Search This Blog, All Links Referenced In All Posts, & Paranoid Links At The Bottom Of The Page

08 June, 2009

Was Horus Crucified?

By D.M. Murdock

In my book Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection, I delve deeply into various parallels between the Jewish godman Jesus Christ and the Egyptian gods Horus and Osiris. Along with the claim that Horus was born on "December 25th" or the winter solstice of a virgin called Mery comes the contention that he was "crucified between two thieves," as Jesus is depicted to have been in the New Testament. Although I included this motif in my book The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold, this assertion does not originate with me but can be found in older sources, as highlighted in Christ in Egypt ("CIE"), which contains a 40-page chapter on the subject entitled "Was Horus 'Crucified?,'" with 120 footnotes citing primary sources as well as the works of respected Egyptologists and other scholars in relevant fields. This chapter in CIE also provides 18 images to illustrate the various points, such as the abundance of Pagan gods and goddesses in cruciform or cross shapes.

The list of sources cited in the chapter "Was Horus 'Crucified?'" includes: ancient Egyptian primary sources such as the Pyramid Texts, Coffin Texts, Book of the Dead and other artifacts; the writings of the ancient historians Herodotus and Plutarch, philosophers Plato and Philo, and the Egyptian priest Horapollo; the Bible; noncanonical early Christian writings such as the Epistle of Barnabas, Acts of John and Acts of Pilate; the writings of early Church fathers Justin Martyr, Tertullian and Minucius Felix; Gnostic writings; Coptic writings such as the Kebra Nagast; the Catholic Encyclopedia; the works of modern Egyptologists Drs. Erik Hornung, Raymond O. Faulkner, Jan Assman and Barbara S. Lesko; and the works of various theologians, historians and other professional scholars such as Pope Benedict XVI, Jean Doresse, Joseph Campbell, Dr. Roger Beck and Dr. Tryggve N.D. Mettinger.

Even with all of the scholarship put together in Christ in Egypt, there remains much confusion concerning this subject, because many people erroneously believe that the contention is that Horus or Osiris were killed via crucifixion, as allegedly happened to Jesus. In actuality, the most common myths concerning the deaths of Osiris and Horus are that the former was rent into pieces, while the latter was stung by a scorpion, after which both were resurrected. In this regard, the same Greek word used by historian Diodorus Siculus in the first century BCE to describe Horus's resurrection - anastasis - is utilized by later biblical writers in the New Testament to depict Christ's resurrection (e.g., Mt 22:23).

It needs to be emphasized that the claim is not that Horus was a human being thrown to the ground and nailed to a piece of wood. In CIE, I discuss the etymology of the word "crucify," which comes from the Latin crucifigere, composed of cruci/crux and affigere/figere, meaning "cross" and "to fix/affix," respectively. Crucifigere and its English derivation "to crucify" mean "to fix to a cross," but not necessarily to throw down and nail to a piece of wood. What we are interested in, then, is whether or not pre-Christian gods and goddesses were depicted as fixed to a cross or in cruciform, appearing as a crucifix. This motif of a pre-Christian or non-Christian god or man on a cross or cross-shaped is expounded upon by the Church fathers Tertullian (c. 160-c. 200) and Minucius Felix (2nd-3rd cents.). In his Apology (16), Tertullian remarks:

"We have shown before that your deities are derived from shapes modelled from the cross. But you also worship victories, for in your trophies the cross is the heart of the trophy. The camp religion of the Romans is all through a worship of the standards, a setting the standards above all gods. Well, as those images decking out the standards are ornaments of crosses. All those hangings of your standards and banners are robes of crosses." (Roberts, ANCL, 85)

The place where Tertullian had "shown before" his contentions about the Pagan gods being cross-shaped was in his work Ad Nationes (12), in a lengthy treatise which includes the following remarks:

"...The Heathens Themselves Made Much of Crosses in Sacred Things; Nay, Their Very Idols Were Formed on a Crucial [Crosslike] Frame.

"...your gods in their origin have proceeded from this hated cross... if you simply place a man with his arms and hands outstretched, you will make the general outline of a cross...." (Roberts, ANF, III, 122)

In his Octavius (29), Minucius echoes the same sentiment:

"...The Egyptians certainly choose out a man for themselves whom they may worship... Crosses, moreover, we neither worship nor wish for. You, indeed, who consecrate gods of wood, adore wooden crosses perhaps as parts of your gods. For your very standards, as well as your banners, and flags of your camp, what else are they but crosses gilded and adorned? Your victorious trophies not only imitate the appearance of a simple cross, but also that of a man affixed to it." (Roberts, ANF, IV, 191)

Continue reading at:

No comments:

Post a Comment