Isis the Chrēst
by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S
Is Jesus Christ truly a unique, divine revelation? Or is he one of many "Christs" and
"Chrēsts" in antiquity? As "Jesus the Good" was called "Chrēstos," so too was the Egyptian goddess
In several instances in ancient times, the figure of "Jesus the Christ" is also called
"Jesus the Chrēst" or "Jesus the Good," these two epithets, "Christos" and "Chrēstos," closely resembling each other and often confused by early Church
fathers and others. As was the case with the title of Χριστός Christos, meaning "anointed," being held by
various gods and other figures in the ancient world, so too was the
epithet χρηστός Chrestos/Chrestus attached to several individuals, divine
and otherwise. This fact that epithets traditionally associated with Jesus in reality were possessed
by many others in antiquity is important to understand, as it demonstrates once again that the Christ character
is neither unique nor representative of genuine divine revelation.
The Good God/dess
In Egypt for example, we find the common phrase neter nefer or "Good God," an epithet applied to Osiris as well
as to the pharaohs, these latter of whom were considered divinities on Earth, incarnations of the god Horus. It
is contended that, after the Greek-speaking Ptolemies began ruling Egypt or even before, with the
introduction of Greek mysteries, Osiris and other Egyptian gods and goddesses were called chrestos.
In this regard, in Boeckh Corp. Inscr. (2:245, n. 2300) appears an inscription
found on the Greek island of Delos that reads ΙΣΙΔΙ ΧΡΗΣΤΗ or "Isis Chreste":
Interestingly, Delos had a Therapeutan community, while Isis evidently was worshipped by the
Judeo-Buddhist Therapeuts at Alexandria. (See my book Christ in Egypt, 440, 456.)
Along the same lines, in The Foreigner: A Search for the First-Century Jesus (77), Desmond Stewart
Chrestus (or in its Greek original, chrêstos ) means gentle, kindly, good; it is, curiously,
the equivalent of the common pharaonic title of Osiris, Un-nefer.
This epithet "Un-Nefer" or "Onnofri," etc., possesses the same basic
meaning as chrestos; therefore, any Egyptian texts calling Osiris "Un-Nefer" when translated into Greek
may have used the word chrestos.
Osiris the KRST
It is significant that in
Egyptian language the word for "tomb," "funeral," "dead body" or "mummy" is pronounced "krst" or "karest," similar to chrest and christ, especially when one considers that the
initial hieroglyph for this word (N29) possesses a χ or chi sound. The last glyph in this
word is the determinative (A53), the standing mummy, which represents Osiris risen. (For more
information, see my book Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection, 313-318)
This suggestion of Osiris as chrestos is given further support by the interesting
discussion in a purported letter by Emperor Hadrian in which he claims that the Egyptian hybrid god Serapis
("Ausar-Apis") was worshipped by the "Chrestians."
In Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus (52), Dr. Arthur Drews presents this
Hadrian-Servius letter as stating in part:
Those who worship Serapis are the Chrestians, and those who call themselves priests of
Chrestus are devoted to Serapis. There is not a high-priest of the Jews, a Samaritan, or a priest of
Chrestus who is not a mathematician, soothsayer, or quack. Even the patriarch, when he goes to Egypt, is
compelled by some to worship Serapis, by others to worship Chrestus.
The Greek word chrestos was popular as an epithet or on epitaphs at various Egyptian funerary sites as at Alexandria and elsewhere.
This fact too suggests that the Lord of the Underworld and Afterlife, Osiris, the Good God, like his wife, Isis
Chreste, may have been likewise deemed Chrestos.
The Egyptian Houses of
The popular Egyptian term nfr or nefer, meaning "pleasant," "beautiful,"
"good," "excellent" and "gracious," comparable to chrestos, is designated by the
hieroglyph of a cross (trachea) with a heart at the bottom (F35). Interestingly, this
fascinating symbol, which looks like the sacred heart of Jesus, appears over Egyptian "Houses of Goodness" or "Houses of Chrest," so to speak, that resemble churches.
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
Is Suetonius's Chresto a Reference to Jesus?
The Chi-Rho Symbol and Chrestos
Chrestos Magical Bowl?
Chrestes as Oracle and Chrematizo in the New Testament
Apollo, Son of God and the Chrest?
Pliny, Tacitus and Suetonius: No Proof of Jesus
Christos or Chrestos?
Egyptian Houses of Goodness
Does Josephus prove a historical Jesus?
The Jesus Forgery: Josephus Untangled
Franck Goddio Society Chrestos Bowl Report
Earliest Reference Describes Christ as 'Magician'
Catalogue of Chrest
Christian Lindtner's Review of Hermann Detering's Falsche Zeugen: Ausserchristliche Jesuszeugnisse
auf dem Prüfstand