Discussion at Vridar blog
Christ among the Messiahs — Part 4 http://vridar.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/ ... hs-part-4/
Names of comment authors are at the bottom of each block of text, or it can be read more easily at the link.
The idea of Christ as the Anointed of God is from Egypt. And the idea of “in Christ” goes back to the Pyramid Text: “Horus, who is in Osiris” http://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/pyt/pyt05.htm
Jesus Christ is a title. Jesus means Savior, while Christ means Anointed, so Christ Jesus means Anointed Savior. This is a mythical idea with clear roots in Egyptian belief from thousands of years before Christ, well explained in the book Christ in Egypt by DM Murdock.
WR Cooper says that the Egyptians called Horus the ‘Beloved Son of the Father’ and ‘Word of the Father Osiris’ (p309). Perhaps this will give a shiver of deja vu for anyone familiar with the Christmas Carol O Come All Ye Faithful, whose concepts almost all seem to have been written in stone in Egypt long before the Gospel era, as Murdock observes in long lists of titles for Horus and other Gods (p320 and 329).
As Murdock states, “many people remain unaware of these facts regarding the worship and religiosity of prior so called Pagan cultures… such an attitude has allowed for the massive and tragic destruction of cultures around the world.” (p309-10)
Horus, Osiris and Ra were routinely understood as good shepherd and saviour. Murdock notes the interesting comment from Egyptologist Gerald Massey that the Egyptian term for mummy is krst, so “Christ the anointed is none other than the Osiris-karast” (p313). Murdock checked Massey’s assertion in Dictionaries of Hieroglyphics, since such research is taboo for Christian theologians, and found that “Massey is correct in his contentions and did not innovate his transliteration and definition of the Egyptian words karas … krst etc…” (p316). Such findings are routinely passed over in embarrassed silence by mainstream academia, due to their cowardly fear of the church.
Further, we find that the Egyptian krst links to the Christian idea of embalming or anointing with oil, as in the Christian motif of the 23rd Psalm, which is redolent with Egyptian resonance, as are the gifts of the three kings to the baby Jesus.
In fact, Murdock points out that the title ‘Christos’ is used 40 times in the Greek Old Testament, applied to David, Solomon and Samuel, signifying God’s anointed one. The Egyptian link appears again, with Murdock noting that this ‘Christing’ or anointing, also appears with the term ‘masu’, equivalent to messiah, so that “Osiris and Horus were Christs and Messiahs” (p319).
The famous Egyptologist EA Wallis Budge notes that Horus and Thoth are equated to the Word (p321) in ancient Egypt, an idea that carried over into early Christian belief, before the origins of Christian myth in Egypt was banned from discussion. So it is unsurprising that early Christian amulets showed belief in both the old Egyptian deities and the new faith of Christ (p321).
Comment by Robert Tulip — 2012/07/08 @ 11:51 am | Reply
Robert Tulip: “Such findings are routinely passed over in embarrassed silence by mainstream academia, due to their cowardly fear of the church.”
That sounds like conspiracy theory to me. Why would non-Christian scholars like Ehrman pass over such findings?
Robert Tulip: “Murdock notes the interesting comment from Egyptologist Gerald Massey that the Egyptian term for mummy is krst, so “Christ the anointed is none other than the Osiris-karast””
Did Massey propose any actual connection (e.g. etymological) between the words “karast” and “Christ”, or is it just an interesting coincidence?
Comment by GakuseiDon — 2012/07/08 @ 2:18 pm | Reply
Robert, ignore GDon. He’s only using the conspiracy theory thing as a substitute for the issues. He sees conspiracy theories everywhere because he is wearing his “conspiracy theory world” glasses. A general fear is not a conspiracy but his glasses make him see it as one.
But I think there are points to be addressed in your post. You do attribute motives overmuch. So while “cowardly fear of the church” is not a conspiracy, it does strike me as a careless generalization. I don’t believe anyone can verify that this is their motive. If we make unsupportable or unverifiable claims then we undermine our whole argument. It is important to stick to what we know are facts. Nothing will be lost by doing this.
I think some of the details Murdock notes have been pointed out in the past are of interest and worth investigation. But we can’t assume connections between one culture and another across time. We need to have reasons for making the connections. And we need to balance them against other explanations, too. I think there are many questions that we will never have answers for simply because of the state of the remaining evidence. I am happy to live with not knowing such things, or shelving many such things until we do have more evidence or understanding to know what to make of it all.
Comment by Neil Godfrey — 2012/07/08 @ 4:54 pm | Reply
Neil: “So while “cowardly fear of the church” is not a conspiracy, it does strike me as a careless generalization.”
To Robert Tulip: Regardless of whether it is conspiracy or careless generalization: Why would non-Christian scholars (like say Ehrman) pass over such findings as “Osiris the karast or krst”? It doesn’t make sense.
Comment by GakuseiDon — 2012/07/08 @ 6:04 pm | Reply
Don, we’ve been through all this before. You’re repeating yourself. People who have dedicated their careers to a certain model would never have an issue discovering everything they did was based on a faulty assumption?
Part of the answer is within this comment: http://vridar.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/ ... ment-14993
What doesn’t make sense is your assumption that everyone is a completely autonomous mind without any other influences upon them apart from a simple desire to open-mindedly explore wherever the evidence may lead.
Comment by Neil Godfrey — 2012/07/08 @ 6:35 pm | Reply
The neglect of Egyptian roots of Christianity is a matter of intellectual fashion. The nineteenth century discovery of Egyptian antecedents of Christianity following Champollion’s decoding of the hieroglyphics was the object of a massive reaction by the church, who saw this material as an easy target in the context of their inability to refute Darwin and modern science more generally. Thechurch sought to intimidate and exclude scholars who challenged orthodoxy, leading to the frequent timidity of archaeologists when it comes to material that touches on religious faith. But science proved no friend of comparative religion and mythology, a topic that has proven something of an intellectual orphan.
The Egyptian term KRST means ‘anoint’, the same term and same meaning as the forty references to Christ in the Septuagint, but long predating it. The KRST process is used to convey the provision of eternal life for the mummified dead king, much as Jesus was thought to bring eternal life in his role as anointed Christ. This identity of pronunciation and meaning for Christ as a central religious idea, eternal life through anointing, is strong prima facie evidence for the connection between the longstanding neighbouring religions of Israel and Egypt.
Why then are the links between Egyptian religion and Christianity neglected in academic scholarship? Again, this touches on deeply felt prejudices. The association between Egyptian religion and magic, the fragmentary nature of the evidence, Biblical aspersions on Egypt as a land of indolent fleshpots and tyranny, the complete suppression of Egyptian writing for more than a millennium, and the whole context of mythicism as an atheistic critique of supernatural faith, have helped make assertions of Egyptian origins of Christian myth repugnant to both Christians and rational moderns. Nineteenth century scholars such as Gerald Massey who investigated this material were easily calumnated, and allowed to fall into obscurity, regardless of the merit of their work.
Murdock comments as follows, summarising her contention in Christ In Egypt. I have edited for length, readers can consult the link and book for more detail.
“The Christ-KRST comparison is one of the controversial contentions made by mythicists. On pp. 313-9 of CIE, I go into a detailed discussion of the Egyptian word transliterated as “krst,” providing the Egyptian hieroglyphs. As “lord of the tomb,” Osiris was called “Christ,” since one Egyptian term for tomb, funeral, corpse or mummy is krst.
“The work of Gerald Massey was peer-reviewed by renowned Egyptologists and archaeologists of his day. Says Massey: “Christ the anointed is the Osiris-karast, and the karast mummy risen to its feet as Osiris-sahu was the prototypal Christ. The Egyptian word for mummy is ges, which signifies to wrap up in bandages…. [The word] ges or kes, to embalm the corpse or make the mummy, is a reduced or abraded form of an earlier word, karas. The original word written in hieroglyphics is krst, whence kas, to embalm, to bandage, to knot, to make the mummy or karast (Birch, Dictionary of the Hieroglyphics; Champollion, Gram. Egyptienne). The mummy was the Osirian Corpus Christi, prepared for burial as the laid-out dead, the karast by name. The process of making the mummy was to karas, the place in which it was laid is the karas, and the product was the krst, whose image is the upright mummy=the risen Christ. Hence, the name of the Christ, for the anointed, was derived from the Egyptian word krst.” http://truthbeknown.com/images/krstchampollion80.jpg
shows the hieroglyph signifying KRST or Mummy from Champollion, Grammaire Egyptienne. http://truthbeknown.com/images/krstbirch416.jpg
shows the term karst meaning embalmment or mummy from Birch, Dictionary of Hieroglyphics.”
Comment by Robert Tulip — 2012/07/08 @ 7:28 pm | Reply
Robert Tulip: “The church sought to intimidate and exclude scholars who challenged orthodoxy, leading to the frequent timidity of archaeologists when it comes to material that touches on religious faith.”
I see. But you wrote “Such findings are routinely passed over in embarrassed silence by mainstream academia, due to their cowardly fear of the church”. So is this still happening today? And why doesn’t Richard Carrier see this? He is hardly likely to have a fear of the church!
Robert Tulip: “The Egyptian term KRST means ‘anoint’, the same term and same meaning as the forty references to Christ in the Septuagint, but long predating it. The KRST process is used to convey the provision of eternal life for the mummified dead king, much as Jesus was thought to bring eternal life in his role as anointed Christ.”
I don’t see the connection. Did Jews take the Egyptian word KRST to create the Greek word “Christos”, and — hundreds of years before Christianity — imbue it with a meaning of “eternal life”? Because the Septuagint “Christos” appears to be a translation of the Hebrew word “Messiah”, which is nothing like KRST.
How do you see it going from “KRST” to “Messiah” to “Christos”?
Comment by GakuseiDon — 2012/07/08 @ 9:52 pm | Reply
GD: is this still happening today? And why doesn’t Richard Carrier see this? He is hardly likely to have a fear of the church!
RT: You may have seen Carrier’s recent vituperative attack on DM Murdock accusing her of “parallelomania” for her analysis of Egyptian antecedents of Christian myths. These parallels are actually abundant, such as Seth and Horus as types for Jesus v Satan in the wilderness, Osiris, Isis and Nephthys as types for Lazarus, Mary and Martha, etc. Carrier deprecates the entire hypothesis of Egyptian sourcing and perplexingly ignores non Judeo-Greek sources of Biblical myth.
I can only speculate that Carrier’s motive may be a fear of association with astrology and other irrational folk cults of Egypt, because he wants to present as a rational scientist in order to serve his concept of academic credibility, and sees all linking between Egypt and Christian myth as harmful for this agenda. Carrier is not scared of ridicule by the church but by historians and scientists. Fear of church shunning and slander tends to be seen more within religious studies and theology.
GD: Did Jews take the Egyptian word KRST to create the Greek word “Christos”, and — hundreds of years before Christianity — imbue it with a meaning of “eternal life”? Because the Septuagint “Christos” appears to be a translation of the Hebrew word “Messiah”, which is nothing like KRST. How do you see it going from “KRST” to “Messiah” to “Christos”?
RT: It appears most likely that the term Christos came from the Egyptian word for anointing the mummy directly to Greek, and not through the Hebrew term Messiah, and that the Egyptians already thought of anointing the mummy in terms of eternal life.
As a comparable example, Black Athena by Martin Bernal of Cornell University argues that Athena derives from the Egyptian Goddess Neith, and that the direct influence from Egypt on Greece was immense, but has been systematically neglected and denied by academia due to the racist assumptions within the field of classics. Egyptian influence is cited by Plato.
Comment by Robert Tulip — 2012/07/08 @ 10:42 pm | Reply
Even if I accept all the points you enumerate, I still stumble at your final sentence where you say “Hence, the name of the Christ, for the anointed, was derived from the Egyptian word krst.” I do not understand the logic of that “hence”. How does one get from the Egyptian krst to the Jesus Christ we see in the NT evidence? I am not saying that there was no link. I cannot say that. But I don’t know of any evidence or reason to make that link.
I can read all of your points, but then when I look at the NT evidence I see much more direct and simple explanation for the Christian “Christ”. That is, it is the Greek word for one anointed. Is that not a much simpler explanation of the word?
Further, even though KRST looks like it could be pronounced much like our Christ, do we really know that it did have a similar pronunciation? How many syllables were there? How many vowel sounds in between those consonants? How do we know if there was a similarity to the pronunciation of the Greek word Christ in the first century?
Now there may be links of some sort, but I don’t know how to explain them or how to support any argument for them. Who knows what went on in the reliigious discussions in Alexandria? We only have speculation.
Maybe some day there can be a rigorous cultural-mythical-anthropological study that can provide a strong theoretical basis for establishing links to Christianity. I think we will need either something like that or new evidence or a new way of understanding our evidence to be able to explain the exact relationships you are suggesting here.
Comment by Neil Godfrey — 2012/07/08 @ 9:57 pm | Reply
Neil: How does one get from the Egyptian krst to the Jesus Christ we see in the NT evidence? I am not saying that there was no link. I cannot say that. But I don’t know of any evidence or reason to make that link.
RT: This is where I consider Murdock is an important pioneer, for the detailed arguments she presents in Christ in Egypt indicating the range and depth of links. With the KRST-Christ example, the prima facie evidence is that both words have the same consonants and meaning relating to anointing of the holy king, and that Gnostic thought involved a deep interpenetration between Egyptian and Greek culture, including through the Serapis cult. So crossover of core concepts is to be expected.
The alphabetical consonants of Egyptian hieroglyphics are well established from the decoding of the Rosetta Stone.
Neil: When I look at the NT evidence I see much more direct and simple explanation for the Christian “Christ”. That is, it is the Greek word for one anointed. Is that not a much simpler explanation of the word?
RT: No, Greek isolationism is not simpler. The Egyptians had a word KRST for anointed, so parsimony says the Greeks probably got their word Christ from Egypt, since the consonants and meaning are the same. Ignoring the links between Greek and Egyptian is a widespread academic prejudice with roots in Victorian times. As I mentioned in my reply to Don, these links are widespread but have been systematically denied in modern academia with its colonial imperial racist roots that see Greek as the cradle of civilization, despite the abundant evidence of transmission of earlier civilization from Phoenicia and Egypt rather than the old fashioned northern Aryan hypothesis.
Neil: even though KRST looks like it could be pronounced much like our Christ, do we really know that it did have a similar pronunciation? How many syllables were there? How many vowel sounds in between those consonants? How do we know if there was a similarity to the pronunciation of the Greek word Christ in the first century?
RT: As I mentioned, the Rosetta stone indicates the Egyptian consonants. We do not know the vowels, but having the same consonants and meaning of such a core religious term presents a strong hypothesis.
Neil: Who knows what went on in the religious discussions in Alexandria? We only have speculation. Maybe some day there can be a rigorous cultural-mythical-anthropological study that can provide a strong theoretical basis for establishing links to Christianity. I think we will need either something like that or new evidence or a new way of understanding our evidence to be able to explain the exact relationships you are suggesting here.
RT: Yes, these are sound points, although I think that there is existing historical analysis which is stronger than mere speculation. This analysis has not broken through into academic debate for similar reasons to why mythicism is a public taboo.
My view is that the evidentiary basis of the mythological sources of Christian ideas in Egypt is emerging, but is subject to strong resistance by the old paradigms, especially Christ historicism. For example, the concept of astrotheology meets visceral reactions of denial, ridicule and suppression, indicating how it touches on cultural debates that people find difficult.
Comment by Robert Tulip — 2012/07/08 @ 11:12 pm | Reply
> Why would non-Christian scholars (like say Ehrman)
Because they maybe arent completely non-Christian even though they claim it?
In an NPR interview about DJE?, Ehrman said:
“Jesus’ teachings of love, and mercy and forgiveness, I think, really should dominate our lives. On the personal level, I agree with many of the ethical teachings of Jesus and I try to model my life on them, even though I don’t agree with the apocalyptic framework in which they were put.” 
I think that he still is a so called “cultural christian” and maybe fears that accepting that there never was a single founder would maybe endanger the long-term existence of the cultural framework that he is fond of. His supernatural beliefs may be gone, but there obvious still is an emotional attachment to “baby Jesus”. Compare to how many non-religious Jews emotionally protect the ritual genital surgery on male children even though they do not believe any more that it is a “covenant with the god of Abraham”. You do not have to be religious to be biased, any emotional attachment suffices, and Bart very obviously _is_ emotionally attached to a person named Jesus he grew up with.
Comment by muuh-gnu — 2012/07/08 @ 7:48 pm | Reply
All may be true, but why would Ehrman care whether Osiris was known as “KRST”? Ehrman doesn’t believe that Jesus was the Christ, regardless of how the word originated. Or take Richard Carrier. Why would he “pass over such findings as “Osiris the karast or krst””? It doesn’t make sense.
Comment by GakuseiDon — 2012/07/08 @ 10:05 pm | Reply
The present discussion on KRST is fascinating – and I’d say, rather compelling. Why wouldn’t Carrier mention or stress it? As a sometimes- Cross-Cultural Mythologist, I’d like to note that cross-cultural Mytholography is an enormously complex undertaking; trying to summarize and then cross-reference thousands of ancient texts, written in thousands of obscure languages … is as complex as it gets. No single human being is up to the task: Mythography probably won’t fully come into its own until things are fully computerized, and we are given quality time on something like the new Sequoia supercomputer, with 20 Petaflops per second. In the meantime though? Someone here should probably say, drop Carrier a line, with a link to the present discussion?
Comment by woodbridgegoodman — 2012/07/09 @ 2:53 am | Reply
There are lots of intriguing coincidences in the sounds of various words between languages, most of which have no significance. Also, the sounds K and KH (CH) in Greek are quite different sounds.
LSJ (a detailed dictionary of Ancient Greek) gives an early use of χριστός (as an adjective meaning “for anointing”) in Prometheus Bound of Aeschylus, and derives it from the verb χρίω “anoint” which is used often in Homer. Also, there are apparently Indo-European cognates found in Latin and Greek.
Comment by Eric — 2012/07/09 @ 5:35 am | Reply
Sorry, I meant to say “cognates found in Latin and Sanskrit.” The root in Latin gives us “friable” and “friction” in English.
Comment by Eric — 2012/07/09 @ 5:45 am | Reply
[Some VERY quick and jumbled thoughts: 1) "Out of Egypt I will call my son" (Mat. 2.15): there's loads and loads of evidence of Egyptian influence on Judaism, from 2) the exile in Egypt. 3) For example "Moses" is part of an Egyptian name or title (Tut-moses etc.). And 4) both Hebrew, Aramaic, Egyptian and Arabic, are related "Hamito-Semetic" languages. An 5) hypothecized etymological relation between many Hebrew and Egyptian/Arabic words - given similarity in meaning and pronunciation TOO - seems quite likely. Though? 6) In the OT, "Messiah" is said by some to be the original Hebrew - and "Christ" only the Greek. So here we need to find ties between the languages of Egypt, and Greece. Still, 7) perhaps the Egyptian borrows from the Greek. Or vice-versa. (Not unheard of in Coptic times?). Or possibly all come from a common Sanscritic root.
The OT Hebrew here, Messiah might seem irrelevant; but seems to mean to "RUB," or anoint; the Greek "Christ" reflects that exactly it is said. And the Latin "friction" fits too. So the meaning of the Egyptian and Greek and Latin here, seem to be related.... But all this needs more research. It might be existing literature doesn't resolve this; but a competent lexicographer could resolve this with some original research? Or someone with deep knowledge of both Greek, and various Egyptian languages]
Comment by Brettongarcia — 2012/07/09 @ 6:50 am | Reply
I have no knowledge of Egyptian, so all I can say is that the origin of the term Christ is sufficiently explained as coming from an ordinary word χρίω found in some of the oldest materials we have in the Greek language. This word has no “st” in it (that just comes from a common process of nominal derivation in Greek) so that part of the seeming correspondence between Christ and KRST seems unimportant. It certainly wouldn’t be surprising if there were late borrowings into Coptic from Greek, but I would be very surprised to find such borrowings in the “Dictionaries of Hieroglyphics” mentioned above. Glancing through the discussion in Massey’s book I can find no serious philological discussion of any of these words, so his conclusion that “there is no other origin for Christ the anointed than for Horus the karast or anointed son of god the father” is ridiculous.
(The etymological connection I mentioned above with “friction” and “friable” is apparently not accepted now. But one interesting cognate to χρίω suggested in Pokorny’s dictionary is English “grime”)
Comment by Eric — 2012/07/09 @ 7:48 am | Reply
Sorry, I should have said “adjectival derivation”. Just as an example of adjectives derived with -στος, I find γελάω “laugh” giving καταγελάστος “laughable”.
Comment by Eric — 2012/07/09 @ 7:57 am | Reply
I’ll learn to check my comments better before posting, I hope! That’s καταγέλαστος “ridiculous, absurd”, derived from καταγελάω “laugh/jeer/mock at”.
Comment by Eric — 2012/07/09 @ 8:01 am | Reply