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Parallels suggested between Jesus & Horus

Alleged comparisons between
Jesus' and Horus' life events

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What do similarities between Jesus and Horus mean?

There are an amazing number of identical or very similar life events, characteristics, and teachings shared by Horus and Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus Christ). Horus was considered a god in ancient Egypt. Jesus is/was considered:

bulletA Jewish prophet by Jewish Christians in the first century CE,

bulletAs a man-god by later Christians, and

bulletAs history's second greatest prophet by Muslims.

If these points of similarity were between Horus and any other historical Jewish individual -- for example Pilate, the Procurator of Judea -- then there would be universal agreement that someone in ancient times had simply copied elements of Horus' story and falsely attributed them to Pilate. That is, both life stories would be myths -- events that never happened but which have great spiritual significance.

But Pilate was not involved. The first century CE individual was Yeshua of Nazareth! His story is found documented in in the Christian Scriptures -- the New Testament of the Bible.

How these points of coincidence are interpreted depends upon one's view of the Bible:

bullet If it is viewed as an inerrant book, free of error, whose authors were inspired by God, then one would suspect that a massive fraud must have taken place. The events really formed part of Jesus' life because the Bible is free of error. Somehow the events were also attributed to Horus in Egypt for many centuries before Jesus' birth through fraudulent means.
bulletIf the Bible is viewed as a historical document, like other cultures' holy books, then it is obvious that events in Jesus' life were copied from stories that had been associated with Horus for many centuries before Jesus' birth. The events are fictional. Probably none actually happened in reality.

After removing these myths from the Gospel, there would be not much left of the stories other than an an account of:
bulletAn exceptional Jewish itinerate preacher and native healer who had an uneventful birth,

bulletWho, at the age of about 35 gathered a small group of followers and toured the Galilee,

bulletSpread a type of reform Judaism that matched the teachings of Hillel from the first century BCE,

bulletWas convicted of aggravated assault in the Jerusalem temple, and

bulletWas routinely executed for treason by the occupying Roman army, along with thousands of others in the first century CE.

In short, Jesus' story would be very similar to that promoted by the Jesus Seminar today.

Life events allegedly shared by Horus and Yeshua (a.k.a. Jesus)

There is a near consensus that Yeshua was born circa 4 to 7 BCE. By that time, stories from the life of Horus had been circulating for a few centuries. If any copying occurred by the writers of the Egyptian or Christian religions, it was the myths and legends of Horus that were incorporated into Jesus' biography, not vice-versa.

Tom Harpur, an author, journalist, Anglican priest, and theologian, studied the works of three authors specialized in ancient Egyptian religion: Godfrey Higgins (1771-1834), Gerald Massey (1828-1907) and Alvin Boyd Kuhn (1880-1963). Harpur incorporated some of their findings into his book "Pagan Christ." 1 He argued that all of the essential ideas of both Judaism and Christianity came primarily from Egyptian religion.

Harpur writes, in his book:

"[Author Gerald] Massey discovered nearly two hundred instances of immediate correspondence between the mythical Egyptian material and the allegedly historical Christian writings about Jesus. Horus indeed was the archetypal Pagan Christ." 2

One problem with comparing events in the life of Horus and Yeshua relates to time. Horus was a leading figure in Egyptian mythology for millennia. Folklore about him naturally proliferated during this interval. So, for example, there is more than one story about the method by which he died. Thus, if the writers of the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) did copy events from Horus' life, they would have had multiple options from which to choose. Further, one cannot directly compare crucifixion in 1st century CE Judah, with a simlar procedure in ancient Egypt. Roman crucifixion followed a specific procedure by which the victim was made to carry the crosspiece through the city, clothing was stripped from him, his limbs were tied -- or in rare instances, nailed -- to the cross, etc. Nothing precisely like this existed in ancient Egypt. So, one cannot strictly call Horus' execution a crucifixion, even if he was tied to a tree and died of exposure.

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What it the significance of the many parallels between Horus and Jesus?

To many religious liberals and skeptics, it appears obvious that the early beliefs that grew up around Jesus' life were copied from the myths surrounding Horus' life which had been circulating for centuries before Jesus' birth.

To many religious conservatives, it would appear that -- centuries before Jesus' birth -- Satan created myths about Horus' life in anticipation of Jesus, in order to cause confusion, doubt, and disbelief.

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Comparison of some life events of Horus and Jesus:

Event Horus Yeshua of Nazareth, a.k.a. Jesus
Conception: By a virgin. There is some doubt about this matter By a virgin. 3
Father: Only begotten son of the God Osiris. Only begotten son of Yehovah (in the form of the Holy Spirit).
Mother: Isis-Meri. 4 Miriam (now often referred to as Mary).
Foster father: Seb, (a.k.a. Jo-Seph). 4 Joseph.
Foster father's ancestry: Of royal descent. Of royal descent.
Birth location: In a cave. In a cave or stable.
Annunciation: By an angel to Isis, his mother. By an angel to Miriam, his mother. 3
Birth heralded by: The star Sirius, the morning star. An unidentified "star in the East."
Birth date: Ancient Egyptians paraded a manger and child representing Horus through the streets at the time of the winter solstice (about DEC-21). In reality, he had no birth date; he was not a human. Born during the fall. However, his birth date is now celebrated on DEC-25. The date was chosen to occur on the same date as the birth of Mithra, Dionysus and the Sol Invictus (unconquerable Sun), etc.
Birth announcement: By angels. By angels. 3
Birth witnesses: Shepherds. Shepherds. 3
Later witnesses to birth: Three solar deities. An unknown number of wise men. 3 They are said to have brought three gifts; thus the legend grew that there were three men.
Death threat during infancy: Herut tried to have Horus murdered. He was not successful. Herod tried to have Jesus murdered. He was not successful.
Handling the threat: The God That tells Horus' mother "Come, thou goddess Isis, hide thyself with thy child." An angel tells Jesus' father to: "Arise and take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt."
Rite of passage ritual: Horus came of age with a special ritual, when his eye was restored. Taken by parents to the temple for what is today called a bar mitzvah ritual.
Age at the ritual: 12 12
Break in life history: No data between ages of 12 & 30. No data between ages of 12 & 30.
Baptism location: In the river Eridanus. In the river Jordan.
Age at baptism: 30. 30.
Baptized by: Anup the Baptiser. John the Baptist, a.k.a. John the Baptist.
Subsequent fate of the baptiser: Beheaded. Beheaded.

This list is continued in another essay

References used:

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

  1. Tom Harpur, "The Pagan Christ; Recovering the Lost Light," Thomas Allen, (2004), Page 5. Read reviews or order this book. A Canadian Broadcasting Corp. documentary based on this book won the Platinium Award at the WorldFest Remi Awards in 2008.
  2. Ibid,  Page 85.
  3. Ibid, Page 80. Items as seen in the Temple of Luxor, built by Amenhotep III, a pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty, before 1700 BCE.

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 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Originally written: 2004-APR-25
Latest update: 2013-JUL-13
Author: B.A. Robinson

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