Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning
Page: 262"The Babylonian and Phenician sacred books date back to a fabulous antiquity;"[452:3] and so do the sacred books and religion of Egypt.
Prof. Mahaffy, in his "Prolegomena to Ancient History," says:
"There is indeed hardly a great and fruitful idea in the Jewish or Christian systems which has not its analogy in the Egyptian faith, and all these theological conceptions pervade the oldest religion of Egypt."[452:4]
The worship of Osiris, the Lord and Saviour, must have been of extremely ancient date, for he is represented as "Judge of the Dead," in sculptures contemporary with the building of the Pyramids, centuries before Abraham is said to have been born. Among the many hieroglyphic titles which accompany his figure in those sculptures, and in many other places on the walls of temples and tombs, are, "Lord of Life," "The Eternal Ruler," "Manifester of Good," "Revealer of Truth," "Full of Goodness and Truth," etc.
In speaking of the "Myth of Osiris," Mr. Bonwick says:
"This great mystery of the Egyptians demands serious consideration. Its antiquity—its universal hold upon the people for over five thousand years—its identification with the very life of the nation—and its marvellous likeness to the creed of modern date, unite in exciting the greatest interest."[452:5]
This myth, and that of Isis and Horus, were known before the Pyramid time.[453:1]
The worship of the Virgin Mother in Egypt—from which country it was imported into Europe[453:2]—dates back thousands of years B. C. Mr. Bonwick says:
"In all probability she was worshiped three thousand years before Moses wrote. 'Isis nursing her child Horus, was represented,' says Mariette Bey, 'at least six thousand years ago.' We read the name of Isis on monuments of the fourth dynasty, and she lost none of her popularity to the close of the empire."
"The Egyptian Bible is by far the most ancient of all holy books." "Plato was told that Egypt possessed hymns dating back ten thousand years before his time."[453:3]
"The origin of the ancient prayers and hymns of the 'Book of the Dead,' is anterior to Menes; it implies that the system of Osirian worship and mythology was already formed."[453:4]
And, says Mr. Bonwick:
"Besides opinions, we have facts as a basis for arriving at a conclusion, and justifying the assertion of Dr. Birch, that the work dated from a period long anterior to the rise of Ammon worship at Thebes."[453:5]
Now, "this most ancient of all holy books," establishes the fact that a virgin-born and resurrected Saviour was worshiped in Egypt thousands of year before the time of Christ Jesus.
P. Le Page Renouf says:
"The earliest monuments which have been discovered present to us the very same fully-developed civilization and the same religion as the later monuments. . . . The gods whose names appear in the oldest tombs were worshiped down to the Christian times. The same kind of priesthoods which are mentioned in the tablets of Canopus and Rosetta in the Ptolemaic period are as ancient as the pyramids, and more ancient than any pyramid of which we know the date."[453:6]
In regard to the doctrine of the Trinity. We have just seen that "the development of the One God into a Trinity" pervades the oldest religion of Egypt, and the same may be said of India. Prof. Monier Williams, speaking on this subject, says:
"It should be observed that the native commentaries on the Veda often allude to thirty-three gods, which number is also mentioned in the Rig-Veda. This is a multiple of three, which is a sacred number constantly appearing in the Hindu religious system. It is probable, indeed, that although the Tri-murti is [Pg 454]not named in the Vedic hymns,[454:1] yet the Veda is the real source of this Triad of personifications, afterwards so conspicuous in Hindu mythology. This much, at least, is clear, that the Vedic poets exhibited a tendency to group all the forces and energies of nature under three heads, and the assertion that the number of the gods was thirty-three, amounted to saying that each of the three leading personifications was capable of eleven modifications."[454:2]