, 34 tweets, 11 min read
Was #Jesus a #mythical figure based on the #Greco #Egyptian god #Serapis?
Um, #NO, and here is why:
Serapis is a…very unusual god, to say the least, and to better understand him, we need to look at his history. The roots of Serapis leads back to both the Egyptian gods Osiris and the Apis Bull (aka Hapi). The latter was seen as the incarnate god Ptah while alive. However,
when the Apis bull died (most of the time due to old age), he was identified with Osiris. Eventually over time Osiris and Apis became more closely associated with each other, until they eventually became one god, Osirapis/ Osorapis. Later, Ptolemy the 1rst of the Ptolemaic empire
(One of the successors to the Macedonian Empire, which ruled over Egypt), decided to add to Osirapis the aspects of several Greek gods, in order to unify the Greek and native Egyptian cultures in his empire (though some scholars believe that this may have happened before Ptolemy
the 1rst). Aspects of Zeus, Hades, Asclepius, Dionysus and Helios were added to him. Combined, this made him the highest god, as well as the god of the Underworld, wine, healing, the sun, vegetation and fertility. He was depicted with long hair, a beard and mustache, more like
the Greek gods than Egyptian gods. He wore either a modius aka dry corn measure (used to measure corn) or a basket for a hat. He was often depicted with Cerberus, the three headed hound of the Underworld (though some scholars believe that it is Aion, the three headed god of time,
that is depicted next to Serapis). His cult lasted for centuries, and even reached Great Britain. However, it succumbed to Christianity.
So…was Jesus nothing more than Serapis repackaged?
Nope, and we can see why if we look at their so-called “parallels”
Virgin birth?
The Apis Bull, which was one of the gods that went into the Amalgam of Serapis, was said to be born of a virgin cow. However, the myth states that Ptah inseminated the cow, meaning that his sperm went into it.
Gross out moment.
Plus, the cow who gave birth to the Apis bull was believed to be the incarnate Isis, who was known to have had sex before she was ever born.
Not much of a virgin...
BTW: since Osiris was eventually fully identified with the Apis Bull, this also debunks the notion that he, as the Apis Bull, was virgin born. Indeed, as a god, he was conceived by Geb and Nut through…SEX!
Repeat, SEX!
Moving on…
Wore a crown of thorns?
No, wore a basket or a modius, the latter a device designed to measure corn.
Looks like Jesus?
A lot of men had beards, mustaches and long hair in the ancient world. Numerous gods were likewise depicted as having long hair, beards and mustaches. Zeus,
Poseidon, Teshub, Bes (had the beard and mustache, but not the long hair), Anchar, etc.
Indeed, the earliest depictions of Christ show him to be clean shaven and short haired. The latter aspect is confirmed in the Bible, where Paul said, and I quote, “Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him,” (1 Corinthians 11:14). The
clean shaven depictions of Christ were seemingly inspired by depictions of Apollo, but this of course didn’t mean that Jesus was based on Apollo; it means that ancient artists used it as an inspiration. Jesus, being a first century Jew, most like did have a beard…just like
countless other Jewish men and the time.
Called “the Good Shepherd”?
Great Healer?
Serapis was indeed the god of healing, but all gods had the power to heal.
Christians borrowed religious practices (Bells, music, etc).
No evidence for that claim.
Serapis was a
sacrificial bull, while Jesus was a sacrificial lamb?
Oh brother.
Jesus is referred to as a lamb METAPHORICALLY, as opposed to the Apis Bull, which was a bull thought to be the incarnate Ptah and Osiris (and later Serapis). Indeed, the Apis Bull usually died of old age. However,
if it reached the age of 25, it was drowned, but this didn’t happen in most cases.
Serapis and Jesus sacrificed yearly?
No, Jesus was only sacrificed once. Just because we honor his death and resurrection every year doesn’t mean that we think Jesus literally dies and resurrects
every year.
Died for our sins?
Nope, Serapis didn’t die for our sins.
Jesus, however, did.
Didn’t the Roman Emperor Hadrian call followers of Serapis “Christians”?
No, and here is why.
There is a letter that was supposedly written by Hadrian, which at first seems to indicate
that followers of Serapis were called Christians. However, not only does the letter date to 134 AD (post dating the New Testament), it is considered spurious, due to numerous anachronisms found in the text. It would be the equivalent of finding a text that supposedly talks about
the Texas revolution, but mentions Winchester rifles being used in the battle (they were invented many decades after the Texas revolution). Plus, this letter survives only as a quote in the Historia Augusta, a collection of bogus biographies that was composed anywhere from the
4th to 5th centuries AD.
Serapis also called Christ?
There are some who say that the Latin name “Chrestus” was another name for Serapis. Some who haven’t studied enough will even claim that Chrestus and the name “Christus”, the Latin version of the Greek “Christos” (where we get
the name “Christ” from). Since Jesus was called “Chrestus” by Suetonius, therefore Jesus Mythicists (especially those who don’t disregard the Suetonius passage) will state that Serapis and Jesus were one and the same.
However, this is a big load of bull.
And I don’t mean Apis.
You see, for one, Christus and Chrestus are two different words. Christus is the Latin for Christ Christos, which means Christ, Messiah, or anointed one. It’s the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Masiah, which means the same thing. Chrestus, on the other hand, means “Useful
One”, not “Christ” or “Messiah”. It was a common Gentile name at the time. There is NO record of a Jew being called “Chrestus”. Suetonius may have misspelled Christ’s name (substituting E for I was a common mishap in that day and age).
So even if Serapis was ever called “Chrestus”, it has no bearing on “Christus” or “Christos”
Let alone Christ.
“Evidence that Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, PhD, 147
“Zondervan NIV Exhaustive Concordance: 2nd Edition” by Edward W. Goodrick and John R. Kohlenberger III, 198, 1603 (see also 1447 afterwards)
“The Biblical World: An Illustrated Atlas” (A National Geographic Book), by Jean-Pierre Isbouts, 270
“The Way to Eternity” Fergus Fleming, Alan Lothian, and Dr. Joann Fletcher (consultant), 67-69
“The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology” by Arthur Cotterell and Rachel Storm, 268, 310
Plutarch, “Isis and Osiris” 12
@thethreadreader untoll please
Meant to write "Some who haven’t studied enough will even claim that Chrestus and the name “Christus”, the Latin version of the Greek “Christos” (where we get the name “Christ” from) are two ways of saying the exact same name."
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