Modern day conspiracy theorists have been linking Jesus to the ancient Egyptian God, Horus. There are many films and books flooding the market supporting their claims. SpiritualRay historically investigates the similarities and differences between the ancient Egyptian God, Horus and Jesus.
Gerald Massey, an English poet and amateur Egyptologist is among the first authors to link comparisons between the Egyptian religion and Christianity through his books: The Book of the Beginnings, The Natural Genesis, and Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World.
From centuries, the mysticism and mythological legends of Egypt have enchanted writers, archaeologists, and historians. Writers like Gerald Massey have paralleled many of the rituals and the worships of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses with the Christian faith, these writings have later been used as research and reference material by the writers of the present century. A recent citation of Massey’s work is extensively used by author D.M.Murdoch in her book Christ in Egypt; The Horus-Jesus Connection. The said book presents innumerable similarities between the Egyptian falcon-head God, Horus and Jesus.
Similar claims have been projected through conspiracy theory based movies Zeitgeist and Religulous. Of course, the said similarities are baffling to a layman and can lead to a never-ending debate. The comparison between Horus and Jesus is presented below according to the Bible and the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Let us find out if the two revered figures are really linked to each other:
Horus: is the ancient Egyptian God of the Sun, Sky, and Kingship, he is also known as the national patron god. He is commonly portrayed as a falcon-headed man donning a red and white pschent as a symbolic representation of kingship over the entire kingdom of Egypt.
Jesus: also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the key figure of Christianity and Christian worship. Most of the Christian denominations believe him to be the Son of God and the awaited Messiah (or “Christ”) from the Old Testament who came to save the sinners and bring salvation to mankind.
Origin Facts: Horus vs. Jesus
◆ According to Egyptian mythology and the Book of the Dead, the ancient Egyptian God of the Earth, ‘Geb’ and Goddess of the Sky, ‘Nut’ had four offsprings – Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephthys. Osiris was the God of Afterlife and he married his sister Isis the Goddess of Fertility. Their union infuriated Set, their brother and God of War so much that he murdered Osiris by dismembering his body into 14 parts and scattering them away to all the corners of Egypt.
◆ Isis with the help of her sister Nephthys and Anubis, the Protector of Dead gathered all the pieces and magically bought it back to life. Soon after that she conceived through Osiris and begot Horus the falcon-headed God in a swamp.
◆ When Set learned that Horus was born, he went out to kill the newborn son of Osiris and Isis. Isis hid Horus from his uncle’s devious plan in a lotus till the Gods decided that Horus was the right ruler of the throne of Egypt. Set could not take this royal declaration and decided to fight it out with Horus. During the epic battle between the two Gods, Set tore out the left eye of Horus. God Thoth restored Horus’s eye and blessed him with the Light of the Moon. During another dispute, Set sent darkness over the right eye of Horus. Goddess Hathor poured some of her milk into Horus’s right eye and blessed it with the Light of the Sun.
◆ The battle proved victorious for Horus as he avenged the murder of his father by killing Set. Horus gifted his left eye to Osiris who received rebirth in the underworld. The ‘Eye of Horus’ has been the subject of veneration in ancient Egypt since a very long time as it represents regenerative and healing properties. The eye was used as a funeral amulet for protection against evil and rebirth in the underworld, and also for embellishing mummies, coffins, and tombs. The Book of the Dead specifically records that the funerary eye amulets were made out of lapis lazuli or a stone called mak while some were gold-plated. In modern terms, the eye is known as udjat or utchat, meaning ‘sound eye’ and is worn as protection amulets.
◆ The ancient pharaohs of Egypt believed that they were the living representation of Horus, whereas after their death in the after-life they represented Osiris. Horus is one of the best-known avian gods from the ancient Egyptian Dynastic period, the Pre-dynastic rulers of Egypt were known as ‘Followers of Horus’.
◆ Horus was also known as the sky god or ‘lord of the sky’, the words ‘her’ (hor, har) means ‘the one on high’ or ‘the distant one’, probably in context to the soaring flight of the hunting falcon or the solar aspect of the deity. Mythological evidence depicts him as a celestial falcon, whose right eye represents the sun and left eye represents the moon. Horus is depicted on an ivory comb of the 1st Dynasty king Den as a falcon on a boat riding with outstretched wings which peculiarly suggest that he was the sun god. The early Pyramid texts distinctly refer to him as ‘god of the east’.
◆ Horus is also known as the God of kingship of Egypt in both his falcon aspect and as son of Isis. The early Dynastic Pharaohs depicted this through a falcon perched on a stylized palace facade that indicated the king to be the mediator between the heavenly and earthly realms.
◆ Horus was especially venerated in the Delta at the ancient site of Khem (Greek Letopolis, modern Ausim) where he is known as Horus Khenty-irty, or Khenty-khem, ‘Foremost One of Khem’. In the chapter 112 of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, it is mentioned that the Delta city of Pe (historical Buto) was awarded to Horus as compensation for his injured eye which is why this place is an important Horus cult center including Behdet. At Edfu, ritualistic ceremonies prevailed which included the annual Coronation of the Sacred Falcon at the beginning of the 5th month of the Egyptian year in which an actual falcon was selected to represent God Horus as king of all Egypt.
◆ He is often interpreted by amulets depicting him either in the form of a falcon or as a falcon-headed man. In both cases, he is seen donning the Double Crown of Egypt. His widespread worship is depicted through many healing plaques, or cippi. The cippi of Horus are a common reflection of the importance of Horus in healing rituals and popular ritual practice.
◆ According to the sacred scriptures from the Bible, the birth of Jesus was predestined and predicted by the prophets in the Old Testament.
❝Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.❞ – Isaiah 7:14
❝But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.❞ – Mica
◆ As per the prophecies Jesus was born through Virgin Mary in the town of Bethlehem in a poor manger, his earthly guide and father would be Joseph. Shepherds were heralded with the birth of Jesus by the angles in heaven. And the three wise men or kings traveled all the way guided by the great East star to seek the newborn baby and shower him with gifts.
❝And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.❞ – Luke 1:35
❝ In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.❞ – Luke 2:1-20
❝Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.❞ – Matthew 2: 1-2
◆ The young Jesus used to spend his time in the temple discussing and debating with pharisees and scholars about the kingdom of god, his public life is not documented until he reaches a mature age of 30. He goes into the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days before beginning his ministry on earth there he is tempted by Satan. After overcoming the temptation he receives baptism through John the Baptist during which the heavens open and God, the Father declares him as his Son.
❝And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.❞ – Luke 2:46
❝And Jesus himself was about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, who was the son of Heli❞ – Luke 3:23
❝Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.❞ – Matthew 4:1-11
❝Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.❞ – Matthew 3:13-17
◆ He preaches the kingdom of God for three years performing miracles, explaining through parables, and healing the suffering. He chooses 12 disciples as his followers who will later on become apostles to spread the Good News.
❝ Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.❞ – Matthew 9:35
❝And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach❞ – Mark 3:14
◆ The Pharisees and the popular opinion of the crowd turn against him and he is betrayed by his own disciple Judas. Judged by Pontius Pilate he is put to death on a cross.
❝Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.❞ – Matthew 12:14
❝Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.❞ – Luke 22:3-4
❝So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.❞ – Luke 23:24
❝When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.❞ – John 17:1-5
◆ Jesus later rose from the death and resurrected to heaven only to come again to judge the living and the dead which is known as his Second Coming.
❝He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.❞ – Luke 24:6-7
❝Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.❞ – Revelation 22:12-13
◆ Of course from the biblical times, Christianity has spread into a global church and remains to be a predominant religion with billions of followers worldwide.
Claimed parallels between Horus and Jesus
Conspiracy theories are abound with the similarities between the lives of Horus and Jesus given below are the hypothesized claims:
◆ Both are conceived through a virgin.
◆ Both are the ‘only begotten Son of God.’
◆ Horus’s foster father was Jo-Seph, and Jesus’s earthly father was Joseph.
◆ Both were of royal descent.
◆ Both were born in a cave.
◆ An angel heralded their birth to their respective mother’s.
◆ Birth of Horus was heralded by the star Sirius (the morning star). Birth of Jesus was heralded by a star in the East (the sun rises in the East).
◆ Ancient Egyptians observed the birth of Horus on 21st December, the Winter Solstice. Christians observe the birth of Jesus on 25th December.
◆ Both the births were witnessed by shepherds.
◆ Baby Horus was visited by ‘three solar deities’ whereas baby Jesus was visited by the ‘three wise men’.
◆ After the birth, Herut wanted Horus dead whereas after birth Herod wanted Jesus dead.
◆ Both were 12 at this coming-of-age ritual.
◆ Both were baptized at age 30, Horus at the river Eridanus and Jesus at the river Jordan.
◆ Horus was baptized by Anup the Baptizer whereas Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
◆ Horus went up to the desert of Amenta to be tempted by his arch-rival, Set. Jesus went up to the desert in Palestine to be tempted by his arch-rival, Satan.
◆ Both had 12 disciples and both performed miracles, hearings, and walked on water.
◆ Horus raised Osiris from the dead and Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
◆ Both were crucified next to two thieves.
◆ Both were buried in a tomb.
◆ Both rose from the dead and their resurrection was witnessed by a woman.
◆ Horus is known as KRST, the anointed one. Jesus is known as Christ which means anointed one.
◆ Both are associated with the zodiac sign – Pisces the fish.
◆ Both are linked with the symbolic representation of the fish, the beetle, the vine, and the shepherd’s crook.
How Horus is Different from Jesus?
◆ Horus did not have a virgin birth. His widowed mother, Goddess Isis conceived through Osiris after she magically resembled his body parts. Isis is never mentioned as Mary or named Mary in any of the Egyptian texts and records.
◆ Horus is described as God according to the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, written in 1280 B.C. It is actually a collection of spells and incantations which were used as protection for the dead in the after-life. Horus is depicted only through vignettes in the book and no actual account of his life is presented. In fact much of his information comes from mythological legends, stories, and cult.
◆ Horus is mentioned as the son of Osiris in various Egyptian mythologies and he never had a foster father.
◆ Horus was born in the deserts of Egypt not in a cave. There is no mention of him being born on December 25th in the Book of the Dead, the Egyptian mythologies or book of Gods and Goddesses. The only fact mentioned is that he was born during the Egyptian month of Khoiak. In present day context, the Egyptian calendar cannot be co-related since the Egyptian calendar was stringently based on the tidal fluctuations of the Nile river.
◆ An angel never visited Isis before the birth of Osiris, and the three solar deities are never mentioned in any mythological sources. Isis after the birth of Horus had the baby hidden away from the anger of Set and not Herud. The claims of his birth being witnessed by simple shepherds and the heralding of his birth by star Sirius is also false as there are no mentions of them in the ancient Egyptian texts.
◆ In none of the Egyptian texts or accounts, Horus is projected as a teacher. In fact he spent much of his life trying to avenge the death of his slain father hence he never witnessed a water baptism or had a ministry or 12 disciples. The concatenation of Anup the Baptizer sprung from the writings of Gerald Massey who invented the character in many of writings about Egypt. His works on Egyptology are considered in poor light by fellow professional Egyptologists and archaeologists who state that his works lack historical evidence.
Archaeological evidence found from ancient Egyptian tomb paintings and sculptures depict that the pharaohs witnessed a washing ritual before the official coronation ceremony only by the hands of gods. This simply means that it was a spiritual cleansing and not the actual ceremony. No evidence has been found of Horus being ritualistically washed by any of the Gods or Goddesses.
◆ Horus went out to the desert not to fast and pray but to fight a series of battle challenges posed by his evil uncle, Set in order to gain the throne of Egypt and avenge the murder of this father.
◆ The healing associated with the ‘Eye of Horus’ is prevalent among the cult believers of Horus, Horus personally did not display any healings or miracles. There are no ancient accounts supporting the claims of Horus as the divine healer.
◆ Horus did not suffer crucifixion except an injury to his left eye during the battle with Set. He killed Set and revenged the death of his father. After which the Gods crowned him as the supreme King of Egypt. Hence he is also known as the God of Kingship. Moreover this kind of crucifix punishment is never mentioned in any of the Egyptian texts, Egyptians were known to mummify not crucify. The Horus cult predominantly clings with the pharaohs of Egypt as they conceived that they were the living representation of Horus.
◆ The legend of Horus is the story of avenge and he nowhere appears as the ‘Savior of humanity’ or as the ‘One who came to wipe out people’s sins.’
◆ Many of the claims made by conspiracy theorists is based on the assumptions and writings by Gerald Massey which is not considered as an authentic source of information. Hence people should be careful and critical about what is being projected to you in the name of history.
Apostle Peter mentions in his second epistle, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them – bringing swift destruction on themselves” (2 Peter 2:1).
Bible clearly warns against these false teachings and teachers who will distort history and build an empire of false information to mislead and misguide people. So before believing in anything blindly, it is better to verify the facts.