The Zeitgeist movie is poor, truly and inescapably poor. As shown by many scholarly articles and videos alike. But what’s the claim of the Zeitgeist movie and those who support it? Well it goes something like so. It begins with the claim that the “sun” god Horus and the Son of God Jesus both involve words that sound the same! Ignoring the fact that these cultures of ancient history didn’t speak English the movie moves speedily on. There’s also Set, Horus’ antagonist and so-called personification of night, who shares the first letter of his name (in English at least) with Satan! This is truly the level of argument in Zeitgeist: The Movie. So the claim is that everything written about Jesus was copied from other gods, gods suchlike Horus, Krishna etc. So Jesus in the mind of the skeptic wasn’t a real person because he is built up of borrowed stories.
So the Son is the sun simply because they sound the same in English, the twelve apostles represent the twelve constellations of the zodiac, rather than the far more obvious answer that the twelve apostles represent the twelve Jewish tribes, or as it was written in a less speculative manner: ‘History shows that the division of the constellations into the 12 zodiacal signs did not occur until the Babylonians made the divisions around the fifth century B.C.’ So there’s absolutely zero truth to the claim. Moreover we’re expected to believe the crown of thorns which dressed Jesus’ head were actually sun rays, and we’re meant to believe this because the movie shows a simple picture of the sun while saying it, in addition to their argument that the sun sounds like the Son when spoken in English. They back these “arguments” up with the idea that the crucifixion, virgin birth and many other events detailed in Christian Scripture were in fact borrowed from other gods as found in other cultures. The pictures below tell the story well enough.
Though anyone who’s familiar with their Bible will immediately notice an issue, since everything to do with Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection can be found in the old Jewish Scripture! So why are people looking (or lying) for myths like Egyptian ones when Jewish people already had Jewish stories from which to draw their conclusions? Whether these be the virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14), the Messiah’s divine status (Isaiah 9:6), Or even Jesus’ suffering and burial (Isaiah 53), these are all affirmed for reading a single book of the Torah, which isn’t even counting the Psalms and others. So not only are these assertions about borrowing from other gods untrue, but the ideas behind the stories if indeed borrowed would have had their roots firmly in Jewish thought. Which isn’t at all surprising as the Gospels were written by Jews. For what reason are people ignoring the clear Jewishness of these writings in favour of stories outside of the Jewish perspective? It’s either the fault of poor scholarship or wishful thinking. Still there’s one extra problem with the movie, and that’s that the movie contains lies. None of the other gods who are said to have resurrected, died upon the cross, or been virgin born were involved in any of these things, there’s no paper trail of scholarship to this, just empty talk and wishful thinking. Full blown lies. The movie continues with biased against the 27 manuscripts of the New Testament, and inaccuracies regarding secular writers of history. My favourite of which is their disproof of the Jewish historian Josephus, as they first dismiss this quote of his in an attempt to undermine evidence for a historic Jesus outside of the New Testament.
About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Christ. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.
Flavius Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3, 3.
This quote is its own worst enemy, mostly because (although authentic) it’s been dressed up by later fraudsters looking to write flattering words about Christ, sadly their behaviour has only worked to cast doubt on the words of the historian. Still university of Cambridge’s James Dunn tells of how there’s a broad scholarly consensus that the core of this passage, Jesus included, was written by the historian’s own hand, it belongs in the wider chapter’s context and contains the stylistic traits of Josephus himself. However after having wrongly attacked Josephus based on later additions to the text, they then ignore the strongest writings which the same historian made concerning both Jesus and His brother.
‘Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king, desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrin without his consent.’
The Antiquities of the Jews (Book 20, Chapter 9, 1)
This universally accepted writing which appears in every manuscript of Josephus’ work wasn’t touched upon in the movie. For a better understanding of the Bible and history of Jesus I recommend reading The New Testament versus Shakespeare. Though hereafter the Zeitgeist movie takes a more bizarre and sinister twist, as it begins an array of distasteful insinuations about the September eleventh attacks and other Islamic atrocities. What’s more the movie takes on an ironic twist insofar that manipulation and lies are what the product claims to be fighting against, yet lies are its most common tool and manipulation its end goal. Lying and throwing out unsubstantiated claims isn’t the least bit difficult, whereas the task of a Christian who’s having to confront these charges brought against their faith yet has everything still to do. Now it seems as though there’s no answer to these claims bar becoming an expert in Osiris, Krishna, Horus or any other ancient figure who the skeptic may feel inclined to lie about. Still before we dedicate our lives to the study of such things I’d like to write a rather speedy, considerably effective answer to the claim that the Gospel stories were borrowed from some strange source. To do that we have to answer the following two questions:
(1) Who’s the audience that the Gospel writers are appealing to?
(2) Where did the authors draw their material from if anywhere?
Firstly the question of who the Gospel writers are appealing to comes into play, as they’re not writing so to convince Egyptians or Hindus or any alien people group, instead they’re writing to their fellow Jews. This will be shown in the answer to question two, which will cover the material the Gospel writers appeal to so to convince the reader that Jesus truly is the promised Messiah of Jewish law. Let’s go through the material which the Gospel writers quote and reference therefore:
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 8:8 and sweep on into Judah, swirling over it, passing through it and reaching up to the neck. Its outspread wings will cover the breadth of your land, Immanuel!”
“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Mich 5:2-3 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites.”
where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.
Hosea 11:1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.”
Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
Jeremiah 31:15 This is what the Lord says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”
Isaiah 40:3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.
John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”
Isaiah 40:3 “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
Psalms 69:9 for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
Could these writers make their sources any clearer? They’re practically screaming This is a Jewish book, written by Jews so to convince Jews. Yet the Zeitgeist movie still insists on getting it wrong. The more it’s thought upon the less their conclusions make sense, since for the early Christian to say “Jesus was raised from the dead because the Egyptian book of the dead says so!” is utterly preposterous, equally preposterous is the entire Zeitgeist club of thoughtless freethought devotees.
Towards the end of the movie things get a little philosophical, which isn’t the movie’s strongest aspect believe you me, ending with the written words “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” However I’m tempted to write when hatred of Christ and love of that same hatred ends we’ll know peace, peace from these terrible sorts of movie.
― T. C. M