“Be fruitful and multiply”–how mistranslations lead to errors in interpretation

In what seems now to be a distant stained past, I was taught that everyone had the right to read the Bible and interpret it for himself or for herself.  I was wrong.  It was ideal.  It also lead to millions of separate interpretations, and with each pronouncement came anger, hostility, violence and worse.  Young, foolish, and not frightfully undereducated, and read literally–but did not understand the fine points of a message, the true meaning of words, or what they meant in their original context.  The real problem was that the Bible was not a unified subject but had been rewritten so often and from so many different sources during various times that it was not even a legitimate work–and certainly did not express the will or wisdom or hatred or love or any other value or emotion of any single god of any particular people.  Education in the Bible afforded me an insight into a work of mass confusion by demented and tormented writers and would be soothsayers.

G. E. Melchert (1936)

Like Charles Taze Russell, whom I consider to be the least trained, worse educated, and most incompetent man in the recent past, I would engage, like he, in “Bible Study.”  Faithfully, I read my King James Bible (KJV), thinking that it was the “word of God” and for myself and all others to follow as a test text personally written by “god’s own finger” (Exodus 31:18, Deuteronomy 9:10) but it could easily have been the “arm” of god (Job 40:9), the hand of God (Job 19:21), the face of God (Job 13:24), the eyes of God (Deuteronomy 11:12), the ears of God (Psalm 130:2), the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3), the voice of God (Job 40:9), or any other appendage: all covering for the ancient Egyptian theology that had the creative force and ultimate writing tool being the penis of the god Min: a symbol reproduction and with it creativity during which time Min was known as Khnum, creator of all things, “the maker of gods and men”; cf. Frankfort, Henry (1978). Kingship and the Gods: A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature. Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press. pp. 187–189 sqq), following my pastor’s definition that he gave at Trinity Lutheran Church in Waterloo, Iowa.  I adapted my thinking to his.  G. E. Melchert seemed like a god: old, articulate, cruel when angry (with me that was most of the time) and assumed wise.  The idea that he was a sage and saint disappeared fast the more I knew him, and listened to him.

G.E. Melchert, like Charles Taze Russell, was a product of his time and its ignorance.  In the year 1936, In the year 1936, “felt the call” to start a radio ministry for the elderly and those who could not leave their home (“the shut-ins”).  on September 6, 1936, the first Christian Crusaders radio program aired live from Trinity on WMT-AM. From that time on the distortions within the current KJV became more than gospel, they became the inerrant “word of god”.  Because of lack of funds, the hour program became a 30-minute sermon, and changed its name from “Your Hour of Worship” to “Christian Crusaders”.

Bruno Schlachtenhaufen

Following Melchert’s retirement in 1956, Bruno Schlachtenhaufen, pastor of First Lutheran Church, in Waterloo, Iowa, became the second Christian Crusaders radio voice, and the bible continued its devolution.  Schlauchtenhaufen, like modern evangelists, introduced the concepts of the depravity of man, need for repentance, and most of the comments showed little of the compassion or love of the Jesus of the New Testament, thereby helping to build the Pentecostal credo of weeping for sins and storming heaven for divine forgiveness of natural human acts.  Sadly, many still believe that god sits in the sky (usually on top of a rainbow, defying the law of gravity), and will come to earth riding a horse followed by four other horsemen for the Final Battle).  The “gentle saviour” no longer exists, and hate increases.  Luther was a warrior who openly advocated assassination of those who took up arms against unjust nobles and vile governments ( Wider die räuberischen und  mörderischen Rotten der Bauern), dissented from his sermons or defied the nobility (An den christlichen Adel deutscher Nation), whom he encouraged to kill all Jews (Von den Jüden und jren Lügen), giving a reason to Adolf Hitler to exterminate more than six million Jews and millions of other people.   Luther was a martial mercurial madman whose songs, that I sang as a boy and felt triumphant, were hate-laced battle-cries to kill for

Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott: a rare early printing (1527) of "A Mighty Fortress" in the private collection of Dr. Arthur Ide

those in an army going to war, as with his battle hymn “A Mighty Fortress” that had god’s strength was ultimate, paraphrasing Psalm 46.  Its military message was quickly released and used by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden who had it played as his forces went to battle in the Thirty Years’ War.  Luther was a firm believer that the End Time would be during his lifetime (Martin Luther, The Sermons of Martin Luther Volume 1 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996), 62).  Luther did not have a firm command of the Bible, even though he did translate it, but his interpretation skills were unrefined as were those assembled at Hampton Court at the summons of King James VI [Scotland] & I [England] and his boyfriend, “Stinky” the Duke of Buckingham, and other translation centers from Geneva to Rome and elsewhere.  

Fred Edwords

Graciously, ever thoughtful, Fred Edwords (National Director of the United Coalition of Reason: (202)550-9964 E-mail: fredwords@unitedcor.org) sent me news of how Hebrew scholars, known as the Bible Project, at Hebrew University in Jerusalem were discovering numerous intentional and deliberate errors in ancient scripture.  For example: “An ancient version of one book has an extra phrase. Another appears to have been revised to retroactively insert a prophecy after the events happened.”  The scholars are more interested in their research than the outside world, so that “in more than five decades of work the scholars have published a grand total of three of the Hebrew Bible’s 24 books. (Christians count the same books differently, for a total of 39.)” A fourth “book” is due out during the upcoming academic year.  Among the most dramatic frauds in the contemporary bible, as the Bible Project notes is in “The Book of Jeremiah [that] is now one-seventh longer than the one that appears in some of the 2,000-year-old manuscripts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Some verses, including ones containing a prophecy about the seizure and return of Temple implements by Babylonian soldiers, appear to have been added after the events happened.”  Luther’s edition is even more inaccurate, and reflects his own interests.

Most of Luther’s theology came from his private fears (Pass, Ewald M. (1959). What Luther Says: An Anthology Volume Two. Saint Louis, MO, USA: Concordia Publishing House, p. 696). In a Table Talk Luther says also, “It is my firm belief that the angels are getting ready, putting on their armor and girding their swords about them, for the last day is already breaking, and the angels are preparing for the battle, when they will overthrow the Turks and hurl them along with the pope to the bottom of hell. The world will perish shortly. Among us there is the greatest ingratitude and contempt for the Word…As things are beginning to go, the last day is at the door, and I believe that the world will not endure a hundred years. For the light of the gospel is now dawning. That day will follow with thunder and lightning, for the voice of the Lord and of the trumpet are conveyed in the thunder. It will come from the east, and the earth will be severely shaken by the crash with such horror, that men will die of fear. I believe that the last day is not far off, for this reason: the gospel is now making its last effort, and it is just the same as with a light which, when it is about to go out, gives forth a great flash at the end as if it is intended to burn a long time yet, and then it is gone. So it appears to be in the case of the gospel, which seems on the point of widely extending itself, but I fear that it also will go out in a flash, and that the last day will then be at hand. It is just so with a sick man: when he is about to die he often appears most refreshed, and in a trice he has departed”.  This led Luther in preparing his people for the final battle, with his hymn.  The opening lines are:

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never-failing;
Our helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe —
His craft and pow’r are great,
And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal….

Homer Larsen

Schlachtenhaufen’s brutalization of the Bible accelerated under the third generation when Homer Larsen, senior pastor of Nazareth Lutheran Church, Cedar Falls, Iowa, succeeded Rev. Schlachtenhaufen as radio speaker in 1962.  His church, situated across from what was the university’s golf course on old Highway 218, was a haven for those who needed reasurrance of forgiveness before they repeated the acts they repented.  I visited the church many times, and watched its construction.  Each visit made me more uncomfortable for the pastor and congregation were convinced that they alone were among the saved, and that any deviation from the teachings of Martin Luther was tantamount to a grave sin.  More than once I was told I was going to the hell they had in their minds, for mercy and love was no where at Nazareth.

Larsen had a long career, and continued his lectures until 2005, when the Board of Directors of Christian Crusaders asked Steven Kramer (he only preached six times each year), who was serving as the senior pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Afton, Minnesota, to become the radio host of the Christian Crusaders.

The name “Christian Crusaders”(2), which was printed on billboards throughout Waterloo and Iowa, soon drew the attention of the Baptists who formed their

Propaganda mill of Hate

own Campus Crusade for Christ.  In 2011, the name was shortened to Crus in an effort to win young, ignorant and impressionable believers to their cause.  Differing from the leaders of Crus brought scorn and open bullying, and many neophytes attempted suicide.  The problem continued to be that people were reading the Bible for themselves and bigotry and hatred was pouring out of the passages while demigods from the early days of the Christian communities of the chrestianos and christianos  to Martin Luther to Adolf Hitler and Charles Taze Russell pushed the transmorgrification of the words in the original texts to suit their biased personal preferences.

Wartburg Chapel at Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa

Melchert knew German for Iowa Lutherans studied at Wartburg  College  in Waverly (where several of my family studied and others worked), and those who wanted to enter the ministry studied at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, where German was one of the main languages as Iowa Lutherans were primarily of east German descent.  Greek, Hebrew, and Latin were offered, but the popularity of the courses was weak.

Small Catechism (1912 ed. now "rare"; in author's private collection)

When I began my Biblical studies, more than 55 years ago, my education was in reading Martin Luther’s Small Catechism and the Bible in English.  We memorized it, and my father, Herbert Frederick Ide who was a heavy financial pillar for Ascension Lutheran Church in Waterloo/Cedar Falls (leaving their school more than $1 million when he died that was given to the school after the death of his last wife, Mildred) made his children memorize it, especially the Martin Luther’s definition of the Fourth Commandment: “We should fear….”  I had to repeat that particular commandment and definition nearly daily as I was always rejecting some truth that Luther had divined miraculously.  Only later did I realize how hate-filled Luther was, and then I understood the bitterness and hatred that my father had for me–and I returned it by ignoring him. 

By the time I was seven I would delete “and father” and recite only “Honor thy … mother” which infuriated my father and made my mother anxious for her own security as violence was a way of life after my father’s short stay in the Independence Mental Health Center, about forty miles from the family home.  My mother would be overwrought and query: “Are you afraid of nothing?”  I never was, and I still am not afraid to write or speak what I understand.

Love had little role in our daily religious life. Even at that time many things puzzled me as I discovered numerous contradictions within the Bible.  Each contradiction I noted on the blank pages in the front of my Bible–a practice I continued through my confirmation classes in the Lutheran church and even when I converted to Roman Catholicism and read the Douai-Rheims edition.  The one contradiction that stood out starkly for me was the word “multiply.”

G. E. Melchert lectured us not only on the sin of masturbation because of a man named Onan “spilled his seed upon the ground” (Genesis 38:9 f)–even though the Hebrew texts shows that the act was not masturbation but coitus interruptus: “And Onan knew that the seed [semen impregnating the ova] should not be his, when he went in unto [had sex with] his brother’s wife [incest was accepted and expected at that time], that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother”. 

The word masturbation (אוננות or αυνανισμός) does not appear anywhere in the Bible (it is of Latin origin from masturbatus, the past participle of masturbari and is actually of Etruscan origin from the ablative of  manus “hand”  + stuprare “defile” and, therefore, is a hybred), yet as a convert to Roman Catholicism, I would confess that “I touched myself in an impure way” to the priests in the Confessional at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa. I felt dirty; it made no sense to speak of private matters with another man, so I began to read more carefully the scriptures cited justifying confession–and found them wanted (that is another essay).  How strange, I have found it in my later years, that the argument against masturbation was an attack upon the

Min hieroglyphics

theology of the Egyptian god Min, where masturbation was a singularly special ritual that occured in public.  The Pharaoh was expected to demonstrate that he could ejaculate — and thus ensure the annual flooding of the Nile, and those who wanted a bountiful harvet would masturbate over their fields–giving an entirely new meaning to the Genesis myth of Onan, for in context with

Min, god of fertility in animals, crops, and people

Sumerian and Babylonian, and even Egyptian thought, to “spill one’s seed upon the ground” was an offering to the gods for fertility and reproduction–what Onan was fighting for was his own advance in wealth, not to bring up “grains” for his dead brother since the brother could not guarantee how the “new stalks” would handle their responsibilities or respect the gods of old. It was in ancient Egypt that the worshippers and followers of the god Min took his image  out of the temple, around which was a red ribbon (representing sexual energy)  trailing to the ground from which mortals were formed, and carried it joyfully to the fields in the festival of the departure of Min, that was similar to many believers as the death of the god Osiris who was depicted in art and hieroglyphics in a similar way, when they blessed the

Osiris (statuette)

harvest, and played games naked in his honor–the most important of these being the climbing of a huge phallic pole that was in the center of a great tent symbolizing the world as it was known.

G. E. Melchert, and Homer Larson who despised me openly when I entered Nazareth Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, was equally determined to lecture against sex, and went from onanism (the theological term for masturbation) to harangues against abortion (an act that I have always supported since I was eleven years of age, having a cousin being not only forced to carry the unwanted fetal development by her father, but also rejected by her father and not allowed to return home until she put the unwanted child up for adoption).  Each pastor, like the priests at St. Patrick’s, and others I knew when I taught at the Roman Catholic University of San Diego (California) 1974-1977, told me that the single purpose of sex was procreation.  They based this idiocy on a mistranslation and misinterpretation of Genesis 1:22, 28, and other verses that read that the lords or god(s)/goddess(es), in the Hebrew the word is Elohim (אֱלהִים; the singular is El {אֱל} or Baal {בעל} that meant not only “god” but “husband”, “master” and “lord”.  These terms that were used by the ancient Hebrews not only as a reference to Moloch but in everyday conversation.  That is why the “husband” (baal), in the New Testament, is considered the representative of god on earth, or the Lord; wives are to submit themselves to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22) in the same manner as mortals are to submit to god.  The husband is deemed as tantamount or equal to god “the Lord”) in the New Testament–not the plural noun found in the myth of the Garden in Iraq (Eden).

Cuneiform tablet with the Atra-Hasis Epic in the British Museum

Solitary sex (masturbation) or sex between people practicing contraception (or family planning) is not discussed in the Bible except as a form of “beget” (yalad (ויולד): a transitive verb used for “generations” after a fetus is carried to term, is delivered from the uterus, and lives) as a form of amorphousness (chaos) or to libel as an act of selfishness since it denies the “right” of semen to impregnate the ova. Sex is more animalistic in the Bible as it is in most civilizations including in the New World (ref.: Amrhein, Laura Marie (2001). An Iconographic and Historic Analysis of Terminal Classic Maya Phallic Imagery. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Richmond: Virginia Commonwealth University; few know that a phallic festival is still celebrated in Greece on the first day of the Christian season of Lent), with pastors quaintly chiming, “if you play, you have to pay”.  Yet, sex starts with “Creation” (that is a universal story and not original with the Hebrews who copied it from the Atra-Hasis epic) and if fluid throughout the Book of Numbers. Many ancient pictures portray “creation” as the union of a god and goddess.

Union of earth god Geb with sky goddess Nut (Egypt)

The Old Testament / Torah clearly states that it is the animals that are to “multiply”: not mortals: And God blessed them (see verse 21 where god “created whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind…) saying, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth”.  Man is not fashioned from the red earth (אָדָם or אבק, אדמה אדומה: dust) until verse 26, the female follows (verse 27) but is created from a strong substance: bone (Genesis 2:21, added more as an after-thought).

The Sumerian god Ningizzida accompanied by two gryphons. It the oldest known image of snakes coiling around an axial rod, dating from before 2000 BCE

The injunction for mortal multiplication is one of control and harvest; the “original sin” was lust for sex (Genesis 3: 16b) and with it knowledge of death that was the “penalty” for everyone, for the Serpent was ancient Sumerian god of Wisdom who was called “lower than cattle” as the original Yahweh was symbolized as a gold calf–following the Egyptian and Mithra tradition and theologies–a rival of the gods of the nomadic Hebrews.

Israel multiplies (Genesis 47:27) only because the ancient Habiru were mercenaries in the Egyptian army, and adopted the ancient Egyptian Trinity: Is[is]-Ra-El.  There fecundity was essential so that Egypt would have numerous generations of soldiers; to this end each “child” actually represents a tribe (Numbers 11:12; for example, the Tribes of Simeon included the Ain, Ashan, Azem, Baalah, Balah, Beth-birei, Beth-lebaoth, Beth-marcaborth, and so forth in Numbers 1:22 f), but not of the Hebrews, but of other nations who were ultimately seen as a threat–the “sea people” (Ezekiel 26:17, but the sea people were considered pirates many of whom were Philistines: Exodus 23:31) who would come after natural calamities defined as plagues (Exodus 1:20, 32:13).

As for the Hebrews being in Egypt, “multiplying” (Exodus 1:7, 10, 12, 20, here the Hebrew word changes to rabah (רבה) meaning “to be(come) many”: להיות הרבה).  This did not happen, as there is existing record, anywhere in Egypt, including in scriptorums within the pyramids and other tombs, that mention the plagues that a legendary Moses caused to destroy the land and first-born son of the pharaoh and his people, nor of any Hebrew exodus.  The Egyptians were strong bureaucrats who recorded everything, including the most damaging information that affected the empire, but all documents mention nothing of a Joseph, the arrival or leaving of his people, or any plague, not even of Pharaoh and his army perishing in the Red (probably the Sea of Reeds) Sea–nor are there any artifacts in any body of water surrounding Egypt that offer even a shard or other evidence of their existence.  If multiplication of a tribe occurred that would definitely have been recorded.  It is not found anywhere.

Neptune (Poseidon) calming the waves when commanded

“To multiply” was a fantasy used by many tribes to exaggerate their numbers so that they might appear stronger than their enemies.  It was used as propaganda to defend weak groups from being overtaken and their people enslaved. 

“Sea monsters” were invented as dragons, howlers (werewolves) and jackals to entertain children and the insane (Lamentations 4:3).  We find the Leviathan (לִוְיָתָןwho was one of the seven princes of Hell and its gatekeeper (Hellmouth, an Ango-Saxon creature that appears in Anglo-Saxon Vercelli Homilies (4:46-8) where it is a dragon swallowing the damned: “… ne cumaþ þa næfre of þæra wyrma seaðe & of þæs dracan ceolan þe is Satan nemned”). It became a “whale” only in the Babylonian epic found in Job 41.  The Leviathan, however, is far older and I was never taught that as a child or young man.  Only late in life, while pouring over ancient script did I learn that this mythological monster that would ultimately take a central role in John of Patmos’ nightmare (the Book of Revelation or Apocalypse) as a seven-headed serpent (cp. Isaiah 27:1) being overcome by a hero-god developed as early as the 3rd millennium BCE in Sumerian iconography and theology and then as a rite of sexual passage.  It matches Job 41:2-26, and with the intensity of the same chaos-combat theme that appears on second millennium Syrian seals, where the storm-god is shown in combat with a serpent like Poseidon / Neptune struggling against the forces of nature.  It also appears in the Ugarit tablets, where Lotan, the sea-monster appears as a naked helper of the sea-god Yamm in his Final Day battle with the weather-god Haddad Baal who was the father and husband of the world.  Only in later scripts by rabbis who had to make Israel appear supreme was the tale twisted torturously so that Leviathan became a symbol of sin that, according to the Talmud Baba Bathra 74b would be slain and its flesh served as a feast to the righteous in [the] Time to Come, a horror story that would find ultimate darkness in the dementia of John of Patmos’ Apocalypse and the fanatical fantasies of the New Apostolic Reformation’s G. Peter Wagner and Texas Governor Rick Perry.  The more corrupt Israel became as a state, and the more infested were the minds of redactors, the more odd the account became with

Dhul-Qarnayn with the help of jinn, building the Iron Wall to keep the barbarian Gog and Magog from civilised peoples. (16th century Persian miniature).

the Midrash called Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer stating that the fish that swallowed Jonah ( יוֹנָה; in (Arabic Jonah is known as Dhul Nun: ذو النون; meaning The One of the Whale, but he appears only once: Qur’an 10:98) narrowly avoided being eaten by the Leviathan, which eats one whale each day.  Jonah’s origin, as so many others, is found in ancient Babylon (Campbell, Joseph (1988). The Hero With A Thousand Faces. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press. pp. 90–95) and other areas of ancient Mesopotamia (Lexicon iconographicum mythologiae classicae 8 vol. in 16. Zürich, Switzerland: Artemis, c1981-<c2009>).

Like the legendary ancient Greek Titan Cracken, subject to the god Neptune / Poseidon (who is the source of the Great Flood, earthquakes and horses, and who stilled the waters when a Young Man ordered them to be calm: the source of the myth of Jesus calming the waters, that is equally found in Homer’s Odyssey when Odysseus (Ὀδυσσεύς, we get an understanding of the name when it is a verb: ὀδύσσομαι {literally translates as “hate”}, meaning “hateful” or “wrathful” and was an indication of his anger toward the gods and himself; he was a hero to the Greeks, but to the Romans: “pellacis“: deceitful) calms the ocean storm with the help of Athena), the Kraken, actually has its counterpart in ancient Iceland (cf. Örvar-Odds saga that is a source for or of embelishments on John Patmos’ Apocalypse ) and Norway and feeds off the heads of children (Pontoppidan (1752–53), Versuch einer natürlichen  Geschichte   Norwegens. Copenhagen, Denmark).  The German word Kraken means “octopus”, and it takes ships to the “hell” of the bottom of the “sea.”  In Norwegian it means “old, withered tree” both tht swallowed/absorbed children.  

The loss of the children (future military), ancient tribes, universally, were ordered to be “fruitful” for the word “fruit” is from para (פורה) and means “living sperm” (Ezekiel 19:10).  To do anything that would cause the loss of male progency in many simple communities was a cause for alarm, and thus masturbation was considered the killing of baby boys (girls were not considered in medieval literature in damnations of the solitary practice).  This this does not follow the original scrolls as it is not a part of the far more ancient texts of Sumeria or Egypt on which they were based. 

Sexuality was for everyone: mortals and gods (Genesis 15:8).  It was used for ransom (Genesis 19:8) as well as pleasure (Genesis 38:9) including prostitution (Genesis 38:16).  In every case, sexuality was to know (the pure meaning of the word) another person, culture, custom, or tribe.  The word “sex” does not appear in the Bible (it uses various variants of “to know”), nor are their prohibitions against sex, only against ruses to excuse sex as in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 where the reading actually is “‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman…” (NIV, ESV, NAS, KJV, etc); while the word “homosexual” does not exist in any lexicon before 1892, the New Living Translation (2007) wrongfully uses the word that does not exist, and the Bible in Basic English does not even include the word “woman” as one of its more than ten thousand “translation” errors, making it the least authentic or reliable Bible available; the original line or sentence is:  וְאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁכַּב אֶת־זָכָר מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה תֹּועֵבָה עָשׂוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם מֹות יוּמָתוּ דְּמֵיהֶם בָּם׃; Romans 1:27 discusses “lust” associated with idol worship: ὁμοίως τε καὶ οἱ ἄρσενες ἀφέντες τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας ἐξεκαύθησαν ἐν τῇ ὀρέξει αὐτῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους, ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην κατεργαζόμενοι καὶ τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν ἣν ἔδει τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀπολαμβάνοντες ).  Rather, the denunciations are against using sex as a form of worship (where men dressed as women; read: Patriarchs 2:2, coming from the Egyptian goddess Entu and the Battle of Qadesh, where Qadesh translates as “goddess/goodness of love”, which is the original telling of the War of Gog and Magog that first appeared in the Book of Ezekiel (chapters 38-39) as (Hebrew: גּוֹג וּמָגוֹג‎; Arabic: يَأْجُوج وَمَأْجُوج‎ {Qur’an: “The Cave” 18:83–98} and later in Revelation 20:7-10) or as denial of reality and of escape from depression and estrangement from another. Every civilization and religious “scholar” has claimed that the evil empire is the one that opposes its empire, which came most recently with George W. Bush’s claim as president of the USA that he would war against the “axis of evil” that has helped make the USA the most hated and untrustworthy nation on the planet.

Syrian goddess of fertility Qadesh in Egypt (stele)

Qadesh was a minor deity in Egypt and was probably an Asiatic import.

Goddess Hathor of agriculture (Egyptian/Persian source for story of Ruth)

The Egyptians regarded her as an aspect of Hathor and pictured her as a nude woman holding flowers and standing on the back of a lion.  Qadesh is reminiscent of the Persian Anahita, or the Phoenician Anat who is also called Qadesh.  This Middle-Eastern goddess was the protector and inventor of sacred ecstasy and sexual pleasure.  Because she elevated sex above the chance-possibility (she defined it as accidental-action) of procreation, Qadesh was adopted in the New Kingdom by the Egyptians into a triad or Holy Trinity (of which there were many) with the gods Min and Reshep.

The name Qadesh means ‘holy’.  It references sacred actions to maintain a bountiful harvest of grain and fish, and the goddess was symbolized at times as “bread and fish”.  In existing iconography of the theology of this goddess we find the manifestation of the sensuousness inherent in the goddesses Astarte and Anat–who were the prototypes for Asherah–the wife of Yahweh.

The Egyptian god Min

Qadesh rides naked on the back of a lion and holds out symbols of eroticism and fertility to her companions:  lotuses for Min and snakes or papyrus plants for Reshep, as snakes (in Hebrew: נחש) in ancient Middle Eastern religions were symbols for education and health and for that reason appeared the staffs of professors of astrology and guarded temples that served as schools (King, Leonard W (1969). A history of Babylon, from the foundation of the monarchy to the Persian conquest. New York, AMS Press, p. 72) and medical practitioners such as Hippocrates and the rod of Asclepius complete with the caduceus (entwined serpents), the Greek god of medicine. It is written that: “Asclepias’ reptile was a healing creature: in ancient mythology the snake, whose skin was shed and rejuvenated, symbolized eternity and restoration of life and health” (Jonsen, Albert R. (1990). The New Medicine and the Old Ethics.  Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press, p. 122).

Marriage of Min, Qedesh/Qadesh, and Reshep (Egypt)

In the Levant the cult of Qadesh, like that of Astarte, involved her acolytes simulating the sacred marriage of the goddess with Reshep.  Reshep was the Egyptian version of the Semitic Aleyin/Amurru, who was originally a vegetation god (the Canaanite Osiris) but transformed by the Egyptians into a warrior that would become the Jesus of Revelation, carrying a sword and riding on a white horse as found in Egyptian art.  While John Patmos’ Jesus wears a crown of gold, the Egyptians have the deity crowned with gazelle’s horns.

Reshep, as a war-god whose origins are Syrian, was heralded into the Egyptian pantheon in Dynasty XVIII. Initially, Reshep’s characteristic stance is one of brandishing a mace or axe over his head. He wears a beard in the Syrian style and he normally wears the Upper Egyptian crown adorned with a gazelle head in front and a ribbon behind.  While, iconographically, the gazelle connects Reshep with the god Seth (the mythological third son of Eve), it is the Theban war-god Montu with whom Reshep has the greatest affinity. His martial temperament and sexual escapades makes him an ideal royal deity, especially in an era boasting of the military and sporting prowess of its monarchs. This is seen on the stela of Amenhotep II (Dynasty XVIII) set up near the Sphinx at Giza where Reshep and the goddess Astarte are described as rejoicing at the crown prince’s diligence in looking after his horses even while engaged in sexual pleasures. Reshep received numerous Egyptian epithets, including ‘Lord of the Sky’ and ‘Lord of Eternity’.  He appears on Theban stelae alongside the Egyptian god Min (1) and the Syrian goddess Qadesh. Reshep becomes (possibly because of Syrian enclaves amoung the Egyptian population) an approachable deity who can grant success to those praying to him. His force for destruction of royal enemies in battle can be turned against diseases affecting ordinary people. If there had ever been the plagues of Moses, they would have been recorded at this time, for there was great attention to details of any plague, infirmity or illness, as this was the era for the birth of medical studies.  Instead it is no other god than Reshep and his wife Itum who are called upon in a magical spell to overpower the ‘akha’- demon causing abdominal pains.  It is he and Itum that are the polarities of life and death, and he is known both in Egypt and the Near East as Reshep-Shulman.

Temptation of Eve; serpent is female representing knowledge

This sexuality displayed by Qadesh naturally led to an identification between her and Hathorthe Egyptian goddess of Love.  The serpent is phallic in nature and art.  In ancient civilizations the serpent is always presented as female, which may be the reason that most medieval artists (sculptors and painters) presented the serpent in the garden as a female), as she is a temptress; in patriarchial societies, the serpent is male and symbolized as an erect phallus.  In Arabic, serpent means “life” and “life-giver”.  Depending if the serpent is pictured or represents a male, a female or androgynous god it has different qualities to different people: death, destruction, rebirth, authority, sin, trickery, temptation, wisdom, prophecy, mystery, fertility, healing, medicine, poisoning, warning, renewal, mortality, and immortality.  The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge is the wisdom to know that all things are mortal and will perish: both people and gods will die.

Eve, The Serpent, and Death (by Baldung)

The Egyptians had the serpent as encompassing the world, and the Greeks called that Ouroboros (οὐράβόρος) although it actually comes from the Norse

Jormungandr, Norse sea serpent, Norwegian sea monster,

Jormungandr (it does have a Mesoamerican equal in Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent deity represents both the earth and the sky).  In all cases it circles around the global in quest of knowledge and swallows its own tail.

Quetzalcoatl "feathered-serpent god" of the Aztecs (400 BCE - 600/900 CE)

Quetzalcoatl has a father known as Mixcoatl. Mixcoatlis the Cloud Serpent deity who is identified with the heavens and the Milky Way, and in most cultures is depicted with a sacred tree: usually coiled around the base waiting for a man to debate it, but always discovering that a woman is far more intelligent than any man, and so the serpent debates the woman–and loses (Black, Jeremy & Anthony Green  (1992). Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia, An Illustrated Dictionary. Austin, TX, USA University of Austin Press).

Since most ancient theologies had sexual rites of passages as well as sexual celebrations of victories of gods and goddesses, pregnancy was always a risk if the Qadesh was a woman.  The ancient world had no problem with abortion for the zygote (known as a “seed”) was not considered human, but seen as unwanted “particles”.  To this end, abortion was commonly practiced and no one but the woman carrying the unwanted evolving fetal cells could make a decision to retain the development within the uterus or abort it.

A leaf from the Ebers Papyrus (ca. 1550 BCE), the oldest extant manuscript detailing abortion procedures.

We find records on abortion no later than 1550 BCE in Egypt, as they were recorded in what is called the Ebers Papyrus (Potts, Malcolm, & Campbell, Martha (2000).  “History of contraception.” Gynaecology and Obstetrics, vol. 6, chapter 8).  Potts and Campbell discuss the Ebers Papyrus as it contains the earliest known description of abortion (ca. 1550 BCE).  It is an ancient Egyptian medical text drawn, ostensibly, from records dating as far back as the third millennium BCE, and suggests that an abortion can be induced with the use of a plant-fiber tampon coated with a compound that included honey and crushed dates; later herbal abortifacients included the long-extinct silphium, the most prized medicinal plant of the ancient world.  This text was used widely throughout Egypt and its conquered territories, and ultimately made its way into ancient Greece and Canaan where the Habiru nomadic tribes were struggling to conquer and take control of lands that belonged to the Philistines and Phoenicians for centuries. One aspect that is frequently silenced is the Ebers Papyrus Prescription E618 on the medicinal cannabis especially during an abortion procedure, as read here:

Ebers Papyrus 78: text on medical cannabis

Every ailment was discussed.  The above text on Cannabis being employed as a poultice on a toenail (E 618, Ebers Papyrus 617- 618): If you find a painful finger or a toe, from water having been around them (serosity), their odor being malignant, whereas they have formed maggots [worms], you must say to this patient: “A problem that I can treat”. You must prepare for him treatments to kill the vermin [. . .]. Another for the toenail: honey: 1/4; ochre 1/64; cannabis: 1/32; hedjou resin: 1/32, ibou plant: 1/32. Prepare as for the preceding, and dress with it’…” and goes from one infirmity to another.  An unwanted pregnancy was considered only another infirmity that could be cured by a medical practitioner.

Even in ancient Hebrew society there was a rite of passing the unwanted egg from the woman (Numbers 5:18. “And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which [is] the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse….”). 

In ancient China we also find detailed records of abortion c. 500 BCE  (Glenc, F. (1974). “Induced abortion – a historical outline.” Polski Tygodnik Lekarski, 29 (45), 1957-8. 1974). In China, folklore dates the use of mercury to induce abortions to about 5,000 years ago (Christopher Tietze and Sarah Lewit (1969), “Abortion”, Scientific American, Issue 220, p. 21).  Mercury, of course, is extremely toxic, but not as lethal as the denunciations by men who sit in clerical positions and have no chance whatsoever of becoming pregnant.

Today’s anti-Choice crowd are not only hypocrites but ignorant of history, language, and the evolution of the fetus.  May claim they oppose abortion because of Hippocrates and proclaim wrongly that doctors cannot perform abortions having taken the Hippocratic oath.  The ignorance of such people, especially prelates, priests and pastors in the churches is exposed easily, as Hippocrates offered abortion to his patients despite being opposed to pessaries and potions which he considered too dangerous. Furthermore, Hippocrates is recorded as having instructed a prostitute to induce abortion by jumping up and down (that is safer than some other methods, but rather ineffective). There is solid evidence that Hippocrates also believed in and used dilation and curettage to induce abortions as well (Lefkowitz, Mary R. & Fant, Maureen R. (1992). Women’s Life in Greece & Rome: a Source Book in Translation. Baltimore, MD, USA: Johns Hopkins University Press; and Ide, Arthur Frederick (1986). Abortion Handbook: The History, Legal Progress, Practice & Psychology of Abortion; 3rd ed., with an introduction by Carlotte Taft and illustrations by Nicholas Lashmet.  Las Colinas, TX, USA: The Liberal Press).

Abortions were equally common, and no churchman wrote out against abortions as there were Biblical statements determining when a soul entered a fetus/baby depending upon its age.  But to avoid the toxicity of many remedies, herbal methods were likely more common and many of the traditional herbs and mixtures are in use even today. There are numerous manuscripts not destroyed by the church that date as early as 1200 CE that show herbalists how to prepare Pennyroyal (Riddle, John M. (1992). Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance. Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press), but the oil is extremely dangerous and modern herbalists avoid it. Deaths from its use were recorded in the US in the 1990’s.

As the churches in Eastern and Western Europe became more gyneophobic and misogynistic, women, in desperation, turned to other measures to induce abortions.  These remedies included iron sulfates and chlorides, hyssop (a drug

Herb Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis

that the Bible claims Jesus drank to lessen the pain: John 19:29; today used as an ingredient in eau de Cologne and the liqueur Chartreuse. It is also used to color the spirit Absinthe, along with Melissa and Roman wormwood. Medically, hyssop has the properties of being antibacterial, anticapillary fragility, anti-inflamatory, etc., and can help with about 81 different medical conditions including cancer, bronchitis, insomnia, edema, colds, etc.  As an expectorant of mucus from the respiratory tract, it relieves congestion, regulates blood pressure, and can dispel gas. It helps with circulatory problems, epilepsy, fever, gout, and weight problems, but it will abort most fetal tissue at an early stage of pregnancy), dittany, opium, madder in beer, watercress seeds and even crushed ants. Probably the herbs most commonly mentioned were tansy and pennyroyal. We know that tansy was used from at least the thirteenth century.

One of the most brutal methods to induce abortion was practiced in the Orient in ancient times required the woman carrying the unwanted fetal tissue to violently knead or beat her abdomen to cause abortion, a procedure with great peril to the woman who used it. Wealthier women were able to hire professional “beaters” but if the woman died, those who had been hired were usually cut in half.

There are some particular herbs that have been recorded as efficacious for centuries. One plant is called the worm fern (it was also known as “prostitute’s root”).   Some women in Europe used thyme, parsley, lavender, and savin juniper, but these seldom aborted a zygote or fetal tissue–but the women did find them to be quite favorable in teas and soups. Some desperate women in desert countries, especially Arabia and what had been Mesopotamia used concoctions of camel saliva.  In Scandinavia, women had little difficulty in finding or brewing deer hair but those “cures” seldom worked (London, Kathleen (1982). The History of Birth Control. The Changing American Family: Historical and Comparative Perspectives. New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press).

The right of women to seek abortions was not restricted in many places until fairly recently, with most restrictions being related to the time of “quickening” or fetal movement. Even Plato proclaimed the right of women to seek early terminations of pregnancies in “Theaetetus”, but specifically he spoke of the right of midwives to offer the procedure. In early times, most pregnancies were not managed by doctors so it was logical that abortion be provided by midwives and herbalists.  Philo of Alexandria (Chayyei Moshe 1, 11) documents a fairly common Hellenistic belief that babies do not have human status until they start to eat regular food. Almost eight hundred years later (circa 800 C.E.), the Council of Metz did not impose any punishment for killing infants, and only after baptism was the child’s life to be guarded (Jakobovits, Immanuel (1959; 2d ed. 1975). Medicine and Judaism: a Comparative and Historical Study. New York, NY, USA:  Bloch Publishing Company). Even in the 21st century, women are still trying Hippocrates’ jumping up and down method (especially in Third World nations in South America and Africa), with as little success as their ancient sisters (London, loc. cit.; cp. Riddle, John M. [Chair of the History Department and Alumni Distinguished Professor, North Carolina State University] (1994). Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance. Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press; it is reviewed in Medical History. 1993 July; 37(3): 349–350 with a pdf available here). The word “abortion” does not appear in the Torah or Old or New Testaments, although the practice was common throughout Judah and Babylon. On the contrary, “ripping out the fruit of the womb” was demanded by the “jealous” gods of Israel frequently (Read: Ide, Arthur Frederick (1993). Catechism of Family Values Based on the Bible. Arlington, TX, USA: Liberal Arts Press, pp. 237-258).

—————————————-FOOTNOTES—————————————–

(1) Min, the ithyphallic god of sex, is another form of Amun.  He was chiefly worshipped at Coptos and Panoplis. He wears the plumed head-dress of Amun and holds a whip-like sceptre, and is frequently shown holding his erect phallus in his left hand. Min is a proud, regal and arrogant figure. His ancient symbol was the thunderbolt (that led some to equating Min with Zeus/Jupiter) and he was sometimes considered to have been the creator of the world (another form of Horus). Coptos became an important entrepot for desert trading expeditions and Min became the god of roads and travellers (the prototype for Saint Christopher). 

Min, Egyptian god of fecundity

Min was a god of fecundity and crops; the first sheaf of wheat was offered to him by the Pharaoh at harvest time, after that action a sexual ritual was performed in his honor. His sacred animal was a white bull while the games of Panoplis were held in his honour during the period of Greek influence, at other times the serpent-god Apep who was the god of chaos before creation.  He battled the Son of God known as Ra (who transformed himself into a cat) and was killed at the Final Battle (End Times; read: Assmann, Jan (1995).  Egyptian solar religion in the New Kingdom : Re, Amun and the crisis of polytheism, transl. by A. Alcock. London, UK; New York, NY, USA: Kegan Paul International; New York, NY: Distributed by Columbia University Press, 1995. p. 49-57; Kousoulis, Panagiotis I. (1999). Magic and Religion as Performative Theological Unity: the Apotropaic Ritual of Overthrowing Apophis, Ph.D. dissertation, Liverpool, UK: University of Liverpool, chapters 3-5).

The Final Battle, Ra (in the form of a cat) slays the snake-like Apep (Egypt)

(2) Christian crusaders, officially first appearing as a term and a group of armed thugs and mass murders, were commissioned by Pope Urban II at the Cathedral Church in Clermont, France in 1095 for a Church Council (Chalandon (reprint 1925), Histoire de la première Croisade, Paris, France. pp. 19-22; the council lasted from 18-25 November, and the majority of the discussion was on End Times and an Apocalyptic battle, see: Fulcher de Cartres (1095). Gesta Francorum Iherusalem Peregrinatium (ed. Jagem,euer). Heidelberg, Germany, 1913, I.iii, pp. 130-138).  As the number in the cathedral swelled, the conference was later moved to an open field, where the speeches were interrupted with cries of “Deus le volt!” (God wills it!; read: Robert the Monk,  Historia Hierosolymitania in Recueil des Historiens des Croisades. Historiens Occidentaux 5 volsParis, France: Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, 1872-1906). vol. III: I.ii-iii, pp. 15-16). The purpose was to enlist the second and later sons of nobility currently involved in fratricide battling older brothers in quest of obtaining the father’s lands and titles (patrimony).  While Peter the Hermit spoke of atrocities against Christians by Muslims in the Holy Land, most of what the Hermit claimed were bold lies, as Jerusalem (a city sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, and where all three groups lived in basic harmony with each other) was considered a legendary city of riches in bullion, relics, and other valuables.  The crusades were anything but holy or staffed with an enlisted army of spiritually minded people.  Instead, the crusades were among the bloodiest and vilest epochs in human history, with the Christian crusaders more terrorist than theologians, giving vent to rampage, rape, sodomy, and the murder of women and children–leaving the Muslims and Jews of the time (and to this day) to understand the word “crusade” to mean “slaughter and defilement of women and children” (Albertus Aquensis [Albert of Aix], Liber Christianae Expeditionis  pro Ereptione, Emundatione et Restitutione Sanctae  Hierosolymitanea in  Recueil des Historiens des Croisades. Historiens Occidentaux 5 volsParis, France: Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, 1872-1906). vol. IV: I, 16-22, pp. 284-289).  When George W. Bush used the word “crusade” in his speech before

Jihad is an “Islamic war on the western world”

Congress after the tragedy of 9/11, united the entire Muslim world against the USA, and the rise of the terrorist organization New Apostolic Reformation and its anointed savior, Governor Rick Perry (R-TX), the USA will forfeit even more friends and the USA will become even more hated than it is today.

Violence of Christian Crusades: reason for al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden

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Filed under Bible, Christian Terrorists, Church history, Evangelical Christianity, Language, Martin Luther, NAR, New Apostolic Reformation, Old Testament, Roman Catholicism

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