Horus Bible Parallels

January 25, 2009
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Recently I saw Religulous here and he touched on Horus here and a few of the parallels between the story of Horus and Jesus.

Many Mormons when they start delving and  unravelling events in our history also delve into what they can find out about (possible origins)

to the bible or even if you want to say conspiracy theories. Horus is one I have heard of members in our church and Christians of all faiths looking into as they go deeper into their historical studies of the Bible. Look at some of the comparisons sited by religious tolerance

Event

Horus

Yeshua of Nazareth, a.k.a. Jesus

Conception:

By a virgin. There is some doubt about this matter

By a virgin. 8

Father:

Only begotten son of the God Osiris.

Only begotten son of Yehovah (in the form of the Holy Spirit).

Mother:

Meri. 9

Miriam (a.k.a. Mary).

Foster father:

Seb, (Jo-Seph). 9

Joseph.

Foster father’s ancestry:

Of royal descent.

Of royal descent.

Birth location:

In a cave.

In a cave or stable.

Annunciation:

By an angel to Isis, his mother.

By an angel to Miriam, his mother. 8

Birth heralded by:

The star Sirius, the morning star.

An unidentified “star in the East.

Birth date:

Ancient Egyptians paraded a manger and child representing Horus through the streets at the time of the winter solstice (typically DEC-21

Celebrated on DEC-25. The date was chosen to occur on the same date as the birth of Mithra, Dionysus and the Sol Invictus (unconquerable Sun), etc.

Birth announcement

: By angels.

By angels. 8

Birth witnesses:

Shepherds.

Shepherds. 8

Later witnesses to birth:

Three solar deities.

Three wise men. 8

Death threat during infancy:

Herut tried to have Horus murdered.

Herod tried to have Jesus murdered.

Handling the threat:

The God That tells Horus’ mother “Come, thou goddess Isis, hide thyself with thy child.

An angel tells Jesus’ father to: “Arise and take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt.

Rite of passage ritual:

Horus came of age with a special ritual,  when his eye was restored.

Taken by parents to the temple for what is today called a bar mitzvah ritual.

Age at the ritual:

12

12

Break in life history:

No data between ages of 12 & 30.

No data between ages of 12 & 30.

Baptism location:

In the river Eridanus.

In the river Jordan.

Age at baptism:

30.

30.

Baptized by:

Anup the Baptiser.

John the Baptist.

Subsequent fate of the baptiser:

Beheaded.

Beheaded.

Temptation:.

Taken from the desert in Palestine up a high mountain by his arch-rival Satan

Taken from the desert of Amenta up a high mountain by his arch-rival Sut. Sut (a.k.a. Set) was a precursor for the Hebrew Satan.

Result of temptation:

Horus resists temptation.

Jesus resists temptation.

Close followers:

Twelve disciples. There is some doubt about this matter as well.

Twelve disciples.

Activities:

Walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind. He “stilled the sea by his power.”

Walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind. He ordered the sea with a “Peace, be still” command.

Raising of the dead:

Horus raised Osirus, his dead father,  from the grave. 10

Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave.

Location where the resurrection miracle occurred: 11.

Anu, an Egyptian city where the rites of the death, burial and resurrection of Horus were enacted annually. 10

Hebrews added their prefix for house (‘beth“) to “Anu” to produce “Beth-Anu” or the “House of Anu.” Since “u” and “y” were interchangeable in antiquity, “Bethanu” became “Bethany,” the location mentioned in John

Transfigured:

On a mountain

On a high mountain.

Key address(es):

Sermon on the Mount..

Sermon on the Mount; Sermon on the Plain

Method of death

By crucifixion

. By crucifixion.

Accompanied by:

Two thieves.

Two thieves.

Burial

In a tomb.

In a tomb.

Fate after death:

Descended into Hell; resurrected after three days.

Descended into Hell; resurrected after about 30 to 38 hours (Friday PM to presumably some time in Sunday AM) covering parts of three days.

Resurrection announced by:

Women.

Women.

Future:

Reign for 1,000 years in the Millennium.

Reign for 1,000 years in the Millennium.

Questions

Is this whole thing grasping at straws or is it uncanny the parallels between the two stories of Horus and Jesus?

Please Discuss

Notes: Religous Tolerance

21 Responses to Horus Bible Parallels

  1. SteveS
    January 20, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    After a cursory look into material about Horus online, it seems a lot of these parallels are tenuous at best, and completely unsubstantiated at worst. It would seem that the compiler of the list was hoping for direct parallels in each of the major events of Jesus’ life with stories of the god Horus, trying to make a round peg fit into a square hole.

    That being said, I know practically nothing of Horus, Osiris, Isis, or any of the other Egyptian gods and goddesses. What interests me more are the unanswerable questions “How much Egyptian mythology and religion did the historical Jesus of Nazareth pick up as a child growing up in Egypt?”, “How much did he position himself to literally live out during his lifetime (sermons on mounts, gospel message of peace, baptism, disciples, crucifixion)?”, and “How familiar were the Gospel authors with Egyptian mythology and religion, which might cause them to describe Jesus’ birth, life, ministry, and death with many or all of the characteristic markers of Horus’ story?” In regard to question #2, if the historical Jesus actually cured ailments, raised the dead, and resurrected, those acts would indeed be difficult to effectuate without some supernatural assistance.

  2. Joe Geisner
    January 20, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    James,

    An interesting post and a very nice graph. As you probably are aware there is other “Parallels” both before and after Jesus life. Bart Ehrman has a short discussion in “Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium”.

    Each gospel is written from a theological point of view. Mark and John do not include the “virgin” birth. Matthew and Luke each include the virgin birth but one mentions angels and one mentions Shepherds, but neither mention both. Original Mark had no resurrection, only an empty tomb. What does it all mean in connection with Horus? I have no idea, but it would be interesting to know if the legends of Horus were common to first and second century Christians. My way of thinking is this would be the only way a person could infer influence.

  3. Russell
    January 25, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Parallels to me in this regard are about as credible as the “parallel-o-maniacs” that have occasionally graced FARMS (aka Hugh Nibley–bless his soul…he did wonderful things…but he was batty about parallels).

    Chesterton puts it well:

    When a well-known critic says, for instance, that Christ being born in a rocky cavern is like Mithras having sprung alive out of a rock, it sounds like a parody upon comparative religion. *There is such a thing as the point of a story, even if it is a story in the sense of a lie.* And the notion of a hero appearing, like Pallas from the brain of Zeus, mature and without a mother, is obviously the very opposite of the idea of a god being born like an ordinary baby and entirely dependent on a mother. Whichever ideal we might prefer, we should surely see that they are contrary ideals. It is as stupid to connect them because they both contain a substance called stone as to identify the punishment of the Deluge with the baptism in the Jordan because they both contain a substance called water. Whether as a myth or a mystery, Christ was obviously conceived as born in a hole in the rocks primarily because it marked the position of one outcast and homeless.

  4. James
    January 25, 2009 at 5:09 am

    1.Steve “it seems a lot of these parallels are tenuous at best, and completely unsubstantiated at worst.”

    Could be but unsubstantiated I wouldn’t be sure of this unless you checked all the references.http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcpa5.htm

    They have listed the two where their is doubt: virgin birth and the 12 apostles.

    As far as I’m aware religious tolerance has no axe to grind with any religion.

  5. January 25, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Religious Tolerance has, in my experience, been very even-handed as far as these things go.

  6. KingOfTexas
    January 25, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Why would someone take a theology lesson from a comedian atheist? He isn’t that funny. But, he can make people do funny things. Oh FYI in the middle east in biblical times almost every woman was named Mary.

  7. Andrew Ainsworth
    January 25, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    It appears most of the “sources” cited in the list above come from a book entitled “The Pagan Christ” by Tom Harpur. It would be more convincing if the citations in the table above were to primary sources, rather than to secondary sources which are, of course, one person’s interpretation (sometimes far fetched interpretations) of primary sources. For example, it would be helpful to direct the reader to the Book of the Dead or some other primary source. I prefer being directed to the primary sources themselves so I can read them and make up my own mind.

    That said, with a Google search you can find several thorough critical analyses of Harpur’s book, which at $10.71 seems like a real bargain for debunking the whole idea of Jesus Christ. See here for example: http://www.tektonics.org/harpur01.html

  8. Andrew Ainsworth
    January 25, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    I’d like to add, this is really one of the most deceptive sorts of propaganda because it is presented to an audience that the author knows is going to be almost completely unfamiliar with ancient Egyptian mythology. And unless you’re an Egyptologist, you won’t be able to readily discern how much bovine excrement the author is trying to pass of as “serious, scientific scholarship.” The author knows you have to essentially be an expert in the field to recognize his omissions, mischaracterizations, and outright fabrications. And the author knows you won’t have the time, energy, or means to track down all the primary sources you’d need to read to discover how far off he is. So he crosses his fingers and hopes the chart above with the dubious sources will be enough to convince you that the story of Jesus is just a plagiarized version of the story of Horus. After all, it looks like a “scholarly, scientific analysis”, right? And who are we to question the “experts”?

    By the way, according to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the mother of Horus is Isis, not “Meri,” as stated in the chart above. My glossary for the Book of the Dead makes no mention of any “Meri” at all.

    Also notable on the above chart is the lack of any citation at all for several of the assertions it contains.

  9. January 26, 2009 at 12:09 am

    This link contains a pretty comprehensive and entertaining review of the Harpur book that is so amply cited in the chart above: http://hnn.us/articles/6641.html THIS IS THE BEST LINK.

    You might also be interested in seeing how scholars who don’t share the agenda of drawing tenuous links to Jesus describe Horus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horus

  10. hawkgrrrl
    January 26, 2009 at 6:13 am

    This post does tap into an alternate speculative view of Mormonism, that ancient Egypt stole and adapted the stories and concepts of a pre-Christ Christian theology and priesthood through contact with Abraham or dating back to the post flood migration. While there is not much evidence to pre-Christ Christology in the Bible, parallels in other ancient cultures have sometimes been cited as evidence of the same.

  11. January 26, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Andrew, you’ve hit it, and a lot of these parallels are tenuous at best, and completely unsubstantiated at worst is charitable.

    There is a difference between what Campbell or Eliade or Nibley was doing and this sort of thing (or the Mithras parallels people draw, don’t get me started).

    Of course the real question is whether the authors of this sort of thing are being knowingly disingenuous or if they are just extremely ignorant and incapable.

    Or both. Which is too often true of many.

  12. hawkgrrrl
    January 26, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Dan Brown (cough, cough)

  13. SteveS
    January 26, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Of course the real question is whether the authors of this sort of thing are being knowingly disingenuous or if they are just extremely ignorant and incapable.

    These authors were absent from class the day they went over balanced research and reporting in ethical scholarship.

  14. Ray
    January 26, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Andrew, as usual, there’s not much to say after your comments. Brilliantly worded, friend.

  15. James
    January 26, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    “The author knows you have to essentially be an expert in the field to recognize his omissions, mischaracterizations, and outright fabrications. And the author knows you won’t have the time, energy, or means to track down all the primary sources you’d need to read to discover how far off he is.”

    Andrew good points but I know for a fact that they wouldn’t be able to present on the Internet if it weren’t true :)

    You mentioned “The Book of the Dead” didn’t mention Meri but their look like about 35 similarities. Can you recall if it mentioned most of them or were they bogus not primary sourced!

  16. Andrew Ainsworth
    January 26, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    It’s been a few years since I read the Book of the Dead, and despite their being some superficial similarities on the most general level (as their are with all gods), e.g., a divine son who has a divine father (don’t virtually all male gods have the same), I didn’t see anything close to the list presented above. You really ought to click the last two links I posted. They spell out the deceptions and exaggerations pretty well.

  17. Joe P.
    January 27, 2009 at 11:09 am

    With ancient prophets roaming around speaking of Jesus, and the God of Abraham, it is possible that the ancient Egyptians adapted what they had heard to their own theology. These adaptations could have become part of the Egyptian religious system.

    Appears similar to Joseph Smith adapting what he read in the bible, and the View of the Hebrews, to his own theology and creating his own systems of Gods and Godhood.

  18. Peter Brown
    January 29, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    “This post does tap into an alternate speculative view of Mormonism, that ancient Egypt stole and adapted the stories and concepts of a pre-Christ Christian theology and priesthood through contact with Abraham or dating back to the post flood migration. While there is not much evidence to pre-Christ Christology in the Bible, parallels in other ancient cultures have sometimes been cited as evidence of the same.”

    This is a chicken and egg argument. If you believe in the temple version of creation and truth, then all types and shadows and parallels come from a common thread of Adamic religion replete with the gospel in a Savior. If you are a Darwainist that see only eggs with random chickens you’ll follow the Joseph Campbell line that men in diverse cultures find similar Chritological myths in the birth and death cycle, astronomy, weather, etc. Or could say it was a conspiracy. Fine. I wonder if the sane and reasonable Bill Maher would admit to conspiracy of post-modern cultural liberalism in our government, business, and post-secondary eduational sytems. Pish posh, this is the just the authentic truth of Heiddeggar, right?

  19. Eric
    January 31, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Great discussion.

    #10 hawkgrrrl & #18 Peter, points well made. I’d like to touch on the idea of “an alternate speculative view of Mormonism”. I read that as “an alternate, speculative view held within Mormonism”. My understanding when reading the Book of Abraham is that the Book specifically asserts the role of Pharaoh in the unauthorized adoption / adaptation of the Adamic / Enochic / Noachic Gospel, Priesthood, etc. This assertion seems hardly like a speculation but a point of Restoration scriptural history. Peter’s right to associate this view with the temple version.

    On the point of “not much evidence to pre-Christ Christology”, I also find some exception. Christ is Messiah. Messiah is the Annointed One. There is plenty of coverage of the Messiah in the Bible. Much of the Christian world sees the Hebrew Bible (OT) the way Handel captured it in his oratorio. Paul’s letters (especially Hebrews) adapt the Hebrew Bible to make the case for Christ. It may be a matter of interpretation, but those interpretations find plenty of “evidence”. Margaret Barker has written extensively on this subject. Whether you agree with her or not, I think the “not much evidence” point needs some re-consideration.

    Peter, “eggs with random chickens” is pure genius. Your verbiage can be quirky but it’s sometimes poetic and always thought-provoking.

    Best regards to all.

  20. Eric
    February 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    I went for an Egyptologist’s opinion and asked John Gee (the William (Bill) Gay Associate Research Professor of Egyptology; Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship; Brigham Young University). This is what he told me (and gave me permission to post):

    “What the chart about Horus got right: Nothing. There is absolutely nothing in the column about Horus that is correct. Not one single thing. It is all made up.”

    For your consideration.

  21. Sarah
    March 16, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Human kind needs myth in order to explain the unexplainable. It’s fascinating that people still can’t grasp this concept. Your myth is no greater than any other of history or present day…