So common was the belief in resurrection that the dying-and-rising motif in Egypt serves as the basis for their religious beliefs, much as it does within Christianity. Indeed, with study it becomes evident that Christianity is a poorer rehash of the Egyptian religion, which I demonstrate quite abundantly in my book Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
The concept of resurrection, renewal and rebirth can be found throughout the ancient Egyptian texts, based on the myth of Osiris himself being resurrected by Horus. As such, the priest in the texts often plays the role of Horus raising the deceased, who is "the Osiris," "Osiris N" (where "N" is the name of the deceased) or just plain "Osiris."
Regarding the Pyramid Texts, Dr. Carol Andrews, Curator of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum, remarks:
Some of the Pyramid Text utterances are hymns and addresses to various gods or magical recitations to assure the royal resurrection and protection from malign influences.
(Faulkner/Andrews, The Egyptian Book of the Dead, p. 11.)
As Dr. James Allen states in The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts
, "The Pyramid Texts contain three major groups of such spells: the Offering and Insignia Rituals, the Resurrection Ritual, and the Morning Ritual." (Allen, 5.)
Allen also says, "The Resurrection Ritual served to release the ba [soul] from its attachment to the mummified body, and the personal spells gave it the means to overcome the hazards of the nightly journey to rebirth and to join the gods in the new life." (Allen, 8.)
The expectation of the ancient Egyptians was very similar to that of Christians, who believe that they will receive a spiritual or "glorified" body
in order to live eternally: "Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven." (1 Cor 15:49)
As part of "The Resurrection Ritual
," the priest/Horus says to the deceased/Osiris, "Ho, Unis! You have not gone away dead: you have gone away alive." (Allen, 31.) The subtitle of this spell is "Invocation to a New Life
." This resurrection to a new life appears in a PRIMARY SOURCE text some 4,000 years old.
Here "Unis" is the name of the deceased king/pharaoh of this particular Pyramid Text. The ritual continues at length and is designed to revere the king/pharaoh/Osiris as an "imperishable star."
There is much more about the RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD in the Pyramid Texts, as can be seen from page 217 of Allen's book
Here the priest/Horus exhorts the deceased/Osiris to "Stand up!" which is the terminology for rising from the dead.
Regarding the Book of the Dead, Egyptologist Dr. Ogden Goelet states:
The Book of the Dead promised resurrection to all mankind, as a reward for righteous living, long before Judaism and Christianity embraced that concept.
Faulkner, The Egyptian Book of the Dead
, p. 18.
Goelet also says:
The Egyptian afterlife, like many Egyptian conceptions, was characterized by a contrasting duality: a chthonic netherworld presided over by Osiris, Lord of Resurrection, and a solar/astral experience, in which the sun god Re was supreme.
Concerning the first chapter/spell of the Book of the Dead, Sir Peter le Page Renouf, a Keeper of the Egyptology Department at the British Museum, says in reference to "Words which bring about Resurrection and Glory," as rendered in the rubric of the chapter, "The 'raising up" or 'resurrection' here spoken of is said not only of the soul but of the body of the deceased person.
" (Renouf, 3.)
Chapter/spell 177 in the BD is entitled, "Chapter for raising up a spirit and causing a soul to live in the God's Domain." (Faulkner, EBD
Chapter/spell 178 in the BD is entitled, "Chapter for raising the corpse..." (Faulkner, EBD
Regarding his translation of the Book of the Dead, Sir Dr. E.A. Wallis Budge relates that his work is an attempt "to illustrate from native Egyptian sources the religious views of the wonderful people who more than five thousand years ago proclaimed the resurrection of a spiritual body and the immortality of the soul." (Budge, EBD
In a section entitled, "Persistence of the legend of Osiris and the belief in the resurrection," Budge remarks that "we find that the doctrine of eternal life and of the resurrection of a glorified or transformed body, based upon the ancient story of Osiris
after a cruel death and horrible mutilation, inflicted by the powers of evil, was the same in all periods..." (Budge, EBD
Budge also says that "in texts of all periods, the life, sufferings, death and resurrection of Osiris are accepted as facts universally admitted." (Budge, EBD
Osiris's resurrection represents the hope for the same fate for the deceased, and he is thus called "Lord of Resurrection," "Lord of Resurrections" and "the god of the resurrection." (Budge, EBD
Concerning the example of Osiris's resurrection, Budge also says:
There is...no doubt that from first to last the Egyptians firmly believed that besides the soul there was some other element of the man that would rise again. The preservation of the corruptible body too was in some way connected with the life of the world to come, and its preservation was necessary to ensure eternal life; otherwise the prayers recited to this end would have been futile, and the time honoured custom of mummifying the dead would have had no meaning. The never ending existence of the soul is asserted in a passage...without reference to Osiris; but the frequent mention of the uniting of his bones, and of the gathering together of his members, and the doing away with all corruption from his body, seems to show that the pious Egyptian connected these things with the resurrection of his own body in some form, and he argued that what had been done for him who was proclaimed to be giver and source of life must be necessary for mortal man.
The physical body of man considered as a whole was called khat..., a word which seems to be connected with the idea of something which is liable to decay. The word is also applied to the mummified body in the tomb, as we know from the words, "My body (khat) is buried." Such a body was attributed to the god Osiris; and in the CLXIInd Chapter of the Book of the Dead "his great divine body rested in Annu." In this respect the god and the deceased were on an equality. As we have seen above, the body never leaves the tomb nor reappears on earth; yet its preservation was necessary....
The Egyptian religion was every bit as profound and spiritual as Christianity - in fact, far more so, as Christianity represents a watered-down form designed to appeal to the masses at large.
By the time of Christianity was created, some one half a BILLION Egyptians had been mummified, presumably many of them receiving the last rites using the many, ubiquitous spells and hymns from the Pyramid Texts, Book of the Dead and Coffin Texts designed to resurrect
the deceased into eternal life.We are thus talking about hundreds of millions of Osirises raised from the dead.
Again, the denial of this massive religious history of Egypt constitutes ignorance and cultural bigotry.
As concerns the hairsplitting apology that attempts to differentiate Osiris from Jesus because Osiris's resurrection took place in the underworld, and he did not return to Earth, the mythological fact is that Osiris most assuredly does
return to the land of the living, on a regular basis in precisely the same manner as Jesus allegedly "visits" people to this day, both in visions and, on occasion, it is claimed, in the flesh. Indeed, in Plutarch (De Iside
19) we learn that after his death Osiris instructs his son, Horus, on how to destroy his murderer, Seth:
Later, as they relate, Osiris came to Horus from the other world and exercised and trained him for the battle.
The original Greek is:
ἔπειτα τῷ Ὥρῳ τὸν Ὄσιριν ἐξ Ἅιδου παραγενόμενον διαπονεῖν ἐπὶ τὴν μάχην καὶ ἀσκεῖν
The Greek word here for "other world" is Ἅιδου or Hades
, the land of the dead from which a number of other heroes were said to have emerged back into "real life." We can name Orpheus and Persephone, among others, who emerged or rose from the underworld/Hades. In Christian tradition too, Jesus is said to descend into HADES
before reemerging into the "real world" to train his disciples for spiritual battle. (See the Apocryphon of John
and Gospel of Nicodemus
) Like these figures, Jesus brings others out of the underworld as well.
Since this story constitutes myth, not "history," it is irrelevant whether or not Osiris "really" came from the other world and whether or not it was "only" in a vision or in the flesh. The bottom line is that Osiris, once dead, is alive again, that he contacts humanity from the "Great Beyond" or heaven and that he emerges from Hades, precisely as in Christian tradition concerning Jesus. The "Jesus Christ" character of the New Testament is significantly Osiris Judaized. This sort of priestcraft has happened continually since time immemorial and is not difficult to fathom when examining the ancient myths of other cultures.