In honour of the holiday we know better as “Christmas,” I figured it was fitting to make mention of a number of “Jesus-like” deities that have popped up throughout history thus far – since he’s far from unique:
- Jesus ~ the one we all know best! His long, golden hair, flowing beard, and Caucasian complexion are the Catholic Church’s doing. Because Jesus was a Jew, his real likeness, assuming he truly existed, would jive more with the oldest mosaic depictions than anything else.
- Mithra(s) ~ the Persian “Bearded White God” that inspired much of the Catholic Church’s depiction of Jesus (down to the birth-date). When Mithra’s not shown as a lion’s head stuck onto a man’s body, he’s shown as a spitting image of the Jesus we know and love.
- Horus ~ the man who inspired the “Jesus and Mary” pictures we tend to find in Catholic churches and beyond. The scene of Mary coddling Jesus is a direct homage to Isis holding a baby Horus. Like Jesus, Horus accomplished a series of great undertakings while alive.
- Herakles/Hercules ~ the Greek demigod born of a godly father and mortal mother. Like Jesus and Horus, Herakles is also well-known for his daring achievements in life.
- Quetzalcoatl/Kukulkan ~ the Aztec/Mayan “Bearded White God.” Like Mithra and Horus, this deity takes two forms: a godly, winged-serpent form and a mortal, bearded-white-man form. The Aztec likeness even comes complete with a spear-gash on the side of his abdomen (sometimes).
- Viracocha ~ a “Bearded White God,” of sorts, and creator deity for the Inca people. He sired two sons, also pale-skinned.
- Ngeketo ~ a “Jesus-like” figure of the Ngonde people of Africa. Like Jesus, Ngeketo was resurrected after three days of death; (somewhat) like Queztalcoatl/Kukulkan, he arose as serpent; like Osiris (Horus’ father), he was chopped up into pieces – several times, in fact.
- Krishna ~ not an exact match, but Krishna’s the Hindu equivalent of the “Bearded White God”….
- Zarathustra, Muhammad, etc. ~ other “Jesus-like” entities from other extant faiths….
Well… with all that in mind, I wish you all a Merry Christmas! See you all again in January.