Jesus, Mystery Religions, and Logical Fallacies
By Nate Sala
The Christmas season is here, and with it the remembrance of Jesus’ birth and His redemptive purposes for mankind. This is the time of year where we Christians celebrate the moment God took on flesh in order to redeem His people. This is why the angels declared “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14). For some non-believers this is the time of year to cry foul on Jesus’ birth narrative. They say the story was really borrowed from previous myths. Specifically, certain elements of the story, like God becoming flesh, being born of a virgin, a star in the east marking the occasion, etc., were taken from the origin stories of the likes of Horus or Mithra(s). A well-known internet film called “Zeitgeist” is probably to blame for these current claims.
However, the idea that Jesus’ story was taken from previous myths is rather old, and is still just as false today as it was back then. There are a couple of reasons for this: First, the so-called similarities between myth and Christian narrative are not as similar as non-believers claim; Second, the overall claim is rife with logical fallacies including the terminology fallacy, chronological fallacy, and post hoc, ergo propter hoc (or after this, therefore because of this). This post will unpack these two reasons as they intersect with Horus and Mithra(s).
Horus: According to the “Zeitgeist” film, “Horus was born on December 25th of the virgin Isis-Meri. His birth was accompanied by a star in the east, which in turn, three kings followed to locate and adorn the new-born savior. At the age of 12, he was a prodigal child teacher, and at the age of 30 he was baptized by a figure known as Anup and thus began his ministry. Horus had 12 disciples he traveled about with performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water… After being betrayed by Typhon, Horus was crucified, buried for 3 days, and thus resurrected.”
There are 10 elements to consider here: Born of a virgin, born on December 25th, star in the east, three kings, baptism, ministry, 12 disciples, miracles, crucifixion, and resurrection. Put together as such, it sounds pretty convincing, until one looks at the historical documents of the Horus myth…
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