Mithras, Zeus and Jesus Christ

One of the arguments used by anti-Christians to discredit the historicity of Christ, His atonement for sin and Christianity as a whole is that Jesus was “modelled” after older pagan deities like the Roman Mithras or the Greek Zeus. One of them quotes Gerald Berry’s Religions of the World, saying:

“Both Mithras and Christ were described as ‘the Way, ‘the Truth,’ ‘the Light,’ ‘the Life,’ ‘the Word,’ ‘the Son of God,’ ‘the Good Shepherd.’ The Christian litany to Jesus could easily be an allegorical litany to the sun-god. Mithras is often represented as carrying a lamb on his shoulders, just as Jesus is. Midnight services were found in both religions. The virgin mother… was easily merged with the virgin mother Mary. Petra, the sacred rock of Mithraism, became Peter, the foundation of the Christian Church.”

These critics also allege that Mithras was born on December 25; was visited by shepherds at birth; had 12 apostles, instituted a last supper and died for humanity – all of which the New Testament allegedly adopted for Jesus.

First, we all need to understand the historical setting of the Roman Empire where Christianity and Mithraism thrived. The early church consistently refused to integrate with the surrounding syncretic religions. This was why for 3 centuries, Christianity was despised and persecuted.

In first century Roman Empire, four major classes of religions were embraced:

Nature religions – revolving around belief in supernatural power in natural things and worship of trees, sun, moon, rivers, stones and deities in charge of them e,g Greek paganism.

State religion – the Emperors were believed to be gods and accorded divine honours. Festivals were held in their honour and sacrifices offered to their images for the unity of the Empire.

Mystery religions – secret societies or cults that claim to help people out of difficult life situations and provide a bridge to the afterlife. They had certain ceremonial acts such as water rites, ritual meals, blood sacrifices which were kept secret to non-initiates e.g. Mithraism, Eleusinian mysteries, Bacchanalian mysteries, mysteries of Isis.

Judaism – the early Romans couldn’t initially distinguish Jews who practiced Judaism from Christian Jews. In Acts 18:12-17, Gallio the Roman governor, dismissed Paul’s case as a dispute within the sects of Judaism. But as unbelieving Jews increasingly opposed Christianity, the heathen also joined them. [1]

What impressed the pagan world of the new faith of Christianity was not its familiarity but its difference. Christianity was regarded  a “strange religion;” an illegal religion (religio illicita), and this led to the murder of many Christians.

If Jesus was a myth and Christianity was merely an offspring of paganism, the disciples and early Christians wouldn’t have laid down their lives instead of giving it up.

The pagans who killed and persecuted Christians during those times knew full well that what they believed was far different from what their victims believed.

Mithraism was a mystery religion practiced between 1st-4th century A.D. The religion had its roots in the Hindu Vedas. It developed in Persia about 500 years before Christ and further developed in Zoroaster’s (Zarathustra) movement about 200 years before Christ.

Mithraism reached its peak in third century Rome, during the same period Christianity was rapidly growing.

Those who claim Mithras was a prototype of Christ assume that Mithra worship was a cohesive, consistent and monolithic religion, but this is not so:

“The god is unique in being worshipped in four distinct religions: Hinduism (as Mitra), in Iranian Zoroastrianism and Manicheanism (as Mithra), and in the Roman Empire (as Mithras).” [2]

Not only were there variations in his name, each religion’s beliefs about Mithra also differed. The Persian cult differs markedly from the Roman one. The Roman Mithras is said to have slain a bull but there is no evidence that the Persian Mithra ever had anything to do with killing a bull.

Some writers agree that the bull-slaying Mithras must have been a god worshipped in the 1st century BC to whom an old name was applied. [3]

This eliminates any possibility of soomeone modelling Christ after Mithras.

Many critics also ignorantly conflate Mithra with Sol when they identify him as the sun god.

Various artworks depict Mithras dining with Sol; Mithras ascending behind Sol in the latter’s chariot and both deities shaking hands and at an altar with pieces of meat on a spit. One artwork shows Sol kneeling before Mithras who holds an object resembling a bull’s haunch. [4]

This difference is crucial, because the birthday of Sol Invictus was December 25, but that was not Mithras’ birthday. Amongst Roman mystery cults, Mithraism had no “public” face; its ceremonies were confined only to the initiates. The festival of Sol Invictus on December 25 wasn’t specific to Mithraism. [5]

Mithras wasn’t born of a virgin like Jesus. He was said to have been miraculously born from a rock and there are different accounts of this. One version said he leaped out of the rock as a child, another says as a youth, another says as flames yet another said he emerged as thunderbolt. But there is no account of Mithras born by a virgin mother.

The claim of Mithras visited by shepherds at birth or having 12 apostles lacks documented evidence. This is simply a cheap attempt by hostile critics to “christianize” the myths of Mithras and create a false parallel with Christ. A scholar admits:

“We possess virtually no theological statements either by Mithraists themselves or by other writers.” [6]

The alleged salvific death of Mithra is based on an inscription that says “and you have saved us … in the shed blood.” But no written narrative or theology from Mithraism survives and limited information can be derived from these inscriptions. “However, in the absence of any ancient explanations of its meaning, Mithra’s iconography has proven to be exceptionally difficult to decipher.” [7]

According to Robert Turcan, Mithraic salvation had little to do with the other worldly destiny of individual souls, but was based on the Zoroastrian pattern of man’s participation in the cosmic struggle of the good creation against the forces of evil. That is far from what the New Testament teaches.

The so-called “last supper” by Mithras is a fanciful deduction from the ritual meal observed by Mithraists. Modern critics, deploying a twisted logic, assume that since Mithraism had such ritual meals and was supposedly older, Christianity must have stolen the idea from them! This hypothesis falls flat on its face.

Most of the textual evidence for Mithraist doctrine dates after the New Testament was widely circulated. There is even the possibility that Mithraism adopted the communion rite from Christianity, because they had no concept of death and resurrection of their god.

Justin Martyr, in his First Apology (chapter 66) accused the Mithraists of diabolically imitating the Christian communion.

David Ulansey therefore concludes: “Owing to the cult’s secrecy, we possess almost no literary evidence about the beliefs of Mithraism. The few texts that do refer to the cult come not from Mithraic devotees themselves, but rather from outsiders such as early Church fathers, who mentioned Mithraism in order to attack it, and Platonic philosophers, who attempted to find support in Mithraic symbolism for their own philosophical ideas.” [8]

In light of the post-Christian origins of the mysteries of Mithras, Dr. Edwin Yamauchi states: “Those who seek to adduce Mithra as a prototype of the risen Christ ignore the late date for the expansion of Mithraism to the west.” [9]

Zeus and Jesus

Some uninformed critics and misguided Christians assert that Jesus was modelled after Zeus by some crypto-pagans in the early church who stripped Christianity of its Hebrew roots and changed the Saviour’s name into a pagan god’s so as to merge it with paganism.

A. B. Triana wrote in Origins of Christianity:

“They (the Graeco-Roman World) had worshiped Zeus as the supreme deity. Their savior was Zeus, so now they were ready to accept Jehoshua as Jesus – Ieosus, meaning hail Zeus. Now our translated scriptures say that Jahwah’s (Jehovah’s) Son’s name is Jesus, which is a compound word made up of Ie and Zeus (Hail Zeus)”

Proponents of this bizarre conspiracy theory (mostly Hebrew Roots adherents) are not only bereft of proofs, but also stumped by their own imaginations.

They teach that anyone who uses the name of Jesus instead of His Hebrew name, Yahshua, is worshipping a false god and is not saved. Actually, the Hebrew name of Jesus is Yeshua, a form of the name Joshua and both mean the same: “Yahweh is salvation.”

The similarity in pronunciation between Ieosus and Zeus doesn’t imply a borrowing of one from the other. To suggest that the name Bruno was derived from Juno is a phonetic fallacy. The Greek word for “hail” is xaipe or xaipete and it’s not a constituent of the Greek name Ieosus, so the “hail Zeus” accusation is hinged on wholesale ignorance.

Ieosus is the Greek name of Christ and that was the language in which the New Testament was written. First century works of Jewish historian, Josephus Flavius – written in Koine Greek – refer to at least 20 different people with the name Jesus (i.e Ieosus). [10] The Hebrew name of Jesus is not “too sacred” to be transliterated into another language neither does its translation change its meaning.

God’s name is not limited by human language; He created all languages and may not expect everyone to use the same name for Him. The name of Jesus given in Matthew 1:21 is the one by which men shall be saved from their sins. This name carries the same power and authority whether as Iesus (Latin), Yasu (Arabic), Jésus (French) or Jesu (Yoruba, Igbo).

The name “Jesus” is the Anglicized form of Ieosus or Yeshua and it has nothing to do with Zeus. No informed person with a modicum of intellectual honesty would claim Jesus is a copy of Zeus.

Zeus’ infancy narrative even has varying accounts. One version says he was raised by Gaia; another says by a goat named Amalthea; another says by a nymph Adamanthea; another says a nymph named Cynosura, yet another says by a shepherd family.

Some critics have also attempted to forge a link between Christ and Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, ritual madness, fertility and religious ecstasy. The mysteries of Dionysus was known as a ‘cult of souls’ in which priests forged necromantic links with the dead. But the Lord Jesus “has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10).

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Law and Prophets of the Old Testament. He has no link to any ancient pagan deity neither was Christianity built on the foundation of myths artfully spurn by pagans.

End notes

1. Titilayo Dipe, History and Doctrines of the Early Church, University of Ibadan Press, 1992, 2-4.

2. John Hinnells, Studies in Mithraism, Rome, 1990, 11.

3. David Ulansey, Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries, Oxford University Press, 1991, 8.

4. Roger Beck, Mithraism, Ashgate Publishing, 2004, 287-287.

5. Walter Burkert, Ancient Mystery Cults, Harvard University, 1987, 10.

6. Clauss Manfred, The Roman Cult of Mithras: The God and his Mysteries, Richard Gordon Books, 2001, xxi.

7. David Ulansey, p. 8.

8. David Ulansey, The Cosmic Mysteries of Mithras.

9. M. J. Vermaseren, Mithras, The Secret God, Chatto and Windos, 1963, 76.

10. Paul Eddy and Gregory Boyd, The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition, Baker pub., 2007, 129.

 

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The Goddess Delusion

Over the last few decades, there has been a fast-spreading paradigm shift from Christianity to paganism. This trend ranges from attempts to promote a feminized version of God to cults centered around a female divinity.

“For the first time in two millennia,” wrote Caitlin Matthews in Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom, “the idea of a Goddess as a central pivot of creation is finding a welcome response.”

With the surge of feminism, earth-centred beliefs and New Age spirituality, conceptual social and religious barriers are being broken down, with many adopting a form of female principle – whether by literal goddess worship or a mystical tap into the “feminine energy.”

Elmer Towns was apt to observe that:

“Many women turn to a female deity because they have been hurt by men. They may have been abused, raped, abandoned, or in some way violated by males in their lives. As a result, they may blame the heavenly Father, who is male. Notice, when people ask why God would allow starvation, cancer, or other problems in the world, they never ask why ‘Mother Earth’ or a female deity has caused the problems. It’s always a male deity that they blame. [1]

Ex-Wiccan High Priest, Bill Schnoebelen, reflected on the deceptive ideas that led him into goddess worship:

“While the Biblical Jehovah is striking people with thunderbolts as they step out of line, their Goddess plays and frolics with her hidden children … She is everyone’s fantasy idea of a mother or lover: a gorgeous, compassionate woman who loves unconditionally, does not chide or require much of you, and who is totally available for both service and sexual intimacy. I fell in love with this image of the Goddess immediately.” [2]

Many Wiccans and Neo-pagans freely acknowledge that their Goddess is universally worshipped in countless cultures, traditions and rites worldwide; that their goddess has emerged in different forms, with different names at various periods of history.

This global catholicity of the “great goddess,” however, exposes the diabolic veneer, because a historical overview of many ancient goddesses reveal them to be evil, savage and destructive. For example:

Kali – she is the major Hindu goddess of death, power and destruction. A Hindu text, Devi Mahatmyam, describes Kali as “armed with a sword and noose.”

“Bearing the strange Khatvanga (skull-topped staff), decorated with a garland of skulls, clad in a tiger’s skin, very appalling owing to her emaciated flesh, with gaping mouth, fearful with her tongue lolling out [and] having deep reddish eyes…”

She is also depicted wearing a skirt of human arms and accompanied by serpents. Kali has been worshipped for centuries, perhaps millennia, by human sacrifice.

The infamous Thuggee cult of India and Nepal were followers of Kali who strangled their victims as an act of worship to her. Although the British tried to wipe out Kali’s cult when they colonized India, their efforts failed.

Much has been reported about the numerous human sacrifices to her in the last decade. As recently as 2015, a boy was sacrificed to Kali by a devotee in Kolkata.

If all goddesses are one, then they are by no means benign.

Lilitu/Lilith – the Sumerian goddess Lilitu was depicted as having both the wings and claws of a bird.

Some reliefs show her lower half as a serpent’s body or as a serpent with the head and breasts of a woman. Her visual representation closely resembles that of Maleficent in the 2014 Disney movie.

This goddess, under a slightly modified name, Lilith, is also worshipped in the West.

Lilith is a figure out of Hebrew cabalistic folklore. She was believed to be Adam’s first wife who refused to submit to him and left the Garden of Eden while she was with child. She later gave birth to the baby and bashed its brains out on the rocks by the Euphrates River.

Lilith is worshipped in witchcraft covens and satanic groups today as the ‘Dark Mother’ or demon goddess presiding over feminism, infanticide, abortion and sexual defilement. She also relishes blood sacrifices.

Tanit – the BerberPunic and Phoenician goddess and chief deity of Carthage (modern Tunisia). She was associated with the heavenly bodies, war and fertility and regarded as a consort of Baal Hammon.

She was often depicted having a lion’s head. Archaeological and ancient writings points to animal and human sacrifices as part of her cult worship.

Excavations at ancient sites of her temple showed charred bones of newborns, and in some cases, the bones of fetuses and two year olds.[3]

Artemis – Greek goddess of the hunt, moon and childbirth. She is also called “the thrower of the dart or shooter” of death. A Wiccan writer says:

“Artemis had a reputation for liking bloody sacrifices, including human ones … Artemis who personified respect for animal life, accepts the necessity of the hunt, but only if the rules and the absolving rituals are observed. In most Goddess religions, a similar reasoning is applied to the fetus and the newborn. It is morally acceptable that a woman who gives life may also destroy life under certain circumstances.”[4]

Notice the strong link between goddess worship, feminism, sexual immorality and infant destruction.

Oya – also known as Yansa or Iansa, this Yoruba warrior goddess is worshipped in West Africa as well as in the Americas. She is the “patron” goddess of death, destruction, lightning and violent storms.

The name Oya literally means “She tore [asunder]”. She is associated with cemeteries, marketplace and said to be queen over river Niger and the Amazon river.

Oya’s symbols are swords (or machetes), flywhisk and water buffalo. Her nine children are emblematic of the moon. She is a huntress (murderer) who presides over magick and evil wisdom.[5]

She is also believed to be the mother of the Egunguns – embodiment of the spirits of the ancestral dead in Africa.

Coatlicue – Aztec goddess of the earth, moon, fertility, sexual pleasure and gambling. She is said to be one of the nine Lords of the Night Hours and the power behind all magic in the Aztec world. Her name literally means “skirt of snakes”.

As Tlazoteutl, “she appears nude, riding on a broom. She wears a horned headdress with a crescent moon and she holds a red snake. She also has a crescent moon decorated on her nose …. represents the planet Venus. She is often depicted wearing a flayed human skin.” [6]

There is absolutely nothing gentle or good about these goddess figures. They are bloodthirsty fiends whose altars were drenched with blood of many souls.

Yet these same entities are being invoked in Wiccan/Neopagan circles today.

Astarte or Ashtoreth – the chief goddess of war and sexuality worshipped throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Astarte is the Greek form of her name.

Her symbols are the lion, horse, sphinx and a star within a circle indicating planet Venus (the morning/evening star).

She is associated with the crescent moon and depicted with a child on her laps. Figurines of Astarte have been found at various archaeological sites in Israel showing the goddess having two horns.

A feminist author admits that “infant sacrifices were regularly performed in honor of, certainly, some forms of the goddess. It is recorded, for instance, that around the sacred stone which represented the goddess Astarte, hundreds of skeletons of human infants have been found… first-born children and animals were sacrificed to her.” [7]

From the Bible, we can see the dark, downward spiral when people dabble into goddess worship which we observe today as ancient paganism is being revived.

After King Solomon was led astray by his pagan wives:

“He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD…” (1 Kgs. 11:5-6)

Centuries later, about 741 BC, King Ahaz “walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites” (2 Kgs. 16:3).

Then some decades later (about 721 BC), the Bible says this about the Israelites:

“The set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree… They bowed down to all the starry host, and they worshipped Baal. They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD…” (2 Kgs. 17:10, 16-17).

God has revealed Himself as the only true God and there is no “heavenly queen” ruling together with him (Is. 45:5). He is the embodiment of love and the “father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (1 Jn. 4:8; 2 Cor. 1:3).

God desires all men to know and serve Him. Yet, many people are being led astray by another form of modern goddess delusion in a “Christian” garb: the cult of the Catholic Mary.

The “Virgin Mary” being worshipped in Roman Catholicism has become the “emergent” goddess archetype of our time, annually drawing millions of people from diverse churches and religions to her shrines and grottoes like the pied piper of Hamelin.

Many apparitions and miracles of this Lady have been documented. What is particularly striking is, this Catholic Queen of heaven is demanding that the Vatican define a final dogma to make her the Co-Redemptrix with Christ:

“When the dogma, the last dogma in Marian history, has been proclaimed, “the Lady of All Nations” will give peace, true peace to the world. The nations, however, must say My prayer in union with the Church. They must know that “the Lady of Nations” has come as Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. So be it!” [8]

New Agers are also receiving messages from this counterfeit Mary calling for a one world religion:

“Each religion is worshipping, underneath the outer trappings, its Creator. It is the same Creator! Whether you pray facing the east or facing an altar or on Saturday or Sunday, it is all worship … All words which have been written in the Holy Books have been written by men in unity with the Creator.” [9]

Bible prophecy indicates that a diabolical female figure will gain universal prominence in the last days.

Prophet Zechariah was shown a woman sitting in a basket lifted between heaven and earth which an angel of God called “wickedness” (Zech. 5:7-9).

This could be Babylon the Great: the whore who rides on a beast in Revelation 17. This is the demonic religious force behind modern false worship and she will finally usher in the Antichrist in the Last days.

Notes

1. Elmer Towns, Bible Answers to all your Questions, Thomas Nelson, 2003, 139

2. Bill Schnoebelen, Wicca: Satan’s Little White Lie, Chick Pub., 1990, 113.

3. Lawrence Stager by Paolo Xella et al., Phoenician bones of Contention, Volume 87, no. 338; 1199-1207.

4. Ginette Paris, The Sacrament of Abortion, Spring Pub., 1992, 34, 53.

5. Adeoye C. L. Beliefs and Religion of Yorubas, Evans Bros, 1989, 303.

6. Patricia Turner and Coulter Russell, Dictionary of Ancient Deities, Oxford Univ. Press. 2000, 470.

7. Esther M. Harding, Woman’s Mysteries – Ancient and Modern, Harper and Row, 1971, 138.

8. Message to Ida Peerdeman in Josef Kunzli, The Messages of the Lady of All Nations, 1997, 85.

9. Annie Kirkwood, Mary’s Message to the World, New York, 1991, 145.

Is Jesus a copy of Ancient “Hero” Deities?

naitivity

A couple of days before Christmas in 2016, a headline ricocheted some media outlets: “5,000 Year old Nativity Scene found in Egypt.” It was a report of a reddish rock art found in 2005 by Marco Morelli, a geologist, in a small cave within the Sahara desert.

It showed a mother and father standing over a newborn, with two animals present and what looked like the sun (?) on the right side.

By terming this “a Nativity scene 3,000 before Christ,” the liberal media was baiting the prejudice of the season. In the painting, a lion was painted at its top and a monkey below. How does this tally with Christ’s birth recorded in the Bible?

Marco said, “When the baby is drawn above the parents, it usually resembles a birth or pregnancy in ancient Egyptian art.” Is this man an Egyptologist or why should he be taken as an authority?

You see, the conclusion fits a ready made narrative: to portray Christ as a copy of pre-Christian mythical gods like Horus, Baal and Attis.

That painting is more or less a coincidence; even if it was religious in nature, it fails to indicate ancient Egyptian religion was the prototype of Bible narratives.

A popular YouTube video Zeitgeist: The Movie, also attempts to parallel Jesus with ancient demi-gods worshipped prior to Jesus birth. Its narrator says:

“Broadly speaking, the story of Horus is as follows: Horus was born on December 25th of the virgin Isis-Meri. His birth was accompanied by a star in the east, which in turn, three kings followed to locate and adorn the new-born saviour. At the age of 12, he was a prodigal child teacher, and at the age of 30 he was baptized by a figure known as Anup and thus began his ministry. Horus has 12 disciples he travelled about with, performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water… After being betrayed by Tryphon, Horus was crucified, buried for 3 days, and thus, resurrected.”

There’s nothing new about these claims. They are old, disproved theories drawn from late 19th century agnostic works like T. W. Doane’s Bible Myths, George Frazer’s The Golden Bough and Arthur Weigall’s The Paganism in Our Christianity, which no scholar in this century takes with any degree of seriousness. They are urban legends and propaganda mush.

Josh McDowell in his work, A Ready Defense, listed 4 major fallacies committed by critics who make the “Jesus is a copy of ancient gods” claim.

a) Combinationism: they roll all ancient pagan religions and their deities into one box and assume they were monolithic, coherent and unified belief systems from 1500 B.C.- 400 A.D.

b) Colouring the evidence: they lace ancient myths with Christian terms to make them seem like prototypes of Christian beliefs.

c) Oversimplification: they select a common theme (such as resurrection) and claim that Christianity borrowed it from an ancient pagan myth while ignoring the wide conceptual differences between both.

d) Who influenced whom: critics assume that if there is an element in an Eastern religion as well as Christianity, the Christians must have borrowed it from the Eastern religion, since the religion’s founder lived first. They fail to consider that the Eastern religion absorbed Biblical narratives into their own myths.

With these logical fallacies in mind, let’s answer the arguments made in the Zeitgeist movie.

1. Ancient Egyptian religion wasn’t a coherent belief system that could be copied wholesale. As it evolved, so did its stories. The Oxford Guide: Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology says different forms of Horus are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egyptologists.

Ancient Egyptians viewed the multiple facets of reality, hence had different perceptions of the same multi-layered deity, and they attached various attributes to each deity. There were different versions of Horus and Isis in the Kemet.

2. The movie’s narration of the myth of Horus was peppered with Christian terms like “baptized,” “disciples” and “ministry” to further their agenda.

There is no way ancient Egyptians would use such terms to refer to their religious rites.

The name “Anup” or “Asup” doesn’t occur in any major ancient text. Only one reference to baptism is made in an Egytptian text and it refers to a ritual coronation for the pharaoh (and it varied in age, rarely 30).

No reference work speaks of Horus and his baptism. These contrivances were deliberately made up by anti-Christians to mislead their audience to assume similarities where there are none.

3. There’s no extant record that says Horus was born on December 25.

In Plutarch’s account, Horus was born “about the time of the winter solstice … imperfect and premature” (Isis and Osiris, Loeb Classical Library, Vol. 5, 1936). This leaves a gap of weeks before or after December.

In our modern calendar, the winter solstice is Dec. 21/22, not Dec. 25. This even assumes that ancient Egypt used our modern calendar, because ancient myths don’t specify any date at all for the birth of their deities.

Notably, Jesus’ birth date is not known and celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25 has nothing to do with the winter solstice.

4. In Plutarch’s account, Isis used her magic powers to raise Osiris from the dead and fashion a golden phallus to conceive her son. Thus, it wasn’t a virgin birth as that of Christ.

5. Horus was not visited by any 3 kings; he didn’t teach in any temple; he had no 12 disciples and he didn’t heal the sick.

Horus battled Set for 80 years and won, finally becoming a patron of Lower Egypt. Horus wasn’t crucified either. Egyptian texts spoke of Isis and “describes the death of Horus through the sting of a scorpion … Thoth now appeared to her and advised her to hide herself with her unborn child” (The History of Isis and Osiris, Summary: VIII, lxxiv).

This incident occurred long before Horus’ adulthood and Thoth purged the venom from his body.

You see, once you consult the source of the myth, a vastly different picture is seen. This is why one way to refute such arguments is to ask for the original source or documentation of the myths. The critic will either become silent or sing another tune.

6. Horus did not resurrect from the dead. Egyptian myths said Osiris came to life again in Horus, but this is even far off the bat from Christ’s resurrection.

The critics claiming otherwise are oversimplifying the word “resurrection” and trying to parallel it with that of ancient Egypt. This is at best, intellectual dishonesty.

Some other enemies of the gospel allege that Christianity borrowed some ideas from Buddhism because Buddha was born before the time of Christ.

Femi Aribisala, a self-acclaimed “scholar” who seems to be seeking relevance on social media, alleged that Philippians 2:12: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” was plagiarised from the Mahaparinibbana Sutta Buddhist scriptures. But here is the quote:

And now, brethren, I take my leave of you. All the constituents of being are transitory. Work out your salvation with diligence” (Digha Nikaya ii. 155-56 Mahaparinibbana Sutta).

Buddhists don’t believe in sin and their use of the term “salvation” is attaining nirvana or nothingness – a concept utterly remote from the Bible.

Comparing the dates of the written documents of Christianity and the religion from which the supposed plagiarism occurred quickly exposes the critic’s assertion.

Manuscript evidence shows that the New Testament was written between 50-90 A.D. On the other hand, the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) – though he lived about 5 centuries before Christ – were passed down orally.

These teachings became so fragmented and had variant interpretations that a council was held in the third century BC – hundreds of years after Buddha’s death – to purify his teachings:

“This council refuted the offending viewpoints and expelled those who held them. In the process, the compilation of the Buddhist scriptures (Tipitaka) was supposedly completed, with the addition of a body of subtle philosophy (abhidarhma) to the doctrine (dharma) and monastic discipline (vinaya) that had been recited at the first council” (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, “Buddhism”).

The earliest manuscript evidence of Buddhist teachings are fragments written on tree barks in 60 A.D. The Diamond manuscript, an early Buddhist text, is dated 868 A.D. – that is over one thousand years after Gautama lived.

During this time frame, however, the Bible had been completed and Christianity had spread extensively throughout the East and West, so if there was a borrowing or plagiarism, it must have been from Christianity to Buddhism.

Some critics have also claimed that Krishna, Attis and Baal were prototypes of Jesus, but when you compare the myths of these deities, you will be amazed to behold the critics’ feeble attempts to roll different idols of different ages, characteristics and natures into one and re-cast them in the mould of Jesus Christ.

A South African Muslim writer, A. S. K. Joomal, wrote that the Jesus of the Gospels was patterned after a Mexican idol, Quetzalcoatl who was also a saviour born of a virgin, tempted by Satan, fasted 40 days and was crucified and that the Mexicans looked forward to his second coming (The Bible: Word of God or Word of Man, p. 145).

Here, again, we see a cheap attempt to Christianize a pagan deity by employing loaded Christian words like “saviour,” “crucified” or “second coming.”

But here’s what the New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (Crescent Books, NY, 1987, p. 430) says about Quetzalcoatl:

Quetzalcoatl, the Snake-bird, god of wind, master of life, creator and civiliser, patron of every art and inventor of metallurgy, was originally a deity of Chololan, but was driven out by the intrigues of Tezcatlipoca and decided to return to the old land of Tlapallan after the fall of the Tulla. He burned his houses, built of silver and shells, buried his treasure, and set sail on the Eastern sea preceded by his attendants who had been changed into bright-hued birds, after promising his people he would return to them. Ever since then sentries were stationed on the East coast to watch for the god’s return.

Once again, the original myth conflicts with the agenda-driven narratives of the Bible hater. These false accusations and sensational theories actually tell a lot about the ethics and character of those disseminating them.