- Religion and Philosophy
Christ's Life Story, or was it? You Decide.
I know this is going to be a controversial subject, and I maintain an open mind on it myself at this point in time, but I have to question why it is that so many other religious icons and Gods, apparently have virtually the same life story as Christ, in spite of their stories frequently pre-dating Christianity by many centuries.
In this hub I will simply aim to put my research down so far, and ask you for feedback as to how this can be explained if Christ's story as told in the Bible is the only true version? If you believe that Christ's life story isn't true, then what are your feelings as to how these multiple stories attributed to different Gods or Icons came about?
Your feedback, comments and opinions will be greatly appreciated at the end of this hub, but please only comment if you have read the whole hub, rather than simply scrolling down to the bottom in order to voice an opinion.
First let us go to 'Horus' the Egyptian God who represented the ultimate in goodness and purity,
" I am the LORD thy God from the Land of Egypt and thou shalt know no God but me: for there is no Saviour beside me" Hosea 13:4, King James version.
Horus (represented by a symbol of the eye of a falcon, the shape of a Sparrow hawk or the body of a man or lion with a hawk's head), was worshipped thousands of years before the first century CE , the time Jesus was ministering in Palestine.
The legends of Horus had been in circulation for centuries before Christ's birth (circa 4 to 7 BCE).
Author theologian Tom Harpur studied several well known Authors who had written about the Ancient Egyptians and their religious beliefs, and put the information together into a book called 'Pagan Christ'. He made the point that all of the essential ideas in both Christianity and Judaism came mostly from the Egyptian religion.
"[Author Gerald] Massey discovered nearly two hundred instances of immediate correspondence between the mythical Egyptian material and the allegedly historical Christian writings about Jesus. Horus indeed was the archetypal Pagan Christ."
Examples of where life events between Horus and Jesus matched.
1) Both were conceived from a Virgin.
2) Horus was the only begotten Son of the God Osiris and Jesus was the only Son of God ( Yehovah).
3) The Foster Father of Horus was Seb (Jo-Seph), and the Foster Father of Jesus was Joseph.
4) Both Foster Fathers were of Royal descent.
5) Both Horus and Jesus were born in a cave or stable.
6) Annunciation, in both cases was by an angel to the respective Mothers.
7) In both cases the birth was heralded by a star.
8) Birth date, Ancient Egyptians would parade a baby in a manger through the streets typically on Winter solstice (Dec 21st). Jesus birthday celebrations were arranged to coincide with the birth date of Mithra, Dionysis and Sol Invictus (Dec 25th).
9) In both cases the birth announcement was made by angels.
10) In each case the witnesses were shepherds.
11) The later witnesses to the birth were three solar deities in the case of Horus, and three wise men in the case of Jesus.
12) Death threats were made to Horus by Herut, and to Jesus by Herod.
13) Each Mother was warned to hide their infant by a deity.
14) Each had to attend a special ritual at the age of 12 to mark their Rite of Passage.
15) Neither has any history between the ages of 12 and 30.
16) Both were baptised in rivers.
17) Both their baptisers were ultimately beheaded.
18) Both were taken from a desert and up a mountain and tempted by Satan, and both resisted the temptation.
19) Both walked on water, healed the sick,restored sight to the blind and calmed the sea.
20) Horus raised Osiris from the grave and Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave.
21) Location where the resurrection miracle occurred:
Horus: Anu, an Egyptian city where the rites of the death, burial and resurrection of Horus were enacted annually.
Jesus: 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 11.
22) Origin of Lazarus' name in the Gospel of John: Asar was an alternative name for Osirus, Horus' father, who Horus raised from the dead. He was referred to as "the Asar," as a sign of respect. Translated into Hebrew, this is "El-Asar." The Romans added the prefix "us" to indicate a male name, producing "Elasarus." Over time, the "E" was dropped and "s" became "z," producing "Lazarus."
23) Both transfigured on a mountain.
24) Both held a sermon on the mount.
25) Both died by crucifixion
26) Both died accompanied by two thieves.
27) Both were buried in a tomb.
28) Both were resurrected after 3 days or 30-38 hours.
29) Both resurrections were announced by women.
30) Future, both reign for 1000 years in the Millennium.
The Eye of Horus
Both have many characteristics in common. Each was regarded as a mythical character, the Saviour of humanity and are frequently pictured in the arms of their Virgin Mothers.
Each are referred to as 'the anointed one', the good Shepherd, the lamb of God, the bread of life, the son of man, the Word and the fisher.
Both are associated with symbols such as the Shepherd's Crook, the vine, the fish and the beetle.
Criteria for salvation at the place of judgement:
Horus: "I have given bread to the hungry man and water to the thirsty man and clothing to the naked person and a boat to the shipwrecked mariner."
Jesus: "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me..." Matthew 25:35-36 (KJV).
"I am" statements
Horus: "I am Horus in glory...I am the Lord of Light...I am the victorious one...I am the heir of endless time...I, even I, am he that knoweth the paths of heaven."
"I am Horus, the Prince of Eternity"
"I am Horus who stepeth onward through eternity...Eternity and everlastingness is my name."
"I am the possessor of bread in Anu. I have bread in heaven with Ra."
Jesus: "I am the light of the world....I am the way, the truth and the life."
"Before Abraham was, I am"
"Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today and forever."
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven."
(From the Gospel of John)
As in history these two Gods were frequently referred to by the composite name Osiris-Dionysis I shall refer to them by this for the purpose of this hub.
The following stories occur not only in the Gospels, but also in the myths of many of the God-Men.
Again, all of the Pagan myths had been circulating for many centuries before Jesus birth.
The Life Events Shared by Jesus and Osiris-Dionysis.
In both cases they were the Son of God and were born of a virgin human Mother.
Both were born in a cave or cowshed, (an early Christian belief was that the manger was placed in a cave), and both births were heralded by a star.
Both performed the miracle of converting water into wine at a marriage ceremony.
Neither could perform miracles in their hometown.
Their followers were all 'born again' after baptism by water.
Both rode triumphantly into the city on a donkey whilst onlookers waved palm leaves.
Both had 12 disciples
Both were accused of licentious behaviour.
Execution and Resurrection:
Both were killed around the Vernal Equinox (about Mar 21st).
Both died as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
Both were hung on a tree, stake or cross.
Both descended into Hell, and after three days returned to life.
The caves where they laid were each visited by three female followers.
Both later ascended into Heaven.
Titles in Common:
Saviour of the World
Son of God.
Both were 'God made man' and equal to the Father.
Both will return in the final days.
Both will judge the Human race at that time.
The sacrificial death of both Jesus and Osiris-Dionysis removed original sin and reunited the believers with God.
The Sun God, and worshipped throughout the Roman Empire by soldiers, slaves and noblemen alike, although women were forbidden to join this religion.
Legend said that Mithra was born from a rock within a cave and his birth was witnessed by a group of shepherds.Temples to Mithra have been found Rudchester, Housesteads and Carrawburgh.
Each day of the week was attributed to a planet, and the day associated with the Sun was held to be very holy. Seasonal holy days included the equinoxes and 25th December.
Because it was so widespread the worship of Mithra held a very real threat to Christianity, so it is not surprising that the Christians adopted many of the Mithra religion's aspects, such as making Sunday a holy day and treating December the 25th as a special day.
A leading Proponent of the 'Pagan copycat' view is Acharya S, who, in her magnum opus The Christ Conspiracy(118-120), lays out over a dozen things that Jesus supposedly has in common with Mithras and, by extension, Christianity allegedly borrowed to create the Jesus character; some of these points she now defends further in a work titled Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled.
These points are:
Mithra was born of a virgin on December 25th in a cave, and his birth was attended by shepherds.
He was considered a great traveling teacher and master.
He had 12 companions or disciples.
Mithra's followers were promised immortality.
He performed miracles.
As the "great bull of the Sun," Mithra sacrificed himself for world peace.
He was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again.
His resurrection was celebrated every year.
He was called "the Good Shepherd" and identified with both the Lamb and the Lion.
He was considered the "Way, the Truth and the Light," and the "Logos," "Redeemer," "Savior" and "Messiah."
His sacred day was Sunday, the "Lord's Day," hundreds of years before the appearance of Christ.
Mithra had his principal festival of what was later to become Easter.
His religion had a eucharist or "Lord's Supper," at which Mithra said, "He who shall not eat of my body nor drink of my blood so that he may be one with me and I with him, shall not be saved."
His annual sacrifice is the passover of the Magi, a symbolical atonement or pledge of moral and physical regeneration.
Shmuel Golding is quoted as saying that 1 Cor. 10:4 is "identical words to those found in the Mithraic scriptures, except that the name Mithra is used instead of Christ."
The Catholic Encyclopedia is quoted as saying that Mithraic services were conduced by "fathers" and that the "chief of the fathers, a sort of pope, who always lived at Rome, was called 'Pater Patratus.'"
Now to be fair the above points are hotly contested by Christians who claim that these statements were only made about Mithra after the life of Christ. If you wish to makes your own minds up about this I have posted a link below that argues the Christian point of view.
Similarities also exist between the story of Buddha's life and Jesus Christ's.
The Buddha was of royal descent. Born of the Virgin Maya ("the Queen of Heaven") on December 25th, announced by a star and attended by wise men presenting costly gifts. At his birth Brahma angels sang hymns. An aged holy woman beseeched the heavens to bless the child.
"In Buddhism the virgin birth concept occupies a central place and the suggestion of immaculate conception is also made. Buddha's future mother, Mahamaya, refrained form sexual activity and other worldly pleasures during the mid-summer festival and was taken off during a dream to the Himalayas. There she was purified by water to remove every human stain before being placed upon a divine couch ... After the conception, no lustful thought sprang up in the mind of future Buddha's mother ... The meaning usually ascribed to Buddha's birth legend centres on the fact that he chose to be born of a woman so as to become human himself, which would enable him to inspire other humans with the possibility of achieving perfection."
Buddha taught in temple at age 12 and was able to match the wise religious scholars in their understanding.
He was tempted by Mara, the Evil One, while fasting, but overcame the temptation, putting the Evil One to flight.
He was baptized in water with the Spirit of God present. He gained enlightenment under a tree known as the Bodhi Tree.
He healed the sick; fed 500 from a small basket of cakes; walked on water.
Ananda, Buddha's disciple, asked a woman at a well for a drink of water but she hesitated because she was of too low a caste to serve him.
Buddha's disciple wanted to hear his lord preach so he started to cross a stream - he doubted and started to sink but he built up his faith and continued to walk across the water.
Buddha came to fulfil the law and preached the establishment of a kingdom of righteousness.
He obliged followers to live in poverty and to renounce the world.
In his final years, Buddha was said to have 'crushed a serpent's head' and to have been transfigured on a mount ...'
It was Buddha, not Christ, who first said: 'If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also' (Matthew 5:39).
These words also were attributed to Lao Zi some 500 years before Jesus.
Good Shepherd; Carpenter; Alpha and Omega; Sin Bearer; Master; Light of the World; Redeemer; Saviour of the World.
[Note that there are many Buddhist belief systems with very different views of the events of the Buddha's life and death.] Buddha died (on a cross, in some traditions, according to Graves, Kersey, The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviours quoted here, as atonement for sins of others; . buried but arose again after tomb opened by supernatural powers. Ascended into heaven (Nirvana). Will return in later days to judge the dead.
He suffered for three days in hell, and was resurrected: he ascended to Nirvana.
"And when the Sage entered Nirvana, the earth quivered like a ship struck by a squall, and firebrands fell from the sky. The heavens were lit up by a preternatural fire, which burned without fuel, without smoke, without being fanned by the wind. Fearsome thunderbolts crashed down on the earth, and violent winds raged in the sky. The moon's light waned, and, in spite of a cloudless sky, an uncanny darkness spread everywhere." Translation by Edward Conze, in Conze (ed.), Buddhist Scriptures (Penguin Books, 1959), pp. 62-4
On his burial, Buddha's funeral clothes were said to have 'unrolled themselves, and the lid of his coffin was opened by a superhuman agency, when he ascended bodily into heaven'
As I stated at the start of this hub, I remain open-minded, but also curious as to how these similar stories are possible, and how it can be that all of these Gods or Icons can actually have had most of the same life experiences, unless either:
A. The Christian faith really did adopt the ancient religion's stories to make converting Pagan people to Christianity easier.
B. All of these Gods and Icons are one and the same being, and only the dates they each allegedly existed are are inaccurate.
C. None of the stories are true and are all just ancient Legends that have been passed down through the ages, and are now treated as factual events by Christians who have read and been taught these same tales in the Bible and by the Church over the centuries.
D. An answer yet to be determined and one that makes logical sense.
There are many other examples of Gods who share similar life stories or whose lives included similar events to the story of Jesus Christ, far too many to cover all of them here. In case you would like to do your own research into some of the others you could begin with looking at are:
Tammuz: Syria and Babylon.
Zarathustra: Asia Minor (possibly modern day Iran).
Lao Zi: China.
Attis: Turkey (Anatolia).
Heracles: Greece (in the Roman Empire Hercules).
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