Other religions plagiarized Christianity, not the other way round
By Bishop Dave Chikosi
One of the biggest religious lies ever told is that Christianity is a White man’s religion. This is nothing but a black lie. The writer calling himself “Awakened Brother” has obviously not awakened to this realization. He has bought the lie hook, line and sinker. But nothing could be further from the truth.
African presence at the first church service in history
The truth that Awakened Brother (we will call him AB) needs to wake up to is that Africans were present as active participants at the very inception of the church on the Day of Pentecost. On that Day, thousands gathered to witness the Disciples receive the gift of the Spirit and speak in tongues. Among those gathered were men from Egypt, Libya and Cyrene (Acts 2). These were Black Africans.
They stood fearlessly, shoulder to shoulder with their European, Asian and Jewish brothers, listening to the Gospel proclaimed by the apostle Peter. Of the 3000 who got saved that day, there is no doubt that a good percentage of them were African. The first African Christians. African Pentecostals to be exact.
And so 1600 years before the first Black man was ever put in chains of slavery, we see free Black men receiving the Gospel and being incorporated as part of the newly-inaugurated Church.
Six chapters later we read about “a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Queen Candace” converting to Christianity and being baptized by the disciple Phillip (Acts 8). Bear in mind that the name Ethiopia in scripture is generic and refers to all of Africa south of Egypt, not just the little piece of real estate we currently call Ethiopia.
So once again, we see a free Black man freely giving his life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, some 1600 years before slavery. What do you think this Ethiopian eunuch, as well as the African converts at Pentecost, did after getting saved? Of course they went back to their home countries and evangelized their own.
And to augment the work of these first African evangelists, the apostle Mark travelled from Jerusalem to Alexandria in 60A.D. to formalize the work of God that had already begun there. The city of Alexandria is located on the northeast coast of Africa.
The fact that St Mark, a Jewish apostle, went to Africa, not Europe, as a missionary is interesting, especially when you consider that the first evidence of Christianity in England is from the late 2nd century AD.
Clearly the Gospel arrived in Africa long before it ever got to Europe. Christianity existed in North Africa long before there was the Church of England!
Early African missionary work among Europeans
AB may not be aware of this, but in the Bible we find Africans evangelizing Europeans 1400 years before the first European missionary ever set foot in Africa. The account in the Book of Acts explains how and why this happened. Some Jewish Christians had refused to preach to the Greeks, whom they regarded as Gentiles.
Guess who came to the rescue? Africans. It was Black “men of Cyprus and Cyrene . . . began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus” (Acts 11:20). Cyrene was a North African town in Libya. It was also the home of Simon of Cyrene – remember him? The Black man who helped Jesus carry the cross to Calvary (Matthew 27)?
Africans laid hands on the great apostle Paul
St Paul was undoubtedly called to the apostleship by none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. But who laid hands on him and set him and Barnabas apart for missionary work? It was “Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene (and) Manaen” (Acts 13:1).
The first two men were from Africa. I can see their big Black anointed hands resting gently on the temple of probably the greatest apostle in all of church history (St Paul wrote nearly two-thirds of the New Testament) and sent him off on his missionary journeys.
All this is not reverse racism. These are facts that people like AB are either ignorant of or simply choose to ignore in favor of their “Christianity is White” agenda.
Pagan copycat theories are just that: theories
AB wants us to believe that “Christianity is a copied religion. Jesus Christ was not the only God-man that ever existed, there had been several accounts of other saviors that were known world-wide way before Jesus.”
This is simply false. What AB fails to understand is that all human beings are born with an innate religious instinct given to us by God. We are incurably religious. It should therefore come as no surprise that pagans have come up with their own Christ-like figures to mediate between God and man. That in itself is a tacit recognition of the human need for a savior.
The only time similarities or parallels between Christianity and other religions are damaging to Christianity’s truth claims is if the borrowing or plagiarism can be proven factually. On this point AB’s article fails miserably.
AB fails to provide a single primary source or single statement from a scholarly secondary source to back up his copycat claims. Therefore his postulations must be dismissed as, at best, mischief-making.
The fact that a religious figure pre-dates Jesus Christ is neither here nor there. The reality is that the majority of alleged similarities between Christ and pagan religious-mythological figures actually postdate the completion of the Christian Canon.
Remember that most religious texts do not have an official canon like our Christian Bible or Canon. Their texts have been admittedly altered and added to over the centuries. The absence of an official canon makes such alterations not only possible, but easy. And so the argument as to who came first, Jesus or Krishna etc is irrelevant.
But let’s examine some of the specific copycat claims that AB makes in his article:
- KRISHNA, AB claims, was virgin born, with shepherds/wise men appearing at his birth, that he was crucified etc. However, none of that is true.
Krishna was not born of a virgin. He was the eighth son of Princess Devaki and Vasudeva: “You have been born of the divine Devaki and Vasudeva for the protection of Brahma on earth.” (Mahabharata Bk 12, XLVIII).
It is the newer texts (Puranas, Bhagyatas, Hariyamsa) which incorporate such tales, but these were written mostly between 400-1000AD i.e. after the life of Jesus.
Krishna’s father was not a carpenter. Vasudeva was a nobleman in the courts of Mathura. His foster-father was a cow-herd: “Thou art the most beloved of Nanda, the Cow-herd” (Bhagavata, Bk 8, I, pg 743).
Krishna was not born in a manger. He was born secretly in prison, with no shepherds or wise men. And he was not crucified either. He was killed by a hunter who “mistaking [Krishna], who was stretched on the earth in high Yoga, for a deer, pierced him at the heel with a shaft” (Mahabharata Book 16,4)
- DIONYSUS, AB claims, was born of a virgin, turned water into wine etc. Again, this just wishful thinking on his part.
There is no virgin birth to speak of here. In the most popular story, Semele is impregnated by dirty old Zeus via a bolt of lightning and the result was Dionysus. Virgin birth? You decide.
Dionysus did not turn water into wine. He was the god of wine who is said to have filled three empty cauldrons with wine. It is interesting that three symbols of donkey, wine and vine associated with Dionysus are also found in Genesis 49:11, a messianic prophecy written in 1400 BC long before Dionysus was ever a twinkle in the eye of mythology. Coincidence? I think not. Someone plagiarized Moses.
Dionysus was not the Only Begotten Son. His father, Zeus sired several other children. And he could not be Alpha and Omega either. He had a distinct beginning to his existence.
- ZOROASTER, AB claims, was also born of virgin, baptized in a river, healed a blind man etc. Again, all this is patently false.
There is no mention of a virgin birth in any of the early Zoroastrian texts. The texts clearly allude to conjugal relations between his parents, Dukdaub and Pourushasp (Denkard, Bk 5 2:1-2). However, in a later (embellished) text the god Ahura Mazda creates Zoroaster via the sacred Haoma plant!
The closest Zoroaster comes to being baptized is when he received a revelation on the bank of a river.
And as far as being tempted in the wilderness, the story in the “Vendidad Fargad” was penned sometime between 250 and 650 A.D, long after the Christian canon was compiled in A.D. 170.
The so-called healing of a blind man also comes to us from the 10th century CE. The Vendidad likely borrowed both stories from the Bible..
- ATTIS’ so-called similarities to Jesus are probably the most absurd of all. Attis is said to have been born when his mother Nana was impregnated by an almond that fell from a tree. The tree itself had earlier germinated from the severed genitals of a hemaphrodite monster called Agdistis.
Agdistis was conceived, again, by our dirty old player Zeus and a girlfriend. Attis is later raised by goats after deadbeat grandpa Zeus and mother Nana abandon him. Should we really waste time pursuing the rest of this poppycock?
- HORUS MANURE is how some Bible scholars have dismissed the claims by AB and others that Horus was born of a virgin, died on a cross, resurrected etc.
Horus was not born of a virgin. His mother, the goddess Isis, impregnated herself with the phallus of Osiris, her dead husband. One ancient Egyptian relief depicts Isis as a falcon, hovering over the erect phallus of a dead Osiris. So much for a virgin birth..
Horus was not born on December 25th. Aside from that date being of no importance to Christianity, it so happens that Horus’ date of birth was “on the second of the five epagomenal days” i.e. July 28.
Horus was not born in a manger. His mother Isis “gave birth to Horus in the swamps of Khemnis in the Nile Delta” (Encyclopedia Mythica).
There were no “three wise men” at Horus’ birth. Or at Jesus’ birth for that matter!
Horus was never baptized. There is no character named Anup the Baptizer in Egyptian mythology. Also there is no river called Eridanus in Egypt. Eridanus is a river in Greece.
Horus was never crucified or resurrected. Crucifixion didn’t exist until around 600 BC, long after the stories of Horus. An inscription found on the 4th century B.C. Metternich Stela describes Horus as being bitten by a poisonous scorpion while hiding in a marsh with his mother.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (where the Stela is currently located), adds this comment on their website:
“Isis speaks and recounts that while she and Horus were still hiding in the marshes, the child became ill. In her despair, she cried for help to the “Boat of Eternity” and the sun disk stopped opposite her and did not move from his place. Thoth was sent from the sun boat to help Isis and cured Horus by reciting a catalogue of spells.”
It turns out that Horus was sick, not dead, from a scorpion bite and was cured by the gods. No reputable modern works of Egyptology ever mention Horus dying and being resurrected.