[quote]Mr. Chen wrote:
I don’t know. It doesn’t seem that we have anything left of Horus except some interesting stories and images. Did he himself say anything worthy of other people recording and debating? [/quote]
I suspect that perhaps you haven’t understood what I mean by “syncretism”.
Let’s begin again. As the myth of Horus spread, it was adopted by other cultures, some of whom worshipped him as an Egyptian god, others of whom modified the story to fit their own culture, as in Greece, where Horus became Dionysus, a god born of a mortal virgin, in a cave, on December 25, who incidentally also walked on water and changed water into wine. Sound familiar?
Now, thanks to Alexander and his conquering army, Palestine was thoroughly Hellenised by the time Jesus arrived on the scene. The mystery cults of Horus and Dionysus were in full swing. Alexander was, among other things, a Persiaphile, so worship of the Persian god Ahura Mazda and his “only begotten son” Mithra also made inroads into Hebrew culture.
It is possible that many of the legends of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection were borrowed from the current mythology of the time. Some theories suggest that the Jesus myth is in fact an evolution or even a plagiarism of the Horus/Dionysus myth: the old gods in new, Jewish clothing.
I would not go that far, but there is enough similarity between the all these gods to warrant accepting the idea that at least some syncretism took place. I also understand that as a devout Christian, perhaps you have no option but to reject this idea.
As I’ve mentioned, the cult of Mithra was Christianity’s biggest rival until the 4th century AD, and overt worship only started to die out after Constantine made it illegal.
Worship of Ahura Mazda was pretty much stamped out by the Muslims, but pockets of adherents still remain. We call them Zoroastrians, after their prophet Zarathustra. We’ll come back to Zoroastrianism in a second.
And just as a clarification, Jesus Christ and the promised Messiah of the Old Testament are the same in my book, and of course to all those Jews in the Jerusalem that converted at the time of Christ, and from thereafter. So I think we should make that a total of 3500 years for the Jewish Messiah, Emmanuel.[/quote]
Hmmm. I’m not sure I am following you here. 3,500 years ago, Jesus was not being worshipped by anyone, the Jews had not been promised a Messiah, and indeed, there was no such thing as a “Jew”.
The Yahweh cult and Mosaic law began around 3,300 years ago, after the Exodus, and “Judaism” as such did not begin until later still, after the apportionment of Canaan among the twelve tribes (Judaism being the law and culture of the people around Jerusalem, who were members of the tribe of Judah).
The messianic tradition seems to have been picked up by the Jews in the 6th century BC, when they were living in exile in Babylon, after it had been conquered by the Persians. The Persians, as you no doubt will recall, had a well-developed monotheistic religion that we now refer to as Zoroastrianism, and which contained some very unique features: belief in angels and a devil, in heaven and hell, and in the coming of the anointed one: a Messiah. All of this was absorbed by the Jews and incorporated into their religion. The messianic prophesies of Isaiah were likely written at this time.
That gives us at best 2,545 years from the beginning of the Jewish Messianic tradition until today. The Christian tradition of identifying Jesus as that messiah, of course, came much later. Christianity as a discrete religion from Judaism has a history of under two thousand years, and the widespread worship of Jesus as a god has a history of between 1,700 and 1,800 years.