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The Real ZEITGEIST Challenge

by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S

the real zeitgeist challenge image

The following article is a response to the purported "debunking" of the first part of the original "ZEITGEIST" film. Because of its length, it is divided into several pages. I have also provided a free ebook containing the entire article, linked at the bottom of each page as well. Please also listen to my appearance on Peter Joseph's "Zeitgeist Undebunked" radio show.

Listen to internet radio with Peter Joseph on Blog Talk Radio

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Testimony of Early Church Fathers

It is obvious from the frantic, hysterical and dishonest efforts to refute and debunk the first part of ZG, with a rabid focus on the Pagan parallels laid out there, that this aspect of Jesus mythicism constitutes the Achilles' heel of Christianity. From an abundance of facts, however, we can assert that early Christians copied much Pagan religion, mythology and philosophy, and subsequently attempted to cover up their actions by a massive and sustained censorship campaign that continues to this day, in such disingenuous efforts made by anti-ZGers. These facts can be demonstrated in a variety of ways using many sources, including the works of the early Church fathers. For example, in his First Apology, Church father and saint Justin Martyr remarked:

Chapter 21. Analogies to the history of Christ.

And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter.

Hence, we discover that, in making claims regarding Christ's virgin birth, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension into heaven, Justin is saying nothing different than what the Romans had maintained of their gods!

Justin next names some of these "esteemed sons of Jupiter"—i.e., Greek and Roman gods—who possessed one or more of these mythical motifs as Mercury (Hermes), Asclepius, Bacchus (Dionysus), Hercules and Perseus. Justin specifically uses the term "crucified," so we might wonder to whom he is referring, and turn our examination towards Egypt, for one, where it was rumored that there were gods who were "crucified" or who appeared in the shape of a cross, i.e., cruciform. This claim concerning non-Christian gods on crosses or in cruciform was also made by Church father Minucius Felix (c. 2nd-3rd cents.).

I have conducted a lengthy investigation of these subjects of the cross, crucifixion and cruciform in my book Christ in Egypt, as well as elsewhere, such as in my book Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled, which includes numerous images of pre-Christian gods and goddesses in the shape of a cross.

In his Dialogue with Trypho (66), in defense of Christ's virgin birth, Justin also says:

...in the fables of those who are called Greeks, it is written that Perseus was begotten of Danae, who was a virgin; he who was called among them Zeus having descended on her in the form of a golden shower.

In chapter 22 of his First Apology, Justin reiterates the comparison between Christ's birth and that of Perseus:

And if we affirm that He was born of a virgin, accept this in common with what you accept of Perseus.

Again, all of these quotes may be found in my books, along with other extensive discussions of their meaning and relevance.

Apologists cynically contend that, since Justin wrote around the middle of the second century, it was only then that in all of human history we hear of these concepts of the virgin birth, crucifixion and resurrection in non-Christian religions and myths. This argument holds no water at all, as, for one, nowhere does Justin say these elements just sprang into being in his time in imitation of Christianity—as he surely would have done here, if he could have.

Justin is not addressing a new phenomenon that had just erupted in his time-to make such a claim not only is unsupported by the facts but also represents yet another attempt to cover up the destruction of the past and its potential in exposing true Christian origins. The Church fathers who acknowledged these Pagan parallels claimed the devil had gotten there first and set them up as precedents, rather than asserting that these parallels were borrowed from Christianity—as they could not honesty have claimed, because the erudite among their audience of the time knew the truth.

Hence, Justin could not make such allegations, because he evidently knew that other gods had been said to have been born of virgins, crucified and resurrected long before his day. This contention can be proved by looking at some of the most popular gods and goddesses of the day, including and especially those of Egypt, in texts and on monuments long predating the common era.

For example, in a number of pre-Christian inscriptions Isis is called the "Great Virgin," despite her being the mother of Horus and, in one myth, impregnating herself with Osiris's severed phallus. That discrepancy is how myths work.

Justin was obviously aware of the existence of the virgin birth in pre-Christian mythology, even though he names not Horus but the Greek "son of Jupiter" Perseus as being a result of the union of God ("Zeus" means "God") and a mortal virgin. Justin never contends that the myth of Perseus, including the virginity of his mother, were newly created in imitation of the Christian faith. Instead, he resorts to the "Devil got there first" excuse, which necessitates that "Ol' Nick" anticipated Christ's virgin birth and assorted other "Christian" doctrines and planted them in the heads of the Pagans centuries before Christ's alleged advent.

The author(s) of the Christian text the Paschal Chronicle or Chronicle of Alexandria (7th cent. AD/CE) was so sure of this particular motif of a virgin mother long predating the alleged birth of Jesus that he attributed its centuries-old tradition in Egypt to the respect there for the warnings by the prophet Jeremiah, who purportedly lived in the seventh century BCE!

Says the Chronicle author:

This Jeremiah gave a sign to the Egyptian priests that their idols would be shaken, and it would come to pass by a child-savior born from a virgin, lying in a manger. Therefore, for some time now they deify a virgin child-bearer and worship a newborn child placed in a manger.(Murdock, CIE, 139)

If the Chronicle author and others before him could have honestly contended that the virgin birth in other cultures had been taken from Christianity-or did not exist as a motif at all, like modern would-be debunkers erroneously claim—he surely would have done so. But the tradition was obviously very ancient by the Chronicle author's time, so much so that he, as a bibliolater, felt the need to attribute its origins to the allegedly heeded warnings of a biblical prophet many centuries before Christ's alleged advent. There is much more to this subject, including suppressed testimony from other Church fathers such as Epiphanius (c. 310/320-403), as well as non-Christian sources, which can be found particularly in my books Suns of God and Christ in Egypt.


All of the contentions in ZG1.1 and more concerning Horus and Egypt are addressed in my nearly 600-page book Christ in Egypt. Briefly, Horus's birth at the winter solstice ("December 25th") is mentioned by Plutarch, but there is much more evidence of it. His mother, Isis, was called the "Great Virgin" in an inscription in the temple of the Egyptian pharaoh Seti I (13th cent. BCE) at Abydos. (Murdock, CIE, 152) Horus with the 12 companions or "disciples" is easily demonstrated in images found in tombs and pyramids representing passages from the various "books of the afterlife." (Murdock, CIE, 269ff)

Moreover, not only was the great god Osiris killed and resurrected from death—on a regular basis for thousands of years—but so too was his son Horus, in the pre-Christian writings of Diodorus. Indeed, in describing Horus's resurrection, Diodorus uses the precise term, anastasis, utilized later in the New Testament and other Christian writings to describe Jesus's resurrection! For more on this important fact, please see also CIE, which includes a lengthy discussion of the nature of Osiris's resurrection, both in this world and the afterworld. This fact of Horus's death and resurrection as found in a pre-Christian source is almost always overlooked by both scholars and apologists, for obvious reasons, as it absolutely demonstrates the unoriginality of this motif within Christianity, as well as its patently mythical nature, here revealed in an Egyptian myth.

Regarding the claim that Horus was "crucified," see my article:

Was Horus "Crucified?"

See also the lengthy chapter by the same title in Christ in Egypt.

For a shorter discussion of some of the Horus-Jesus contentions in ZG1.1, see also my Companion Guide to ZEITGEIST, Part 1


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The Real ZEITGEIST Challenge Free Ebook

Acharya S on DVD
Acharya S Interview with Metafysiko.org
Acharya's Online Videos
Astrotheology of the Ancients
Celebration of Life
Christ Conspiracy in the News!
Christ in Egypt Preface
D.M. Murdock/Acharya S's Media Appearances
David Mills's Review of 'Who Was Jesus?'
Did Buddha exist?
'Did Moses Exist?' reviewed by Robert Tulip
Did Jesus Fulfill Prophecy? | Who Was Jesus?
Does Church Father Papias Prove the Gospels Existed in the First Century?
Ezekiel's Vision of a Wheel within a Wheel
Easter: The Resurrection of Spring
The Gospel Dates
Is the King James Bible Inerrant?
Jesus Christ as the Sun God throughout History
Is Jesus an Egyptian Myth?
The Jesus Myth
Jesus, Son of Joseph, and Horus, Son of Seb
Man Made God Review
Moses, the Promised Land and Easter | Passover | Exodus
The Origins of Halloween
The Real ZEITGEIST Challenge
Skeptic Mangles ZEITGEIST (and Religious History)
The Christmas Hoax | Jesus is NOT the "Reason for the Season"
The Great Chaos | Paradise Found
The Healing Power of the Gospel
The Nativity of Amenhotep III at Luxor
The History of Mythicism | The Mythicist Position
The Star in the East and Three Kings | Wise Men | Magi
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