Jesus vs Horus Myth…The True Facts
By: Faith, Grace, and Torah
Everyday there are thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands if not millions of people trying to disprove the Bible and mystify the story of Jesus to where they will try to connect him to some other god of another culture such as the Egyptians. Other times, people don’t even try to connect him to another god, but rather they form pseudo comparisons with people such as Ceasar. But are these stories, myths, and comparisons true or is it just some pseudo scholarship gone viral?! Today I’d like to tackle one of these myths in particular: the Jesus – Horus connection.
One of the most recent pictures that I’ve seen circling around is this one below.
The problem with the above picture much like the grand majority of urban legends and other myths that go viral is that very, very few people check their sources and/or do any research to test the claims. I will go point by point down this list and respond to every claim made.
Claim 1: The Jesus story was written down 2,000 years ago. The Horus story was written down 5,000 years ago.
For those that endorse the view that Jesus is Messiah, it is generally accepted that the Torah and the Prophets are all shadow pictures pointing to Him. Also, we know that Horus was at least around since the beginning of the 5th Egyptian Dynastic Period, so roughly dating that, it was not 5,000 years ago, except to those trying to push an agenda. But even so, we do know that the name Horus, and the worship of Horus in Egypt does date prior to that of the name Jesus, whom I like to call Yeshua, in and of itself.
Claim 2: Both were born of a virgin, Jesus via Mary, and Horus via Isis.
We can debate the Virgin Birth issue all day, but all evidence for that is in the scriptures, and can be learned about at https://faithgracetorah.net/2014/05/03/the-virgin-birth-dilemma-the-alma/ But the idea that Horus came about through a virgin birth of Isis is a false claim. Firstly, we know that the Egyptians didn’t even place a high value on virginity, at least not until the Roman period, and even that isn’t entirely provable.
So how was Horus born? Well we know that Horus is the byproduct of Osiris and Isis. In Egyptian mythology, Osiris is the god of life & death (King of the Underworld), flooding the Nile, and the afterlife. He was originally the god of agriculture and nature. Isis, meaning she of the throne, is the goddess of magic and she is the protector of children. As a side note, she is also considered the greatest magician. According to Egyptian texts, Osiris and Isis were brother and sister as well as lovers, king (pharoah) and queen.
The legend of Horus goes as follows: In the beginning, Osiris and Isis were king and queen over Egypt. Osiris was beloved by all of the people for teaching them how to worship the gods and how to grow their crops for their daily bread. His brother Seth (Set), the god of the desert (including desert storms), thunder and evil, was jealous of him and wanted to overthrow him because he wanted to be pharaoh and king himself. In a feast held by Osiris, Set describes to all of the attendees a beautiful coffin he had custom made that struck curiosity in everyone including king Osiris. When asked by Osiris to fetch the coffin, he agreed saying he’d even give it away for free to whoever could fit inside of it perfectly. Since Set made the coffin himself, it was made to fit Osiris, and ONLY Osiris. When Osiris gets inside of the coffin, Set nails the coffin lid shut and throws it into the Nile, to which Osiris dies.
Isis begins searching everywhere for her dead husband while mourning deeply. One day she finds that the coffin washed up on the shores of Byblos in the north on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Isis goes there in disguise and gets a job at the court as a hairdresser for the queen so she can walk around the castle freely to which she finds Osiris’s coffin in a remote chamber. That night she steals the coffin, and grabs a boat to head back to Egypt. Set, having been aware of all of this was following and watching her. When Isis stops and rests for the night, Set snatches the coffin, cuts his brother into 14 pieces and scatters them all over Egypt. Isis becomes infuriated and asks her sister, Nephtys, the goddess of mourning, to help her find all of the pieces of Osiris’ body. In fear of Set’s retribution upon them, Nephtys persuaded Isis to adopt Anubis, the god of the dead, mummification, and burial rites, and get his assistance too, so that Set would not find out. After searching the nation for many years, the three retrieved 13 of the 14 missing pieces. The only unaccounted part was his penis which had been thrown into the Nile and been devoured by a fish.
So Isis makes a wooden replacement of it and puts the whole body back together. She then prays to the sun god of all creation, Re aka Ra, complimented with her “oh so great magic”, asking Ra to bring her husband back to life for just one day to which he did. They then have a night of love together! The next day Osiris dies and is mummified and given a proper burial by Anubis, making Osiris the first mummy. Shortly following, Isis becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son whom she names Horus, while trying to keep it a secret from Set. And on and on the story goes. Simply put, based on Egyptian texts, Isis did NOT have a virgin birth.
Claim 3: The birthday of Jesus and Horus is celebrated on December 25th.
Based on the biblical account, it would be more fitting to say that Succoth/Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, is the “celebration” of Jesus’s birth. Proof can be found at http://www.betemunah.org/birth.html. He was born in a sukkah, circumcised on the 8th day. Sukkot is an eight day festival listed as one of the many Biblical feasts which seems to allude much symbolism to this! The December 25th is a later Roman addition which from my research first came about as a means to potentially convert early pagans. Early on, birthdays were not given much emphasis, not culturally, nor biblically. This doesn’t now mean to celebrate the day of one’s birth is evil. In an old list of Roman bishops, compiled in A. D. 354 these words appear for A.D. 336: “25 Dec.: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae.” December 25th, Christ born in Bethlehem, Judea. This day, December 25, 336, is the first recorded celebration of Christmas. And even with all of this, there are still varying beliefs as to when Jesus was born.
When speaking of Horus, there is absolutely NO record of him being born on or around December 25th, not in the Egyptian book of the dead, not in any Egyptian texts, nor in the book Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. There is said to be one and ONLY one mention of the timeframe in which Horus was born, and it is during the Egyptian month of Khoiak. And to be honest, we cannot even bring any correlation with the Egyptian Calendar and our modern Calendars today because their Calendar months all shifted based strictly on the rising and falling of the Nile River. Therefore, this claim falls short BIG time!
Claim 4: The North star led wise men to Jesus when he was born. The Eastern Star led three wise men to Horus when he was born.
This doesn’t even really need much explanation. I find it kind of funny how in the Horus box it specifies three wise men like that’ll get people’s eyes big and ears perked up. But they don’t mention three wise men in the Jesus box. Maybe this is because the Bible doesn’t mention how many wise men there were, we just assume that there were three and this is what’s always shown in the cute manger scenes. Secondly, there is NO biblical record of it being THE North star that led the wise men. For a reference, simply read the Gospel accounts. And I shared the entire story of Horus’ birth earlier. We have no record of three wise men nor is there a record of any Eastern Star leading them. This too is a false claim.
This claim originates in the book, The Origins of Christianity, by Dorothy M. Murdock, also known as Acharya S by her pen name. She claims that there were three stars that led the wise men named the kings in Orion. Her claim relies upon claims by Gerald Massey whom has no REAL source material for his claims. Gerald Massey, an English poet and writer on Spiritualism and Ancient Egypt in the mid to late 1800s, produces these claims based on his interpretation of some supposed panels at Luxor which nobody seems to know about.
Claim 5: Jesus is taken to Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod and Horus is taken to Egypt to escape the wrath of Typhon.
In the Bible we do have King Herod trying to kill Jesus from the moment his presence is made known, and he IS taken to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath as seen in Matthew 2:14-15 where he is taken to Get. This is very close to another Biblical account with Moses. After three months, he was laid into a water proof basket among papyrus by his mother Jochebed to keep him alive. And he is later found by the King Pharoah’s daughter, Bithya; Or Moses slaying an Egyptian and fleeing to Midian. Now circling this back to Jesus, he was born in Bethlehem. According to our modern day country lines, Bethlehem is located on the continent of Asia. It is a city located in the central West Bank and 8 kilometers south of Jerusalem. Biblically, Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth and the city where David was crowned king of Israel. So the claim in regards to Jesus is true. But Horus was not taken to Egypt. He was birthed in Egypt. He didn’t need to flee the wrath of Typhon either as Typhon was never trying to murder him, Set, his evil uncle was.
Claim 6: Both taught in the temple as a child.
In regards to Jesus teaching in the temple as a child, this is a false claim. He was discussing and posing questions and giving answers in the temple as a child. Maybe in a sense he was teaching, but not as a teacher.
Luke 2:46-47 NIV states, “46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.”
When he begins his public ministry, he is found to be teaching in the temple every day; But not before then.
The fact of the matter is that there is almost nothing of Horus as a child in Egyptian texts aside from the account of his birth and maybe some information briefly following this. The majority of the info about Horus is of him as an adult. Nobody can pull source material to show that Horus was teaching in any temple as a child. Anyone who makes such a claim is just parroting wasted air.
Claim 7: Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist at age 30. Horus is baptized by Anup the Baptizer at age 30.
Below is the baptismal account of Jesus.
The Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:14-17)
But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
Luke 3:21-23 pretty much describes the baptism/immersion/mikvah much like the Matthew account while adding that after this he began his public ministry at age 30. So we can verify that Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist at age 30.
Much like all of the previous claims, we must take this one with a grain of salt. To begin, no age is given for Horus during his entire battle with Set (Seth) for the throne of Osiris, but there are numerous references to “eighty years” as the length of time Set has been waiting for the power to become King. (Chester Beatty I, recto papyrus translation in “Ancient Egyptian Literature: New Kingdom” by Miriam Lichtheim). In fact, there is no Egyptian record of Horus ever having been baptized by anyone. Anup the Baptizer is a fabrication by Gerald Massey. Ironically, Gerald Massey also claims that the baptism of Horus took place in the Eridanus River. The only time this account and location (Eridanus) has ever been named has been in Gerald Massey’s book Ancient Egypt: Light of the World, a book published in 1907 that has no actual translations or specifications for where Massey came up with these names or events. In the 100 years since this book was written no corroborating evidence has been found, and in fact the only Eridanus River that can be found is within Greek mythology, not Egyptian. In Greek mythology, Virgil considers it one of the rivers of Hades in his Aeneid VI, 659.
Claim 8: Both had twelve disciples.
Jesus having 12 disciples is Biblical. We find the names of the original 12 apostles in Matthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:14-19, and Luke 6:13-16:
And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (ESV)
On the contrary, Horus was used as an embodiment of the pharaoh and the pharaoh’s divinity. He had those who would fight under his command or do his bidding, and such individuals could be numbered from four to sixteen to thousands to all of Egypt.
Claim 9 & 10: Both performed miracles and walked on water. Jesus also raises Lazarus from the dead. And Horus raises El-Azur-uz from the dead.
Jesus did perform miracles and walk on water. The following is a listing of the miracles of Jesus with corresponding Scriptures. “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:30, 31)
Calming the storm – Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:37-41; Luke 8:22-25
Feeding 5,000 – Matthew 14:14-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14
Walking on water – Matthew 14:22-32; Mark 6:47-52; John 6:16-21
Feeding 4,000 – Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 8:1-9
Fish with coin – Matthew 17:24-27
Fig tree withers – Matthew 21:18-22; Mark 11:12-14, 20-25
Huge catch of fish – Luke 5:4-11; John 21:1-11
Water into wine – John 2:1-11
Healing man with leprosy – Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-44; Luke 5:12-14
Healing roman centurion’s servant – Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10
Healing Peter’s mother-in-law – Matthew 8:14-15; Mark 1:30-31; Luke 4:38-39
Healing two men possessed with devils – Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-15; Luke 8:27-39
Healing man with palsy – Matthew 9:2-7; Mark 2:3-12; Luke 5:18-26
Healing woman with bleeding – Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48
Healing two blind men – Matthew 9:27-31
Healing dumb, devil-possessed man – Matthew 9:32-33
Healing Canaanite woman’s daughter – Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30
Healing boy with devil – Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:17-29; Luke 9:38-43
Healing two blind men & Bartimaeus – Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43
Healing demon-possessed man in synagogue – Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37
Healing blind man at Bethsaida – Mark 8:22-26
Healing crippled woman – Luke 13:10-17
Healing man with dropsy – Luke 14:1-4
Healing ten men with leprosy – Luke 17:11-19
Healing the high priest’s servant – Luke 22:50-51
Healing the nobleman’s son at Capernaum – John 4:46-54
Healing sick man at the pool of Bethsaida – John 5:1-15
Healing man born blind – John 9:1-41
Raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead – Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56
Raising the widow’s son at Nain from the dead – Luke 7:11-17
Raising Lazarus from the dead– John 11:1-44
As we can see from the above list, for Jesus, the shoe fits. Now how about Horus?! Almost every account of Horus in mythological story has him fighting or competing with Set (Seth) to avenge his father. In this manner Horus is more similar to Luke Skywalker than he is to Jesus, with the exception that Set (Seth) is not the father of Horus. There are no great magical feats that Horus performs. In fact, he doesn’t do too much special at all, no special healings (at least none even close to the biblical account), no real miracles, and no walking on water whatsoever.
Some fringe authors attempt to describe the resurrection of Osiris as having been performed by Horus, but no Egyptian text in existence supports such claims. All Egyptian sources describe Isis, the wife/sister of Osiris, as the one who brought life back into the lifeless body of Osiris with the possible help of Re aka Ra as described earlier. The fringe claim on the etymology of the name of Lazarus bespeaks a poor understanding of the root language from which the name is derived (Hebrew). These authors and pseudo scholars claim attempts to use Latin (‘El’ meaning ‘the’) and a phony assentation on Egyptian (Asar meaning Osiris) to conclude that the name essentially means “The Osiris,” in order to provide a link between Horus and Jesus. Unfortunately for these theorists, the name that translated to Lazarus in Latin (Eleazar) appears throughout the Tanakh (Exodus 6, Numbers 19, I Samuel 7, I Chronicles 23, Nehemiah 12, and even the geneology in Matthew 1), which means that the name pre-dates Christianity by at least a millenia. Simply put, El-Azur-uz claim which ironically seems very close to Lazarus is a made up fabrication. (Ancient Egyptian Literature: New Kingdom by Miriam Lichtheim & Egyptian Legends and Stories by M.V. Seton-Williams).
Claim 11: Both were transfigured on a mount.
We do know that Jesus was transfigured on a mount. The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 17:1–9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28–36) describe it, and 2 Peter 1:16–18 refers to it. But while Jesus was TRANSfigured, Horus was actually DISfigured. “As for Horus, he was lying under a shenshua-tree in the oasis country. Then Seth found him, seized him, and threw him on his back on the mountain. He removed his two eyes from their places and buried them on the mountain. Toward morning his two eyeballs became two bulbs, and they grew into lotuses.” Horus has his eyes restored later by Hathor. (Ancient Egyptian Literature: New Kingdom by Miriam Lichtheim, page 219).
Claim 12: Titles for both included “the Way, the truth, the light, the Messiah, God’s annointed son, Son of Man, the good shepherd, lamb of God, the Word, the morning star, and the light of the world.”
We know these titles are used for Jesus all throughout the Scriptures from John 1, 14:6 to Revelation 22:16. There are LOADS of verses to the point that it would take too long to list to support the claims above given to Jesus. Unfortunately, I cannot even give a reference to such claims about Horus. There are NONE. There is no reference whatsoever to him being given such titles or making any of these claims.
Claim 13: Both were crucified, buried in a tomb, and resurrected.
These claims fit Jesus perfectly once again. The Feast of Unleavened Bread and Pesach/Passover show him as the Passover lamb that was slain, complimented with him being our First Fruit offering, resurrecting on the 3rd day. Many people have varying stances on what time frame this happened in. I personally hold to the view that he resurrects on Saturday night due to how the days are set up on the Hebrew Calendar and knowing that the culture would reflect that. Others see it as Friday and the majority of Christians view this as having happened on Sunday morning; To each their own. Nonetheless, the Biblical account supports the claims made about Jesus here.
Once again, the claims about Horus get a gigantic FAIL! There is NO record of Horus dying. In fact, because there is no record of him dying, he obviously wasn’t buried in a tomb, and he did NOT resurrect. If anything, the closest rendered similarity we can make here is with Osiris. But here’s the breakdown. The closest approximation that could be found of a death would be when Horus is stung as a child by a scorpion, in some accounts instructed to do so by the Scorpion-goddess Serqet. In De Iside et Osiride by Plutarch, an account is given where Isis finds her son injured by the scorpion and heals him. From a shortened version, Egyptian Legends and Stories by M.V. Seton-William, page 29: “She placed the coffin in a boat and returned to Egypt. When she got back, she hid the coffin in the Delta under a bush while she went back to Pe to see how her son Horus was getting on. She found that he had been bitten by a scorpion and had to wait until he had recovered. It was thus some time before she returned to where she had left the body of Osiris.”
In conclusion, don’t believe the hype. Don’t spread these lies. And do your research. I don’t even mind if someone disagrees with my religious views. But at the very least, if one is to try to disprove biblical accounts, at least don’t make things up to prove a point! It hurts more than helps one’s cause. And in case someone tries to bring up other claims such as Mithra, Krishna, and Dionysus, please refer them to this picture below for a quick reference as just like the Horus fabrication, these other claims too are simply viral fabrications! Although this comes in handy for quick reference, please excuse the language in the picture below…