In Search of Historic Jesus

Authors

Introduction Edit 1

Like most Christians, the Bible has always been taken for granted. No Christians ever questioned the Bible or its teachings because we have always accepted it as our way of life, a part of our culture. But it used to rile me when those ‘Holier Than Thou’ evangelical Christians used to throw out ‘chapter and verse’  to mock my expressions of doubts that touched on Christian faith. It also used to raise my hackles when these evangelical (fundamental) Christians were always so self-righteous and looked down their noses at those who held different opinions from them. It was these ‘Holier Than Thou’ Christians that made me feel totally alienated from Christianity in the same way they have alienated Muslims or Hindus. As I said to one of them, “If I entered a Church room full of such self-opinionated Christians like you, I would turn around, run out, and never darken those doors again.” I felt such revulsion to those bigoted Christian views. Those were not the charitable Christian views I was brought up to admire and believe in.

It was not until the latter years of my life that I suddenly realised that much of the writings in the Bible appeared to me, ‘to be too cosmetic, too clinical, too comprehensive, too immediate,’ showing that the Bible must have been translated, re-translated, edited, redacted and re-edited until it fitted the mould that those early Christians visualised would represent their vision of “The Kingdom Of God.” The Bible was the work of thousands of theologians, editors, and evangelists over thousands of years until this book of literature was refined and considered fit to meet all the criticisms of mankind against their belief. It was written and refined by man to be a ‘fool-proof document’ to proclaim “The Kingdom of God” for all mankind.  We were constantly reminded that the Bible was produced with the “direct guidance of God?” Or was it perceived as the word written “with the inspiration of God.” But in reality they were mythical tales cleverly constructed by man to mesmerize man?  The historic authenticity of the authors of the Bible and the Gospels therefore is of crucial importance. Were all these authors inspired of God? What was such evidence?

So, in order to satisfy my curiosity, I decided to seek the historical Jesus (vs the Biblical Jesus), and the historical Gospel writers, and the writers of the Bible because there were too many allegorical stories in the Bible that made it difficult to differentiate Biblical myths from historical records. Did such  information, of the historical individuals, exist either within or from without the Biblical scripts?

Looking For The Historical Jesus

When I began to look into evidence for the “historical Jesus” I discovered that in the 19th century, many theologians and Christian academics were also looking for the evasive “historical Jesus”  clearly indicating that the Christian world was not entirely satisfied with the Jesus as described by the Gospels. The book, “The Historical Jesus: Five Views” by Prof. James K Beilby and Prof. Paul R. Eddy  sought the “historical Jesus” from within the Biblical Books of the Gospels:

“these academics and theologians were seeking ‘historical Jesus’ “within the limited boundaries of the Gospels and Biblical literature,” never once exceeding these ‘boundaries of evangelicalism,’ nor were there any suggestions that Jesus in the Bible could have been an allegorical Jesus. Yet none of the authors ever questioned the historical authenticity of the Gospels or their authorship nor the possibilities that such literature written hundreds of years after the event were not historical but simply a collection of allegorical stories plagiarised from one another, edited and re-edited by numerous scribes, Pharisees, and theologians until the stories were sanitized and harmonised to suit their objectives.” [1]

D.M.Murdock, a scholar of comparative religion and mythology wrote a book, “The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ”

“The author also argues that Jesus was in all probability an allegorical figure created from the image of some much earlier deity like Horus or Osiris. Thus Jesus of the Bible was a mythological personality. The whole of Christianity was based on much older myths from other older religious beliefs such as the Egyptian religions and beliefs. But such connections were severely suppressed for centuries.

Thus Jesus of the Bible was a mythological personality. The whole of Christianity was based on much older myths from other older religious beliefs such as the Egyptian or Babylonian religions and beliefs. But such connections were severely suppressed for centuries by such acts as the Justinian Code, the Roman Canon Laws, or the Christian Heresy laws.

In conclusion, the author, D.M.Murdock, does not believe that a historical Jesus ever lived. [2]

The Lack of Historical Corroboration

*****One very puzzling fact is, why were the ancient historians silent about Jesus? The fact that no mention of Jesus in any of their literary works raises some very serious alarm bells. It was as though at the beginning of the century no one had heard of Jesus. Jesus was not a subject of discussion or consideration.

By Richard Smith

Consider the following list. These are the historians and writers who DID live within Christ’s alleged lifetime or within a hundred years of it, after the time:

 Apollonius             Persius
 Appian                 Petronius
 Arrian                 Phaedrus
 Aulus Gellius          Philo-Judaeus
 Columella              Phlegon
 Damis                  Pliny the Elder
 Dio Chrysostom         Pliny the Younger
 Dion Pruseus           Plutarch
 Epictetus              Pompon Mela
 Favorinus              Ptolemy
 Florus Lucius          Quintilian
 Hermogones             Quintius Curtius
 Josephus               Seneca
 Justus of Tiberius     Silius Italicus
 Juvenal                Statius
 Lucanus                Suetonius
 Lucian                 Tacitus
 Lysias                 Theon of Smyran
 Martial                Valerius Flaccus
 Paterculus             Valerius Maximus
 Pausanias

Yet, aside from two FORGED passages in the works of a Jewish writer mentioned above, and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, ***there isn’t ANY mention of Jesus Christ. At all. Consider: “Philo was born before the beginning of the Christian era, and lived until long after the reputed death of Christ. He wrote an account of the Jews covering the entire time that Christ is said to have existed on earth. He was living in or near Jerusalem when Christ’s miraculous birth and the Herodian massacred occurred. He was there when Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He was there when the crucifixion with its attendant earthquake, supernatural darkness, and resurrection of the dead took place — when Christ himself rose from the dead, and in the presence of many witnesses ascended into heaven.

“These marvelous events which must have filled the world with amazement, had they really occurred, were unknown to him. It was Philo who developed the doctrine of the Logos, or Word, and although this Word incarnate dwelt in that very land and in the presence of multitudes revealed himself and demonstrated his divine powers, Philo saw it not.

“Justus of Tiberius was a native of Christ’s own country, Galilee. He wrote a history covering this time of Christ’s reputed existence. This work has perished, but Photius, a Christian scholar and critic of the ninth century, who was acquainted with it, says: ‘He (Justus) makes not the least mention of the appearances of Christ, of what things happened to him, or of the wonderful works that he did’ (Photius’ Bibliotheca, code 33).

“Josephus: Late in the first century, Josephus wrote his celebrated work, _The_Antiquities_of_the_Jews_, giving a history of his race from the earliest ages down to his own time. Modern versions of this work contain the following passage:

“‘Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works; a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day. (Book XVIII, Chapter iii, Section 3).’

“For nearly sixteen hundred years Christians have been citing this passage as a testimonial, not merely to the historical existence, but to the divine character of Jesus Christ. And yet a ranker forgery was never penned.

“Its language is Christian. Every line proclaims it the work of a Christian writer. ‘If it be lawful to call him a man.’ ‘He was the Christ.’ ‘He appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him.’

“These are the words of a Christian, a believer in the divinity of Christ. Josephus was a Jew, a devout believer in the Jewish faith — the last man in the world to acknowledge the divinity of Christ. The inconsistency of this evidence was early recognized, and Abrose, writing in the generation succeeding its first appearance (360 A.D.), offers the following explanation, which only a theologian could frame:

“‘If the Jews do not believe us, let them, at least, believe their own writers. Josephus, whom they esteem a great man, hath said this, and yet hath he spoken truth after such a manner; and so far was his mind wandered from the right way, that even he was not a believer as to what he himself said; but thus he spake, in order to deliver historical truth, because he thought it not lawful for him to deceive, while yet he was no believer, because of the hardness of his heart, and his perfidious intention.’

“Its brevity disproves its authenticity. Josephus’ work is voluminous and exhaustive. It comprises twenty books. Whole pages are devoted to petty robbers and obscure seditious leaders. Nearly forty chapters are devoted to the life of a single king. Yet this remarkable being, the greatest product of his race, a being of whom the prophets foretold ten thousand wonderful things, a being greater than any earthly king, is dismissed with a dozen lines.” [3]

For this omission to have occurred could only confirm one thing, that (historical) Jesus did not exist at that time, or  just before when those historians wrote their accounts.

“CONCLUSION

Belief cannot produce historical fact, and claims that come from nothing but hearsay do not amount to an honest attempt to get at the facts. Even with eyewitness accounts we must tread carefully. Simply because someone makes a claim, does not mean it represents reality. For example, consider some of the bogus claims that supposedly come from many eyewitness accounts of alien extraterrestrials and their space craft. They not only assert eyewitnesses but present blurry photos to boot! If we can question these accounts, then why should we not question claims that come from hearsay even more? Moreover, consider that the hearsay comes from ancient and unknown people who no longer live.

Unfortunately, belief and faith substitute as knowledge in many people’s minds and nothing, even direct evidence thrust on the feet of their claims, could possibly change their minds. We have many stories, myths and beliefs of a Jesus but if we wish to establish the facts of history, we cannot even begin to put together a knowledgeable account without at least a few reliable eyewitness accounts.

Of course a historical Jesus may have existed, perhaps based loosely on a living human even though his actual history got lost, but this amounts to nothing but speculation. However we do have an abundance of evidence supporting the mythical evolution of Jesus. Virtually every detail in the gospel stories occurred in pagan and/or Hebrew stories, long before the advent of Christianity. We simply do not have a shred of evidence to determine the historicity of a Jesus “the Christ.” We only have evidence for the belief of Jesus.”  [4]

Early Egyptian and Babylonian Civilisations

In order to immerse my own psyche into that period when Jesus was purported to live, I had to get my mind and emotions to adjust to that environment so that  I could visualise the psyche of the people of that time and their beliefs. To do that it was necessary to study the culture and physical environment of that region prior to the 1st Century AD. “The Religion of Ancient Egypt” by Sir William M. Flinders Petrie, FRS., painted a vivid picture of the Egyptian religious beliefs at that time and I could see how this must have had a bearing on the evolution of the early Judaic/Christian philosophies and rituals.  “Legends of the Gods.” The Egyptian Texts, Edited with Translation by Sir Wallis Budge gave details of the Egyptian Religions and I could see that this confirmed the insights of Flinders Petrie. But the Clifford Lectures on, “The Ancient Egyptian and Babylonian Conception of the Divine,” delivered by Archibald H Sayce delivered me into the heart and essence of the Egyptian and Babylonian culture, religion, and ambience. Placing myself into that environment, I was totally immersed in the beliefs of Egyptian philosophy and their religious rituals and see why early Judaism and later Christians could so easily embrace those concepts without question.  Archibald Sayce certainly cleared up some of the cobwebs of my concepts of the Egyptian religions and rituals. From his lectures I came to the following conclusions:

The gap of knowledge between an illiterate peasant and that of a scholarly priest (even limited as it was in those days) must have been unbridgeable.

The gap in the social status of a peasant and that of the Pharaoh too must have been so great that the Pharaoh was seen as omnipotent and regarded as such without question, a god-like figure. And as with most other religions, immortalizing a Pharaoh into a god, is no less similar to modern Christians elevating good man and women to sainthood. So we now begin to see the merging of man and god, in all the great religions of man, the immortalizing of our Saints. Yet, prejudice dictates that some worship pagan polygods, while others worship one god but with many saints or prophets or angels.

The importance of lectures and books such as this, suppressed for thousands of years by the different clergy like the Justinian code or the Roman Canon Law, allows an insight into the evolution of Judaism from much earlier religious philosophies and traditions. It is by looking at some of these pre-Judaic beginnings that we can appreciate how the early script writers could record the vision of Moses in 1314 BC. We will look at some of these pre-Judaic concepts and traditions to show that Judaic traditions were not by any means unique but handed down and already accepted by the Peoples long before them.

The Egyptian religion had always been a combination of ill-assorted survivals and confederation of different cults rather than having evolved from a definite theology. The cohesion of their beliefs was welded together by the authority of the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was accepted by his people not only as a son and representative of the sun-god, but the visible manifestation of the sun-god himself. It was accepted by the people who the Pharaoh, the Egyptian State, and the Egyptian Religion were united as one.

(1) Here we observe that the Pharaoh, (a man), is so highly regarded that he is accepted as a god. Egyptian’s believed that the Pharaoh (a man) is a manifestation of a god, Ra. Upon examination of all earlier pictorial representation of Christian Prophets or Saints, you will notice that they were all depicted with the halo. The “halo” was the pictorial “symbol of the Sun God, Ra.” Only all modern illustrations of Christian prophets and saints today have had the halo removed. It has taken a long time for Christians to disassociate themselves from the Sun god, Ra.

(2) Thus for these same Peoples to accept Jesus as a god, representing God on earth does not raise any eyebrows among the people of the early Christian era.

***(3) The Egyptians also believe in the virgin-birth of the god-Pharaoh. This goes back to the 18th Dynasty of the Pharaoh’s where on the western wall of the temple of Luxor, when the birth of Amon-hotep III is described that he had no human father. Amon himself descended from heaven and became the father of the future king. ***His mother was still a virgin when the god of Thebes “incarnated himself,” so that she might “behold him in his divine form.” “My soul is in him, and he shall wear the twofold crown of royalty, ruling the two worlds like the sun for ever.” ***So the concept of an immaculate conception is not a novel concept among the Egyptian psyche.

(4) Here again, clear precedence has been set for the concept of “virgin-birth.” Hence, the story of the virgin birth of Mary of Jesus is also a concept that raises no eye-brows. But Amon-hotep III was not the first whose father was a god. Queen Hatshepsu was also said to have been born of god, Amon.

***(5) It is a fundamental belief in Osiris ideology that every body has a Ka, spirit, and the two are bound together. And that it is possible for the Ka to return to a deceased body and there would be resurrection. Hence the Egyptian practice of embalming, to ensure that the Ka has a perfect body to return to for resurrection. *****The doctrine of resurrection of the body became an integral part of the Osirian faith. Yet this concept has been extended to the resurrection of Jesus.

(6)***** Thus the vision of the resurrection of Jesus after his Crucifixion is all well within the bounds of the perception and imagination of the early scribes of the Bible at that time. Although today it would be a miracle for someone to be resurrected after lying dead for 3 days. To extend this further, the discovery of a corpse would destroy the myth that Jesus rose bodily to Heaven. So Christians must have been responsible for the removal and hiding or destruction of the corpse in order to seal the fact that God raised Jesus from the Dead and took him to Heaven.

***(7) It is fascinating to observe that the Doctrine of the Trinity was already well established in the early Egyptian schools of theology. All the chief deities of Egypt were forced to conform to it. Anubus, the second person in the trinity of Set, must have already been attached to the cult of Osiris.

(8) Without delving into more details of the Trinity of the Egyptian religion, it can only be assumed that when the Council of Nicaea decided to adopt the Trinity in 325 AD that Scholars of Egyptian religions must have had a strong influence in uniting the clergy at Nicaea under the Egyptian doctrines. Some also must have cited ancient Egyptian traditions for the Nicaean Council to have agreed to accept this concept.

***(9) It was from among the Babylonians that they saw their gods possessed human forms. Man had been made in the likeness of gods and the gods therefore were of human shape. The converse was the case in Egypt. In Egypt the gods, with a few exceptions, were conceived of as brute beasts. Horus was the hawk, Nekheb the vulture, Uazit of Buto the deadly uraeus snake. Thus it is concluded that Egyptian religion was influenced from outside, likely Asia. Here the Babylonian religious influence prevailed.

***(10) The main purpose for the Babylonians to credit the god of Babylon with the creation of the world was to glorify Him. It was necessary that the supreme god of the universe should also be its creator. There is a great contrast between the Babylonian and the Hebrew conceptions of creation. The Hebrew cosmology starts from the belief in one God, i.e., “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. ….The breath of God should become the life of the world.” But the elements of Hebrew cosmology are all Babylonian. But between the polytheism of Babylonia and the monotheism of Israel a gulf is fixed which cannot be spanned.

(11) Babylonian cosmology had 3 beliefs, that water is the primal element, the belief in a lawless chaos from which the present world has been rescued after a long struggle between the powers of darkness and light, and a belief in generation as the primary creative force.

(12) It will be observed that Babylonian, Hebrew, and Creation in Genesis have all considered that the heavenly bodies are already in existence. What the creator did was to establish them in their stations, and appoint them to mark and register time. Or with Genesis a generality that the Universe was created in 7 days. That the concept of an expanding Universe created from an inconceivable and as yet inexplicable explosion was beyond their comprehension.

(13) Searching for evidence of the creation of man in these ancient scripts, we find, “Ea was the “lord of the earth” as well as of the sea, and Eridu, his city, was the “city of the lord of the land.” The men who inhabited it were his creation: he had formed them like a potter out of the clay, and as the divine potter he was therefore known unto them. He was the first artist in clay, and the models that he made were the first men. We can see how this early concept was plagiarized and elaborated upon in Genesis.

(14) The Babylonian story of the Deluge (Flood) is well-known. But here, it was Xisuthros, like Noah who owed his preservation to his piety. The Deluge (Flood) was a punishment for sin, and that righteous man should be saved. This is clearly an example that people of ancient times saw god as a cruel taskmaster who would destroy(all life) if you did not obey his commands. A cruel destructive god with harsh undeviating demands, not the God of Jesus as we are told of today. Yet. today, we still accept the mythology of Noah and his ark and the concept of a cruel, unforgiving God without a moment of hesitation or doubt of its authenticity.

(15)*** Even the fundamentals of the Christian 10 Commandments owes its basis to the Egyptian Book of the Dead. It is so recognisable identical.

(16)*** The ritual of Baptism with the cleansing waters of the Nile was already been practiced in Egyptian religious rituals.

***(17) The monotheism of Khu-n-Aten, in Egypt, was pantheistic, and as a result of this the god he worshipped was the god of the whole universe. It was the first time in history that the doctrine was proclaimed that the Supreme Being was the God of all mankind. This again is that same God that is portrayed by Moses and Judaism but was already practiced in Egypt although it did not survive then because of the entrenched memes of orthodox Egyptian polytheist gods. But it was revived by Semites under the guise of Moses’ visions. [5]

Comments:

I found it quite revealing that the Bible was neither original, unique nor divine, but was a compilation of the best and believable bits of pagan Egyptian, Babylonian, Sumerian, and Asiatic religious and superstitious beliefs of these earlier civilizations that had been kept suppressed (knowledge of it) until only recently. It illustrates how effective Christian indoctrination of their mythical beliefs has been by suppressing any contradictory information with the threat of declaring it heresy or other injunctions like the Justinian Code or the Roman Canon Laws.

It certainly opened my mind to the probable beginnings and roots of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Although brought up in a Christian environment all our lives, neither my wife nor I ever realised, till now, how much of the pagan Egyptian and Babylonian religious culture and doctrines has been incorporated into the Christian religion.It also suggests that many of these religious concepts were evolved by ancient man to fill the needs of the people of that era rather than revelations of God because we can observe similar evolutions with Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Islam although in different permutations of the solution. The evolution of religious philosophies is in some ways similar to the evolution of the species described by Charles Darwin. There are simply too many coincidences of Christian ideologies an rituals to that of Egyptian and Babylonian religious ideologies that must lead to the conclusion that Christianity was plagiarisms and modifications of the best bits of pagan ancient Egyptian and Babylonian beliefs. [1]

 

The doubts that arose from studying the Egyptian and Babylonian religions did raise serious questions of whether the Biblical Jesus was an allegorical character manufactured by the early Christian groups to convince early Christians or were the stories in the Gospels stories of the real historical Jesus? The character of Jesus was surrounded with allegorical stories and myths that it was impossible to separate the wheat from the chaff. So with an open mind, it was necessary to search what was available to ascertain the validity of the Gospels.

For this omission to have occurred could only confirm one thing, that Jesus did not exist at that time, or before when those historians wrote their accounts.

“CONCLUSION

Belief cannot produce historical fact, and claims that come from nothing but hearsay do not amount to an honest attempt to get at the facts. Even with eyewitness accounts we must tread carefully. Simply because someone makes a claim, does not mean it represents reality. For example, consider some of the bogus claims that supposedly come from many eyewitness accounts of alien extraterrestrials and their space craft. They not only assert eyewitnesses but present blurry photos to boot! If we can question these accounts, then why should we not question claims that come from hearsay even more? Moreover, consider that the hearsay comes from ancient and unknown people who no longer live.

Unfortunately, belief and faith substitute as knowledge in many people’s minds and nothing, even direct evidence thrust on the feet of their claims, could possibly change their minds. We have many stories, myths and beliefs of a Jesus but if we wish to establish the facts of history, we cannot even begin to put together a knowledgeable account without at least a few reliable eyewitness accounts.

Of course a historical Jesus may have existed, perhaps based loosely on a living human even though his actual history got lost, but this amounts to nothing but speculation. However we do have an abundance of evidence supporting the mythical evolution of Jesus. Virtually every detail in the gospel stories occurred in pagan and/or Hebrew stories, long before the advent of Christianity. We simply do not have a shred of evidence to determine the historicity of a Jesus “the Christ.” We only have evidence for the belief of Jesus.”  [5]

One troubling fact is that although the Egyptian and Babylonian history is very much more ancient than that of Christianity, yet we can find Archaeological and historical evidence of their footprints. But, on the other hand, with Jesus and the Gospel writers of the New Testament, except for some ancient documents, we cannot find any historical or archaeological evidence of their ever having existed on this earth. Were they actual historical persons or were they imaginary allegorical literary persons made up to immortalise “the Kingdom of God?”

The New Testament

To begin with, let us look at the way Christianity must have developed.

early Jesus Movements that started in Galilee in the 30s and 40s of the first century AD. These early Jesus followers were seeking a kingdom, to take them away from their sufferings under the harsh Roman rule, a kingdom that they identified as “the Kingdom of God.” So different Jesus movements evolved forming different groups and these groups began to write their thoughts down, share it, saved it, embellished it and reworked it till it eventually resulted in the New Testament.

In the Early founding days, there were five different prominent Jesus groups such as (1) The Community of Q (Q refers to Quelle meaning ‘source’ of the sayings of Jesus) who produced the Sayings Gospel Q, (2) the Jesus School that produced the pre-Markan pronouncement stories, (3) the True Disciples who produced the Gospel of Thomas, (4) the Congregation of Israel who composed the pre-Markan sets of miracle stories, and (5) the Jerusalem Pillars about whom we have only an early report from Paul in his letter to the Galatians. All these groups shared the common feature of the idea of “the kingdom of god.” But the road from Jesus to the Christian religion only emerged in the 4th century developed from the myth of Jesus as the son of God firmly in place.

most of the contents of the New Testament were written by anonymous authors in the name of the Gospels and passed as historical events when in fact they were mostly allegorical or mythical stories made up to glorify Christianity and the Kingdom of God. [7]

The Egyptian and Babylonian Influence

What was the source of the multitude of stories and legends that filled the New Testament? Were the Gospels relating actual happenings with Jesus or were they legendary myths made up to establish and perpetuate “the Kingdom of God” on earth? Little has ever been known by Christians about the Egyptian and Babylonian religions, myths, customs and rituals until the discovery and decoding of ancient scripts like the Nag Hammidi documents found in 1948 and others.

In order to immerse my own psyche into that period when Jesus was purported to live, I had to get my mind and emotions to adjust to that environment. To do that it was necessary to study the culture and physical environment of that region prior to the 1st Century AD. “The Religion of Ancient Egypt” by Sir William M. Flinders Petrie, FRS., painted a vivid picture of the Egyptian religious beliefs at that time and I could see how this must have had a bearing on the evolution of the early Judaic/Christian philosophies and rituals.  “Legends of the Gods.” The Egyptian Texts, Edited with Translation by Sir Wallis Budge gave details of the Egyptian Religions and I could see that this confirmed the insights of Flinders Petrie. But the Clifford Lectures on, “The Ancient Egyptian and Babylonian Conception of the Divine,” delivered by Archibald H Sayce delivered me into the heart and essence of the Egyptian and Babylonian culture, religion, and ambience. Placing myself into that environment, I was totally immersed in the beliefs of Egyptian philosophy and their religious rituals and see why early Judaists and later Christians could so easily embrace those concepts without question.  Archibald Sayce certainly cleared up some of the cobwebs of my concepts of the Egyptian religions and rituals. From his lectures I came to the following conclusions:

The gap of knowledge between an illiterate peasant and that of a scholarly priest (even limited as it was in those days) must have been unbridgeable.

The gap in the social status of a peasant and that of the Pharaoh too must have been so great that the Pharaoh was seen as omnipotent and regarded as such without question, a god-like figure. And as with most other religions, immortalizing a Pharaoh into a god, is no less similar to modern Christians elevating good man and women to sainthood. So we now begin to see the merging of man and god, in all the great religions of man, the immortalizing of our Saints. Yet, prejudice dictates that some worship pagan polygods, while others worship one god but with many saints or prophets or angels.

The importance of lectures and books such as this, suppressed for thousands of years by the different clergy like the Justinian code or the Roman Canon Law, allows an insight into the evolution of Judaism from much earlier religious philosophies and traditions. It is by looking at some of these pre-Judaic beginnings that we can appreciate how the early script writers could record the vision of Moses in 1314 BC. We will look at some of these pre-Judaic concepts and traditions to show that Judaic traditions were not by any means unique but handed down and already accepted by the Peoples long before them.

The Egyptian religion had always been a combination of ill-assorted survivals and confederation of different cults rather than having evolved from a definite theology. The cohesion of their beliefs was welded together by the authority of the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was accepted by his people not only as a son and representative of the sun-god, but the visible manifestation of the sun-god himself. It was accepted by the people who the Pharaoh, the Egyptian State, and the Egyptian Religion were united as one.

(1) Here we observe that the Pharaoh, (a man), is so highly regarded that he is accepted as a god. Egyptian’s believed that the Pharaoh (a man) is a manifestation of a god, Ra. Upon examination of all earlier pictorial representation of Christian Prophets or Saints, you will notice that they were all depicted with the halo. The “halo” was the pictorial “symbol of the Sun God, Ra.” Only all modern illustrations of Christian prophets and saints today have had the halo removed. It has taken a long time for Christians to disassociate themselves from the Sun god, Ra.

(2) Thus for these same Peoples to accept Jesus as a god, representing God on earth does not raise any eyebrows among the people of the early Christian era.

(3) The Egyptians also believe in the virgin-birth of the god-Pharaoh. This goes back to the 18th Dynasty of the Phsraoh’s where on the western wall of the temple of Luxor, when the birth of Amon-hotep III is described that he had no human father. Amon himself descended from heaven and became the father of the future king. His mother was still a virgin when the god of Thebes “incarnated himself,” so that she might “behold him in his divine form.” “My soul is in him, and he shall wear the twofold crown of royalty, ruling the two worlds like the sun for ever.” So the concept of an immaculate conception is not a novel concept among the Egyptian psyche.

(4) Here again, clear precedence has been set for the concept of “virgin-birth.” Hence, the story of the virgin birth of Mary of Jesus is also a concept that raises no eye-brows. But Amon-hotep III was not the first whose father was a god. Queen Hatshepsu was also said to have been born of god, Amon.

(5) It is a fundamental belief in Osiris ideology that every body has a Ka, spirit, and the two are bound together. And that it is possible for the Ka to return to a deceased body and there would be resurrection. Hence the Egyptian practice of embalming, to ensure that the Ka has a perfect body to return to for resurrection. The doctrine of resurrection of the body became an integral part of the Osirian faith. Yet this concept has been extended to the resurrection of Jesus.

(6) Thus the vision of the resurrection of Jesus after his Crucifixion is all well within the bounds of the perception and imagination of the early scribes of the Bible at that time. Although today it would be a miracle for someone to be resurrected after lying dead for 3 days. To extend this further, the discovery of a corpse would destroy the myth that Jesus rose bodily to Heaven. So Christians must have been responsible for the removal and hiding or destruction of the corpse in order to seal the fact that God raised Jesus from the Dead and took him to Heaven.

(7) It is fascinating to observe that the Doctrine of the Trinity was already well established in the early Egyptian schools of theology. All the chief deities of Egypt were forced to conform to it. Anubus, the second person in the trinity of Set, must have already been attached to the cult of Osiris.

(8) Without delving into more details of the Trinity of the Egyptian religion, it can only be assumed that when the Council of Nicaea decided to adopt the Trinity in 325 AD that Scholars of Egyptian religions must have had a strong influence in uniting the clergy at Nicaea under the Egyptian doctrines. Some also must have cited ancient Egyptian traditions for the Niceaen Council to have agreed to accept this concept.

(9) It was from among the Babylonians that they saw their gods possessed human forms. Man had been made in the likeness of gods and the gods therefore were of human shape. The converse was the case in Egypt. In Egypt the gods, with a few exceptions, were conceived of as brute beasts. Horus was the hawk, Nekheb the vulture, Uazit of Buto the deadly uraeus snake. Thus it is concluded that Egyptian religion was influenced from outside, likely Asia. Here the Babylonian religious influence prevailed.

(10) The main purpose for the Babylonians to credit the god of Babylon with the creation of the world was to glorify Him. It was necessary that the supreme god of the universe should also be its creator. There is a great contrast between the Babylonian and the Hebrew conceptions of creation. The Hebrew cosmology starts from the belief in one God, i.e., “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. ….The breath of God should become the life of the world.” But the elements of Hebrew cosmology are all Babylonian. But between the polytheism of Babylonia and the monotheism of Israel a gulf is fixed which cannot be spanned.

(11) Babylonian cosmology had 3 beliefs, that water is the primal element, the belief in a lawless chaos from which the present world has been rescued after a long struggle between the powers of darkness and light, and a belief in generation as the primary creative force.

(12) It will be observed that Babylonian, Hebrew, and Creation in Genesis have all considered that the heavenly bodies are already in existence. What the creator did was to establish them in their stations, and appoint them to mark and register time. Or with Genesis a generality that the Universe was created in 7 days. That the concept of an expanding Universe created from an inconceivable and as yet inexplicable explosion was beyond their comprehension.

(13) Searching for evidence of the creation of man in these ancient scripts, we find, “Ea was the “lord of the earth” as well as of the sea, and Eridu, his city, was the “city of the lord of the land.” The men who inhabited it were his creation: he had formed them like a potter out of the clay, and as the divine potter he was therefore known unto them. He was the first artist in clay, and the models that he made were the first men. We can see how this early concept was plagiarized and elaborated upon in Genesis.

(14) The Babylonian story of the Deluge (Flood) is well-known. But here, it was Xisuthros, like Noah who owed his preservation to his piety. The Deluge (Flood) was a punishment for sin, and that righteous man should be saved. This is clearly an example that people of ancient times saw god as a cruel taskmaster who would destroy(all life) if you did not obey his commands. A cruel destructive god with harsh undeviating demands, not the God of Jesus as we are told of today. Yet. today, we still accept the mythology of Noah and his ark and the concept of a cruel, unforgiving God without a moment of hesitation or doubt of its authenticity.

(15) Even the fundamentals of the Christian 10 Commandments owes its basis to the Egyptian Book of the Dead. It is so recognisable identical.

(16) The ritual of Baptism with the cleansing waters of the Nile was already been practiced in Egyptian religious rituals.

(17) The monotheism of Khu-n-Aten, in Egypt, was pantheistic, and as a result of this the god he worshipped was the god of the whole universe. It was the first time in history that the doctrine was proclaimed that the Supreme Being was the God of all mankind. This again is that same God that is portrayed by Moses and Judaism but was already practiced in Egypt although it did not survive then because of the entrenched memes of orthodox Egyptian polytheist gods. But it was revived by Semites under the guise of Moses’ visions. [5]

Comments:

I found it quite revealing that the Bible was neither original, unique nor divine, but was a compilation of the best and believable bits of pagan Egyptian, Babylonian, Sumerian, and Asiatic religious and superstitious beliefs of these earlier civilizations that had been kept suppressed (knowledge of it) until only recently. It illustrates how effective Christian indoctrination of their mythical beliefs had been by suppressing any contradictatory information with the threat of declaring it heresy or other injunctions like the Justinian Code or the Roman Canon Laws.

It certainly opened my mind to the probable beginnings and roots of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Although brought up in a Christian environment all our lives, neither my wife nor I ever realised, till now, how much of the pagan Egyptian and Babylonian religious culture and doctrines has been incorporated into the Christian religion.It also suggests that many of these religious concepts were evolved by ancient man to fill the needs of the people of that era rather than revelations of God because we can observe similar evolutions with Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Islam although in different permutations of the solution. The evolution of religious philosophies is in some ways similar to the evolution of the species described by Charles Darwin. There are simply too many coincidences of Christian ideologies and rituals that are almost identical copies of  or slight variations of of Egyptian and Babylonian religious ideologies that I cannot but conclude that Judaism and Christianity evolved out of   ancient Egyptian and Babylonian religious beliefs and rituals. [5]

The Significance of the Egyptian Culture on the Gospels

Despite the fact that the early Christians did everything to distance their connections fromJudaism and the Egyptian religions, we have clearly shown that all the basic fundamental ideologies, rituals, and beliefs in Christianity were, in reality, adopted from the Egyptian religion. In fact, even the blood-lines of the Jews were Egyptian through the birth of Isaac.

According to Genesis Chapter 12, During the rule of Egyptian pharaohs, Abraham went down to Egypt and as his wife was so attractive, he passed her off as his sister. However the Pharoah was so attracted to Sarai, that he paid Abraham a bride-price to have her. But the Lord sent great plagues on Egypt for this wrong doing, and the Pharaoh called Abraham and admonished him for telling a lie, and sent him and Sarai away, with due compensations one of which as a slave. Hagar, to care for Sarai and unborn child, Isaac. Hagar later bore Abraham’s child Ishmael.  So, if the account is correct, the twelve tribes of the Jews were all descendants of an Egyptian pharaoh. The direct and indirect influence of the Egyptian Pharaohs and their culture will have had an overwhelming influence in the early development and evolution of early Christianity.

Egyptologist Ahmed Osman has conducted even more extensive studies into the ancient history of Egypt and her Pharaohs and to correlate these with the stories in the Bible. The Egyptian history was well recorded and dates for the rule of each and every Pharaoh, with major  historical events well document by the meticulous Egyptians. By mapping out and tracing anceint Egyptian history as reference points, Ahmed Osman then began to fit in accounts of the New Testaqment Gospel accounts into these Egypting time-lines to access the probability of the accuracy of the gospel accounts. The hypothesis reached by Ahmed Osman is worthy of further considerations.

Moses and Monotheism (in German Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion) is a 1937 book by Sigmund Freud, published in English translation in 1939. In it Freud hypothesizes that Moses was not Jewish, but actually born into Ancient Egyptian nobility and was perhaps a follower of Akhenaten, an ancient Egyptian monotheist, or perhaps Akhenaten himself. The book consists of three parts and is an extension of Freud’s work on psychoanalytic theory as a means of generating hypotheses about historical events. Freud had similarly employed psychoanalytic theory to history in his much earlier work, Totem and Taboo. As well as in his ever-expanding library on the subject, Freud’s interest in Egypt manifested itself in an impressive collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts. A selection of the smaller bronzes was permanently on display on his desk both in Vienna and London.

In Moses and Monotheism, Freud contradicts the Biblical story of Moses with his own retelling of events claiming that Moses only led his close followers into freedom during an unstable period in Egyptian history after Akhenaten and that they subsequently killed Moses in rebellion and later combined with another monotheistic tribe in Midian based on a volcanic God. Freud explains that years after the murder of Moses, the rebels regretted their action thus forming the concept of the Messiah as a hope for the return of Moses as the Saviour of the Israelites. Freud said that the guilt from the murder of Moses is inherited through the generations; this guilt then drives the Jews to religion to make them feel better. [6]

In Ahmed Osman’s book, “Moses and Akhenaten: The Secret History of Egypt At The Time of the Exodus” Osman states:

Egyptian historical evidence has proven that the Pharaoh Akhenaten (1380 – 1334 BC) also known as Pharaoh Amenhotep IV abolished polytheism and replaced it with a single god Aten who was spiritual without image or form. Akhenaten ruled Egypt for seventeen years, but his vision of a mono-theist god upset the people and especially the fundamentalists polytheist priests to such an extent that he was forced to abdicate the throne and allowed his successor to allow the people to include the worship of the old gods of Egypt, Amun. The animosity of the polytheists and the followers of the monotheists were irreconcilable at that point in time. Akhenaten was forced to seek refuge in Sinai taking with him his Egyptian and Israelite supporters. And this was the beginnings of Judaism.

Sigmund Freud had suggested that Moses was in fact one of the Egyptian priests from the Aten Temples who started the religion of Judah. But as he was Egyptian, it was convenient if his identity was removed so as not to alienate the Jews since there was not much love between the Egyptians and the Jewish people.

But Egyptian scholar Ahmed Osman hypothesized that in fact Moses as depicted in the Old Testament was, in fact, a spiritual representation of Akhenaten. They were one and the same person although the accounting differed in the different texts.

The Egyptians, of course, divorced themselves from this blasphemy. The Jews wanted a new identity also divorced from any Egyptian connections. The Romans and Christians were determined to suppress any connections to the Egyptian polytheist culture as it would have undermined their own narratives, independence and authority.

The lives of Amenhotep IV, Akhenaten, Moses, (were one and the same person) who the creation of Aten, the Temples of Aten, and monotheism all occurred about the same time in history. Was it simply coincidence, or is there some credibility in the hypothesis of Sigmund Freud and Ahmed Osman? [7]

Ahmed Osman continues in his next book, “Jesus in the House of the Pharaohs – The Essene Revelations on the Historical Jesus” 1992 stating that although it is common belief that Jesus lived during the first century, there has never been any evidence to support this fact. Osman continues his hypothesis and belief that Jesus and Joshua were one and the same person. Also, that Jesus of the New Testament is the spiritual representation of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun who ruled Egypt between 1361 and 1352 BC and was regarded as the spiritual son of God. An he believes that it was the Essene Christians who were the followers of Jesus who kept monotheism alive.

In Ahmed Osman’s book,” Christianity: An Ancient Egyptian Religion (29 Nov 2012), he expresses these opinions:

 Ahmed Osman’s hypothesis of pointing to the influences of the Egyptian religious customs, their Pharaohs, and the Egyptian culture has provided the bridge between Egyptian religions and culture with early Christianity. No doubt this will spur other researchers to find additional evidence to either reinforce this hypothesis or to discredit it. Most of the evidence so far provided has shown the strong resemblances or coincidences of the history of Egypt, and Roman history, with that of Biblical history. What justification will be made to bridge historical Christianity with the spiritual Christianity to the satisfaction of modern public will depend on the findings in modern archaeology.

(1) Egyptian Pharaohs were gods and kings but they were also considered reincarnations of god Horus., after death they reverted to true gods. This unique attribute was conferred to Jesus and is based of Egyptian cultural traditions. It was not a unique concept.

(2) Long before the existence of Torah or the Bible, the polytheist Egyptians already believed in the “Living Spirit and resurrection,” and that “Osiris was resurrected 3 days after death,” hence the mummification of the Pharaohs as the Egyptians believed that the Pharaohs will be resurrected when the spirit returned to the body. This resurrection as the preserve of the Pharaohs. The resurrection of Jesus fitted this concept.

(3) The Egyptians believed in Baptism with (pure, Holy) water.

(4) The 10 Commandments is almost identical to the Egyptian “Book of the Dead.”

(5) The Egyptians accepted the Trinity i.e., Osiris, Isis, and Horus was the Egyptian Trinity.

(6) Pharoah Akhenatem was the first monotheist who built temples for god, Atem.

So many of the essential elements in Christianity come from the Egyptian religious culture that it is impossible to dismiss that the roots of Judiasm/Christianity/Islam did not originate from within the Egyptian religious culture. To dismiss Ahmed Osman’s hypothesis as radical is as biased as to accept the Bible as the literal story of God. [8]

Summary of Ahmed Osman’s Hypothesis

Osman, and Egyptologist living in London, is one of the first modern writers who has examined the New Testament against Ancient Egyptian historical records, and is clearly way “outside the box” of classical Christian academic research. Perhaps, as an Egyptian, and not mind-bound by Christian hierarchical loyalties as most theologians are, he feels free to openly air his research and conclusions. This allows for a new beacon of insight into the past.

Osman was studiously logical and systematic in his hypothesis and very plausible. I am impressed with how he has connected the Biblical histories and legends with that of Ancient Egypt history to made sense. He is convincing.

The title of this essay was, “In Search of Historic Jesus” and I believe that I have joined the dots to form a picture not seen before. Let each reader believe as this essay effects him.

Epilogue

What happened to the Egyptian religious followings and beliefs after the last of the Pharaohs disappeared? Did the Egyptian culture simply vanish and has now emerged as an Islamic culture in the 21 century? The transition could not have been so abrupt and catastrophic. As we have described above, the priests and the people of Egypt fearing for the demise of their religious beliefs and rebelled against the monotheist god Aten introduced by the Pharaoh Akhenaten and destroyed it. Or so it appeared. But were the followers of Akhenaten, so lack of faith in their god, Aten, as to allow it to disappear because of the opposition of ignorant priests who whorshipped the Sun God, Ra, and the other polytheist gods that go with that religion? Some Egyptians were greater thinkers and intellectuals than most give them credit.

The followers of god, Aten, and their Pharaoh Amenhotep IV would have found ways to preserve their beliefs and faith. These followers would have been Eguptians, and possibly one of these groups would have been the Essene Christians. Whether they or other early Christian groups decided to keep their faith alive by concealing their beliefs but still recording it openly by writing a series of allegorical tales so that the story of their faith lived on. Thus began the folklore and mythical stories of the lives of Akhenaten as Moses, and that of Tutankhamun who ruled from 1361 to 1352 BC as Jesus and that they were the mythical stories of the Jews and known today as the New Testament. These were no Egyptian spiritual figures, but Jewish spiritual figures, thus deflecting any suspicions that these were the stories of Akhenaten, Tutankhamun immortals of the Egyptian pharaohs. It deceived everyone and so the early Christian faith, based on Egyptian historic man-gods, was born, and it did not raise hatred and dissent from either the polytheist Egyptians nor the anti-Egyptian Jews. It was a plan that only could have been concieved by the cunning Egyptians who had learned how to hide and deceive people  from robbing the tombs of their beloved Pharaohs. A brilliant plan, to be able to present parchments that would be accepted and venerated by all.

If we accept this hypothesis, all the mysteries for the allegorical myths in the New Testament, and the conflicts of dates and historic facts becomes clear. The Essene Christians cunningly wrote alligorical myths that was accepted by both sceptical Egyptian polytheist priests as well as the strictly exclusive Jewish rabbis. This deceit ensured the survival of the concept of monotheism in the early centuries and has given us today’s Abrahamic Faiths. It will also explain the Bible and all the mysteries and discrepancies and become plain for all to see and decipher the origins of the Historic Moses and the Historic Jesus.

Post Script

I read this article: Review of Ahmed Osman’s “Out of Egypt, The Roots of Christianity Revealed” and was so impressed by it that I felt I had to add it to this reading list. [9]

References

[1] Searching for the historical Jesus: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A33XS1GCPPFO8Q/ref=cm_pdp_rev_all?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview

[2] The Allegorical Jesus: https://mbplee.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/review-the-origins-of-christianity-and-the-quest-for-historical-jesus-by-d-m-murdock-acharya-s/

[3] Why ancient Historians did not mention Jesus? http://www.holysmoke.org/sdhok/jesus5.htm

[4] Historical Jesus? http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

[5] The ancient Egyptian environment and culture:  https://mbplee.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/review-the-religions-of-ancient-egypt-and-babylonia-by-archibald-h-sayce/

[6] Sigmund Freud – Moses: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses_and_Monotheism

[7] Moses-Akhenaten: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A33XS1GCPPFO8Q?ie=UTF8&display=public&page=2&sort_by=MostRecentReview

[8] Christianity: An Ancient Egyptian Religion: https://mbplee.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/review-christianity-an-ancient-egyptian-religion-by-ahmed-osman-29-nov-2012/

[9] Review of Ahmed Osman’s “Out of Egypt, The Roots of Christianity Revealed” http://www.domainofman.com/ankhemmaat/osman.html

[10] Did Judaism Inherit the Egyptian Religion: http://christianjewishbible.com/can_we_find_yhvh_ancient_egypt.htm

[xx] Prosos-Isis-Horus myths-immaculate conception, ressurrection: http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/HORUS.htm

[xxx] Who Wrote the New Testament: https://mbplee.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/review-who-wrote-the-new-testament-the-making-of-the-christain-myth-burton-l-mack/

[xxxx] Similarities of Christian beliefs and that of Egyptian beliefs: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081111153647AArJQuL

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