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In Matthew 14 Jesus walks on the water. What are the similarities and differences between this account and the ancient Egyptian writings about Horus from Pyramid texts in 25th Century BC?

For example, the Zeitgeist movie claims:

Broadly speaking, the story of Horus is as follows: 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. Horus was known by many gestural names such as The Truth, The Light, God's Anointed Son, The Good Shepherd, The Lamb of God, and many others. After being betrayed by Typhon, Horus was crucified, buried for 3 days, and thus, resurrected.

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I think that separation by ~2500 years would be enough to distance the stories, though with the emergence of the library in Alexandria perhaps there were some new stories circulating. I guess that beyond that initial textual parallels, I'd also like to hear about any emerging corroborating stories (perhaps in Greco-Roman mythology) that were contemporary with the writing of the gospels. –  swasheck Feb 26 '12 at 21:49
I'm voting to close because the question doesn't really seem to be so much about a Biblical text as about some claims about Jesus. If there's a better primary source on the Horus myth, I'd like to see it. Maybe if the two accounts are laid side-by-side, we could do some real examination of the text. –  Jon Ericson Feb 27 '12 at 7:27
Related: skeptics.stackexchange.com/q/1678 –  Jon Ericson Feb 27 '12 at 7:37
Context - I don't recognise the similarities - but am speaking with people that do. I'm trying to open my mind to the possibilities there might be similarities. Perhaps someone could provide links to a translation of the the Horus text... –  hawkeye Feb 27 '12 at 9:08
It seems Egyptologists reject most of the similarities between Horus and Jesus that were suggested by Gerald Massey, who seems to have originated the idea. I can't source the walking on water claim for Horus at all. It's almost certainly a fabrication. –  Jon Ericson Feb 27 '12 at 10:11

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted


None. Or at least nothing substantial.

The claim that some story about Jesus is really a retelling of some other story about some mythical figure assumes that 1st century Christians would have:

  1. Known the former myth and
  2. Hoped other people wouldn't notice the similarities.

Because the early Christians seemed to have believed these stories even at the cost of their own lives. Paul is explicit:

Why are we in danger every hour? I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”—1st Corinthians 15:30-32 (ESV)

But to the specific claim that Jesus walking on water is a retelling of some story about Horus, that seems to be a myth itself:

I, as well as several others, as well as several Egyptologists you can find on the Internet, know of no reference anywhere to a "star in the east" or "three kings" and "new-born savior"; it is simply made up. I cannot find any source or information proving he was a "teacher when he was 12 years old", that he was "baptized at age 30", that he "walked on water" (but on the Internet, I did find several places that suggest he was "thrown in the water", but I have no direct source at this time for that). More so, I cannot find any evidence he was referred to as "The Truth", "The Light", Lamb of God", "the Good Shepherd", etc.—Edward L Winston

The above quote is by a skeptic who debunked the ridiculous Zeitgeist Movie. Frankly, it seems that myths about Horus were created (in the last few years) based on the life of Jesus and not the other way around.

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I voted to close, since the question seemed off-topic and belongs on Skeptics.SE. But I feel like there is a straightforward answer that belongs here. Perhaps the question can be improved... –  Jon Ericson Feb 27 '12 at 7:35
I'm open to any improvements to the question. I ask in an apologetics context speaking to skeptics. –  hawkeye Feb 27 '12 at 9:10

I hope I'm not breaking the rules posting a link here, but I've followed the theme of walking on water back to the Garden of Eden - if you're interested. It all starts with the spring under the Garden, flowing into the world as rivers of life. We also see it in the crossing of Jordan "dryshod," the necessity of the priests having clean feet, and Jesus washing His disciples' feet. To be "above the Laver" is to be an advisor in God's courtroom, walking on the crystal sea as an elder.


Before anyone asks how I can make such connections, it is through the observation of a repeated architecture (Eden-Tabernacle-Temple-Word) and the position of the water at step 6 of a repeated heptamerous pattern. It's cross-eyed exegesis: http://www.bullartistry.com.au/wp/2010/10/13/cross-eyed-exegesis/

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Interesting - perhaps you should post your hypothesis as a question on this forum and ask people's view on whether it stacks up. –  hawkeye Feb 19 '13 at 21:08

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