Among those who promote the Jesus Myth, one of the favourite pagan gods is that of Horus. It is claimed that much of what we read in the Gospels about Jesus is found in the story of Horus, including the virgin birth.
Is this true?
Let us begin by looking at how the virgin birth in Matthew and Luke is described:
- Mary is unmarried and has not experienced sexual intercourse.
- Jesus is conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit without any sexual intercourse.
We would expect to see some similarity to this if Jesus’ virgin birth was based on the story of Horus.
Instead of just summarizing the story in my own words, here is what the actual myth says:
His sister [Isis] hath protected him, and hath repulsed the fiends, and turned aside calamities (of evil). She uttered the spell with the magical power of her mouth. Her tongue was perfect, and it never halted at a word. Beneficent in command and word was Isis, the woman of magical spells, the advocate of her brother. She sought him untiringly, she wandered round and round about this earth in sorrow, and she alighted not without finding him. She made light with her feathers, she created air with her wings, and she uttered the death wail for her brother. She raised up the inactive members of whose heart was still, she drew from him his essence, she made an heir, she reared the child in loneliness, and the place where he was not known, and he grew in strength and stature, and his hand was mighty in the House of Keb. The Company of the Gods rejoiced, rejoiced, at the coming of Horus, the son of Osiris, whose heart was firm, the triumphant, the son of Isis, the heir of Osiris.
From the Book of the Dead
Translated by E.A.Wallis Budge
What is being described here? Osiris has been killed and his sister/wife uses her magic to produce an erection so that she can be impregnated by him.
So this is what we have:
- Osiris and Isis are a married couple who presumably had already been sexually active.
- Isis becomes pregnant with Horus through sexual intercourse, although with some magical assistance as Osiris was dead.
I do not want to tell people what to believe. However, this discussion must go beyond simple assertion that both Horus and Jesus were born of a virgin as if the stories were almost identical.
If you are interested in this question, my advice is to read the primary sources for both the birth of Horus and the birth of Jesus and then decide for yourself.