I think one important thing that Acharya failed to point out that the texts she is referring to are not as old as the texts that mention the birth of Jesus and Baptism. There is no Egyptian texts prior to the fourth century ad that mentions a manger, a virgin birth, Baptism or wise men. The Egyptians who embraced Christianity rewrote the 5,000 year old texts that tells of the birth of Horus. The date of Dec 25th was taken from a Roman holiday and had nothing to do with Egypt.
So you're saying that the Christian Egyptian, would have gone and rewrote the Horus stories to make them sound more like Jesus? So then they were trying to create a situation where the Horus cult could compete against Christianity by copying it? Why would Christians want to do that? And furthermore, why would Christians want to create a situation where the Jesus story could be accused of copying the Horus myth by going back and changing the ancient Horus myth to read like the story of Jesus? You haven't put on your thinking cap very tight jwest have you, and you obviously don't understand the first thing about "The devil got there first" argument in the first place, nor it's implications.
I think a reworked story of the birth of Horus would have little credibility. It would mean that Egyptians in the fourth century CE "stole" from the more ancient Egyptians. That would be as detestable as Christians "stealing." from the Egyptians.
The story of Horus wasn't reworked from older Egyptians, the Christian nativity was reworked from the older Horus stories and mysteries as is well provided in CiE:
"As the annual rebirth of the sun's light, the winter solstice was important in most parts of the world. ...Choosing the birth of Christ as December 25th successfully integrated long-standing popular traditions with the imagery of a new religion, and the theme is still part of Christmas."
Dr. Edwin C. Krupp, Echoes of the Ancient Skies (81)
"The well-known solar feast...of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date [for Christ's Nativity]
"Christmas," Catholic Encyclopedia (III, 727)
"The symbols of the savior-child was the eye of the sun newly born every year at the winter solstice."
Dr. Bojana Mojsov, Osiris: Death and Afterlife of a God (13)
The earliest rapprochement of the births of Christ and the sun is in [the writings of the Church Father] Cyprian [200-258]..."O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born...Christ should be born."
Catholic Encyclopedia, III, 727.
Ancient and Modern Voices
It has been the frequent contention of writers since antiquity that, like many other cultures, the Egyptians too celebrated the birth of the sun at the winter solstice, a logical conclusion, considering the reverence with which the sun was held held in Egypt. Concerning this cycle in Egypt, in "Isis and Osiris" (65, 378C),Plutarch remarked that Horus the Child - or "Harpocrates," his Greek name - was "born about the winter solstice, unfinished and infant-like..." (King, C.W., PM, 56. See Plutarch / Babbit, 153.) This term "Harpocrates" is a Greek word, which in the original Egyptian is "Her-pa-chruti" or "Heru-pa-Chrat," etc., meaning "the morning sun." (Budge, Mummy, (1894), 271-272.) This fact of Plutarch stating that Horus was born on "December 25th" is vitally important to keep in mind, becuse there has been much denial and censorship of it.
Adding to the highly noteworthy assertion are some fascinating remarks by Church father Epiphanius (c. 310-403 AD/CE) in his Panarion adversus Haereses (51, 22.4 - 11):
"...Christ was born on the eighth before the Ides of January, thirteen days after the winter solstice and the increase of the light and the day." Greeks, I mean the idolaters, celebrate this day on the eighth before the Kalends fo January, which Romans call Saturnalia, Egyptians Cronia, and Alexandrians, Cicellia... For this division between the signs of the zodiac, which is a solstice, comes on the eighth before the Kalends of January, and the day begins to lengthen because the light is receiving its increase...(Epiphanius / Williams, 50.)
...In this intriguing passage from Epiphanius appear two names for Egyptian winter solstice celebrations, "Cronia" and "Cicellia," both Greek terms, the latter of which is mysterious but was found also on the tablet of Canopus. (Wilkinson, J., MCAE, III 377.)
Epiphanius's discussion of the Kikellia or winter solstice festival continues with him relating that the celebration took place at the large Egyptian city of Alexandria "at the so-called Virgin's shrine." (51, 22.9-10)
"First, at Alexandria, in the Coreum, as they call it; it is a very large temple, the shrine of Core. They stay up all night singing hymns to the idol with a flute accompaniment. And when they have concluded their night long vigil torchbearers descend into an underground shrine after cockcrow...and bring up a wooden image which is seated naked <on> a litter. It has a sign of the cross inlaid with gold on its forehead, two other such signs, [one] on each hand, and two other signs, [one] actually [on each of] its two knees - altogether five signs with a gold impress. And they carry the image itself seven times round the innermost shrine with flutes, tambourines and hymns, hold a feast, and take it back down to its place underground. And when you ask them what this mystery means they reply that today at this hour Core - that is, the virgin - gave birth to Aeo." (Epiphanius / Williams, 51.)
Here we find a Pagan sacred icon with a cross on its forehead, like that made by Catholic priests on the heads of Christian worshippers. We also discover this sacred image constitutes the divine son of the holy virgin within Paganism! This Pagan virgin mother was styled Core or Kore, meaning "maiden", as another name for the Greek nature goddess Persephone, who descended each year into the underworld, to return at springtime, bringing life back with her. ...Kore's son Aeo or Aion is called "the eternal," whose birth from a virgin constitutes a mystery, presumably ages prior to the common era. The fact that the virgin-birth motif represents a mystery explains why it is currently not widely known to have existed long before the purported advent of Jesus Christ and his alleged virgin birth, because evidently it was written down infrequently, and where even rarely it was memorialized, many references may have been destroyed or hidden. In this regard, it is our contention that Christianity constitutes little more than the mysteries turned inside out and broadcast openly. Moreover, the fact that there was a "very large temple" at Alexandria devoted to the worship of the virgin mother, even named after her, is indication of her worship as both widespread and ancient.
This same event of the Pagan virgin-goddess giving birth to the divine son was celebrated also by Arabs at the ancient site of Petra in Jordan, as likewise recounted by Epiphanius (51, 22.11):
"This also goes on in the city of Petra, in the idolatrous temple there. (Petra is the capital city of Arabia, the scriptural Edom.) They praise the virgin with hymns in the Arab language and call her Chaamu - that is, Core, or virgin - in Arabic. And th child who is born of her they call Dusares, that is, "only son of the Lord." And this is also done that night in the city of Elusa, as it is there in Petra, and in Alexandria." (Epiphanius / Williams 51.)
Regarding Epiphanius's account, in a chapter entitled "The Virgin Birth," Joseph Campbell writes:
"We learn from the fourth-century saint and churchman Epiphanius (ca. 315-402), for example, of an annual festival observed in Alexandria on January 6, the date assigned to the Epiphany and (originally) the Nativity of Christ, and to his Baptism as well. The pagan occasion was in celebration of the birth of the year-god Aion to the virgin goddess Kore, a Hellenized transformation of Isis." (Campbell, TMI, 34.)
The main problem with your assertion comes from the "devil got there first" of Justin Martyr. At no point was it claimed by early apologists that the pagans had copied the Christians, which would have been claimed if it were possible. Everyone knew good and well that these motif had been pagan domain for a long time before the beginning of the common era. And so the only way for apologists to account for the similarities between Paganism and Christianity was to claim that the devil had in advance to Christs arrival to try and trick the people into thinking that Christ had come already (pre-Christian times) when he really hadn't come yet. These early apologetic arguments destroy the modern apologetic attempts to try and claim that Paganism copied Christianity. They ruined it for you guys, basically.
Another point about the date of January 6 originally assigned to the Epiphany and the Nativity of Christ, and his Baptism, as Campbell is relating, is that its one of the ancient "Christmas Eve" dates from deeper antiquity, not the date of December 25th of the common era, which came later:
Azimuth of the Sun at Sunrise:
Jerusalem 1 AD
15 December - 117° 19.938'
16 December - 117° 24.218'
17 December - 117° 27.837'
18 December - 117° 30.927'
19 December - 117° 33.390'
20 December - 117° 35.388'
21 December - 117° 36.763'
22 December - 117° 37.524'
23 December - 117° 37.695'
24 December - 117° 37.337' (Christmas Eve)
25 December - 117° 36.381'
26 December - 117° 34.826'
27 December - 117° 32.676'
28 December - 117° 29.997'
Rome 1 AD
15 December - 121° 26.891'
16 December - 121° 31.950'
17 December - 121° 36.252'
18 December - 121° 39.870'
19 December - 121° 42.727'
20 December - 121° 44.997'
21 December - 121° 46.585'
22 December - 121° 47.415'
23 December - 121° 47.564'
24 December - 121° 47.122' (Christmas Eve)
25 December - 121° 45.909'
26 December - 121° 44.024'
27 December - 121° 41.380'
28 December - 121° 38.139'
In the Age of Aries:
Jerusalem 2000 BC
1 January - 117° 48.932'
2 January - 117° 51.190'
3 January - 117° 52.859'
4 January - 117° 54.004'
5 January - 117° 54.554'
6 January - 117° 54.577' (ancient "Christmas Eve")
7 January - 117° 53.940'
8 January - 117° 52.776'
9 January - 117° 51.097'
10 January - 117° 48.762'
11 January - 117° 45.896'
Calculations made with Starry Night Pro Plus v.6.2.3
Obviously, Christianity was taking these ancient pagan winter solstice festivals, some of which stuck to a very ancient date for the old "Christmas Eve" and applied it to the nativity of Christ. They were copying the date from the age of Aries which is mostly certainly a Horus related mythic motif that evolved through time into the later hellenized transformation of Isis and Horus, to things like Kore and Aion. In the end, to be astronomically correct with the current age, the Christians moved it to December 25th because that was the last night of the winter solstice and the ancient January 6 date (dating to the former age) was no longer correct. There's a variety of ways of showing how the Christians most certainly copied Pagan mythological motifs that long pre-date the common era. It isn't as easily "dismissed" as you'd like for it be.
Thus, in Aion - the "only begotten son of God" - we posses a sun god born of a virgin who is in turn identified with the goddess Isis. Interestingly enough, as Griffiths relates, "Osiris was sometimes identified with Aion," (Redford, 307) which is fitting since Osiris's other alter ego, Dionysus, is likewise "identical" with Aion.
To summarize this very significant testimony: In Epiphanius's writings appear important details about the Alexandrian festival celebrating the winter solstice, when the days and sun's light begin to increase, and culminating with an image being carried forth of a child with a golden cross who was born at the time of a virgin! Nowhere does Epiphanius apparently attempt to claim that this widely celebrated non-Christian virgin birth at "Christmas" had been copied from Christianity, leaving us to conclude that any borrowing occurred in the opposite direction.
The pertinent parts of Epiphanius concerning the winter solstice celebrations in Egypt, with the festival at the time of the virgin Kore giving birth to Aion, as well as the same virgin-birth celebration taking place among the Arabs at Petra, are cited in the Williams translation to be in Heresy 51 at section 22.3-11. (Epiphanius / Williams 50-51) However - in a twist worthy of a mystery / thriller - in the Migne edition, which contains the "original" Greek alongside with a Latin translation, these crucial sections are entirely missing.(Migne, 927-930) In fact, the Migne text does not resume until 22.19, with a discussion of Christ's birth in the 42nd year of Augustus's reign, completely lacking all mention of Egypt, the winter solstice and the Pagan virgin birth. The Williams translation uses Holl's original Greek text found in Die griechischen christlichen Schriftstellar der ersten drei Jahrhunderte, the source of which is the Codex Marcianus, a manuscript ("MS") from the 10th century. This passage in Epiphanius can also be found in the Dindorf edition (ii, p. 482), which likewise uses the Codex Marchianus. Previously published editions and translations lacking this critical passage were evidently based on a "severly censured and bowdlerized fourteenth century MS [manuscript]." (Mead, TGH, 160.)
Hence, in the Epiphanius passage we posses a case of deliberate and egregious censorship of an ancient author's work apparently for the specific purpose of preventing information damaging to the Christian tradition from being known. We contend that there have occured many such instances of censorship concerning numerous correspondences between Christianity and pre-Christian religion, which is why, if some of these important "mysteries" were nonetheless well known in ancient times, they are not today. This particular example of textual tampering removed not only the reference to the Pagan winter-solstice celebrations in Egypt and Greece but also Epiphanius's discussion of the Pagan virgin birth associated with it. Thus, in one fell swoop references to two highly important parallels between Christianity and Egyptian religion were obliterated from the historical record. We can see from erroneous commentaries in popular publications and forums, as well as mainstream education, that the effect of such censorship has been thorough.
Fortunately, the earlier manuscript of Epiphanius survived, and we also possess the testimony of Plutarch, as well as that of the writer Macrobius in the fourth century, to verify the facts concerning the Egyptian winter-solstice festival. In hisSaturnalia (1.18:10), Macrobius likewise reported on the annual Egyptian "Christmas" celebration:
"...at the winter solstice the sun would seem to be a little child, like that which the Egyptians bring forth from a shrine on an appointed day, since the day is then at its shortest and the god is accordingly shown as a tiny infant." (Macrobius / Davies, 129)
...The increase of the light on December 25th makes sense, as that day represents the end of the solstice, which begins on the 21st/22nd. Concerning the "birthday of the Sun on 25th of December," Weinstock continues:
"In the preceeding night the Egyptians carried from a sanctuary the image of a new-born child, the Sun, and shouted that "The Virgin has born," and that the light is increasing...(Weinstock, 42.)
...as we can see, the ancient winter-solstice festival is well attested, including by yet another fairly early Christian source (Cosmas of Jerusalem or Gregory Nazianzen), complete with the virgin bringing fourth, independent of Christianity and representing the birth of the sun. Needless to say, this astrotheological point cannot be overemphasized.
As to the antiquity of the Egyptian winter-solstice, virgin - or solar birth drama depicted by Plutarch, Epiphanius and Macrobius, Professor Orlando P. Schmidt makes some interesting contentions regarding the King Amenemhet or Amenemhat I (c. 1991 / 1985-c. 1962 / 1956 BCE.), ...founder of the 12th Dynasty:
"Now, as the sun of the Sothic year reached the winter solstice in the seventeenth year of the reign of the King Amenemes I, he assumed the title of Nem-mestu, meaning "Re-born," in commemoration of his birth as Harpocrates." (Schmidt, 19.)
...Intriguingly, according to Budge the Egyptian word for winter solstice is nen, which would make a Horus name of "Nen-mestu" equivalent to "born of the winter solstice." The Egyptian word for "birth" is also transliterated as mesut and mswt (Budge, AERBB, 434. / Allen, J., ME, 103.), while Amenemhet's full Horus name was "Horus, the born again." (Renouf, Life-Work, 195).
...Indeed, if Harpocrates symbolizes the sun born again every morning - as we have seen abundantly - would he not also be the sun born in the morning of the winter solstice? To suggest otherwise would seem to be preposterous - yet another point that needs to be emphasized. It is obvious that Horus, as the morning sun born everyday, was also born on "December 25th" or the winter solstice.
The most important daily birth of "the morning sun" (Horus) is of course the end of the winter solstice when days first begin to increase once again (whenever the solstice happens to end during each world age)! And that's why these celebrations are what they are. Horus and the later hellenized versions of Isis and Horus (Kore and Aion / Virgin Mother and Son) were obviously used when Christianity eventually came onto the scene as a new religion making use of the ancient "mysteries", Shifting the esoteric to exoteric. Murdock goes into the Hieroglyphic Evidence in the next section of the book...