Wednesday, 30 January 2013

In God's Name

Here is a fascinating piece of information I've just gleaned from D. M. Murdock's very readable book, The Origins of Christianity And The Quest For The Historical Jesus

It seems the name which the people who created and wrote about the myth of Jesus used for the hero of their tale was a very old one, owing it's origins to an earlier event in human history - the Alexandrian conquest of Northern India.

You may recall from history lessons how Alexander III of Macedon, generally known as Alexander the Great, the son of a minor Macedonian king, Philip II, who conquered Ancient Greece, built the largest empire the world had then known, an empire which was to have a huge and long-lasting influence on the course of history.

Alexander the Great's Empire
Alexander inherited a strong and disciplined army from his father when he succeeded him in 336 BCE. Two years after becoming King of Greece he invaded Asia Minor (modern Turkey) which was then a Persian possession. After a ten-year campaign he overthrew King Darius II of Persia and incorporated Persia into his empire. His empire then extended from the Adriatic to the Indus River and the Himalayan Mountains in Northern India. In a series of campaigns he had annexed the entire Eastern Mediterranean and Ancient Egypt and his armies pushed even further into central Asia as far as Bactria, now Afghanistan. He was prevented from moving further south into the rest of India when his troops demanded he turn back. Instead, he planned to annex the Arabian Peninsula but he died, supposedly of malaria, in Babylon in 323 BCE, aged 26. In just 13 years he had transformed the Eastern Mediterranean area and exported Greek culture to Mesopotamia, India and Western Central Asia.

On his death, a brief civil war resulted in his empire being divided amongst a number of his generals who set themselves up as kings, including Ptolemy, who grabbed Egypt. One of Ptolemy's descendants was Queen Cleopatra, the last Egyptian Pharaoh.

From then on the Eastern Mediterranean area was culturally Greek and Greek became the lingua franca of the Eastern Mediterranean world used for trade, government and increasingly the language scholars and scribes used. Even when Rome succeeded in incorporating much of the Helenized part of the the world into its expanding empire the language, culture and many of the customs of the eastern half remained Greek, as was that of it's eventual successor in the east, centred on Constantinople (renamed Byzantium, now Istanbul) and calling itself "The Roman Empire" but known to historians as the Byzantine Empire to distinguish the two, until it's demise in 1453.

What has this got to do with the myth of Jesus?

Well, according to D. M. Murdock, the Greeks acquired the name of one of their gods, Zeus, from India in the name 'Dyaus' to which had been appended the Greek for 'the father', 'patêr' to give 'Dyaus Pitar' which became 'Zeus Patêr', from which we get 'Deos', 'Dios', 'Deus', 'Dieu', 'Dei' and 'Theos'. The Romans contracted 'Dyaus Piter' to 'Jupiter', so both Zeus and Jupiter are 'God the Father'

In Egypt, 'Pitar' became 'Ptah' the 'father of the gods', one manifestation of whom is the sun, or Horus. One of Horus' names was Iusa. Egyptian tradition had long regarded the Pharaoh as the earthly form of Horus while alive who became Osiris in death, hence Horus and Osiris were aspects of one another. Another name for Osiris was 'Krst', hence we have Iusa Krst, son of God the Father (Ptah or Dyaus Piter).

One of Horus' main rivals was Set or Seta, originally another, dark, aspect of Horus with whom Horus once battled for 40 days in the wilderness.

And of course, the Bible's authors wrote their tales about Iesu Christos (Iusa Krst, Jesus Christ), Son of God, who does battle with Seta or Satan, and whose close friend was Peter, names which come to us straight from Alexander's India via Egypt. The fact that Palestine was part of the Helenized world facilitated the transmission of the stories they wrote in Greek throughout the Eastern Roman Empire, including the major towns of Damascus, Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople, and to Rome itself, so founding the major branches of early Christianity based on these cities, each with it's own Pope or bishop and each with it's own versions of the tales of this ancient mythical Indian god, set and retold in a Helenized Palestine and incorporating elements of Ancient Egyptian mythology for added authenticity.

As an interesting aside, again according to D. M. Murdoch, the Hebraic term 'Masiah' (anointed one) was used for any king but it was a title "commonly assumed by imposters, conjurers and pretenders to supernatural communications", so much so that it became a pejorative term to indicate a fraud or imposter, hence its use as a title for Jesus could well have been intended originally to mock an imposter or fraud.

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