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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?

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sat 13-Apr-13 07:29:39

There aren't many scholars that deny his existence

Not true. There's actually a complete lack of physical evidence that Jesus existed. No contemporary Roman records of execution, no carpentry work, no artifacts, no self-written manuscripts. In fact any scholar who thinks that he did exist is doing so on belief rather than evidence.

Gingerdodger Sat 13-Apr-13 08:28:33

There have been some really interesting debates on here concerning the existence or otherwise of Jesus. I personally think that there is enough evidence for me to conclude that Jesus lived, but as Lynette said, whether he was the son of God is questionable.

The existence of Jesus is just the starting point for Christians though and faith is built on the personal exploration of a relationship with God.

The idea that Jesus is a God/Man myth is one that did the rounds in the late 80's and early 90's with books like 'The Jesus Mysteries.' No peer reviewed work takes it seriously. Books like this make a decent amount of money form the publishers so of course they get written.

Peer reviewed academic history goes with the balance of probability that Jesus lived when Christians said he did because of the evidence of the gospels and people like Josephus. Whether he was who his worshippers said he was is a matter of faith.

Now I realise that there is nothing that will convince some anti theiests that Jesus existed but you have to turn a blind eye to a lot of source material to the existance of the followers of Jesus in the Roman Emprire and the writings of the early church to do so.

What has interested me on MN is the denegration of the other that goes on in discussion. For example any scholar who thinks Jesus exists is doing so on belief rather than evidence thus the implication is that they are not proper scholars. One of the things that conflict mediators working with fundementalists do is work with this denegration of the other - all Christians are stupid, all Evangelicals are naive, all muslims are...., all jews......and so it goes.

This article gives some hope I think

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sat 13-Apr-13 08:54:01

I agree that existence is merely a small hurdle in the grand scheme of faith, but I'd be interested to hear about the evidence that had convinced you because I wasn't aware there was any.

MrsCosmopilite Sat 13-Apr-13 10:02:19

But thegreen - isn't there conflicting detail in the gospels about Jesus' line of descendancy?

As I said earlier, I'm not a christian, I'm a pagan. I don't believe what the bible says, but I have no problem with those that do. I respect other's beliefs and faiths, but as an 'outsider' can see many similarities in the basic tenets. That is fine. I am not denegrating those beliefs.

Faith is what keeps people united, and morals are what guide them. I don't see there is a need for evidence, as evidence to an extent undermines the principles of faith.

SmileItsSunny Sat 13-Apr-13 11:14:53

Oh, evidence that convinced me was a much more personal experience of God, and to be fair I really haven't looked into religions in any great detail.

My belief is based on faith; the very nature of which means it is unproven.

I believe my car will work, but I don't understand it!

niminypiminy Sat 13-Apr-13 11:55:54

That Spectator article is very interesting. What would be most heartening would be for people to be able to move out of their positions of fixed opposition, and to be able to admit that yes, the other side had some good and interesting points to make, and some ways of looking at the world which make sense, and some insights from which we might learn.

headinhands Sat 13-Apr-13 11:56:46

Yeah but you can understand it if you want to. A few hours with a mechanic and you'd know more than most people. It's not supernatural and behaves in predictable ways. It's a poor analogy of faith in a god that no one has seen or has any evidence for.

I really liked the Spectator article. I really struggled to understand the basis of paganism so I read about it (Ronald Hutton - Triumph of the Moon is really good) and got to know pagans and got invited to moots. Brilliant - I wish I could get Christians to be as concerned with the enviroment as some of the pagans I know although we did an Earth Hour Service here last month. Small steps.

Maybe in reading the gospels it helps to understand that they are written for different audiences so the genealogy in Matthew is in multiples of 14 which is an important number for the Jewish converts it was written for. It includes the names of women, Ruth and Rahab are two which is unusual. Luke is probably the most accessible gospel as it is written for a gentile audience and not as stuffed full of OT references and layers of meaning as Matthew and JOhn.

Evidence on which I base my Christian faith include encounters with the living God. Not replicable in a lab which is a pity during the periods of doubt and drought but enough to change my life when I was at university and in the years since.

tabulahrasa Sat 13-Apr-13 15:32:48

'That's not a great argument for his existence if I'm honest.'

I didn't say it was a compelling argument, just my opinion, lol.

If you completely discount the New Testament as historical documents, then yes Jesus is entirely a matter of belief...but reading it and reading peer reviewed scholars writing about it, I don't think you can completely discount it.

I don't believe in god, I don't believe that Jesus is anything more than human, but I'm pretty sure that they are writing about something that involves a real person somewhere along the line.

That's the conclusion I've come to after studying it at undergraduate level - but of course I know that's only the tip of the iceberg.

backonlybriefly99 Sat 13-Apr-13 19:52:41

It doesn't have to be all one thing or the other. We don't have to imagine someone sitting down and inventing Jesus based on one other legend. Although there is no evidence of the existence of Jesus I have no trouble with there having been some man at the core of it and some of the things written about him could be true.

Bits would get added later from lots of different legends. Including perhaps some from Horus. Horus was probably based on some older story anyway as they generally are. Mary started out as just Jesus' mum and got made special much later (Pope Pius in the 18th century I think, but not sure)

God/religions get invented all the time. The ones we hear about are the success stories. In Modern times you hear about Moonies, Mormons and Scientologists and it seems amazing they did so well. We just wouldn't have noticed the ones that flopped. There's probably a Sacred Temple of Fredians out there with just 5 members that will never go down in the history books. Christians may just missed being Johnians or Thomasians which wouldn't have the same ring to it.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sat 13-Apr-13 20:52:02

If you completely discount the New Testament as historical documents, then yes Jesus is entirely a matter of belief...but reading it and reading peer reviewed scholars writing about it, I don't think you can completely discount it.

It doesn't matter in the slightest whether the documents are factual or not. The point is that just because something is written down doesn't make it true. It's complete non-evidence.

HolofernesesHead Sat 13-Apr-13 20:55:51

Ah, we started this debate a while ago! It fizzled out, unfortunately. Oh well...

expatinscotland Sat 13-Apr-13 21:04:42

What Custy and sweetkitty said.

I'll never forget reading a biography of a woman who'd grown up a Scottish traveller in the first part of the 20th century.

In one part, some missionaries come to their camp and start talking to her mother, who was illiterate. She asks them of the story of Abraham and Isaac, why would God need to do such a thing. She says, 'I'm just an ignorant gan aboot (going about body), but even I would ken (know) the depths of someone's love for me without expecting such a thing,' and basically said if that was God they could have him.

Goingdownthegarden Sat 13-Apr-13 22:11:16

My take on it is that it is spiritually very exciting to imagine that the stories about and surrounding Jesus are potentially partly composed specifically to demonstrate and communicate a particular teaching, partly borrowed from much earlier thinking and basically built up from the combined powers of many thinkers, over many ages, in order to persuade others of a view of humanity of which those passing on the stories were themselves convinced.
As a non-Christian, I find this view of the New Testament a very powerful one: over millenia, many intelligent - if ancient - people have worked on this version of how society should function and specifically, how this can be achieved by the individual.
To me, it is precisely upon this level - the allegorical rather than the literal, the basic principles which had been passed backwards and forwards between different peoples in the ancient world, since Egyptian times - which enables me to sense a common humanity running down the millenia and which gives credence to the moral values taught.
I realise this view upsets Christians. But it makes me read the bible to my children and have perhaps the closest feelings to "faith" which I will ever achieve.

MrsCosmopilite Sat 13-Apr-13 22:55:53

Thanks for explaining about the gospels, thegreen. I knew there were differences, but I didn't know why.

Keeping an eye on this thread as it's proving very interesting. smile

SmileItsSunny Sun 14-Apr-13 09:08:43

That is interesting going and if everyone felt the same I imagine a much happier society. We can agree to differ on the original source. Accepting and learning from Jesus' teaching can't be bad.

madhairday Sun 14-Apr-13 19:55:25

Your view doesn't upset me, goingdownthegarden - a 'common humanity running down the milennia' makes a lot of sense. I just see it in a different light - ie that common humanity is there because of a common source of all that is good - so there will be threads picked up throughout history, all making sense of the better ways to live life. Jesus was the perfect example of such.

I'm sorry I posted and ran, OP, I wasn't too well over the weekend. Interesting thread - I think green has said all I wanted to say smile

EllieArroway Sun 14-Apr-13 20:11:17

I haven't read the whole thread, so I may be repeating what a few others have said.

Jesus is not a carbon copy of any particular God. It's a bit of a myth that he's identical to Mithras, Osiris or Apollo (to name but a few).

BUT....... and this is important....he fits very neatly into the "hero god" mould that many of the gods from that time represent.

There are many gods who:

*Had miraculous births. Some were half God/half human. Some had virgin human mothers and god fathers

*Died and rose again in order to "save" mankind

*Performed miracles - quite a few involved wine, almost all involved healing the sick

There are many other comparisons that can be made.

No, Jesus wasn't "copied" from anyone - but he is highly flavoured by the notion of how gods worked at that time.

I think there is enough evidence that Jesus existed Actually, there's none whatsoever.

madhairday Sun 14-Apr-13 20:17:21

Many <most> of these so called comparisons to Jesus can only be traced to later than the first century AD, Ellie, so may just as well have their roots in the Jesus history. Much of the details have been embellished and exaggerated by the uncredited writers of the Jesus Mysteries which was later rejected by the great majority of scholars.

And there is a wealth of evidence that Jesus existed grin

Here we go again?

<waves, by the way!>

madhairday Sun 14-Apr-13 20:25:56

The mystery religions had legends about gods dying and rising, but always in time with the seasons - natural cycles of life and death, and always framed in a legendary, storybook way - 'once upon a time' - whereas the writings about Jesus are completely and starkly different. They name names, dates, exact sayings, exact doings. They come under the rigorous oral tradition of the Jewish culture of the time. The concreteness of the Gospel writings cannot be comparable in any way, shape or form with the wafty 'mystery religions' which were so mysterious they had little shape or form, and borrowed copiously from lots of sources while the Jews carefully protected their own sources in line with their tradition and culture.

There is no equivalent in mystery religions of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal life. Jesus is not copied from Horus or Mithras or any other mystery religion, there are simply no grounds for comparison.

EllieArroway Sun 14-Apr-13 23:27:49

And there is a wealth of evidence that Jesus existed

By "wealth" you mean vague, second hand accounts of Christians written 100 years after the supposed death of the man? Oh yes - in that case there's loads!

Hi Mad - no, I proved there was no evidence for Jesus in my very first post wink.

Many <most> of these so called comparisons to Jesus can only be traced to later than the first century AD, Ellie, so may just as well have their roots in the Jesus history No, sorry. Apollo, Osiris, Mithras & Horus (amongst others) absolutely cannot be shown to date from the 1st century - they are much older than that. They certainly pre-date Christianity.

There is no equivalent in mystery religions of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal life Yeah there is.....Osiris, for a start, rose from the dead and offered the hope of eternal life. There are others too.

The parallels are not as strong as some people think - but they are there, I'm afraid. Right down to commemoration through suppers consisting of bread and wine representing flesh and blood. Dionysus has several things in common with Jesus.

Even the likes of Justin Martyr admitted the similarities between Jesus and other gods of the time. The explanation from early Christians? Well, it was Satan wot dun it. He knew Jesus was coming so set about establishing myths beforehand to damage the credibility of Jesus when he did show up.

Ooooooooooooohkaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay hmm

bumbleymummy Sun 14-Apr-13 23:46:22

Most of the sources I've read date Mithraism to 1st/2nd century.

EllieArroway Mon 15-Apr-13 00:14:03

That's specifically Roman Mithraism - it's birthplace was Persia, making it considerably older than the Roman version.

Italiangreyhound Mon 15-Apr-13 01:23:02

Penguinbear I am so sorry that you faith has been shaken. I really hope you will look and find the truth for yourself. You may find this website helpful. I cannot, of course, endorse it all. Of course with anything I read on the internet one needs a pinch of salt! But this may be helpful.

It goes through lots of bits of the Horus myth and you may find it helpful.

Part if it says "From this quick examination of the Horus tradition, we can see that he was NOT conceived of a virgin, and his mother’s name was NOT Meri. There were NOT three wise men who attended his birth, and he had NO earthly father named Joseph. He was NOT born in a cave or manger (he was born in a swamp), his birth was NOT heralded by an angel, nor was it attended by shepherds. There are NO missing 18 years in his life story, and NO story about a special event in the temple at twelve. He was NOT baptized at 30 by a baptizer who was later beheaded. He did NOT have 12 disciples, and while he certainly performed miracles, he did NOT exorcize demons, raise the dead or walk on water like Jesus. Horus was NOT called, “Iusa”, the “ever-becoming son”, the “Holy Child”, the “Way”, “the Truth the Light”, “Messiah”, “God’s Anointed Son”, “Son of Man”, “Good Shepherd”, “Lamb of God”, “Word made flesh”, “Word of Truth”, “the KRST” or the “Anointed One”! He did NOT deliver a “Sermon on the Mount”, NOR was he transfigured. He was NOT crucified between two thieves, buried for three days in a tomb, NOR resurrected! He did NOT come to fulfill the law and was NOT said to reign for one thousand years. So in hindsight, how similar is Horus to Jesus after all?"

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