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.
The 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.
The film Zeitgeist begins with list of pagan gods such Horus, Attis, Krishna, Dionysus and Mithra. It goes through the list of details associated with Jesus Christ and then applies them to these pagan gods in order to create the impression that Christianity is only a copycat religion. However, viewers (whether believers or skeptics) should watch this film with the realization that there is an agenda behind it. — And I advise anyone reading this to do the same with what I am about to say as well.
As the film itself says, we want to be academically correct. So now it is our duty to check the facts to see if the makers of Zeitgeist have lived up to that expectation. If the film is right, then that means we Christians have a lot of reevaluating to do. If it is wrong, however, then it is the Jesus-Mythers that should reevaluate what they are spreading all over their webstes.
So, please bear with me as I go over the facts of this matter:
The first God that the film deals with is Horus, the God the Son of Osiris and Isis. — As I point out in the introduction of this review, the film makes claims in an attempt to tie Horus to Jesus. — After going into some background about him, the narator of the film says,
Horus was born on December 25th of the virgin Isis-Meri. His birth was accompanied by a star in the east, which in turn, three kings followed to locate and adorn the new-born savior. At the age of 12, he was a prodigal child teacher, and at the age of 30 he was baptized by a figure known as Anup and thus began his ministry. Horus had 12 disciples he traveled about with, performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water. Horus was known by many gestural names such as The Truth, The Light, God’s Anointed Son, The Good Shepherd, The Lamb of God, and many others. After being betrayed by Typhon, Horus was crucified, buried for 3 days, and thus, resurrected.
These are incredible claims. But as I said, we have to be skeptical of any film that has a clear agenda. The truth is that even though it is claimed that Horus was the product of a virgin birth, there is no reference that I could find that supports what the film says. It is actually unlikely that a married couple of gods would have not procreated at any time before the birth of Horus.
In fact, the claim that Horus’ mother, Isis, was a virgin is easily disproven by very little research. — The Encyclopedia Mythica shows that his birth was definitely sexual. After his father Osiris had been murdered by Seth, his body was scatered into pieces leaving Isis to recover them to reassemble her husband’s body. She then “impregnated herself from the Osiris’ body and gave birth to Horus in the swamps of Khemnis in the Nile Delta.”
Also, there is no indication of Horus’ birth-date being on December 25th, there is no Biblical nor historical reason why this date should be relevant to Christianity because the Bible gives no such information of the birth of Jesus. — In reality, Horus was born on the second of the Epagomenal Days which actually corresponds from July 31st to August 24th.
As for Zeitgeist calling his mother Isis-Meri – an obvious word game the film makers try to pull to link her to Mary – there is no reference that I could find that wasn’t a “Jesus-Myth” website. No academic or encyclopedic sources I could find said any such thing. She is simply called Isis. However, that isn’t to say it doesn’t exist as an Egyptian term. The reference I found was that one of Ramses II’s sons bore the name “Meri-Astrot,” or “Beloved of Astrot.” — “Meri” means beloved. (History Of Syria: Including Lebanon And Palestine, page 136) — I suppose Osiris, being her husband, could have called her by that title, but there is no reference to him doing it. But even if he did, it is a title, not a name like Mary, so it would be irrelevant.
There is no reference to Horus being a “prodigal child teacher” at the age of twelve, or of being baptized at age thirty. — Zeitgeist claims that he was baptized by “Anup,” hovever this is a demonstrable error. “Anup” is simply an alternate spelling for the name of the god Anubis who, by the way, was an embelmer, not a baptizer.
As for having twelve disciples, again, I ran into a brick wall as I could find nothing to confirm this claim. — One researcher/Christian apologist I read said he was able to find a reference to Horus having sixteen followers, and another in which he had an undefined number, but twelve disciples escaped his investigative research.
The claim that he performed miracles, even if true, would be irrelevant because “miracle working” is a way too common expectation of deities. And as for having similar titles to Jesus such as “The Truth, The Light, God’s Anointed Son, The Good Shepherd, or the Lamb of God” there is no evidence that he ever had them.
“Typhon” is simply the Greek name for Seth, the murderer of Horus’ father. Zeitgeist claims that he betrayed Horus, however Seth was Horus’ enemy from birth so by definition nobody was betrayed. It’s hard to be betrayed by someone who was never your friend to begin with. — The one reference that I could find that describes his death is seeminly unrelated to the Passion of Jesus. According to the Cippi of Horus, he 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. — No crucufixion, no three days in a tomb.
Zeitgeist also calls Horus the “Sun” god (or solar deity) in an attempt to tie him to Jesus who was the “son” of God. Overlooking the the fact that this is an irrelevant word game that only works in English, Jesus was never considered a solar deity. It doesn’t help matters for Zeitgeist and other “Jesus-Mythers” who make this claim that sun worship is a violation of Christian teaching. I’m fully aware that Zeitgeist tries to tie Jesus to “sun” worship via the zodiac, but I will cover that in a later post. — For the record, Ra was the sun god, though Horus was considered a sun god in falcon form.
To show that Jesus’ infancy is a plagiarizing, Zeitgeist goes on to cite a 3,500 year old Egyptian inscription found at Luxor that it claims tells the story of the annunciation, the immaculate conception, the birth and the adoration of Horus.
The film then says,
The images begin with Thoth announcing to the virgin Isis that she will conceive Horus. Then Neth the holy ghost impregnating the virgin. And then the virgin birth and the adoration. This is exactly the story of Jesus’ miracle conception.
This seems to implicate Christianity and Jesus as an imitation, however besides my refutation given above of untrue idea of Isis being a virgin when Horus was born, there is yet another problem with using the Luxor inscription to support the copycat hypothesis.
Richard Carrier, a historian and skeptic of Christianity in his comments about the inscription, says that this inscription has nothing to do with Christianity,
The Luxor inscription also does not depict impregnation by a spirit, but involves very real sex (indeed, the narrative borders on soft-core porn), and the woman involved is the mythical Queen of Egypt in an archetypal sense, not Isis per se.
In short, he ends up saying that the parallels are very week, and that what few parallels that do exist need not have been copied. He also points out that “Amun, not Thoth, announces the conception. . .” — Also the inscription, as far as I can tell isn’t even about Horus’ birth which only shows how poor a job the makers of Zeitgeist have done in researching for their film.
So my conclusion here is that there is no relevant parallel between Jesus and Horus, and the ones brought up are mostly fabricated. It’s too bad that a lot of people uncrittically accept such claims without doing any independent research of their own.
Encyclopedia Mythica. Isis — by Micha F. Lindemans
The Ancient Egyptian Calendar
Five Days Out of Time by John Opsopaus
History Of Syria: Including Lebanon And Palestine, page 136. By Philip Khuri Hitti
Classic Encyclopedia – Anubis.
Good question. Was Jesus Christ just a CopyCat Savior Myth? By Glenn Miller.
Osiris and Isis
Cippi of Horus. From TourEgypt.net
Ra – The Sun-God
Horus, the God of Kings. by Jimmy Dunn
Luxor Inscription: Brunner’s Gottkoenigs & the Nativity of Jesus: A Brief Communication. By Richard Carrier