The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ

In the personal quest for Truth, I think it’s very important to be aware of research conducted by Acharya S/D.M. Murdock.
Understanding the conceptual “assembly” of the past is an urgent need to re-interpret correctly what has shaped the Western civilization on a so confused way .
Providing the tools for a more right knowledge allows you to find the path of inspiration related to the accuracy of the original principles that govern the universe.
This is my main intention in inserting the following text. I hope that this information will be useful!

The Origins of Christianity
and the Quest for
the Historical Jesus Christ

Excerpted from

By Acharya S/D.M. Murdock

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both online and offline!

Table of Contents

The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ 3
Introduction 3
The Controversy 3
History and Positions of the Debate 3
“Pious Fraud” 4
The Proof 4
The Gnostics 5
Biblical Sources 5
Non-Biblical Sources 6
The Characters 7
The Major Players 9
Buddha 9
Horus of Egypt 12
Mithra, Sun God of Persia 13
Krishna of India 14
Prometheus of Greece 19
The Creation of a Myth 19
The “Son” of God is the “Sun” of God 20
Etymology Tells the Story 21
The Book of Revelation is Egyptian and Zoroastrian 22
The “Patriarchs” and “Saints” are the Gods of Other Cultures 22
The “Disciples” are the Signs of the Zodiac 23
Was Jesus an Essene Master? 24
Qumran is Not an Essene Community 24
Was the New Testament Composed by Therapeuts? 25
Conclusion 25
Bibliography 26

The Origins of Christianity and
the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ

Excerpted from

The Christ Myth Anthology
by Acharya S/D.M. Murdock


Around the world over the centuries, much has been written about religion, its meaning, its
relevance and contribution to humanity. In the West particularly, sizable tomes have been
composed speculating upon the nature and historical background of one of the main
characters of Western religions, Jesus Christ. Many have tried to dig into the precious few
clues as to Jesus’s identity and come up with a biographical sketch that either bolsters faith or
reveals a more human side of this godman to which we can all relate. Obviously, considering
the time and energy spent on them, the subjects of Christianity and its legendary founder are
very important to the Western mind and culture, and increasingly to the rest of the world as

The Controversy

Despite all of this literature continuously being cranked out and the significance of the issue,
in the public at large there remains a serious lack of formal and broad education regarding
religion and mythology, and most individuals are highly uninformed in this area. Concerning
the issue of Christianity, for example, the majority of people are taught in most schools and
churches that Jesus Christ was an actual historical figure and that the only controversy
regarding him is that some people accept him as the Son of God and the Messiah, while others
do not. However, whereas this is the raging debate most evident in this field today, it is not the
most important. Shocking as it may seem to the general populace, the most enduring and
profound controversy in this subject is whether or not a person named Jesus Christ ever
really existed.

Although this debate may not be evident from publications readily found in popular
bookstores, when one examines this issue closely, one will find a tremendous volume of
literature that demonstrates, logically and intelligently, time and again that Jesus Christ is a
mythological character along the same lines as the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Sumerian,
Phoenician, Indian or other godmen, who are all presently accepted as myths rather than
historical figures. Delving deeply into this large body of work, one uncovers evidence that the
Jesus character is based upon much older myths and heroes from around the globe. One
discovers that this story is not, therefore, a historical representation of a Jewish rebel
carpenter who had physical incarnation in the Levant 2,000 years ago. In other words, it has
been demonstrated continually for centuries that this character, Jesus Christ, was invented
and did not depict a real person who was either the “son of God” or was “evemeristically” made
into a superhuman by enthusiastic followers.

History and Positions of the Debate

This controversy has existed from the very beginning, and the writings of the Church fathers
themselves reveal that they were constantly forced by the Pagan intelligentsia to defend what
the non-Christians and other Christians (“heretics”) alike saw as a preposterous and fabricated
yarn with absolutely no evidence of it ever having taken place in history.

As Rev. Dr. Robert Taylor says, “And from the apostolic age downwards, in a never interrupted
succession, but never so strongly and emphatically as in the most primitive times, was the
existence of Christ as a man most strenuously denied.”1 According to these learned dissenters,
the New Testament could rightly be called, “Gospel Fictions.”2

1 Taylor, 253.

2 With acknowledgement to Randel Helms, author of Gospel Fictions.

3 CE, I, 606.

4 Wheless, xxxvi.

5 Gibbon, 766. Gibbon includes the original Greek and cites the edition as “Page 356, edit. Graec. Rob.
Stephani, Paris, 1544.” The Southern Review (IV, 4) comments, “The passage in Eusebius is in p. 356,
Edit. Graec. Rob. Steph. Paris, 1544, and lib. xii. ch. 31, p. 607 of vol. i. edit. Franc. Vigeri. Paris, 1628.”
Naturally, this quote has been disputed and picked apart to absolve Eusebius of deceit.

6 Wheless, 105.

7 Keeler, 48.

“Pious Fraud”

Those individuals (or their spiritual heirs) who concocted some of the hundreds of “alternative”
gospels and epistles being kicked about during the first several centuries AD/CE even confirmed
that they (or their compadres) had forged the documents. Forgery during the first centuries of
the Church’s existence was admittedly rampant, so common in fact that a new phrase was
coined to describe it: “pious fraud.”3 Such prevarication is admitted repeatedly in the Catholic
Encyclopedia, as shown by Joseph Wheless’s extensive analysis in Forgery in Christianity.4

Some of the “great” Church fathers, such as historian Eusebius (c. 263-339), were determined
by their own peers to be unbelievable liars who regularly wrote their own fictions of what “the
Lord” said and did during his alleged sojourn upon the earth. According to renowned historian
Edward Gibbon, in one of his works, Evangelical Preparation (bk. 12), Eusebius provides a
handy chapter entitled, “How it may be lawful and fitting to use falsehood as a medicine, and
for the benefit of those who want to be deceived.”5 Wheless calls Church fathers Justin Martyr
(c. 100-c. 165), Eusebius and Tertullian (c. 160–c. 220) “three luminous liars,”6 while Bronson
Keeler concludes, “The early Christian fathers were extremely ignorant and superstitious; and
they were singularly incompetent to deal with the supernatural.”7

In addition, of the dozens of gospels, those once considered canonical or genuine were later
rejected as “apocryphal” or spurious, and vice versa. So much for the “inerrant Word of God”
and “infallible” Church! The confusion exists because the Christian plagiarists over the
centuries were attempting to amalgamate and fuse practically every myth, fairytale, legend,
doctrine or bit of wisdom they could “borrow” from the innumerable different mystery religions
and philosophies that existed at the time. In doing so, they forged, interpolated, mutilated,
changed, and rewrote these texts for centuries.

The Proof

The assertion that Jesus is a myth can be demonstrated not only through the works of
dissenters and “Pagans” who knew the truth—and who were viciously refuted or murdered for
their battle against the Christian priests and Church fathers fooling the masses with their
fictions—but also through the statements of various Christians themselves who disclosed that
they knew Jesus Christ was a myth founded upon more ancient deities located throughout the
known ancient world. Illustrating this contention, in his play from 1564, Bishop of Ossory
John Bale (1495-1563) appears to be suggesting that Pope Leo X (1475-1521) was privy to the
truth based on his high rank, when the bishop recounts an alleged exchange between Cardinal

Bembo (1470-1547) and Pope Leo X, with the latter supposedly exclaiming, “What profit has
not that fable of Christ brought us!”8

8 Encyclopedia Britannica, XXIII, 87. (Emph. added.) See also Walker, 471; Taylor, 35. Bale’s original
Latin is as follows: “Quantum nobis nostrisque ea de Christo fabula profuerit, satis est omnibus saeculis
notum.” (Roscoe, III, 339.)

9 Wheless, xxi.

10 St. Chrysostom’s Picture of the Religion of His Age, 107.

11 St. Chrysostom’s Picture, 108, citing Chrysostom’s “In Matt. Homil. viii. § 1.”

12 See Earl Doherty’s Jesus Puzzle and Jesus: Neither God Nor Man for an extensive analysis of the value
of the Pauline material.

13 Kennedy, J.H., 340-341.

14 Wheless, 231.

Even if the Pope himself did not express such a sentiment, Bale—a high-ranking Church
official—certainly is acknowledging someone’s viewpoint, which means that at that time there
were doubters in the gospel story as a fable. Since I have been online, beginning in 1995, many
individuals have written to me about having been ministers, seminarians, Catholic clergymen,
Jesuits, Presbyterians, et al., relating that, in the higher levels of the Church educational
institutions, “they know it is all myth.” As Wheless says, “The proofs of my indictment are
marvelously easy.”9

The Gnostics

From their own admissions, early Christians were incessantly under criticism by scholars of
great repute who were impugned as “heathens” by their Christian adversaries. This group
included many Gnostics, who strenuously objected to the carnalization of their deity, as the
Christians can be shown to have taken many of the characteristics of their god and godman
from the Gnostics, meaning “Ones who know,” a loose designation applied to members of a
variety of esoteric schools and brotherhoods. The refutations of the Christians against the
Gnostics reveal that the Christian godman was an insult to the Gnostics, who held that their
god could never take human form.

For example, a commentator on the works of Church father St. Chrysostom (c. 347-407)
remarks, “The Docetae, as their name denoted, considered that our blessed Lord did not
actually exist on earth, or suffer upon the cross, but that all was a phantasy.”10 In discussing
the various “heretics” of the second century and onward, the author first addresses the
Valentinians, who “were of opinion that our Lord had passed through the Blessed Virgin as
water through a conduit…”11 He then says, “Others asserted that the incarnation of Christ was
a myth.”

Biblical Sources

It is very telling that the earliest Christian documents, the epistles attributed to “Paul,” never
discuss a historical background of Jesus but deal exclusively with a spiritual being who was
known to “Gnostic” sects for years. The few “historical” references to an actual life of Jesus
cited in the epistles are evidently interpolations and forgeries,12 as are, according to various
scholars, the bulk of the epistles themselves, as they were not written by “Paul.”13 As Wheless
summarizes, “They are thus all uninspired anonymous church forgeries for Christ’s sweet

Aside from the brief reference to Pontius Pilate at 1 Timothy 6:13, an epistle widely rejected as
not having been written by Paul, the Pauline literature “does not refer to Pilate, or the Romans,
or Caiaphas, or the Sanhedrin, or Herod, or Judas, or the holy women, or any person in the
gospel account of the Passion, and that it also never makes any allusion to them; lastly, that it

mentions absolutely none of the events of the Passion, either directly or by way of allusion.”15
Other early “Christian” writings such as Revelation likewise do not mention any historical
details or drama. Paul also never quotes from Jesus’s purported sermons and speeches,
parables and prayers, nor does he mention Jesus’s supernatural birth or any of his alleged
wonders and miracles, all of which one would presume would be very important to his
followers, had such exploits and sayings been known prior to the apostles purported time.

15 Dujardin, 33.

16 See my book Who Was Jesus?, 82, etc.

17 Wheless (207): “Both genealogies are false and forged lists of mostly fictitious names.”

18 Wheless, 229. See Who Was Jesus?, 81.

19 See Who Was Jesus?, 139ff.

20 Walker, 465.

21 For a list of these historians, scholars and other writers, see Who Was Jesus?, 85.

22 Lardner, VI, 496.

23 See, e.g., Olson, “Eusebius and the Testimonium Flavanium,” CBQ 61, 1999, 305-322.

24 Whealey in Böttrich, 74. Whealey provides an extensive analysis of whether or not Eusebius forged the

Turning to the canonical gospels themselves, which in their present form do not appear in the
historical record until sometime between 170-180 AD/CE,16 their pretended authors, the
apostles, give sparse histories and genealogies of Jesus that contradict each other and
themselves in numerous places. The birth date of Jesus is depicted as having taken place at
different times. His birth and childhood are not mentioned in “Mark,” and although he is
claimed in “Matthew” and “Luke” to have been “born of a virgin,” his lineage is traced to the
House of David through Joseph, so that he may “fulfill prophecy.”17 Christ is said in the first
three (Synoptic) gospels to have taught for one year before he died, while in “John” the number
is around three years. “Matthew” relates that Jesus delivered “The Sermon on the Mount”18
before “the multitudes,” while “Luke” says it was a private talk given only to the disciples. The
accounts of his Passion and Resurrection differ utterly from each other, and no one states how
old he was when he died. In addition, in the canonical gospels, Jesus himself makes many
illogical contradictions concerning some of his most important teachings.19

Non-Biblical Sources

Basically, there are no known non-biblical references to a historical Jesus by any historian or
other writer of the time during and shortly after Jesus’s purported advent. As Barbara G.
Walker says, “No literate person of his own time mentioned him in any known writing.”20
Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo Judaeus of Alexandria (20 BCE-50 AD/CE)—alive at the
purported time of Jesus, and one of the wealthiest and best connected citizens of the Empire—
makes no mention of Christ, Christians or Christianity in his voluminous writings. Nor do any
of the dozens of other historians and writers who flourished during the first one to two
centuries of the common era.21

In the entire works of the Jewish historian Josephus (37-c. 100 AD/CE), which constitute
hundreds of pages, there are only two paragraphs that purport to refer to Jesus. Although
much has been made of these “references,” they have been dismissed by many scholars and
even by Christian apologists as forgeries, as have been those referring to John the Baptist and
James, “brother” of Jesus. Bishop Warburton (1698-1779) labeled the Josephus interpolation
regarding Jesus as “a rank forgery, and a very stupid one, too.”
Suns of God and Who Was Jesus?
22 The arguments against this
passage called the Testimonium Flavianum (“TF”) are detailed and can be found in my other
books, especially

Several writers conclude that it was Eusebius himself who forged the passage.23 As Dr. Alice
Whealey remarks, “No other ancient writer knew Josephus’ works anywhere near well enough
to have crafted something so similar to Josephus’ style.”24

Regarding the letter to Trajan supposedly written by Pliny the Younger (23-79 AD/CE), which is
another of the pitifully few “references” to Jesus or Christianity held up by Christians as
evidence of the existence of Jesus, there is but one word that is applicable—”Christian”—and
that has been theorized to be spurious, as is also suspected of the entire letter. Concerning the
passage in the works of the historian Tacitus (c. 56-c. 117 AD/CE), who did not live during the
purported time of Jesus but was born two decades after his purported death, this brief mention
is also considered by many competent scholars as an interpolation and forgery. Christian
defenders also like to hold up the passage in Suetonius (c. 71-c. 135 AD/CE) concerning
someone named “Chrestus” or “Chresto” as reference to their Savior; however, while some have
speculated that there was a Roman man of that name at that time, the name “Chrestus” or
“Chrestos,” meaning “useful,” was frequently held by freed slaves. Others opine that this
passage is also an interpolation.25

25 For more information about these and other purported references, such as Thallus and Phlegon, see
also Suns of God and Who Was Jesus?

26 Barnes, 391.

27 Dujardin, 2.

28 In the gospels, Jesus is depicted among “great crowds” and “multitudes” in some two dozen scriptures.
(See Murdock, WWJ, 85fn.)

29 See my books for further details.

30 For more information on the role of Alexandria in the Christian effort, see my books The Christ
Conspiracy, Suns of Gods, Who Was Jesus? and Christ in Egypt.

Discussing all of the non-Christian evidence, historian Dr. H.E. Barnes, a professor at
Columbia University, remarks that “next to nothing exists” and concludes:

In all, this evidence mounts up to some twenty-four lines, not a single one of
which is of admitted authenticity.26

Of these “references,” Edouard Dujardin says, “But even if they are authentic, and were derived
from earlier sources, they would not carry us back earlier than the period in which the gospel
legend took form, and so could attest only the legend of Jesus, and not his historicity.”27 In any
case, these scarce and brief “references” to a man who supposedly shook up the world28 can
hardly be held up as proof of his existence, and it is absurd that the purported historicity of
the entire Christian religion is founded upon them. As it is said, “Extraordinary claims require
extraordinary proof”; yet, no proof of any kind for the historicity of Jesus has ever existed or is

The Characters

From all the evidence, it appears that there was no single historical person upon whom the
Christian religion was founded, and that “Jesus Christ” is a compilation of legends, heroes,
gods and godmen. There is not adequate room here to go into detail about each god or godman
that possibly contributed to the formation of the Jewish Jesus character; suffice it to say that
there is plenty of documentation to show that this issue is not a question of “faith” or “belief.”29

The truth is that during the era this character supposedly lived there was an extensive library
at Alexandria and an incredibly nimble brotherhood network that stretched from Europe to
China, and this information network had access to numerous manuscripts and oral traditions
that told a similar narrative with many like motifs as portrayed in the New Testament but with
different place names and ethnicity for the characters.30

As concerns the specious claim that the analogies between the Christ myth and those outlined
below are “non-existent” because they are not found in “primary sources,” let us turn to the
words of the early Church fathers, who acknowledged that major important aspects of the
Christ character are indeed found in the stories of earlier, Pagan gods, but who asserted that

the reason for these similarities was because the evidently prescient devil “anticipated” Christ
and planted “foreshadowing” of his “coming” in the heathens’ minds.

In his First Apology (21), Christian father Justin Martyr acknowledged the similarities between
the older Pagan gods/religions and Christianity, when he attempted to demonstrate, in the face
of ridicule, that Christianity was no more ridiculous than the earlier myths:

ANALOGIES TO THE HISTORY OF CHRIST. And when we say also that the Word,
who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He,
Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended
into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those
whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. For you know how many sons your esteemed
writers ascribed to Jupiter: Mercury, the interpreting word and teacher of all;
Aesculapius, who, though he was a great physician, was struck by a thunderbolt, and
so ascended to heaven; and Bacchus too, after he had been torn limb from limb; and
Hercules, when he had committed himself to the flames to escape his toils; and the
sons of Leda, and Dioscuri; and Perseus, son of Danae; and Bellerophon, who, though
sprung from mortals, rose to heaven on the horse Pegasus. For what shall I say of
Ariadne, and those who, like her, have been declared to be set among the stars? And
what of the emperors who die among yourselves, whom you deem worthy of deification,
and in whose behalf you produce some one who swears he has seen the burning Caesar
rise to heaven from the funeral pyre?31

31 Roberts, A., ANF, I, 170. (Emph. added.)

32 Taylor, 244. Taylor includes in the footnote the original Greek of Justin, referencing it as “Justini
Apolog. 2.”

33 Apparently, this god is a manifestation of the Hindu deity Balarama. (See Perry, 17.)

In making these comparisons between Christianity and its predecessor Paganism, however,
Justin sinisterly spluttered:

…it having reached the devil’s ears that the prophets had foretold that Christ would
come for the purpose of tormenting the wicked in fire, he set the heathen poets to bring
forward a great many who should be called (and were called) sons of Jove. The Devil
laying his scheme in this, to get men to imagine that the true history of Christ was of
the same character as those prodigious fables and poetic stories.32

Aping these purported “prophecies,” the devil anticipated Christ and caused human poets,
priests and mythographers to create superhuman saviors and sons of God with practically the
same characteristics. Here is a clear admission that these mythical motifs long pre-dated
the Christian era and that the gods’ “lives” were very similar to that alleged of Jesus. This
contention is backed up by numerous artifacts from the ancient world, including books,
inscriptions, statuary, wall carvings and paintings, as well as oral traditions and so on.

The Jesus story evidently incorporated elements from the tales of other deities recorded in a
widespread area, such as many of the following world saviors and “sons of God,” most or all of
whom predate the Christian myth, and a number of whom were “crucified,” executed or
suffered otherwise, among other similarities to the gospel story.

• Adad of Assyria
• Adonis, Apollo and Zeus of Greece
• Agni of India
• Alcides/Hercules of Thebes
• Attis of Phrygia
• Baal of Phoenicia
• Bali of Afghanistan33
• Buddha/Beddhu of India, China and Japan

• Deva Tat (Buddha) of Siam34
• Hesus of the Druids
• Horus, Osiris, and Serapis of Egypt35
• Indra of Tibet/India
• Jao/Iao of Nepal
• Krishna of India
• The Mikado of the Shintos
• Mithra of Persia
• Odin of the Scandinavians
• Prometheus of Caucasus/Greece
• Quetzalcoatl of Mexico
• Salivahana of Burma36
• Tammuz of Syria37
• Thor of the Gauls
• Universal Monarch of the Sibyls
• Wittoba of the Bilingonese
• Xamolxis/Zamolxis of Thrace
• Zarathustra/Zoroaster of Persia

34 Acharya, SOG, 367-368; Garnier, 103.

35 For more information on these gods, see Christ in Egypt.

36 In his original work, Kersey Graves depicted this god as coming from “Bermuda.” After ridicule for
naming a Caribbean island, Graves responded that he was speaking of a “Bermuda,” which is a “small
province as appears in ancient Burmah.” (Perry, 76.) For more on Salivahana, see Suns of God.

37 Walker, 468.

38 See my book Suns of God for more on this subject.

39 Hopkins, 127-128; Thundy, 80.

40 Coomaraswamy, 73; Lillie, BB, 26. See Suns of God and below for a discussion of Buddha’s mother as a

41 Thundy, 81.

42 Thundy, 107.

43 Del Mar, 124; Kloppenborg, 76.

44 Hopkins, 128.

The Major Players


Although most people think of Buddha as one person who lived around 500 BCE, like Jesus the
character commonly portrayed as Buddha can also be demonstrated to be a compilation of
godmen, legends and sayings of various holy men both preceding and succeeding the period
attributed to the Buddha.38 The Buddha character has the following in common with the Christ

• Like Jesus, Buddha was a divine being, pre-existent in “heaven” before taking birth.39
• Buddha was born of the virgin Maya, who was considered the “Queen of Heaven.”40
• He was of royal descent and was a prince.41
• At his birth appeared a “marvelous and powerful light.”42
• After Buddha was born, a “slaughter of the infants was ordered by the tyrant
• When Buddha was a babe, a saint prophesied he would be great, as did Simeon
concerning Christ (Lk 2:25-35).44
• As a child he taught his teachers.45

45 Carpenter, J.E., “Obligations of the New Testament to Buddhism,” 973.

46 Hopkins, 128.

47 Thundy, 54.

48 Dameron, 53.

49 Carpenter, J.E., “ONTB,” 974.

50 See the “Temple of the Recumbent Buddha” for artifacts proving the motif of Buddha and the 12.
Concerning this motif, in private correspondence Dr. Lindtner related, “The Twelve in Buddhism are
found 1. in the ‘Wheel of Existence’ (pratîtyasamutpâdacakram, my ‘Master of Wisdom’ gives ref. to
sources), and 2. as 1200 apostles in the Lotus and many other Mahâyâna scriptures.”

51 Thundy, 54.

52 Dobbins, 212; Wallbank, 172.

53 Mead, GG, 133.

54 Carpenter, J.E., CRW, 48.

55 Carpenter, J.E., “ONTB,” 974.

56 Carpenter, J.E., FTG, 89.

57 Whitney, 8, 361; Asvaghosha/Beal, 222; Garbe, IC, 56.

58 Carpenter, J.E., “ONTB,” 975.

59 Carpenter, J.E., “ONTB,” 977-978.

60 Carpenter, J.E., “ONTB,” 974, 977; Lillie, BB, 184.

61 Carpenter, J.E., “ONTB,” 976.

62 Carpenter, J.E., “ONTB,” 976.

63 Carpenter, J.E., “ONTB,” 976.

64 Carpenter, J.E., “ONTB,” 977.

65 See also my book Suns of God, 357ff, as to a discussion of whether or not Buddha was “crucified.” See
also below concerning “Buddhist Crucifixion.”

66 Thundy, 102; Del Mar, 124.

67 Paine, 102.

68 Jaini, 331-332; Leighton, 88.

69 Lillie, BC, 162; Titcomb, 56; Vetterling, vi.

70 Hardy, 100. See also Suns of God, 298-299, 366ff.

71 Mead, GG, 134.

72 Carpenter, J.E., “ONTB,” 976.

73 Thundy, 80.

• Buddha was presented in the temple, where “the idols fell down before him.”46
• He began his quest for enlightenment at age 29.47
• He crushed a serpent’s head.48
• Buddha was tempted by Mara, the evil one, who offered him “universal dominion.”49
• Sakyamuni Buddha had 12 disciples50 and traveled about preaching.51
• He reformed and prohibited idolatry,52 was a “sower of the word,”53 and preached “the
establishment of a kingdom of righteousness.”54
• He performed miracles and wonders, healed the sick,55 fed 500 men from a “small
basket of cakes,”56 and helps a disciple walk on water.57
• He preached a “sermon on the mount”58 and taught chastity, temperance, tolerance,
compassion, love, and the equality of all.59
• He was transfigured on a mount.60
• Buddha was received in his native city with a triumphal welcome.61
• He was betrayed by a disciple, who led others to kill him.62
• Some of his persecutors became his disciples.63
• A tremendous earthquake occurred upon Buddha’s death.64
• Buddha died,65 suffered for three days in hell,66 and was resurrected.67
• He attained Nirvana or “heaven.”68
• Buddha was considered the “Good Shepherd,”69 the “Carpenter,”70 the “Infinite and
Everlasting”71 and the “Great Physician.”72
• He was the “Savior of the World”73 and the “Light of the World.”74

74 Yu, 428.

75 Hopkins, 129.

76 Hopkins, 130.

77 Hopkins, 137.

78 Hanna, 166.

79 Lindtner, 87ff. In private correspondence, Dr. Lindtner informed me that there were three sources for
the crucifixion story of Buddha: the Lotus sutra, the Mahaparinirvana sutra and the Samghabhedavastu,
of which the MPS is a part. He specifies that the episode is in the Mûlasarvâstivâdavinaya recension of the

Buddha’s Birth

According to ancient Buddhist legend, the sage’s mother was a “chaste wife, into whom
miraculously entered in the shape of a white elephant the future Buddha, who subsequently
came out of her right side.”75 Sanskrit scholar Dr. Edward W. Hopkins states that this
miraculous birth story undoubtedly dates to “as early as the third century B.C. and perhaps
earlier.”76 Indeed, the miraculous birth of Buddha, as well as his temptation, are carved on
monuments that date to 150 BCE or older.77

In the fourth century of the common era, Church father St. Jerome (Adversus Jovinianum 1.42)
discussed Buddha specifically as having been born through the side of a virgin:

Among the Gymnosophists of India, the belief has been handed down from generation
to generation as authentic that a virgin gave birth to Buddha, the founder of their
religion, out of her side.78

Jerome’s words—”handed down from generation to generation” and “opinionis auctoritas
traditur”—indicate not that the motif had been recently copied from Christianity by Indian
monks or priests but that it was a tradition of some age.

Buddhist Crucifixion

In the texts, we find the curious motif of a Buddhist figure having been “crucified.” In this
regard, concerning the Buddhist influence on the gospel story, scholar of Buddhism and
Sanskrit Dr. Christian Lindtner writes:

The Sanskrit manuscripts prove without a shadow of doubt:

Everything that Jesus says or does was already said or done by the Buddha.

Jesus, therefore, is a mere literary fiction.

• The Last Supper was the Last Supper of the Buddha.
• Baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit was baptism in
the name of the Buddha, the Dharma and the Samgha.
• All the miracles performed by Jesus had already been performed by the Buddha.
• The twelve disciples of Jesus were, in fact, the twelve disciples of the Buddha.
• It was king Gautama—not Jesus—who was crucified.79
• It was Tathâgata—not Jesus—who was resurrected….
• There is nothing in the Gospels, no person, no event, that cannot be traced back
to cognate persons, events or circumstances in the Buddhist gospels.
• …Jesus is a Buddha disguised as a new Jewish legislator, teacher, Messiah and
king of Israel.

The Gospels, forming the foundation of Christianity, are, therefore, typical Buddhist
literature, fiction, designed for missionaries whose language was Greek.

Concerning this purported “crucifixion” or impalement of an important Buddhist figure, related
in, among others, a Buddhist text dating to the first century BCE—the Samghabhedavastu/
Mahâparinirvâna sutra80—Dr. Zacharias P. Thundy states:

80 Concerning this episode, Thundy specifically states: “We have been able to identify two major Sanskrit
sources for the trial narratives. A. Sangabhedavastu of the Mahaparinirvanasutra: Professor Lindtner has
identified the Sangabhedavastu section of the Mahaparinirvanasutra of the Vinayapitakaof the
Mulasarvastivadins. I have studied this text carefully and have arrived at some significant conclusions.”
Again, Lindtner specifies that the episode is in the Mûlasarvâstivâdavinaya (“MSV”) recension of the MPS.

81 “The Sanskrit Sources of the Gospel Narratives of the Trial and Death,” See also Lindtner, 87-97. (In my previous version of this article, I
attributed this quote to Ken Humphreys, whereas Professor Thundy is apparently the source.) Although
there are many “Buddhas,” a number of whom appear to make up the composite character of “the
Buddha,” this figure is evidently not one of them. The point, however, is that evidently pre-Christian
Buddhist texts contain a crucifixion scene which parallels that found in the gospels.

82 See my book Christ in Egypt, 52ff.

83 Murdock, CIE, 79-209.

84 Murdock, CIE, 210ff.

85 Murdock, CIE, 233ff.

86 Murdock, CIE, 261ff.

87 Murdock, CIE, 298ff, et al.

88 Murdock, CIE, 293-297.

89 Massey, AELW, II, 911.

This is the story of Gautama, a holy man, who was wrongfully condemned to die on the
cross for murdering the courtesan Bhadra. Gautama is impaled on the cross, and his
mentor Krishna Dvapayana visits him and enters into a long dialogue, at the end of
which he dies at the place of skulls after engendering two offspring, the progenitors of
the Ikshavaku Dynasty.81

As is evident from the remarks of Dr. Burkhard Scherer, a “classical Philologist, Indologist and
Lecturer in Religious Studies (Buddhist and Hindu Studies)” at Canterbury Christ
Church University, the fact that there is “massive” Buddhist influence in the gospels has been
well known among the elite scholars for a long time. Says Dr. Scherer:

…it is very important to draw attention on the fact that there is (massive) Buddhist
influence in the Gospels….

Since more than hundred years Buddhist influence in the Gospels has been known and
acknowledged by scholars from both sides. Just recently, Duncan McDerret published
his excellent The Bible and the Buddhist (Sardini, Bornato [Italy] 2001). With McDerret,
I am convinced that there are many Buddhist narratives in the Gospels.

Horus of Egypt

The stories of Jesus and Horus/Osiris are very similar, with the Egyptian god even possibly
contributing the title of “Christ.” Horus and his once-and-future Father, Osiris, are frequently
interchangeable in the mythos, as in the scripture, “I and my Father are one.”82 The legends of
Horus go back thousands of years, and he (or Osiris) shares the following in common with

• Horus was born of the virgin Isis-Meri on December 25th in a cave/manger, with his
birth being announced by a star in the East and attended by dignitaries or “wise
• He was a child teacher in the Temple or “House of the Father” and was baptized when
he was 30 years old.84
• Horus was also baptized by “Anup the Baptizer,”85 who becomes “John the Baptist.”
• He had 12 companions, subjects or “disciples.”86
• He performed miracles and raised one man, El-Azar-us, from the dead.87
• The Egyptian god walked on water.88
• Horus was transfigured on the Mount.89

Acharya S/D.M. Murdock The Origins of Christianity
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• The Egyptian god was killed, buried in a tomb and resurrected.90
• He was also the “Way, the Truth, the Light, the Messiah, God’s Anointed Son, the Son of
Man, the Good Shepherd, the Lamb of God, the Word,” etc.
• He was “the Fisher,” and was associated with the Lamb, Lion and Fish (“Ichthys”).
• Horus’s personal epithet appears to have been “Iusa,” the “ever-becoming son” of “Ptah,”
the “Father.”
• Horus (or Osiris) was called “the KRST,” long before the Christians duplicated the
Numerous ancient artifacts depict the baby Horus being held by the virgin mother Isis—the
original “Madonna and Child.” These motifs can be found in ancient Egyptian texts as well as
other artifacts, as detailed in my book
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection.
Mithra, Sun God of Persia
The worship of Mithra precedes the common era by several centuries. In fact, the cult of Mithra
was, shortly before the true Christian era, “the most popular and widely spread ‘Pagan’ religion
of the times.”95 Indeed, numerous Mithraic monuments have been found stretching from Asia
Minor to Great Britain.96
Although Mithraism as it developed in the Roman Empire is different from its Perso-Indian
roots, its major motifs and traditions can be traced to a pre-Christian body of knowledge that is
largely astrotheological in nature, as demonstrated by Dr. David Ulansey in The Origins of the
Mithraic Mysteries.
Mithra has the following in common with the Christ character:
• Mithra was born on December 25th97 of the virgin Anahita.98
• The babe was wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed in a manger
99 and attended by
• He was considered a great traveling teacher and master.
• He had 12 companions or “disciples.”
• He performed miracles.
• He was buried in a tomb.
90 Murdock, CIE, 335-430.
91 Murdock, CIE, 309ff.
92 Massey: “Horus in Egypt had been a fish from time immemorial, and when the equinox entered the sign
of Pisces, Horus, was portrayed as Ichthys with the fish sign over his head.” (Massey, HJMC, 25.)
93 Murdock, CIE, 324ff, 424, et al.
94 Murdock, CIE, 313ff.
95 Wheless, 18. Christianity did not become influential to any significant extent until the second century.
96 See the extensive research of Dr. Franz Cumont, who catalogued numerous Mithraic monuments
throughout Europe, as well as Dr. M.J. Vermaseren’s Corpus Inscriptionum et Monumentorum Religionis
Mithriacae, vols. I and II.
97 Cumont, 191; CE, X, 404.
98 Amir-Moezzi, 78; Robertson, PC, 322.
99 Riddle, 37.
100 Turner, 325.
101 Turcan (78) calls Mithra “comme le maître et l’animateur du Kosmos”—”like the master/teacher and
animator of the Cosmos.” Bibliothèque de L’Ècole des Hautes Études (65) cites the Avesta as calling the
god the “master/teacher of nations.” In the texts, Mithra is also called “master/teacher of vast
campaigns.” (de Harlez, 468.)
102 See, e.g., Cumont, 117, 122; Ulansey, 17.
103 One such miracle would be that of Mithra shooting at a rock, producing water. (See, e.g., Hinnells,

104 Robertson, “Mithraism,” Religious Systems of the World, 209.

105 Cumont, 192-193; Hastings, 753; Nabarz, 16; Ragozin, 69.

106 Cumont, 3.

107 Jackson, S.M., VII, 422. Mithraic monuments often include an image of a lion. (See, e.g., Ulansey.)

108 Maitland, E., 63; Robertson, “Mithraism,” 202.

109 Jackson, S.M., VII, 419.

110 Justin Martyr, Apol. 1.66; Hinnells, 181.

111 Tertullian, On Prescription against Heretics (40); Roberts, ANF, III, 262.

112 Badiozamani, 96.

113 Amir-Moezzi, 78.

114 Hinnells, 507ff.

115 CE, “Brahmanism” (II, 734). (Emph. added.)

• He was considered “the Way, the Truth and the Light, the Redeemer, the Savior, the
• Mithra is omniscient, as he “hears all, sees all, knows all: none can deceive him.”106
• He was identified with both the Lion107 and the Lamb.108
• His sacred day was Sunday, “the Lord’s Day,” hundreds of years before the appearance
of Christ.109
• His religion had a eucharist or “Lord’s Supper.”110
• Mithra “sets his marks on the foreheads of his soldiers.”111

Mithra’s “Virgin” Birth?

As concerns the debate regarding the Perso-Roman god Mithra’s “virgin birth,” not a few
scholars and writers of Persian/Iranian extract have discussed the Persian goddess of love
Anahita as Mithra’s virgin mother. Presumably, these individuals know more about their
ancient traditions than do modern Christian apologists, who emphasize Mithra’s rock birth and
deny the virgin-mother motif. For example, Dr. Badi Badiozamani says that a “person” named
“Mehr” or Mithra was “born of a virgin named Nahid Anahita (“immaculate”) and that “the
worship of Mithra and Anahita, the virgin mother of Mithra, was well-known in the
Achaemenian period [558-330 BCE]…”112 Philosophy professor Mohammed Ali Amir-Moezzi
states: “Dans le mithraïsme, ainsi que le mazdéisme populaire, (A)Nahid, mère de
Mithra/Mehr, est vierge”113—”In Mithraism, as in popular Mazdaism, Anahid, the mother of
Mithra, is a virgin.”

Mithra and the Twelve

Mithra surrounded by the 12 “companions” is a motif found on many Mithraic remains and
representing the 12 signs of the zodiac, which are sometimes depicted as humans. The
comparison of this common motif with Jesus and the 12 has been made on many occasions,
including in an extensive study entitled, “Mithras and Christ: some iconographical similarities,”
by Professor A. Deman in Mithraic Studies.114

Many of these Mithraic parallels were remarked upon by the Church fathers, who were
flummoxed by them and who blamed them on the prescient devil.

Krishna of India

In discussing the comparisons between Krishna and Christ, it is claimed either that there are
no real parallels or that these “exact counterparts”—as the Catholic Encyclopedia calls
them115—rest squarely on the shoulders of the Brahman priesthood, who allegedly copied them
from Christianity. Indian and other scholars contend that the story is uninfluenced by
Christianity, many averring that any borrowing must have occurred by Christianity from
Hinduism. As part of this debate, a common earlier English transliteration of Krishna was
“Christna,” which reveals its possible relationship to ‘”Christ.”

Krishna shares the following characteristics and motifs in common with Christ:

• Krishna is an incarnation of the sun god Vishnu, who rises or awakens on the winter
• Krishna was born in a stable117 of the “virgin”118 Devaki (“Divine One”)119
• He was of royal descent and was a prince.120
• Krishna is the “King of the Yadus.”121
• Like the cave-born Christ of tradition, Krishna was born in a “cave-like dungeon.”122
• Upon birth, the baby Krishna, was placed in a “basket for winnowing corn; in other
words, a manger.”123
• Great signs and wonders occurred at Krishna’s birth,124 including the appearance of a
bright star.125
• His birth was attended by angels,126 wise men127 and shepherds,128 and he was
presented with gifts, including gold and incense.129
• His foster father was in the city to pay taxes when Krishna was born.130
• The hero-god was persecuted by a tyrant who ordered the slaughter of infants.131
• The infant Krishna was carried across a river.132
• As a young boy, he worked miracles and wonders, and was hailed as a divine
• He was worshipped by shepherds as a god.134
• Krishna was “tempted” in the wilderness by “various fiends,” before crushing the
serpent’s head.135
• He raised a child from the dead136 and healed lepers, the deaf and the blind.137
• Krishna preached faith “in God’s love to man and in his mercy and forgiveness of sins
arising therefrom.”138
• Krishna miraculously fed the multitudes.139
• “He lived poor and he loved the poor,”140 humbly washing the feet of guests.141

116 Tod, 448. The summer and winter solstices represent the sleep and rise of Vishnu.

117 Hopkins, ION, 163.

118 Abhedananda (50) calls Krishna’s mother, Devaki, a “holy virgin.”

119 Indian Studies (108) states that Krishna’s “mother’s name, Devaki…can also be interpreted as meaning
‘the divine one.'”

120 Sheridan, 11.

121 Barth, 174; Abhedananda, 64. The “Yadus” were the descendants of the hero Yadu, living in the area
near Mathura and Vrindavana, where the Krishna cult thrived. (Monier-Williams, 845.)

122 Knapp, 199.

123 Robertson, CM (1900), 150.

124 O’Flaherty, 212.

125 Bryant, KS, 119; Robertson, CM (1900), 175. The story of the star, which is called “Rohini”
(Aldebaran), is found in the Bhagavat Purana (10.3:1).

126 Sen (325.

127 Abhedananda, 59; O’Flaherty, 212.

128 Garbe, “CELK,” 41.

129 Abhedananda, 59.

130 Dahlquist, 13; Abhedananda, 55.

131 Doniger, 477.

132 Bryant, KS, 6; Robertson, CM (1900), 194.

133 Abhedananda, 62. See the Protevangelion and infancy gospels for Christ’s similar childhood.

134 Garbe, “CEM,” 346.

135 Robertson, CM (1900), 150; O’Flaherty, 226. In Christian tradition, Christ is said to be the one who
puts enmity between the woman (Eve) and the snake. (Gen 3:15)

136 Robertson, CM (1900), 151; Jackson, J.G., 131.

137 Wheeler, 414-415; Abhedananda, 63.

138 Garbe, “CEB,” 508.

139 Abhedananda, 69.

140 Jacolliot, 250.

141 Abhedananda, 69.

142 Robertson, CM (1900), 150.

143 Abhedananda, 63-64.

144 Abhedananda, 64.

145 Doane (247) uses this uncommon transliteration.

146 Chandra, 190.

147 Robertson, CM (1900), 150.

148 Abhedananda (80): “His feet were shot through with the arrow of an unknown barbarian hunter.” See
the discussion “Krishna Crucified?” below and in my book Suns of God. See also “Was Horus Crucified?”
for a discussion of the meaning and use of the term “crucify.”

149 Vyasa, 304; Gupta, 871.

150 Abhedananda, 67. See the similar story about Jesus as found in the apocryphal text the “Gospel of
Nicodemus” or “Acts of Pilate.”

151 Dahlquist, 77.

152 Blank, 252.

153 Abhedananda, 38.

154 Bryant, KLBG, 308.

155 Abhedananda, 60: “Krishna [is] the Lord of all.” He also calls him “the most beloved Lord and Savior of
all.” (Abhedananda, 38.)

156 Abhedananda, 77.

157 Walker, 515.

158 Abhedananda, 81.

159 Bryant, KS, 98.

160 Walker, 515.

161 Abhedananda, 56.

162 Bhagavad Gita, 10.20; Campbell, 315.

163 Knott, 40.

164 Turner, 258. At Revelation 19:11 it is said that Jesus will return in his Second Coming riding on a
white horse.

• Like Jesus, Krishna continually manifested his divinity and then denied it.142
• He was transfigured in front of his disciples.143
• Krishna was anointed with oil by a woman bearing a jar of ointment.144
• Krishna had a beloved disciple named Arjuna or “Ar-jouan.”145
• A fig or banyan tree figures prominently in Krishna’s myth,146 as the god is depicted
approaching a fig tree, where he “utters a sort of parable.”147
• Tradition holds that Krishna died after being shot in the foot while under a (fig) tree,
leading to claims he was pinned against the tree by an arrow or “crucified.”148
• After his death, he ascended to heaven,149 where he lives on.
• Krishna descended into hell to rescue others.150
• As Vishnu, he is the god “who incarnates himself when sin threatens to take the upper
hand in the world, and destroys it.”151
• Krishna is “a personal savior, a messianic deliverer who will bring all men and women
salvation if only they choose to give Him their devotion.”152
• Krishna is called the “Shepherd God,”153 “Lord of the god of gods”154 and “Lord of
lords,”155 and was considered the “Redeemer,”156 “Firstborn,”157 “Sin Bearer,”158
“Liberator,”159 and “Universal Word.”160
• As Vishnu, he is the second person of the Trinity,161 considered the “Beginning, the
Middle and the End,”162 (“Alpha and Omega”), as well as being omniscient, omnipresent
and omnipotent.
• His disciples shouted the words “Jai Shri Krishna,” meaning “Victory to Lord
• A future incarnation of Vishnu is the Kalki avatar, who will arrive riding a white horse
and destroy the wicked.164

As we can see, there are numerous detailed similarities between the stories of Krishna and

Krishna’s “Virgin” Birth?

Over the centuries, it has been debated whether or not Krishna’s mother, Devaki, who was said
to be a “chaste maiden,” could also be called a “virgin,” mainly because she traditionally had
given birth to seven children prior to Krishna. However, the evidence points to Devaki—and
Krishna—as a mythical character, and myths do not have human body parts and so on, so
many goddesses are said to be both mother and virgin, regardless of how many children they
produce. For example, according to the myth, Devaki is an incarnation of the dawn goddess
Aditi,165 who was the “eternal virgin” or “celestial virgin,”166 despite the fact that she too gave
birth to eight children.167

165 Parmeshwaranand, 1; Vallabhacarya, 3517, citing the Rig Veda, 1, 89.10.

166 Turner, 15.

167 Shashi, 178.

168 Hiltebeitel, 186.

169 Mathah, 311.

170 Garbe, “CELK,” 36.

171 Dahlquist, 16.

172 Hopkins, 166.

173 Robertson, CM (Kessinger), 139.

174 Clough, 144.

175 Clough, 144.

In addition, Krishna’s mother earlier had given birth as an unmarried and presumably virginal
teenager, after becoming pregnant from eating half a mango.168 Obviously, the virgin birth vis-
à-vis Krishna’s mother represents a real Indian tradition, even if it is not strictly applicable to
his specific nativity. In other words, at one point before Krishna was born, Devaki was a virgin
mother, and the assumption that she remains so throughout the myth is thus understandable.

The Names of Krishna and Christ

Part of the controversy concerning commonalities has revolved around the Indian and
Christian godmen’s respective names. In older English literature, for example, we often
encounter the transliteration of Krishna/Krsna as “Christna,” indicating a possible
relationship. In this regard, Sri Ramakrishna Mathah relates that the names “Krishna” and
“Christ” became “a focal point in such debates: ‘But despite decades of two-way arguments, it
was eventually determined that the name Christ was taken from the Greek Christos, which is
derived from the Sanskrit Krishta, or Krishna.'”169 Indeed, as Dr. Richard Garbe says, “In some
localities of India the word Krishna is pronounced Krishta.”170 Adding to these facts, we learn
that “Krishta” was “also the way the name ‘Christ’ was pronounced” in certain dialects.171

Christian missionaries in India were so struck with the similarities between the names of the
two gods that they explained “Krishna” as the “nomen ipsum corruptum Christi,”172 or a
“corruption of the very name of Christ.”173

Krishna’s Solar Nature

Under “Krishna” in the Sinhalese English Dictionary, Rev. Clough states that “in Hindu
mythology Krishna is considered the most celebrated form of Vishnu or rather Vishnu himself;
in that form he is however distinct from the ten avatars or incarnations of Vishnu, being
always identified with the deity himself…”174 Clough additionally relates that “Krishna” is also
“one of the names of Arjuna the charioteer of the sun.”175 Indeed, Vishnu is a solar deity or
epithet/aspect of the sun, while, as his incarnation—”being always identified with the deity
himself”—Krishna likewise is solar in nature. The fact that Krishna is not only an incarnation

of the sun god but also a deity himself who possessed many solar attributes should be kept in
mind when investigating the Krishna-Christ parallels.

The Greek god Prometheus has been claimed to have come from Egypt, but his drama took
place in the Caucasus Mountains. Prometheus shares a number of striking similarities with
the Christ character including the following:

• Prometheus made the first man and woman out of clay.176
• He descended from heaven as God incarnate as man, to save mankind.177
• He had an “especially professed” friend, “Petraeus” (Peter), the fisherman, who deserted
• Prometheus was crucified,179 suffered and was unbound180 or “resurrected.”181
• He was called the Logos or Word.182

176 Pausanias/Frazer, 220.

177 Hamilton, E., 25.

178 Taylor, 193.

179 Hengel, 11.

180 Brown, 79.

181 Saladin, 369.

182 Awad, 267; Taylor, 192.

183 Taylor, 192-4.

184 Hengel, 11.

185 Brown, 79.

186 CE, XIV, 521. This remark represents a paraphrase by the Catholic Encyclopedia (“Tertullian”)
concerning Tertullian’s comments in his Apology (16). (Roberts, ANF, III, 31.)

Five centuries before the Christian era, famous Greek playwright Aeschylus wrote Prometheus
Bound, which was presented in the theater in Athens. Taylor states that in the play
Prometheus is crucified “on a fatal tree” and the sky goes dark.183

In relating the depiction of Prometheus’s death by ancient Roman writer Lucian (c. 125-180
AD/CE), Dr. Martin Hengel remarks:

When describing how his hero is fastened to two rocks in the Caucasus, Lucian uses all
the technical terms of a crucifixion: Prometheus is to be nailed to two rocks above a
ravine in the sight of all, in such a way as to produce the effect of “a most serviceable

Long before Lucian, Aeschylus had depicted Prometheus’s torment using “what was then the
technical term for ‘crucify.'”185

The Creation of a Myth

For centuries after obtaining power during the reign of Constantine, Christians went on a
censorship rampage that led to the virtual illiteracy of the ancient Western world and ensured
that their secret would be hidden from the masses. The scholars of other schools/sects
evidently did not easily give up their arguments against the historicizing of a very ancient
mythological creature. We have lost the exact arguments of these learned dissenters because
Christians destroyed any traces of their works. Nonetheless, the Christians preserved the
contentions of their detractors through their own refutations.

For example, early Church Father Tertullian (c. 160-220 AD/CE), an “ex-Pagan” and a presbyter
at Carthage, ironically admitted the true origins of the Christ story and other such myths by
stating in refutation of his critics, “You say we worship the sun; so do you.”186 Interestingly, a

Acharya S/D.M. Murdock The Origins of Christianity
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previously strident believer and defender of the faith, Tertullian later renounced orthodox
Christianity after becoming a Montanist.187
The “Son” of God is the “Sun” of God
The reason these various narratives are so similar, with a godman who is killed or “crucified”
and resurrected, who does miracles and has 12 companions or “disciples,” is because these
stories were based on the movements of the sun through the heavens, an astrotheological
development that can be found throughout the world because the sun and the 12 zodiac signs
can be observed around the globe. In other words, Jesus Christ and others upon whom this
character is predicated are personifications of the sun, and the gospel fable is in large part
merely a rehash of a mythological formula revolving around the movements of the sun through
the heavens.
For instance, a number of the world’s sacrificed, suffering or crucified godmen or sun gods
have their traditional birthday on December 25th (“Christmas”). This motif represents the
ancient recognition that (from a geocentric perspective in the northern hemisphere) the sun
makes an annual descent southward until December 21st or 22nd, the winter solstice, when it
stops moving southerly for three days and then starts to move northward again. During this
time, the ancients declared that “God’s sun” had “died” for three days and was “born again” on
December 25th. The ancients realized quite abundantly that they needed the sun to return
every day and that they would be in big trouble if it continued to move southward and did not
stop and reverse its direction. Thus, these many different cultures celebrated the “sun of God’s”
birthday on December 25th. The following are the characteristics of the “sun of God”189
• The sun “dies” for three days on December 22nd, the winter solstice, when it stops in its
movement south, to be born again or resurrected on December 25th, when it resumes
its movement north.
• In some areas, the calendar originally began in the constellation of Virgo, and the sun
would therefore be “born of a Virgin.”190
• The sun is the “Light of the World.”
• The sun “cometh on clouds, and every eye shall see him.”
• The sun rising in the morning is the “Savior of mankind,” as well as the “healer” or
“savior” during the day.
• The sun wears a corona, “crown of thorns” or halo.191
• The sun “walks on water,” describing its reflection.
• The sun’s “followers,” “helpers” or “disciples” are the 12 months and the 12 signs of the
zodiac or constellations, through which the sun must pass annually.
• The sun at 12 noon is in the house or temple of the “Most High”; thus, “he” begins “his
Father’s work” at “age” 12.
• The sun enters into each sign of the zodiac at 30°; hence, the “Sun of God” begins his
ministry at “age” 30.192
• The sun is hung on a cross or “crucified,” which represents its passing through the
equinoxes, the vernal equinox being Easter, at which time it is then resurrected.
187 Ehrman, 150; Wheless, 144.
188 The claim is not being made here or elsewhere that the two words “son” and “sun” are related
etymologically. It happens to be a “happy coincidence” and a reality in mythology that the “son of God” is
the “sun of God.” See also the “son-sun” discussion in my ebook, “Jesus as the Sun throughout History.”
189 For a more complete list of solar characteristics and aspects, see my book The Christ Conspiracy, 154-
190 Other reasons include the moon, Spica, etc.
191 Many of the sun gods are depicted with haloes or rays around their heads, hundreds of years before it
became fashionable in Christianity.
192 Evans, 113-114.

Contrary to popular belief, not all ancients were an ignorant and superstitious lot who actually
believed their deities to be literal characters. Indeed, this propaganda has been part of the
conspiracy to make the ancients appear as if they were truly the dark and dumb rabble that
was in need of the “light of Jesus.”

Etymology Tells the Story

The Greek god Zeus, aka “Zeus Patêr,” whom we now automatically believe to be a myth and
not a historical figure, takes his name from the Indian version, “Dyaus Pitar,” the latter term
related to the Greek word “patêr,” or “father.”193 “Zeus” equals “Dyaus,” which became “Deos,”
“Deus” and “Dios”—”God.” “Zeus Patêr,” like Dyaus Pitar, means, “God the Father,” a very
ancient concept that in no way originated with “Jesus” and Christianity. Dyaus Pitar becomes
“Jupiter” in Roman mythology, and likewise is not representative of an actual, historical
character. In Egyptian mythology, Ptah, the “father of the gods,”194 is the unseen god-force, and
the sun was viewed as Ptah’s visible proxy who brings everlasting life to the earth; hence, the
“son of God” is really the “sun of God.”

193 Müller, 21.

194 Frankfort, 181.

195 Murdock, CIE, 321ff.

196 Murdock, CIE, 313ff.

197 Taylor, TD, 7.

198 Murdock, CIE, 67ff.

199 Massey, AELW, II, 837.

200 Massey, AELW, I, 539. Prior to its alleged conquest by David around 1,000 BCE and subsequent
occupation by those who came to be called Jews, Jerusalem had been an Egyptian garrison.

201 Massey, HJMC, 135-136; Kuhn, 18.

202 The Archaeological Institute of America’s Art and Archaeology (45) relates that “Bethany comes from
Beth-Anu, i.e., ‘the shrine of the god Anu.'” In his translation of the pre-Nicene New Testament, Dr.
Robert M. Price renders the Judean town “Beth-Anu.” (Price, 97.)

203 Ritter, 5.

Furthermore, since Horus was evidently called “Iusa,”195 while Osiris was the “KRST,”196
centuries before any Jewish character similarly named, it would be safe to assume that Jesus
Christ is just a repeat of Horus and Osiris, among others. According to Taylor, the title “Christ”
in its Hebraic form meaning “Anointed” (“Masiah”) was held by all kings of Israel, as well as
being “so commonly assumed by all sorts of impostors, conjurers, and pretenders to
supernatural communications, that the very claim to it is in the gospel itself considered as an
indication of imposture…”197

Horus’s principal enemy—originally Horus’s other face or “dark” aspect—was “Set” or “Sata,”
whence comes “Satan.”198 Horus struggles with Set in a similar manner that Jesus battles with
Satan, with 40 days in the wilderness, among other parallels.199 The myth represents the
triumph of light over dark, or the sun’s return to relieve the terror of the night.

“Jerusalem” simply means “City of Peace,” and the actual city in Israel may have been named
after the “holy city of peace” in the Egyptian sacred texts that already existed at the time the
city was founded.200 Likewise, “Bethany,” site of the famous multiplying of the loaves, means
“House of God,” and is allegory for the “multiplication of the many out of the One.”201 Any town
of that designation was likely named for the allegorical place in the texts that existed before the
town’s foundation. The Egyptian predecessor and counterpart is “House of Anu,” which, with
the Semitic word for “house,” beth, would be “Bethanu.”202 Interestingly, the town of Bethany is
called in Arabic el-Aziriyeh or el-Azir—”Lazarus.”203

The Book of Revelation is Egyptian and Zoroastrian

One can find certain allegorical place names such as “Jerusalem” and “Israel” in the New
Testament Book of Revelation. Gerald Massey has stated that Revelation, rather than having
been written by any apostle called John during the 1st century AD/CE, represents a very ancient
text that dates to the beginning of this era of history, i.e. possibly as early as 4,000 years
ago.204 Massey also asserts that Revelation relates the Mithraic legend of
Zarathustra/Zoroaster.205 Dr. Hilton Hotema says of this mysterious book, which has baffled
mankind for centuries: “It is expressed in terms of creative phenomena; its hero is not Jesus
but the Sun of the Universe, its heroine is the Moon; and all its other characters are Planets,
Stars and Constellations; while its stage-setting comprises the Sky, the Earth, the Rivers and
the Sea.”206

204 Massey, HJMC, 3-6.

205 Massey, HJMC, 3.

206 Massey, EBD, 16.

207 Walker, 143.

208 Park, 359.

209 Hilton Hotema says: “Christianity’s Holy Bible was compiled from the Helio Biblia or Sun Book of the
ancient Sun Worshippers…” (Massey, EBD, 2.) As it is not supported by mainstream etymology, this
purported cognate of “holy” and “helios” can be accepted as a play on words to illustrate a point.

210 For a discussion of the Hebrew patriarch Abraham possibly being the Indian god Brahma, see my
books The Christ Conspiracy, Suns of God and The Gospel According to Acharya S.

211 See my book Suns of God for more on the pre-Christian Joshua cult.

212 Robertson, PC, 154.

The word Israel itself, far from being a Jewish appellation, may come from the combination of
three different reigning deities: Isis, the Earth Mother Goddess revered throughout the ancient
world; Ra, the Egyptian sun god; and El, the Semitic deity passed down in form as Saturn.207
El was one of the earliest names for the god of the ancient Hebrews (whence Emmanu-El,
Micha-El, Gabri-El, Samu-El, etc.) and his worship is reflected in the fact that the Jews still
consider Saturday as “God’s Day.”208

Indeed, that the Christians worship on Sunday betrays the genuine origins of their god and
godman. Their “savior” is actually the sun, which is the “Light of the world that every eye can
see.” The sun has been viewed consistently throughout history as the savior of mankind for
reasons that are obvious. Without the sun, the planet would scarcely last one day. So
important was the sun to the ancients that they composed a “Sun Book,” or “Helio Biblia,”
which became the “Holy Bible.”209

The “Patriarchs” and “Saints” are the Gods of Other Cultures

When one studies mythmaking, one can readily discern and delineate a pattern that is
repeated throughout history. Often when an invading culture takes over its predecessors, it
either vilifies the preceding deities or makes them into lesser gods, “patriarchs” or, in the case
of Christianity, “saints.” This process may be exemplified in the apparent adoption of the Hindu
god Brahma as the Hebrew patriarch Abraham.210 Another school of thought proposes that the
patriarch Joshua was based on Horus as “Iusa,” since the cult of Horus had migrated by this
period to the Levant.211 In this theory, the cult of Joshua, which was situated in exactly the
area where the Christ drama allegedly took place, then mutated into the Christian story, with
Joshua becoming Jesus.212

The legend of Moses, rather than being that of a historical Hebrew character, is found in germ
around the ancient Middle and Far East, with the character having different names and races,

Acharya S/D.M. Murdock The Origins of Christianity
© 2009 23
depending on the locale: “Menu” is the Indian legislator213; “Mises” appears in Syria and
Egypt,214 where also the first king, “Menes, the lawgiver” takes the stage215; “Minos” is the
Cretan reformer216; “Mannus” the German lawgiver217; and the Ten Commandments are simply
a repetition of the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi and the Egyptian Book of the Dead, among
others.218 Like Moses, in the Mahabharata the Indian son of the Sun God named Karna was
placed by his mother in a reed boat and set adrift in a river to be discovered by another
woman.219 A century ago, Massey outlined that even the Exodus itself is not a historical event,
an opinion now shared by many archaeologists and scholars. That the historicity of the Exodus
has been questioned is echoed by the lack of any archaeological record, as is reported in
Biblical Archaeology Review (“BAR”), September/October 1994.220
Like many biblical characters, Noah is also a myth,
Additionally, the “Esther” of the Old Testament Book of Esther appears to be a remake of the
Goddess Ishtar, Astarte, Astoreth or Isis, from whom evidently comes “Easter”
long ago appropriated from the
Egyptians, the Sumerians and others, as any sophisticated scholar could demonstrate. There
have been floods and deluge stories in many different parts of the world, including but not
limited to the Middle East. The so-called Flood of Noah may refer to the annual flooding of the
Nile—an event that was incorporated in Egyptian mythology. However, it is also yet another
part of ancient mythology.
222 and about
whose long and ubiquitous reign little is said in “God’s infallible Word.” Per Harwood, “Esther”
is best transliterated “Ishtar” and “Mordechai” is “Mardukay.”223
The Virgin Mother/Goddess/Queen of Heaven motif is found around the globe, long before the
Christian era, with Isis, for instance, also being called “Meri” or “Mery.”
Even the Hebraic name of God, “Yahweh,” was possibly taken from the Egyptian “IAO.”
The “Disciples” are the Signs of the Zodiac
It is no accident that there are 12 patriarchs and 12 disciples, 12 being the number of the
months and astrological signs. Indeed, like the 12 Herculean tasks and the 12 “helpers” of
Horus, Jesus’s 12 disciples are symbolic for the zodiacal signs and do not depict any literal
figures who played out a drama upon the earth circa 30 AD/CE.226 Each of the disciples can be
shown to correspond to an earlier deity, folkloric hero, constellation or other figure.227
213 See Franklin, Ketkar. Variant transliterations are “Manu” and “Manou.”
“coincidence” did not escape the notice of the Christian world.
214 See the discussion of Dionysus, Mises and Moses in The Gospel According to Acharya S.
215 Bennett, 121; Journal of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 24. Variations include
“Men” and “Manes.”
216 Rollin, 438.
217 JNCBRAS, 24.
218 The 125th chapter of the Egyptian Book of the Dead is commonly cited as a probable influence on the
219 Buitenen, 779.
220 The BAR article nevertheless seeks to prove that the Exodus is historical. See also Finkelstein’s The
Bible Unearthed.
221 See Bierlein’s chapter, “The Flood Myths.” See also Walker, 730, et al.
222 Walker, 285-286; Murdock, CIE, 389ff.
223 Harwood, 230.
224 See Christ in Egypt, 124ff.
225 In his pre-Christian book about Egypt, Diodorus Siculus relates that the Jewish god was viewed as the
same as the “IAO.” (Murdock, CIE, 324.) This divine epithet has been found in various places, including
226 For more information on the motif of the 12, see Christ in Egypt, 261ff.
227 See, e.g., J.M. Roberts, 182.

Acharya S/D.M. Murdock The Origins of Christianity
© 2009 24
For example, Peter can be revealed to be a mythological character,228 while Judas has been
said to represent Scorpio, “the backbiter,” the time of year when the sun’s rays are weakening
and the sun appears to be dying.229
James, “brother of Jesus” and “brother of the Lord,” may be equivalent to Amset, brother of
Osiris the Lord.
It is interesting to note that, in the Egyptian story from
pre-Christian times, Horus was said to have been killed by Set, in the form of a scorpion.
230 Massey says that “Taht-Matiu was the scribe of the gods, and in Christian
art Matthew is depicted as the scribe of the gods, with an angel standing near him, to dictate
the gospel.”231
Was Jesus an Essene Master?
As regards Jesus being an Essene according to “secret” Dead Sea Scrolls, even before the
discovery of the scrolls, over the centuries there has been much speculation to this effect, but
Massey, for one, skillfully argued that many of Jesus’s presumed teachings were either in
contradiction to or were non-existent in Essene philosophy. Indeed, Jesus’s character and
many of his actions were utterly contrary to the notion of him being a great Essene healer. 232
The Essenes did not believe in corporeal resurrection, nor did they believe in a carnalized
messiah. The scrolls at Qumran have been dated to between 150 BCE and 70 AD/CE, and, based
on the later scrolls, in which the writers never mention Christ or Christianity, they evidently
did not accept the historicity of Jesus, if they had even heard of him. They were not followers of
the Hebrew Bible, or its prophets, or the concept of the original fall that must produce a savior.
Massey further points out that the Essenes were teetotalers and ate to live rather than the
other way around. Compared to this, the assumed Essene Jesus appears to be a glutton and
drunkard. Also, whereas according to Josephus the Essenes abhorred the swearing of oaths,
Jesus was fond of “swearing unto” his disciples. While many Essenic doctrines are included in
the New Testament, the list of disparities between the “Essenes” and their alleged great master
Jesus goes on.
Qumran is Not an Essene Community
It should also be noted that there is another debate as to whether or not Qumran, the site
traditionally associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls, was an Essene community at all. In BAR,
previously cited, it is reported that archaeological finds indicate Qumran was not an Essene
community but was possibly a waystation for travelers and merchants crossing the Dead Sea.
It has also been hypothesized in BAR that the fervent tone and warrior-stance of some of the
scrolls unearthed near Qumran belie any Essene origin and indicate a possible attribution to
Jewish Zealots instead. In Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, Norman Golb makes a very good
case that the Dead Sea Scrolls were not written by any Essene scribes but were a collection of
tomes from various libraries that were secreted in caves throughout eastern Israel by Jews
fleeing the Roman armies during the First Revolt of 70 AD/CE Golb also hypothesizes that
Qumran itself was a fortress, not a monastery. In any case, it is impossible to equate the
“Teacher of Righteousness” found in any scrolls with a “historical” Jesus Christ.
228 See, e.g, Walker, 663.
229 Lewis, 225; Anderson, 210.
230 Massey, NG, 466. For more on the Four “Brothers” of Horus, see Christ in Egypt, 272ff.
231 Massey, HJMC, 157.
232 Massey, GML, 77.
233 See Massey, Gnostic and Historic Christianity.

Was the New Testament Composed by Therapeuts?

In 1829, Taylor adeptly made the case that the gospel story was essentially in existence before
the Christ’s purported advent and was probably composed by the monks at Alexandria called
“Therapeuts” in Greek, meaning “healers.” This theory has stemmed in part from the statement
of Eusebius, who “admitted…that the canonical Christian gospels and epistles were the ancient
writings of the Essenes or Therapeutae reproduced in the name of Jesus.”234

234 Massey, NG, II, 419.

235 Wheless, 185.

236 Mead, 180.

237 Walker, 469.

According to Massey, it was Pagan “Gnostics”—who included members of the Essene/
Therapeut and Nazarene brotherhoods, among others—who actually carried to Rome the
esoteric (gnostic) texts containing the mythos, upon which the numerous gospels, including the
canonical four, were based. Wheless says, “Obviously, the Gospels and other New Testament
booklets, written in Greek and quoting 300 times the Greek Septuagint, and several Greek
Pagan authors, as Aratus, and Cleanthes, were written, not by illiterate Jewish peasants, but
by Greek-speaking ex-Pagan Fathers and priests far from the Holy Land of the Jews.”235 G.R.S.
Mead averred, “We thus conclude that the autographs of our four Gospels were most probably
written in Egypt…”236


As Walker says, “Scholars’ efforts to eliminate paganism from the Gospels in order to find a
historical Jesus have proved as hopeless as searching for a core in an onion.”237 The “gospel”
story of Jesus is not a factual portrayal of a historical “master” who walked the earth 2,000
years ago. It is a myth built upon other myths and godmen, who in turn were personifications
of the ubiquitous sun god mythos.

The Christ of the gospels is in no sense an historical personage or a supreme model of
humanity, a hero who strove, and suffered, and failed to save the world by his death. It
is impossible to establish the existence of an historical character even as an impostor.
For such an one the two witnesses, astronomical mythology and gnosticism, completely
prove an alibi. The Christ is a popular lay-figure that never lived, and a lay-figure of
Pagan origin; a lay-figure that was once the Ram and afterwards the Fish; a lay-figure
that in human form was the portrait and image of a dozen different gods.

Gerald Massey, The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ (169)


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