The Ancient Egyptian/Christian Holy Families

The very thing that is now called the Christian religion was already in existence in Ancient Egypt, long before the adoption of the New Testament. The British Egyptologist, Sir E. A. Wallis Budge, wrote in his book, The Gods of the Egyptians [1969],

The new religion (Christianity) which was preached there by St. Mark and his immediate followers, in all essentials so closely resembled that which was the outcome of the worship of Osiris, Isis, and Horus.

The similarities, noted by Budge and everyone who has compared the Egyptian Ausar/Auset/Heru (Osiris/Isis/Horus) allegory to the Gospel story, are striking. Both accounts are practically the same, e.g. the supernatural conception, the divine birth, the struggles against the enemy in the wilderness, and the resurrection from the dead to eternal life. The main difference between the “two versions”, is that the Gospel tale is considered historical and the Ausar/Auset/Heru (Osiris/Isis/Horus) cycle is an allegory.

Allegories are intentionally chosen as a means for communicating knowledge. Allegories dramatize cosmic laws, principles, processes, relationships and functions, and express them in a way easy to understand. Once the inner meanings of the allegories have been revealed, they become marvels of simultaneous scientific and philosophical completeness and conciseness. The more they are studied, the richer they become. The ‘inner dimension’ of the teachings embedded into each story make them capable of revealing several layers of knowledge, according to the stage of development of the listener. The “secrets” are revealed as one evolves higher. The higher we get, the more we see. It is always there.

The Egyptians (Ancient and present-day Baladi) did/do not believe their allegories as historical facts. They believed IN them, in the sense that they believed in the truth beneath the stories.

The Christian religion threw away and lost the very soul of their meaning when it mistranslated the Ancient Egyptian allegorical language into alleged history, instead of viewing it as spiritual allegory. The result was a pathetic, blind faith in a kind of emotional and superstitious supernaturalism, and effectively aborted the real power of the story/allegory to transform the life of every individual.

The Egyptian allegory of Auset (Isis) and Ausar (Osiris) explains practically all facets of life. This love story resonates with betrayal and loyalty, death and rebirth, forgetting and remembering, evil and righteousness, duty and compassion, the manifestation of the forces of nature, the meaning of sisterhood and brotherhood and of motherhood/fatherhood/sonhood, and the mysteries of the body, the soul, and the spirit.

The following is a shortened version of the story of the Auset/Ausar Egyptian allegory, so as to highlight the Egyptian source of Christianity. This narrative is compiled from Ancient Egyptian temples, tombs, and papyri, dated 3,000 years before Christianity, and goes as follows:

The self-created Atum begat the twins Shu and Tefnut, who in turn gave birth to Nut (the sky/spirit) and Geb (the earth/matter). [More details about the creation of the universe and man in chapter 13 of our book, The Ancient Egyptian Roots of Christianity.]

The union of Nut (spirit) and Geb (matter) produced four offspring, Ausar (Osiris), Auset (Isis), Set (Seth), and Nebt-Het (Nepthys).

Like the biblical Jesus, Ausar (Osiris) symbolizes the divine in a mortal form—combining both spirit (Nut) and matter (Geb).

According to the Ancient Egyptian traditions, Ausar (Osiris) came to earth for the benefit of mankind, bearing the title of Manifester of Good and Truth, likewise, the biblical Jesus.

ankhThe Egyptian allegory goes that Ausar married Auset, and Set married Nebt-Het. Ausar became King of the land (Egypt) after marrying Auset.

Ausar (Osiris) brought civilization and spirituality to the people, enabling them thus, to achieve prosperity. He gave them a body of laws to regulate their conduct, settled their disputes justly, and instructed them in the science of spiritual development.

Having civilized Egypt, he traveled around the world to spread the same instructions. Wherever Ausar (Osiris) went he brought peace and learning to the people.

Between the two evangelists (Ausar and Jesus), there are vivid similarities. The divine son comes down from heaven. God came down to earth to guide the world. Both had traveled to spread the word.

Ausar (Osiris) induced people to accept his teachings, not by force of arms, but by the use of persuasive lectures, spiritual hymns, and music. Diodorus of Sicily wrote, in Book I [18, 4]:


Ausar (Osiris) was laughter-loving and fond of music and the dance;


Similarly, the biblical Jesus was persuasive and was celebrated as Lord of the Dance in a Christmas carol from the Middle Ages.

ankhWhen Ausar (Osiris) returned from his mission, he was greeted with a royal feast, where he was tricked by Set (Seth)—the evil one—and his accomplices into lying down inside a makeshift coffin. The evil group quickly closed and sealed the chest, and threw it into the Nile. Set became the new Pharaoh—as the coffin containing the lifeless body of Ausar flowed into the Mediterranean Sea.


Both Jesus and Osiris were betrayed by dinner guests (Jesus by Judas, and Ausar/Osiris by Set (Seth/Typhon) at their own privately-held banquets. The biblical Jesus’ age was assumed to be 23 years old and Ausar (Osiris) was 28 years old—both of young ages.

Meanwhile, Auset (Isis), upon receiving the news of Ausar’s fate and disappearance, was in grief and vowed never to rest until she found the Manifester of Truth—Ausar.

ankhAuset (Isis) searched everywhere, accosting everyone she met, including children, for it was said that children had/have the power of divination.

Children, with the power of divination, are acknowledged by the biblical Jesus in the New Testament.

ankhThe story goes that one day during her search, Auset (Isis) requested shelter at the house of a poor woman.

This point signifies the paramount feature of the Egyptian teachings where one was/is taught not to consider oneself to be superior to others, but to rank oneself as the poorest, lowest, and most humble of mankind. This applies to everyone—including Auset, the Queen.

By fabricating humble roots for Jesus and his family, Christiandom missed the point that it is the powerful who must learn to be humble.

ankhHumility is symbolized in the action of the Christ King [Matthew, 21:5 and John, 12:13-15] to mount an ass—that represents the ego and false pride. This is truly Ancient Egyptian symbolism.


ankhThe story continues that the coffin of Ausar (Osiris) was swept by the waves to the shoreline of a foreign land. A tree sprang up and grew around it, enclosing the body of Ausar in its trunk. The tree grew large, beautiful, and fragrant. [See an Ancient Egyptian temple depiction below.] News of this magnificent tree came to the king of this alien land, who ordered that the tree be cut down, and its trunk brought to him. He utilized the trunk as a pillar in his house without knowing the great secret it contained within.

This is reference to the Tree of Life, and with all that that implies. It is also a reference to the Tet (Djed) pillar of Ausar (Osiris).

In Christianity, this became the Christmas tree.


ankhAuset (Isis) had a revelation in her dreams that Ausar’s body was in this alien land, so she immediately traveled there. When she arrived she dressed as a commoner and befriended the queen’s handmaidens and was able to get a job in the palace as a nurse of the baby prince.

Auset (Isis), the Queen of Egypt, practiced the Egyptian teachings that emphasize the practice of humility by serving others without exception—to achieve union with her love—The Divine.

ankhLater on, Auset (Isis) confessed her identity to the queen, and the purpose of her mission. Auset (Isis) then asked the king that the pillar be given to her. The king granted her request, and she cut deep into the trunk and took out the chest.


ankhAuset (Isis) returned back to Egypt with the chest containing Ausar’s lifeless body. She hid the body in the marshes of the Nile Delta. Auset used her magical powers [according to Pyramid Texts number 632, 1636, and murals at Abydos and Philae] to transform herself into a dove. Drawing Ausar’s essence from him, she conceived a child—Heru (Horus). In other words, Auset was impregnated by the holy ghost of Ausar. [See the Ancient Egyptian temple depiction below.]

This action symbolizes reincarnation and spiritual rebirth—a key to understanding the Egyptian belief in life after death.


Ancient Egyptian temple depiction showing Auset on the left, as her magical essence embodied in the flying dove draws the essence of Ausar to be impregnated. On the left, a frog-headed netert, Heqet, symbolizes the power of fertility, representing conception and procreation.

ankhAuset’s conception of Heru by no living man is the oldest documented version of immaculate conception. The supernatural conception and the virgin birth of Heru (Horus) found their way into Christianity.

Auset’s (Isis’) role in the Egyptian Model Story and the story of the Virgin Mary are strikingly similar, for both were able to conceive without male impregnation, and, as such, Auset was revered as the Virgin Mother.

For more information about:

  • The Egyptian origin of the name Mary
  • The Egyptian origin and meaning of Christ being Heru (Horus), son of Auset (Isis)
  • The Ancient Egyptian concept of holy (virgin) conception/birth
  • The ideal of virginity in the Ancient Egyptian culture

refer to our book, The Ancient Egyptian Roots of Christianity, by Moustafa Gadalla.


When Set heard about the new child (Heru), Set went to kill the newborn. Hearing that Set was coming, Auset was told to take him to a secluded spot in the marshes of the Nile Delta [as per the Ancient Egyptian temple depiction shown below].

This is the source of the story in which Herod, upon hearing about the birth of the biblical Jesus, set out to destroy all the newborn males.

In the New Testament the angel of the Lord says to Joseph, “Arise and take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt.”

Like Auset, the Virgin Mary is celebrated as the “Queen of Marshes”.


An Ancient Egyptian festival celebrating the birth of Heru (Horus), was held on 25 December, and it resembles the Christian festival of Christmas.

The celebration was called The Day of the Child in His Cradle, and was held at the court and the chapel of the Dendera Temple. [More info in our book, The Ancient Egyptian Roots of Christianity, by Moustafa Gadalla.]

ankhThe story continues that one night (while Auset (Isis) was giving birth to Heru (Horus) in hiding), and when the moon was full, the evil Set and his accomplices found the chest containing the dead body of Ausar and cut him into 14 pieces (the 14 symbolizes the number of days required to shape a full moon). Ausar represents the lunar principle in the universe and is known as Ausar the Moon.

When Auset (Isis) heard about how Set (Seth)and his accomplices cut Ausar (Osiris) into different pieces, and scattered them throughout the land, her job was to search near and far, so as to collect and put the broken pieces back together.

  1. To bind or tie together is the meaning of the “Latin” word religio, which is the root of the word religion.
  2. By remembering and recollecting the story of Auset and Ausar (Isis and Osiris), we keep in our hearts a tale that expresses, in Joseph Cambell’s words, “the immanence of divinity in the phenomenal forms of the universe.”

ankhAs soon as Heru (Horus) had grown to manhood, he challenged Set (Seth) for the right to the throne in what was called the Great Quarrel/Struggle in the Wilderness.

Auset (Isis), with the help of others, collected all the pieces… all except the phallus (indicative of physical reproduction), which had been swallowed by a fish in the Nile. She then reunited the dismembered body of Ausar and, with the help of others, wrapped it in linen bandages, and mummified it.

Tehuti (Thoth/Hermes/Mercury), Auset (Isis), and Heru (Horus) performed the Ceremony of Opening The Mouth upon the mummy, and Ausar (Osiris) was brought back to life as the Judge and King of the Dead (the past), while Heru (Horus) was to take his place as king of the living (the present). Set (Seth) remained the Lord of Wilderness.


This represents the everlasting perpetual cycle of the spiritual power on earth: The King is dead (Ausar/Osiris); Long live the King (Heru/Horus).

As the Pefect Shepherd, Ausar (Osiris) is usually shown in a mummified bearded human body, carrying the shepherd’s crook (being the shepherd of mankind) and the flail (symbolizing the ability to separate wheat from chaff).

crossThe shepherd motif is encountered in the 23rd Psalm; “thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me”.

In many ways, the account of the Resurrection of Jesus is similar to that of Ausar (Osiris). Like Ausar, he is said to have risen from the dead. The Ancient Egyptians believed, as did the early Christians (Hebrews, 4:14), that ”man cannot be saved” by a distant Almighty, but only by one who has shared the experience of human suffering and death.

  • Both Ausar (Osiris) and Jesus suffered and died.
  • Both Ausar and Jesus were shortly resurrected after their deaths. Reassuming earthly form, they demonstratively affirmed proper conduct and its other-worldly rewards, after which time they returned to heaven, having “saved the world”.
  • Both became the savior to whom men and women turned, for assurance of immortality.

The medieval Passion plays concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus closely parallels the death and resurrection of the Egyptian King as Ausar (Osiris).

Finally, the biblical story about the raising from the dead of El-Asar or Lazarus has maintained the Ancient Egyptian name/concept of the Ancient Egyptian Ausar (Osiris). The miracle described in John’s Gospel was never an historic event, instead it was a recurring, deeply archetypal and widely used symbol of God’s power to resurrect the dead.

Moustafa Gadalla

For more information about the spiritual message of death/rebirth and its potentials for each individual, as well as the Ancient Egyptian roots of Christianity, refer to:

  • The Ancient Egyptian Roots of Christianity, 2nd ed.