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

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St. John the Divine, in his "Revelation," has made Christ Jesus say:

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end"—"which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty,"[250:3] "the first and the last."[250:4]

Hindoo scripture also makes Crishna "the first and the last," "the beginning and the end." We read in the "Geeta," where Crishna is reported to have said:

"I myself never was not."[250:5] "Learn that he by whom all things were formed" (meaning himself) "is incorruptible."[250:6] "I am eternity and non-eternity."[250:7] "I am before all things, and the mighty ruler of the universe."[250:8] "I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all things."[250:9]

Arjouan, his disciple, addresses him thus:

"Thou art the Supreme Being, incorruptible, worthy to be known; thou art prime supporter of the universal orb; thou art the never-failing and eternal guardian of religion; thou art from all beginning, and I esteem thee."[250:10] Thou art "the Divine Being, before all other gods."[250:11]

Again he says:

"Reverence! Reverence be unto thee, before and behind! Reverence be unto thee on all sides, O thou who art all in all! Infinite in thy power and thy glory! Thou includest all things, wherefore thou art all things."[250:12]

In another Holy Book of the Hindoos, called the "Vishnu Purana," we also read that Vishnu—in the form of Crishna—"who descended into the womb of the (virgin) Devaki, and was born as her son" was "without beginning, middle or end."[250:13]

Buddha is also Alpha and Omega, without beginning or end, "The Lord," "the Possessor of All," "He who is Omnipotent and Everlastingly to be Contemplated," "the Supreme Being, the Eternal One."[250:14]

Lao-kiun, the Chinese virgin-born God, who came upon earth about six hundred years before Jesus, was without beginning. It was said that he had existed from all eternity.[250:15]

[Pg 251]

The legends of the Taou-tsze sect in China declare their founder to have existed antecedent to the birth of the elements, in the Great Absolute; that he is the "pure essence of the tëen;" that he is the original ancestor of the prime breath of life; that he gave form to the heavens and the earth, and caused creations and annihilations to succeed each other, in an endless series, during innumerable periods of the world. He himself is made to say:

"I was in existence prior to the manifestation of any corporeal shape; I appeared anterior to the supreme being, or first motion of creation."[251:1]

According to the Zend Avesta, Ormuzd, the first-born of the Eternal One, is he "who is, always has been, and who will be forever."[251:2]

Zeus was Alpha and Omega. An Orphic line runs thus:

"Zeus is the beginning, Zeus is the middle, out of Zeus all things have been made."[251:3]

Bacchus was without beginning or end. An inscription on an ancient medal, referring to him, reads thus:

"It is I who leads you; it is I who protects you, and who saves you, I am Alpha and Omega."

Beneath this inscription is a serpent, with his tail in his mouth, thus forming a circle, which was an emblem of eternity among the ancients.[251:4]

Without enumerating them, we may say that the majority of the virgin-born gods spoken of in Chapter XII. were like Christ Jesus—without beginning or end—and that many of them were considered Creators of all things. This has led M. Dridon to remark (in his Hist. de Dieu), that in early works of art, Christ Jesus is made to take the place of his Father in creation and in similar labors, just as in heathen religions an inferior deity does the work under a superior one.