(This is not a human figure on a cross, but it does relate to the cross, and it is certainly worthy of further research.)Egyptian "Houses of Goodness"
M.M. Mangasarian reproduces an image of one in his book The Truth About Jesus
(77). The sign at the top of this structure is the hieroglyph meaning "Goodness" (Gardner's F35).
This image is also reproduced in Dr. Paul Carus's The Open Court
(v. 14, p. 232), with a bit more information, saying that the "House of Goodness" is "[s]howing the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph of a cross standing on a heart."
The Open Court writer also says:
In a former article on the cross (Vol. XIII., p. 157) we mentioned among the Egyptian crosses the hieroglyphic symbol of a heart surmounted by a Latin cross (
), which in the ancient Egyptian iconography denoted goodness of heart or saintliness. We can now furnish a picture of the entrance to an institution of charity, which exhibits over the door this symbol covered with an enclosure, denoting a building of any kind. Thus the inscription means "house of goodness."
Carus, et al. cites the image: "The illustration is reproduced after Sir Gardner Wilkinson (Ancient Egyptians
, I., p. [sic]) from the French translation of Mourant Brock's essay on the cross (p. 45). La Croix Palenne et Chretienne
, Paris, Ernest Leroux, 28 rue Bonaparte. 1881."
Apparently, these fascinating and clear predecessors to churches have been of little interest to modern scholars, as we surely would have known about them otherwise! (Scratches head.)Nefer and Chrestos
The hieroglyph for "Goodness" thus is a trachea and heart that resembles the "Sacred Heart of Jesus," as seen in this image of Catholic priest Charles de Foucald
of the Association of the Brothers and Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
The word "Goodness" is Nefer
Appearance: The origin of the hieroglyph is complex. It's appearance is sometimes described as a stylized stomach and windpipe. However, the hieroglyph is actually the heart and trachea. It originally may have been the esophagus and heart. The striations of the windpipe only appear in the hieroglyph following the Old Kingdom. The lower part of the sign has always clearly been the heart, for the markings clearly follow the form of a sheep's heart.
Meaning: The term nefer
was very popular throughout the ages with the ancient Egyptians. It appears with a dozen different meanings in their literature... all positive. It was also incorporated into many personal names, including those of the famous queens Nefertiti and Nefertari.
The Egyptian word nefer
- applied to many gods and goddesses - was equivalent to Chrēstos
in Greek, a word used to describe the much later Jesus as well. In this regard, centuries before Christ's purported existence, the Egyptian goddess Isis was called Chrēst
On a Marcionite church of the early fourth century, we find reference to "Jesus the Chrēst" or "Jesus the Good," while the earliest New Testament manuscripts also use the words Chrestos and Chrestians, not Christos and Christians. Place of Funerary Purification?
In the Egyptian Coffin Texts appear references to pr-nfr
, which is generally rendered "the Good House" or "House of Goodness," a phrase said to designate "the place where the rebellious subjects of Osiris were surrendered to him and qualifying him, 'the lord'." (Miscellanea Academica Berolinensia
This place is also a "funerary workshop
" (Osing, The Heritage of Ancient Egypt
, 52) and "embalmer's house." According to ancient texts, this "Good House
" was where bodies were washed, embalmed, wrapped and placed in a coffin, as preparation for their journey to the afterlife. This building would be much like a funeral home of today, which are often associated with churches, where funerals are frequently held.
The embalmer's workshop was called the House of Purification of the Good House
, and in it a long and complicated series of rites was enacted during the wrapping of the mummy and the placing of its amulets in their places. (Smith, Egyptian Mummies
A priest who engaged in this embalming ritual was called "Anubis in the Good House
," referring to the important jackal-headed god of the underworld who purified or baptized the dead for passage and immortality. Further ReadingIs Suetonius's Chresto a Reference to Jesus?
Why suffer from Egyptoparallelophobia, when you can read Christ in Egypt
? Try it - you'll like it: