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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Isn't Jesus just a myth that is based on the Egyptian god Horus?

“Love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul, 
         and with all your MIND”--Matt 22:37

Short answer: 

Long answer:   many of us will have college kids coming home with the above question about the connection between Jesus and Horus. Most reputable scholars are dismissive of this idea, (in fact, almost all atheists who deny the existence of God will acknowledge that a man, the historical Jesus, existed. Only some fanatical, rabid atheists who are not not well-read or educated will question whether there actually was a man named Jesus who lived 2000 years ago.)  The question of the Jesus/Horus connection seems to have take a life of its own in the internet and many college students are entertaining this notion that Jesus never really existed.  They believe that there was an ancient Egyptian deity named Horus who existed prior to Christianity, and that the "Christians" of the ancient near east simply enveloped and embraced some of the mythical aspects of Horus and created/copied/made up their own deity named Jesus Christ.

Horus is one of ancient Egypt's best known gods, as well as one of its oldest. His name is attested to from at least the beginning of the Dynastic Period and depictions of falcon deities on earlier artifacts, such as the Narmer Palette, probably represent this same god. The Turin Canon, which provides some of our most important information on Egypt's early history, specifically describes the Predynastic rulers of Egypt as "Followers of Horus".
The use of his name was also widespread in personal names throughout Egyptian history, and Hor, as a personal name, survives into our modern era in a number of different forms.
Read more:
The claim is that stories of Jesus are "ripped-off" pre-existing myths of Horus.  They claim that Horus was a god-man, born of a virgin mother who died and was resurrected.  He had 12 friends.  He walked on water, was baptized by Anup the Baptizer who was later beheaded.  Horus was tempted in the desert, cured the sick and healed the blind....all of these "coincidentally" match with the stories of Jesus, who came later.  The "coincidence" these people say, are explained by the fact that the Gospel writers simply plagiarized the stories from Egyptian mythology.

How to refute these claims?  

Firstly, there is no single source that we can use to trace the legend of the Egyptian god, Horus.  The mythology existed and developed over a 5000 year time-span, with multiple sources,  many authors, and a myriad of legends/story-lines.  In order to find a similarity with the Gospel stories, one needs to cherry-pick all the stories from all the epochs of Egyptian history to find connections and parallels.  

It would be like, millenia later, people saying that President Obama was a myth borrowed from stories of Abraham Lincoln.  Both of them were from Illinois.  Both were lawyers.  Both used a Bible at their inauguration...therefore, Obama didn't really exist. He was just created by some people based on stories of a previous character in history.

Ridiculous, right?

The Jesus/Horus connection is similar.  

From the article:  Horus Manure:  Debunking the Jesus/Horus Connection by Jon Sorensen
Horus is the son of the god Osiris, born to a virgin mother.
The mother of Horus was believed to be the goddess Isis. Her husband, the god Osiris, was killed by his enemy Seth, the god of the desert, and later dismembered. Isis managed to retrieve all of Osiris’s body parts except for his phallus, which was thrown into the Nile and eaten by catfish. (I’m not making this up).  Isis used her goddess powers to temporarily resurrect Osiris and fashion a golden phallus. She was then impregnated, and Horus was conceived. However this story may be classified, it is not a virgin birth.
He was baptized in a river by Anup the Baptizer, who was later beheaded.
There is no character named Anup the Baptizer in ancient Egyptian mythology. This is the concoction of a 19th-century English poet and amateur Egyptologist by the name of Gerald Massey. Massey is the author of several books on the subject of Egyptology; however, professional Egyptologists have largely ignored his work. In fact, his writing is held in such low regard in archaeological circles that it is difficult to find references to him in reputable modern publications.
Yes, Horus was crucified first.
In many of the books and on the websites that attempt to make this connection, it is often pointed out that there are several ancient depictions of Horus standing with his arms spread in cruciform.  One can only answer this with a heartfelt “So what?”  A depiction of a person standing with his arms spread is not unusual, nor is it evidence that the story of a crucified savior predates that of Jesus Christ.
I won't bore you with the rest of the refutations.  Suffice it to say that there is no evidence that Egyptian god Horus walked on water, was tempted in the desert, had 12 disciples, etc etc etc.  The accusation that Jesus is Horus revisited is simply senseless applications of a hodgepodge of mythological lore.

For more in-depth study visit these websites:

Was Jesus Copied from the Egyptian God Horus?

Catholics Come Home

Catholic Bible online

Catechism of the Catholic Church online

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" - 1 Peter 3:15


  1. Hello, what do you think of C.S. Lewis's ideas that many myths human create can express profound truths about life, death, justice and resurrection, and that the whole life of Jesus of Nazareth is a myth enacted by God Himself?

    Greetings from continental Europe.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

    1. Thanks for your comment, Lothars.

      I think you misunderstand Lewis. He wrote that Christianity is a "myth that became fact". He posits that Christianity is the myth that became a reality: "If ever a myth had become a fact, had been incarnated, it would be just like this. And nothing else in all literature was just like this. Myths were like it in one way. Histories were like it in another. But nothing was simply like it . . . Here and here only in all time the myth must have become fact; the Word, flesh; God, man. This is not "a religion," nor "a philosophy." It is the summing up and actuality of them all.

  2. Can you tell me what was the length of Jesus ministry, and where was Jesus in last 7 months.
    Mark says he was totally in Galilee, and came to Judea on Tuesday and was dead by Friday on Passover day. Jesus's Ministry was less than one year as per Mark.

    If this is correct or not? If you lengthen ministry based on 4th Gospel- read Luke 16:10

    1. Jesus' ministry was the duration of his entire life, Yahweh Fraud.

      When some of the inspired writers decided to consider the start of his ministry depended upon their perspective.