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"rightly dividing the Word of Truth". (II Timothy 2:15)
December 25th? The Anointed One, the Messiah? Was his message even all that original? Not at all. Back in the day, religions and cults mixed and borrowed freely from each other. The only thing special about Jesus, you could say, is how long his myth has been embraced as truth. I found this at American Atheists and thought you’d enjoy it for the holiday season.
December 25 is close to the Winter Solstice which has been an important event for ages. It’s the longest night of the year. December 25 was the Roman Winter Solstice upon establishment of the Julian calendar. We now have the Gregorian calendar which put the Winter Solstice to December 21st – 22nd. Many cultures recognized this Longest Night with holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals about rebirth and other celebrations.
EDIT: I shared the following article and a few readers noted below that there are no references or resources for any of this information. I fell into the trap of the Appeal to Authority. I had found it on what I considered to be a reputable site and didn’t think much about who wrote the article or what his sources were. I apologize.
I added some resources and references to some of the entries.
EDIT 12/22/2010: I just did a follow up article on this issue. Apparently the guy who wrote Zeitgeist just made up the whole Jesus/Horus connection to go along with the rest of his grand conspiracies. It is not based on history or fact. See the following article for more information with links: The Jesus Horus Link Revisited For Christmas.
Horus c. 3000 BCE
–born of the virgin Isis-Merion December 25 in a cave/manger with his birth being announced by a star in the East and attended by three wise men.
–his earthly father was named “Seb” (“Joseph”).
–was of royal descent.
–at 12, he was a child teacher in the Temple, and at 30, he was baptized having disappeared for 18 years.
–baptized in the river Eridanus or Iarutana (Jordan) by “Anup the Baptizer” (“John the Baptist”), who was decapitated.
–had 12 disciples, two of who were his “witnesses” and were named “Anup” and “Aan” (the two “Johns”).
–performed miracles, exorcised demons and raised El-Azarus (“El-Osiris”), from the dead.
–walked on water.
–his personal epithet was “Iusa,” the “ever-becoming son” of “Ptah,” the “Father.” He was thus called “Holy Child.”
–delivered a “Sermon on the Mount” and his followers recounted the “Sayings of Iusa.”
–was transfigured on the Mount.
–crucified between two thieves, buried for three days in a tomb, and resurrected.
–he was also the “Way, the Truth, the Light,” “Messiah,” “God’s Anointed Son,” “the “Son of Man,” the “Good Shepherd,” the “Lamb of God,” the “Word made flesh,” the “Word of Truth,” etc.
–he was “the Fisher” and was associated with the Fish (“Ichthys”), Lamb and Lion.
–came to fulfill the Law.
–called “the KRST,” or “Anointed One.”
–was supposed to reign one thousand years.
Inscribed about 3,500 years ago on the walls of the Temple at Luxor were images of the Annunciation, Immaculate Conception, Birth and Adoration of Horus, with Thoth announcing to the Virgin Isis that she will conceive Horus; with Kneph the “Holy Ghost,” impregnating the virgin; and with the infant being attended by three kings, or magi, bearing gifts. In addition, in the catacombs at Rome are pictures of the baby Horus being held by the virgin mother Isis—the original “Madonna and Child.”
~EDIT: more information on Horus:
Religious Tolerance has a handy chart and some background information regarding Horus, comparing the Egyptian god to Jesus.
Here is a bit of information that they have before the chart. I’ve added Wikipedia links to the three authors mentioned:
“There is a near consensus that Yeshua was born circa 4 to 7 BCE. By that time, stories from the life of Horus had been circulating for centuries before. If any copying occurred by the writers of the Egyptian or Christian religions, it was the myths and legends of Horus that were incorporated into Jesus’ biography, not vice-versa.
Tom Harpur, an author, journalist, Anglican priest, and theologian, studied the works of three authors specialized in ancient Egyptian religion: Godfrey Higgins (1771-1834), Gerald Massey (1828-1907) and Alvin Boyd Kuhn (1880-1963). Harpur incorporated some of their findings into his book “Pagan Christ.” He argued that all of the essential ideas of both Judaism and Christianity came primarily from Egyptian religion.
Harpur writes, in his book:
“[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.”
One problem with comparing events in the life of Horus and Yeshua relates to time. Horus was a leading figure in Egyptian mythology for millennia. Folklore about him naturally proliferated during this interval. So, for example, there is more than one story about the method by which he died. Thus, if the writers of the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) did copy events from Horus’ life, they would have had multiple options from which to choose. Further, one cannot compare crucifixion in 1st century CE Judah, with a similar procedure in ancient Egypt. Roman crucifixion followed a specific procedure by which the victim was made to carry the crosspiece through the city, clothing was stripped from him, his limbs were tied — or in rare instances, nailed — to the cross, etc. Nothing precisely like this existed in ancient Egypt. So, one cannot strictly call Horus’ execution a crucifixion, even if he was tied to a tree and died of exposure.”
They have a second chart here: Similarities between Jesus and Horus: More life events, characteristics and teachings.
The main reference is Tom Harpur’s The Pagan Christ: Recovering the Lost Light. Also, The Egyptian Book of the Dead
Osiris c. 3000 BCE
–Father of Horus, considered to be part of a triune godhead — Osiris, Horus and Isis.
–Osiris was identified with nearly every other Egyptian god and was on the way to absorbing them all. He had well over 200 divine names.
–He was called the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, God of Gods.
–He was the Resurrection and the Life, the Good Shepherd, Eternity and Everlastingness, the god who “made men and women to be born again.” –From first to last, Osiris was to the Egyptians the god-man who suffered, an died, and rose again, and reigned eternally in heaven. They believed that they would inherit eternal life, just as he had done .
–Osiris’s coming was announced by Three Wise Men: the three stars Mintaka, Anilam, and Alnitak in the belt of Orion, which point directly to Osiris’s star in the east, Sirius (Sothis), significator of his birth . . .
–Osiris was a prototypical Messiah, as well as a devoured Host. His flesh was eaten in the form of communion cakes of wheat, the “plant of Truth.” . . .
–The cult of Osiris contributed a number of ideas and phrases to the Bible. The 23rd Psalm copied an Egyptian text appealing to Osiris the Good Shepherd to lead the deceased to the “green pastures” and “still waters” of the nefer-nefer land, to restore the soul to the body, and to give protection in the valley of the shadow of death (the Tuat).
–The Lord’s Prayer was prefigured by an Egyptian hymn to Osiris-Amen beginning, “O Amen, O Amen, who are in heaven.” Amen was also invoked at the end of every prayer.
Contrasting with the public “theatrical” ceremonies sourced from the I-Kher-Nefert stele, more esoteric ceremonies were performed inside the temples by priests witnessed only by chosen initiates. Plutarch mentions that two days after the beginning of the festival “the priests bring forth sacred chest containing a small golden coffer, into which they pour some potable water…and a great shout arises from the company for joy that Osiris is found (or resurrected). Then they knead some fertile soil with the water…and fashion therefrom a crescent-shaped figure, which they cloth and adorn, this indicating that they regard these gods as the substance of Earth and Water.” (Isis and Osiris, 39). Yet even his accounts were still obscure for he also wrote, “I pass over the cutting of the wood” opting not to describe it since he considered it as a most sacred ritual (Ibid. 21). In the Osirian temple at Denderah, an inscription (translated by Budge, Chapter XV, Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection) describes in detail the making of wheat paste models of each dismembered piece of Osiris to be sent out to the town where each piece was discovered by Isis. At the temple of Mendes, figures of Osiris are made from wheat and paste placed in a trough on the day of the murder, then water was added for several days, until finally the mixture was kneaded into a mold of Osiris and taken to the temple to be buried (the sacred grain for these cakes were grown only in the temple fields). Molds were made from the wood of a red tree in the forms of the sixteen dismembered parts of Osiris, the cakes of ‘divine’ bread were made from each mold, placed in a silver chest and set near the head of the god with the inward parts of Osiris as described in the Book of the Dead (XVII). On the first day of the Festival of Ploughing, where the goddess Isis appears in her shrine where she is stripped naked, paste made from the grain were placed in her bed and moistened with water, representing the fecund earth. All of these sacred rituals were climaxed by the eating of sacramental god, the eucharist by which the celebrants were transformed, in their persuasion, into replicas of their god-man
Attis of Phrygia c.1400 BCE
– born on December 25 of the Virgin Nana (or sometimes Cybelem).
– considered the savior who was slain for the salvation of mankind.
– his body as bread was eaten by his worshippers
– his priests were “eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven.”
– he was both the Divine Son and the Father.
– he was crucified on a tree on “Black Friday,” from which his holy blood ran down to redeem the earth.
– descended into the underworld for three days.
– was resurrected on March 25 (as tradition held of Jesus) as the Most High God. — reborn as the evergreen pine.
~EDIT: Links to Attis on Wikipedia and Theoi. I am not sure where the above information came from. The priests castrated themselves, yes. But the rest is unsourced, so question its validity.
Krishna c. 1400 BCE (possibly as early as 5771 BCE)
– born of the Virgin Devaki (“Divine One”) on December 25.
–his earthly father was a carpenter, off in the city paying tax when K. was born.
–birth was signaled by a star in the east and attended by angels and shepherds, at which time he was presented with spices.
–heavenly hosts danced and sang at his birth.
–persecuted by a tyrant who ordered the slaughter of thousands of infants.
–anointed on the head with oil by a woman whom he healed.
–depicted as having his foot on the head of a serpent.
–worked miracles and wonders, raising the dead and healing lepers, the deaf and the blind.
–used parables to teach the people about charity and love, and he “lived poor and he loved the poor.”
–castigated the clergy, charging them with “ambition and hypocrisy . . . Tradition says he fell victim to their vengeance.”
–his “beloved disciple” was Arjuina or Ar-jouan (Jouhn).
–transfigured in front of his disciples.
–gave his twelve disciples the ability to work miracles.
–his path was “strewn with branches.”
–died on a tree or was crucified between two thieves.
–killed around the age of 30, and the sun darkened at his death.
–rose from the dead and ascended to heaven “in the sight of all men.”
–depicted on a cross with nail-holes in his feet, as well as having a heart emblem on his clothing.
–the “lion of the tribe of Saki.”
–called the “Shepherd of God” and considered the “Redeemer,” “Firstborn,” “Sin-Bearer,” “Liberator,” “Universal Word.”
–deemed the “Son of God” and “our Lord and Savior,” who came to earth to die for man’s salvation.
–the second person of the Trinity.
–his disciples purportedly bestowed upon him the title “Jezeus,” or “Jeseus,” meaning “pure essence.”
Zoroaster/Zarathustra c. 1000 BCE or earlier
–born of a 15-year-old virgin, Dughdhava and “immaculate conception by a ray of divine reason.”
–he was baptized in a river.
–in his youth he astounded wise men with his wisdom.
–was tempted in the wilderness by the devil.
–began his ministry at age 30 wandered around with twelve followers.
–baptized with water, fire and “holy wind.”
–cast out demons and restored the sight to a blind man.
–taught about heaven and hell, and revealed mysteries, including resurrection, judgment, salvation and the apocalypse.
–had a sacred cup or grail.
–his religion had a eucharist.
–he was the “Word made flesh.”
–followers expected a “second coming” in the virgin-born Saoshynt or Savior, who is to come in 2341 CE and begin his ministry at age 30, ushering in a golden age.
Mithra of Persia c. 600 BCE
–born of a virgin on December 25 in a cave, and his birth was attended by shepherds bearing gifts.
–considered a great traveling teacher and master.
–had 12 companions or disciples.
–his followers were promised immortality.
–the “great bull of the Sun,” Mithra sacrificed himself for world peace.
– buried in a tomb and after three days rose again.
–resurrection was celebrated every year.
–called “the Good Shepherd” and identified with both the Lamb and the Lion.
–considered the “Way, the Truth and the Light,” and the “Logos,” [Word] “Redeemer,” “Savior” and “Messiah.”
–sacred day was Sunday, the “Lord’s Day,” hundreds of years before the appearance of Christ.
–had his principal festival on 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 of pledge of moral and physical regeneration.
ALSO, the Vatican is built upon the papacy of Mithra, and the Christian hierarchy is nearly identical to the Mithraic version it replaced . . . Virtually all of the elements of the Catholic ritual, from miter to wafer to altar to doxology, are directly taken from earlier Pagan mystery religions.
Buddha (Siddartha Gautama) c. 563 BCE
–born on December 25
–born of the Virgin Maya (“the Queen of Heaven”)
– announced by a star and attended by wise men presenting costly gifts.
–at his birth Brahma angels sang hymns.
–tempted by Mara, the Evil One, while fasting, but overcame the temptation, putting the Evil One to flight.
–taught in temple at age 12 and was able to match the wise religious scholars in their understanding.
– He healed the sick; fed 500 from a small basket of cakes.
–walked on water.
–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.
–came to fulfill 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’
Heracles c. 800 BCE
–born on December 25 to a virgin who refrained from sex with her until her God-begotten child was born.
–sacrificed at the spring equinox.
Dionysus c. 186 BCE
–born of a virgin on December 25 and, as the Holy Child, was placed in a manger.
–a traveling teacher who performed miracles.
–rode in a triumphal procession on an ass.
– a sacred king killed and eaten in an eucharistic ritual for fecundity and purification.
–rose from the dead on March 25.
–the God of the Vine, and turned water into wine.
–called “King of Kings” and “God of Gods.”
–considered the “Only Begotten Son,” Savior,” “Redeemer,” “Sin Bearer,” Anointed One,” and the “Alpha and Omega.”
–identified with the Ram or Lamb.
–His sacrificial title of “Dendrites” or “Young Man of the Tree” indicates he was hung on a tree or crucified.
Tammuz c. 400 BCE
–born to a virgin, named Mylitta, on December 25
Adonis c. 200 BCE
–born on December 25 was son of the virgin Myrha. (Almost certainly based on Tammuz).
–born on December 25 was the son of the virgin Maia,
–member of a holy trinity Hermes Tris-Megistus.
–born on December 25, was crucified in 200 BCE.
–born on December 25, descended from heaven as a god incarnate as man, to save mankind, and was crucified, suffered, and was redeemed from death.
Thank you, Edwin Kagin at American Atheists
Re: Why should we believe in Jesus Christ?
These three reasons:
1. Without faith it is impossilbe to please Jehovah God.
2. God said we should believe him by faith.
3. Jesus Christ was and is the only perfect sinless sacrifice acceptable to God that could atone for all the sins of the world.
Act 4:12; Mrk 9:7; Heb 11:6