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Photograph of Gerald Massey dated 1856
Gerald Massey (29 May 1828 - 29 October 1907) was an Englishmarker poet and self-taught Egyptologist. He was born near Tringmarker, Hertfordshiremarker in Englandmarker.


Massey's parents were poor. When little more than a child, he was made to work hard in a silk factory, which he afterward deserted for the equally laborious occupation of straw plaiting. These early years were rendered gloomy by much distress and deprivation, against which the young man strove with increasing spirit and virility, educating himself in his spare time, and gradually cultivating his innate taste for literary work.

"Later, Gerald Massey influenced Alvin Boyd Kuhn a comparative religion scholar.
During the later years of his life, (from about 1870 onwards) Massey became interested increasingly in Egyptology and the similarities that exist between ancient Egyptian mythology and the Gospel stories.
He studied the extensive Egyptian records housed in the British Museum, eventually teaching himself to decipher the hieroglyphics."

It has been stated that Massey, although he might have been considered a Christian Socialist, was in actuality a practicing druid, presumably a neo-druid. Not only that, it is claimed that Massey was elected Chosen Chief of the Most Ancient Order of Druids from 1880 through 1906. however, it has now been demonstrated that this Order was only founded in 1909. This assessment contrasts strongly with the description of him quoted just below by a friend and colleague, who praised him for having thrown off the constraints of religion in favor of science and philosophy for the advancement of knowledge.

A New York publisher, D. M. Bernett, wrote of his friend in the second edition of The World's Sages, Thinkers and Reformers on page 967:
Gerald Massey is a warm-hearted, genial man, and as a companion and friend he has few superiors.
His interests and incentives are decidedly in the direction of Science and Rationalism.
He has many years been freed from the binding and blinding theological creeds and obligations.
He regards priestcraft as one of the great evils which mankind for thousands of years have been compelled to endure and support; and regards it as one of the most important works that men of the present time can engage in to demolish the idols of the past dark ages; to liberate the mind from the dwarfing and blighting effect of pagan and Christian mythology and to dispense with the officious and expensive services of a designing, useless, aristocratic and wily priesthood.
He most desires to see the human race advance in knowledge and truth and mental freedom, which science and philosophy imparts to the diligent investigator.
He believes ignorance to be the Devil.

Writing career

Massey's first public appearance as a writer was in connection with a journal called the Spirit of Freedom, of which he became editor, and he was only twenty-two when he published his first volume of poems, Voices of Freedom and Lyrics of Love (1850). These he followed in rapid succession with The Ballad of Babe Christabel (1854), War Waits (1855), Havelock's March (1860), and A Tale of Eternity (1869).

Many years afterward in 1889, Massey collected the best of the contents of these volumes, with additions, into a two-volume edition of his poems called My Lyrical Life. He also published works dealing with Spiritualism, the study of Shakespeare's sonnets (1872 and 1890), and theological speculation.

Massey's poetry has a certain rough and vigorous element of sincerity and strength which easily accounts for its popularity at the time of its production. He treated the theme of Sir Richard Grenville before Tennyson thought of using it, with much force and vitality. Indeed, Tennyson's own praise of Massey's work is still its best eulogy, for the Laureate found in him a poet of fine lyrical impulse, and of a rich half-Oriental imagination. The inspiration of his poetry is essentially British; he was a patriot to the core.

In regards to Egyptology, Massey first published The Book of the Beginnings, followed by The Natural Genesis. His most prolific work is Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World, published shortly before his death. His work, which draws comparisons between the Judeo-Christian religion and the Egyptian religion, is largely unrecognised in the field of modern Egyptology and is not mentioned in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt or any other work of modern Egyptology.

Parallels between Horus and Jesus

Some writers have drawn parallels between Jesus and Horus, notably Gerald Massey in the late 19th and early 20th century. In the introduction to his book "The Natural Genesis" Massey wrote, "The writer has taken the precaution all through the (the book) of getting his fundamental facts in Egyptology verified by one of the foremost of living authorities, Dr. Samuel Birch..." and later "...although I am able to read hieroglyphics, nothing offered to you is based on my translation. I work too warily for that! The transcription and literal renderings of the hieroglyphic texts herein employed are by scholars of indisputable authority. There is no loophole of escape that way." Considering his close association with Birch and others leaders in the study of Egyptology, one can surmise that his sources, at least, are accurate.

Massey's writings influenced Alvin Boyd Kuhn, and later the ordained Anglican priest and lecturer Tom Harpur, who presented his own case in his book "The Pagan Christ", in which he argued that all of the essential ideas of both Judaism and Christianity came primarily from Egyptian religion.

The major similarities noted by those adhering to the authors above are that both were born of a virgin on December 25, both taught in a temple at age 12, had 12 Disciples, was baptized in the river Eridanus or Iarutana (Jordan) by "Anup the Baptizer," gave a sermon on the mount, healed the sick, raised a man from the dead (Lazarus for Jesus, El-Azar-us for Horus), and died by crucifixion for the atonement of the world's sins, only to resurrect three days later.

W. Ward Gasque has written that Egyptologists have rejected many of the specific claims made by Harpur and Massey as fallacious, pointing out that there is no evidence of a virgin birth for Horus, and that Harpur's main source, Alvin Boyd Kuhn, was a Theosophist whose books were mainly self-published and that his other sources were in the main not ancient Egyptian texts but out-of-date authors.. This later claim refers to Harpur specifically but does not negate the translations or texts cited by Massey, however.

See also


  1. Gerald Massey Collection-Upper Norwood Joint Library)
  2. Upper Norwood Joint Library-The Gerald Massey Collection.
  3. D. M. Bernett. The World's Sages, Thinkers and Reformers, 2d Ed, p 967.
  4. The Leading Religion Writer in Canada ... Does He Know What He's Talking About?
  5. Gerald Massey, "The Natural Genesis," Black Classic Press, (Reissued 1998)
  6. Christ in Egypt by D.M. Murdock
  7. Parallels between the Lives of Jesus and Horus, an Egyptian God
  8. Gasque, W. Ward "The Leading Religion Writer in Canada ... Does He Know What He's Talking About?" George Mason University's History News Network[1]

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