Claim: “Jesus’ virgin birth is copied from pagan religions! From the deities Horus, Mithras, and Caesar Augustus.”
Claimants: Atheists who hate religion, especially Christianity.
Was Horus born of a virgin? No, as according to Egyptian mythology Horus’ mother, Isis, was already married to the god Osiris before his conception. By just reading the text we are told that Isis “took in his seed and created the heir…Osiris’ son, Horus, stout of heart, justified, son of Isis.” (Assmann, Jan. ‘Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt.’)
There isn’t even a virgin story to copy!
Was Mithras born of a virgin? No, in fact there isn’t only one account of his birth, yet none of them have anything remotely like Jesus’ virginal birth. One account says Mithras was born as a fully-grown being out of the side of a rock! (Clauss, Manfred. ‘The Roman Cult of Mithra: The God and His Mysteries.’)
Perhaps to some people rocks count as virgins…
Was Caesar Augustus born of a virgin? No, as according to Roman historian Suetonius, his mother had already been married for years before a snake showed up while she was sleeping. She discovered this strange mark on herself and 10 months later, Caesar Augustus was born. (Suetonius. ‘Twelve Caesars.’) Furthermore, Augustus’ mom already had a child with her husband before Augustus was even born. He also had an older sister… (Encyclopedia Britannica. ‘Octavia: Wife of Mark Antony.’)
According to one of the most critical albeit leading scholar’s of Early Christianity:
“The alleged parallels between Jesus and the “pagan” savior-gods in most instances reside in the modern imagination. Moreover, aspects of the Jesus story simply would not have been invented by anyone wanting to make up a new Savior.”
-Bart Ehrman (‘Did Jesus Exist?’)