Defending the Theistic View

Latest

Announcement: No New Comments on this Blog.

Since my blog has been moved to a newer location: http://refutationofinfidels.blog.com/, I have decided to close down all comments on THIS blog here. — I don’t see the point of keeping this one open when I hardly have any activity here anymore.

– I will however allow comments on my new blog AS LONG as they are relevant to the posts that ARE commented on.

– Thank you.

I’m Moving my Blog!

Actually, I am transfering to two separate blogs with two different themes.

For posts on Biblical history, I will he posting here: http://refutationofinfidels.blog.com/

As for posts debunking the “Jesus Myth,” I’ll be posting here: http://nonpaganorigins.blog.com/

Well, see you there.

The Tacitean Reference to “Christus”

Cornelius Tacitus, the second century Roman historian, was born at about 55 AD to a wealthy father who was a member of the equestrian order. Between the ages of 26 and 27, he was admitted to the Roman senate and involved himself in Roman politics. — Later, between the years 105 and 109, he wrote and published the Histories which was his first historical work. Later, after his governorship in Asia in 113 AD, he published the Annals in which he wrote about the emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero.

It is in this second work that Tacitus makes reference to the persecution of first century Christians by Nero and to Jesus himself:

Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome. (The Annals 15: 44)

This passage tells how Nero used Christians as a scapegoat for setting Rome on fire when the public began to suspect him. — Also, like the references from Josephus, this passage has been used as historical evidence for the existence of Jesus. But naturally, not everybody is convinced.

One objection to the reference’s authenticity is that since Tertullian, an early Christian apologist, didn’t cite it, that is an indication that it was most probably interpolated later. — Besides being an ineffective argument from silence, the fact is that citing this passage would have been practically pointless because it only would have served to confirm Jesus’ existence which was actually never questioned by early skeptics of Christianity.

Claims that this passage is an interpolation or was put through a Christian filter are disproven by it’s anti-Christian tone. in the text which describes Christians as “hated for their abominations,” “mischievous” and “evil.” — Later, in just a few sentences, the passage says:

[The Christians were] convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.

Not only is this inconsistent with what a Christian interpolator would have written, but it is historically consistent with the misinformation that was in circulation about the Christians in the first and second centuries. — Also, the anti-Christian language used is another obvious reason why early Christian apologists wouldn’t have cited it.

Darrell J. Doughty, Professor of New Testament at Drew University, argues in favor of a “block interpolation in his paper, meaning that Tacitean passage is authentic with the exception of the two sentences that clearly mention “Christus” (or Christ) and the Christians. — This cannot be true because, even though this suggestion can work in modern English, it violates the Latin grammar. Stephen C. Carlson, another New Testament scholar, pointed out in his response to this assertion that,

Doughty cannot propose something as simple block interpolation as the following, because the relative clause, quos per flagitia invisos vulgus Chrestianos appellabat, would then be missing its verb.

Basically, this means that the references to Christ and the Christian were most certainly intended to be in the text because it makes no grammatical sense in the Latin language to delete them.

The “Jesus-Myther” and conspiracy theorist D.M. Murdock, in her comments about the Tacitean reference, attempts to show that Tacitus didn’t write the passage claiming that “the tone and style of the passage are unlike the writing of Tacitus.” — This is not an honest claim because competent scholars have actually affirmed the opposite. (Jesus Outside the New Testament, page 43)

She then parrots the fringe assertion that Tacitus’ Annals are a fifteenth century forgery caling it a “peculiar and disturbing fact.” The fact is that no serious historian of scholar that I know of doubts the authenticity of the Annals. As a matter of fact, their genuineness has been confirmed by its accuracy in the most minute details such as with coins and inscriptions which were discovered since that period disproving one of Ms. Murdock’s major justifications for dismissing the Tacitean reference. Certainly, if it weren’t for the one reference to Jesus, such a ridiculous claim would never have been made.

Some argue that even though the passage is most likely authentic, Tacitus may have only uncrittically accepted his information of Jesus from his friend Pliny the Younger. But, there a problrm with this. Even though it is known that Tacitus did source Pliny sometimes, this does not mean that he was uncrittical of the information he was given. In Annals 15.53, he describes information he gained from Pliny as being “absurd.”

Also, there is a major inconsistency with the suggestion that Tacitus sourced Pliny. As mentioned before, Tacitus claimed that the Christians were guilty of abominations. On the other hand, after Pliny had investigated Christian beliefs, he decided that they were generally harmless, as he indicated in a in a letter to Emperor Trajan. — Had Tacitus uncrittically sourced Pliny, one wouldn’t expect divergent conclusions.

Was Tacitus simply repeating what he heared from Christians? Obviously not. If he didn’t uncrittically accept information that Pliny, someone he respected, gave him, then why would he give Christians, who he despised, the benefit of the doubt? — This is like suggesting that he got his anti-semetic “information” of the origins of Judiasm, found in Histories 5.2-5, from the Jews themselves which is absolutely absurd.

As a closing statement about the Tacitean reference, Ms. Murdock says:

Even if the passage in Tacitus were genuine, it would be too late and is not from an eyewitness, such that it is valueless in establishing an “historical” Jesus, representing merely a recital of decades-old Christian tradition.

She thinks that it has to have been written by an actual eyewitness account to Jesus to be of any value. This is a popular argument among the “Jesus-Myth” crowd, but the standard is extremely unreasonable. Tacitus wrote about several historical figures several decades after the fact and to which he was not an eyewitness. For example, he wrote about Caesar Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius, all of whom had come and gone before Tacitus was born. However, no reputable historian would consider the idea of suggesting that because Tacitus wasn’t an eyewitness to the events surrounding these emperors, that his historical accounts of them are therefore of no historical value.

The same goes for several other ancient historians such as Herodotus, Xenophon, Plutarch, Josephus and others who wrote several decades or centuries after the events the report on and are still believed useful by modern historians and scholars. — The fact is that if we were to hold these other histories to the same standard as “Jesus-Mythers” insist to holding any secular, historical reference to Jesus, then we would end up erasing a huge amount of known history. If a historian writes about an event decades after the fact, that does not invalidate the historicity of what he reports. It does not have to be a first hand eyewitness account to be historically relevant.

The evidence all points to the reference being authentic. It matches Tacitus’ usual writing style and is unlikely to be a Christian interpolation because of its anti-Christian tone. And since it is unlikely that Tacitus uncrittically gave anyone the benefit of the doubt, it is very probable based on personal knowledge about the existence of the historical Jesus.

The Parallels Between Jesus and Krishna — A Refutation of Acharya S

In Hinduism, Krishna is said to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu or the eighth avatar. The Encyclopedia Mythica says that he is also one of the most popular gods in Hindiusm. He is often depicted in art as a child  with blue skin and playing a flute. And in depictions of him as an adult, he appears very feminine-like – at least at I see it.  Historians believe that he was born at around the thirtieth century BC, about 5,000 years ago.

Like in the cases of the alleged “parallels” that Jesus has with several pagan deities (or non deities) like Horus and Buddha (which are refuted  here and here),  D.M. Murdock also then makes the exact same claims about Krishna, saying that “The similarities between the Christian character and the Indian messiah are many.” So, my purpose is to show if her listed claims claims hold water.

She begins her list by claiming that,

Krishna was born of the Virgin Devaki (“Divine One”)

krishna!The only truth in this is that Krishna’s mother’s name was Devaki, and that she is technically divine (Click here) But is is not true that she was a virgin when Krishna was born. Devaki had a total of eight children. It so happens that Krishna was the youngest which proves she had her fun at least eight times before he was born.

In her footnotes, Ms. Murdock tries to explain this fact away by saying that in Hinduism, Devaki “was considered to have had a miraculous conception.” The problem here is that, with exception of “Jesus-Myth” propaganda, I could find no references that substantiate that this is true. But even if Hinduism taught that Krishna’s birth was miraculous (which it does not), that still wouldn’t explain away the fact that Devaki was not a virgin because we know she had other children before Krishna.

Next, she claims,

His father was a carpenter.

Wrong! — His father Vasudeva was a nobleman, not a carpenter. (Text link) Besides, considering the fact that Devaki was a princess, if he was a carpenter, then he would never have been able to marry her.

His birth was attended by angels, wise men and shepherds, and he was presented with gold, frankincense and myrrh.

This is completely false, and I will bet any amount of money that nobody can find a single Hindu reference which back it up. In the   story of Krishna’s birth, as far as I can tell, the only two that were present were his parents.

He was persecuted by a tyrant who ordered the slaughter of thousands of infants.

This is an attempt to tie Krishna to King Herod’s “slaughter of the innocence” from the Gospel of Matthew, and a similarity does appear to exist. — King Kasma was told in a vision that one of his sister’s sons would destroy him, so he locked her up and killed six of her eight children as soon as they were born. However, Kasma didn’t slaughter thousands of infants, only his nephews were a potential threat to him.

He was of royal descent.

True, but trivial.

He was baptized in the River Ganges.

I can’t find any reliable sources that confirm this.

He worked miracles and wonders.

Even if he did, this wouldn’t be evidence of causation because miracles are only an expectation in religious writings.

He raised the dead and healed lepers, the deaf and the blind.

Again, even if he did, so what? Miracles are only to be expected in religious writings.

Krishna used parables to teach the people about charity and love.

I could be wrong on this one, but I have to conclude that this claim is bogus. But even if it were true, it could be easily explained as a coincidence.

“He lived poor and he loved the poor.”

Considering the fact that Krishna became a king, this is not particularly true.  — But even if true, it would be irrelevant because being poor 5,000 to 2,000 years ago was just a fact of life.

He was transfigured in front of his disciples.

Really? I can’t find any reference for this claim.

In some traditions he died on a tree or was crucified between two thieves.

This is absolutely false! There is no Hindu literature which back it up at all. — Krishna was accidentally shot in the heel by a hunter who thought he was a deer .(See Mahabharata 16: 4 ) Also, the claim that Krishna was crucified is suspicious  because that particular form of capital punishment didn’t exist during his lifetime. Crucifixion first appeared in the 6th century BC, about 2,400 years after Krishna. (Click here)

He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven.

He ascended into heaven, but he didn’t rise from the dead. The New World Encyclopedia says that it is commonly believed that he left his body behind. — In other words, the circumstances are completely different from those of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Krishna is called the “Shepherd God” and “Lord of lords,” and was considered “the Redeemer, Firstborn, Sin Bearer, Liberator, Universal Word.”

It is true that Krishna was known by several names. For example, he was called “lord of the whole world,” “all victorious god,” “speaker of truth,” as well as many other titles. ( Source

 But, I cannot find references that confirm that he was known by any of the titles that Ms. Murdock lists, and I would actually argue that there is negative evidence that he was known by some of them. — Krishna would not have been known as the “firstborn” because he was the youngest of eight children.

His disciples bestowed upon him the title “Jezeus,” meaning “pure essence.”

There is no Hindu source that backs this up. But even if such a name was given to Krishna, it wouldn’t indicate causation. — Jesus, who spoke Aramaic, would have answered to the name “Yeshua” which is the true pronunciation, and “Iesous” is the Greek pronunciation. — “Jesus” is only the English pronunciation and is, therefore, irrelevant. So it turns out that Ms. Murdock is playing meaningless word games.

Krishna is to return to do battle with the “Prince of Evil,” who will desolate the earth.

Yet another unsupported claim. But even if it were a true parallel, it would not make any difference because a fight between good are evil are very frequent in religion.

Before Ms. Murdock gives her list of alleged similarities between Jesus and Krishna, she says:

It should be noted that a common earlier English spelling of Krishna was “Christna,” which reveals its relation to ‘”Christ.” It should also be noted that, like the Jewish godman, many people have believed in a historical, carnalized Krishna.

So, now she’s claiming that English spelling can tie Jesus to Krishna. What a hoot!!! — For someone who claims to be a well versed scholar, this is a very unusual tactic to resort to.

There is absolutely no evidence that Jesus was copied from Krishna. The only sources that Ms. Murdock give in her footnotes are from fellow “Jesus-Mythers,” and not one Hindu source is listed. If she were an expert of religious mythology as she claims, then she should be able to back up her claims by using primary sources.

New name: “Explanation” is now “Debunking Atheism”

This is an anoncement that I decided to change the blog name from Explanation to Debunking Atheism. — I also am planning to change the URL to the website if I am not to lazy to go through every one of my posts which have pingbacks and edit them.

I would like to give Eric Kemp s heads-up of the blog Apologia: Standing in Defence of the Christian Worldview.

Jesus, the brother of James, son of Damneus

Recently, I have posted a defence of the partial authenticity of Josephus’ Testimonium Flavianum and the complete authenticity of the so-called “James passage.” — Even though, at least to my knowledge, I dealt with the relevant objections to their authenticity there is at least one more objection which I decided to cover here. — It has to do with the James passage.

It is an indesputable fact that the majority of scholarly opinion supports the authenticity of the clause “Jesus, who was called Christ” in the James passage. But there is one more objection that, all though I have never taken it seriously except for this blog post, should be cleared up.

Kenneth Humphreys, while mentioning this passage, mentions in passing that in the same paragraph there is another man named Jesus, the son of Damneus and then indicates that this man is James’ brother, not the Jesus of the Bible. (Antiquities 20: 200) Though Humphreys does not go into much detail on this, one other Atheist I communicated with did.

Metro State Atheist, an Atheist blog I occasionally visit, refers to this objection and makes some points that should be answered. — After quoting the entire paragraph in which James and the two Jesuses are mentioned Joel Guttormson the webmaster of the blog goes on to say,

James mentioned in the line in question, which is italicized and underlined in the text above, is the bother of the Jesus mentioned in the bolded line.  Context dictates this since they are not separated explicitly (ie Josephus didn’t say that Jesus, the son of Damneus is not the same as Jesus brother of James who they called Christ).  Also, there exists no break in the story such that anyone could assert they are different people in the context.

The argument of context needs to be addressed. He saying that because there is “no break in the story” that the brother of James and the son of Damneus are therefore likely the same person. This is not necessarily true. Jesus was an extremely common name, so common that in order to prevent confusion for the readers of his history it would only be logical to identify two different men with the same name with differing means of Identification. This would only become all the more necessary if these two men were mentioned within only a few sentences of eachother and if the context did not change.

The reason why there is no break in the context is that the execution of James lead to all the events that followed in the paragraph (i.e., the deposition of the High Priest Ananus and his replacement by “the son of Damneus.”) This does not prove or even indicate that the brother of James and the son of Damneus are the same person.

Also, even though Joel is correct that Josephus does not say point blank that Jesus and James were not Damnes’ sons, Josephus’ own writing style dictates that they be positively identified as such. Usually, when Josephus first introduced a historical person he gave him the proper introduction the first time that he is mentioned by naming the person’s father (or known relative), hometown or their office.

Here are some examples of Josephus’ first time introductions:

  • Antiquities 17: 271: “There was also Judas, the son of that Ezekias who had been head of the robbers.”
  • Antiquities 17: 273: “There was also Simon, who had been a slave of Herod the king.”
  • Antiquities 18: 4: “Yet was there one Judas, a Gaulonite, of a city whose name was Gamala.”
  • Wars 5: 335: “They intended to have Zacharias the son of Baruch, one of the most eminent of the citizens, slain.”

The list of examples of Josephus’ goes on. When he first names a new person, this is how he he introduced them, the first time he mentions them. This isn’t to say that he never re-introduces anyone in the same manner a second time, but it is characteristic for him to do it the first time as did many other ancient writers. Normally Josephus would not have procrastinated only to give the customary introduction later on.

Assuming that James’ brother and the son of Damneus are the same person, and taking into account Josephus’ normal writing style, by all rights the James passage should say “James, brother of Jesus, the son of Damneus.”But this is not the case. — Josephus usually gave this identification without delay, and yet he does not follow up in this passage. If Josephus indeed meant that James’ brother and the son of Damneus were the same person, then it’s pretty odd that he didn’t follow the norm of identification. That he did not certainly makes sense if they are not the same person.

Another argument that Joe makes that I think deserves to be examined is his claim that the son of Damneus can also be called “Christ,”

Furthermore, Christ is Greek  means nothing more than “the anointed one”.  Literally, this means that one would be blessed with or covered in [holy] oil. It wouldn’t be out of the question, as far I know, that a “high priest” such as “Jesus, the son Damneus” was, would be called a Christ, an anointed one.

Actually, it would be out of the question because “Christ” had huge political implications, and it is unlikely the Romans would have allowed him to have been seated as high preist if he bore such a title. But let’s not even consider that fact as part of the evidence. — It is accurate to say that the Greek word “Χριστος” is translated as “anointed.” And considering that the son of Damneus would have been “annointed” when he was appointed as High Priest, Joe’s argument does seem plausable.  But there is one major problem with this assumption:

Josephus indicates that Jesus already was known as “Christ” during the early High Priesthood of Ananus, that is to say before the anointment of the son of Damneus to be the next High Priest. Because every High Priest was logically “anointed” at his appointment to the High-Priesthood, it is highly unlikely that the son of Damneus would have been known as the “anointed anything” until after Ananus’ term.

Furthermore, as mentioned in my previous post on this subject, the Greek term “λεγόμενος” which Josephus uses for the clause “Was called Christ” is being used neutrally by neither affirming or denying Jesus’ Messiaship, which is a reason why it is widely accepted as authentic.

This neutrality would be understandable if Josephus wanted to at least avoid bashing Christianity. However, if he indeed has the son of Damneus in mind then it would have definitely been pretty odd and un-called-for because the appointment (or anointment) of  the son of Damnues was not in doubt at all. It would have been like saying “Some people call him the high priest, but I don’t want to take sides.” Such reasoning, however, would have been considered absurd by a dedicated Jew like Josephus.

 – So as it turns out, a major basis for accepting the authenticity of the “James Passage” (i.e., the neutrality of Josephus’ terminology) can also be used to argue against the identification of Jesus, James’ brother with the son of Damneus.

After this, Joe seems to imply that Josephus was probably the source used by Christians to determine that Jesus had a brother named James. But to be fair,  probably means that this could have been Mark’s own personal knowledge of Jesus son of Demneus. —  He then goes on to say,

Although the earliest possible date for the first Gospel, of what would become the New Testament, is 70ad; the earliest, physical, dated Gospel of Mark dates, approximately, to around the year 90ad.  This would give ample time to the author of the Gospel of Mark to construct his Jesus character based on the high priest, Jesus, the son of Damneus.

I’m bringing this up because Mark, the first Gospel which mentions James, is usually dated in the 70s AD which is contemperary with Josephus’ Wars of the Jews and also pre-dates his Antiquities of the Jews by around twenty to thirty years. But Joe places it in a date which apparently is to make all of Josephus’ works pre-date Mark, thus making it unusable to show as a pre-Josephus. – This part Joe’s argument here, like the rest of the Jesus-Damneus argument only presupposes what it sets out to prove. There is no evidence given that Mark should be dated later than the usual date it is thought to be written.

As a matter of fact, most scholarship disagrees with dating Mark so late in 90 AD. — What my impartial sources show is that,

“Most scholars [ . . . ] would be hesitant to assign a date later than 70-73 CE, the latter being when Jerusalem was finally and fully sacked.”

So the fact is that the latest accepted date for Mark is much earlier than the date that Joe is proposing. — Now here is the interesting detail: Even if he were right that Mark should be dated to 90 AD, this would still pre-date the completion of Josephus’ twentieth (and last book) which mentions James and the son of  Damneus. Josephus completed his twenty books of the Antiquities in 93 AD,  after the alleged late date of Mark. (Source)

 – This is enough to refute the implication that Josephus was probably what Christians used Josephus to conclude Jesus had a brother named James because, apparently which ever composition date you prefer for Mark’s gospel, Mark’s mention of James still came first (Mark 6: 3 )

The bottom line is that even though I have known about the skeptic argument that Jesus, the brother of  James is the same as the other Jesus who was the son of Damneus, with the exception of this blog response to the argument, I don’t take it seriously. My problem with it is that it starts with a foregone conclusion and then works off of it assuring that the desired conclusion will be reached. It then presupposes that because Josephus mentions a Jesus a few sentences before another that they therefore have to be the same person even though they are identified by different means.

As said before, to assume that the brother of James is the same as the son of Damneus is to assume that Josephus broke with the methodology of identifying a person by his father, relative, hometown, or position the first timehe introduced them, not waiting until later which is what would have to be assumed if the two Jesuses are the same person. – The suggestion that Josephus called the son of Damneus “Christ” because of his  “anointment” to the office of High Priest doesn’t work when one realizes that Josephus indicates that this was Jesus’ title during the High Priesthood of Ananus because the son of Damneus wasn’t anointed until after Ananus’ term in office.

Also, Josephus’ usage of the clause “Was called Christ” is agreed to be a completely neutral way of using the title “Christ” without either confirming or denying Jesus’ messiaship. — As said before, this wold make complete sense if Josephus wanted to avoid Christian-bashing while at the same time not accept Jesus as the Messiah. But it certainly wouldn’t make sense to use such a neutral clause with the High Priest. Using this neutral clause with Jesus, son of Damnues would make no sense, unless Josephus neither wanted to confirm or deny his priesthood because it was never in doubt from anyone.

In conclusion, to make a long story short, there is no credible evidence to conclusively say that the “Christ” mentioned by Josephus is the same as Jesus-Damneus, and there are enough arguments to the contrary because it opens the door to inconsistencies.

The Parallels Between Jesus and Horus — A Refutation of Acharya S

The Egyptian god Horus was the sky god and the son of Isis and Osiris. Accorging to Egyptian mythology, his father was murdered by Seth who was his “perpetual antagonist” and was cut into 14 pieces which were scattered all over Egypt. Later Horus, who was raised by his mother in the swamps of the Nile Delta, when he grew to manhood took it upon himself to take revenge on Seth for the murder of his father and after killing him he bacame the king of the unified Egypt.

In ancient Egypt he was was often represented as a falcon and considered the prince of the gods, the patron of young men as well as the protector of the Pharaoh who was believed to be his avatar on earth while alive. Horus is also said to continue his battle with Seth on a daily basis to ensure the world’s safety.

After making claims that Buddha is basically a prototype of Jesus (which are refuted here) D.M. Murdock goes on to claim that there are similar parallels between Jesus and Horus which have been widely repeated by many “Jesus-Mythers” such as the filmakers of Zeitgeist as well as others. — Ms. Murdock’s claims are in bold while my answers are in regular font.

horus13The first claim she makes is that,

Horus was born of the virgin Isis-Meri on December 25th in a cave/manger, with his birth being announced by a star in the East and attended by three wise men.

The idea that Horus’ mother was a virgin at the time of his birth is not found in Egyptian mythology. — What happened was that after Osiris was murdered an cut into pieces by Seth, the goddess Isis traveled though Egypt and was able to find his pieces she then impregnated herself with her husbands phallus (or penis) after which she conceived her son Horus.

The fact that she was Osiris’ wife argues against the idea that Isis was a virgin and undoubtedly their marriage would have been consummated. Also, even if that were not the case, the description of Horus’ conception is miraculous, but it is definitely sexual and therefore does not qualify as a virgin birth.

As for the claim of Horus being born in a manger or a cave, the Encyclopedia Mythica points out that after Isis impregnated herself on her husband’s dead body and conceived her son, she then “gave birth to Horus in the swamps of Khemnis in the Nile Delta,” showing that Ms. Murdock’s claim is completely false.

Not only is the date of December 25th of no importance to Christianity, it so happens that Horus was not even born on that date. His birth was on the second of the five “Epagomenal Days which actually corresponds from July 31st to August 24th.

There is no Egyptian reference confirming that Horus’ mother “Isis-Meri.” She is simply called Isis. — Also, there is no evidence that Horus’ birth was “announced by a star” or that three wise-men attended his birth. Besides in the gospel of Matthew the wise men are not numbered, so even if this were true about Horus it certainly would be irrelevant about Jesus.

He was a child teacher in the Temple and was baptized when he was 30 years old.

I cannot find any confirmation that Horus ever was depicted as a child teacher or that he was even baptized. For this claim in her footnotes Ms. Murdock does not cite any primary or credible source. She qoutes Massey and Mead who have no credibility.

Horus was also baptized by “Anup the Baptizer,” who becomes “John the Baptist.”

I have just mentioned that there is no evidence that Horus was ever baptized. — Besides this fact, “Anup” was just another name for god Anubis who was an embalmer, not a Baptizer like John the Baptist.

He had 12 disciples.

No he didn’t, at least, not as far as any evidence from Egyptian sources indicate. The Egyptologists apparantly have no knowledge of Horus having twelve disciples, so if anyone knows of any evidence that he did then they should contact them right away. — Ms. Murdock just simply throws out this allegation without giving any reference to support this claim in her footnotes.

He performed miracles and raised one man, El-Azar-us, from the dead.

Miracles are an expectation from most gods so even if Horus did perform any miraculous deeds this would not indicate any causation of Christian theology. Besides, I cannot find any reference to any figure named Al-Azar-us in Egyptian mythology.

He walked on water.

Again, there is no evidence of this from any Egyptian or Encyclopedic sources.

Horus was transfigured on the Mount.

No supporting evidence for this claim. Ms. Murdock cites no sources in her footnotes for this supposed claim, whether it be reliable or unreliable.

He was killed, buried in a tomb and resurrected.

The one reference that I could find that describes his death is seeminly unrelated to the Passion of Jesus. Horus was stung him to death by a scorpion. When Isis found him dead she is said to have become “distraught and frantic with grief, and was inconsolable.” – Thoth, who had helped her to revive her husband Osiris, heard her and came down to answer her. Isis was then supplied with incantations and then was able to revive her son. (See: The Cippi of Horus)

In short, even in  this account, Horus’ death way to different from Jesus’ to insist that one account influenced the other. Besides Horus was not said to have been buried in a tomb.

He was also the “Way, the Truth, the Light, the Messiah, God’s Anointed Son, the Son of Man, the Good Shepherd, the Lamb of God, the Word” etc.

Besides the fact that Ms. Murdock does not cite any sources for this claim the term “Messiah” as one of Horus’ titles is suspicious because it is rooted in Hebrew, not the Egyptian language. The title “God’s Anointed Son” is basically a translation of the Hebrew “Messiah” which means “The Annointed” so Ms. Murdock is using two titles for the price of one. — The title “Son of Man” is also suspect because Horus, unlike Jesus, didn’t have an earthly father.

He was “the Fisher,” and was associated with the Lamb, Lion and Fish (“Ichthys”).

Murdock’s source for this claim is Massey cited in a footnote. Massey himself does not even show his own sources and I have not been able to confirm these titles. There is also no Biblical passage with Jesus ever being called “the fisher” or “Lion and fish” so even if these titles were associated with Horus (which they are not) it would still be irrelevant to Christianity. – Besides, “Ichtys” is Greek, not Egyptian.

Horus’s personal epithet was “Iusa,” the “ever-becoming son” of “Ptah,” the “Father.”

There is no evidence of these claims either. — Besides the fact that Jesus Christ is never spoken about as having a “personal epithet,” the term “Iusa” isn’t even a real word. Perhaps it is a mispronunciation of the Greek “Iesous” which is the Greek transliteration for Jesus’ own name. Considering that it is Greek, not Egyptian, this only makes this claim all the more suspect.

Horus (or Osiris) was called “the KRST,” long before the Christians duplicated the story.

Not only it “KRST” not an Egyptian title, the attempt to compare it to Jesus’ title as “the Christ” is only based on word games because “Christ” (or Kristos) is Greek which is not closely related (if at all) to the Egyptian language. Anyone who has studied a foreign language realizes that from time to time one finds words that are similar to those of their native languages which have completely different meanings. — In Greek, “the Christ” means “the anointed” while “KRST” is the Egyptian word for “burial.” (Text Link)

Before listing her main claims, Ms. Murdock claims that Osiris and Horus (father and son) were ever seen as interchangeable and then implies that Christians see Jesus and his Father in the same way. — Not only have I been unable to confirm that Egyptian mythology taught this, but also Ms. Murdock, by implying that this would be a relevant parallel to Jesus the Son and God the father, shows her ignorance and misunderstanding of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity which is that the one God is made up by three separate persons who are not interchangeable.

The bottom line is that the claims that Ms. Murdock advances to show parallels between Jesus and Horus are only rehashings of unreliable and easily refuted Bull-crap. So until any reliable evidence comes to light that can confirm these alleged parallels between Horus and Jesus, it has to be assumed that they do not exist.

A look at  her footnotes shows that she does not cite one reliable  reputable source. Her only sources are fellow “Jesus-Mythers” whose claims she uncritically repeats. — As I have pointed out in a previous post, it is unusual for someone like Murdock who claims to be a well trained expert of comparative religion and mythology to resort to such tactics to prove her point.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.