Friday, July 20, 2007

I wish I had at least 48 hours in a day. The pressure is on to finish this book and I have less than 2 months now to do it. If I seem a bit preoccupied over the next few weeks, you know why.

Someone recently posted a question on a favorite pagan topic: the Savior Myth. For those of you who might wonder, it goes something like this:

Many gods in cultures throughout the world (supposedly) have been born of a virgin, suffered a terrible death and eventually been resurrected. Since they predate Christ, this means the story of Jesus must have been copied from earlier pagan myths, making Christianity nothing more than a copycat religion.

First point: Polytheism does not predate Monotheism. Scholars have very recently arrived at the startling conclusion (for them) that early man was probably monotheistic. Monotheism degraded into polytheism, Messianic prophecies played a big role in Old Testament literature, and the geographical proximity of early cultures resulted in similiar figure/events developing in different cultures.

Second point: The pagan gods are not all they're cracked up to be . . .

Osiris & Jesus

The Osiris myth is completely different from the story of Jesus - Set killed his brother Osiris, cut him into pieces and scattered them. Osiris’s wife (and sister), Isis, gathered the pieces and brought them to Egyptian embalmers and Osiris was supposedly resurrected (some accounts—like Plutarch’s—disagree on the resurrection part). Historically, Osiris was a good daimon (demon)—a created being elevated to the rank of god; not born of a virgin; one of many gods, not God Incarnate; not sacrificed for the sins of the world; once resurrected, he becomes god of the Underworld, implying a spiritual resurrection, not a physical one; no offer of eternal salvation by Grace.

Horus & Jesus

Horus was not born of a virgin and historical sources do not agree on his resurrection - Horus was the son of Osiris and Isis, and a god of many identities. He was conceived by Isis after the death of Osiris. There is no historical evidence that Horus was born of a virgin or that he had twelve disciples. Accounts of his “resurrection” also differ—as do the circumstances of his “life.”

Attis & Jesus

Attis (Phrygian god) is nothing like Jesus - Born of a river/deity not a mortal virgin; killed himself by emasculation because of sexual betrayal, not sinless incarnate Deity sacrificed for the sins of the world; resurrected as a woman, not a man, to become daughter and lover to her mother; no offer of eternal salvation by Grace

So much for the pagan saviors.

Close examination of individual myths reveals that their details are quite different from the story of Jesus. Some similarities are being exploited by people intent on proving Christianity a copycat religion. My source is the eminent Egyptologist William Petrie, from his Personal Religion in Egypt Before Christianity.

See also Bruce Metzger, Historical and Literary Studies: Pagan, Jewish, and Christian.

This article has some interesting ancient sources listed:

And here is a comparison of Horus to Hitler—to show the trick of sloppy comparisons:

Almost as ridiculous as the Savior Myth.

(For more info on this, checkout The Kingdom of the Occult, 2008) :)


Matthew said...

This blog entry reminded me of the Quetzalcoatl comparison to "Jesus" used by Mormons.

The Kingdom of the Occult sounds like it will be an interesting read. Best wishes while you work to finish the book.

"The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light." (Romans 13:12)

Grace and peace,


3:44 AM  
Jill Martin Rische said...

Thanks, Matthew. :)

10:59 AM  
Joanna said...

Hi Jill!

I'm listening to your dad; 'Dialogue with a Mormon'. ....That man was PATIENT!!! I'm attempting to witness to a mormon girl!

Thank you for making these lessons available. They are such a valuable resource!

Blessings on your continued efforts in educating Christians in the time we find ourselves in.




12:48 AM  

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