucified, buried for 3 days, and thus, resurrected..

Horus was not born on December 25th, he was born on the 5th day of the “Epagomenal Days”[3], which does not even take place in December on the modern or ancient calendars, but rather between August 24th and 28th, but in terms of the rising of Sirius (August 4), they are July 30th through August 3rd[4]. His mother was also not a virgin. Horus’s father was Osiris, who was killed by his brother Seth. Isis used a spell to bring him back to life for a short time so they could have sex, in which they conceived Horus[5].

 I, as well as several others, as well as several Egyptologists you can find on the Internet, know of no reference anywhere to a “star in the east” or “three kings” and “new-born savior”; it is simply made up. I cannot find any source or information proving he was a “teacher when he was 12 years old”, that he was “baptized at age 30”, that he “walked on water” (but on the Internet, I did find several places that suggest he was “thrown in the water”, but I have no direct source at this time for that). More so, I cannot find any evidence he was referred to as “The Truth”, “The Light”, Lamb of God”, “the Good Shepherd”, etc.

Also lacking is any evidence that he was betrayed by Typhon. In fact, Horus never died, at any time, he later merges with the sun god, Ra — but never dies and certainly never is crucified, and therefore could not have been buried for 3 days and resurrected. If you want to look it up yourself, you can find documentation of Horus and Isis and Osiris here [6] and here [7].

Zeitgeist, the movie did not make this up originally, you can find several places on the Internet that make such claims, but there are no sources or suggestions as to where this information came from. It is highly possible all this originates from The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold – If you read the Amazon reviews, you can find that a lot of people who point out how the information is completely unsourced [8]. I went to Barnes and Nobel and actually found this book in the Christianity section. Needless to say it was completely unsourced and was like reading much the other “Christianity Conspiracy” books out there. So, if these claims all originate from this book, there’s absolutely no evidence for it [9]. I should note that this book is used as a “source” in Zeitgeist, the movie [10]. And it is worth pointing out the title is only one word away from the title of this part of the movie “The Greatest Story Ever Sold” vs “The Greatest Story Ever Told”.

Horus did not have 12 disciples, rather he had four semi-divine disciples called “heru-shemsu” (followers of Horus) [11 – 1.491]. He did have 16 human followers [11 – 1.196]. One can also find reference to an unnumbered group of followers called the Mesniu (blacksmiths) who accompanied Horus into some of his battles, but no where can 12 of anything be found [11 – 1.475f].

These attributes of Horus, whether original or not, seem to permeate in many cultures of the world, for many other gods are found to have the same general mythological structure.

Well, as read above, these attributes really are not original. It seems kind of obvious to say that such myths would permeate many cultures of the world — generally because the claims made by the film, such as a sun god, good and evil, and so forth are things most cultures have believed in.

Conclusion

What I conclude from this is that the Jesus story is not exactly fresh and it would be difficult to say which authors copied which parts from other gods. Dionysus and Mithra both look like good contenders for the role model – so to speak. Then again, there were many gods, all of which had ‘powers’ which could have been assumed for the writing of the Jesus story. It’s difficult to say that Jesus stands out as terribly different… but  you can make up your own mind.

Thanks to J_Agathokles

[ ] The main text is attributed to: Ending The Myth Of Horus by Stupid Evil Bastard

[1] www.philvaz.com – All About Horus, An Egyptian Copy of Christ? Claims from Zeitgeist video examined (March 2008)

Other Reading:

Isis, Sister of Nephthys, Mistress of Magic

The Book Of The Dead – The Papyrus of Ani by E.A.Wallis Budge

Osiris Myth from Wikepedia

Evidence for Jesus and Parallel Pagan ‘Crucified Saviors’ Examined by Phil Vaz

Jesus in comparative mythology

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  1. Dionysus is a better example to use.

    • I think so, I’m still reading and adjusting my memory banks… sigh

      • I fell into the Horus lure a while back, too. ;(

        • I can’t verify it but I think I’ve just mixed up what I used to know much better. Mithra should have been who I was thinking of, but even at that, the story of Osiris is something I should know well. There are some things about various cultures that just stick out.. like a dildo if I can use the imagery.

          • LOL! Now that’s going to be a hard analogy to get out of my head!

            • The religious fixation with penises and semen when I read it long ago should have not slipped my mind. I remember thinking what that culture must have been like when you’re taught in religious school that god was born when his mom reassembled his dad and made a dildo to get pregnant. Definitely not getting past the FCC censors.

  2. You figure the Xian God, wanting to prove himself, would at the very least make his sole appearance on earth unlike anything ever seen before so as to prevent any future arguments such as this.

    But who am I to question God, right?

    • I think that is how the plan was written. Mr Deity.com is hilarious and has a couple of skits where they pretend to be god and his assistant.. The assistant always tries to keep god from covering up his mistakes by adding rules like: Oh, okay, we’ll just have them teach not to question, nobody will ever know.

  3. Thank you for fixing the information and informing us the previous was incorrect.

    • The best way to enable learning is to be able to say ‘oops, I was wrong’ … otherwise you go through life either not caring or certain that you are right.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. great article with a good source of information

    • Thank you, it’s a much better post than the original. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • J_Agathokles
    • January 16th, 2013

    I see you made a whole new post about the subject 🙂

    Just a few minor errors though, like Iris in stead of Isis or Seb instead of Seth. I assume this could be autocorrect or something.

    I also never heard of Seth being Osiris father, but only as his brother. Their parents are the Sky Goddess Nut, and the Earth God Geb. Isis is also a daughter of Geb and Nut, as is Nephthys, who married her brother Seth, but despite this helped out her sister to revive Osiris. Though there might be a variant of the myths like that out there. Mythology is often notoriously self-contradicting 😛

    • “Seb”, referring to Osiris’ father, is an old, incorrect spelling of Geb, the earth god, actually. E.A. Wallis Budge used this spelling. His transliterations of Egyptian names are different from current ones. With a little knowledge of Egyptian, one can translate between Budge’s transliterations to modern ones.

      Budge is not bad (certainly not Massey or Acharya S bad!), but he is outdated, and, unfortunately, his translations are the only ones in the public domain, and therefore likely to be available online. They are more likely to be available in bookstores. In fact, I have a copy of Budge’s translation of the “Book of Going Forth By Day”, better known as “Book of the Dead”, which I have mostly for the fact that Budge was was nice enough to have a section with the hieroglyphic text, unlike later translators, who only include the English translation.I keep my Budge translation alongside my later translation by R.O. Faulkner. .

      I remember reading on an Egyptology forum or somewhere years ago, one person’s advice to another, to take their books by E.A. Wallis Budge and put them in the closet for three or four years, and during that time, study current Egyptology and get a good grounding in the discipline, then after that time, take the books out of the closet and read them, so as to be able to tell the good information from the mistakes. I wouldn’t suggest that literally, but would advise comparing stuff Budge writes with other sources. Having a decent modern basic book on the subject, like Geraldine Pinch’s “Egyptian Mythology” or something would also be helpful.

      http://www.amazon.com/Egyptian-Book-Papyrus-Transliteration-Translation/dp/B000P7FHYW/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1358343619&sr=8-12&keywords=egyptian+book+of+the+dead This is the particular version of Budge’s Book of the Dead that I mentioned.

      http://www.amazon.com/The-Egyptian-Book-Dead-Integrated/dp/0811864898/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358343619&sr=8-1&keywords=egyptian+book+of+the+dead

      And this is the R.O. Faulkner translation I have, in this case, with big, full color images of the papyri along with the text. It’s a physically large book. For a less oversized book, there are other editions of Faulkner’s translation that have just the translation, no papyrus.

      Apologies for the long-winded post.

      • Thank you for adding this information, and references. It is appreciated.

    • J_Agathokles
    • January 16th, 2013

    And Dionysos and Mithras are also often looked at as having influenced the myths surrounding Yēšūah the Nazarene. There’s this image floating about across the internet of an “ancient” artefact showing a crucified Dionysos. It’s an elusive object that was conveniently “lost” soon after having been “discovered” though, so all we have is a bad picture.

    Mithras does seem a very strong connection as well, though mostly in iconography. The same goes for image sof Mary with baby Yēšūah, which is just downright copied by the Christians from the images of Isis with baby Horus.

    • Yes, I think Mithra is a much closer ‘parallel’ of the Jesus story. I am going to have to do a few more posts on mythology I think.

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  1. January 15th, 2013
  2. January 23rd, 2013

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