Saturday, March 19, 2016

Where Ahmed Osman Goes Wrong


Alice C. Linsley

Ahmed Osman (Arabic: أحمد عثمان‎) is an Egyptian-born author and Egyptologist. Drawing on the Bible, the Qur'an, and ancient Egyptian texts, he has put forward theories about Moses and Jesus that are largely rejected by most scholars. His work has a following among the "quirky" which is discrediting to him as a scholar. Osman has much to offer, but he has ignored the anthropologically significant data of Genesis and Exodus. Though his ideas are interesting, many cannot be supported by the evidence of history, linguistics, anthropology, and molecular genetics.

Osman_Ahmed-portrait
Ahmed Osman
In his book "Christianity: An Ancient Egyptian Religion" Osman posits that the roots of Christianity are found in ancient Egypt. He bases this conclusion, in part, on the variants of the name Jesus which include Yeshua, Joshua, Issa, Esau and Esse. Osman focuses on the variant Esse and attempts to connect Jesus and his followers to the Essenes, a Jewish ascetic sect of the 2nd century BC–2nd century AD who lived in structured communities in Palestine and held property in common. Certainly, the Essenes were influenced by theological ideas found in ancient Egypt.

Both the Essenes and the Pharisees held expectation of Messiah as a king who would restore the Davidic dynasty and restore Israel's former glory. This hope is expressed in Psalm 110:1: The Lord (YHWH) said to my Lord (L'adoni): "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet. L'adoni is an address for a human master. The Essenes believed that master was David. Their view of Messiah was as a political agent who would fulfill their nationalistic and spiritual hopes. Probably this is why Jesus avoided using the word "Messiah" when speaking of himself. He told Pilate that his kingdom is not of this world. This world is passing away. His kingdom is eternal. "Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations." Daniel 7:14 and Psalm 145:13

An eternal kingdom requires an immortal King. That is why Christians maintain that the bodily resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate proof of his identity as the long-awaited Son of God. Jesus' conception in the Virgin's womb by divine overshadowing is another proof of his identity. The angel explained to Mary: "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God."(Luke 1:35)

The oldest of these variants is likely Yeshua as it has the initial Y indicating divine appointment by overshadowing. This idea is found among Abraham's Proto-Saharan cattle-herding ancestors dating to at least 3500 BC. The Y depicted the long cattle horns that were worn as a solar crown. This Y mark appears in the names of many Horite Habiru/Hebrew rulers: Yaqtan (Joktan); Yishmael (Ishmael); Yishbak; Yitzak (Isaac); Yacob (Jacob); Yosef (Joseph); Yetro (Jethro); Yeshai (Jesse) and Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus).

However, the roots of Messianic expectation can be traced to one of the oldest known Horite temple at Nekhen (Sudan), a site of veneration of Horus that predates the first Egyptian dynasties. Discoveries at Nekhen continue to push back the dating of early civilizations. In May 2014, Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim announced the discovery of a Pre-Dynastic tomb at Nekhen (Hierakonpolis) that dates to about 500 years before King Narmer and the 1st Dynasty.

Nekhen is called the Falcon City as the falcon was one of the totems of Horus, the son of Ra. The Egyptian hr means "the one on high" and is a reference to the falcon that soars in the heavens. In the Coffin Texts, Horus claims, "I have brought the ways of eternity to the twilight of the morning.  I am unique in my flight." (Passage 148)

Nekhen was a large city with an estimated population of 20,000. It had markets, breweries and a large fishing industry. The city stretched nearly 3 miles along the Nile floodplain. Votive offerings at the Nekhen temple were ten times larger than the normal mace heads and bowls found elsewhere, suggesting that this was a very prestigious shrine. Horite priests placed invocations to Horus at the summit of the fortress as the sun rose.

The solar arc signified the rising of Horus from death to life. He rose as a lamb and set in mature strength as a ram. This conception is the background story of Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah. The expectation that the Righteous Son would not remain in the grave is expressed in Psalm 16:10: For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Horus of Nekhen
Renée Friedman, who has direct knowledge of the excavations at Nekhenhas written that the "evidence of industrial production, temples, masks, mummies, and funerary architecture as early as 3500 B.C. is placing Nekhen at the forefront of traditions and practices that would come to typify Egyptian culture centuries later.


Osman on Moses, Monotheism, and the Ten Commandments

In his book The Hebrew Pharaohs of Egypt, Osman puts forth the theory that Moses and the Pharaoh Akhenaten are the same historical person. He writes that Moses “abandoned traditional Egyptian polytheism and introduced a monotheistic worship centered on the Aten… [and] erected his new temples open to the air facing eastward; in the same way as the orientation of the Heliopolis.”

Heliopolis is Biblical On (Iunu), an Annu shrine city. Osman does not seem to be aware of the Annu and their religious practices. Plato, who studied under a Horite priest of Heliopolis for thirteen years, wrote "Tell me of the God of On, which was, is and shall be." Heliopolis was the geodetic center of Egypt. The pyramid triads at Giza, Abusir and Saqqara were aligned to the obelisk at On. Baalbek (Heliopolis) in Lebanon also aligned to On.

Osman makes assumptions that should be questioned. He assumes that ancient Egyptian religion was polytheistic. However, the more we learn about the ancient Egyptians the more it appears that their religion is not a true example of polytheism. From pre-dynastic times there was only one Creator though he was identified by different names: YHWH, El, Amun, Amun-Re, Aten, Atum, Azu, Re, etc. This God has a son, Horus. The Father and the Son are inseparable and of one essence in the theology of Abraham's Horim. Horus knows the Father and the Father knows the Son. This is expressed in the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts. In the priest's prayer to the King, he says, "Horus is a soul and he recognizes his father in you..." (Utterance 423)

While "gods" are mentioned in the Egyptian texts and in the Bible, both maintain that the One God is above all other gods. In the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts this is explicit. In a prayer addressed to the Purified Horus of the East it is said, "For you are he who oversees the gods, There is no god who oversees you!" (Utterance 573)

Horus is the bread offered to mortals. Consider this from the Pyramid Texts, mortuary texts dating from the beginning of the 4th dynasty: "O Hunger, do not come for me; go to the Abyss, depart to the flood! I am satisfied, I am not hungry because of this kmhw-bread of Horus which I have eaten." (Utterance 338) The Egyptian word km means to bring to an end, to complete, or fulfill, and hw refers to the temple or mansion at the end of the water above. Genesis speaks of this: God made the vault [expanse above] and separated the water under the vault from the water above it (Genesis 1:7).

It appears that the "kmhw-bread of Horus" is what the Church Fathers call "the bread of immortality." Concerning himself, Jesus said that "unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day" (John 6:53-54).

Osman assumes that Moses was a monotheist, which is incorrect. Moses and his Horite Habiru ancestors were henotheists, that is, they believed in one supreme uncreated Creator who is served by lesser created divine powers such as angels. Angelic or celestial beings were often portrayed as birds. Henotheism is much closer to monotheism than to polytheism.

The Creator's emblem was the Sun by which the Creator gives life to the world. The Sun was also called "Bull of bulls" because it inseminates the Earth. Consider this prayer from the Pyramid Texts: "Hail to you, Bull of bulls, when you arise!... As for my corpse, it is rejuvenated." (Utterance 336) This God has the power to give life to the dead.

The Creator overshadows those He appoints. Divine appointment applied to rulers and to the Woman (Gen. 3:15) who was to conceive the divine Seed or the Si-Re, "Son" of Re. Jesus refers to himself as the Seed in John 12:24. He tells his disciples that he is going to Jerusalem to die and when they object, he explains: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."

Osman notes that the Ten Commandments is clearly influenced by earlier Nilotic writings, such as Spell/Prayer 125 in the Egyptian Book of the Dead. He is correct in this. However, a much more significant influence is the Code of Ani which dates to about 2500 BC. There also is evidence of influence from the Law of Tehut which dates to about 3200 BC.

Portions of the Psalms are also found in earlier Nilotic writings. This should not surprise us since Abraham's Habiru ancestors came from the Nile Valley. The prayers of ascension in the Pyramid Texts and the Psalms of Ascent have much in common.

There are many parallels between the Psalms and the ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts, a collection of funerary prayers written on coffins beginning in the First Intermediate Period. Consider this poetic depiction of the soaring Horus from the Coffin Texts (Passage 148):
"I am Horus, the great Falcon upon the ramparts of the house of him of the hidden name. My flight has reached the horizon. I have passed by the gods of Nut. I have gone further than the gods of old. Even the most ancient bird could not equal my very first flight. I have removed my place beyond the powers of Set, the foe of my father Osiris. No other god could do what I have done. I have brought the ways of eternity to the twilight of the morning. I am unique in my flight. My wrath will be turned against the enemy of my father Osiris and I will put him beneath my feet in my name of 'Red Cloak'." 

Here we find a Messianic reference that appears in Psalm 110: The Lord says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."


Biblical References to Horus and the Horites

Horus and the Horites are referenced throughout the Bible. The Horite rulers of Edom are listed in Genesis 36. Among them are Seir, Esau the Elder, Esau the Younger, Zibeon, Ezer, and Uz.

Biblical persons with Horus names include Hur, Moses's brother-in-law, and Aaron, Moses's brother. Aaron in Arabic is Harun.

In 1 Chronicles 7:36 we find the Horus name Har-nepher: "The sons of Zophah: Suah, Harnepher, Shual, Beri, Imrah..." Har-nepher (HR-ntr/ntjr) means Horus is King/God. The Virgin Mary's name reveals her Horite ancestry. She is Miriam Daughter of Joachim Son of P-ntjr Priests of Nathan of Bethlehem. From predynastic times, ntjr designated the king. It is likely that p-ntjr means "King's priest" or is a reference to a member of the Horite ruler-priest caste.

Joseph's family lived in Nazareth, the home of the eighteenth division of priests. This division was called "Happizzez" (1 Chronicles 24:15). The word happi is of Egyptian origin and designates the Nile River.

I Chronicles 4:4 names Hur/Hor as a "father" of Bethlehem, and 1 Chronicles 2:54 names Salmon, the husband of Rahab of Jericho, is called a "father" of Bethlehem. Mount Hor (Numbers 20:22-29) is near Petra in Edom. Edom was Horite territory.




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