OSIRIS WAS RESURRECTED
I have read much of The Case for the Real Jesus
by Lee Strobel, whose previous work The Case for Christ
very weak indeed but manage to convince millions to cling to unfounded and absurd beliefs.
In the first place, Mike Licona is not a credible scholar at all. Some of his remarks reveal a very cursory knowledge of the subject he pretends to be an expert in. His life's mission is to "prove" to the world that a Jewish guy rose from the dead and flew up into heaven. His "too cool" remarks in Strobel's book reflect conceit in his knowledge, which is very shallow in reality. Like other Christian apologists, Licona merely bats away inferences that Christianity is a merger of Paganism and Judaism, which turns out to be the most sensible and rational explanation for its rise - and the most well founded based on all the evidence.
Edwin Yamauchi is a fervent fundamentalist Christian whose occupation is to uphold his Christian faith no matter what. Because of his ability to maintain the status quo, he is given accolades and widely promoted. Some of his comments in Strobel's books, however, are strikingly irrational and indicative of a profound lack of knowledge of the subject matter. In some cases, he seems to have skimmed encyclopedias in order to present himself as an authority on a subject that is far deeper than he lets on--or that he knows about. This assertion is particularly so when it comes to the matter of Osiris, whom he dismisses offhand with remarks that indicate he knows VERY little about the Egyptian religion and Osiris's role in it. He seems to be merely quoting another Christian apologist - Nash, perhaps? Or the very flawed treatment in The Encyclopedia of Religion
, edited by Mircea Eliade, which contains the nonsensical remark: "In no sense can Osiris be said to have 'risen' in the sense required by the dying and rising pattern; most certainly it was never conceived as an annual event." (Eliade, 4:524.) It doesn't appear that Yamauchi has read a single ancient Egyptian text, as he would know that there is far more to the story than the short encyclopedia entry about the Osiris myth that he is relying on.
Why doesn't Strobel take his unimpressive reporter's skills to EGYPTOLOGISTS, rather than asking a fervent Christian apologist who is most definitely NOT an expert on the Egyptian religion?
Perhaps because he would discover that - knowing the ancient Egyptian texts inside and out in their original languages - they say things like the following by renowned Egyptologist Dr. James P. Allen, as concerns the cross-like Djed pillar, an "icon of Osiris":
It was erected in a rite symbolizing Osiris's revivification after death.
This remark comes at the end of his 400-page translation of the many Pyramid Texts. (Allen, Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts
, 428.) The word "revivification" means "to restore to life; give new life to; revive; reanimate" and is an alternative to RESURRECTION
, as one could probably figure. Notice that this "revivification" is AFTER DEATH, as it must be, when someone is RESTORED TO LIFE. Note that the raising of the Djed pillar was an ANNUAL EVENT, so the remark above is not only nonsensical but doubly wrong.
And speaking of Egyptologist Dr. Henri Frankfort, here's what he also says in the book Kingship and the Gods
- conveniently ignored by our omniscient apologist when holding up Frankfort's later remarks. Regarding the Djed pillar, Frankfort says (128):
Upon this site thus consecrated the Djed pillar is erected. This ceremony is part of the rites of royalty and probably serves as a symbol of rebirth and resurrection.... Thus, the erection of the pillar, the concluding rite for the king's predecessor, is his resurrection in the Hereafter.
Again, this erection of the Djed pillar symbolizing Osiris's - and the Osiris king's - resurrection from the dead occurred as a RITUAL and an ANNUAL EVENT.
Frankfort also states(184-186):
...Osiris...is the dead king. But since kings were divine, since the power they embodied was the essence of nature itself, since Osiris was the son of Geb and Nut, his life could not end; his death was transfiguration. His power was recognized in that life which breaks forth periodically from the earth, everlastingly renewed. Hence Osiris was the god of resurrection.
After his remarks attempting to delineate various spiritual and mystical concepts - such as "he was not a 'dying god' but - if the paradox be permitted - a dead god," Frankfort next says of Osiris:
His resurrection meant his entry upon life in the Beyond, and it was one of the inspiring truths of Egyptian religion that, notwithstanding his death, Osiris became manifest as life in the world of men. From his grave in the earth or in the depleted Nile, from the world of the dead, his power emanated, mysteriously transmuted into a variety of natural phenomena which had one common feature: they waxed and waned.
Hence, you can see that using Frankfort's mystical pronouncements regarding Osiris to disprove his resurrection constitutes little more than obfuscation. We can also see that there is very little within Christianity that cannot be found within the Egyptian religion, such as the god who constitutes ETERNAL LIFE emanating throughout the cosmos. Also, this concept of Osiris not being a "dying god" presented in Frankfort's terms is deceiving because in the mythos Osiris most certainly is ALIVE and then dies. So, at one point he certainly IS a dying god - the theological hair-splitting would hardly have been apparent to the average Egyptian
, who doubtlessly viewed Osiris's death and resurrection in much the way Christians do today with Jesus Christ.
Moreover, just one page further, we find Frankfort's discussion of Osiris as a grain god, in which he states:
The temple ritual of the Ptolemaic period included the preparation of "Osiris beds" or "gardens" in several of the main sanctuaries and there, again, the sprouting of the grain signified the resurrection of the god.
As we can see, the god is resurrected, and, moreover, this resurrection constitutes part of a RITUAL done on a regular basis.
Even earlier (197), Frankfort remarks:
If many natural phenomena can be interpreted as resurrections, the power of resurrection is peculiarly Osiris' own.... his was the gift of revival, of resurrection.
Frankfort also says:
Osiris, then, defeats death.... His fate might be construed as a promise of future life for all....
So, how is being the god of resurrection who defeats death - meaning he was dead and is now RESURRECTED - and whose fate could be viewed as bringing about the "promise of future life for all" - "very different" from Jesus's role? Not at all. It is clear that Christianity merely rehashed these profound spiritual concepts that were well developed many centuries before the common era.
And our all-knowing apologist has also ignored this comment of Frankfort's from the same page (197
Osiris was resurrected, but he did not resume his former existence.
Osiris WAS resurrected, but - precisely like Jesus - he did not resume his former existence. Depending on which fictional and contradictory gospel account you wish to follow, Jesus only hung around on this plane - in a transfigured body, not as an earthling - for a few days, until he too ended up in "heaven" or the netherworld
. The facts could not be clearer - and there is no "huge difference" between Osiris and Jesus. And yes, indeed, it IS very easy, folks.
We also find Frankfort remarking early on (4):
There were annual festivals connected with the rise of the Nile and the end of the inundation; with the resurrection of Osiris; and with the completion of the harvest.
Naturally, our apologist has skipped this part in his erroneous assertion that there were no rituals associated with the RESURRECTION OF OSIRIS.
And then we have this little gem from Frankfort (5), who essentially states that RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD is a common concept in the ancient world:
In both Mesopotamia and Egypt religion centered around the problem of maintaining life.... inescapable death was accepted; but it was counterbalanced by the recurring miracle of resurrection.
But wait - there's more!
Later Frankfort reveals his knowledge of the astrotheological meaning behind the resurrection:
Since the Primeval Hill was the place of sunrise and creation, and hence the place of rebirth and resurrection.
The place of sunrise - where Osiris is resurrected as Horus - is that of rebirth and RESURRECTION.
Despite all the nitpicking and hair-splitting, these apologists are simply wrong in their contentions regarding pre-Christian religious concepts, but we can see from the example here that their modus operandi is simply to deny and dismiss, even when the data are placed right in front of them. Notice also how apologists make irrational demands for proof of other people's faith, but for their own they require little to none. Also, while they dun you with requests for "primary sources," they themselves can't actually read them, so they can then dismiss them that way. AND they themselves also don't require ANY primary sources for their own beliefs but rely heavily on the opinions of others, while dismissing the opinions of experts on other faiths, such as Dr. James P. Allen.
As one can see, the rabid belief in Christianity truly makes people dishonest, as it compels them to believe in something without any proof and to deny evidence boldly in front of them.