Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Examining The Pagan Christ: Part Four

I'm not going to make this post very long. I will deal with a few more quotes from the fifth chapter, as well as some from the sixth.

Significantly, both Horus and Jesus were accompanied by twelve disciples, as were Mithras and Dionysus. After reading Massey and Kuhn, I discovered that this has a deeper spiritual meaning than appears at first sight. A vast flood of light is let in upon Gospel interpretation if it is understood that the twelve disciples of Jesus symbolized the twelve powers of spiritual light energy to be unfolded by man in twelve labours (or stages) of growth, all imaged by the twelve signs of the zodiac. [1]

Too bad the early Christians never accepted astrology/the zodiac. Also, all this talk of "spiritual light energy" makes no sense at all, and is completely foreign to the meaning of the scripture. It would make more sense to say that the there were twelve apostles (not disciples, there's a difference) because they correspond to the twelve tribes of Israel.

Also, there is no evidence that Horus had twelve disciples. This is the problem when you are relying on spurious secondary sources. Next:

Egypt gave the twelve followers a more definitive name and function. The twelve were astronomical powers, rulers or "saviours of the treasure of light".[2]

See above. Next:

In the New Testament the angel of the Lord says to Joseph, "Arise and take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt." At the birth of Horus, the god That says to the mother, "Come, thou goddess Isis, hide thyself with thy child." She is told to take him to a secluded spot in the marshes of lower Egypt, called Kheb (or Khebt). Interestingly, the Sumerian sun god, Sargon, had to be hidden, like Moses, in a reed basket by a river also to avoid being killed. [3]

Another undocumented quote. Horus did not say the quote attributed to him above. Also, I have found three kings/emperors by the name of Sargon, but no sun god, and no mention of being hidden in a reed basket by a river. So I can safely say that we can discount that claim as well. Next:

Jesus, all four Gospels declare, was baptized in the River Jordan by his cousin John, who was dubbed "the baptizer". John as later beheaded by the tetrarch Herod Antipas (4 B.C.E. - 39 C.E.)--after Salome's famous dance--at the whim of his wife, Herodias, and his death signalled the beginning of Jesus' public ministry. Horus, as we have seen, was baptized in the River Eridanus (or Arutana) by the Egyptian John the Baptist, Anup, who was also later beheaded. Kuhn says that Horus in his baptism was "transformed from the word made flesh to the word made truth"--a change from the natural to the wholly spiritual.[4]

I'm not going to quote the rest of the section on Anup (whom Harpur identifies with Anubis). The difference is simply bogus: Anup was not a "baptizer", nor was he beheaded.

And one more:

Jesus' Nativity will always be associated with the ox and the ass because of the stable and the manger. But these two animals were also with the Egyptian Iusa, ages upon ages before. What this earthy feature of the birth story is really about, in the true esoteric sense, is the coming of the divine into the basic animal nature to create that wholly new reality--the human being (part animal, part divine). Significantly, both these animals are in a way asexual, or "crossovers", which suggests that ultimately Christ in us is a melding of the male and female principles. Indeed , the Christ of Revelation has the breasts of a woman! [5]

Wow, I never heard that interpretation before. I guess when you try to come up with "esoteric" approaches to the scriptures, you can get away with practically any eisegesis for it.

Now, Harpur mentions "Iusa" here, as well as elsewhere in the book. This is another farce: Ron Leprohan, of the University of Toronto, pointed out that while sa means 'son' in ancient Egyptian and iu means 'to come,' Kuhn and Harpur have the syntax all wrong. In any event, the name Iusa simply does not exist in Egyptian. The name 'Jesus' is Greek, derived from a universally recognized Semitic name (Jeshu'a) borne by many people in the first century. (link)

Finally, the female breasts part seems to be based on Revelation 1:13. The King James Version uses the word "paps" here, but modern translations simply put in "chest". So, it would appear that this claim by Mr. Harpur is based a misunderstanding of the KJV's text, and we can discard this claim.

End Notes
1. Harpur, Tom. The Pagan Christ. 2004. p. 86.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid, p. 93.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid, p. 92.

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