Sunday, 12 June 2011

Horus and Jesus

DO read the more scholarly and critical comments at the end of this surprising story!  

Following the theme of the day, including Mithra and Jesus and Historical Jesus?, let us move on to the myth of the ancient Egyptian deity Horus, who is sometimes represented as a single eye and sometimes as a man with a hawk's head.

Horus was apparently:
  • Conceived by a virgin, Isis-Meri (not Mary but . . .)
  • He was the only begotten son of the God Osiris.
  • His earthly father was Seb, (a.k.a. Jo-Seph), who was of royal descent.
  • His conception was announced by an angel to Isis, his mother.
  • Ancient Egyptians paraded a manger and child representing Horus through the streets at the time of the winter solstice (about 21st December.)
  • His birth was heralded by the star Sirius, announced by angels, witnessed by shepherds and later by three solar deities.
  • Herut tried to have Horus murdered.
  • The God 'That' told Horus' mother "Come, thou goddess Isis, hide thyself with thy child."
  • Horus came of age with a special ritual, when his eye was restored at the age of 12.
  • Nothing is known of his life between ages of 12 and 30.
  • He was baptised in the river Eridanus, aged 30, by Anup the Baptiser, who was subsequently beheaded. 

Are you beginning to spot a pattern emerging?  

You can read a lot more at the web site of the Ontario based organisation, Religious Tolerance, an organisation with members from all religions and none.  Their accounts of a wide range of religious topics seem to be thorough and fair.

Krishna next!

Related post links, added later:


Justin said...

There are some severe inaccuracies with this which do considerable violence to the Egyptian myths as it forces them to fit to the Jesus narrative:

1) Isis-Meri was not a virgin. According to the myth of Osiris, the only part of Osiris Isis was not able to gather was his penis, which was eaten by a catfish. So Isis fashions Horus a golden penis and proceeds to have sex with him and she conceives and bears Horus. Isis is not a virgin.

2) This means that Osiris was Horus's father, not Seb. Seb was the father of Osiris. Further, Seb is not a human or earthly, but was the god of Earth. Also, he was never called "Jo-seb." He is known as Seb/Geb/Keb, but never "Jo-Seb."

3) There is no evidence in the Horus's birth was announced by angel. Further, "angels" are relatively recent creations in terms of cosmology. There is also absolutely no evidence that his birth was witnessed by shepherds as his birth took place in a swamp. Finally, there is no indication that Horus's birth was heralded by the star Siris. Osiris was connected to the stars Siris and Orion, but not Horus.

4) It matters little if the Ancient Egyptians had a ceremony on Dec. 25th as Jesus was not born on the 25th and the people/communities responsible for the Gospels did not think that Jesus was born on the 12/25. In 1st century Palestine, shepherds were only out with the flocks in the spring when lambs were being born. The communities responsible for the Gospels would have understood this. Further, the question of the connection between the birth of Jesus and December 25th has been significantly rethought (see this dissertation completed at the University of Groningen,

5) “Herut” (an Egyptian variation of what the Greeks understood as “Horus”) was not the one who tried to murder Horus and Isis, it was Set, Isis’s (other) brother who had killed Osiris and then tried to kill Isis and Horus.

6) There is absolutely no place in any text where Anup baptizes Horus.

7) "Come, thou goddess Isis, hide thyself with thy child." [Citation needed] In what Egyptian text was this said? I have tired time and time and time again to find this in an Egyptian text. I have failed thus far. Further who is this “The God” who said this? Who, in the Egyptian Pantheon, is “The God”?

Justin said...

In conclusion:

Most of these supposed parallels go back not to any Egyptian text, but to the work of Gerald Massey. Massey was an amateur Egyptologist and even back in the 1880s when his “The Natural Genesis” was published (the book where many of these parallels were published) these connections were panned as Egyptologists as either false or pseudo-scientific. This disdain continues today among Egyptologists. If you want to discount their opinions and interpretations, the you must prove why your discounting of scholarship which stands counter to your position is different from Creationists doing the same with the evidence for evolution.

If you we are going to critique people of faith for lack of intellectual rigor, we must apply the same standard to ourselves and go to the original texts rather than repeating claims that are found throughout the internet. Just because a bunch of bloggers repeat something does not make it true. And as far as I can tell, all of your claims are just regurgitated versions of the regurgitation of other bloggers. You provide zero references for these claims, either to respected works of Egyptology, comparative religions, comparative mythology, or to the original texts. If there is a secondary source you got this from you are guilty of plagiarism. If there is a primary source (e.g. the Coffin Texts, Pyramid Texts, or the Book of the Dead), you are guilty of shoddy scholarship as you provide no citations.

Come on dude, do some real research. Look at original texts, or translations of texts. Look into the history of Egyptology (historiography). Take seriously the historical context of the Horus myths and the Jesus myths. Read up-to-date and respected works by respected and reputable scholars.

At the end of your post you ask, “Do you spot a pattern emerging?” I do spot a pattern. I spot a pattern of poor scholarship when ideologues, regardless of ideology, selectively interpret the evidence, if not make up evidence (as Gerald Massey did) altogether to prove their point. Creationists do it with Creation “science,” you are doing it here with the supposed connections between Horus and Jesus.

Plasma Engineer said...

Thanks Justin. I appreciate your comments and accept the criticism of lack of intellectual rigour and of poor scholarship. In my defence, I did point to one of the sources that I had used and had hoped that someone would help by providing some other views.

It has taken 8 months for someone to come up with something useful on this topic which is worth reading. I have a few questions about some of the things you say but at least you have said them. It is hard to find reasoned arguments about these myths on independent sites, and this story is 'Something Surprising' - which after all is the name of this blog.

Hopefully will come back with some questions in the next day or two.

Plasma Engineer said...

Actually - no further questions. I accept your advice and might make a new blog post about it next week. Thanks for addressing the points.

I suppose it is possible that the same will be true of the other linked post about Jesus and Krishna. The one about Mithra has already provoked some comments about a month ago and I defer to the scholarship of my readers. There are many other parallels of course, and I begin to suspect all of them are of dubious provenance.

At the time I was leading up to a conclusion expressed in

Some months on, I think I conclude that all of the stories from ancient times - including all of the bible - are so incredible that none of this matters to me very much after all. Just reading more about Isis and Horus today is enough to make we lose interest in using it as evidence for anything.

Justin said...

I am nearly as qualified to speak on Krishnah and Mithra as I am on Judaism and Egytpian religion, but I will look at them.

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Anonymous said...

I was really enjoying your post until I came to this one of Horus and Jesus. Not to be rude to you friend but you don't know nothing about the Egyptian mythology. And I am not standing up for Christianity. The myth that Horus was born of a virgin is just that a myth! It is not found the Egyptian mythology or in the Book of the Dead. Horus was never born of a Virgin please go read a study the story of Horus. Set killed his brother Osiris cutting his body into pieces and scattering them through out Egypt. Isis gather the body parts and basically rebuilt his body. But she could not find his Penis. So she made a phallus and then had sex with Osiris and she conceived Horus. This story is nothing like the story of Jesus. And the goddess Isis was not a virgin. You said and I quote "His earthly father was Seb(a.k.a Jo-seph, who was of royal descent." Can you show this to me in the Egyptian story of Horus? You know as many times I have read the mythology of Horus I just can not find that in there? Crazy huh. You said His conception was announced by an angel to Isis his mother. Now either you are flat out lying or you never read the mythology of Horus because this is NO were in the story of Horus! Horus never had anything to do with December the 21st. His birth was never announced by angels nor witnessed by shepherds. And Horus was never baptized by a person named Anup! You can not find this anywhere in the mythology of Horus. again you must be lying or you know nothing about Egyptian mythology.