by John G. Jackson (1907 - 1993)
Originally published in 1941
Part Three: Pagan Christs
The Egyptian analogies to the Christian epic are so close in some cases as to suggest an Egyptian origin for certain Christian doctrines and rites. This is clearly shown by Gerald Massey:
The Christian dispensation is believed to have been ushered in by the birth of a child, and the portrait of that child in the Roman Catacombs as the child of Mary is the youthful Sun-God in the Mummy Image of the child-king, the Egyptian Karast, or Christ. The alleged facts of our Lord’s life as Jesus the Christ, were equally the alleged facts of our Lord’s life as the Horus of Egypt, whose very name signifies the Lord. … The Jesus Christ with female paps, who is the Alpha and Omega of Revelation, was the Iu of Egypt, and Iao of the Chaldeans. Jesus as the Lamb of God, and Ichthys the Fish, was Egyptian. Jesus as the Coming One; Jesus born of the Virgin Mother, who was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost, Jesus born of two mothers, both of whose names are Mary; Jesus born in the manger—at Christmas, and again at Easter; Jesus saluted by the three kings, or Magi; Jesus of the transfiguration on the Mount; Jesus whose symbol in the Catacombs is the eight-rayed Star—the Star of the East; Jesus as the eternal Child; Jesus as God the Father, re-born as his own Son; Jesus as the child of twelve years; Jesus as the Anointed One of thirty years; Jesus in his Baptism; Jesus walking on the Waters, or working his Miracles; Jesus as the Caster-out of demons; Jesus as a Substitute, who suffered in a vicarious atonement for sinful men; Jesus whose followers are the two brethren, the four fishers, the seven fishers, the twelve apostles, the seventy (or seventy-two in some texts) whose names were written in Heaven; Jesus who was administered to by seven women; Jesus in his bloody sweat; Jesus betrayed by Judas; Jesus as Conqueror of the grave; Jesus the Resurrection and the Life; Jesus before Herod; in the Hades, and in his re-appearance to the women and to the seven fishers; Jesus who was crucified both on the 14th and 15th of the month Nisan; Jesus who was also crucified in Egypt (as it is written in Revelation); Jesus as judge of the Dead, with the sheep on the right, and the goats on the left, is Egyptian from first to last, in every phase from the beginning to the end.1
father of Horus, was another virgin-born god of ancient
We have the Annunciation, the Conception, the Birth and the Adoration, as described in the first and second chapters of Luke’s gospel; and as we have historical assurance that the chapters in Matthew’s gospel which contain the miraculous birth are an after addition not in the earliest manuscripts, it seems probable that these two poetical chapters in Luke may also be unhistorical, and borrowed from the Egyptian accounts of the miraculous births of their kings.
Another great pagan christ was Krishna3 of India. In the sacred
“[I]n all the Romish countries of Europe,” says he, “in France, Italy, Germany &c., the God Christ, as well as his mother, are described in their old pictures and statues to be black. The infant God in the arms of his black mother, his eyes and drapery white, is himself perfectly black. If the reader doubt my word, he may go to the cathedral at Moulins—to the famous chapel of the Virgin at Loretto—to the church of the Annunciata—the church of St. Lazaro, or the church of St. Stephen at Genoa—to St. Francisco at Pisa—to the church at Brixen, in the Trol, and to that at Padua—to the church of St. Theodore, at Munich, in the two last of which the whiteness of the eyes and teeth, and the studied redness of the lips, are very observable;—to a church and to the cathedral at Augsburg, where are a black virgin and child as large as life: to Rome, and the Borghese chapel Maria Maggiore—to the Pantheon—to a small chapel of St. Perer’s, on the right-hand side on entering, near the door; and, in fact, to almost innumerable other churches, in countries professing the Romish religion,
There is scarcely an old church in
When the circumstance has been named to the Romish priests, they have endeavored to disguise the fact, by pretending that the child had become black by the smoke of the candles; but it was black where the smoke of the candle never came: and, besides, how came the candles not to blacken the white of the eyes, the teeth, and the shirt, and how came they to redden the lips? … Their real blackness in not to be questioned for a moment. …
A black virgin and child among the white Germans, Swiss, French and Italians!!!10
The close parallels between the life-stories of Buddha and Christ are
just as remarkable as those between
Mithra,13 a Persian sun-god, was virgin-born, in a cave, on December 25. His earliest worshippers were shepherds, and he was accompanied in his travels by twelve companions. The Mithraists kept the sabbath day holy and celebrated the Eucharist by eating wafers embellished with a cross. The great Mithraic festivals were the Birth (Christmas) and the Resurrection (Easter).
Adonis14 or Tammuz of Babylonia was also born of a virgin. He died a cruel death, descended into hell, arose from the tomb and ascended to heaven. In a mid-summer festival, the worshippers of Adonis wept over an effigy of the dead god which was washed with water, anointed day the Resurrection was re-enacted, after which the crowd shouted: “The Lord is Risen.” Finally his ascension was simulated in the presence of his devotees.
Attis15 of Phrygia was called the Good Shepherd, and was said to be the son of the virgin Nana. It is reported that Attis, when in his prime, mutilated himself and bled to death under a sacred pine tree. The Festivals of the Death and Resurrection of Attis were staged by his worshippers from March 22 through March 25. A pine tree was cut on March 22, and an image of the god was tied to the trunk. He was shown as “slain and hanged on a tree.”16 Then the effigy was buried in a tomb. On the night of March 24, the priests opened the tomb and found it empty. The Resurrection of Attis was celebrated on March 25. His followers were baptized in blood, thereby having their sins washed away, and they were therefore declared to have been “born again.”
Strange as it may seem, the Aztecs of ancient
Massey, The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ or Natural Genesis and
Typology of Equinoctial Chistolatry (
2. Osiris was the great Egyptian god of the underworld and the judge of the dead.
4. Protevagelion in The Apocryphal New Testament, being all the Gospels, Epistles, and Other Pieces now Extant, Attributed in the First Four Centuries to Jesus Christ, His Apostles, and Their Companions, and not Included in The New Testament by its Compilers (New York: Peter Eckler Publishing Co., 1927).
5. 1 and 2 Infancy in The Apocryphal New Testament.
6. Luke 2:1–3, 5
7. According to Matthew 2:16.
8. Thomas Inman, M.D., Ancient Faiths Embodied in Ancient Names, vol. 1 p. 441; cited by T. W. Doane in Bible Myths, p. 186.
9. Nicodemus in The Apocryphal New Testament.
10. Higgins, Anacalypsos, vol. 1, pp. 138–139.
11. Buddha is said to have been a mortal sage, whose name was Siddhartha Gautama (563–483 B.C.). He was surnamed Buddha, “the awakened (enlightened).”
12. Matthew 17:2.
13. Mithra was a fifth century B.C. Persian god of light, who aided in the struggle with the powers of darkness.
14. Adonis, a classical Greek mythology, a youth of remarkable beauty, a favourite of the goddess Aphrodite, symbolizing the cycle of growing seasons.
15. Attis (Atys), a deity worshipped
in Phrygia, and later throughout the
16. Cf. New Testament:—Acts 5:30.
17. Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent), a great Toltec deity, a god of the air, and in legend a saintly ruler and civilizer.