Jesus Christ and False Facts

Our news in the Western World is currently full of articles about false facts and their pernicious erosion of truth and knowledge. The topic came to prominence during the recent U.S. election and it’s rumbled on since then. Google has been trying to rectify this problem by notifying people of ‘false facts’ on websites. Their plan is to check those facts against information compiled in Wikipedia, which, er, is compiled by everyone and notify people if they're 'wrong'. Google has also been planning to implement algorithms on its search engine that lower a site’s ranking if it contains statements regarded as untrue. Their plan, as stated a few years ago, is to decide if something is untrue by working out if that is a fringe, minority view. If it is, then they lower the google rank of that site accordingly. Unfortunately, this isn’t an intelligent or scientific strategy, as I explained in a previous blog.

For example, most people believe that glass is a slow-moving liquid at room temperature, because medieval windows are thicker on the bottom than the top, showing that the glass has flowed down over centuries. In fact, medieval glaziers did not have flat glass, as it was blown into shape, and so they traditionally put the thicker edge at the bottom of the window. This is not a common piece of knowledge and most people believe the urban myth. If Google follows the ‘majority is correct’ approach to this fact, then they would penalise any site explaining that glass is a solid at room-temperature. As a result, it would become even more difficult for a website to explain the truth to everyone.

This problem of the majority believing a myth is also related to a very major person from our history, Jesus Christ. As we’re approaching Easter, I though it would be worthwhile to explain some truths and false facts about his life. Personally, I do try to follow his teachings in my life - non-violence, compassion, charity, forgiveness and a disinterest in amassing wealth and possessions - but I do not have any interest in blindly believing religious dogma. In truth, I think, neither did he. Therefore, to help lessen the number of ‘false facts’ in our society, here’s a list of religious facts about Christ, along with an explanation from my research supporting their actual truth or falsehood.

Christ fed five-thousand, walked on water, turned water into wine and appeared in spirit.

Popular View: Untrue. In fact: Very Possible.

The Neumann-Wigner explanation of the Observer Problem in quantum physics states that our minds must be making matter appear out of the quantum realm. This is the only logical way to solve the riddle of Schrödinger’s Cat and allow us to have free will in a rational universe. Therefore, our minds are in charge of reality. (For a full explanation of this, do please read my book 'How Science Shows…'). Logically, if our minds advance enough in ability, then we are potentially capable of making things happen in reality that seem magical. Ancient Indian and Tibetans religions have been aware of this potential for millennia. They refer to such magical abilities as siddhis. They also made it very clear that such abilities required very lengthy meditation and self-denial, which doesn’t happen much in our Western World, but that those seemingly-magical abilities are possible to achieve. More importantly, they made it clear that any person can achieve those abilities if he or she reaches the right state of mind. Dean Radin's fascinating book 'Supernormal' covers this topic. This view connects with the early Gnostic Christian belief that Jesus was important because he showed the way, not because he was a god or had unique abilities. The Ancient Egyptian Book known as the Hermetica agrees with this view too. It memorably states: ‘what is man but a mortal god and god, an immortal man.’

Christ was born at Christmas and died at Easter.

Popular View: True. In fact: Highly unlikely.

When the Christian religion spread across Europe, its bishops decided to piggy-back on the existing pagan religious festivals, which were based around the solstices and equinoxes, key astronomical points in the year. As a result of this plan, the festivals of Christ’s birth and death were overlaid on to the midwinter solstice festival and spring equinox festival respectively. Easter is primarily a festival of fertility, as it's the Spring Equinox. This is why it is named after the Germanic goddess Eostre, traditionally associated with hares and eggs.

Christ was born under a bright star that heralded his birth.

Popular View: True. In fact: Part of the Osiris Religion.

Osiris was probably the most famous God in the whole of Ancient-Egyptian History. His religion began in 2,600 BC or earlier and was well-recorded in hieroglyphs long before Christ was born. Osiris’s star was Sirius, the brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere. The rising of Sirius in Egypt heralded its time of fertility and was always associated with birth. In this way, the appearance of the brightest star in the heavens heralded the god-king's birth.

Christ’s birth was attended by three kings.

Popular View: True. In fact: Part of the Osiris Religion.

The Three Kings was a long-standing name for the three stars of Orion’s Belt. These stars, close to Sirius in the night sky, were higher up in the heavens and so their appearance anticipated the ‘birth’ of the star Sirius from the darkness beyond the horizon.

Christ was betrayed by someone close to him.

Popular View: True. In fact: Logically false and part of the Osiris Religion.

Christ, clearly, was a highly gifted and intelligent man. It is therefore logically unfeasible to believe that he wouldn’t have been aware of Judas’s plans. In fact, the lost Gospel of Judas, which the early Roman bishops tried to destroy, makes it clear that Christ wanted Judas to turn him over to the Romans, as part of Jesus's personal journey of self-sacrifice. In this way, Judas was Christ's most loyal disciple because he was given that awful task and carried it out.

By comparison, in the Osiris religion, Osiris was betrayed by his brother Set and killed, an important part of his story and one portrayed prominently in the Osirian festivals. Set was supposedly jealouss of his brother's gifts and coveted the kingship, a far more believable motivation for betrayal.

Christ is our Lord and Shepherd.

Popular View: True. In fact: Part of the Osiris Religion.

Osiris is invariably depicted in carvings and reliefs with the White Crown of Upper Egypt, supplemented with feathers to represent the Atef crown. He is also invariably depicted carrying a crook and flail, the traditional tools of a shepherd. The analogy of a king's subjects being his sheep was very popular in Ancient Egypt and was used extensively with later gods of the Egyptian pantheon, in particular the Ram God Amun, also pronounced Amon and Amen.

Christ is part of the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Popular View: True. In fact: Part of the Osiris Religion.

The famous Egyptologist, E.A. Wallis Budge, in his book ‘Osiris and the resurrection of Egypt’, described at length the many similarities between Christianity and the Osiris religion:

"The Egyptians of every period in which they are known to us believed that Osiris was of divine origin, that he suffered death and mutilation at the hands of the powers of evil, that after a great struggle with these powers he rose again, that he became henceforth the king of the underworld and judge of the dead, and that because he had conquered death the righteous also might conquer death. In Osiris the Christian Egyptians found the prototype of Christ, and in the pictures and statues of Isis suckling her son Horus, they perceived the prototypes of the Virgin Mary and her child.”

Osiris was both Father and Son and Holy Spirit because he died and was dismembered by the hands of Set (Satan), but his wife (and sister) Isis revived him enough to have a child by him, called Horus, who was in fact himself reincarnated. Horus (symbolised by a falcon) was therefore both Osiris’s son, Osiris himself, reincarnated and an eternal Spirit that was beyond mortal constraints.

Christians created the ceremony of Holy Communion

Popular View: True. In fact: Part of the Osiris Religion.

According to the records, during the Festival of Osiris, moulds were made from wood of a red tree in the forms of the sixteen dismembered parts of Osiris. Cakes of divine bread were then made from each mould and placed in a silver chest and set near the head of the god. On the first day of the ‘Festival of Ploughing’ the goddess Isis would appear in her shrine. There, she was stripped naked. Paste was made from the grain and placed in her bed and moistened with water, representing the fecund earth. In the finale to the rituals, the followers ate this bread representation of their sacramental god, the eucharist by which they were transformed into replicas of their god.

Christ died and was then resurrected, three days later.

Popular View: True. In fact: Part of the Osiris Religion.

The Passion Plays of Osiris existed for at least a thousand years before the Roman Era. They were recorded in the twelfth dynasty - around 1875 BC - and took place at Abydos, the place where Osiris’s body was said to have drifted ashore. Some elements were held in the temple, while others involved public participation in a form of theatre. The stela of I-Kher-Nefert recounts the programme of events of the public elements over the five days of the festival:

The First Day: The Procession of Wepwawet. A mock battle is enacted during which the enemies of Osiris are defeated. A procession is led by the god Wepwawet ("opener of the way").
The Second Day: The Great Procession of Osiris. The body of Osiris is taken from his temple to his tomb. The boat he is transported in, the ‘Neshmet’ barque, has to be defended against his enemies.
The Third Day: Osiris is Mourned and the Enemies of the Land are Destroyed.
The Fourth Day: Night Vigil. Prayers and recitations are made and funeral rites performed.
The Fifth Day: Osiris is Reborn. Osiris is reborn at dawn and crowned with the crown of Ma'at. A statue of Osiris is brought to the temple.

Therefore, according to his Passion Plays, three days after Osiris was placed in his tomb, he rose again.

Summing up

With so many similarities between the Osirian cult and Christianity, one might wonder if anyone could have even told the difference between the early Christians and the Roman-era followers of Osiris. It turns out that many of them couldn’t. When Egypt became part of the Greek influenced or Hellenic world in the centuries before Christ, Osiris became the god Serapis, a combination of Osiris and Apis (as in the Apis Bull, an ancient cult figure). In that form, he continued to be worshipped during and after the time of Christ.

The early Alexandrian Christian community in Egypt (in around 200 AD) didn’t seem to see any difference between Serapis and Christ. They would prostrate themselves without distinction between the two. Evidence of this turns up in a letter in ‘the Augustan History’ ascribed to the Emperor Hadrian. It refers to the worship of Serapis by residents of Egypt who described themselves as Christians and Christian worship by those claiming to worship Serapis. To quote:

“The land of Egypt, the praises of which you have been recounting to me, my dear Servianus, I have found to be wholly light-minded, unstable, and blown about by every breath of rumour. There those who worship Serapis are, in fact, Christians, and those who call themselves bishops of Christ are, in fact, devotees of Serapis. There is no chief of the Jewish synagogue, no Samaritan, no Christian presbyter, who is not an astrologer, a soothsayer, or an anointer. Even the Patriarch himself, when he comes to Egypt, is forced by some to worship Serapis, by others to worship Christ.”

Does all of this matter? If someone is following Christ’s teachings, then I’d say ‘no’, as His teachings are not connected to the Osiris Religion of Ancient Egypt. But if someone wishes to know the facts about Christ's birth and death, and the origins of the ceremonies created by the Roman Catholics, then I'd say a definite 'yes'. As many commentators have been saying recently, we really have to stamp out scurrilous falsehoods, however popular they may be, and so we may as well start with the oldest first.

Happy Easter!