Did you know that according to a 5,000 years old myth, Horus was born of a virgin, just like Jesus, and that he had twelve Apostles, and died crucified, only to be resurrected later?

Well … I’m sorry to report that if you know any of this information, you don’t know all that much.


The Jesus = Horus Thing …

Oh my GOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Give me a nickel every time I’ve seen these and other related graphics over Facebook and other places!

Jesus = Horus 1

Jesus=Horus 2

But beyond that … give me a big dollar for every time I challenge this view, and then the person who posted it will proudly tell me how he or she actually researched the matter very, very deeply, using all sorts of “expert” opinions about it.  If you give me all those dollars, I will be certain to get out of poverty.

Now, before I discuss the matter a bit deeper, I want to concede my opponents one very big point.  The images of Isis with Horus are so strikingly similar to the ones with the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus!

Isis with Horus, and Mary with Jesus

However, the similarity between Jesus and Horus pretty much ends there.  Horus was not born of a virgin, he did not have twelve disciples, he did not heal the sick, he was never crucified, and most definitely did not rise from the dead.

  • First of all, contrary to what is claimed in the first graphic above, the Horus myth did not exist 5,000 years ago.  That is about 800 years off from the origins of the Horus myth.
  • Isis, her mom, was not exactly a virgin in any sense of the word.  Actually if you do a bit of genuine research, you learn that Osiris was killed by being chopped into 14 pieces.  So, how did Isis get pregnant?  Answer:  She took each one of the pieces and re-built her husband, she engaged in … ummm…   sexual intercourse with the corpse, and that’s how Horus was conceived. There is no trace of virginity there, right?!
  • Horus was born, but it was nowhere near 25th of December.  Of course, this date didn’t exist 2,200 B.C.E. for the simple reason that the Julian-Roman Calendar didn’t exist at the time …  so, no December.   OK! OK!  That sounds a bit picayune and you might still argue that Horus birth was celebrated at the equivalent to 25th December in the Egyptian calendar at the end of the solar year …  Well… .not even THAT is true.  It was actually celebrated during the period equivalent to our October and November.
  • There is no inscription anywhere in the universe (except on Facebook and some misled websites) about Horus having twelve disciples.  You can search all of the ancient writings in papyri, or writings on the walls on monuments, the pyramids, and so on… you won’t find one, not one … not in a long shot!
  • He didn’t raise “Asar” from the dead either.  In fact, “Asar” and “Lazarus” are etimologically unrelated. “Lazarus” comes from the semitic and Hebrew name “Eleazar” (אלעזר) which means “El (God) has helped”.  The name “Lazarus” is the result of a Hellenization of the name (Λάζαρος).  On the other hand, “Asar” is another name of Osiris, Horus’ father, and he was never raised from the dead.  As a matter of fact, one trait of the Egyptian gods is that they are born, and when they die, they don’t come back from the dead.  They do inhabit the spiritual realm… but that is another thing altogether.
  • Does the fact that Horus escaped Typhon means that the Jesus story of His escape to Egypt was based on it?   But do you know how many stories of gods, heroes, kings, etc. do we have of them escaping?   For instance, Pompey escaped Caesar… does that mean that this story was based on Horus escaping Typhon?  Ok … I now hear the objection that the reason for believing that Horus myth was the basis for Jesus’ story is because of the details around it.  Typhon questioned Horus’ legitimacy and wanted to kill him, so did Herod with Jesus.  Yet, when you go to the real details, it seems that this is not the case.  Osiris was never told by an angel or messenger that his son would be killed so he had to flee…  If you are paying attention, you realize that Osiris was already dead when his son was born.
  • Horus was never crucified … never ever.  How do I know?  Very simply, crucifixion did not exist at the time the Horus myth was first told.  Crucifixion seems to have originated in Persia by the 7th century B.C.E.  It was adopted much later by the Romans as a means of torture, and it was discontinued as an instrument of torture during the fourth century.  The Horus myth is completely unrelated to this.
  • Horus did not rise from the dead, precisely because he never died.  Whatever you might think about Horus, he is not an example of resurrection.

And these are just few aspects about the Horus=Jesus thingy.  Each one of the claims made by these graphics is false, including (but not limited to) the statement that he was visited by wise men, or that he was “baptized” by Anup “the Baptizer”, whoever THAT is.  The effort invested by some people trying to demystify Christian beliefs by believing this falsity is very amusing.  Even Bill Maher fell into this lie in Religulous

Do I think that my Anti-Christian friends (and enemies) are lying when they said that they researched the matter “thoroughly”?  No.  The problem is that they are basing their “research” on (questionable) secondary sources.  Let me explain Historians’ jargon.  “Primary sources” are the prime sources that serve as the basis for any historical claim.  For instance, if you wish to know about the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, then his original German book, Kritik vor reinen Vernunft, is one of the primary sources.  A secondary source is a source that refers to primary sources.  For example, if you want to read a book about Kant’s philosophy, then that would be a secondary source.  The book on Kant’s philosophy is based on the primary sources, i.e. the actual publication of in German of Kant’s works.

So … the research regarding the astounding similarities on Jesus and Horus are based on secondary sources.  Here is where the profession of History becomes a bit tricky (believe me, I’ve done historical research myself!).  Historians and scholars… (and by this I mean real and responsible historians and scholars) seek to support their claim by adopting the custom of quoting renowned and widely recognized as reliable secondary sources (which might be fallible anyway), or primary sources themselves.

Who are the authors who have written “secondary sources” about the similarities between Horus and Jesus?  We have names of the authors and the books in question.

*Acharya S.  The Christ Conspiracy.  IL:  Adventures Unlimited Press, 1999.

*Acharya S.  Suns of God:  Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled. IL:  Adventures Unlimited Press, 2004.

*Gerald Massey.  Ancient Egypt:  the Light of the World.  US:  NuVision Publications, 2009. (Originally published in 1907).

*Gerald Massey.  The Historical Jesus and Mythical ChristNatural Genesis and Typology of Equinoctial Christolatry.  US:  Book Tree, 2000.  (Originally published in 1900).

*James Frazer.  The Golden Bough.  (Originally published in 1890).

*John Jackson.  Christianity before Christ.  Austin:  American Atheist Press, 1985.  (This was the first book I read on the subject during my teenage years … and I actually believed it.  Thank goodness I bothered to make a research later and found almost all of its claims to be false).

*Thomas Doane.  Bible Myths and their Parallels in Other Religions.  US:  Book Jungle, 2006.  (Originally Published in 1882).

*Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy.  The Jesus Mysteries:  was the “Original Jesus” a Pagan God?  NY:  Three Rivers Press, 1999.

*Tom Harpur.  The Pagan Christ:  Recovering the Lost Light.  US:  Walker & Company, 2004.

These are the so-called experts many of the Jesus=Horus mythicists use for “research”, yet, they can quote no primary ancient source, for their most controversial claims, and if they do, they generally misquote it. If you have read any of these books, or any other books by these authors, or you have read any books based on them, just know that none of these authors have any academic credibility whatsoever.  This is not a claim made by a liberal Christian writing this blog post.  This is the unanimous opinion by every single Historian, Egyptologist, and Scholar competent in the area.

In fact, the whole thing was made up by Thomas Doane, James Frazer, and Gerald Massey.  This was accomplished thanks to mistranslations, outdated information, overreading and LOTS of imagination.  In other words, these supposed “secondary sources” are totally unsupported by evidence (i.e. primary sources).  Tom Harpur has been one of the most visible and recent representatives of this tendency, and historians and Egyptologists continuously denounce his work unanimously as bogus.  If you think that I am saying this because I am a Christian, think again.  This link, will lead you to the History News Network, a network made by professional historians, not by Bible fundamentalists, and one of its articles evaluates Tom Harpur’s books, and asks to the top eminent specialists in Ancient Egyptian mythology about many of his claims (Read the Article).


My Point …

Now, here’s the deal …   I’m not bothered by the fact that many people don’t believe in God.  In fact, I find a lot of reason for people to be Anti-Christian:  the promotion of slavery, murdering Jews, the Inquisition, genocidal killings of whole peoples, and so on.  The problem comes when people become so “in-your-face” and so “self-righteous” about it.  They often criticize Christians for being blinded by their own beliefs in the world and remaining ignorant.  This is the self-righteousness that we can see in the graphics above.  Yet, irony abounds when I actually show people the evidence that what they posted is false, and they become as ideologically blind as Bible fundamentalists … and they are proud of it!

The vast majority of my friends know that I’m not exactly the average Christian, and that I do actually know that many things in the Bible are historically false, and that I criticize my church for lots of things it is doing.  And yet, despite this, many of them who believe the Horus = Jesus falsity will actually make an appeal to the fact that I am a Christian, and that I need to believe that this information is false …  even when all the available evidence makes my position correct.  And the situation is made worse by the fact that even when I give them actual and real information about the falsity of most of the Bible claims … they purposely disregard it … Why?  Because I am a Christian, and for some reason, Tom Harpur has to be correct, even when every competent Bible scholar and Egyptologist thinks he is wrong, even when there is no evidence (primary sources) for his claims.  If I suggest Bart Ehrman’s works (say … Misquoting Jesus, Jesus Interrputed, or Did Jesus Exist?), then they tell me that he is a bad scholar because of what his “arch-nemesis”, Richard Carrier, says in his bogus project.  And, yes, he is another incompetent in the field of Bible scholarship (again, the unanimous  position of compentent scholars in the field.  I will write about him soon.

Anyway, I needed to get this off my chest, because I am often shocked at the level of self-righteousness many militant atheists (of course, not all of them) are adopting, leading them to exactly the same mistakes (even that of intolerance) that they so criticize of Christianity.  This is just one example among many.  Sometimes what is so dangerous is not a religious or secular belief, but the attitude being adopted by an individual or group, especially such degree of certainty on your convictions, that you will do everything to humiliate and alienate other people just because they don’t believe as you do.  We had a history of that with Christianity, we had a history of that in the Soviet Union.  Enough is enoguh!  See why I hate self-righteousness when I spot it?

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2 Responses to Jesus = Horus: When Some Anti-Christians become Unjustifiably Proud of It

  1. jude says:

    just two points but i intend to look into this more.mithra was born on december 25 maybe horus as well and isis relates to the sign virgo.have you seen the book christ in egypt?

    • prosario2000 says:

      I disagree about Mithra. Most of the literature out there talking about how much Mithra resemble Jesus’ stories miss a lot of things. For example, the distinction between the Persian/Iranian version and the Greek/Roman version of it. Only in the case of the latter we know that his birthplace is in December 25. However, this is not because of Mithraism as it was adopted by the Romans, but because it was fused in the third century AD with Sol Invictus. The cult to Sol Invictus was eclectic, Roman Mithraism was very eclectic too. However, the adoption of December 25 as the birthplace of Mithra only took place as the result of this fusion, which took place in the third century AD. Christianity adopted December 25 as an effort to substitute the renewed bith of Sol Invictus with the birth of Christ. As far as the evidence is concerned, apparently there was little, if anything, that Christianity adopted from Mitrhaism, and necessarily these customs might have been adopted only after the third century AD.

      The problem with the statement that Horus and Isis relate to the Virgo sign is that everyone knows that Isis relates astrologically to a particular star Sirius (not located in Virgo): see (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirius#Observational_history). Second, it is a big mistake to associate ancient Egyptian astrology with later Hellenistic astrology (where Virgo is relevant). Egyptians had *no* Virgo sign. To associate Isis with Virgo would be anachronistic and establishing an association that Egyptians never made at the time the myth was made. Horus was represented by the rising morning SUN, nothing to do with Virgo either.

      I have not read the book Christ in Egypt, so I won’t criticize something I haven’t read.

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