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Exploring myth

Bart Ehrman, Osiris, and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Earlier this week I was made aware of an episode of a podcast on iTunes (Unbelievable? Podcast 8/18/2012) featuring religious scholar Bart Ehrman. At around 35:10 into this interview, Ehrman is presented with an audio clip of Dr. Robert Price stating that the dying-rising hero archetype should be taken into consideration when researching the origins of the religion for which Ehrman is a scholar of. As a specific example, Price uses the myth of Osiris’ death & resurrection. Since this religion of Ehrman’s field descended from a certain culture in the Levant, at 36:42 Ehrman challenges Dr. Price to give even a single reference to Osiris by any Levantine author from this particular culture who lived with 200 years of the 1st century CE.[1]

Flavius Josephus lived within that time frame. In fact, he lived & wrote during the 1st century CE.[2] In his writings, there’s one particular source he quotes which was even older, the Egyptian priest & historian Manetho (3rd cen. BCE). In regards to a certain legend about the founding of Josephus’ nation after their emmigration from Egypt (the ol’ Hyksos theory), he quoted Manetho as allegedly stating:

It is said that the priest who framed their constitution and their laws was a native of Heliopolis, named Osarseph after the god Osiris, worshipped at Heliopolis; but when he joined this people, he changed his name and was called [Munius].

Against Apion 1.250[3]

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

That’s pretty cut & dry right there- Josephus explicitly mentioned Osiris by name within 200 years of the 1st century C.E.. In fact, he did so within the 1st century itself. Also, as per this legend (one which Josephus & his readers & the readers of Manetho, etc., would’ve been familiar with and thus one which was in wide circulation well within the time frame Ehrman demands)- the very man who founded this particular Levantine nation and its religion was himself an Egyptian priest of Osiris prior to this emmigration. Hence there clearly were some folks in this nation during the 1st century who believed, however right or wrong, that there was a connection between their own culture and Osirian religion.

Josephus quoted Manetho extensively, and so was clearly very familiar with his work. Well, Manetho himself recorded the mythology of Osiris, as evident in other surviving fragments of his work, most explicitly Fragment 76 via Theodoret of Cyrus:

Manetho rehearsed the stories of Isis, Osiris, Apis, Serapis, and the other gods of Egypt.[4]

For a nation that has always maintained interaction with Egypt throughout its history[5], and was within the crossroads of various major trade-routes of the Mediterranean world[6], there stands no reason to think that Josephus’ nation was somehow sheltered from learning of the Osiris myth. Even people as far away as Rome and beyond, which was even further from Egypt than Josephus’ homeland, were well aware of Osirian mythology. In fact, the religion of his wife Isis, who plays a major role in this myth, was the most widespread religion in the Roman world by this time.

What can we say about the religious influence of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Syria-Palestine at the beginning of the first century BCE, before the Roman conquest? Perhaps most important, the goddess Isis became the central deity of a mystery religion more widespread than any other in the ancient Mediterranean world.

Dr. Glenn S. Holland, Gods in the Desert: Religions of the Ancient Near East[7]

Likewise, even Buddhism, a religion from as far away as India, had already spread as far as Greece, Egypt, and Syria, etc. (and thus all the lands in between, including Syria’s neighbor- Josephus’ homeland) during the reign of the Indian king Ashoka (3rd century BCE).[8] That’s much farther away from Josephus’ nation than Egypt is, yet it still managed to spread to that area nonetheless. It almost seems silly at this point for someone to say that Egyptian mythology such as that of Osiris could not have likewise spread to that area. And as per the above statements from Manetho & Jospehus, it appears that knowledge of Osiris indeed did spread to there by the 1st century CE.

Anyway, in summary, Josephus appears to satisfy Ehrman’s challenge of a particular Levatine reference to Osiris within 200 years of the 1st century CE, regardless of whether or not Ehrman himself would admit as much.

This isn’t the first silly claim by Ehrman in regards to Osirian lore, as I demonstrated elsewhere here on Mythicism and in The Perennial Gospel, etc., concerning his statements on Osirian resurrection (several of which are repeated in this very interview @37:10-41:53, including his refusal to cite any source other than the Greek Plutarch, not even any other Graeco-Roman sources, and certainly not any indigenous sources from pharaonic Egypt).

Another curious statement came at around 36:55 when Ehrman claimed that a certain myth about a fortune teller from the Levant that allegedly became an Egyptian governor has nothing to do with Osirian mythology. Under the circumstances given in the story, that seems unlikely. As Herodotus wrote:

Only the gods Isis and Osiris (the latter of whom they say is Dionysos) are worshiped in the same manner by all Egyptians.

Histories 2.42.2 (5th cen. BCE)[9]

So placing the setting in ancient Egypt, especially in the context of royalty/nobility (given their funerary culture, as shall explained a little later), would almost by default mean that the characters were exposed to Osirian religion & myth. And when comparing these two stories, the signs of possible influence start to become conspicuous.

Mr. Sapenat was one of the 12 patriarchs of his father’s nation- symbolized by 12 stars, 12 sheaves of grain, 12 gates, etc.

Osiris likewise has 12 gates[10] and 12 stars[11], as well as 12 followers[12], 12 divine judges on 12 thrones[13], 12 servants sent by his father[14], 12 seraphim[15], 12 goddesses of his aforementioned 12 gates[16], and so on etc.[17]- all of which are from sources much earlier than the source for Mr. Sapenat’s story.[18]

In fact, according to Herodotus, it was the Egyptians themselvesthe very people whom Sapenat defected towho invented the archetype of the ‘group of twelve’ for divine & celestial symbolism:

They said that the Egyptians were the first of all peoples to discover the year, by dividing up the seasons into twelve parts to total one year, and that they discovered how to do this from the stars. The Egyptians seem to me to be much wiser than the Hellenes in the way they regulate the timing of the seasons. While the Hellenes attempt to preserve the timing of the seasons by inserting an intercalary month every other year, the Egyptians divide the year into twelve months of thirty days each and add just five days each year beyond that number, and thus their seasons do return at the same periods in the cycle from year to year. They said that the Egyptians were also the first to establish the tradition of identifying names’ for the twelve gods, and that the Hellenes adopted this practice from them. They were also the first to assign altars, statues, and temples to the gods and to carve their figures in relief on stone. The priests in fact demonstrated with proofs that these claims were valid.

Histories 2.4.1-2[19]

Fig. 2: The 12 stars of Sapenat & his brethren.

Osiris 12 stars resurrection

Fig. 3: The 12 stars of Osiris surround him as he rises from the dead “at the time of his union with the sun god … the very apotheosis of resurrection.” Based on scenes from the Book of the Earth as portrayed in the tombs of Merneptah, Tawosret, Ramesses III & VI, 13th-12th cen. BCE.[20]

.

Mr. Sapenat was, due to the treachery of his brothers, alleged to have been “without doubt rent in pieces.”

Osiris was, due to the treachery of his brother, without doubt rent in pieces.[21]

Mr. Sapenat, through visions, used bread & wine to symbolize the eating of flesh and restoration from prison.

Osiris’ cult used bread & wine to symbolize the eating of his flesh (and the flesh of his son Horus as well), and his subsequent restoration from the prison of death.[22]

BSBR140205000

Fig. 4: Bread & wine symbolize death and restoration.

That same flesh in Mr. Sapenat’s vision was posthumously hung on a tree, or as Josephus explicitly described it- “… crucified…”.[23]

Osiris was likewise posthumously hung on a tree or “crucified.”[24]

64359_446064408808297_1088979604_n

Fig. 5: The eating of bread symbolizing the eating of flesh, flesh which was posthumously crucified upon a tree.

The aforementioned restoration foretold by Mr. Sap occurred on the 3rd day after its vision.

Osiris, and the deceased kings who emulated him, resurrected & ascended to heaven on the 3rd day after finally being buried in a tomb.[25] One arose from prison, the other arose from the grave, in each case an exaltation occurred on the 3rd day.

Sapenat was a shepherd.

Osiris was a shepherd.[26]

Sapenat was said to be a ruler in Egypt.

Osiris was likewise a ruler in Egypt.

After his death, Sap’s body was mummified.[27]

After his death, Osiris’ body was mummified, and alleged to be the first mummification in history.[28] All subsequent mummification in Egypt was done in emulation of Osiris himself.[29] Hence Sap by default was emulating Osiris through this manner of death & burial.[30]

Fig. _: The mummification of Mr. Sapenat.

Fig. 6: The mummification of Mr. Sapenat.

Mr. Sap was allegedly mourned for 70 days. This corresponds to the duration of the mummification process, which took 70 days, which in turn corresponded to the 70 days of the heliacal setting[31] of Osiris’ constellation- Sah/Orion.[32]

Mr. Sap is said to one day be physically resurrected, or perhaps even already been resurrected.

Osiris is said to have been physically resurrected.

As the years rolled on, even more parallels were added to Sap’s mythos, making the connection to Osiris all the more obvious. Adding more Osirian motifs to Sap’s story makes perfect sense given that there was already a precedent to do so, i.e. the aforementioned parallels made it all too conspicuous to later writers that there was indeed an Osirian influence on Sap’s story. They were simply maintaining a trend that was already there in the beginning. Or as Dr. Gerald J. Blidstein put it, they “are part of a sphere of culture whose materials pass with considerable freedom between all its members. A good example is the legend that [Sapenat]’s body had been placed deep in the Nile River, and that exodus could take place only after [Μunius] was finally informed of its whereabouts by the mysterious Seraḥ and had induced it to rise to the surface, fulfilling the pledge to [Sapenat] that his body would be returned for burial in Canaan when his brethren left Egypt. Now, Egyptian lore had told that Typhon had similarly put the dead Serapis [i.e. Osiris] in the Nile, from which he had to be liberated. And the Talmud itself identifies the Egyptian Serapis with [Sapenat]. Now, it seems likely that the motif, though borrowed by the Sage from the Egyptian milieu, was used for their own purposes.”[33]

Heading into the 1st centuries BCE-CE,[34] the parallels had grown to include the following:

Sapenat was identified with the sun.[35]

Osiris was identified with the sun (due to his fusion with Re).[36]

Sapenat Sun

Fig. 7

Osiris as the sun (fused with Re).

Fig. 8: Osiris as the sun (fused with Re); from the Litany of Re in the tomb of Nefertari, 13th century BCE.

Sap was said to be the son of the most high god.[37]

Osiris was said to be a son of the most high god.[38]

Sap’s wife was accompanied by seven virgins.[39]

Osiris’ wife (and sometimes Osiris himself) is often accompanied by the Seven Hathors.[40]

The story of Sap’s wife involves a reference to virgin motherhood.[41]

The story of Osiris’ wife involves virgin motherhood.[42]

The spirit of the Morning Star visits Sap’s wife to bring about her spiritual rebirth.[43]

The god of the Morning Star is conceived by Osiris’ wife bringing about his own birth.[44]

Sap’s story involves the transubstantiation of honey into blood.[45]

Osiris’ story involves the transubstantiation of water into blood/wine.[46]

Sap’s story involves the parthenogenesis, death, and resurrection of bees.[47]

Osiris’s mythos likewise includes bees in relation to parthenogenesis & rebirth/resurrection.[48]

Sap is the supplier of grain to all of Egypt.[49]

Osiris is the supplier of grain to all of Egypt.[50]

Fig. 9

Fig. 9

Fig. 10: Based on a bas-relief from Philae.

Fig. 10: Based on a bas-relief from Philae.

That’s turning into quite a conspicuous list.

The struggle between Osiris and Seth and the death and resurrection of Osiris are a prelude to the main themes of the βιβλε, especially those that involve the story of [Sapenat].

Dr. Yeleazar Meletinsky, The Poetics of Myth[51]

Thus it does appear that the several versions of the finding of [Sapenat]’s bones agree in a number of respects with the Osiris myth as told by Plutarch (A.D. 46-120) in his treatise De Iside et Osiride which he dedicated to Clea, a priestess of Osiris living at Delphi (364e). Osiris and [Sapenat] are both put in coffins, their coffins are thrown into the Nile, are searched for and found, their scattered limbs or bones are reassembled, and moreover the fact that both are taken to the water, whether Sea or Nile, has the purpose of effecting somehowing[sic] the flooding of the river. With these correspondences, however, and that of the introduction of regular agriculture, the list of parallels is still not quite complete. … We observe that both in the god Sarapis himself and in his component deities Osiris and Apis there were features with which [Sapenat] could be assimilated.

Dr. Gerard Mussies, in Studies in Hellenistic Religions[52]

Texts that concentrate on the retrieval of [Sapenat]’s coffin during the exodus from Egypt there are specific elements from Egyptian culture, including Egyptian magic and the Osiris myth. [Sapenat]’s coffin is either located in the royal tombs or at the bottom of the Nile. The elements of the midrashic narrative have many parallels to the Egyptian Osiris myth. The magic that [Munius] performs to raise [Sapenat] from the Nile is similar to Egyptian magical practices, and there are very specific parallels. The midrashic intersections with the Osiris myth are generally close to, but not limited to, the version in Papyris Jumilhac: the concept of a double burial, the fertility related to the coffin, the coffin at the bottom of the Nile, raising the coffin through the use of magic and [Munius] carrying the coffin on his back. The midrashic texts contain additional elements of the Egyptian funural cult: embalmers (magicians), protective dogs and royal tombs.

Dr. Rivka Ulmer, Egyptian Cultural Icons in Midrash[53]

It is interesting to observe that the Romance of [Sapenat] in Egypt as it stands forms a complete version of the disappearing god myth- the beloved young god disappears into the underworld (the king’s dungeon) and returns to save men. γένεσις 37 could thus be regarded as a duplication of γένεσις 39 in the interests of historicising the material. On the other hand if γέν. 37 is added to the story then there is rather an idiosyncratic result. the myth comports two disappearances, two descents as infernos (the pit at Dothan and the Nilotic dungeon); it involves a “second death.” Now a figure contained in a tree who disappears into the bonds of death first in Syria and secondly by the Nile (where none the less he is a ruler) and yet revives to be the saviour of men is not far to seek. And all the extra-biblical legends portray [Sapenat] with marked Osirid characteristics. It is noteworthy that the occasion for the attempted seduction of [Sapenat] was reckoned to be the thanksgiving for the rise of the Nile. … The biblical romance ends with [Sapenat]’s death in Egypt- “So [Sapenat] died … and they embalmed him and he was put in a coffin in Egypt” (γέν. 50:26) Thereafter the legends deal with the dead [Sapenat] entirely as Osiris. the various Egyptian nomes disputed the possession of [Sapenat]’s remains and the benefits of increase his interment in their region would bring. the coffined body was in fact cast into the waters of the Nile (i.e. “made an Osiris”) so that his power should compel high inundations ensuring even distribution of fertility over the whole land. Furthermore, the body came to be positioned exactly in midstream so that neither bank should be differentially favored. … Whether or not the biblical figure of [Sapenat] had its origins in an old Egyptian god, men certainly saw the origin of a new Egyptian god in the biblical figure of [Sapenat]. Later antiquity was quite convinced that [Sapenat] was the original Serapis (Osiris-Apis).

Dr. George R.H. Wright, As On the First Day: Essays in Religious Constants[54]

The influence of Osiris upon Sap’s mythos, however, is made most explicit by the aforementioned fact that Sap was identified with Osiris himself in his Ptolemaic version, known as Serapis (Osiris-Apis)[55]. This identification was made even by early saints of Ehrman’s former religion.

The Egyptians worshipped [Sapenat], who was called Serapis, because he supplied them with corn during the years of famine.

Melito of Sardis, Fr. 1[56]

They have also deified a man—him, I mean, whom not Egypt only, or Greece, but the whole world worships, and the Africans swear by; about whose state also all that helps our conjectures and imparts to our knowledge the semblance of truth is stated in our own (sacred) literature. For that Serapis of yours was originally one of our own saints called [Sapenat]. The youngest of his brethren, but superior to them in intellect, he was from envy sold into Egypt, and became a slave in the family of Pharaoh king of the country. Importuned by the unchaste queen, when he refused to comply with her desire, she turned upon him and reported him to the king, by whom he is put into prison. There he displays the power of his divine inspiration, by interpreting aright the dreams of some (fellow-prisoners). Meanwhile the king, too, has some terrible dreams. [Sapenat] being brought before him, according to his summons, was able to expound them. Having narrated the proofs of true interpretation which he had given in the prison, he opens out his dream to the king: those seven fat-fleshed and well-favoured cattle signified as many years of plenty; in like manner, the seven lean-fleshed animals predicted the scarcity of the seven following years. He accordingly recommends precautions to be taken against the future famine from the previous plenty. The king believed him. The issue of all that happened showed how wise he was, how invariably holy, and now how necessary. So Pharaoh set him over all Egypt, that he might secure the provision of grain for it, and thenceforth administer its government. They called him Serapis, from the turban which adorned his head. The peck-like shape of this turban marks the memory of his grain-provisioning; while evidence is given that the care of the supplies was all on his head, by the very ears of grain which embellish the border of the head-dress.

Tertullian, Ad Nationes 2.8[57]

Serapis signifies [Sapenat], who was a prince and supplied the whole world with bread, thereby appeasing mankind.

Tract Abuda Zara, Ch. 3[58]

In Egypt when the crops were parched by fiery heat and famine threatened a dreadful doom, a youth sprung from the seed of a God-fearing patriarch interpreted a dream of the king and revealed all that threatened. … He was called in Greek Serapis.

Firmicus Maternus, The Error of the Pagan Religions, 13.1-2[59]

Goldblum

Osiris and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat


Notes

[1] For any readers who might wish to split hairs & contend for a reference to “the Osiris myth“- I, like most people, do not regard Osiris as having ever been a historical figure who actually existed. I do not create a distinction between the Osiris and his mythos, for I regard him as having always been mythical. Thus, where I am concerned, an acknowledgement of Osiris would by default be an acknowledgement of his mythos, for that mythos is the source of the character itself. Much like Superman in our modern culture- he has never existed as a real person, only as a myth, and thus references to the Superman are by default an acknowledgment of the Superman mythos, for that mythos is the source of the character itself, there is no distinction in that regard. I know of no one who is aware of Superman yet unaware of his key identifying traits.

And with as widespread as Osirian religion was at that time (see Dr. Holland above), is it really likely that one would be aware of the Osiris character while being completely ignorant of his mythos (especially its most important facets)? Especially educated persons like Josephus? To put it simply- it was a “high context culture.” 😉

[2] Harold W. Attridge, “Josephus,” in The New Westminster Dictionary of Church History: The Early, Medieval, and Reformation Eras, ed. R. Benedetto (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008), 363.

[3] W.G. Waddell, Manetho (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1940-64), 131. (Emph. added.)

[4] Ibid. 189. (Emph. added.)

[5] See The Egyptian World, ed. T. Wilkinson (Abingdon: Routledge, 2007).

Garrett Galvin, Egypt as a Place of Refuge (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011).

Carolyn R. Higginbotham, Egyptianization and Elite Emulation in Ramesside Palestine: Governance and Accomodation on the Imperial Periphery (Leiden: Koninklijke Brill NV, 2000).

[6] Johannes M. Renger, “LEVANT: Ancient Period,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History: Volume 1, ed. J. Mokyr (Oxford: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2003), 301.

[7] Glenn S. Holland, Gods in the Desert: Religions of the Ancient Near East (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009), 282. (Emph. added.)

[8] Johannes G. de Casparis et al., “Ideologies and the First Universal Religions,” in History of Humanity: From the Seventh Century B.C. to the Seventh Century A.D., eds. J. Herrmann and E. Zürcher (London: Routledge, 1996), 58.

[9] Herodotus, Histories, in The Landmark Herodotus: The Histories, ed. R.B. Strassler, trans. A.L. Purvis (New York: Anchor Books, 2009), 136.

[10] For the primary sources, see The Perennial Gospel pp. 524, as well as the Mythicism article On Horus and “the Twelve” motif.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid. 539-42.

[13] Ibid. 550-51.

[14] Ibid. 541.

[15] Ibid. 542.

[16] Ibid. 527.

[17] E.g. 12 rowers, 12 towers, 12 protectors, 12 forms of his father Re, 12 guides for his father Re, 12 caverns of his netherworld kingdom, 12 portals to those caverns, and so on; see all of ibid. pp.520-51 and the aforementioned link.

[18] Primarily the Book of Amduat, as well as the Book of Gates, the Book of Caverns, and the Book of the Dead, all from the New Kingdom Period (16th-11th centuries BCE).

[19] Strassler (2009), 118. (Emph. added.)

[20] Joshua Roberson, “The Book of the Earth: A Study of Ancient Egyptian Symbol-Systems and the Evolution of New Kingdom Cosmographic Models” (PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 2007), 295-97.

[21] See The Perennial Gospel pp. 27, 240-47, 257-61.

[22] Ibid. 261-93.

[23] Flavius Josephus, Antiquities, in Josephus: Antiquities, Books 1-3, trans. H.St.J. Thackeray (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1930-98), 199-201.

[24] See The Perennial Gospel pp. 301-40.

[25] Ibid. 346-57.

[26] Aside from the obvious iconic shepherd’s crook he is frequently seen with, in Book of the Dead Spell 142 he is called “Asar Sa,” meaning “Osiris the Shepherd.”

[27] Rivka Ulmer, Egyptian Cultural Icons in Midrash (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, 2009), 64.

David N. Freedman, Eerdman’s Dictionary of the βιβλε (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000), 404.

Allen Kerkeslager, “J. Pilgrimage and Identity in Hellenistic and Early Roman Egypt,” in Pilgrimage & Holy Space in Late Antique Egypt, ed. D. Frankfurter (Leiden: Koninklijke Brill NV, 1998), 145.

[28] Geraldine Pinch, Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002-04), 104, 179.

Charles R. Coulter and Patricia Turner, Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities (New York: Routledge, 2000-12), 367.

Patricia Remler, Egyptian Mythology: A to Z (New York: Chelsea House, 2000-10), 3.

[29] Bob Brier, Ancient Egyptian Magic (New York: Quill, 1980-2001), 68-69.

Mark J. Smith, “Resurrection and the Body in Graeco-Roman Egypt,” in The Human Body in Death and Resurrection, eds. T. Nicklas, F.V. Reiterer, and J. Verheyden (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, 2009), 31-32.

Harco Willems, The Coffin of Heqata (Cairo JdE 36418): A Case Study of Egyptian Funerary Culture of the Early Middle Kingdom (Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 1996), 377.

Samuel A.B. Mercer, The Religion of Ancient Egypt (London: Luzac & Co., 1949), 371.

[30] “Interpreters in Egypt and other familiar with Egyptian tradition were well aware that the ideology of Egyptian kingship and belief about the dead were inextricably bound up with the mythology of Osiris. Thus it was only natural that some of them would have infused the mythology of Osiris into their speculation about the bones of [Sapenat].”- Kerkeslager, loc. cit. (Emph. added.)

[31] Papyrus Carlsberg I, see Roberto Murgano, “The Sun and Stars Double Cult in the Old Kingdom,” in Proceedings of the Ninth International Congress of Egyptologists: Volume II, eds. J.C. Goyon, C. Cardin (Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2007), 1363.

Edwin C. Krupp, Echoes of the Ancient Skies: The Astronomy of Lost Civilizations (Mineola: Dover Publications, Inc., 1983-2003), 22.

Donald B. Redford, A Study of the Biblical Story of [Sapenat] (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1970), 240 n.4.

[32] Pyramid Texts, Utterance 219 § 186; 412 § 723, 726-27; 442 § 820; 472 § 924-25; 477 § 956-61; 690 § 2115.

Coffin Texts, Spell 838 VII, 40.

Book of the Dead, Spell 69 a S 2-3; 142 S 1; 172 S 6; Pleyte 168 S 1 & 27.

[33] http://books.google.com/books?id=-3q9U4HyBmwC

[34] The actual text of Sapenat’s “lost gospel” known as The Bride of God is regarded as being Greek in origin dating back as early as the 1st cen. BCE. See

[35] The Bride of God 5.4-6.5.

[36] See The Perennial Gospel pp.124-30.

[37] The Bride of God 6.2-6, 21.3.

[38] See The Perennial Gospel pp.136-40.

[39] The Bride of God 2.10-11, 17.4, 19.1.

[40] The Seven Hathors, from the Stela of Amenemhat- [Link]

The Seven Hathors, from the Temple of Dendera- [Link]

The Seven Hathors play tambourines before Isis; from the Temple of Philae- [Link]

The Seven Hathors, with Ptolemy VI Philometor, play tambourines before Isis & Horus; from the Temple of Philae- [Link]

The Seven Hathors in bovine form, with the Apis Bull (i.e. the bovine form of Osiris, bottom left corner), accompany Isis, Nephthys, and Nefertiti to the fusion of Osiris & Re; from the Litany of Re in the tomb of Nefertari– [Link]

The Seven Hathors & Apis (bottom left) accompany Isis & Osiris; from the Book of the Dead of Nes-Min- [Link]

[41] The Bride of God 15.7-8: “And she the mother of virgins … is herself a virgin, very beautiful and pure and chaste and gentle; and god most high loves her, and all his angels do her reverence.”

[42] See The Perennial Gospel pp.615-42.

[43] The Bride of God 14.1-15.4, 18.7.

[44] “O Morning Star, Horus of the Netherworld, divine Falcon”- Pyramid Texts Utterance 519 § 1207, trans. R.O. Faulkner.

[45] The Bride of God 16.10-11.

[46] See The Perennial Gospel pp.261-74.

[47] The Bride of God 16.13-16.

[48] See The Perennial Gospel pp.175-83.

[49] The Bride of God 4.8, 25.6, 26.3.

[50] See The Perennial Gospel pp.120-21, 127, 274-88.

[51] Yeleazar Meletinsky, The Poetics of Myth, trans. G. Lanoue and A. Sadetsky (New York: Routledge, 1998-2000), 308.

[52] Gerard Mussies, “The Interpretatio Judaica of Sarapis,” in Studies in Hellenistic Religions, ed. M.J. Vermaseren (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1979), 209, 214. (Emph. added.)

[53] Ulmer (2009), 12.

[54] George R.H. Wright, As On the First Day: Essays in Religious Constants (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1987), 76-77.

[55] Diodorus of Sicily, Library of History 1.25.2.

Plutarch, Moralia 361F, 362E.

Tibullus, Poem I.7.27-28.

Strabo, Geography XVII, 1.31.

Gebel Es-Silsilah Quarry Stela No. 100, Label for the Memphite High Priest, Label for Anubis.

Third Serapeum Votive Stela of Padiese, Louvre Stela IM 3736, Label for Apis.

Serapeum Votive Stela of God’s Father Padja, Louvre Stela IM, 3424 & 3441.

First Serapeum Stela, Louvre SIM 3733, Label for Apis.

Ian Shaw, Exploring Ancient Egypt (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 21.

Alan B. Lloyd, “Strabo and the Memphite Tauromachy,” in Hommages a Maarten J. Vermaseren, Vol. II, eds. M.B. de Boer and T.A. Edridge (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1978), 618.

John G. Griffiths, “Osiris,” in Lexikon der Ägyptologie:Band IV Megiddo-Pyramiden, eds. W. Helck and W. Westendorf (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz GmbH & Co. KG, 1982), 629.

Jan Assman, The Mind of Egypt: History and Meaning in the Time of the Pharaohs, trans. A. Jenkins (New York: Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 1996-2002), 374-75. 406

Anne Burton, Diodorus Siculus, Book 1: A Commentary (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1972), 242, n.2.

Gertruda J.F. Kater-Sibbes and Maarten J. Vermaseren, Apis, I: The Monuments of the Hellenistic-Roman Period from Egypt (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1975), ix, 9.

[56] Tertullian, Spicilegium Syriacum, trans. W. Cureton (London: Rivingtons, 1855), 43-44.

[57] Tertullian, Ad Nationes, trans. P. Holmes, Ante-Nicene Fathers: Vol. 3, eds. A. Roberts, J. Donaldson, and A.C. Coxe, rev. K. Knight (Buffalo, NY: Xian Literature Publishing Co., 1885-2009), 2.8.

[58] Babylonian Talmud, trans. M.L. Rokinson (Boston: The Talmud Society, 1918), 86-87.

[59] Firmicus Maternus, The Error of the Pagan Religions, 13.1-2[40] trans. C.A. Forbes (New York: Newman Press, 1970), 70-71.

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3 comments on “Bart Ehrman, Osiris, and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

  1. dnboswell
    February 20, 2015

    So apparently Mr. Youknowwho recently posted about some archetypes in the mythos of Mr. Sapenat. It’s a brief read, but still hilarious nonetheless (for reasons that have been expounded upon elsewhere here at Mythicism). In particular, the most hilarious part for me personally was the ludicrous statement that Sapenat “was not born of a miracle birth. His father was certainly quite old but producing offspring at an old age is not impossible.” The age of his father had nothing to do with the miraculous birth Sapenat DID indeed undergo. Knocking up a woman who is barren most certainly IS impossible, and hence why this birth was miraculous. As even the “canonized” portion of Sap’s mythos explicitly states, his mother “was barren” and God himself “hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb.” But eventually “God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach.” Supernatural divine intervention to override nature certainly qualifies as miraculous. And plenty of Mr. You-know-who’s predecessors & brothers in the faith have noted that as a conspicuous enough parallel to other miraculous births, especially a certain divine parthenogenetic birth.

    And on that point, for more information on the parthenogenetic birth of Osiris, check out The Perennial Gospel pp.142-202. For more on the origins of the parthenogenesis motif in general, see Bart Ehrman vs. virgin births.

  2. Pingback: Bart Ehrman vs. virgin births | Mythicism

  3. Pingback: YHW=Horus?!? Syncretism with Gentile Gods | Mythicism.Net

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