Christianity and other Ancient Religions
Some of you may have been wondering why I recently posted the account of the story of Krishna, a reference for great information on the history of the Roman Mithras cult, and then the walk through of the Odyssey and the Gospel of Mark.
For others, you may have started a search and landed here trying to look at the claims that have recently resurfaced that Christianity is merely, largely, or in some way, a copy of an extinct ancient faith or literature of one kind or another.
My articles are mostly – meta-analysis… taking a look at and evaluating the research rather than the original claims. I try to use reliable documentation, but I am personally not an expert. This started as a study just for my own purposes. I welcome (urge) any experts on the material to respond… because I want to understand it better.
Of those, these four are of the most common and often the “best” examples.
Was the story of Jesus merely a retelling of the accounts of Krishna? Did early Christians take inspiration from the Mithras Cult? Did Mark copy or at least seriously model his Gospel after the tale of the Odyssey?
In various publications and websites, the claim made by many in the Neo-Atheist movement claim that Jesus is such an obvious copy of other religions of the time of Christ and before that He and the gospel accounts of Him could not be historical.
There are websites that claim that other religions from around that era include virgin births, resurrections, and others… like the claim that “Dionysus was born of a virgin on December 25 and, as the Holy Child, was placed in a manger.”(in fact this website has some of the best examples of the claims made http://listverse.com/2009/04/13/10-christ-like-figures-who-pre-date-jesus/).
This webpage is claimed to be based on the author’s own research and he does reference 3 different sources. (at one point I was under the impression that he offered none, but either I missed them or he updated his site.)
Note: None of the three sources are original sources – the author is not referencing the actual ancient accounts of these different myths, rather he/she is posting the materials from one or more of these three sources. Also, all three of these sources are in agreement as to this topic, so the author also seems not to have done any research by checking any sources that offer any opposition or argument against the theory.
His material is the same cut-and-paste material that is common on the internet and over time, begins to feel universal on this topic…
Of all things, his #1 similarity is Horus. (see below)
Mel Krantzler quipped “contrary to popular belief, we may not be the best informed nation in the world, we are perhaps only the most informed.” (The 7 Marriages of your Marriage, 1992)
Most of these “connections” (which I now cannot imagine any of the “scholars” taking seriously if they did not believe it called Christianity into question – can you imagine if Christians tried to use scholarship as flaccid as this?) are the continued recapitulation of one Gerald Massey, a “Spiritualist” and poet from the late 19th century. Over time he also was somewhat respected among Egyptologists of his time. He was apparently a pretty impressive poet, but his work connecting some ancient religions, and very especially the tale of Horus, to the gospel accounts of Jesus Christ are questionable at best.
Apparently, Massey claimed that Horus was born of a virgin to a mother named Mary… Horus was later baptized at age 30, crucified and rose again from the dead 3 days later… That they were both born on December 25th, were visited by 3 royal people, and that the Herod of the Bible was a copy of the evil serpent “Herrut.”
Horus was not born of a virgin. Osiris and Isis copulated to produce him. In fact, a penis was so vital to his conception that Isis crafted one from gold when Osiris’ could not be found (read the account).
Jesus was not born on the 25th of December (if Horus even was) and we have no idea how many “magi” there were – no reason to think there were 3.
Further, one of many descriptive names (common for gods) of the mother of Horus is similar in pronunciation to “Mary”)… I have seen it spelled as “Isis-Meri.” Such descriptive names were common among religions – in fact, Yahweh has dozens.
First, this would be similar to say that one of the names of God, “Jehovah Jireh” (God who provides) is similar to an American named “Jerry” … so clearly this is a rip-off from Seinfeld. More damning, though, is the second problem that “Mary’s” name is not “Mary.” It is Miriam (the Hebrew name). “Mary” is the Anglicized version of her name.
Further, he either believed that early Christians also invented the historical figure of Herod the Great (or maybe Tetrarch?) or Massey actually believed in Christianity, but believed that it was somehow supernaturally and cosmically connected to the Egyptian myths of Horus.
Since publishing this, I was sent a link to a youtube video that is a response to a book cataloguing many of these claims. It is an hour and 20, but is very in depth.
ZEITGEIST – Lie of Lucifer (Lucis) Trust
Next time I will offer some more thoughts and then provide the links to the different accounts…