Deification in the Book of Breathings and the Revelation of St. John

Column 1 of P. Joseph Smith XI, containing the hieratic text of the Book of Breathings of Hor.

You never know what neat little connections you’ll find between different texts from the ancient world. Just this evening, as I was doing research for a paper on the Book of the Dead, I was reading Michael Rhodes’ translation of the Hor Book of Breathings when I came across these lines.

Come, Osiris Hor, justified, born of Taykhebyt, justified. May you enter the Hall of the Two Truths, having been purified from every sin and misdeed. Stone of Truth is your name.

Compare this with Revelation.

Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it. (Revelation 2:17)

Then there’s this.

O Osiris Hor, justified, born of Taykhebyt, justified. May your soul breathe anyplace you want. You are on the throne of Osiris. Foremost of the Westerners is your name.

Compared that with this.

To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21)

What’s especially interesting about Revelation 3:21 is the preposition used to describe the deified’s position relative to Christ’s throne. The Greek reads: 

ὁ νικῶν δώσω αὐτῷ καθίσαι μετ᾽ ἐμοῦ ἐν τῷ θρόνῳ μου, ὡς κἀγὼ ἐνίκησα καὶ ἐκάθισα μετὰ τοῦ πατρός μου ἐν τῷ θρόνῳ αὐτοῦ.

The deified individual is thus said to be literally “on” or “in” the throne of Christ (ἐν τῷ θρόνῳ μου), not “beside” (παρά) or “before” (πρό) the throne, but “on” (ἐν) it. This is precisely how Jesus is said to be positioned relative to God the Father’s throne. The promise in Revelation, then, is that the deified Saints will be exalted in the same way Jesus was exalted.

The ultimate purpose of the Book of Breathings was to provide the individual the secret knowledge necessary to be resurrected and deified in the presence of the gods. This came with it a promise of sitting with Osiris on his throne.

The exact same promise is given in the Revelation of St. John to the Saints who conquer sin through Christ.