Defending The Most
Luke, Former Jesus Fanboy And Author Of One Of The Most Creative Stories Of The Bible, Refutes Allegations That His Gospel Rips Off The Story Of Horus And Other Works In The Savior Genre
Special for Modern Times Magazine
Feb. 1, 2016 — Yes, of course, I’d heard the story of Horus. We studied it in secondary school, where I devoured Hellenistic literature, especially the story of the Sun God, which I considered the best in the savior genre. But to suggest my Jesus gospel is a copycat of that myth is to expose your limited understanding of the genre.
At first, I wondered why you accused me of plagiarism, and not Mark, who wrote the first gospel? But of course Mark’s writing, although historically accurate, was lackluster and underdeveloped. His account was too on the snout with its message; he was more concerned with His teachings than he was with the development of the story. It’s a mistake many young writers make. For instance, Mark left out the birth of Jesus—one of the more critical parts in any story in the genre is the hero’s birth; there is always some special circumstance surrounding it. Dionysus’ mortal mother died while he was still in her womb, prompting his father, Zeus, to sew the unborn half-God into his thigh. Could you imagine if the author left out that detail? So it made sense for you to condemn the most complete and literate gospel.
Of course I could just stamp my feet and insist that my gospel is based on facts, but I consider this sort of rebuttal beneath both of us. So let us look more at the savior genre in general, before we dive into the similarities between Horus and my gospel.
As a young writer I’d read everything I could get my hands on. Not only the story of Horus; I’d also read Osiris, Dionysus, Adonis, and even the story of Krishna before I’d written my gospel — all of which have similarities not only with my gospel but with each other. Whether fictional or biographical, there is bound to be overlap in stories dealing with divine men who save the world. For starters, you can’t have a savior story without people in need of saving, as well as somebody to save them from. You also need some followers and ideally some angels for heralding purposes.
What I loved most about the above savior stories was their craftsmanship, their attention to character and scene development, language. So it was with these things in mind that I began to write His story; and of course, I started at the beginning, where you say we have our first example of my plagiarism.
Let us look at the Virgin birth; you claim Isis was a virgin when she gave birth to Horus. In the original version of Horus, Isis’s husband, Osiris, was murdered, his body parts spread throughout the land, which, of course, only made Isis want him that much more — we want what we cannot have. So, being a goddess, she re-assembled her spouse; however she couldn’t locate his penis, which she learned, was thrown into the Nile and eaten by catfish, which put reassembly beyond even a goddess’ reach. But she was of a persistent and a libidinous nature, so she fashioned a fake penis out of gold and mounted it. She had sex with it! Although creative and magical, Isis was in fact not a virgin.
You also pointed out that I copied the number of wise men: you say that there were three in Horus and three in mine. Have you even read my gospel? It mentions no number of wise men, only that three of them brought gifts. As a matter of fact, the disciples preached of a manger overrun with wise men — you could hardly take a step without stepping on one’s sandaled foot, they’d said — but only three had the good sense to bring gifts. This is an example of truth being stranger than fiction; can you imagine showing up to the birth of God empty handed? I mean really, who were these wise men raised by? Tax collectors?
You point out plagiarism throughout my story, but the one that really chapped my ass was your claim that both Horus and Jesus performed miracles–well yeah, they were both gods, who can pretty much do whatever they want, including, by the way, resurrection. Could you imagine a story in which a god was hanging around Earth sleeping until the late afternoon, eating manna and avoiding the sick? True or not, I would call that story uninspired and not worth telling.
So yes, I concede there are many similarities in the story of Horus and in my gospel, including, as you also pointed out, that both births were witnessed by shepherds — everybody was a shepherd back then, so you couldn’t relieve yourself on a cactus without being witnessed by one. So instead of accusing me of plagiarism, let us just say that all savior stories are bound to have similarities — whether they are fictional or based on the life of God.
Scott Gordon is the author of this satire article written in the voice of Luke and was a finalist in Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers and his work can be found in The Satirist, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Pennsylvania Literary Journal and Mobius Magazine. In addition to writing fiction, he has written and directed films and television series, including American Writers of the Twentieth Century and Searching for Haizmann.
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