In her aspect as the mother of Horus, Isis was represented in tens of thousands of statuettes and paintings, holding the divine child in her arms; and when Christianity triumphed these paintings and figures became those of the Madonna and Child without any break in continuity: no archaeologist, in fact, can now tell whether some of these objects represent the one or the other." Like the Christian Mary and Egyptian Isis, the Canaanite goddess Astarte, mentioned in the Old Testament, was the "Virgin of the Sea," as well as the "blessed Mother and Lady of the Waters." (Baring, 459) Another virgin goddess was the mother of the Phrygian god Attis, whose widespread worship "must have influenced the early Christians." As Weigall (115-116) recounts: Attis was the Good Shepherd, the son of Cybele, the Great Mother, or alternatively, of the Virgin Nana, who conceived him without union with mortal man, as in the story of the Virgin Mary…
In Rome the festival of his death and resurrection was annually held from March 22nd to 25th; and the connection of this religion with Christianity is shown by the fact that in Phrygia, Gaul, Italy and other countries where Attis-worship was powerful, the Christians adopted the actual date, March 25th, as the anniversary of our Lord's passion.
John Jackson states: "He was said to have been born of the Virgin Maya, or Mary.
His incarnation was accomplished by the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Virgin Maya.
In early Christian times, Mary herself was believed to have been born of a virgin, which, if taken literally, would represent a virgin [or miraculous] birth prior to Christ, rendering his own nativity unoriginal and mundane, rather than miraculous and divine.
One source of Mary's immaculate conception was Christian writer and saint John of Damascus (c. 754-787), who asserted that Mary's parents were "filled and purified by the Holy Ghost, and freed from sexual concupiscence." Concerning this matter, the Catholic Encyclopedia ("Immaculate Conception") states that "even the human element" of Mary's origin, "the material of which she was formed, was pure and holy." In other words, Roman Catholic doctrine dictates that, like Jesus, "the Blessed Virgin Mary" was "conceived without sin." (Hackwood, 17) In order to maintain the "uniqueness" of Christ's virgin birth, however, this contention regarding Mary is not taken seriously.
Before her, Neith the Virgin of the World , whose figure bends from the sky over the earthly plains and the children of men, was acclaimed as mother of the great god Osiris…
The pre-Christian virgin goddess Myrrha was the mother of the god Adonis, who tradition holds was born at Bethlehem, "in the same sacred cave that Christians later claimed as the birthplace of Jesus." Indeed, Myrrha was "identified with Mary by early Christians who called Jesus's mother Myrrh of the Sea." (Walker, 10) Also a product of a virgin birth, the Indian avatar Buddha's conception is portrayed as coming to his mother, Maya, in a dream, similar to the conflicting gospel tales of Joseph's dream or the angel appearing to Mary.
Regarding Buddha, in Christianity Before Christ (87) Dr.
Moreover, like Jesus, who was called "Emmanuel" (Mt.
), a "Persian title of 'the god Immani,' or E-mani,' venerated in Elam as a sacred king-martyr," the Persian savior Mani was said to have been "born of a virgin named Mary." (Walker, 428) In reality, the ancient world abounded with traditions, prophecies, fables and myths of miraculous conceptions and births, long before the Christian era, and the virgin-mother motif is common enough in pre-Christian cultures to demonstrate its unoriginality and non-historicity within Christianity.