Horus and Jesus: Practically Twins! (well, not really….)

As I wrote in my last post, there are many different sources that claim a multitude of similarities between the Egyptian sky god Horus and Jesus of Nazareth. Does closer scrutiny bear out these claims? The devil, as they say, is in the details…

horus

Jesus? Is that you?

The similarities claimed to exist include ” born on December 25th. His mother was a virgin. His birth was announced by an angel, attended by shepherds and heralded by a star. At 30 years of age he was baptized in a river, and the one who baptized him was later beheaded. He had 12 disciples, performed miracles, exorcized demons, raised someone from the dead, and even walked on water.” According to which site you visit, there may be even more similarities listed. As I discussed in my last post, many other mythological figures have been credited with some of these same similarities, including Mithras, Krishna, Attis, Dionysis, and many others.

Now, as discussed in the last article, if in fact these similarities were to be accurate, that obviously does not preclude the existence of the historical figure, Jesus of Nazareth. In addition, one would actually expect to find at least some similarities when dealing with supernatural deific beings. For instance, one would expect a god to be able to supersede and rule over nature (i.e. perform miracles). A god would be able to rule over death. A god would be mentally superior to men, and seem to be all-knowing. A god who lived among men would draw men (disciples) to him. So we see that these types of similarities, if they existed, would be expected.

On the birthday claim: Nowhere in the Bible is Jesus’s birth date mentioned. The date was chosen by emperor Aurelian in the third century. In fact many believe, because of evidences offered in the Bible surrounding the account of Jesus’s birth, that he was not born in the winter time, but that’s a different subject. The point is, a claim of being born on December 25th (or at the winter solstice) simply seems to be suspiciously convenient, especially once the claims are more closely scrutinized.

When one looks more closely, at books and web sites that are dedicated to scholarship and not tearing down the Christian faith, a different picture emerges. For instance, the “Tour Egypt” website:

We offer scholarly articles on historical as well as contemporary issues and we are always looking to renovate our services to live up to the expectations of our millions of visitors.

Their account of Horus seems to be very different from the ones presented at those other websites that seem to have an agenda. There is no mention of any of those similarities I mentioned above. Indeed, when you read the article offered at the “Tour Egypt” web site, you would be hard pressed to find many similarities at all between the falcon deity Horus and Jesus of Nazareth.

In an effort to avoid the accusation of cherry-picking web sites that “agree with my agenda”, I will list two more sites that are more scholarly in nature and “agendaless”:

Encyclopedia Mythica: Horus

Ancient Egypt Online: Horus

It seems an honest look at the evidence would lead the unbiased observer to admit that there are not really that many similarities between the Egyptian sky god Horus and Jesus of Nazareth after all. Now, I will be the first to admit that I have not personally tracked down every single claim made about the supposed similarities that exist between Jesus and these other mythological figures. However, I have seen enough evidence on the few I have bothered to check, and read work by others who have done the “heavy lifting” and really run these claims to the ground, that these similarity claims are, to put it in a southern vernacular, hogwash. It almost seems as if these things have been made up purely to discredit the four independent eyewitness testimonies about the life of Jesus of Nazareth contained in the Bible as a case of mythological plagiarism. Surely no one would purposely just make stuff up just to do that though…. would they?

I’d love to discuss these things with you. Any questions and comments that are in line with this page’s Commenting Policy will be published and responded to (to the best of my ability).

For more information on how I keep my worldview informed please go to Cross Roads Church.

Was the Sinking of the Titanic a Copycat Myth?

In 1898 a novella, “Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan”, was published. The story contains many eerie similarities with the actual story of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, fourteen years later!

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“Futility” was written before the Titanic was even designed, yet the similarities are uncanny. For instance, The names of the ships were synonymous: Titan, Titanic. Both ships sank in April in the North Atlantic. There were not enough lifeboats for all the passengers. The Titan was 800′ long and the Titanic was 882’9″ long. The Titan sailed at a speed of 25 knots, the Titanic 22.5 knots.

And That’s not all! Both ships had three propellers. Both were described as unsinkable. Both carried less than half the amount of lifeboats needed for their passenger and crew capacity. Both hit an iceberg 400 nautical miles from Newfoundland. Both sank, and lost more than half of their passengers: 2200 from the Titanic and 2500 from the Titan. (Source:  Wikipedia )

Now, I’ve said all that to say this: does the fact that a fictional book written before the actual historical account have any bearing on the fact that the actual account happened, regardless of the multitude of similarities between the fictional account and the actual account? The obvious answer is no, of course not, not even a little bit.

Did you know about the amazing similarities between  Abraham Lincoln and John Franklin Kennedy? It boggles the mind, really, that the two men who lived a century apart had so much in common. The question is, do the similarities between the two in any way discount the facts surrounding the life and work of either man? No, of course not.

Let me tell you about someone else. This individual was born on December 25th. His mother was a virgin. His birth was announced by an angel, attended by shepherds and heralded by a star. At 30 years of age he was baptized in a river, and the one who baptized him was later beheaded.  He had 12 disciples, performed miracles, exorcised demons, raised someone from the dead, and even walked on water. I could keep going but you probably know who I am talking about already. That’s right-  Horus!

You thought I was talking about Jesus didn’t you? The linked website, and others, make the claim of these similarities between Horus and Jesus. These claims were also made in the movie “Zeitgeist” (available on the internet) and in a book written by Achyrya S. (D.M. Murdock) called The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold. Similar claims are made of other mythological deities including Dionysus, Krishna, Mithras, and many others.

This article’s purpose is not to contest the claims made about these similarities (that will be addressed in the next blog post). Here’s my point: CS Lewis once famously said, “…you must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong.” In other words, you have to start with the historical figure, Jesus of Nazareth, and show that the historical accounts are false, before you can make the case that the similarities shared by the account of Jesus and these mythological deities have any bearing on the subject. Just as the book Futility, written fourteen years prior, in no way negates the historical fact of the sinking of the Titanic, and the fact that Abraham Lincoln lived 100 years prior to JFK in no way negates the historical fact of the existence and presidency of JFK, the similarities between Jesus of Nazareth and these mythological deities have no bearing on the historical fact of Jesus’s existence.

I’d love to discuss these things with you. Any questions and comments that are in line with this page’s Commenting Policy will be published and responded to (to the best of my ability).

For more information on how I keep my worldview informed please go to Cross Roads Church.

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