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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Book Review: Christ in Egypt

Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
By D.M. Murdock

This book is fascinating, and if its claims can be verified, it could and should change everything. Have we all been lied to since birth? Are our core belief systems based on a story that is not true? If there is no Jesus, who will guide us? Who will forgive us?

If we rely on our senses and the observable world, I must admit that the paradigm of “Christ in Egypt” is more plausible than that of the Bible. Murdock posits that the Romans needed a way to control both the Jewish and the Egyptian populations. They did this by creating a new religion, which combined ideas from those two cultures, plus others.

Among the book’s contentions: The Gospels were likely written in Alexandria, Egypt, from 100 to 200 and then backdated to around Year 1. Valentinus, Irenaeus, Heracleon, Theophilus, or Cerinthus could have written the Gospel of John. Christ was a composite of earlier myths, especially the Egyptian sun god Horus. If anyone walked the earth that most resembled Christ, it may have been the Palestine governor and future Roman emperor Vespasian, whom Josephus promoted as the prophesied savior. Vespasian’s son Titus later destroyed Jerusalem. The Therapeuts’ short works may have been the basis for the Gospels, but they were allegorical, not historical. The Gnostics were rooted in the hoary mists of time, developing alongside Christianity as both a sibling and a competitor. Gnostic founding father Simon Magus may well have studied in Alexandria. Cerinthus was a Gnostic.

The book works to prove that many aspects of Jesus are based on Horus, who was an allegorical personification of the Sun: We celebrate Christmas December 25 because that is when the sun begins to move again after standing still for three days at the winter solstice. Christ rising on the third day is symbolic of this. The three stars on the belt of the constellation Orion are symbolized by the “three kings” and point to the bright star Sirus and the rising sun at the solstice. The twelve disciples symbolize the months of the year and the twelve constellations. The cross symbolizes the four seasons, and was preceded by the Egyption ankh. Horus’s mother was the virgin “Isis-Meri.” Anup, who had the head of a dog and was thus decapitated, baptized Horus. Horus, who each day morphs into his father Osiris and back again, is dismembered like the stars in the sky, and then is pieced back together, or “resurrected.” Isis, who sometimes takes the form of a bird, is able to mate with the Sun. Horus, her son, has the head of a bird.

One might worry that a loss of faith could lead people into depression or social unrest. I don’t think that’s necessarily so. If one looks at things strictly scientifically, then they must admit they really don’t know, and that would make them agnostic. From there, one can assume there is no god and be an atheist, or tend that there is a God and be a deist. Either way, we are still evolved as social creatures and it’s natural for us to have a moral compass. To me, I am heartened by the thought of natural cycles, big and small. If the sun can be renewed, so can the spirit. If the New Testament really is an amalgam of earlier faiths, documented at the Library of Alexandria before it was destroyed, then we can look for and keep what is good in the Bible, like the Sermon on the Mount, for example.

I actually finished reading “Christ in Egypt” last month, but I’ve been so busy I haven’t taken the time to write a review until now. The book is heavily footnoted, and I wanted to spot-check more of the sources to try and see if Murdock is telling the truth. So far I have checked a few notes that cite the ancient “Pyramid Texts” as I was able to find those online:


So far the footnotes check out ok for the most part. Other sources may require me to buy more books – I’m not sure.

Murdock herself states in the preface that her book is not a “quick read” – I would like to research more. I hope I can find the time. It all looks extremely intriguing, and I encourage others to check it for themselves!


At Thu Feb 18, 05:46:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

I enjoyed the movie “Zeitgeist”, which introduced me to this, but now I would like to see a documentary that takes the highlights, shows the Egyptian source for each, brings in a bunch of experts to explain why it’s a trusted source, and then explains what they think it means.

If anyone gets a chance, I would like to follow up on these sources:

Page 66: Hornung, VK, 129.
83: Plutarch/Babbitt, 153.
94: Budge, EHD, 351.
118: Pharaoh and wife worshipping Sun.
125: Hornung, VK, 149, 172.
138: Diodorus/Murphy, 31.
149, 195: Budge, OFLER, 80.
196: Temple of Isis at Philae.
204: Allen, J., AEPT, 107.
209: Gray, XII, 112.
213: Folk-Lore, 498.
216: Frankfort, 366.
217: Kemp, 277.
251: Renouf, EBD, 165.
255: Duffield, 218.
260: Wilkinson, MCAE, III, 362.
270, 282: Hornung, AEBA, 48.
275, 282: Hornung, AEBA, 95.
283: Hornung, VK, 94.
296: Renouf, EBD, 119.
299: Allen, J., AEPT, 226.
300, 308: Lundy, 403.
333: Renouf, EBD, 62, pl. XI.
362: Bentley, pl. VIII. (Simpson).
367: Ankhs holding Was-Scepters.
370: Sharpe, EABM, 143.
372: Sarcophagus of King Tut.
383: Faulkner, AECT, I, 70.
430: Hornung, VK, 120.

At Fri Feb 19, 02:00:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Below are a couple of sources I checked…

Page 204: I don’t have “The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts” by James P. Allen, but I found “The Pyramid Texts: Translation by Samuel A. B. Mercer” online at:

In the passage below, “Ś3h” and “S'3h” have not been translated, but in Murdock's book they are translated as “Orion.” Given the context, having to do rising in the east and setting in the west, as astronomical objects do, I’m inclined to give Murdock the benefit of the doubt until I can see a more thorough translation.

819c. Behold, he is come (again) as Ś3h; behold, Osiris is come as Ś3h.
820a. lord of the wine-cellar at the W3g-feast,
820b. "good," as his mother said; "heir," as his father said,
820c. conceived by heaven, born of the Dw3.t.
820d. Heaven conceives thee together with S'3h;
820e. N. is born in the Dw3.t together with S'3h.
821a. He lives who lives at the command of the gods; so wilt thou live.
821b. Thou ascendest with S'3h on the eastern side of the sky;
821c. thou descendest with S'3h on the western side of the sky.
822a. Your third is Sothis of the pure places,
822b. she is your leader (or, who will lead you) by the beautiful ways in heaven,
822c. in the Marsh of Reeds.

If confirmed, this would back up the idea that the three stars on the belt of the constellation Orion are symbolized by the “three kings” and point to the bright star Sirus and the rising sun at the solstice.

Page 299: Again, from “The Pyramid Texts: Translation by Samuel A. B. Mercer”:

1683a. To say: Arise for me, father; stand up for me, Osiris N.
1683b. It is I; I am thy son; I am Horus.
1684a. I have come to thee, that I may purify thee, that I may cleanse thee,
1684b. that I may revivify thee, that I may assemble for thee thy bones,
1684c. that I may collect for thee thy flesh, that I may assemble for thee thy dismembered limbs,
1685a. for I am as Horus his avenger, I have smitten for thee him who smote thee;
1685b. I have avenged thee, father Osiris N., on him who did thee evil.

Here, Horus is reviving or “resurrecting” his father Osiris. The story has many versions, but generally, the evil god Set destroys Osiris and takes over at night. Osiris is resurrected as Horus the next day when the sun comes out. The Sun is resurrected each morning, and each year at the winter solstice, when the days begin to get longer.

I know these are just two small snippets of information. Murdock claims that early Christians intentionally destroyed the best evidence, making her job exceedingly difficult. But she provides a ton of snippets. Getting to the bottom of this could be a lot of work…

At Sat Feb 20, 09:26:00 AM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tom-
Osiris represents the higher self and Horus the lower. When Emperor Hadrian visited Egypt he found Christian Bishops worshipping Serapis,too, who was Osisis. The Roman gospels are the corrupted form turning "Jesus" into a greek god from the original mystery school teacher he was. "Secret Mark" which shows Lazarus being initiated by Jesus--found in a monastery some decades ago--reveals this--so does the Gospel of Thomas..John Munter

At Mon Feb 22, 06:43:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Thanks Cousin John! Brother Scott can read hieroglyphics, but says interpretations are subject to debate. Yes, the book mentions Serapis as an adapted god, and the tomb and gravecloth of Lazarus in John 11 was a nod to Egyptian mummification.

At Sun Feb 28, 09:34:00 PM CST, Anonymous オテモヤン said...

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