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Parallels suggested between Jesus & Horus

Background material about
Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus Christ)
and Horus
(an Egyptian god):

Front wall of a temple to Horus

Front wall of a temple to Horus

Background material about Yeshua of Nazareth:

He is commonly referred to as Jesus Christ. "Jesus" is a translation of his actual given name "Yeshua" into Greek. "Christ" is not his last name; it is simply the Greek word for "Messiah," or "anointed one."

Theologians have determined that in excess of 40 gospels once existed and were widely used by Jewish Christian, Pauline Christian and Christian Gnostic groups within the early Christian movement. Unfortunately, there are no surviving copies of many of these gospels. Only four were chosen by the surviving group -- often referred to as Pauline Christianity because their beliefs were largely based on the teachings of Paul. These four Gospels by unknown authors, are, in chronological order: Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, and were included in the Bible. Those four Gospels describe Jesus as:

bulletAn observant Jew,

bulletAn itinerant native healer,

bulletAn exorcist,

bulletA magician, 1

bulletA Jewish prophet, specially adopted by God

bullet A rabbi/teacher who followed the liberal school of Jewish philosophy promoted by Hillel the Elder, a leading Jewish philosopher in the 1st Century BCE.

bullet A person who predicted the imminent coming of the Kingdom of God.

bulletA god-man who is Lord and Savior.

There are common features which are often cited as having been shared between the lives of Horus and Jesus. Since Horus predated Jesus by tens of centuries, the belief has grown that many of the stories in the Gospels about Jesus' life were actually copied from the life of Horus. Some of the more remarkable that are often cited are that both:

  • Were born on December 25th. This date was also the birthday of Mithra, a Persian deity. (Actually, this date was only adopted by the Christian Church in the early 3rd century CE, and remains today)

  • Were born of a woman who was a virgin when he was conceived.

  • Had a star in the East that signaled his birth.

  • Were visited by three kings. However, the exact number of kings who visited Jesus as a baby is not mentioned in the Bible; some believe that the three gifts -- gold, incense, myrrh that they brought -- indicated that there were three kings.

  • Started their teaching career when they were 12 years-of-age.

  • Were baptized and started their ministries when they were 30 years-of-age.

  • Had mothers with the same name: "Meri" was Horus' mother; "Mariam" was Jesus' mother. Both names are "Mary" in English.
  • Had murder plots against them: Seth planned to kill Horus. Herod attempted to kill Jesus.

  • Both performed many miracles during their lifetime.

However, almsost all of these correspondences are denied by modern researchers having been derived mainly from the writing of Gerald Massey (1828-1907) and as being without merit.

There is allegedly also a similarity between Jesus and Osirus, the Egyptian god of the afterlife, the underworld, and the dead. Both died, their deaths were mourned on the first day, and their resurrections were celebarated by their followers on the third day.

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Yeshua is said to have been born -- circa 4 to 7 BCE perhaps in Nazereth in Gallilee or in Bethlehem, south of Jerusalem in Judea. Bethlehem is cited in the Bible, but archeological evidence shows that the town was abandoned during the 1st Centuries BCE and CE. Two of the Gospels say that Yeshua was born of a virgin; John seems to deny the possibility, and Mark is silent on the virgin birth.

Yeshua's ministry lasted for one year and was largely spent in the Gallilee (according to the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke). However, it was described as a three year ministry spent largely in Judea (according to the Gospel of John). He started his ministry when he was about 30 years old.

Most Christians believe that he was executed by the Roman occupying army, briefly visited the underworld, was resurrected, spent either one or 40 days with his disciples (Gospel sources differ), and then ascended to Heaven.

Most Christian denominations view Jesus as the Son of God, the second person in the Trinity.

Muslims view him as a great prophet, second only to Muhammad. They believe that God -- called Allah in Arabic -- is unique, indivisible, and without a son. Many regard the Christian belief that God had a son to be the greatest possible blasphemy against God.

Many evangelical Christians view the four Gospels and the rest of books in the Bible as being inerrant and that their authors were inspired by God. They normally interpret the Gospels and other passages in the Bible literally, unless that is obviously not the author's intent.

Background material about Horus:

Various ancient Egyptian statues and writings tell of Horus, (pronounced "hohr'-uhs;)" a.k.a. Harseisis, Heru-sa-Aset (Horus, son of Isis), Heru-ur (Horus the elder), Hr, and Hrw), a creator sky God.

He was first worshipped starting during the Egyptian Predynastic period, prior to 3100 BCE. This is , over three millenia before the first century CE, when Jesus was ministering in the Galilee and/or Judea. It is more than five thousand years BP (Before the Present). 2

Horus was often represented as a stylized eye symbol, symbolizing the eye of a falcon. He was also presented "in the shape of a sparrow hawk or as a man [or lion] with a hawk's head." 3 He is often shown as an infant cradled by his virgin mother Isis.

He was considered to be the son of two major Egyptian deities: the God Osirus and and the Goddess Isis. In adulthood, he avenged his father's murder, and became recognized as the God of civil order and justice. Ancient Egyptians regarded each of the Egyptian pharaohs as the living embodiment -- or incarnation -- of Horus. 4 The pharaohs derived a great deal of authority from this link.

 

   Isis with Horus 5         Horus 5       

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Tom Harpur, author of "The Pagan Christ; Recovering the Lost Light," 2 suggests that ancient Egyptian religion was henotheistic. That is, they recognize a single deity, Ra. They also view other Gods and Goddesses as manifestations or aspects of that supreme God. [We use the present tense in these sentences because the ancient Egyptian religion is still in existence in the form of a Neo-Pagan reconstruction.]

Tom Harpur writes:

"A list of the names of all the gods of Egypt would fill pages. But all these gods were only forms, attributes or phases of Ra, the solar god, who himself was the supreme symbol or metaphor for God....Horus, the son of Osirus and Isis, is himself an aspect of Ra." 6

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. The term "magician" has multiple meanings. It is used here to refer to a person capable using supernatural forces to perform works of wonder, like walking on water, curing people who could not hear, walk, or see, etc. He allegedly brought people back to life, was resurrected, and left Earth by ascending towards Heaven.
  2. book cover Tom Harpur, "The Pagan Christ; Recovering the Lost Light," Thomas Allen, (2005), Page 5. Read reviews or order this book. It is available in Kindle eBook, and Paperback formats.
  3. "Egyptian god Horus, The Louvre, Paris," at: http://ancienthistory.about.com/
  4. Information taken from essays linked to "Horus - Egyptian God," at: http://ancienthistory.about.com/
  5. Images copied from the web site of the Dark Forest of Ulcron, a supplier of Pagan and New Age items, from Athames to Tarot Cards. See: http://www.ulcron.com/ Images used by permission.
  6. Op Cit., Tom Harpur, Page 69.

Site navigation:

Home > Christianity > Personalities > Jesus > Pagan link > Horus > here

or Home > Religious information > God > Jesus > Pagan link > Horus > here

or Home page > Spirituality > God > Jesus > Pagan link > Horus > here

Copyright © 2004 to 20175 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Originally written: 2004-APR-25
Latest update: 2017-FEB-28
Author: B.A. Robinson

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