[April 4, 2009]
I got this question about the copycat-issue:
Glenn, thank you so much for your work and your spirit/attitude in your writing.
Quick but important question - there's a parallel often cited between horus and jesus in which horus is stated to have been a child teacher and then the next event in his life is his baptism at age 30 by Asup the Baptizer (if I've spelled it right).
This gap is not covered in your article and I wondered if you've found it in ancient sources? It seems like an uncanny coincidence....??
My first response was a 'normal' one--”ask the writer for some REFERENCES, so I can check them” (smile
LJP, I cannot find a single historical document (with references) which refers to Anup the Baptiser, or Asup the baptizer… I cannot find the ASUP name in any major ancient literature… I can only find one reference to ‘baptism’—and that was the ritual of coronation for the pharaoh—which varied in age (rarely 30)…
So you need to ask the writer for some concrete documentation for this, since it only seems to appear in ‘assertions’ and not in ‘documented sources’… I cannot refute something that doesn’t give me a source to work with (assuming it's not just MADE UP altogether)… sorry, g
They wrote back:
1) So where do you think Anup the Baptiser comes from? Is it completely made up? Is age 30 completely made up also? Or does it appear in less "ancient" sources?
2) BTW when you say "major ancient literature," where do you go to access this? Are they translated online somewhere so I can read them?
Thank you so much!
So, I had to provide more documentation/explanation:
I have NO IDEA where ‘anup’ comes from—I have searched the Web with ‘asup’ and ‘anup’, and all I find is the same list of ‘parallels’ over and over—without any documentation.
One or two sites suggested that it was ‘anubis the baptizer’, but that doesn’t work either. Anubis was the dog who did embalming. Of course he used water for washing the corpses, but this wasn’t ‘baptism’ in any comparable sense.
One. The ‘major ancient literature’ I refer to consists of the ‘canonical’ ANE documents (COS1,2,3 in my Book Abbrvs) and other Egyptian literature that I have stored on my harddrive. The attached biblio lists the 1100+ documents/books I have on the harddrive, and I have highlighted in RED the most pertinent ones. But I can keyword search ALL of them in seconds, and I looked for every combo of horus, anup, asup, and baptize – with ZERO results.
[note: Here are the highlighted texts I sent in the attachment:
Lichtheim, Miriam. Ancient Egyptian Literature : Volume I: The Old and Middle Kingdoms. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973-[80.
Lichtheim, Miriam. Ancient Egyptian Literature : Volume II: The New Kingdom. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973-[80.
Lichtheim, Miriam. Ancient Egyptian Literature : Volume III: The Late Period. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973-[80.
Allen, James P. Vol. 23, The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts. Writings from the ancient world. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005.
Hallo, William W., and K. Lawson Younger. The Context of Scripture. Leiden; New York: Brill, 1997, Vol 1.
Hallo, William W., and K. Lawson Younger. Context of Scripture. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2003, Vol 3.
Hallo, William W., and K. Lawson Younger. Context of Scripture. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2000, Vol 2.
Toorn, K. van der, Bob Becking, and Pieter Willem van der Horst. Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible. 2nd extensively rev. ed. Leiden; Boston; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999.
Foster, John L., and Susan T. Hollis. Vol. 8, Hymns, Prayers, and Songs : An Anthology of Ancient Egyptian Lyric Poetry. Writings from the ancient world. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1995.
Wente, Edward Frank, and Edmund S. Meltzer. Vol. 1, Letters from Ancient Egypt. Writings from the ancient world. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1990.
Nissinen, Martti, Robert Kriech Ritner, C. L. Seow, and Peter Machinist. Vol. 12, Prophets and Prophecy in the Ancient Near East. Writings from the ancient world. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003.
Murnane, William J., and Edmund S. Meltzer. Vol. 5, Texts from the Amarna Period in Egypt. Writings from the ancient world. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1995.
Strudwick, Nigel. Vol. 16, Texts from the Pyramid Age. Writings from the ancient world. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005.]
Two. Additionally, I checked some 20 hard-books in my library. Not a single description of Horus (in his many forms) even MENTIONED baptism – or anything like it—even in books specifically on Egyptian deities or religion.
Three. Then, I looked at references/articles in books on baptism. The Encyclopedia of Religion had one paragraph on baptism in Egypt , describing it as applying ONLY to newborns and to dead people. Not a whisper of Horus, or 30 years…
The only reference I found to anything CLOSE to this was in the so-called Baptism of Pharaoh, a coronation ritual of the pharaoh.
[CANE:277]: “An early coronation ceremony seems to have been the so-called Baptism of Pharaoh, a symbolic purification of the king by the gods of the four cardinal points. The reliefs show not only water but also the symbols for life and dominion being poured over the pharaoh.”
The reason it is referred to as ‘so-called’ is probably because it is NOT immersion (the proper meaning of baptizo).
When I looked for more references to the Baptism of Pharaoh (since the Pharaoh was sometimes identified with one version of Horus—as the Son of Re—I thought maybe that would be a possible research line), I found out that it was the OPPOSITE: it was Horus DOING the ‘baptizing’ of the Pharaoh.
the picture here:
has Thoth and Horus doing the pouring.
initial technical discussion of the BofP was by Sir Alan Gardiner in
1950 (Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, vol 36, Dec 1950, pages 3-12). He says (on pages 6&7) that this was ‘close enough’
to the Christian purification rite of Baptism to be called
pointed out that we are not sure when/how it occurred.. One relief
has it at infancy, for example. In any event, it is always Horus who
is ‘baptizing’ somebody else.
"The analogy of our rite to that of Christian baptism is close enough to justify the title given to this article. In both cases a symbolic cleansing by means of water serves as initiation into a properly legitimated religious life. It must not, however, be assumed too hastily that the ceremony was always enacted on the actual day of coronation. Sometimes it may have been performed far earlier; sometimes it performed at all. It is not mentioned in the Ramesseum dramatic papyrus; the purpose and occasion of the ritual there commemorated are wholly obscure to me. In any case it must never be forgotten that temple sculptures and tomb paintings are not necessarily authentic records of real happenings, but may merely belong to the world of imagination and make-believe. Are we to accept as gospel truth that Pharaoh's chariot was always the first to dash into the midst of his enemies and that they always succumbed at the first impact?"
Later, Gabriel and Gichon, point out that this ‘B of P’ occurred every day(!)… (p. 184 of Gods of our Fathers. They DO connect it to Jesus’ baptism somehow (???!), but still Horus is the baptizer, not baptizee… the parallel to Jesus is thus NOT sustained by the B of P ritual.
So, I cannot find anything… the only speculation I can offer is that it MIGHT show up in the late 19th century skeptical works by Massey, Graves, etc—all of which are discounted/disclaimed by modern skeptics. (Mostly because those old works do not document their assertions, and/or they refer to images which cannot be found or verified today…).
Sorry, I couldn’t help more—best, glenn
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