Month #5 of a Year of Contemplation: Religions Borrow From Each Other

Either there are some wacky coincidences amongst the world’s religions, or they have borrowed from one another throughout history. You see it in design (Hindu and Islamic art and architecture for sure) and actual dogma (such as the concept of the Trinity in Egypt).

The Holy Trinity of Christianity, consisting of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit bares striking similarity to earlier pagan trinities such as: Amun, Re, and Ptah of Egyptian Mythology; Anu, Enlil, and Ea of Sumerian Mythology; and Ishtar, Baal, and Tammuz of Babylonian Mythology.  It is also similar to the Trimurti of Hinduism (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva) who are the three principal manifestations of Brahman, or Godhead.

Looking at the Ten Commandments, which is thought to have taken place at about 1490 BC, you see a striking similarity to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which is from about 2600 BC.  
Some examples of these similarities are:

Book of the Dead: “I have not blasphemed.”
Exodus 20:7: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that shall take the name of the Lord his God in vain.”

Book of the Dead: “I have not committed adultery, I have not lain with men.”
Exodus 20:14: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

Book of the Dead: “I have not stolen.”
Exodus 20:15: “Thou shalt not steal.”

And then there’s Mary…

There are several Mother Mary temples in India dedicated to her worship, believing that she is an incarnation of a goddess.  

And in Egyptian mythology, many see striking similarities between Mary and Isis

  1. “Lady of Light” is a title given to both Mary and Isis. The infant Horus was born as the god of light for Egypt, while Jesus is known as the light of the world.
  2. When Horus was born, his father, Osirus, was already dead, which is very much like the birth of Jesus, fathered by the Holy Ghost.
  3. Both Isis and Mary are depicted in art as being maternal and holding their infant deities.
  4. Isis protected Horus from an evil uncle, which was much like Mary protecting Jesus from King Herod.
  5. Isis was the most prominent female figure in ancient Egyptian religion. Mary is the most important female figure in Christianity.
  6. Both Isis and Mary have primary roles in their respective religious movements as the eternal mother.
  7. Isis has a solar disk of light over her head and Mary has a halo of light above her head.

And Jesus?  Loads of similarities across religions, such as with Krishna, a major Hindu deity and eighth avatar of the god, Vishnu who embodies compassion and love.

Some people believe that some of the stories about Jesus are borrowed from the Egyptian god, Horus, but there is much debate on this.

Whether one believes that religions borrowed from one another or that these are just coincidences, one thing is indisputable in my opinion, and that is that the central tenants and messages are largely the same: Treat each other well, don’t judge, love each other, tell the truth, help those in need, find peace, etc.

With so much in common, it is bewildering that religious dissent has been the cause of so much war, death, and pain through the ages.  Will we ever evolve to see that they are more or less the same story, the same message, reaching people in different ways?


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