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Parallels suggested between the lives of Jesus & Horus

What do the similarities mean; what is their
significance? Symbols associated with each.

statue of horus

Statue of Horus

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, a manifestation or aspect of their supreme God Ra.

Jesus (for whom no image or description of his appearance exists) is/was considered:

bullet A Jewish prophet by Jewish Christians in the first century CE,

bullet As a man-god by later Christians, and

bullet As a fully human prophet by Muslims, who consider him the second greatest prophet after Muhammad,.

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.

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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. Some theologians in the early Christian Church believed that Satan planted stories in ancient Egypt that would parallel events in the life of Jesus many millennia later. Satan's intent was to weaken the faith of Christians.
bulletIf the Bible is viewed as a historical document, like other cultures' holy books, then it is obvious that events in Jesus' life were copied from stories that had been associated with Horus since about three millennia 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:
bullet An exceptional Jewish itinerate preacher and native healer who had an uneventful birth.

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

bullet Spread a type of reform Judaism that closely matched the teachings of the Jewish philosopher Hillel from the first century BCE,

bullet Performed many miraculous deeds, healing many and restoring some to life.

bullet Incorrectly predicted that he would return in the future of many of his followers

bullet Was convicted by the Romans of aggravated assault in the Jerusalem temple, and

bullet Was executed for treason by the occupying Roman army, along with thousands of other Jews in the first century CE.

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

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Webmaster's thoughts on the Jefferson's Bible, revisited:

Many of the founding fathers of the U.S. were Deists. They believed that God existed, created the universe and its natural laws, kick started it, left, and hasn't been seen since. Thomas Jefferson is one of the best known of these Deists. He had great respect for Jesus and his teachings, but much less for his followers. Jefferson felt that the authors of the Christian Scriptures/New Testament embellished stories of Jesus by adding material about many events that never happened. He felt that the authors had corrupted Jesus' message. With a sharp knife and a regular Bible, he created his own version of the New Testament. It consists of 84 pages. It contains Jesus' moral teachings but is devoid supernatural material.

It might make an interesting project for someone to partly replicate the Jefferson's Bible process. One could take a copy of the Gospels in the King James Version -- or any other English translation that is in the public domain -- and delete any references to life events that replicated Horus' experiences, from the virgin birth to the resurrection. With:

  • The current decline in Christian affiliation throughout in the developed world,

  • The rapid growth in NOTAs (persons NOT Affiliated with any faith group, and

  • The findings of the Baylor University study which found that about 24% of U.S. adults hold beliefs similar to Deism,

such an edited version of the New Testament could be a best seller. With the anger and opposition such a "Bible" would generate, the book would probably not need an advertising budget.

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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 over three millenia. If any copying occurred by the writers of the Egyptian or Christian religions, it would seem to be 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, including monotheism.

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, although he was said to have been tied to a tree and died of exposure.

A point-by-point chart showing a comparison between specific events in Horus' and Jesus' lives is listed in another essay.

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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 millennia before Jesus' birth.

Some religious conservatives might suspect that stories of Horus' life were copied from the Gospels, perhaps in the First Century CE and preserved in a way that made them look much older. Alternately, the similarities of events in Jesus' and Horus' lives could be a coincidence. Perhaps the correspondences were created by Satan to confuse Christians and lead them astray.

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Symbols associated with Horus and Jesus:

eye of horus symbolcross symbol

The eye of Horus Christian cross symbol

The Christian cross symbol is usually seen with a very tall vertical member. In reality, the Romans used a short stake because it was cheaper to fabricate, easier to handle, and gave better access to the victim by predator animals.

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

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