Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

God: Attis

  • Born of a virgin
  • Born on December 25th
  • Crucified
  • Dead for 3 days
  • Resurrected

God: Krishna

  • Born of a virgin
  • Star in the east
  • Performed miracles
  • Resurrected

God: Dionsyus

  • Born of a virgin
  • Born on December 25th
  • Performed miracles, including turning water into wine
  • Referred to as the "King of Kings"
  • Referred to as "Gods only begotten son"
  • Resurrected

God: Mithra

  • Born of a virgin
  • Born on December 25th
  • 12 Disciples
  • Performed miracles
  • Dead for 3 days
  • Resurrected
  • Sunday is day of worship for Mithra

And the most striking and seemingly the base for all other mythologies:

God: Horus

  • Born on December 25th
  • Born of a virgin
  • Star in the east
  • Adored by 3 kings
  • Teach at 12
  • Baptized at 30
  • 12 Disciples
  • Performed Miracles
  • Known as "Lamb of God", "The Light"
  • Crucified
  • Dead for 3 days
  • Resurrected

Interesting, here is a photo of what is claimed to be Horus's crucifixion: enter image description here http://a10.idata.over-blog.com/500x732/3/00/74/64/Afrique/Djed/ani1.jpg

It does seem to be some uncanny relations between these different Gods and I do consider Jesus to be a God or the God, though I understand it is a little more complex than that summation. But for the sake of clarity of the question I am just addressing Jesus as a God.

I have heard references to astrology in driving some of these coincidental factors such as the Star in the East, December 25th and even maybe Sunday as the day of praise for some Gods of history. But what about the 12 disciples, virgin birth, miracles, crucifixion, 3 day death and resurrection. These aspects of multiple Gods' stories from different societies transcend particular star patterns and celestial movements.

Is there perhaps a historical influence from older societies on the stories in the Bible or perhaps maybe there are some natural human psychological tendencies for purity (virgin birth) and guilt (crucifixion) and ego (desire for a survivor who was born from purity and made to suffer that is one of us, is human) that drives humans to tell these spiritual tales to comfort the very minds that create them.

References: http://rishyrich.hubpages.com/hub/Parallels-between-Jesus-Horus

http://www.davidicke.com/forum/showthread.php?t=181421

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Contrad/External/crucify.html

http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/jksadegh/A%20Good%20Atheist%20Secularist%20Skeptical%20Book%20Collection/Parallels_between_Jesus_and_Horus_an_Egyptian_God.pdf

share|improve this question

closed as too broad by David Stratton Jul 13 at 15:48

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
What kind of answer are you hoping for? As you've worded it, the correct answer will be a single word: either "Yes" or "No" That's not a very interesting question/answer. And which answer is "correct" will be a matter of opinion. –  Flimzy Oct 26 '13 at 0:41
1  
I suspect one or more good questions can be made out of these parallel stories, but a little more work will need to be done on it. –  Flimzy Oct 26 '13 at 0:41
1  
Perhaps to bring it within scope, you could ask how Christians respond to and/or explain the similarities between the other stories and that of Jesus. Maybe that's what you're hoping for anyway? –  Flimzy Oct 26 '13 at 1:13
8  
Hi, I am from India and I am pretty sure Krishna was NOT born of a virgin. He was the eight child. There was no Star in the east, and he definitely did NOT Resurrect. Of-course like other gods he did Perform miracles. I can confirm this. Also all of these myths are debunked by scholars: See this for reference. –  Jayarathina Madharasan Oct 26 '13 at 3:19
2  
This question assumes many things that are not correct and has too many questions built into one. –  Mike Oct 26 '13 at 3:55

4 Answers 4

I will post later using this information here, but for now, I have copied the image supplied by Jayarathina Madharasan

It seems that there are actually not as many similarities as certain people on the internet would like you to believe.

Myths that don't actually share too much with Jesus

share|improve this answer
    
To @fredsbend: Thanks for posting. I was occupied with work and didn't notice your comment. Also when trying to give a full answer, please look into this site: zeitgeistchallenge.com it has some good resources. Also don't forget to mention that of this (Jesus-Hores myth, Zeitgeist so called documentary etc.,) is an extension of New Age movement. God Bless You. –  Jayarathina Madharasan Oct 26 '13 at 7:07
    
This isn't on the internet as a web page is it? It would be nice to be able to click the referenced url/websites in the image instead of typing each one of them out. –  Brian Ogden Oct 26 '13 at 14:08
2  
To @BrianOgden: You understand that every women is a virgin once right? There exists no Egyptian text describing Horus as the son of Isis where she was a virgin. Horus is fathered through conception by sex in every account, though some accounts include unorthodox methods (like using a fake phallus, it is still a physical conception not a virgin one). I request you to read both sides before coming to conclusion. this and this are a good start. –  Jayarathina Madharasan Oct 26 '13 at 14:53
1  
I am not dismissing this image outright but some of the links do not exist and the two links on Horus have no information that relates to the claims one way or another, doesn't anyone find it weird that "atheists y u no check facts" seems to be the sole reference against the similarities to the story of Jesus and older religions with maybe similar stories. –  Brian Ogden Oct 28 '13 at 2:31
1  
@BrianOgden I didn't have time to check these things, however, I thought it a good idea to post this image in the mean time. I will eventually get around to it, but it might be as long as a month. Considering the primary source for this is the Zeigeist film I am very skeptical of any of this being actually true without a little fact fudging going on. I did consider cutting out the bottom banner to not upset people, but I only noticed it after I posted it. I will remove it eventually. –  fredsbend Oct 28 '13 at 18:19

Your source has more than a few issues; I'm not going to worry about the specific details raised (many of which are answered with a simple "false") but paint in broad strokes to attempt to answer the question behind the question.

Many similarities between Jesus and other gods are superficial, and others may have actually borrowed from the life of Jesus. The cult of Dionysus, for example, did not fully develop until the 3rd or 4th century after Jesus. This naturally raises the question, "who borrowed from whom?"

One of the big differences between Jesus and the rest is that his existence is virtually undisputed; you may find a scholar or two that believes Attis was based on a real person, but to my knowledge, nobody claims that Attis actually existed in history.

It is curious to note that even Tacitus who was a rather big critic of the early church never thought that Jesus was a myth or never existed. When even Christianity's first century opposition talk about Jesus as a historical figure then it really becomes unreasonable to buy into this atheist rhetoric of him being a myth. Neil Meyer

Concerning the death and resurrection as symbolism of the harvest, the Jewish followers of Jesus would not have copied the pagan idea of a dying and rising god (I believe it was N.T. Wright that said "if your favorite messiah went off and got himself crucified, you either went home or found yourself another messiah"). These myths are seasonal; the story occurs again and again, while the death and resurrection of Jesus is explicitly a single event occurring in history. Gary Habermas, in a survey of academic publications on the resurrection, found that 75% of scholars accept that Jesus' tomb was actually empty three days after his crucifixion (note that they do not all believe he actually rose from the dead; some have alternative theories (stolen body, etc.))1.

Finally, God may have chosen to place glimpses of the truth in various times and cultures so they can recognize it once someone teaches it to them (this is sometimes called fulfillment theology, generally considered to have its origins with Justin Martyr in the second century AD). The Bible gives an example of Paul, introducing the people of Athens to "the Unknown God" they were worshiping ("What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you").


Sources and further reading

1Gary Habermas and Michael Licona, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

If you want an in-depth examination of Christianity and comparative religion, I highly recommend G.K. Chesterton's The Everlasting Man.

share|improve this answer

There is Truth because there is the One True God vs. corruption of the truth, misrepresentation of the truth, misunderstanding of the truth, etc.


[I]t is proper to the devil to mix falsehood with truth[.] - in Catena Aurea | St. John Chrysostom


Compare the Islamic and [the beginning of] the Christian creeds:

The Shahada [The Islamic creed]: لَاإِلٰهَإِلَّااللهمُحَمَّدٌرَسُولُالله | lā ʾilāha ʾil ʾāllāh, muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh | “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah [God].“

vs.

Jn 17:3: And eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. [I believe in God, the Father almighty creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our LORD, [...] | The Apostles’ Creed]

The two creeds [key word in definition: core] are irreconcilable; therefore both religions cannot be true.

If one of them is the true Faith, the other is a corruption of it and therefore not true.

Staring with:

“If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave.” ― Fulton J. Sheen

which is plain as evidenced by wrongdoers who justify their wrongdoing,

and,

The Guilt of Mankind [Rm 1:18-23}

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles.

and noting that the gods of the pagans are demons (cf. Ps 106:36-37),

then it is not hard to see that bad people, especially when under the influence of the demons, can corrupt the truth for wickedness.

Now recall:

Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision which he had seen might mean [Ac 10:17]

If the vision was not meant for him/his time, and if St. Peter had taken it upon himself to interpret the vision unauthorized, and then proceed to teach it, then one can see how a wrong interpretation can be started and perpetuated.

The end note that follows may be of interest:

When the Egyptian pagan priests intended to read the stars, they fasted as a preparation, performed certain purifications, clothed themselves in sackcloth, and sprinkled themselves with ashes. While they gazed upon the stars from their tower, sacrifices were offered. The pagans of those times had a confused knowledge of the religious mysteries of the true God which had been handed down from Seth, Henoch, Noe, and the Patriarchs to the chosen people, therefore there were so many abominations in their idolatry. The devil made use of them, as later on of heresy, to weave the pure, unclouded, authentic revelations of God into a snare for man's destruction. Joseph and Aseneth | The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations | Anne Catherine Emmerich

share|improve this answer

C. S. Lewis said it would be easier to believe in a crocodile, having not seen before, if one had first been exposed to legends of dragons. Lewis asserted similarities you point out exist in pagan literature, his field of study. It drew him to Christ.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.