Is Jesus copied from an Egyptian God?

(86 Posts)
PenguinBear Fri 12-Apr-13 18:28:37

I am trying to work out where I am religion wise at the moment and clearly DP and I are not on the same page.

He is adamant that Christianity is made up and has said that The story about Jesus is almost an exact copy of that of an Egyptian God called 'Horus'. I have done some research and it does appear there are many, many similarities. As DP pointed out, Horus came first so how can Jesus be true?

This has really sewn huge seeds of doubt in my mind and wondered what other people's take on it is?

madhairday Thu 18-Apr-13 12:51:05

We all did - it was brilliant! smile

EllieArroway Thu 18-Apr-13 00:52:41

Aww. Hope DD had a wonderful time smile

Mad that is great news.

madhairday Wed 17-Apr-13 13:39:08

smile

That has just made me happy ^^

Thanks for the get well wishes. I was actually feeling really fed up yesterday as I'd got dd tickets to see one direction tonight with her best friend, and was thinking I couldn't possibly make it, but thanks to a lovely friend and helpful staff at the LG I'm going to, so things are much happier smile

Looking forward to the next stage of the Jesus thread!

EllieArroway Wed 17-Apr-13 07:12:05

That's lovely, Niminy and it means a lot. Genuinely. Thank you thanks.

How about we wave a white flag at each other and start again, huh? If we resurrect the thread, then please join when you feel ready and we'll have a robust, but respectful, discussion about these things - just because they are historically interesting. Deal?

Hope you feel better soon smile

niminypiminy Wed 17-Apr-13 06:57:43

Ellie I apologise for bringing up that earlier thread and your exit from it. It was a mischievous thing to do, and I knew that it would annoy you.

I am taking a break from debate threads. I find it very hurtful when people are angry with me, and although I probably should be better able to cope with that, at the moment I am not.

I hope you will not mind too much if I say that you have been very much in my prayers over the last couple of days.

The Lord bless you, and keep watch over you.
The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
The Lord look kindly upon you, and give you peace.

Niminypiminy

Mad hope you feel better soon.

Holo, I think you are right that someone writing about Jesus much later on would embellish the story with bits taken from (other) myths. Even if their intent was honest they might do so to make the point of how powerful/good he was. This is human nature and I expect that hasn't changed in 2000 years.
If I were describing a friend who was a great sportsman I might say "Oh he has won 100s of gold medals and things" which might not be literally true - and my audience would probably guess I was exaggerating - but would convey what a great sportsman I considered him to be.

However no matter how understandable and normal that urge is it still diminishes the reliability of the account.

Also when you say "in many biographies, real people are compared to literary figures - why can that literary feature not be present in the Gospels?" that's not quite the same thing is it.

For example it would be ok to say that Archbishop Carey is as brilliant as Einstein (especially in a retirement speech), but to say that he was the one who came up with the Theory of Relativity would be just an embarrassing lie and not a comparison at all.

EllieArroway Tue 16-Apr-13 14:04:15

Mad & Holo - Happy to resurrect the thread if you'd like to. Perhaps one of you could find it? I'll come and look tomorrow.

I have this book, Mad - can heartily recommend it. Easy to dip in and out of.

Sorry you're not well. Have some thanks and some brew and a jammy dodger to dunk in it biscuit.

madhairday Tue 16-Apr-13 13:08:45

I have plenty of those, Holo grin

time for a nap

HolofernesesHead Tue 16-Apr-13 13:03:01

Oh no! Not another head explosion! I'm sorry! smile

madhairday Tue 16-Apr-13 12:52:41

Makes some sense as well, Holo smile <head explodes>

HolofernesesHead Tue 16-Apr-13 12:49:24

Mad - sorry to hear that you are unwell again. What a PITA. sad Hope you are feeling much better soon.

madhairday Tue 16-Apr-13 12:48:37

Hera was jealous of him and arranged for the Titans to kill him. Someone called Rhea raised him from the dead. This was after the whole Zeus stitching him into his thigh thing

It seems there are two versions, depending on which woman he was 'born' from - the Rhea/Titan thing was based on Persephone, the fetus/thigh thing on Semele. Still no comparison to the resurrection, though.

You're right, it's all a myth, which is why it's difficult to pin down - there is so much circulating and interchangeable between the different 'gods'.

I can't find anything about water into wine, only about him being the god of wine, so filling empty vessels and making it from corn and oil. Still, details.

I do find it hard to get my head round the fact that the NT writers employed a rigorous oral tradition, wrote down events only 20+ years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, and yet according to the authors of the Jesus Mysteries based what they wrote on a load of beliefs and practises circulating at the time - to what point? Why? Would this have made early Christianity stand out to the extent it did? It would make more sense to say <if you take the stance they were fabricating events> that they would make something entirely new up. Instead, what seems to have happened is that there are some vague similarities to ancient belief, which only makes sense in the light of human experience, the cycle of birth and death and seasons - and that these similarities have been pounced upon and embellished to a major extent to 'disprove' the existence and/or divinity of Jesus.

HolofernesesHead Tue 16-Apr-13 12:47:59

Ooooh, the Jesus Debate has resurrected! I do love a good resurrection wink

My take on the Dionysus thing is a bit different to Mad's (with all due resoect to Mad!). I think that there are definite parallels between Jesus and Dionysus, and, going back to my hobby horse, that it is historiclly plausible that the Gospel writers, John in particular, could well have known the Dionysus myths and therefore 'used' them, esp. in the water to wine story. However, for me, the issue is this: John is a storyteller, a writre who writes 'in order that you may believe and have life'. As such, I am interested in how John may use the Dionysus motifs, and what kind of conclusions to leads onto from them. I have no problem with the idea that John uses aspects of the Dionysus myths to make points about who Jesus is - and the thing that John does, over and over again, is to imply heavily that Jesus is God incarnate, and that in Jesus, God has saved 'the best until last' (like the wine).

For John, it's not just (just!) that Jesus was resurrected - it's that Jesus is the resurrection. It's just not that Jesus can multiply bread in the feeding of the 5000, it is that he is the bread of life. Every 'sign' (or miracle) that Jesus does in John's Gospel is selected by John, as a storyteller, to tell his readers something about who Jesus is, so that they might believe in him. So I can see that John may well be making the point that Jesus is greater than Dionysus, but that point is rooted in John's central claim about Jesus - that he is the 'great I am', Yahweh (which means 'I am') made flesh - so all the 'I am' statements in John's gospel are ways of saying 'Jesus is God, and this is what God is like' (i.e. shepherd, resurrection and life, bread of life, way, truth and life, etc). So for me, allusions to Dionysus don't cause me any anxiety because I can see how John may have evoked Dionysus to say that Jesus is greater than Dionysus, and also to make the point that in Jesus, God has saved the 'best until last' (the conclusion of the wedding at Cana story).

Anyway, in many biographies, real peole are comapred to literary figures - why can that literary feature not be present in the Gospels?

madhairday Tue 16-Apr-13 12:30:18

Not sure where the source of such info is, Ellie, but would be interested to read. That's the thing about the mystery religions though - they're all mixed up with each other, and much based on images etc, and all over the place re dates - the NT stands alone in its grounding the events in place and time, and the details given. There can be no comparison.

Not too well atm, another bloody infection, thanks for asking. Would like to talk about Paul etc smile

EllieArroway Tue 16-Apr-13 12:23:29

Mad I know - I should just have waited till you got back. We can resurrect it if you like - think we were getting to the good part.....Paul wink. Not today though.

Dionysus never appeared to mortals? Not even his mother? Are you sure? According to the myth, he certainly did appear to mortals - he wandered the world trying to get more believers.

His mother was a mortal - isn't everyone's? Erm....Mithras's mother was a rock, so no! These are myths we're talking about,*Mad*. Most of them did not have mortal mothers. I would say that everyone's father is a mortal, personally, but Jesus had a god instead (who was actually himself) - so I'm not quite sure what point you're making.

He was a dying & rising god - where does this come from? Hera was jealous of him and arranged for the Titans to kill him. Someone called Rhea raised him from the dead. This was after the whole Zeus stitching him into his thigh thing.

He apparently turned all the water in a fountain at his temple in Andros into wine and at Elis filled three empty cannisters with it.

It's also worth noting that it was believed that by drinking wine the spirit of Dionysus could "fill" a person. Sounds suspiciously like being filled by the Holy Spirit.

We also have a vase with a depiction of Dionysus being hung on a tree and being brought commemorative bread and wine.

So, it's all a big 1st century conspiracy, then? Deliberately copied from the OT prophecies (which aren't prophecies at all when you bother to read them) and then cobbled together to confuse everyone when Jesus showed up.

Yeah right.

I'm done for the day. Hope you're feeling OK at the moment. See you soon smile

I'd be interested in the OT prophecies since the last time I asked someone about them they pointed me to a completely irreverent verse and said "yes it doesn't mention any of my points but I have faith it was referring to that - faith is what matters"

I think it was roughly equivalent to claiming that the song "my old man's a dustman" foretold the rise of a grocer's daughter to be Prime Minister because they were both about 'common' professions.

Oh but perhaps you meant that those other religions had read the prophecies and built their own god around them. That is possible I guess. Hey, maybe the reason the inns were all full in Bethlehem is that every con-man for miles around was converging on the spot to fulfil the prophecy. You could make a good sketch of that. Lots of Marys - some pregnant and some using pillows to look like they were. Lots of Josephs waving hammers and saws and talking about joinery. Like an Elvis Convention.

madhairday Tue 16-Apr-13 11:52:03

Care to qualify that comment?

PearlyWhites Tue 16-Apr-13 11:46:12

Er no, what rubbish

madhairday Tue 16-Apr-13 11:44:27

I was happy to keep going with the thread. I'm always unwell, on and off, and did have a couple of days off it, but thought I'd come back to it? I was enjoying it but we were getting somewhat stuck on Josephus wink

Quoting Wiki on Dionysus doesn't cut it, I'm afraid.

An "epiphany" God (a god who appears to mortals) - no. He was only a semi-deity and one of several children born to Zeus.

His mother was a mortal - isn't everyone's? confused

He was a dying & rising god - where does this come from? The only reference to any kind of 'rising' is when he was saved as a fetus by Zeus from the ashes of his priestess mother. Hardly a comparison to the death on a cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is no theme of atonement in this - at the end of his life he ascended to 'be with the other gods'.

He was commemorated with bread and wine - no he wasn't. His followers commemorated him by tearing a human or animal sacrifice limb from limb and eating the raw body parts. Nice grin There is no similarity to eucharistic practise, apart from him being the god of wine.

He turned water into wine - no. This cannot be verified in the myth. He was the god of wine, and it seems the legend is he may have turned coin and oil to wine - a fermentation process, possibly? grin - Jesus' miracle of water to wine only has the similarity in that it is to do with wine. Nothing more.

He was brought up on charges of claiming divinity - possibly, but that was likely with anyone claiming to be a god.

Dionysus is just one case where mystery religions can be shown to be not so similar to Jesus at all. You're right about cultural legends about gods, but don't forget that OT prophecies regarding virgin birth, father-son relationship and many more aspects fulfilled in Jesus were written down in many cases before any trace of these mystery religions, as well as the fact that any details about them were not collated until after Jesus' time. Interesting that...

EllieArroway Mon 15-Apr-13 22:11:41

OK, well let me try again.....

Niminy With the greatest possible respect that I can find, I'd like to point out to you that Professors Bart Ehrman, Robert Carrier & Robert Price are all peer-reviewed historians. I think recommending them to Mumsnetters had value because they are accessible, popular, easy to obtain and not expensive.

I left the thread several days after that discussion when it became clear that I was embroiled in a debate with people whose motivations I doubted.

Perhaps in the future, to avoid further conflict you might take the trouble to ascertain yourself of the facts. I always do. Which is why I am so annoyingly good at this wink

Blessings xxxxxx

EllieArroway Mon 15-Apr-13 22:05:02

From Wikipedia........

Dionysus

An "epiphany" God (a god who appears to mortals)
His mother was a mortal
He was a dying & rising god
He was commemorated with bread and wine
He turned water into wine
He was brought up on charges of claiming divinity

Sorry - but there ARE parallels. Just are.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Apr-13 22:04:26

Peace and love all

EllieArroway Mon 15-Apr-13 21:51:01

I would have stayed on that thread if Mad hadn't been unwell and unable to take part (not blaming her, but that's what happened) - since she, at least, is worth talking to even when we disagree.

Mad I don't think Jesus was "copied" & I've made that clear. But there was a cultural idea of how gods worked - healing the sick, having miraculous births, faffing with wine, dying and coming back to life in another realm. This is pretty well documented and hasn't been de-bunked, since there's nothing to debunk. It's how much importance you attach to it that's the issue.

And, as I said, the early apologists were aware of the parallels and had to address them - so you can hardly claim now that no such parallels existed.

The Zeitgeist film is pretty stupid and I wouldn't pay much attention to that. A better film is "The God Who Wasn't There" which is available on YT.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now