What the Internet Can Teach Us About the Bible
Every couple of years, I get one or more of these emails from well-meaning but naive individuals. You have probably seen one like it if not this one.
From http://www.snopes.com/, Example of a hoax that has been circulating since 2002:
This information arrived this morning, from Microsoft and Norton. Please send it to everybody you know who accesses the Internet.
You may receive an apparently harmless email with a PowerPoint presentation called "Life is beautiful.pps."
If you receive it DO NOT OPEN THE FILE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, and delete it immediately.
If you open this file, a message will appear on your screen saying: "It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful", subsequently you will LOSE EVERYTHING IN YOUR PC and the person who sent it to you will gain access to your name, email and password.
This is a new virus which started to circulate on Saturday afternoon. WE NEED TO DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO STOP THIS VIRUS.
AOL has already confirmed its dangerousness, and the antivirus Softs are not capable of destroying it. The virus has been created by a hacker who calls himself "life owner", and who aims to destroying domestic PCs and who also fights Microsoft in court! That's why it comes disguised with extension pps. He fights in court for the Windows-XP patent.
MAKE A COPY OF THIS EMAIL TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS.
In March 2008 a warning began circulating that erroneously linked the (real) Mail Server Report worm with elements of the 'Life is Beautiful' virus hoax and claimed that the resulting amalgam "HAS BEEN CONFIRMED BY SNOPES"
Lots of nice “word salad” here, with Microsoft, AOL, and Norton bacon bits to add the appearance of substance. What it lacks is anything like a firm date that might cause one to suspect that it is as old as dirt. Instead, you get vague references like, “This morning” and “Saturday”. This dog has been be-boping around, and pissing on mailboxes for SEVEN YEARS. This is what can happen in a culture that is at an historic pinnacle of communication and information availability.
Now lets rewind back to the early Iron Age. We are now discussing a time when there were no phones, no telegraphs, no newspapers, not much literacy to speak of, no understanding of chemistry, psychology, physics, or the causes of weather. What happened in the next town could be a matter of conjecture, or rumor, or outright bullshit without any simple way to verify.
One of the many Christian arguments against the theory that the Apostle Paul was full of shit is, there is not enough time between the alleged death of Jesus and Paul’s preaching for a legend to be born.
From The Origins of Christianity and the Search for the Historical Jesus Christ by Acharya S.
Horus of Egypt
The stories of Jesus and Horus are very similar, with Horus even contributing the name of Jesus Christ. Horus and his once-and-future Father, Osiris, are frequently interchangeable in the mythos ("I and my Father are one").41 The legends of Horus go back thousands of years, and he shares the following in common with Jesus:
Horus was born of the virgin Isis-Meri on December 25th in a cave/manger 42, with his birth being announced by a star in the East and attended by three wise men.43He was a child teacher in the Temple and was baptized when he was 30 years old.44
Horus was also baptized by "Anup the Baptizer," who becomes "John the Baptist."He had 12 disciples.He performed miracles and raised one man, El-Azar-us, from the dead.He walked on water.Horus was transfigured on the Mount.He was crucified, buried in a tomb and resurrected.He was also the "Way, the Truth, the Light, the Messiah, God's Anointed Son, the Son of Man, the Good Shepherd, the Lamb of God, the Word" etc.He was "the Fisher," and was associated with the Lamb, Lion and Fish ("Ichthys").45
Horus's personal epithet was "Iusa," the "ever-becoming son" of "Ptah," the "Father."46Horus was called "the KRST," or "Anointed One," long before the Christians duplicated the story.47
In fact, in the catacombs at Rome are pictures of the baby Horus being held by the virgin mother Isis - the original "Madonna and Child" 48 - and the Vatican itself is built upon the papacy of Mithra 49, who shares many qualities with Jesus and who existed as a deity long before the Jesus character was formalized. The Christian hierarchy is nearly identical to the Mithraic version it replaced 50. Virtually all of the elements of the Catholic ritual, from miter to wafer to water to altar to doxology, are directly taken from earlier pagan mystery religions.51
“Several years ago, 500 people witnessed the appearance of the once-crucified, and resurrected after 3 day Godman. Pontius Pilate and Herod do not want you to know this. Don’t be fooled! Spread the Word! Tell everyone you know! If you believe this and tell ten people by nightfall, good luck and a luxurious afterlife will come your way. If you break the chain, you will be roasted without basting for eternity. Please give us your money so we can continue our work and save other people from this terrible fate. POPES CONFIRM THAT THIS IS NOT A HOAX!”