Is Jesus’s nativity an Egyptian myth?

In my first published book, The Christ Conspiracy (1999), I provided an image from the birth cycle of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III (1386/1388-1349-51 BCE), found in the temple of the god Amun at Luxor, Egypt. Like many others before me, including professional Egyptologists, I contended for a possible influence of such imagery on Christianity, as concerns the birth or nativity stories about Jesus Christ, specifically in the canonical gospels of Luke and Matthew. Here is the image in question:

Nativity of Amenhotep III (click to enlarge)

The description reads: ‘The Annunciation, Conception, Birth and Adoration of the Child’

In Christ Con, I included a summary derived from the following commentary by Egyptologist Dr. Samuel C. Sharpe (Egyptian Mythology and Egyptian Christianity, 19), in whose book the image first appears:

In this picture 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 of Jesus are an after addition not in the earliest manuscripts, it seems probable that these two poetical chapters in Luke may also be unhistorical, and be borrowed from the Egyptian accounts of the miraculous birth of their kings.

In my book Christ in Egypt, published in 2009, I followed up this discussion with a lengthy 20-page analysis of this Luxor artifact, examining not just the imagery but also the inscription that appears on a panel which precedes the above scenes. This birth cycle as well as its precedent, that of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut (d. 1458 BCE), are discussed in detail in German Egyptologist Dr. Hellmut Brunner’s book Die Geburt des Gottkönigs: Studien zur Überlieferung eines altägyptischen Mythos, considered the definitive authority on the “birth of the god-king” vis-à-vis Egyptian mythology. Included in Brunner’s study are the subsequent “birth houses” or mammisis, a term coined by famous French linguist Jean François Champollion (1790-1832), major decipherer of the Rosetta Stone.

The Luxor birth cycle

I excerpted this section from Christ in Egypt (“CIE”) in an online article titled, “The Nativity Scene of Amenhotep III at Luxor,” in which I included a scan from the Amenhotep III birth cycle, from Brunner’s book, along with a detailed discussion of his German description and translation of the pertinent hieroglyphs. Following is the relevant image from Luxor, panel or scene 4, the inscription of which Brunner labels “IV L a”.

Image

In CIE, I discussed the hieroglyphic inscription in detail, providing Brunner’s German, as well as direct English translations of the Egyptian by Egyptologists such as Dr. William Murnane, a director of the Great Hypostyle Hall Project at the Karnak Temple in Luxor.

The gospel source?

In my writings, I concur with the suggestion by prior Egyptologists, as well as other scholars and lay persons, that the Luxor birth cycle may have been utilized in some fashion as an influence on Jesus’s nativity stories, as found mainly in the first and second chapters of the Gospel of Luke, as well as Matthew’s gospel.

“It is probable that the myth [of the divine birth] was recorded of every Egyptian king…. Marginal reference may be made to points of contact with the birth narratives in the gospel of Luke.”

Egyptologists themselves are obviously aware of this connection between the Egyptian birth cycles and Luke’s gospel in particular. In CIE, I also relate the comments of theologian and Bible scholar Dr. Walter Beyerlin, in a collaborative work with Egyptologist Brunner called Near Eastern Religious Texts Relating to the Old Testament (30), regarding the Egyptian birth narratives: “It is probable that the myth was recorded of every Egyptian king.” Beyerlin refers to corresponding biblical citations, mostly from the Old Testament, noting, “Marginal reference may be made to points of contact with the birth narratives in the gospel of Luke,” a correlation contended by earlier Egyptologist Sharpe. Here Beyerlin, with Brunner, clearly know that there is a correspondence between the Egyptian birth myths and both Old and New Testament scriptures (although Brunner curtly dismisses the subject in his own book).

In reality, there have been many such studies, especially in German and other languages besides English, including an article by E. Brunner-Traut entitled, “Pharao und Jesus als Söhne Gottes” or “Pharoah and Jesus as Sons of God,” published in 1961. Referring to these studies, Near Eastern and biblical scholar Dr. Othmar Keel  remarks:

E. Brunner-Traut (“Pharao und Jesus als Söhne Gottes”) substantially covers the parallels between the pharaonic birth narratives and the infancy narratives of the gospels. The OT genealogy of the NT birth narratives is nicely presented by H. Gese (“Natus ex Virgine”). Gese seems, however, to underemphasize somewhat the indirect influence which Egyptian royal ideology exerted upon the birth narratives via the royal psalms. (Keel,The Symbolism of the Biblical World, 367)

The underemphasis of Egyptian influence on the Christian effort is unfortunately common. As we can see, it is not only my previous sources and I who have been interested in the parallels between the Egyptian birth narratives and the gospel nativity. Indeed, these studies by credentialed professional scholars date back over a century, a number of them designed, of course, by Christian scholars to shore up the faith and nitpick the correspondences to deny any real correlation. Nevertheless, the parallel was obvious enough to warrant all these studies in the first place.

It should be emphasized that it is the Egyptian birth-cycle imagery and not the accompanying “sexy” New Kingdom inscriptions that interest us in this comparative-religion study, imagery not confined to Luxor but passed along as a myth “recorded of every Egyptian king.”

Egyptian birth houses or mammisis

The Luxor temple precinct was visited as a pilgrim destination and tourist attraction from antiquity into the common era, and many thousands of people would have seen the Amenhotep narrative scene there. This discussion is extremely germane to the subject of the Christian nativity narrative, particularly since the style, if not the actual scene, was widely copied for centuries afterwards. This construction of nativity scenes became fairly common, in “birth houses” or mammisi, which were popular in the Late Period in Egypt (c. 712/664-323 BCE) into the Greco-Roman Period (323 BCE-395 AD/CE): “The most important surviving examples are from the Ptolemaic and Roman periods in Egypt.” There were many of these “birth houses” or smaller chapels attached to Egyptian temples during the Ptolemaic period (323-30 BCE), the very time leading up to the Christian era.

The mammisis or birth houses were “not a place where human women went to give birth but a place for sacred rituals aimed at manifesting and ascertaining the divine descendancy of Pharaoh.” In other words, the birth houses or mammisis were basically an extension of the earlier birth-cycle imagery of Hatshepsut and Amenhotep III, designed to exalt the pharaoh as a divine figure. As stated at GlobalEgyptianMuseum.org:

According to the texts and illustrations in these birth houses, this was where the divine child was born and brought up. Another series shows the child being conceived, then being shaped by Khnum on his potter’s wheel, and then being presented to his father. These motifs are virtually identical to the scenes in the so-called birth rooms in the temple of Luxor (with scenes showing the birth of Amenhotep III) and Deir el-Bahari (showing the birth of Hatshepsut). Gods commonly connected with the protection of mother and child, such as Bes and Taweret, are also often depicted in the birth houses. (Emph. added)

In this regard, Egyptologist Dr. Claus J. Bleeker comments:

…the presentation of the divine parentage of Hatshepsut was in no way an exclusively political and constitutional fiction. In the temple at Luxor, for example, is preserved a duplicate of it pertaining to Amenhotep III… Later kings similarly claimed to be the offspring of Re. In the Ptolemaic temples are several reproductions of this divine birth. And when Alexander the Great had himself recognized as the son of the gods by the oracle of Amon of the Siwa oasis, he acted in perfect accordance with an aged Egyptian tradition which went back to at least the fifth dynasty. (Bleeker, Historia Religionum, 78) (Emph. added)

Here we see Bleeker suggest that Alexander the Great’s divine birth story descended from the “aged” Egyptian birth cycles. Since Alexander spent some time at Luxor and even built a “bark shrine” next to Amenhotep’s birth room, this suggestion is understandable and scientific.

We know that the Greeks – specifically the Ptolemies – emulated the Egyptians in creating birth houses/mammisis, as the Romans imitated the Egyptians in creating mummies and painted coffins. Since it is my contention – and that of many others – that much of Christianity was created at the city of Alexandria, where there was a large Egyptian, Greek and Jewish population, as well as some half a million manuscripts from around the known world of the time, this fact of nativity scene/mammisi popularity in Egypt is highly relevant to our studies of Christian origins.

Earlier Egyptian material ancestral to later birth-house scenes

By the time of these mammisis/birth houses, the earlier Egyptian birth-cycle inscriptions were evidently long forgotten for the most part, a fact that certainly held true by the time of the period in question, the centuries surrounding the turn of the common era. However, we can trace the progress of the birth scenes/imagery over the millennium and a half between their carving and the creation of the Christian nativity scene.

Following the time of Hatshepsut and Amenhotep, during the 25th Dynasty (760-656 BCE) a series of birth scenes was carved in Temple A at South Karnak, next to Luxor. Concerning these reliefs, Egyptologist Dr. Richard A. Fazzini, a chairman of the Department of Egyptian Art at the Brooklyn Museum, remarks:

Temple A’s royal birth scenes are hardly an iconographic innovation of [the time]. On the contrary, they are closely related to New Kingdom reliefs, especially those of Hatshepsut and Amenhotep III proclaiming their rights to the throne as the offspring of Amun and their human mothers… These relief cycles, including Temple A’s, depicting the divine birth of a king, are ancestral to the cycles of birth of a child-god from two divine parents known from the specialized temples of D. XXX and later called mammisis (“birth houses”), the setting for rituals celebrating the birth and renewal of child-gods, with whom any king might be identified. (Fazzini, Richard A., Egypt Dynasty XXII-XXV, 12) (Emph. added)

Fazzini’s pronouncement is blunt: The royal birth scenes in Temple A are “closely related” to the Hatshepsut and Amenhotep cycles, and are ancestral to the reliefs in the later birth houses. He has therefore traced a lineage from Luxor to the Ptolemies or Greek leaders of Egypt from the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE) until that of famed Greco-Egyptian queen Cleopatra (30 BCE).

Philae mammisi

The Greek ruler of Egypt Ptolemy III (246-222 BCE) had his birth house or mammisi on the famous sacred island of Philae, home to an Isis temple and the last great holdout of the priests of that goddess before their slaughter by Christian fanatics. In Ptolemy III’s mammisi appears the “conception of the Horus child as a result of the command given by Amun to Khnum.” (Vassilika, Eleni, Ptolemaic Philae, 39) The rest of the description sounds much like that of the imagery found at Luxor (and Deir el-Bahri).

Boston University religion scholar Dr. David Frankfurter (251) notes that the mammisi (at Philae) is the most sacred space open to visitors – and visitors certainly went there, as deeply devoted pilgrims who could not help be but impressed by this imagery of the divine birth of their ruler.

(For images of the birth house of Ptolemy III, we are directed to Das Geburtshaus des Tempels der Isis in Phila by H. Junker and E. Winter.)

Mammisis at Dendera and Edfu

Concerning the mammisis at the Upper Egyptian sites of Dendera and Edfu, Egyptologist Dr. Ian Shaw remarks that they were “used to celebrate the divine birth of the king, and the reliefs in these structures have enough in common with the birth scenes of Hatshepsut to suggest that the former might be a later version of the latter…” (Shaw, Ian, Exploring Ancient Egypt, 141). (Emphasis added.)

As we can see, representing one’s birth in this divine manner seems to have become de rigeur among pharaohs, kings and emperors – how, then, could the practice be ignored by the formulators of Christian traditions as concerns their “King of kings?”

Describing the mammisi at Edfu, Shaw (235-6) remarks again:

In the Ptolemaic mammisi, the rituals of the marriage of the goddess (Isis or Hathor) and the birth of the child-god were celebrated. The origins of the mammisi can perhaps be seen in the form of eighteenth-dynasty painted reliefs describing the divine birth of the king, found in the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari…and the temple of Amenhotep III at Luxor. (Emph. added)

Note that this scholar does not say the inscriptions at either Deir el-Bahri or Luxor were copied in the later Edfu birth house – only the scenes; otherwise, he would have been able easily to identify their source. It is not a big leap from the Edfu mammisi with its birth scenes to the Christian effort at Alexandria.

Roman birth houses

As examples of birth houses during the Roman period, the emperor Trajan (53-117) had his mammisi, as did Marcus Aurelius (121-180) – long into the common era. Roman emperors were putting their names on Egyptian monuments up to and including the time of Decius (c. 250 AD). The relationship among the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians was highly intertwined and had been for centuries by the time of Christianity’s creation.

Horus and Isis

As stated, the term “mammisi” was coined by French scholar Champollion, who described these birth houses thus:

…these Mammisi were always constructed by the side of the larger temples where a triad was worshipped, and they represented the celestial abode where the goddess had given birth to the third person of the triad.

The editor of this Champollion quote adds:

This “third person of the triad” was no other than the king who erected the building. (Auguste Mariette-Bey, The Monuments of Upper Egypt, 70)

Thus, the “divine triad” included the pharaoh, who was born of the goddess, generally Isis. Hence, we have the king as Horus, birthed by Isis, who is called in pre-Christian texts “the Great Virgin.” It is not a difficult equation to see, and this simple equation is what the common people of Egypt would be comprehending. Accompanying inscriptions or various details of the imagery may not matter at all, as this simple impression/equation is what the average person would likely perceive: To wit, a virgin mother giving birth to a divine child.

In my book The Christ Conspiracy (115), following earlier scholars such as Massey and Sharpe, I described the birth scene at Luxor as having to do with Horus and Isis. Obviously, the Luxor nativity revolves immediately around Amenhotep III, but in Egypt in general the pharaoh-king was considered to be the living Horus, and his mother was often equated with Isis, as we can see from these later mammisi scenes in which it is clearly the goddess (Hathor or Isis) who is giving birth to the divine child. (NB: This language will be annotated for accuracy in the revision of The Christ Conspiracy.)

In this regard, in her mammisi at Hermonthis, Ptolemaic queen Cleopatra is depicted as Isis giving birth to the divine child, Horus as the sun, fulfilling the “prophecy” at the temple of Sais. (Fletcher, Cleopatra the Great, ebook) The inscription at Sais, in fact, provides evidence of the Egyptian virgin-birth motif, as recorded by the ancient Greek writer Proclus (21E):

τα οντα και τα εσομενα και τα γεγονοτα εγω ειμι. τον εμον χιτωνα ουδεις απεκαλυψεν. ον εγω καρπον ετεκον, ηλιος εγενετο.

My very literal translation of this inscription regarding the goddess Neith-Isis can be found in CIE (146):

The present and the future and the past, I am. My undergarment no one has uncovered. The fruit I brought forth, the sun came into being.

Thus, we have the divine solar son (Horus) born of the virgin mother (Isis-Cleopatra) mere decades before the common era, involving a very famous ruler of Egypt. It is quite likely many people were aware of this Egyptian divine-birth scenario both within and outside of Egypt.

From Hatshepsut to the gospels

The outline of the “Out of Egypt Theory” as concerns the gospel nativity cycle proceeds thus:

1. Hatshepsut (d. 1458 BCE) created a nativity scene, depicting her as the “daughter of God,” a product of the divine union between the god Amun and Hatshepsut’s mother.

2. Amenhotep III (fl. 1386/8 to 1351/49 BCE) copied the nativity scene and parts of the inscription, likewise depicting himself as the “son of God.”

3. Birth houses or mammisis were built for numerous pharaohs and Greco-Roman rulers right into the common era, including scenes of a similar nature as the earlier nativities, without their “sexy” inscriptions.

4. These mammisis – as well as the earlier Amenhotep birth cycle at the popular tourist spot of Luxor – could have served as inspirations for the gospel writers, whose efforts, the evidence indicates, occurred significantly at Alexandria, Egypt.

The bottom line is that we have in the Egyptian birth-cycle imagery up to and into the common era some very suggestive parallels to the gospel birth narrative, as noted by many authorities over the past couple of centuries.

Conclusion

To ignore in the analysis of the ultimate “King of Kings” these important Egyptian divine-birth scenes – which feature prominently in the human psyche of the time vis-à-vis important rulers – ranks as an egregious error. As are numerous other aspects of Egyptian religion and culture relevant to the study of Christian origins, the Egyptian birth scenes are highly germane to the study of the Christian nativity. The Egyptian religion remained a huge force to be reckoned with by the time of the Christian effort, and it simply would not have been ignored – indeed, it was not.

Prior to the creation of the gospels, the Egyptian religion had long spread far beyond the confines of Egypt, and there were Egyptian tutors at Rome, teaching the religion to emperors during the first century, along with shrines to Egyptian gods in as farflung places as Macedonia and Great Britain. Isis was hugely popular around the Roman Empire at the time, but long previously there had been in Israel Egyptian forces who left vestiges of their worship over the centuries. In a thorough analysis, we need to factor in all of this Egyptian influence and the proximity of this massively impressive culture to the area of the gospel tale.

The study of the possible influence of Egyptian nativity scenes on the Christian birth cycle remains a viable and valuable pursuit, but there is much more to the story, as I demonstrate in Christ in Egypt and elsewhere.

It should also be noted that I have not contended for an exclusive Egyptian influence: On the contrary, it appears that the Christian effort at Alexandria incorporated the stories of numerous cultures, religions, sects and cults from around the Mediterranean and beyond, into India, possibly contained in some of the hundreds of thousands of manuscripts in the Egyptian city’s library. In this regard, I also contend that the nativity stories of the Indian divine figures of Krishna and Buddha appear to have been utilized in the creation of Christianity as well. I further include in my thesis, of course, the Jewish influence via the Old Testament “messianic scriptures,” which were used as blueprints in the construction of the New Testament.

In the final analysis, Christianity constitutes a syncretism of Judaism and Paganism, including the highly important Egyptian religion.

Further Reading

The Nativity Scene of Amenhotep III at Luxor
Parallelophobia, personal attacks and professional jealousy: A response to Richard Carrier’s ‘That Luxor Thing’
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
Did Jesus Fulfill Prophecy? Old Testament Scriptures a Blueprint for the New
Isis is a Virgin Mother
Virgin Mothers of Antiquity
Neith the Virgin Mother
When Were the Gospels Written?

28 Comments

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  1. Fascinating stuff.
    Its interesting to see how different cultures throughout history have influenced each other.

    Its annoying that so many people today continue to ignore the ancient Egyptian influences on Christianity, as well as the influences of various other ancient religions. The influences are quite noticeable if one bothers to take a good look.

  2. Nativity Scene Interpretation at Luxor
    Wow, Acharya, you know how to make your point! And it is profoundly convincing. Hope Richard Carrier reads it. His criticism of you on this subject, in my opinion, was vulgar, disrespectful and misogynistic. Doubt he would criticize a male like that…perhaps his subconscious is projecting his sexual fantasies.

  3. As an atheist and non beleiver in the myth of Chri
    As an atheist and non believer in the myth of Christianity, I’m surprised that Richard Dawkins still maintains that a person called “Jesus” ever walked on this planet. My best guess is that he may be ignorant of Ms Murdock’s hard and insightful works

    1. As an atheist and non beleiver in the myth of Chri
      I don’t think Prof.Dawkins beleives that.I’ve heard him refer Jesus as a probable Philosopher in the ancient time,which I dont think he is wrong.

      1. ugo Agwu,

        “It is even possible to mount a serious, though not widely supported, historical case that Jesus never lived at all, as has been done by, among others Professor G. A. Wells of the University of London in a number of books, including Did Jesus Exist? Although Jesus probably existed…”

        - Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p.122
        http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=13669#p13669

        It’s important to keep in mind that:

        1) Richard Dawkins is a biologist NOT any sort of theologian.

        2) There exists no credible evidence for a historical Jesus whatsoever.

        So, for anyone (theist or atheist) to believe in a historical Jesus is purely based on faith. Those who do believe Jesus was a historical person are responsible to provide the ‘burden of proof’ to substantiate their claims. So, where is Dawkins’ evidence for a HJ? Nowhere to be found because it does not exist.

        Even many Christian New Testament scholars inadvertently admit that there’s no valid evidence for Jesus:

        “Apart from the New Testament writings and later writings dependent upon these, our sources of information about the life and teaching of Jesus are scanty and problematic”

        F.F. Bruce, a founder of the modern evangelical movement
        - Who Was Jesus? 84

        Jewish scholars agree:

        “The only definite account of his life and teachings is contained in the four Gospels of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All other historical records of the time are silent about him. The brief mentions of Jesus in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius have been generally regarded as not genuine and as Christian interpolations; in Jewish writings there is no report about Jesus that has historical value. Some scholars have even gone so far as to hold that the entire Jesus story is a myth…”

        The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (v. 6, 83)
        - Who Was Jesus? 84
        http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=11975#p11975

        1. Dr.Beltzer,

          Thank you for your information,but from RD’s quote…. “It is even possible to mount a serious, though not widely supported, historical case that Jesus never lived at all, as has been done by, among others Professor G. A. Wells of the University of London in a number of books, including Did Jesus Exist? Although Jesus probably existed.” One could acert that RD does not even agree with the historical jesus claim.
          What do you think?

          1. limna1974, I would say that’s a question that Dawkins needs to answer for himself in order to clarify. He did just say there in his quote: “[b]Jesus probably existed[/b].”

            Well, Dawkins needs to explain that because he also said that the case against a HJ would be: “not widely supported”

            So, Dawkins is claiming that a case against a HJ would NOT garner much support and that “Jesus probably existed.”

            I think Dr. Beltzer spelled it all out just fine.

          2. I rest my case. As you’ve stated RD would answer that for himself. Acharya’s work is amazing.

  4. uggh, I have very carefully read Richard Carrier’s article and I’m taken a back with how absolutely pathetic it was.

    I like Carrier when he debates for atheism but, he seems to have this strange obsession with Acharya S/Murdock and feels like he needs to criticize her. The problem with that is that Carrier really does make sloppy and egregious errors as Acharya pointed out in her response to his original Luxor criticism. He should’ve left well enough alone. The only thing that I can think of as a reason for him to do this is that Carrier is jealous and misogynistic.

    I’ve read his blogs etc. and he does NOT criticize males the same way he has treated Acharya so, this really is a case of misogyny as far as I’m concerned and he needs to be called out for it.

    It’s sad because you guys are ultimately on the same team. I’d prefer all mythicists working together. So, Carrier obviously has issues he needs to work out.

  5. I just do not believe that 2000 years ago a young Virgin lass could get impregnated by a Ghost and give birth to Jesus aka Hebrew God.[i] “The Father and I are One” “you have seen me you have seen the Father”[/i] :silly:

  6. universal
    of course it is. And a Roman myth, and a Greek myth, and a Hindu myth and a Chinese myth. I love your site and your work, but sometimes I think you are trying to hard. There is no need to connect the myth of Jesus birth to any one preceding myth. These myths are universal. B)

  7. Good work, Acharya. And keep digging. There is more than the Egyptian ‘angle’ to unfold in this subject. E.g., many years ago I browsed in a book telling about how Paul (& who was [i]he[/i], really), after whatever triggered his interest in ‘Jesus’ (ditto), went off to, quote, ‘Arabia’ for some period of time and came back with a lot of the mythic aspects that were brought into the Christian oeuvre – the vegetation god (Tammuz??) buried for 3 days and nights & then resurrected, etc etc. It pitted him (allegedly) against Jesus’s brother James, who was keeping truer to a Jewish historical take on the messianic aspect of this whole curious story. (E.g., Dr. Hugh Schonfield’s work, regarding the Essenes’ ‘angle’.) Indeed; ‘What is truth?’

    Please keep on the job, of uncovering such, and adding substantially to [i]your [/i]oeuvre.

  8. re:
    Yes, thank you, I am well aware of the input of many other religions, sects, cults and ideologies around the Roman Empire and beyond contributing to the Christian effort.

    I discuss these other motifs and parallels in numerous places, including in my books and many articles and forums posts.

    Try doing a search across all my sites at this one, FreethoughtNation.com. You will see that I frequently address the Greek, Roman, Persian, Indian and other religions as having been utilized in the creation of Christianity.

    My goal in this post here is to trace one possible – probable – influence in a thorough manner.

    I am also currently working on a summary/review of a book concerning Buddhism’s relation to Christianity, about which I have also written extensively.

    My work factors in all the evidence, turning the pieces this way and that, and trying to fit them in, if they fit.

  9. Historicity of Christ
    I only discovered Acharya recently (2-3 months ago) and it had been a ‘tour de force’ into the relevance of myths and other cultures in christianity. Unlike rationalists like Dawkins, Hitchins and Harris, she (Acharya) provides the historical context of every religion. I cannot wait to start reading her book ‘Christ in Egypt’ I recently bought. She must rank amongst the most influential authors of our time given her vast research, which is most relevant to the understanding of religion, in this long neglected discipline. My colleagues and friends (family included) here in South Africa to whom I have forwarded her links have equal praise commendation after reading her material. Thanks Acharya!

  10. hmmmm…..
    ;-) ….. I always am amazed how much I learn from you. I think in knowing this information, it gives people a wider view of how christ really was in his life, verses what the bible says. People only want to believe in what is inside the Bible, but what they forget is that there is so much for information outside of it… I agree that Christ was an amazing MAN but so were so many others.

    1. Amazed
      I’m not trying to blow wind up your skirt, Ms Murdock, but your diligent work is impressive. You are like a skilled craftsman who, paying attention to the details of the moment, has in the end created a very beautiful and structurally sound idea. You are to be modeled after and admired.

      I remember talking to you while you were on an online radio broadcast. I asked you, “How old do you believe civilization is? Not mankind, but what evidence have you seen of the age of mankind’s civilization?” You answered, “The oldest piece of evidence that I’ve run across is a 100,000 year old boot print in _____ . (I forget where)” Then you mentioned the Lascaux caves and some other underwater caves that were last above water some 15,000 years ago. You then said that you believe that this is evidence of civilization because if people were worried about finding food for the day they wouldn’t have time for intricate art. They’d be concerned with surviving. I would love for you to write a book, make a DVD, or small pamphlet of sorts on your understandings of the origins of civilization. I think it would be fascinating. I would do it myself but I don’t have the knowledge base needed to complete such a work.

      I see a new age of reason coming into being. It will take some time but the mysticism of old- plagues being caused by witches and demons, magic men that grant Cadillacs to the faithful, etc- will slowly pass and a new age of Enlightenment will come into being where evidence is the rule of understanding, not mystical thinking. First, though, I see a long period of suffering for mankind because of the current economic model, a whole world built around a finite resource- fossil fuels, and religious illness.

      What do you think?

  11. I am of a faith based religion. If you don’t have faith in God and his son Christ then you are not going to believe what cannot be proven with science. So be it. You have it your way and I will have it mine. I wiah you well in your beliefs and I guess someday we will find out which of us is correct. I have no burning desire to change you, please don’t try to change me. It won’t work.

  12. Is Jesus’s nativity an Egyptian myth?
    U r both correct and wrong on this. Egyptian hieroglyphics often depict mystical stories derived from human imagination, one of which is the virgin birth. There is only one who can make this real and that is God. The only real incident of a virgin birth in history is that of Christ.

  13. Is Jesus’s nativity an Egyptian myth?
    A piece of hieroglyphics may prove that stories are carried down thro the ages across cultures. But how does it prove that Christ is a myth? That’s why there’s this comment that it’s important for a theologian to answer this Q. Because theologians can’t use one piece of evidence to draw a conclusion on an unrelated fact.

    1. Tan Tua Ti, no one single piece of evidence proves Christ was anything. The best evidence against a historical Jesus is the severe lack of valid evidence from theists or Christians. Christians have failed miserably in their responsibilities to provide ‘burden of proof’ to substantiate their claims. That, along with a long line of pre-Christian similarities and parallels is a very strong indication that Jesus never existed and the bible is a collection of myths. Occam’s razor.

  14. re: The Nativity Scene of Amenhotep III at Luxor
    http://stellarhousepublishing.com/luxor.html#.UIKLpoacaCo

    Parallelophobia, personal attacks and professional jealousy
    http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=25012#p25012

    [quote]In Near Eastern Religious Texts Relating to the Old Testament, theologian and Bible scholar Dr. Walter Beyerlin, in collaboration with Dr. Brunner, provides an English translation of the same Luxor passage as follows:

    “How great is your power! How perfect is your…! How hidden are the plans which you make! How contented is your heart at my majesty! Your breath is in all my limbs,” after the majesty of this god has done with me all that he willed…(12)

    Dr. Murnane’s direct translation of the Egyptian inscription for the same birth scene is thus:

    “How great, indeed, is your power! How beautiful is [everything] which you have [done]. How hidden are the plans which you have made. How satisfied is your heart at my Person! Your fragrance is throughout all my body.” After this, (i.e.), the Person of this God’s doing all that he wanted with her.(13)[/quote]

    Luke 1:35 in the original Greek:
    Greek Study Bible (Apostolic / Interlinear)
    καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν αὐτῇ· πνεῦμα ἅγιον ἐπελεύσεται ἐπὶ σὲ καὶ δύναμις ὑψίστου ἐπισκιάσει σοι· διὸ καὶ τὸ γεννώμενον ἅγιον κληθήσεται υἱὸς θεοῦ.

    KJV with Strong’s
    And the angel answered and said unto her The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God

    http://biblelexicon.org/luke/1-35.htm

    the key words:

    πνεῦμα(pneuma) – wind, breath, spirit
    “Your breath is in all my limbs”

    ἐπελεύσεται(epeleusetai) – overtake, attack
    “the majesty of this god has done with me all that he willed”

    δύναμις(dunamis) – physical power, force, might
    “How great is your power”

    ἐπισκιάζω(episkiasei) – overshadow, envelop
    “Your fragrance is throughout all my body”

    παρθένος(parthenos) – virgin, maiden
    “She”(virgin queen)

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