All About Horus
An Egyptian Copy of Christ?
claim from "Zeitgeist" video to be examined:
"...the character of Jesus, a literary and astrological hybrid, is most explicitly a plagiarization of the Egyptian Sun-god Horus..."
All About Horus: An Egyptian Copy of Christ?
Horus, the Egyptian Falcon-god, is "lord of the sky" and a symbol of divine kingship. His name ("Har" in Egyptian) probably means "the high," "the far-off," "the distant one" and is connected with "Hry" ("one who is above/over"). The name appears on Egyptian hieroglyphs in the royal protocol at the very beginning of dynastic civilization (c. 3000 BC).
The roles, local cult foundations, and titles or epithets of Horus are sometimes correlated with distinct or preferred forms in iconography: for example, the falcon or falcon-headed man, the winged disk, the child with a sidelock of hair (sometimes in his mother's arms). Egyptologists therefore often speak of distinct Horuses or Horus-gods (see Oxford Encyclopedia, vol 2, "Horus" p. 119ff; and Hart, Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian gods and goddesses, "Horus" p. 70ff).
In ancient Egypt several gods are known by this name, but the most important was the son of Osiris and Isis, identified as king of Egypt. To repeat what I summarized elsewhere: Osiris is the oldest son of Geb ("earth" personified) and Nout or Nut ("mother of the gods" and goddess of the sky), the husband of Isis, whose myth was one of the best known and whose cult was one of the most widespread in pharaonic Egypt. The mythology of Osiris is not preserved completely from an early date, but the essentials are related by Plutarch in On Isis and Osiris (De Iside et Osiride).
With the rise of the full-blown Osiris-Isis-Horus myth, the living king was identified as an earthly Horus and the dead king (his father/predecessor) as Osiris. When the king died, he became Osiris, and Horus is his royal heir and successor. The most common geneology of Horus is as the son of Osiris and Isis, making a tenth on the family tree of the Heliopolitan Ennead. But the full picture is more complex: Hathor (herself identified with Isis) also appears as the mother of Horus; Horus the Elder (Haroeris) can appear in the Heliopolitan family tree as a brother of Osiris and son of Geb and Nut, thus an uncle of Horus in his more usual manifestations. Therefore, Horus and Seth are sometimes described as nephew and uncle, sometimes as brothers. In a battle over the throne of Egypt, Horus fought with Seth, and despite losing an eye, was successful in avenging the death of his father Osiris, becoming his legitimate successor.
The textual and mythological materials relating to Horus are extremely rich, comprising hymns, mortuary texts, ritual texts, dramatic/theological texts, stories, the Old Coptic and Greek so-called magical papyri, and the most complete ancient exposition of the Osiris narrative, Plutarch's De Iside et Osiride (in Latin translation). In characteristic Egyptian fashion, many of the hymns, mortuary, and ritual texts incorporated substantial narrative material or are taken from narrative, although they are not comprehensive, consecutive myths per se. In addition to Plutarch's account in Greek, the most substantial sources for the Osiris-Isis-Horus cycle include the following (see Oxford Encyclopedia, vol 2, "Horus" p. 121ff):
These texts take us with a number of variations and contrasting perspectives, from the conception and birth of Horus, through his childhood hidden in the marshes, his protection by Isis, his conflict with Seth and his followers, and his succession as legitimate king. The "Myth [or Triumph] of Horus" is preserved in the Temple of Edfu, inscribed on the inner faces of the east and west enclosure walls. Previously no complete translation of the various texts which compose it appeared in any language, though the actual texts and reliefs have since been long published by Naville, Textes relatifs au Mythe d'Horus recueillis dans le Temple d'Edfou (Geneva, 1870), then in the magnificent edition of Chassinat, Le Temple d'Edfou (Cairo, 1928-1934), and later in scholarly and popular works by Dieter Kurth, e.g. The Temple of Edfu: a guide by an ancient Egyptian priest (Cairo, 2004). The myth comprises five texts (see Blackman / Lloyd, Gods, Priests, and Men, p. 255ff, in articles by H.W. Fairman), which are:
In ancient Egyptian tradition, at least as preserved to us, the Osiris-Isis-Horus myth was never recounted as a coherent whole; rather, it served as a source of allusions for a large number of religious texts. It was a sequence of scenes that was unmistakably rooted in the mortuary cult. The only texts that furnish us with a continuous narrative are written in Greek, by Diodorus (1st century BC) and especially by Plutarch (c. 46 - 120 AD). But in their care about a single, meaningful, stimulating story these authors seem to have strayed from the Egyptian form of the myth. The myth has both a prehistory and a starting point. The prehistory is not narrated in the Egyptian texts, yet it is necessary for all that follows (see Jan Assman, Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt, p. 23).
The basic Egyptian myth goes like this: Osiris became ruler of the land, but was tricked and slain by his jealous brother, Seth. According to the Greek version of the story, Typhon (Seth) had a beautiful coffin made to Osiris' exact measurements, and with 72 conspirators at a banquet, promised it to the one who would fit it. Each guest tried it for size, and Osiris was the one to fit exactly. Immediately Seth and the conspirators nailed the lid shut, sealed the coffin in lead, and threw it into the Nile. The coffin was eventually borne across the sea to Byblos, where Isis, who had been continually searching for her husband, finally located it. She returns the body to Egypt where Seth discovers it, cuts the corpse into pieces, and scatters them throughout the country. Isis transforms herself into a kite, and with her sister Nephthys, searches for and finds all the pieces (except the male member, which she replicates), reconstitutes the body, and before embalming to give Osiris eternal life, she revivifies it, couples with it, and thus conceives Horus.
According to the principal version of the story cited by Plutarch, Isis had already given birth to her son, but according to the Egyptian Hymn to Osiris, she conceived him by the revivified corpse of her husband.
Osiris' rule plays a great role in Egyptian texts. They almost always speak of him as ruler of the realm of the dead, an office he assumed only as a dead god, and almost never about his earthly kingship, which he exercised over gods and men in the world above as successor of Geb. Osiris' reign came to a violent end as he was slain by his brother, Seth. Later Horus avenges his father Osiris' death and succeeds him without completely destroying Seth. Thus did death come into the world, confronting the gods with a great problem. This is the prehistory of which there is no coherent narrative in the Egyptian texts (see Jan Assmann, p. 24).
The slaying and dismemberment of Osiris, and his re-joining and rejuvenation by his wife Isis, is a common theme of a large corpus of texts, which do not actually describe it but rather presuppose it as the trigger for various actions whose aim is to cope with this catastrophe. Just as it was Osiris' undoing that he was the first of the divine rulers to have a brother and thus a rival for the throne, so his sisters became his "salvation." Isis, his sister-wife, was the first to take action by traversing the land to collect his scattered body parts.
A Hymn to Osiris from Dynasty 18 (stela Louvre C 286) narrates her actions in the form of two scenes: (1) Isis' search and her care for the body; and (2) the conception, birth, and childhood of Horus.
Isis' activities with regard to the corpse of Osiris culminate in the posthumous conception of Horus. In the accounts of Greek historians Diodorus and Plutarch, Isis recovers all the body parts of the slain god except for his virile member, which had been swallowed by a fish. She was thus obliged to replace this member with an artificial one that she uses as an instrument for her posthumous insemination to produce Horus. Although the Egyptian texts seldom mention this scene, the locus classicus (classical passage) is from the Pyramid Texts (Spell 366):
Here is some commentary on the "conception of Horus" from various Egyptian scholars:
In short, this was NO "virgin birth" as is clear also from repeated references to Osiris' "seed." A "miraculous birth" perhaps because it involves a dead and then revived husband, but not a virginal conception (sometimes wrongly called an "immaculate conception" -- that has to do in Catholic theology with Mary's conception without Original Sin, not Jesus' conception) nor a virgin birth as contained in the Bible (cf. Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38).
A longer passage is from the Coffin Texts (Spell 148) which describes the birth and flight of Horus (as the Falcon god), and has further references to Osiris' "seed":
This text begins with the dark days immediately after the death of Osiris, when Seth and his henchmen are tyrannizing over the world. Horus assumes control of his own destiny. He appears as a falcon and soars up into the sky beyond the flight of the original bird-soul, beyond the stars (the "gods of Nut") and all the divinities of olden time whose souls inhabit the constellations. In so doing he brings back light and the assurance of a new day, thus subduing Seth, who personifies the terrors of darkness and death. The opening section moves within the main Osiris myth, but this disappears when Isis suddenly realizes she will give birth, not to a child, but to a falcon. Isis dreams prophetically that the child quickening in her womb will grow up to restore the rightful order of the world. In a new scene, the birth is about to take place, Isis comes forward to Atum who is surrounded by his divine courtiers. Finally, Horus is born and flys up of his own accord (see Clark, Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt, p. 213ff).
There were two primary gods called Horus: the first was the original falcon who flew up at the beginning of time -- the most ancient bird -- and the other was the son of Isis and heir to Osiris. They are compounded in this Coffin Text. Instead of being born in the Delta swamps and growing up in secret, Horus is offered a place in the sun's boat, but he transcends both his earthly fate and that as a subordinate to Re. He flies up and across the night sky of the Underworld to land on the edge of the world, bringing with him the twilight that comes just before full day. The old belief is that Horus was the leader of the decanal stars which circled around the sky in the path of the sun. The appearance of Horus just before dawn is the mark of a new year, and the world's great age begins anew (see Clark, p. 216-217).
As early as the Old Kingdom it was envisaged that Horus wrested the kingship of Egypt from the god Seth: Horus takes his father's house from his father's brother Seth. Horus then triumphs over his paternal uncle. However there is a conflation of the two myths because in the Osiris cycle, Osiris and Seth were brothers, while in an independent tradition Horus and Seth were brothers feuding for the throne. Normally Horus is the ascendant, but the supporters of Seth were never completely suppressed (indicating perhaps as the meaning of the myth, that evil will always be with us, and we must be vigilant).
Seth, the embodiment of disorder, was predominantly seen as a rival of Horus, a would-be usurper who assassinated Osiris and was defeated. However, Seth was also portrayed in a balance with Horus, so that the pair represented a bipolar, balanced embodiment of kingship. Thus, on the side of the throne, Horus and Seth -- symmetrical and equal -- tie the papyrus and lotus around the sema-sign (sm3 = "unity"; also the end of the Thutmose III Poetical Stela). From the Shabaqo Stone in the British Museum, a copy of an original document from the Pyramid Age carved in Dynasty XXV, there is a concise statement of the dispute between Horus and Seth. The god Geb is the judge and makes a preliminary decision to divide Egypt between the protagonists: Seth will be king of Upper Egypt and Horus will rule over Lower Egypt, the border being the "Division of the Two Lands", i.e. the apex of the Nile Delta at Memphis where Osiris is said to have drowned. On reflection Geb revises this judgment awarding the whole inheritance of Egypt to Horus. It is stressed that this result is amicably accepted -- the reed of Seth and papyrus of Horus being attached to the door of the god Ptah to symbolize that they were pacified and united.
A fuller and more scandalous description of the trial survives in Papyrus Chester Beatty I written in the reign of Ramesses V (Dynasty XX). The sun-god in this tribunal is not sympathetic to Horus' case to be ruler of Egypt, dismissing him as a youngster with halitosis and preferring the older claimant Seth. Horus pleads that he is being defrauded of his lawful patrimony. Then occurs a series of episodes involving Horus and Seth, each trying to outwit the other and win over the court. In one contest, the two gods are hippopotamuses who intend to see if they can remain submerged under water for three months. Isis refuses to take this opportunity of killing Seth with a harpoon. Horus, enraged, savagely attacks his mother and escapes into the desert. Seth finds him and cuts out both his eyes. Hathor, using gazelle's milk, restores Horus' eyes.
On another occasion Seth suggests a race in boats of stone. Horus secretly builds a vessel of pine covered with plaster to imitate stone. Seth's boat of 36 meters of solid stone, sinks and he turns himself into a hippo. Horus is prevented from slaying Seth by the other gods.
Since the beginning of the 20th century in Egyptological research, much debate has ensued over whether the struggle between Horus and Seth was primarily historical/geo-political, or cosmic/symbolic. When the full Osiris complex became visible, Seth appears as the murderer of Osiris and would-be killer of the child Horus. The symbolism of Horus' eventual triumph over Seth (e.g. the pharaoh cutting the throat of an oryx or spearing a turtle) permeates many temple reliefs. It also lies behind the gilded wooden statuette of Tutankhamun standing on a papyrus boat, lasso in one hand, harpoon in the other: the king is in the act of spearing the hippo Seth (see Oxford Encyclopedia, vol 2, "Horus" p. 120; Hart, Routledge Dictionary, "Horus" p. 72-73).
In the battle between Horus and Seth (which lasts 80 years), despite losing an eye, Horus is successful in avenging the death of his father Osiris, becoming his legitimate successor. The injury inflicted by Seth on the eye of Horus is alluded to in the Pyramid Texts where royal saliva is prescribed for its cure. The restored eye of Horus becomes, in singular form, the symbol for a state of soundness or perfection -- the "udjat" eye (the whole or sound "eye of Horus"). It can also stand for the strength of the monarch; the concept of kingship; protection against Seth; royal purification agent; offerings at the festival of the waxing moon wine, etc. Its iconography consists of a human eye with the cosmetic line emanating from its corner, below it are the markings of a falcon's cheek. As an amulet the "udjat" was placed in mummy wrappings or worn on a necklace. In the Middle Kingdom, it was painted on the sides of rectangular coffins (Hart, p. 73).
Osiris becomes king of the (dead) underworld, and Horus the king of the living. As mentioned, Horus is usually represented as a falcon, or as a sky god whose outstretched wings filled the heavens; his sound eye was the sun, and injured eye the moon.
Horus is one of the earliest attested of the major ancient Egyptian deities, becoming known as early as the late Pre-dynastic period (Naqada III / Dynasty 0; c. 3200-3000 BC). The earliest documented chapter in the career of Horus was as Horus the falcon, god of Nekhen (Hierakonpolis) in southern Upper Egypt. In this capacity Horus was the patron deity of the Hierakonpolis monarchy that grew into the historical pharaonic state, hence the first known national god, the god of kingship. He was still prominent in the latest temples of the Greco-Roman period (c. 300 BC - 300+ AD), especially at Philae and Edfu as well as Old Coptic and Greco-Egyptian ritual-power or magical texts.
Horus the falcon was predominantly a sky god and a sun god; as the former his eyes are the sun and moon, as the latter, he has a sun disk on his head and is syncretized with the sun-deity Re (or Ra), most often as Re-Harakhty. Horus the falcon/disk had the epithet "Great God, Lord of Heaven, Dappled of Plumage." Three main forms of Horus are as the Child, as the Son of Isis, and as a sun-god.
In the Pyramid Texts the god is once called "Horus the child with his finger in his mouth." This aspect refers to his birth and upbringing in secret by his mother Isis. Born at Khemmis in the northeast Delta, the young god was hidden in the papyrus marshes, hence his epithet Har-hery-wadj or "Horus who is upon his papyrus plants." This appears visually in a wall relief in the temple of Sety I (Dynasty XIX) at Abydos as a hawk on a column in the shape of a papyrus reed.
From the Egyptian Har-pa-khered literally "Horus-the-child" the Greeks created the name of Harpokrates. In this form Horus is depicted as a young vulnerable-looking child, sitting on the knees of Isis, wearing the sidelock of youth and sometimes sucking his fingers. In the Late Dynastic cippi objects, Harpokrates acts as an amuletic force warding off dangerous creatures. Horus as a boy with the sidelock appears dominating crocodiles, serpents, and other noxious animals on cippi or apotropaic stelae of "Horus-on-the-Crocodiles," the common manifestation of the importance of Horus in healing ritual and popular ritual practice. The healing of Horus from scorpian stings by Isis provided the reason for the production of the cippi of Horus and his role in healing.
The Harsomtus version of Horus can be traced back to the Pyramid Texts as Har-mau or "Horus the uniter." The idea is the king as upholder of the unification of North and South Egypt. Since in temple dogma the divine child of a god and goddess could be thought a manifestation of the pharaoh, Harsomtus is used merely as "filling" in a sacred triad. He is e.g. the son of the elder Horus and Hathor at Edfu temple. Similarly at the temple of Kom-Ombo the same couple are the parents of Harsomtus under the name of Pa-neb-tawy or "lord of the Two Lands."
Horus the child / Horus son of Isis and Osiris was often portrayed as a boy wearing the sidelock and frequently appeared in the arms of his mother Isis. Bronzes representing him, with or without Isis, were ubiquitous in Late and Greco-Roman times. On cippi, the head of the child Horus was often surmounted by a full-faced Bes-head or mask.
The Harsiese ("Horus, the son of Isis") form emphasizes his legitimacy as the offspring of the union of Isis and Osiris. In the Pyramid Texts, Harsiese performs the vital "opening the mouth" ceremony of the dead king, a ritual that restored faculties to the corpse for their Afterlife, and was carried out at the time of the burial by the successor-monarch (or Horus). A typical pictorial of this rite being performed by one pharaoh upon another can be found on the wall of the sarcophagus chamber in the tomb of Tutankhamun (Dynasty XVIII).
Another funerary priestly title, Horus Iun-mutef, or "pillar of his mother" is evocative of Horus' success in regaining the throne of his father Osiris, because of Isis' careful upbringing of her son. At funeral ceremonies the eldest son of the deceased -- or a mortuary priest -- dressed in panther skin, played the role of Horus Iun-mutef burning incense and scattering purified water before the coffin.
The Har-nedj-itef or "Horus the savior of his father" (Greek Harendotes) refers to Horus' vindication of his claim to succeed Osiris, rescuing his father's former earthly domain from the usurper Seth.
As a cosmic deity Horus is imagined as a falcon whose wings are the sky, right eye is the sun, left eye the moon. From the reign of King Den (Dynasty I), on an engraved ivory comb, the hawk's wings as an independent entity covey the celestial imagery while a hawk in a boat suggests the journey of the sun-god himself. Textual evidence from the Pyramid Era refers to Horus as "lord of the sky" or as a god "of the east"; i.e. the region of sunrise.
The form Harakhti or "Horus of the horizon" refers to the god rising in the east at dawn to bathe in the "field of rushes." The Pyramid Texts mention this aspect of the god linked to the sovereign: the king is said to be born on the eastern sky as Harakhti. Also since the element -akhti can be a dual form of the noun akhet (horizon), there is a play on words when the king is given power over the "two horizons" (i.e. east and west) as Harakhti.
Naturally the Egyptians had to accept that technically their pharoah, as "son of Re" (or Ra) the sun-god, could not achieve a total identification with this aspect of Horus, especially with the coalescence of this form with the Heliopolitan sun-god to become as Re-Harakhty (or Ra-Harakhti). Thus Senwosret I (Dynasty XII) was appointed "shepherd of this land" by Harakhti. In laudatory or propagandist inscriptions the assimilation of the pharaoh to Harakhti is maintained, as for instance in the case of the Sudanese King Piye (Dynasty XXV) on his stela commemorating the conquest of Egypt.
"Horus of Behdet" or the Behdetite was normally shown as a hawk-winged sun disk with pendant uraei (snakes). The location of Behdet was in the marshy north-east Delta. It is not mentioned in the Pyramid Texts and the antiquity of the site as a cult centre of Horus (in relation to Edfu) cannot yet be ascertained. It becomes an ubiquitous motif -- e.g. in temple decorations of ceilings or gate lintels, or the upper border or frame of wall-reliefs or the lunette of stelae.
The form Har-em-akhet or Harmachis (Harmakhis) or "Horus in the horizon" aptly regionalizes Horus as sun-god. Pharaonic inscriptions of the New Kingdom reinterpreted the Great Sphinx at Giza, originally representing King Khafra guarding the approach to his pyramid, as Harmachis looking towards the eastern horizon.
Aside from the sun disk, Horus in various forms also wore the Double Crown, a status as king of Egypt; the atef (a type of crown); triple atef; and a disk with two plumes, etc. There are also ancient localities with a Horus cult. The two most important sanctuaries in terms of historical and archaeological evidence belong to Horus of Nekhen and Horus of Mesen.
By the fifth dynasty (2498 - 2345 BC), the Horus-king also became "son of Re" the sun god by personifying mythologically the entire older genealogy of Horus as the goddess Hathor, or "house of Horus" who was also the spouse of Re and mother of Horus. Horus was also combined, syncretized, and closely associated with deities other than Re, notably (but not exclusively) Min, Sopdu, Khonsu, and Montu. The Greeks associated Horus with Apollo giving rise to the author of the Hieroglyphica, Horapollo.
While Egyptologists often speak of distinct Horus-gods, combinations, identifications, and differentiations were possible, and they are complementary rather than antithetical. A judicious examination of the various "Horuses" and the sources relating to them supports the possibility that the roles in question are closely interrelated, so they may be understood as different aspects or facets of the same divine persona (see Oxford Encyclopedia, vol 2, "Horus" p. 119ff; Hart, Routledge Dictionary, "Horus" p. 70ff).
"By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error." (1 John 4:6, Douay-Rheims)
Now I will respond to the transcript section of "Zeitgeist" that talks about Horus and Jesus. I have removed the transcript's references, although I will talk about the film's sources at the end. My own documentation, information, and sources are contained above, with a short bibliography at bottom.
From the transcript of www.ZeitgeistMovie.com in red.
And, metaphorically speaking, every morning Horus would win the battle against Set - while in the evening, Set would conquer Horus and send him into the underworld. It is important to note that "dark vs. light" or "good vs. evil" is one of the most ubiquitous mythological dualities ever known and is still expressed on many levels to this day.
Horus was never sent to the underworld. That was Osiris who was killed and became lord of the underworld (i.e. the dead), while Horus was king of the living. In one version of the myth, Horus battles with Seth over an 80 year period, the earth-god Geb in a judgment awards the whole inheritance of Egypt to Horus, and Horus then becomes ruler of Egypt. From then on, the dead Egyptian king becomes an "Osiris", and his successor the living king is a "Horus." That is the primary meaning of the Horus-Seth battle myth. In the Egyptian Coffin Texts (Spell 148, quoted above), Horus appears as a falcon who soars up into the sky beyond the flight of the original bird-soul, beyond the stars and all the divinities of olden time whose souls inhabit the constellations. In so doing he brings back light and the assurance of a new day, thus subduing Seth, who personifies the terrors of darkness and death.
Broadly speaking, the story of Horus is as follows: Horus was born on December 25th
Wrong. The Persian/Roman god Mithras came to be seen as born on that date, as did Jesus later in the early Church. The December 25th date is not found in the Gospels or the New Testament. It was a later adoption by the Catholic Church: "In the first half of the fourth century AD the worship of the Sol Invictus was the last great pagan cult the Church had to conquer, and it did so in part with the establishment of Christmas...At the head of the Deposition Martyrum of the so-called Roman Chronograph of 354 AD (the Philocalian Calendar) there is listed the natus Christus in Betleem Judaeae ('the birth of Christ in Bethlehem of Judea') as being celebrated on December 25. The Deposition was originally composed in 336 AD, so Christmas dates back at least that far." (See "Santa or Satan: Reply to a Funny Fundy")
The date of the birth of Horus according to some online sources is during the Egyptian month of Khoiak (which corresponds to our November month). The Egyptian calendar had three seasons, each four months and 30 days/month. The season of Akhet is months (in Greek) Thot, Phaophi, Athyr, Khoiak; the season of Peret (or Winter) is months (in Greek) Tybi, Mekhir, Phamenoth, Pharmouthi; the season of Chemou (or Summer) is months (in Greek) Pakhon, Payni, Epiph, Mesorę. See online sources: Egyptian Festival Calender ; Egyptian calendar months and seasons ; Grand Festivals ; Festival Rituals. We also know where Horus was supposedly born (at Khemmis or Chemmis in the Nile Delta of northern Upper Egypt).
of the virgin Isis-Meri.
Wrong again. Her name was simply Isis (in Greek). Her true Egyptian name is transliterated simply A-s-e-t or 3st (all woman names in Egyptian end with the "t"). Her name (Aset) means "seat" or "throne" (Oxford Encyclopedia, vol 2, "Isis" p. 188) and "the goddess's name is written in hieroglyphs with a sign that represents a throne, indicating the crucial role that she plays in the transmission of the kingship of Egypt" (Hart, Routledge Dictionary, "Isis" p. 80).
And she definitely was not a virgin when she conceived Horus with the revivified Osiris, if these words mean anything: "[Osiris was] revived enough to have an erection and impregnate his wife" (Lesko, p. 162); "After having sexual intercourse..." (Dunand / Zivie-Coche, p. 39); "revivified the sexual member of Osiris and became pregnant by him" (Richard Wilkinson, p. 146); "revive the sexual powers of Osiris" (Pinch, p. 80).
A virgin birth, or more properly, a virginal conception, is by definition non-sexual.
His birth was accompanied by a star in the east
No evidence any stars are mentioned in the birth of Horus.
which in turn, three kings followed to locate and adorn the new-born savior
There are no "three kings" in the birth of Horus, and there are no "three kings" in the Bible either. Read Matthew 2 for yourself:
They are not called "kings" but "wise men" -- and they are not three in number, we don't know how many there were. Three gifts are later mentioned (gold, frankincense, myrrh) in verse 11, and these were equated with the wise men. Perhaps we are thinking of the Christmas carol "We three kings of Orient are...." ? Nice tune and lyrics, but it's always best to cross-check with the biblical text.
At the age of 12, he was a prodigal child teacher
There is a form known as "Horus the Child" but he wasn't a prodigal teacher. He was kept hidden away by his mother, until he was ready to be ruler of Egypt. The young god was hidden in the papyrus marshes, hence his epithet Har-hery-wadj or "Horus who is upon his papyrus plants."
and at the age of 30 he was baptized by a figure known as Anup and thus began his ministry
No evidence of any baptism for Horus, and no evidence of any "ministry" of Horus. Anubis (or Anup or Anpu) means Royal Child, and is usually depicted as jackal-headed or a wild dog-headed man, or a reclining black jackal. Anubis was the great protector god, guiding the soul through the underworld. He was also the Lord of embalming, and through this is connected with incense and perfumery. No baptism here. (See The Jackal Headed God or Egyptian Animal Gods).
Horus had 12 disciples he traveled about with
Horus had NO 12 disciples he traveled with: remember he became ruler of Egypt after a long battle with Seth. Perhaps you could call all the subjects in Egypt his "disciples" (which means followers).
There were technically the "Followers of Horus [son of Isis]" called the Shemsu Heru, mentioned in the Liturgy of Funeral Offerings and purification ceremony. These were a group of beings who were closely connected with Osiris, and having "followed" him in this world they passed after him into the Other World (of the dead), where they became his ministrants and messengers. There were also followers (a different group) of Horus the Elder called the Mesentiu who are "workers in metal" or blacksmiths (see The Liturgy of Funeral Offerings, the fourth ceremony, commentary by Budge).
performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water
There are some healing "miracles" or magic associated with Horus, but this is with Horus the Child, not Horus the Elder or his adult forms. In the Late Dynastic cippi objects, Harpokrates (Horus-the-child) acts as an amuletic force warding off dangerous creatures such as crocodiles, serpents, and other noxious animals, etc. "Horus-on-the-Crocodiles" was a common manifestation of the importance of Horus in healing ritual. The healing of Horus from scorpian stings by Isis provided the reason for the production of the cippi of Horus and his role in healing. The power of this healing seems to come from his mother, Isis, who was indeed the "goddess of immense magical power" (Hart, Routledge Dictionary, "Isis" p. 79ff).
Horus was known by many gestural names such as The Truth, The Light, God's Annointed Son, The Good Shepherd, The Lamb of God, and many others
Wrong, no evidence for these names. The "forms" of the Horus-god are precisely what I listed above, under these categories: Horus the Child (healing / magical titles such as "Horus-on-the-Crocodiles"); Horus as son of Isis and Osiris ("pillar of his mother"; "savior of his father"); and Horus as a sun-god ("lord of the sky"; god "of the east"; Horus of / in "the horizon"; and later associated with Re).
After being betrayed by Typhon, Horus was crucified, buried for 3 days, and thus, resurrected.
Typhon is also known as Seth, his rival brother (or uncle). Horus was NOT crucified, was NOT buried for 3 days, and thus, was NOT resurrected. Your sources are wrong. In some versions of his battle with Seth, Horus had one or both of his eyes injured, but he was not killed. It was his father Osiris who was killed, dismembered, reconstituted, and revived by Isis, his magical mother.
These attributes of Horus, whether original or not, seem to permeate in many cultures of the world, for many other gods are found to have the same general mythological structure
No, they do not. They are unique to Jesus Christ (crucifixion, burial, bodily resurrection). I have demolished these claims in my long, detailed, documented article "Evidence for Jesus and Parallel Pagan 'Crucified Saviors' Examined."
Attis of Phyrigia, born of the virgin Nana on December 25th, crucified, placed in a tomb and after 3 days, was resurrected.
Wrong. See my section on Attis for the facts.
Krishna of India, born of the virgin Devaki with a star in the east signaling his coming, performed miracles with his disciples, and upon his death was resurrected.
There is some magic and a resurrection/ascension associated with Krishna. Otherwise, wrong.
Dionysus of Greece, born of a virgin on December 25th, was a traveling teacher who performed miracles such as turning water into wine, he was referred to as the "King of Kings," "God's Only Begotten Son," "The Alpha and Omega," and many others, and upon his death, he was resurrected.
Again, wrong. See my section on Dionysos for the facts.
Mithra of Persia, born of a virgin on December 25th, he had 12 disciples and performed miracles, and upon his death was buried for 3 days and thus resurrected, he was also referred to as "The Truth," "The Light," and many others. Interestingly, the sacred day of worship of Mithra was Sunday.
Wrong. See my section on Mithras for the facts.
The fact of the matter is there are numerous saviors, from different periods, from all over the world, which subscribe to these general characteristics.
The fact of the matter is, your "sources" are lying to you. Get some better sources. Go to a university library. Do some research. It's not really that hard.
The question remains: why these attributes, why the virgin birth on December 25th, why dead for three days and the inevitable resurrection, why 12 disciples or followers?
No questions remain. These are unique to Jesus Christ. See my article, especially the last section "Christianity vs. Pagan 'Mystery' Religions."
Furthermore, the character of Jesus, a literary and astrological hybrid, is most explicitly a plagiarization of the Egyptian Sun-god Horus.
Totally wrong and demolished above. We'll get to some of the "astrology" material below.
For example, inscribed about 3500 years, on the walls of the Temple of Luxor in Egypt are images of the enunciation, the immaculate conception, the birth, and the adoration of Horus. The images begin with Thaw announcing to the virgin Isis that she will conceive Horus, then Nef the holy ghost impregnating the virgin, and then the virgin birth and the adoration. This is exactly the story of Jesus' miracle conception.
The "enunciation" should be the "Annunciation" (March 25 is the feast day in Catholic liturgical calendars), and "immaculate conception" refers to the Catholic teaching about Mary's conception without Original Sin (December 8 is the feast day), not to a virginal conception. Just to be clear: Mary's own conception and birth from her mother was normal in the biological sense; it was Jesus who was virginally conceived and virgin born (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38).
Skeptic and historian Richard Carrier makes a couple points about the Egyptian Luxor birth inscription which I will summarize:
In fact, the literary similarities between the Egyptian religion and the Christian religion are staggering.
They are not, since there are virtually NO similarities. A blogger (Consigliere) posting on an atheist site concludes in his analysis "Ending the Myth of Horus" :
I concur with these, although the healing miracles are associated with Horus-the-Child. Horus was (like Jesus) a "son of God" since he was son of Isis and Osiris, and he was (like Jesus) a lord and a king, as Jesus was "King of Kings" and "Lord of Lords" (book of Revelation).
The "sources" used for Zeitgeist are outdated, unreliable, non-academic, non-scholarly, speculative, and/or conspiracy-laden tomes written by folks who are not trained in biblical scholarship, historical Jesus studies, Egyptology, or related fields, and/or rely on other non-scholarly, outdated, pseudo-historical books, and are therefore filled with errors:
Another two that were left out but argue along the same lines are Kersey Graves, The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors (orig 1875) and Tom Harpur, The Pagan Christ (2004). John Jackson's Christianity Before Christ (1985) was also used, but he simply copies and quotes Massey, Kuhn, Churchward, Graves, and other pseudo-scholarship.
Speaking of Tom Harpur's book -- which makes very similar claims to the "Zeitgeist" movie -- see the critical article published online at George Mason Univ's History News Network [also available at CanadianChristianity.com] titled "The Leading Religion Writer in Canada ... Does He Know What He's Talking About?" by W. Ward Gasque 8/9/2004 --
Gasque sent an email to "twenty leading Egyptologists -- in Canada, USA, UK, Australia, Germany, and Austria" in order to examine the following claims:
What Gasque found in response is the following, also put in bullet points:
W. Ward Gasque holds a Ph.D. from Manchester University (UK). A graduate of Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Leadership (1993), he is President of the Pacific Association for Theological Studies.
Evangelical biblical scholar Ben Witherington in a critique of the "Zeitgeist" movie writes on the sources used by the filmmakers:
Here are some bullet points from Dr. Witherington's blog article on the movie's Egyptian, biblical, and "astrological" (or "astro-theology") arguments and errors:
Ben Witherington III is professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, he went on to receive the M. Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Durham in England. He is now considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious SNTS, a society dedicated to New Testament studies.
The author of more than thirty books, including The Brother of Jesus, What Have They Done with Jesus?, and The Living Word of God: Rethinking the Theology of the Bible, he has twice won the Christianity Today award for one of the best biblical studies books of the year, and he has presented seminars for churches, colleges, and biblical meetings not only in the United States but also in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Witherington writes for many church and scholarly publications, is a regular contributor to Christianity Today and Beliefnet.com, and has been featured widely in the national media.
"This is not a symbol of Christianity, it is a pagan adaptation of the cross of the zodiac."
-- from Zeitgeist movie [picture of the cross similar to the right]
Do all of these too come from Egyptian mythology or paganism? If so, then what's the astrological or zodiac connection with these?
The most ancient Celtic or Irish crosses date from the 7th century AD forward. Even admitting a "pagan connection" in the symbols, this adoption by the Church would have nothing to do with the Catholic Christianity founded by Jesus Christ and His apostles in the first century, and the Christian faith passed on (2 Thess 2:15; 2 Timothy 2:2; Jude 3) to their immediate successor bishops of the Church. The cross is a later Christian symbol representing the first-century crucifixion of Jesus, an historical and saving event described in detail in all four Gospels, mentioned by the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:23,36; 4:10; 5:30; 10:39; 13:29), and the earliest writings of St. Paul (1 Cor 1:13-23; 2:2-8; 15:1ff; Gal 2:20; 3:1,13; 6:12-14; Phil 2:8; Col 1:20; 2:14-15; 1 Thess 2:14-16; Heb 6:6; 12:2; etc). This has nothing to do with astrology ("astro-theology") or the zodiac.
Scholarly Books on Egyptian Gods and Egyptian Religion:
Non-Scholarly, Pseudo-historical, Unreliable Books on "Pagan Parallel" Conspiracy Theories of Religion:
by P -- completed Easter Sunday (March 23) 2008 -- He is Risen!
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