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: 79He was invested with the attributes of divinity, and that in the earliest times of which we possess monumental evidence."[122:8]
Menes, who is said to have been the first king of Egypt, was believed to be a god.[122:9]
On the wall of one of these Theban temples is to be seen a picture representing the god Thoth—the messenger of God—telling [Pg 123]the maiden, Queen Mautmes, that she is to give birth to a divine son, who is to be King Amunothph III.[123:1]
An inscription found in Egypt makes the god Ra say to his son Ramses III.:
"I am thy father; by me are begotten all thy members as divine; I have formed thy shape like the Mendesian god; I have begotten thee, impregnating thy venerable mother."[123:2]
Raam-ses, or Ra-mé-ses, means "Son of the Sun," and Ramses Hek An, a name of Ramses III., means "engendered by Ra (the Sun), Prince of An (Heliopolis)."[123:3]
"Thotmes III., on the tablet of Karnak, presents offerings to his predecessors; so does Ramses on the tablet of Abydos. Even during his life-time the Egyptian king was denominated 'Beneficent God.'"[123:4]
The ancient Babylonians also believed that their kings were gods upon earth. A passage from Ménaut's translation of the great inscription of Nebuchadnezzar, reads thus:
"I am Nabu-kuder-usur . . . the first-born son of Nebu-pal-usur, King of Babylon. The god Bel himself created me, the god Marduk engendered me, and deposited himself the germ of my life in the womb of my mother."[123:5]
In the life of Zoroaster, the law-giver of the Persians, the common mythos is apparent. He was born in innocence, of an immaculate conception, of a ray of the Divine Reason. As soon as he was born the glory from his body enlightened the whole room.[123:6] Plato informs us that Zoroaster was said to be "the son of Oromasdes, which was the name the Persians gave to the Supreme God"[123:7]—therefore he was the Son of God.
From the East we will turn to the West, and shall find that many of the ancient heroes of Grecian and Roman mythology were regarded as of divine origin, were represented as men, possessed of god-like form, strength and courage; were believed to have lived on earth in the remote, dim ages of the nation's history; to have been occupied in their life-time with thrilling adventures and extraordinary services in the cause of human civilization, and to have been after death in some cases translated to a life among the gods, and entitled to sacrifice and worship. In the hospitable Pantheon of the Greeks and Romans, a niche was always in readiness [Pg 124]for every new divinity who could produce respectable credentials.
The Christian Father Justin Martyr, says:
"It having reached the Devil's ears that the prophets had foretold the coming of Christ (the Son of God), he set the Heathen Poets to bring forward a great many who should be called the 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 the prodigious fables related of the sons of Jove."
Among these "sons of Jove" may be mentioned the following: Hercules was the son of Jupiter by a mortal mother, Alcmene, Queen of Thebes.[124:1] Zeus, the god of gods, spake of Hercules, his son, and said: "This day shall a child be born of the race of Perseus, who shall be the mightiest of the sons of men."[124:2]
Bacchus was the son of Jupiter and a mortal mother, Semele, daughter of Kadmus, King of Thebes.[124:3] As Montfaucon says, "It is the son of Jupiter and Semele which the poets celebrate, and which the monuments represent."[124:4]
Bacchus is made to say:
"I, son of Deus, am come to this land of the Thebans, Bacchus, whom formerly Semele the daughter of Kadmus brings forth, being delivered by the lightning-bearing flame: and having taken a mortal form instead of a god's, I have arrived at the fountains of Dirce and the water of Ismenus."[124:5]
Justin Martyr (A. D. 140), in his Apology to the Emperor Adrian, says:
"By declaring the Logos, the first-begotten of God, our Master, Jesus Christ, to be born of a virgin, without any human mixture, we (Christians) say no more in this than what you (Pagans)