Horus vs. Jesus

Posted by on May 16, 2015 in Historical Argument, Knowing for Sure Blog, Tough Questions | 1 comment

Horus vs. Jesus

On a recent morning at the gym I noticed a young woman with a sweatshirt. On the back, in bold letters, I saw ZEITGEIST. It is a movie I have heard of before, and knew it made quite a few claims against Christianity. I also knew it had quite a following on the Internet with various atheist and skeptic web sites, but beyond that I really did not know much about it. Consequently, I decided to watch the movie for myself and see what I could walk away with.

In just the first 15 minutes, I had material for multiple blog posts, and this will address claims made by Peter Joseph concerning the Egyptian god Horus and Jesus.

Below is a transcript taken from the beginning, (about 15 minutes in), of  ZEITGEIST: The Movie 2007 by Peter Joseph.
In it you will easily see the parallel Joseph claims about the Egyptian god Horus and the life of Christ. If you like, you can watch the 52 second clip I have cut from the movie. In a nut shell, Peter Joseph asserts Christianity is simply a copy cat religion, and that Jesus was never a real individual.

Born on Dec 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 adore the new born savior.
At the age of 12 he was a prodigal child teacher.
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 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 three days, and thus resurrected.1

That is quite a mouth full. Christians who may not have heard any of those claims might feel overwhelmed at the first encounter, or at the very least unprepared to respond. Even if half of them were true, it would make someone wonder if there is some truth to the claim Jesus never existed.

Born on Dec 25th of the Virgin Isis Meri.
Nowhere in the Bible does it give a birth date of December 25 for the birth of Jesus. This particular date likely comes from a 3rd century theologian in Rome named Hyppolytus. 2 About the closest we can get to a date comes from Matthew 2:1, at a time during King Herod. Since Scripture does not address the birth day of Jesus, claiming that Horus was born on the same day is irrelevant. Nor can I find any references to Horus being born on December 25th.

In the dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, Horus the son of Isis, is the Falcon God, Lord of the sky, and a symbol of divine kingship.3 The earliest references to Horus on any hieroglyphs is 3,000 B.C. At first he was portrayed as a hawk, but later on and then most commonly as a human with a hawk head in anthropomorphic, (human and animal), form.

His parents were the gods Osiris and Isis. Osiris was betrayed by his brother Seth, who cut the body of Osiris into many pieces. His wife, Osiris, with help flew about and collected all the parts and, “While still a corpse, Osiris was reinvigorated through the magical abilities of Isis, so that she conceived a son and heir to the throne, Horus the Child.”4 Obviously the story, albeit strange, would not satisfy a virgin birth. Other accounts, and I should add there are hundreds of variations concerning Egyptian mythology, are more adult rated concerning the conception of Horus, but none of them would constitute a virgin birth.

There is no question Isis is portrayed as the mother of Horus, but nowhere in Egyptian mythology is Isis referred to as Mary or ‘Meri’. George Hart, an expert on Egyptian art and archeology, compiled a complete list of gods and goddesses and named twelve that begin with the letter ‘M’. Specifically: Maat, Mafdet, Mahaf, Mandulis, Mehen, Mehet-Weret, Meretseger, Meskhenet, Mihos, Min, Mnevis, Montu, and Mut. I will add Hart also details the role of Isis as the mother of the king, and nowhere is her name refered to as Meri.5

His birth was accompanied by a star in the east.
Which in turn, three kings followed to locate and adore the new born savior.
Nowhere in Egyptian mythology is there reference to a star in the east that would announce the birth of Horus. In fact, Isis wanted to keep his birth secret for fear that Seth, the god who killed her husband, would then kill Horus.

Geraldine Pinch, an Egyptologist at Oxford, who has spent a life time studying Egyptian Mythology wrote, “…Isis hid the infant Horus in the papyrus thickets of Akh-bit (Chemmis), an island among the marshes. This nest of Horus was guarded by divine beings such as a cow and scorpion goddesses. The young Horus grew up to become the Pillar of his Mother and the Avenger of his Father.”6 I found no references to stars announcing the birth of Horus, but multiple references alluding to the attempts of his mother to keep his birth a secret. Nor have I found any mention of kings in my search. The closest I could find is the above mention of the divine cow and scorpion goddesses, a stretch to call those the three kings.

At the age of 12 he was a prodigal child teacher.
At the age of 30 he was baptized by a figure known as Anup, and thus began his ministry.
Like Christ, there little mention of his childhood. All accounts I have referenced mention his birth and attempts by his mother, Isis, to keep him hidden. Accounts then skip to his encounters with Seth, (his uncle who slew his father). “The dead king was mourned by his two sisters, Isis (who was also his wife) and also Nephthys, and the crime was eventually avenged by his son, Horus. After a bitter struggle Horus succeeded in regaining his stolen inheritance from his usurping uncle, Seth.”7 George Hart, in his dictionary of Egyptian God’s and Goddesses, does not list any deity with the name of ‘Anup’. Even the extensive Wikipedia does not list an Egyptian god by the name of Anup – certainly not any god that baptized others.

Horus did not have any ministry, but he did have a mission which was to defeat his uncle Seth and claim the throne as King. “After a bitter struggle Horus succeeded in regaining his stolen inheritance from his usurping uncle, Seth. This myth appealed deeply to the Egyptians.”8

Horus had 12 disciples he traveled about with performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water.
Well, he is a god, so performing miracles should come as no surprise. What kind of god would Horus be if he did not perform any miracles?

I read some references to Isis healing with her milk and had used it once to heal Horus with one of his battles with Seth. Other accounts mention that the milk of Isis was used to heal the eyes of Horus, and though Horus was mentioned, he was not the one doing the healing. He certainly did not travel around healing the lame and sick. “The image of the wounded Horus became a standard feature of healing spells, which typically invoke the curative powers of the milk of Isis.”9

As for having 12 disciples, this idea may have come from the work of Gerald Massey, whose work is not recognized by most in the field of Egyptian mythology. His name will not be found in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Nor could I find him being referenced in any of the materials I checked out from the library. “Massey wrote, Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World, book 12, which points to a mural depicting ‘the twelve who reap the harvest.’ But Horus does not appear in the mural.”10 Massey wrote about and studied Ancient Egypt in the late 1800’s. He was a strange bird indeed, embracing Darwin’s new theory on evolution, but felt it was incomplete without including ‘spiritual evolution’.

One blog wrote about Horus having 12 disciples, “Additionally, some of have said the 12 signs of the zodiac are the “disciples” of Horus. Even if this were the case, they are just stars and not actual people who followed Horus, preached about him or recorded his life. This is another empty and false claim.11

Horus was known by many names such as the truth, the light, god’s anointed son, the good shepherd, the lamb of god, and many others.
One reference is, “Horus, Uniter of the Two Lands” which may have to do with the upper and lower kingdoms of Egypt. Pinch wrote concerning another reference, “…child gods could be represented by a form of Horus known as Shed (the Savior). He appeared on stelae [tall sculpted stone shafts] of the late New Kingdom dressed as a prince who vanquished dangerous animals with his bow or curved sword.”12

Horus, and really all Egyptian gods, had numerous names that would represent their various positions of power and influence. With little effort, someone could research dozens of names for Horus and link them to some of the more common names of Christ. A few I came across are, Lord of the Sky, Horus the Child, Elder Horus, Horus of the Horizon, Horus the Harpooner, Horus the son of Isis, Horus the savior of his father, and Horus the King.

In the later periods of the Egyptian dynasties, most of the pharaohs considered themselves the human manifestation of the god Horus. Lionel Casson wrote in his study of Ancient Egypt, “The ancient Egyptians did not think of their deities as abstract and distant beings…It was easy for Egyptians to bring the deities into every phase of their lives; nothing happened anywhere that was not arranged by one god or another. Gods were often merged when political and philosophical fashions changed.”13

After being betrayed by Typhon, Horus was crucified, buried for three days, and thus resurrected.
I did not come across any reports that says Horus died on a cross, or by crucifixion. As the centuries passed, he eventually merged with the sun god Re. You will find many accounts where he dies each day the sun sets and is reborn when the sun rises. This is even mentioned in the movie Zeitgiest.

One of the more interesting finds was the source most used in the movie Zietgiest. It goes back to the author of a popular book written 15 years ago titled, The Christ Conspiracy by Achraya S. Her real name is Dorothy Murdoch.

“As we mentioned above, almost all of the sources cited by Zietgiest go back to Achraya S., author of The Christ Conspiracy. But who is she? First off, her name is Dorothy Murdoch. And in her own writings as Achraya, she cites ‘D.M. Murdoch’ as a source, which is citing herself. This should be a huge red flag to her credibility. She has been debunked and criticized by many serious historical scholars.”14

 

Skeptics sometimes portray Horus as something he isn’t in order to keep us from believing in Jesus as something He is. But the reliable Biblical record establishes the Deity of Jesus in a way no other ancient mythological text could ever hope to achieve. – J Warner Wallace

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts. – Daniel Moynihan

 

Sources:

1. Joseph, Peter. /Helle534. “ZEITGEIST: The Movie.” Online video clip. Youtube. 16, January 2013. Web. 8 May 2015.
2. “Was Jesus born on December 25?” Got Questions. gotquestions.org, n.d. Web. 10 May 2015.
3. Silverman, David P. Ancient Egypt. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print.
4. Ibid.
5. Hart, George. A Dictionary Of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986. Print.
6. Pinch, Geraldine. Egyptian Mythology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002, Print.
7. Seele, Keith C. “Ancient Egypt.” Encyclopedia Americana. New York: Americana Corporation, 1976.
8. Pinch, Geraldine. Egyptian Mythology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002, Print.
9. Seele, Keith C. “Ancient Egypt.” Encyclopedia Americana. New York: Americana Corporation, 1976.
10. “Was Jesus a Copy of Horus, Mithras, Krishna, Dionysus and Other Pagan Gods?” Beginning and End. Beginningandend.com, 7 April 2012. Web. 11 May 2015
11. Ibid.
12. Pinch, Geraldine. Egyptian Mythology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002, Print.
13. Casson, Lionel. Ancient Egypt. New York: Time, 1965. Print.
14. Was Jesus a Copy of Horus, Mithras, Krishna, Dionysus and Other Pagan Gods?” Beginning and End. Beginningandend.com, 7 April 2012. Web. 11 May 2015

 

 

*Artwork by Rebecca Glazier

HJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Horus vs Jesus by James Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.knowingforsure.com.

One Comment

  1. Intresting!

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