Tag Archives: Mithras

Christmas: the hidden story

All early records state that Jesus was born in a cave (caves were common throughout Palestine: Cf. Massie in Hastings, James, et al. (1909), Dictionary of the Bible.  New York: C. Scribners Sons, III, p. 234; Expository Times, May, 1903, 384; Bonaccorsi, Giuseppe (1903). Il Natale: appunti d’eseqesi e di storia, Roma, Desclée, 16-20; caves were praised as the birthplace of the New Testament Jesus by Origen: Origen. Contra Celsus, Book I, Chapter 51, that Jerome picked up in issuing a cry for the paramour of the fertility goddess Venus, in his Ad Paulinus Letter 58, Chapter 3)—not in an inn as fabricated by the part-time “Christian” Justin Martyr in the second century (cf. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 78; cp. Joan E. Taylor, (1993). Christians and the Holy Places: The Myth of Jewish-Christian Origins. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 99-102).

Origen of Alexandria, writing during the second century CE in his book Contra  Celsus vol. 1, that: “…there is shown at Bethlehem the cave where He was born and the manger in the cave where He was wrapped in swaddling-clothes. And this sight is greatly talked of in surrounding places, even among the enemies of the faith, it being said that in this cave was born that Jesus who is worshipped and reverenced by the Christians” and others—all copying from the ancient testaments of the favored god of Roman soldiers: Mithras (a.k.a. Mitra, Meitros, Mihr, Mehr, and Meher). Cp. Ulansey, David (1991). The origins of the Mithraic mysteries: cosmology and salvation in the ancient world. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1991, p. 36. 

The reason that the birth of the New Testament Jesus was celebrated on December 25 was a deliberate act of Constantine’s church that rigidly followed his dictates and ideas and accepted unequestioningly his radical  introduction of a pagan form of Christianity (Paulinity) by using the date of the birth of the Son God (Mithras) in order to better control the priests and bishops who were imperial courtiers (“Scholars link 1st yule church to pagan shrine.” Washington Times, Deceember 23, 2007 ROME-AP).  The grotto was an old, long-accepted birth place for gods who would be born and laid in a manger, to rise up, teach, and be put to death.

The Grotto of the Nativity endowed by Helena was an underground cavern. Its access was to steep to allow any cattle to enter as later Christian myths fashioned so that it would appear that the infant described in the Gospel of Matthew was Lord over all things.  The grotto was not new, in fact there are numerous other similar grottos scattered around Palestine, the home of numerous crucified saviours and even several who were called Jesus  (Sanders, Léon (1903). Etudes sur S. Jérome : sa doctrine touchant l’inspiration des livres saints et leur véracité, l’autorite des livres deutérocanoniques, Paris : V. Lecoffre , Bruxelles : Becquart-Arien, [both editions are in French), p. 29f).

The canonized gospels (those allowed to be entered into the bible by the Eastern Emperor Constantine I in the fourth century does not list any building (inn), nor is there a referenced to any room, not even a cave.  In all the words and phrases  that are recorded in Matthew 2:1: Τοῦ δὲ Ἰησοῦ γεννηθέντος ἐν Βηθλέεμ τῆς Ἰουδαίας ἐν ἡμέραις Ἡρῴδου τοῦ βασιλέως, ἰδοὺ μάγοι ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν παρεγένοντο εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα that is even found in the Romanian text: După ce S’a născut Isus în Betleemul din Iudea, în zilele împăratului Irod, iată că au venit nişte magi din Răsărit la Ierusalim and Jerome’s Vulgate: cum ergo natus esset Iesus in Bethleem Iudaeae in diebus Herodis regis ecce magi ab oriente venerunt Hierosolymam; cp. Luke 2:4-7: 4 Ἀνέβη δὲ καὶ Ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἐκ πόλεως Ναζαρὲθ εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν εἰς πόλιν Δαυὶδ ἥτις καλεῖται Βηθλέεμ, διὰ τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐξ οἴκου καὶ πατριᾶς Δαυίδ, 5 ἀπογράψασθαι σὺν Μαριὰμ τῇ ἐμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ, οὔσῃ ἐγκύῳ. 6 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖ ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ τεκεῖν αὐτήν, 7 καὶ ἔτεκεν τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς τὸν πρωτότοκον καὶ ἐσπαργάνωσεν αὐτὸν καὶ ἀνέκλινεν αὐτὸν ἐν φάτνῃ, διότι οὐκ ἦν αὐτοῖς τόπος ἐν τῷ καταλύματι, reference the Vulgate: et peperit filium suum primogenitum et pannis eum involvit et reclinavit eum in praesepio quia non erat eis locus in diversorio (there is no other reference in any text that the emperor did not burn in an effort to erase conflict parts when he established his “catholic [universal] church” Eusebius, Vita Constantini 36-37) where the Jesus of the New Testament was born “at Bethlehem”: a city that did not yet exist save as a very small military outpost–its heyday being in the distant past as a entrepot. 

Theocrats and theologians who are determined to prove the authenticity of Constantine’s redaction and glosses in the bible, attempt to argue that Bethlehem existed at least in the days of the Jewish Prophets (i.e. around 700-300 BCE), claiming that it was then known as Bit-Lahmi.  This is a translation/linguistic and interpretation error, as the reference (in the Amarna Letters (c. 1400 BCE) actually are a reference to Beit Lachama, meaning “House of Lachama” (in Hebrew, it means “house of bread”: בֵּית לֶחֶם‎, and in Arabic it means “house of flesh (or meat)”: بيت لحم) with Lachamo being the Akkadian god of fertility that the ancient Apiru (predecessors to the Hebrews), mercenaries in the Akkadian army in Egypt after leaving Chaldea

This find verifies that Baal & Asherah worship was common in Samaria

This find verifies that Baal & Asherah worship was common in Samaria

(Iraq), worshiped with Qadesh (male sexual-prostitutes dedicated to Asherah to whom the soldiers wedded their bull-god Yah to create the future Yahweh on the Hill of the Nativity: a place for sex (beastiality was not condemned); Richard R. Losch (2005). The uttermost part of the earth: a guide to places in the Bible (Illustrated ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing; cp. Ide, Arthur Frederick (1991). Yahweh’s Wife: Sex in the Evolution of Monotheism; a Study of Yahweh, Asherah, Ritual Sodomy, and Temple Prostitution. Las Colinas, TX: Monument Press) from at least 15000 BCE to 30 CE; cf. Galpaz-Feller, Pnina. “Private Lives and Publi Censure: Adultery in Ancient Egypt and Biblical Israel”, Near Eastern Archaeology, Sep., 2004, vol. 67, no. 3, p. 152-161.  Knight, R. Payne; Wright, Thomas; Montagu, Ashley (1966).  Sexual Symbolism: A History of Phallic Worship. New York : Matrix House.

Amarne Letter, no. 290

Amarne Letter, no. 290

The problem here in the Amarna Letter is that Jerusalem was “land” and on it were towns.  Jerusalem was neither a heavenly city nor the capitl of Apiru who had litle regard for it.  Here, too, we read of the Apiru where not yet considered Hebrews and whose own inglorious, brutal and bloody Holocausts were well-known and documented and became the battle cry of such monsters in history as Joshua and Gideon.

Amarna Tablet 12

Amarna Tablet 12

There are those who claim that a discovered clay bulla (a seal with an inscribed signature attests to their being a city 700 years before Jesus,  but the source is more of a polemic than a researched fact (Israel Antiquities Authority, May, 2012, and was published May 23, 2012 in the Los Angeles Times, but there is no record of it existing between 7 – 4 BCE, the alleged time of the birth of Jesus (c. 6 BCE) and there is no record of a worldwide census claimed by Luke). Mark contradicts Matthew’s claim that Jesus was “from Bethlehem” as Mark states that Nazareth was the birth place. John contradicts both writers, claiming in the gospel that is accorded to his penmanship but does not follow the style but in a redaction at 7:41-

Mithras Son of God (Mithraeun at Marino) The Sun God

Mithras Son of God (Mithraeun at Marino)

43 that Jesus came from Galilee (on the counter claims to pious hagiography, consider Aviram Oshri, “Where was Jesus Born?,” Archaeology magazine, Volume 58 Number 6, 2005-NOV/DEC, at: and Marisa Larson, “Bethlehem,” National Geographic, 2008-JUN-17.  All that is recorded is a manager—that were worshipped by ancient Canaanites–and that would have been a hollowed stone since wood was scarce, and the word for manager; today it is known as the Altar of the Manager and matches the description of the altar/manager of the far older and more respected god Mithras who was frequently pictured with a stylized alpha to the left of his head and omega on the right of his head, antedating the declaration in Revelation 1:8 and 22:13 by centuries–being but another plagiarism of “John of Patmos”.  The actual reading was the baby rose from the manager—out of stone, as did the god Mithras.  

James Ossuary

James Ossuary

Many of these mangers were actually Ossuaries: the served the needs of the entire family.  Infants were laid in them along with the bones of dead ancestors, and were later buried there when they died, as found in the records of the Jewish Antiquities.  It is here we find Ossuaries for numerous people named Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, of which many are buried in the same Ossuary, the most famous being the Ossuary of James (the blood brother of Jesus, according to the inscription).   These

Ossuary of Yehoshua bar Yehosef  (Jesus son of Joseph)

Ossuary of Yehoshua bar Yehosef (Jesus son of Joseph)

Ossuaries were frequently known as crypts and were in caves where wealthy people were placed, usually with two men dressed in white sitting on guard at the feet and head of the tomb’s occupant(s).

That Mary would go to Bethlehem or Nazareth is absurd since women were considered equal to slaves and only the husband was seen as the spiritual and legal head of the house, and women did not accompany men to register with any government (“Life of Jesus – First Century Context of Palestine (Israel), Jesus Central). Furthermore, most of the Jews remained in Babylon and could not have traveled to their birth place following the extermination of and scattering of Jews in the Northern Kingdom brought on by many of the Jews demanding to live under a theocracy rather than a king (H.H. Ben-Sasson, A History of the Jewish People, Harvard University Press, 1976:  The Crisis Under Gaius Caligula, pages 254-256, 334).

Mary is the final problem, as no woman who was nine months pregnant could have made the 100 mile trip, as basic medical knowledge notes that no woman who was in the last days of her pregnancy could have ridden a donkey that far without losing the baby. (Jonathan Cook, “The search for the real Bethlehem,” Aljazeera, December 20, 2004). No woman was required to take part in a census before that time, and men found it demeaning to have a woman with them, as they leagued together in bands for self-protection as crime and murder rates were high.

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Palestinians are an “invented” people, Newt Gingrich?

Newt Gingrich in Iowa in 2011

Newton Leroy (surname McPherson at birth, his father was Newton Searles McPherson but the parents divorced within days) Gingrich (born June 17, 1943) was raised a Lutheran, but converted to the Baptist faith while at Tulane.  Newt received an MA (1968) and a PhD (1971) from Tulane University in European history.  His dissertation was entitled “Belgian Education Policy in the Congo: 1945–1960”.  He never studied neither Middle Eastern nor Arab history but in 2011 proclaimed that he is knowledgeable about Palestine and the Ottoman Empire.  

In 1970, Gingrich joined the history department at West Georgia College (now University of West Georgia; today it is ranked 16th out of 48 universities in Georgia) as an assistant professor.  Four years later Gingrich moved to the geography department and was instrumental in establishing an interdisciplinary environmental studies program. He was denied tenure and left the third-rank college in 1978.

Callista and Newt discuss debt of up to $500,000 owed Tiffany's (AP Photo)

With a penchant for luxury jets and expensive jewelry (bought at Tiffany’s in New York City where he owed more than six figures without any interest charge), he demands that he be treated and toasted as if royalty, regardless if it

Newt Gingrich home in McLean, VA (2011)

is giving a speech at a small college or on the campaign trail (on public disclosure forms, politicians must only give an approximate figure on what is owned or owed).  Gingrich is known for excessive demands such as luxury hotel accommodations plus two bathrooms in any hotel suite.  At the same time Gingrich likes to style himself a friend of the Middle Class tracing his roots back to his childhood.  His five bedroom, 4.5 bath house was worth $995,000 in 2000 and is 5,206 square feet that he finds to be painfully small on a cul-de-sac in McLean, Virginia and today is marked down to the price of $1.275 million.

Gingrich and current wife (Callista) say they live frugally but buy jewelry at Tiffany's

Nearly a puritan in proclamations Gingrich is a vocal critic against sexual infidelity. While in Congress, the Georgia Republican led the charge against President Bill Clinton for the Lewinsky scandal, while at the same time keeping a mistress, Congressional staffer Callista Bisek, secret from his colleagues.  He demands objectivity of others, but at the same time taught a politically motivated course and took public money

While arguing against health care Newt took millions of dollars from the health care industry.  He has been on the side of the large insurance companies and faults those who do not have health coverage as being parasites for not buying health coverage, while Michele Bachmann told an Iowa audience that those without health insurance can rely on charity.

Golda Meir, socialist and Zionist, with troops

Running for President of the USA, On December 9, 2011, in an interview with The Jewish Channel, Gingrich was quick to disparage Arabs and Palestinians—calling Palestinians an “invented people” (read here and here)  as if trying to channel  former USA citizen and socialist-Zionist Golden Meir, who left her home in Michigan 1921 for a British mandate it acquired following World War I and was a onetime Prime Minister of Israel, declared in ignorance in 1969 that there had never been a Palestinian state, but was addressing the current post-war era, as Meir had no knowledge of ancient history or of the land that included Jews, Muslims and Christians, with the land the people living on the land identified as “Palestinian.”  This can be seen in Elliott Abrams, who was President George W. Bush’s top Mideast advisor, dismissal of Gingrich’s statement as out of touch with reality.  “There was no Jordan or Syria or Iraq, either, so perhaps he would say they are all invented people as well and also have no right to statehood. Whatever was true then, Palestinian nationalism has grown since 1948, and whether we like it or not, it exists.”  Meir moved to an unchartered place that the UN ultimately styled Israel (which was historically known as Palaestina, and is in Roman records as late as 135 CE (in the age of Julius Cesar it was known by various names including Canaan, Judea, Sumeria, and by latter-day Jews “a pagan land” as it did not embrace the agriculture or warrior gods of the Hebrews)—and both are wrong. 

 

GOP House Whip embraces PLO leader Yassar Arafat 1993 (Huffington Post photo)

While former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on December 9, 2011, claimed that Palestinians were an invention, in 1993, standing in front of Representative Nick Rahall (D-WV), embraced Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat.  Gingrich has claimed, furthermore, that the Palestinians are “Arabs” (as if they originated in Arabia) since they were a part of the Ottoman Empire.  They were never Arabs when the nation first began over 15,000 years ago.  However, many became Muslim by force (it was known as the Eastern Roman Empire and was far more civilized than Rome) although Palestines have Jews, Christians of various denominations and sects, and other religions.  It was a geographical area that belonged to the Roman Empire, having as its capital the Greek Imperial City of Constantinople (today’s Istanbul).  The majority were Greek and Christian at the time of the conquest who merged into the Ottoman Empire but did not renounce their Christian faith.

According to the Torah and Hebrew Old Testament, the “first people” (by modern mistranslation a man and a woman) lived in Gan Eden (Genesis 3:3)—which is geographically located in Iraq.  The Jews claimed them as their ancestors. From there the record is weak, with the “sons” who had sex with their sisters (Genesis 4:19ff) moving to other lands and taking them by conquest (Genesis 5-6, 10-11).  Genesis 12:1 and 13:1 speaks of “Abram” going out of Egypt—which would match the records of the Hyksos (a Greek word: Ὑκσώς; in Egyptian it is heqa khasewet) who had Apiru/Abiru/Habiru (or Hebrews) as retainers.  The retainers were also known as Kassites or Amorites and identified as being Arabs.  Many now think that these people were minor functionary Hyksos (known as Midianites and as Palestinians; read here and here).  They were similar to the shepherd kings in Arabia: الملوك الرعاة who records also style as mercenaries working for the pharaoh. 

Mercenaries have always excisted, and were made up of two groups of people: those seeking adventure and wealth, and the very poor who had no alternative.  They included Celtic who were joined by Greek (664-250 BCE) adventurers and vagabonds.  The Greeks required payment, although Egypt was not at this time a monetary society. Special gold staters seem to have been struck to maintain their services, and this led to coinage and currency. Copts and Ethiopians joined them.

Native Egyptian pyramid workers in ancient Egypt (none were slaves)

The Jews were never slaves in Egypt.  There is no record of such enslavement found anywhere in Egypt: in or on any tomb or pyramid, in any scroll or other document.  Those farmers and workers who built the pyramids were paid, given housing, food, and medical attention.  Large limestone blocks were pulled along using wooden rollers. Nearly all the workers were Egyptians, with many being full-time paid employees, while others rotated seasonally when work was available.  The whip was not applied.  

If Jews had been slaves, the Egyptians (who were meticulous record-keepers) would have noted that, and written beside each name the value of the slave.  Such records do not exist.  The fact that such an allegation of Jews being slaves appears only in the Bible and basically in the Book of Exodus (the word pyramid does not appear anywhere in the Bible; it comes from Herodotus): and none of that book is historical (Ide, Arthur Frederick (1992). Moses: making of myth & law : the influence of Egyptian sex, religion, and law on the writing of the Torah / with an introduction by Decherd Turner.  Las Colinas, TX, USA: Monument Press).  It is political posturing and has no resemblance to reality.  It is popular propaganda: a practice that was widespread. 

The Hyksos and Palestinians (Palestinians can be traced from the Stone Age to prerecorded epochs: 500,000 to 14,000 BCE) were a settled and affluent society.  In the Mesolithic Period (15,000 – 9,500 BCE), they were known as the Natufian.  The Natufian Palestinians built fortified cities far grander and more secure than other people built their towns.  Many of these urban areas were constructed near Jericho (which was another Palestinian stronghold). 

Walls of Jericho (8500 BCE - 2011 CE)

Jericho’s walls held for millennium until they were shaken by a massive earthquake as was first suggested by John Garstang, who confessed in his introduction that he had labored to prove the story of Joshua in the Bible–but could not prove the legend of heralding angels with trumpet blasts (Garstang, John and Garstang, JBE (John Bergès Eustace) (1940). The Story of Jericho. London, UK: Hodder & Stoughton).  Those who recorded its destruction used a metaphor, as the Garstangs later acknowledge, that some of the mud-brick walls of Jericho fell due to an earthquake that sounded like “trumpet blasts”: a common expression for seismic upheavals and the sounds earthquakes make.  Other walls surrounding Jericho are still standing.

Using a metaphor to describe the fury and shaking, sound and swiftness of the earthquake was in keeping with the genre of the time. There is no record (pictorial or otherwise) of any army marching around it, for Jericho was believed protected to be protected by the gods of Mesopotamia.

As early as the 10 millennium B.C.E., Palestinians engaged in plant and animal domestication that sprung forth from the transition of shepherding to agriculture.  It would highlight the ‘Neolithic Revolution’ (9000 – 4500 BCE) and the antecedents for the name began to emerge.

The ancient Palestinians were known as the al-Natoofieh.  They occupied caves north of Jerusalem, and had a long history as a civilized state. 

The al-Natoofieh established the City of Jericho (Tell es-Sultan).  It was (and is) the oldest continuously inhabited city in existence, being founded in 8000 BCE.  It flourished for one thousand years.   

Hyksos introduce war chariots and horses into Egypt

Palestine civilization was more advanced beyond that of the Hyksos and Apiru (who may have been the same nation) when the people moved toward greater unity, education, and inventing various arts from 8000-4500 BCE, going from food collectors to food producers (especially barley and wheat; the mythology of Enoch attributed early man’s knowledge of plant domestication to the fallen angel Semjaza out of which would come the invention of The Devil).  The Book of Enoch mentions Sarara and Galbanum (spices listed in Exodus 30:34), and suggests that the people were not depending solely on hunting or herding as was the lot of the early Habiru/Apiru (Hebrews) who had not yet invaded their lands with the open intent to steal it.  Enoch and his people were Sumerians, not Jews, and had an advanced culture that rivaled most other civilizations.  They gave to the world such myths as giants, fallen angels, and even extra-terrestrial beings coming to earth.

Palestine carried on trade with foreign nations, as seen in the pottery found in Egypt and elsewhere that matches that of Palestine.  It shows the close connection between Palestine and Egypt and it would be out of Egypt (especially during the reign of Pharaoh Seti I) that the later Hyksos and Apiru would come.

By 7200 BCE, Palestine was invaded by exiles from the North: by Aryans from India, to unsettled Greeks and people from what would become present-day Turkey.  Farms began to develop, with the average size farm being ten acres.

Palestinian artifacts in Chalcolithic Age 4500-3500 BCE

The Chalcolithic Period (4500 – 3300 BCE), also known as the Copper Stone Age, was relatively peaceful.  This can be noted in the paucity of fortresses built and the allowance of older walls to crumble. The arts flourished as seen in more sophisticated pottery production and ornamentation, heralding the beginning of Nimrod’s empire (Genesis 10:10) that was a beacon for intellectual dialogue, the advance of science but the diminution of religion leading many cult leaders seeing the multiculturalism of the empire as a threat, with plots to overthrow it and reestablish theocracies thereby enriching the sacerdotalists’ coffers.

Ancient ruins of Beersheba

An alphabet and writing was introduced and caught on quickly (Genesis 10:10, 11:2, 14:2).  Jewelry, using copper and ivory (discovered in and around Beersheba) became popular for both genders—as sex was an act of worship and joy and not reserved merely for procreation—distressing the a Hyksos and Apiru who argued that a woman’s purpose was to produce future soldiers for conquest, and misogynism entered into ontology and theologies. Flint anvils were fashioned along with ovens, various tools, and the introduction of roads that made Palestine the crossroads between East and West, appeared. Foundations for homes were laid out; architecture began in earnest, while the

Zarethan (advanced Palestinian city)

Hyksos and Habiru were still living in tents. In the biblical city of Zarethan (Joshua 3:16; I Kings 4:12, 7:46; II Chronicles 4:17) archaeologists have found evidence of an olive oil production facility, strengthening the theory that Palestine was engaged in large-scale production for foreign trade since it most likely made more oil than the immediate community could consume.  That there was foreign trade is evidenced by the numerous tokens of currency from other civilizations found in the region.  Furthermore, within the facility a sunken room was found providing an area to cool liquids, such as wine and olive oil, for storage.  The Hyksos remained in Egypt until c. 1550 BCE, when the boy-pharaoh Ahmos ejected the invaders in battle.  As one foot-soldier wrote:

Pharaoh Ahmos and the defeat of the Hyksos

Let me speak to you and tell you the honors I received. How I was decorated with gold. During the siege of Avaris, the king noticed me fighting bravely on foot, and promoted me. We took Avaris. I carried off four people there. A man and three women and his majesty let me keep them as slaves.

Hyksos art

Ahmos pushed the Hyksos out of Southern Egypt, but died before reclaiming all of ancient Egypt.  The Hyksos would remain in the North for a while until they would be turned out by the Egyptians (most likely the root of the myth of Moses and the Exodus). Neither the Habiru nor the Hyksos had similar, and none of this would appear in what would become Israel until the final millennium BCE.  Their art was more pastoral than their neighbors, although they were a war-like people because of their need to eat and work was not easily obtained for a “foreign” nation of shepherds, concentrating on familial scenes, especially that of women carrying children. Archaeological evidence proves that when Abram arrived in a heterogeneous Palestine that was neither backwards nor unsettled, but was a highly developed civilization engaged in international commerce (Paton, Lewis Bayles (1901). The early history of Syria and Palestine. New York, NY, USA: Charles Scribners’ Sons [reissued in 1902, 1909, and 2007).  Abram was the barbarian who invaded and destroyed what he saw, with his apologists distorting (and destroying) records to make the man from Ur appear as a holy and knowledgeable sage.  The Palestinians had already invented writing, kept written historical and economic records, and led to the introduction of education.  From 3200 to 2000 BCE, the Palestinians built fortifications to keep out the less civilized tribes, including the Hyksos including Habiru/Apiru and their mercenaries who ultimately entered around 1900 BCE, destroying most of the advanced civilizations, communities and people.  

During the third millennium BCE, The Ammonites, Canaanites, Yabousians and Phoenicians moved into Palestine in the third millennium BCE. The Canaanites, who built more than 200 towns in the second millennium BCE, settled on the plains of Palestine and the Ammonites settled in the mountains. The Yabousians settled in and around the area that would become Jerusalem and built the city of Jerusalem naming it “Yabous” then “Hierosolyma”. The Phoenicians settled on the north coast of Palestine and in Lebanon, but all considered themselves Palestinians, identified with the Palestinian people and armed against the saber-rattling of the Habiru who were known as blood-thirsty assassins and thieves.

The Hyksos and Habiru

Habiru shown in the tombs of Amarna (Egypt)

The Hyksos were famous for introducing the horse and chariot and modern burial customs including burying the horse with its owner and became a part of the shepherd kings who ultimately would rule over Arabia: الفلسطينيون ‎, al-‘Arab al-Filasṭīniyyūn but were not Arab by definition but were mixed Semitic-Asiatics with their foreign (non-indigenous) traits found at Tell el-Dab’a whose chief deity was the Egyptian storm and desert god Seth—who legend claims was the third son of an early goddess fashioned from bone. From this came the legend detailed by Josephus Flavius, Adversus Apion, 1.73, who wrote: It was also reported that the priest, who ordained their polity and their laws, was by birth of Heliopolis, and his name Osarsiph, from Osyris, who was the god of Heliopolis; but that when he was gone over to these people, his name was changed, and he was called Moses.

Turk/Arab racism in North Africa (Black Obelisk 4)

Once out of Egypt, Abram and his “nephew” Lot began a war to oust the original inhabitants (cf. Genesis 14:14f) of what would become Israel—the Canaanites who are recognized as the heirs of Canaan (who was cursed by Noah but without reason as it was Ham who “saw” his father naked, the grandson is not even mentioned as being in the tent; this follows the scenario of Oedipus and his incestuous relationship with his mother by whom they spawned Electra), son of Ham.  This was because the gods of Abram were violent, warmongering and hate-filled, eager for human sacrifice (cf. Genesis 22:2, 9, cp. John 3:16 as the gods demanded that mortals to fear them: Genesis 22:12b). Lot would later go to Zoar (Genesis 19:39), and after being expelled from that city-state went into the mountains with his daughters.  Once in a cave (reminiscent of the cave where Mithras was born of a virgin mother (who was given the title of “Mother of God“) on December 25, and some scrolls claim that Jesus was born, according to Justin Martyr (Dialogue with Trypho, LXX and LXXVIII citing Isaiah 33:16 as the source for the Mirthras nativity–but there is no such reference in Isaiah, and Justin Martyr is neither credible nor reliable and is not a confirmed Christian in the orthodox definition and should be used with care and caution), Origen, Contra Celsum 1.2, and the Protoevangelium 18, while in the Jerusalem Talmud (Ber. ii. 3) it is written that Jesus was born in a “royal castle” that was an euphemism for a cave as both were made out of rock or stone) his two daughters made him drunk and then had sex with him (Genesis 19:34-36), in keeping the debauchery of the earlier crucified saviour Bacchus.  Both females conceived, adding bastardy (illegitimacy) to incest.

The constant attack upon the Palestinians and their compatriots the Phoenicians continued for generations, as is found to be common in the Old Testament: from Joshua to “the people of Moses” and so forth (Genesis 50:30 sq, cp. Joshua 7). The Biblical Jews (there is little historical evidence for a people of that name at that time) continued to war for the plains “that the gods [Elohim] gave” them (Moses uses the plural adjective with the plural noun elohim: “hath heard the voice of the living gods [elohim hayyim]”; cp. Genesis 1:26 as it is followed by a plural verb; for an interesting discussion read here)—a tribal god(s) who was/were married, allegedly, to the goddess of the Canaanites: Asherah (Astarte).  The argument that Joshua wrestled the lands away from the Palestinians because his gods The stories of Joshua and “the people of Moses” (Genesis 50:30 sq, cp. Joshua 7) follow the same pattern: war for the plains “that the gods [Elohim] gave” them (Moses uses the plural adjective with the plural noun elohim: “hath heard the voice of the living gods [elohim hayyim]”; cp. Genesis 1:26; the plural noun is followed by a plural verb; for an interesting discussion read more here; the story of Moses and the Torah that he allegedly wrote is filled with numerous errors, the most basic being his authorship as he not only writes, in the third person singular, of his death but also his burial: Deuteronomy 34) were determined to give the Jews a “homeland” is filled with errors: it is justified based on land taken by war 3,300 years ago and lost by war 2600 years ago. By that logic, Americans

Palestinian protester dies of his wounds while throwing stones at an Israeli military vehicle that lobbed a tear-gas canister direct at him and hit him in the face (10 Dec 2011 al-Jazeera

should give the southwest territory back to the Mexicans and the rest to the nation back to the Indians. The Jews get a “homeland” only because of a UN decree and the force of arms by Great Britain, the USA, and others repentant for their lethargy in attacking the NAZIs and the genocide of Hitler’s government: the German holocaust—antecedent to the Israeli holocaust of the Palestinians today.

Mustafa Tamimi dies after being directly hit in the face by Israeli military shooting cannisters of tear-gas 2011

About 1000 BCE, Palestine was divided into two parts: Samaria and Judea.  Division of Palestine did not stop then, nor today.

Palestine existed before Zionists arrived (photo 1870 by Michael Maslan)

On November 12, 1917, the government of Great Britain issued the Balfour Declaration promising to build a Jewish state that had not existed for more than a millennia: a declaration Great Britain had no right to make since the land was already owned by Palestinians.  To enforce its illegal designs, Great Britain invaded Palestine in December 1917 under the guise of destroying the Ottoman Empire.  Sir Herbert Louis 1st Viscount Samuel, a declared Zionist who was openly opposed to any recognition of Palestinian legitimacy (Ingrams, Doreen (1972). Palestine Papers. New York, NY, USA: G. Braziller, p. 106), was sent as Britain’s first High Commissioner to Palestine, and began the systematic persecution and suppression of the Palestinian people.  In April 1920, in the small Italian town of San Remo, Britain and France divide the Middle East into mandates while the American ambassador read his newspaper in the garden (Cohen, Michael Joseph (1987). Origins and Evolution of the Arab-Zionist Conflict.  Berkeley, CA, USA: University of California Press, p. 64 and footnote).  This was buttressed the corrupt League of Nations in 1922 that used greater force against the Palestinians while ignoring the rise of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s and 1940s.

It is impossible to prove anything in one book by citing the book itself, yet that is what Gingrich and Israeli apologists do—using the bibles of their faith that were written not as historical records by records of faith and instruction.  What is known is that there are no external contemporary records in ancient Egypt, Sumeria, or Babylon that note a Jewish presence in Palestine when the descendants of Jacob moved in on the land in open warfare.  The Arabs adopted much from the Torah and the Old and New Testaments to create the Qur’an/Koran (Abraham is mentioned more times than Muhammad), but religious plagiarism is common throughout the world.  It is from the tale of Abram and his two sons (Isaac, the youngest, born to Sara (a shortened version of the Egyptian Ummu-sarra), wife of Abram; and, Ishmael (إسماعيل‎), born to Abraham’s concubine (cf. Koran 2:62; 37:102-111; the problem that exists is that many Christians take the Bible as fact, when the same Bible says it is not all fact: Jeremiah 8:8 RSV:  How can you say, We are wise, we have the law of the LORD, when scribes with their lying pens have falsified it? ) and slave Hagar [a name that means flight or cast out) that enmity broke out among their descendants: Muslims who cite Ishmael as the father of the Arab race (Greenspahn, Frederick E. “Ishmael” in Lindsay Jones, ed (2005). Encyclopedia of Religion (2nd ed). New York, NY, USA: MacMillan Reference Books. p. 4551-4552; cp. McAuliffe, Jane Dammen, ed (2005). Encyclopedia of the Qur’an.  Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill Academic Publishers. Ishmael is far older than Isaac in ancient Semitic literature and folklore, and most likely was incorporated into the Abrahamic legends) and Jews who cite Isaac as the father of Jews.  The battle has lasted since Ishmael was cast out into the wilderness because of the jealous of Sara (Genesis 21:8-21). The son whom Abram intended to kill is not named in the Torah, but Muslims claim it was not Isaac but Ishmael who accompanied him into the mountains to be sacrificed to a vengeful god who would sacrifice his own son.

Related links:

The Bible Unearthed  Archeological evidence shows no Jewish control of Palestine.
The Israeli-Palestinian Struggle An well-researched, contemporary historical account (Seattle Times).

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Filed under Ancient Egypt, Bible, Genesis, Old Testament, Torah

Apostolic Succession and the Papacy–separating fact from fiction

No “bishop of Rome” or “Roman pontiff” existed before the second century—with the first record of their being a Linus, successor of Peter, a fictional character in the Bible who was the least saintly of all the alleged Apostles.  The word “pontiff” never had the meaning of “pope” (papa, which is Latin from the Greek: πάππας (pappas), a child’s word for father) but in Rome came from the term “pontifex maximus” (ἱεροδιδάσκαλος, ἱερονόμος, ἱεροφύλαξ, ἱεροφάντης) but was a “heathen” title for high priests (their number swelled from four: Livy, X.6,9: Livy, X.6, to at least sixteen)  of the College of Pontiffs (Collegium Pontificum) in ancient Rome. The position of pontifex maximus was the most important position in the ancient Roman religion, but was open only to patricians until 254 BC when a plebian (Tiberius Coruncanius: Livy, Epit. 18) occupied the position; Sulla increased the number to 15 in 81 BCE: Livy, Epit. 89; Julius Cesar, who was elected Pontifex Maximus in 63 BCE, raised that number to sixteen (Dion Cassius XLII.51).  The last to use the title was Gratianus (Orelli, Inscript. n1117, 1118).  The rulers styled Pontifex Maximus were:

712 BCE

Numa Pompilius It was claimed that the office began during the tenure of the Kings of Rome. The first Pontifex Maximus is recorded as Numa Marcius but it is difficult to determine if it was a different person, or the actual second king of Rome.

509 BCE

Papirius Complete dates in office unknown.

449 BCE

Furius Complete dates in office unknown.

431 BCE

Cornelius Cossas Complete dates in office unknown.

420 BCE

Minucius Complete dates in office unknown.

390 BCE

Follius Flaccinator Complete dates in office unknown.

332 – 304 BCE

Cornelius Callissa  

304 – ? BCE

Cornelius Scipio Barbatus Complete dates in office unknown.

254 – 243 BCE

Tiberius Coruncanius First Plebeian Pontifex Maximus

243- 221 BCE

Caecilius Metellus  

217 – 213 BCE

Cornelius Lentulus Caudinus  

212 – 183 BCE

Licinius Crassus Dives  

183 – 180 BCE

Servilius Geminus  

180 – 152 BCE

Aemilius Lepidus  

152 -150 BCE

No Pontifex Maximus  

150 – 141 BCE

Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum  

141 – 132 BCE

Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio Plutaech describes Serapio as the first Pontifex to break the religious law not allowing him to leave Italy.

132 – 130 BCE

Licinius Crassus Dives Mucianus Also noted as the first to leave Italy, during the social disorder of the Gracchi Brothers, after which, it became increasingly common and certainly not against the law for the Pontifex to leave Italy.

? – 115 BCE

P. Mucius Scaevola Complete dates in office unknown, but assumedly shortly after his predecessor.

114 – 103 BCE

Caecilius Metellus Delmaticus  

103 – 89 BCE

Domitius Ahenobarbus  

89 – 82 BCE

Q. Mucius Scaevola  

81 – 63 BCE

Caecilius Metellus Pius  

63 – 44 BCE

Gaius Julius Caesar  

44 – 13 BCE

Aemilius Lepidus  

12 BCE

Augustus With Augustus’ accession, the election of the Pontifex Maximus ceased as each successive emperor held the office. In 382 CE, when the Eastern emperor Theodosius established Christianity as the official religion of the empire, the Western Emperor Gratian relinquished the office to the Christian bishops of Rome, who have held it since that time.

The College of Pontiffs, the antecedent to the College of Cardinals, lasted until Constantine outlawed it with his creation of his imperial catholic [universal] church in 325 CE (Arnobius IV.35). 

Ancient Roman pontiffs were known for luxurious living, maintenance of “nephews” who were known as secretaries or pontifices minores: “quos nunc minores pontifices appellant” as Livy detailed (XXII.57; compare Jul. Capitol. Opil. Macrin. 7; Cicero (de Harusp. Resp. 6) mentions the name of three minor pontiffs) and abandoned (licentious) living un unexcelled luxury (Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace): Horat. Carm[ina]. II.14.26] Martiales. XII.48.12:

Non Albana mihi sit comissatio tanti

Nec Capitolinae pontificumque dapes;

Inputet ipse deus nectar mihi, fiet acetum

Et Vaticani perfida vappa cadi.

 cp. Macrob. Sat. II.9), similar to that of Alexander VI, Julius II and other renaissance popes.  Emperors frequently assumed the title of Pontifex Maximus as late as 238 CE, when the two emperors Maximus and Balbinus assumed this dignity (Capitol. Maxim. et Balb. 8).

A Roman pontifex did officiate at religious ceremonies, but that was only one duty. A pontifex, like all the members of the great priestly colleges, was permitted by law hold any other military, civil or priestly office, provided the different offices did not interfere with one another. Thus we find one and the same person being pontiff, augur, and decemvir sacrorum  were elected for life. Their chief duty was to take care of the Sibylline books, and to inspect them on all important occasions, by command of the senate, as recounted by Livy at XL.42:

Eodem anno L. Duronius, qui praetor anno superiore, ex Illyrico cum decem nauibus Brundisium rediit. inde in portu relictis nauibus cum uenisset Romam, inter exponendas res, quas ibi gessisset, haud dubie in regem Illyriorum Gentium latrocinii omnis maritimi causam auertit: ex regno eius omnes naues esse, quae superi maris oram depopulatae essent; de his rebus se legatos misisse, nec conueniendi regis potestatem factam. uenerant Romam legati a Gentio, qui, quo tempore Romani conueniendi regis causa uenissent, aegrum forte eum in ultimis partibus fuisse regni dicerent: petere Gentium ab senatu, ne crederent confictis criminibus in se, quae inimici detulissent. ad ea Duronius adiecit multis ciuibus Romanis et sociis Latini nominis iniurias factas in regno eius, et ciues Romanos dici Corcyrae retineri. eos omnes Romam adduci placuit, C. Claudium praetorem cognoscere, neque ante Gentio regi legatisue eius responsum reddi.

Inter multos alios, quos pestilentia eius anni absumpsit, sacerdotes quoque aliquot mortui sunt. L. Ualerius Flaccus pontifex mortuus est: in eius locum suffectus est Q. Fabius Labeo. P. Manlius, qui nuper ex ulteriore Hispania redierat, triumuir epulo: Q. Fuluius M. f. in locum eius triumuir cooptatus, tum praetextatus erat. de rege sacrifio sufficiendo in locum Cn. Cornelii Dolabellae contentio inter C. Seruilium pontificem maximum fuit et L. Cornelium Dolabellam duumuirum naualem, quem ut inauguraret pontifex magistratu sese abdicare iubebat. recusantique id facere ob eam rem multa duumuiro dicta a pontifice, deque ea, cum prouocasset, certatum ad populum. cum plures iam tribus intro uocatae dicto esse audientem pontifici duumuirum iuberent, multamque remitti, si magistratu se abdicasset, uitium de caelo, quod comitia turbaret, interuenit. religio inde fuit pontificibus inaugurandi Dolabellae. P. Cloelium Siculum inaugurarunt, qui secundo loco nominatus erat. exitu anni et C. Seruilius Geminus pontifex maximus decessit: idem decemuir sacrorum fuit. pontifex in locum eius a collegio cooptatus est Q. Fuluius Flaccus:inde pontifex maximus M. Aemilius Lepidus, cum multi clari uiri petissent; et decemuir sacrorum Q. Marcius Philippus in eiusdem locum est cooptatus. et augur Sp. Postumius Albinus decessit: in locum eius P. Scipionem, filium Africani, augures cooptarunt.

Cumanis eo anno petentibus permissum, ut publice Latine loquerentur et praeconibus Latine uendendi ius esset.

Instances of a pontifex maximus being at the same time consul, are very numerous (Liv. XXVIII.38; Cic. de Harusp. Resp. 6; compare Ambrosch, Julius Athanasius (1839). Studien und Andeutungen im Gebiet des altrömischen Bodens und Cultus. 1es Hft. Breslau: Hirt, p. 229, note 105; in German).

Petronilla daughter of Peter (13th century)

Not only was Peter different from the other Twelve Apostles (he was married (Mark 1:29-31, cp. Matthew 8:14; cf. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata III.vi, ed. Dindorf, II, 276) and had a legendary daughter named Petronilla (De Rossi, Giovanni Battista (1864-1877). Roma sotterranea cristiana. Roma, Italia: Cromo-litografia pontificia. vol. I, pp. 180-181; in Italian) who was the source of the story of the maiden Rapunzel locked in a tower to be rescued by a handsome prince; this legend became the hagiography for St. Barbara, and by the tenth century story was the insipriation of the Persian tale of Rudāba, included in the epic poem Shahnameh (شاهنامه) by Ferdowsi (whose poetry has been praised as being equal to the heavenly Eden: در بهشت عدن فردوسی نگر). Rudāba offers to let down her hair from her tower so that her lover Zāl can climb up to her) and the daughter is mentioned in the Gnostic apocryphal Acts of St. Peter, dating from the 2nd century but no name is given (Lipsius, Richard Adelbert  (1887). Die apokryphen Apostelgeschichten u. Apostellegenden:  ein Beitrag zur altchristlichen Literaturgeschichte 2,1 in II, i, Braunschweig, Germany: Schwetschke, pp. 203 sqq.). 

Having children was commonplace.  It was expected of the early “bishops of Rome” (culminating with Siricius) for they were married and expected to having numerous children (with the exception of Alexander I).  This gave rise to the belief that Roman Catholic families had to be large and birth control discouraged. In spite of this, Siricius, it is written, wrote a letter to Bishop Himerius of Tarragona (c. 385 CE) to stop cohabiting / living with their wives: Coustant, Pierre (1721) ed. Epistolae Romanorum pontificum: et quae ad eos scriptae sunt, a S. Clemente I. usque ad Innocentium III … Tomus 1, abanno Christi 67 ad annum 440. Parisiis [Paris] France: L. D. Delatour, A. U. Coustelier, et P. Simon, 1721; reprint by Farnborough, 1967, pp. 623-638, no. 16, 9-12 (it is a forgery)—but the Epistle, No. 8, also talks about rampant sexual abuse among the clergy, especially with young girls; the text can be read in Somerville, Robert and Brasington, Bruce (1998). Prefaces to Canon Law Books in Latin Christianity.  New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press, 1998), pp. 36-39; I am using my copy of the original Latin version printed in 1721), but was the first to deny his relationship with the Jesus of the New Testament (John 21:15-17, Mark 14:70-72, Luke 22:60-62), had limited (Mark 14:38), if any, faith in the New Testament Jesus (Matthew 14:28-29 where Peter walks on water—and sinks, Mark 14:66-68), was overly boastful without substance (Mark 14:69-70), etc.

Simon bar Jonas (or, Peter: Greek: Πέτρος, or Cephas: Greek: Κηφᾶς; they are sometimes combined as in the Syriac ܫܶܡܥܽܘܢ ܟ݁ܺܐܦ݂ܳܐ) was anything but a saint.  He was proclaimed a saint only because he allegedly suffered martyrdom that he could have avoided, making his martyrdom a deliberate suicide (there is no contemporary record of any Simon or Peter being executed in Rome, but would have been in the imperial records by law; the earliest record of this alleged death appears in Tertullian at the end of the second century CE (hardly a reliable source) and then of Origen Adamantius (born in Egypt and died in Phoenicia in the third century) in Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica III.1, written in the fourth century).  While Christian apologists cite these records, their reliability is at best questionable since they are written hundreds of years after the event, and there is no record of the crucifixion of Peter in the Bible–the Book of Acts of the Apostles drops all mention of Peter less than half-way through, as the writers turn their attention to Saul of Tarsus/Paul.  (No legitimate historian would use one book to prove the contents of the same books; this fact makes the Bible an untrustworthy source as it is not history nor its contents verified elsewhere during the times it was written. 

Peter walking on water (painting by Francois Boucher, 1766)

As for Peter being the stone or rock for believers, that fiction is rejected in Acts 4:8-12 (cf. Matthew 16:18 that is mistranslated, as Peter and stone are the same word in Greek: πετρος).  Furthermore, the advent of this “rock” is but a reflection on the birth of the god Mithras, favored by Rome’s soldiers, who was born out of a rock (Vermaseren, Maartan J. (1951). “The miraculous Birth of Mithras”, in László Gerevich. Studia Archaeologica: Publicationes Instituti archaeologici Academiae scientiarum Hungaricae. Red.: L[ászló] Gerevich 0. Besitzerspezifische Fußnote. Budapest, Hungary; reissued as Studia Archaeologica: Gerardo van Horoon Oblata (Studia von Horoon), a festschriften, Leiden, Netherlands: E J Brill. pp. 93–109).

God Enki walks out of the water to the land

Various religions in the days that it is claimed that Peter lived have similar accounts of miracles and walking on water–as the records are about how the earth was formed and how people were born.  The legend of Peter “walking on water”, as it appears in current Bibles, is nothing new in the world’s religious literature, and it did not occur only with the Jesus of the New Testament nor with Peter.  It is not a story of faith but of the power of the god(s) current at the time.

Walking on water is found in universal non-Christian theologies: Egyptian (Horus and his son Hapy who ruled over the Nile, and Naunet who was the god of wells and later of all water, especially the ocean, (a prototype for Neptune / Poiseidon) in Etruscan theology and known as Nethuns), Hindu (Huang-Po), Greek (Orion), Canaanite (in Mesopotamia, Enki was god of water and walked on it and saw it to be the “birth water” that flowed out of his wife, calling faithful fishermen from their boats to walk on water to prove their faith; and in numerous Asian religions, the gods were avatars—those who control elements—and walked on water),

Pre-Inca (Peru) God of creation who walks on water

which also appears in Pre-Inca (Peru) theology as Viracocha (also known as Apu Qun Tiqsi Wiraqutra) who created the world flood while the Inca god Kon controlled the rain.  Pre-Inca theology had Virachocha as “a man of medium height, white and dressed in a white robe like an alb secured round the waist, and that he carried a staff and a book in his hands” (De Gamboa, Pedro Sarmiento.  History of the Incas translated by Clements Markham, Cambridge, MA, USA: The Hakluyt Society 1907, pp. 28-58).  Virachocha (the name means “sea foam”) had one son (Inti) and two daughters, a trinity, who destroyed the earth and all the animals on it with a universal flood because of the sinfulness of people, pardoning only two people to bring civilization to the rest of the world: Manco Cápac, the son of Inti (sometimes taken as the son of Viracocha), which name means “splendid foundation”, and Mama Ocllo, which means “mother fertility”.  In another account, Viracocha had two sons, Imahmana Viracocha and Tocapo Virachocha. After the Great Flood and the Creation, Viracocha sent his sons to visit the tribes the sons created to the Northeast and Northwest to determine if they still obeyed his commandments (Viracocha traveled North). During their journey, Imaymana and Tocapo gave names to all the trees, flowers, fruits and herbs (there was no first woman). They also taught the tribes which of these were edible, which had medicinal properties, and which were poisonous. Eventually, Viracocha, Tocapo and Imahmana arrived at Cuzco (in modern-day Peru) and the Pacific seacoast where they walked across the water until they disappeared.

At the time the Gospels were being written, Asian theology was present in the Roman world), and throughout the Scandinavian world (with Ahti the most important water deity, but also Thor, Odin, etc who ruled over everything), and O-Wata-Tsu-Mi of Japan, Chac in Mayan theology, and so forth.  

Moschophoros (Athens 570 BCE)

“Borrowing” religious symbolism was common and took on an unusual urgency by the middle of the fourth century for the emerging groups of “brethren” who would people the congregations of “the lovers” when the Emperor Constantine decided to formally create his catholic [universal] church, calling a council of warring bishops to Nicaea to thrash out details and decide on a uniform code.  From this, and other such state-controlled councils in the East, symbolism played a critical role, such as the symbolism of Jesus carrying a lamb which is a part of the theology of Attis, Dionysus, Mithras, Apollonius of Tyana, and so forth, and is known both as μοσχάρι-κομιστή: calf-bearer and αρνί-κομιστή: lamb-bearer (Hermes: Ἑρμῆς. is the lamb-bearer (Hermes Kriophoros: Ερμής αρνί-κομιστή) and one of the crucified saviours of the ancient world).  In each case the lamb carrier /calf carrier is representative of a shepherd or cowherder who was in charge of protecting the flocks from predators (from the Latin praedātor:  plunderer and was used for “flock stealing” or taking from one religion to another by using lies).  From this symbol those who would proclaim themselves (or be proclaimed by others) as leaders (bishops: ἐπίσκοποι episkopoi, but does not become a recognized category until 108 CE, as defined by Ignatius of Antioch who held that a bishop had greater authority than a priest) or council of advisers (presbyters who exercised teaching, priestly, and administrative functions; from the Greek πρεσβύτερος (presbuteros), the comparative form of πρέσβυς (presbus), “old man”) determined that they would have to ensure purity of faith by expelling (and ultimately killing) heretics and apostates.

Justin Martyr (acclaimed a saint under the most dubious of circumstances, rewrote the Bible on his own, substituting Latin words that were/are not the equivalent of the Greek Koine) wrote in his First Apology 21: “When we say that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter.”  The actual New Testament text matches that of Buddhism.

Linus does not appearing in any document before the highly questionable writings of Irenæus of Lyons (d. 200 CE).  Linus is not mentioned again until Eusebius, the Arian bishop of Caesarea (ca. 339 CE).  In fact the original (old) Liber Pontificalis (Book of Popes: the oldest copy that I have in my private library is emended/edited by de Lutiis, Jacobi [bishop of Cajazzo] and Burckardi, Joannis (1497-16 Aug), Liber Pontificalis. Romae, Italia: Stephan Plannck, (dated) 16 Aug. 1497; the actual imprint reads: Per Magistrum Stephanum Plannck sedente Alexandro. vj. Pontifice Maximo, anno eius. v. M. CCCC.lxxxxvij. [1497] Die xvj. Augusti; text is in Latin and is published in two parts: I: the Popes to 715 CE, and II: Popes to 817 CE) bound in signatures) does not list Linus—but Clement (who never claimed to be a papa); Linus does not appear until the third-century spurious document Apostolic Constitutions surfaces (VII.iv.xlvi). 

There was no monoarchical Episcopal structure of church government in Rome until the fourth century (McBrien, Richard P (2005). Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI.  San Francisco, CA, USA: Harper, pp. 33-34).  There is but one mention of a Linus in the New Testament (2 Timothy 4:19-21: Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus…: 19Ἄσπασαι Πρίσκαν καὶ Ἀκύλαν καὶ τὸν Ὀνησιφόρου οἶκον. 20Ἔραστος ἔμεινεν ἐν Κορίνθῳ, Τρόφιμον δὲ ἀπέλειπον ἐν Μιλήτῳ ἀσθενοῦντα. 21Σπούδασον πρὸ χειμῶνος ἐλθεῖν. Ἀσπάζεται σε Εὔβουλος καὶ Πούδης καὶ Λίνος καὶ Κλαυδία καὶ οἱ αδελφοὶ.  The majority of the new converts were women who had women leaders.  In the Letter to Timothy,  Linus plays a minor role and is recorded only as an afterthought (as is found in an early fifth century scroll in my private collection). 

There is no reference there that Linus was ever a bishop or ever at Rome—the closest one can speculate is the Linus mention in 2 Timothy (4:21) lived in Corinth, along with Pudens, Claudia (a female prophet/priest), “and all the brethren” (brethren was a word for “believers”).  More precisely, since others were mentioned before Linus, that situation shows that he was not considered “first” even among equals—but was a minor player in the emerging community.

Tertullian of Carthage (Africa)

Contemporary papalography is filled with errors. Lopes (Lopes, Antonino (1997), The Popes: The lives of the Pontiffs through 2000 years of History. Roma: Futura Edizoni, p. 1) makes the error of writing “Tertullian maintains that Cletus and not Linus was the successor to St. Peter”, while, in fact, Tertullian lists Clement (in some redactions Tertullian argues that the succession went first through Polycarp (Tertullian, De Prescriptionibus, in Patrologia Latina, xii; cf. Jerome, De vir. III., xv), not Cletus as the successor (Liber de praescriptione haereticorum).  Tertullian, however, does not use the word “papa” nor πάππας (pappas).  The first to carry the title of pope was the Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope Heracleus (232–249 CE), the 13th Alexandrine Patriarch.  The first historical first record is assigned to Pope Heraclas of Alexandria in a letter written by the bishop of Rome, Dionysius, to Philemon: τοῦτον ἐγὼ τὸν κανόνα καὶ τὸν τύπον παρὰ τοῦ μακαρίου πάπα ἡμῶν Ἡρακλᾶ παρέλαβον (I received this rule and ordinance from our blessed pope, Heraclas), as recorded by Eusebius the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, Historia Ecclesiastica VII.vii.7. 

Irenæus of Lyons, in his Adversus Haereses (III.iii.2-3, written about 180 CE–which makes it less valuable as it is not an eye-witness account nor a verifiable historical record of an incident that took place, allegedly, around 120 years earlier)—is on the order of the fable of George Washington cutting down a cherry tree—a tree that Japan would not send to the USA until 1912; the first trees imported in 1910, had to be destroyed because of an infection.  Irenæus bases his list upon tradition and there are no dates for his entries; his only reference to Linus, is in reference to Paul’s mention of Linus in his Letter of Timothy (itself of dubious origin).  Irenæus is not a reputable or valid source, for he claims, in error, that Paul and Peter started the church in Rome, but in Romans 15:20, Paul claims that he “should [not] build upon another man[’s] foundation (cf. Sullivan, F. A. (2001), op. cit., pp. 35, 147). Even more startling is Irenæus claim that “Peter and Paul” did not ordain or commission Linus, but appointed him, as Irenæus did not see either Peter or Paul as bishops (Sullivan, op. cit., p. 148). 

Ignatius of Antioch makes no mention of Linus or other successors in any of his writings, including his Letter of Polycarp of Smyrna.  Polycarp, who thinks well of Ignatius, makes no mention of Linus, Cletus or anyone who became “bishop of Rome” nor does he acknowledge in any of his eight epistles any “bishop of Rome” by name or title.  The Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) does not mention Linus, Cletus or anyone who became “bishop of Rome.”  At best, Rome was led by a college of presbyters (Sullivan, op. cit., pp. 13-15)—or teachers that included women.

Clement of Rome never declared himself to be a “bishop of Rome” nor did he ever sign any letter with that title (cf. Duffy, Eamon (2001). Saints & Sinners: A History of the Popes (2nd ed.) London, UK: Yale University Press, pp. 9-10, 13), and he made no reference to a Linus as a bishop—not even as an elder—of the church in Rome. The Roman Catholic scholar J. P. Kirsch (1910) writing in The Catholic Encyclopedia (vol. IX), notes that “Linus…his pontificate dates from the death of the Apostles Peter and Pau, which, however, is not known for certain…”  Even the “tomb” of Linus is rejected as historical (De Rossi, Giovanni Battista (1857) Inscriptiones christianae urbis Romae septimo saeculo antiquilores, Romae: Ex Officina Libraria Pontifica [real date: 1861]-1888, vol. II (published 1888), pp. 23-27).  In short, there is no historical evidence for either Peter or Linus. 

This is made clearer when reading the writings of John the Beloved—who, allegedly, was alive throughout the first century.  At no time, in no epistle or gospel, does John mention a “bishop of Rome” or a “vicar of Christ” by title.  No where is the name Linus found in any writing of John.

If there had been a bishop of Rome, a far more appropriate choice would have been John (if he even lived), as tradition tells us that he was the last of the Apostles (as with all the Twelve Apostles, who represented the known twelve constellations, there is no physical evidence that John ever lived nor wrote). John, however, would not accept such a pretension as it would be apostasy in his age.  Not even the madman John of Patmos (a creation of writers), who was definitely not John the Beloved but frequently confused as being the same man, in the Apocalypse makes no mention of a “bishop of Rome” nor the writings of any “pope”.  The only comment Patmos makes of the “leadership of the church” is the church that exists in Asia Minor (Revelation 1-3) with its leadership going back to the elders of Jerusalem, Antioch, and so forth.  Rome is not mentioned.

Various Roman Catholic scholars equally contest the assertion that Peter founded the Roman Catholic Church and established a see in Rome.  F. A. Sullivan (Sullivan, Francis (Alfred) (2001). From Apostles to Bishops: the Development of the Episcopacy in the Early Church.  Mahwah, NJ, USA: Newman Press; and, New York: Newman Press, pp. 80, 221-222) notes: “the available evidence indicates that the church in Rome was led by a college of presbyters, rather than by a single bishop, for at least several decades of the second century.”  Sullivan is supported by Richard P. McBrien (Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI. San Francisco, CA, USA: Harper, 2005, p. 34).  McBrien writes: “Early sources, including Eusebius, claim Linus held office for twelve years, but they are not clear about the exact dates or his exact pastoral role and authority.  …the Episcopal structure of church governance … still did not exist in Rome at this time.”

Contrary to the apologists for Linus and the myth of apostolic succession, history does not record either a “pope” or a “bishop of Rome” until late in the fourth century CE.  Such a pretentious claim does not appear until Siricius (384-399) who took the Greek word for father (papa) as his title (Lopes, A., op. cit., p. 13; cp. Epistle vi in Patrologia Latina (Migne, Jacques-Paul [1844-1891?]. Patrologiae cursus completes. Series Latina: sive bibliotheca universalis … omnium ss. Partum, doctorum scriptorium que ecclesiasticorum qui ab aevo apostolic ad usque Innocentii III tempora floruerunt. Parisiis [Paris, France]: Apud Garnien Fratres, editors et J.-P. Migne successors; hereafter cited as PL) XIII, col. 1164.)

No superiority was accounted for the “papa” in Rome.  Rome’s bishop, a personage slow to emerge, was but one “father” or priest (countering my own 1968 thesis An Apology for the Petrine Doctrine. Cedar Falls, IA, USA: University of Northern Iowa).  Rome’s bishop, once one was declared, was never considered infallible on any teaching or question of morality (infallibility does not become an article of faith in the Roman Catholic Church until 1870 at the First Vatican Council, and then over the protestations of the majority of clergy (cp. the bull Qui quorundam (1324) that condemned the doctrine of papal infallibility put forth by Franciscans as the “work of the devil”: Hasler, August Bernhard, (1981) How the Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion (Doubleday; Garden City, NY), pp. 36-37); he was never seen as primate over other bishops nor even “first among equals” (Latin: Primus inter pares; Greek: Πρῶτος μεταξὺ ἴσων) and does not appear in Western tracts until 1054 (cf. D’Agostino, Michele Giuseppe (2008).  Il Primato della Sede di Roma in Leone IX (1049–1054). Studio dei testi latini nella controversia greco-romana nel periodo pregregoriano. Cinisello Balsamo, Italia: Edizioni San Paolo). It was blasphemy to consider such a pretender as supreme even in the early Middle Ages; cp. Bayer, Axel. Splatung der christenheit das sogenannte morgenlandische schisma von 1054. Köln : Böhlau Verlag, 2002) when the bishop of Rome attempted to impose his own interpretation on the “filioque” clause, and whether leavened or unleavened bread should be used in the Eucharist (cf. Hergenröther,  Joseph (1869) Monumenta Graeca ad Photium eiusque historiam pertinentiam, quae ex codicibus manuscriptis… Regensburg, Germany: Georg Tos. Manz, pp 62–71, reissued Farnborough: Gregg, 1969, who argues that Photius attempted to insert this divisive issue into the controversy; and, Hans-Georg Beck, Byzantinisches Lesebuch, München 1982, pp 245–247).  Rome had the “prerogative of honor” only because Rome was the imperial capital–until the New Rome (Constantinople) was built in Turkey (Second Ecumenical Council, Canon III), but that was heatedly debated that numerous other councils were called to wrestle with it.  The only bishops existed in Jerusalem by the end of the first century, and in Asia Minor by the second century.

Linus’ alleged successor Cletus (Anacletus: a Roman, also called, in error, Anencletus: a Greek; Irenæus, Eusebius, Augustine, Optatus, use both names indifferently as of one person) is also fiction.  There is significant work necessary to understand the name of this alleged pope, as in ancient Greek, Cletus translates as “one who has been called” while “Anacletus” translates as “one who has been called back.” Tertullian never mentions him, nor does anyone else within the first two centuries, yet later apologia, praises this pope that even the Bible does not mention nor any civil record, for requiring “priestly dress”—but there is no record of a priestly costume until the days of Constantine in the fourth century (Braun, Joseph (1912). Vestments translated by Michael T. Barrett, in The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. XV, New York, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company).

What is clear is that there never was an “apostolic succession” as later popes claimed, as there is no record of direct succession, nor even agreement of who were popes. The entire Roman Catholic hierarchical structure is based on lies, mistranslations and pseudo-interpretations of documents: the majority of which are forged or redactions incorporating glosses into the text.  It was the same for the fabrication of persecutions in the early church, that even Roman Catholic scholars have been admitting for more than one century,  For example: “For between Nero and Domitian there is no mention of any persecution of the Roman Church; and Irenæus (1. c., III, iv, 3) from among the early Roman bishops designates only Telesphorus as a glorious martyr” (read: Kirsch J.P (1910). Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. Pope St. Linus. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX) notes:

Hic temporibus suis, rogatus a quadam matrona Lucina, corpora apostolorum beati Petri et Pauli de Catacumbas levavit noctu: primum quidem corpus beati Pauli accepto beata Lucina posuit in praedio suo, via Ostense, iuxta locum ubi decollatus est; beati Petri accipit corpus beatus Cornelius episcopus et posuit iuxta locum ubi crucificus est, inter corpora sanctorum episcoporum, in templum Apollinis, in monte Aureum, in Vaticanum palatii Neroniani, III kal. iul.

(read: Edmundson, George (1913). The Church in Rome in the First Century: an Examination of Various Controverted Questions relating to its history, chronology, literature and traditions; eight lectures preached before the University of Oxford in the Year 1913 on the foundation of the Lat Reve. John Bampton known as The Bampton Lectures for 1913; London, UK and New York, NY, USA: Longmans, Green).

All those who died between Nero and Domitian, who were very few in number despite the histrionics of papal apologists, of and have subsequently been called and praised as “saints” (a title for anyone who, living or dying, believes in “the Christ”–it was not yet a part of the name of the Jesus of the New Testament in the first century–as found in 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 3:14-19; 2 Corinthians 13:5; in the Christian Bible there is only one person who is declared to be a saint: Aaron the brother of Moses Psalms 106:16-18, as even Saul of Tarsus/Paul said he was no saint:  Ephesians 3:8) left no record of testifying, and many sought death to end their earthly existence (suicide), yet their “martyrdoms” becoming the backbone of the Roman Catholic church and cause célèbreof Roman Catholic persecution of non-Roman Catholics—especially as seen in the unholy life and actions of the odious opportunistic founder of Opus Dei, Josemaria Escriva (among the greatest liars and propagandists within the Roman Catholic Church who required unwavering

Josemarie Escriva: the end justifies the means

and absolute obedience in all things; Josemarie Escriva, founder of Opus Dei wrote in his The Way: the faithful will use secrecy to obtain end results (The Way, No. 839), compromise is a form of laziness and weakness (The Way, No. 54), true Roman Catholics must follow blindly “in obedience” all Church teachings (The Way, No. 617 and in 941): “Blind obedience to your superior, the way of sanctity. Obedience in your apostolate, the only way; for, in a work of God, the spirit must be to obey or to leave.” Submission to religious authority is understood to be a good in itself, while calling non-Catholic schools, “pagan schools” (The Way, No.866). Escrivá de Balaguer, José María [also Josemaria] (1954, 1962 and 1979). The Way. Chicago, IL, USA: Scepter), Opus Dei cardinals (especially in the USAwhere deception is the rule, and Latin America where

Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, Peru

thinking for one’s self (dissent) is rejected and denied as defended by the Peru College of [Roman Catholic] Bishops, whereas before 1971, dissent was recognized and even championed; this all was stopped with the elevation of nefarious Juan Luis Cipriani as archbishop of Lima who has even attacked the Pontifical University in Lima as “not Catholic” enough to suit his Opus Dei following, for he is a staunch member of the Opus Dei movement that seeks to suppress freedom of speech, inquiry, and advancement of the individual) and parasitic popes Urban II, Alexander VI, Leo X, Pius IX, Pius XII, John Paul II, and the ultimate predator propagandist Benedict XVI. 

Christianity took its concept of saints from Hinduism, a polytheistic religion that considers holy people to be “saints” derived from the Sanskrit sat (सद) (truth, reality) has overlapping usages, its root meaning being “one who knows the truth” or “one who has experienced Ultimate Reality” and ennobles them with the term Mahatma, Paramahamsa, or Swami, or with the titles Sri or Srila (cf. Pruthi, Raj and Ram, S(2008). Hindu Saints and Mysticism.New Delhi : Crescent Pub. Corp.; cp. Lāla, Rāma; Poddar, Hanuman Prasad; and Sampūrnānanda (1957). Bhārata ke santa-mahātmā : Bhārata ke 114 santa-mahātmāom ke jīvana kī rūparekhā. Bambaī : Vorā enda Kampanī Pabliśarsa; in Hindi).  What most Roman Catholics either do not know or reject is that “St. Cletus” was removed from the office General Roman Calendar as a saint in 1969 (although he does continue to appear in the Roman Martyrology as one of many saints of April 26; cf. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 121).

Clement of Rome

The fourth “bishop of Rome” is equally a phantasmal being.  Contemporary lists of popes give Clement as the fourth successor or Peter—but the only Clement in the Bible is found as an afterthought in Philippians 4:2-3: coming after (showing that Clement had little status) the salutations to the women Eudodia and Synthyche—but the reference is to a worker—not to an elder, presbyter or a bishop.  No where does it (or any contemporary document) say Clement was a preacher, priest or pope, not even in Rome.  Instead the text only claims that Clement resided in the Greek city-state (polis: πολίς) of Philippi.

Clement is not mentioned by John or any secular source in the first century.  Jerome comments that a Clement was “the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter” not in the sense of fourth successor, but fourth in a series that included Peter, and adds that “most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the apostle” but makes no affirmation of the rightness of this claim but in a redaction indicates that he came fourth—but without serious agreement (this disagreement is read easily in Irenæus’ Adversus Haereses III.iii.3).  Most of the biographical references to Clement were written in the fourth century as defense works attempting to justify the existence of an emerging bishopric of Rome, and there is no tie between this Clement and the Clement mentioned by “Paul” in Philippians 4:3 until the late third and into the fourth century CE. It is stated that Clement instituted the formulary of “the Trinity” for the Old Testament “The Lord lives”.  The Trinity is far older than Christianity.  

Osiric Trinity of ancient Egypt (Horus, Osiris, Isis)

The word Trinity is not found in the Bible.  The concept is far older–as old as ancient Egypt.  The Egyptians more than 3000 years ago had a belief in a life after death, a divine judgment, heaven and hell, and gave prayers to their gods with the invocation “the Lord lives” long before there were Hebrews or Christians. 

Much of what ancient Egypt had fashioned in its theology was plagiarized by the second century Christian church–when it did not take from its Jewish roots those parts it found economically beneficial in winning converts.

In Egyptian theology the trinity is a concept that  proclaims the inseparability of Osiris, Isis, and Horus.  Horus, the son, is recorded as having said, “My father [Osiris] and I are one” (cp. John 10:30). 

By the time of Judas Maccabeus the Egyptian Trinity was heralded as Isis (goddess of creation), Ra (god of the sun), El (husband or teaching spirit): Is-Ra-El (Yahweh was a war-god from the southern desert regions of Palestine, and later fashioned into an agricultural god that married the Canaanite goddess Asherah: Astarte; cf. Delitzsch, Friedrich (1903). Babel und Bibel. Leipzig, Germany: J. C. Hinrich and his Anmerkungen zu dem Vortrag Babel und Bible, 1903; Delitzsch was an Assyrian specialist).  Closer to Christianity is the Hindu Trinity, consisting of the TriGods:  Lord Brahma (the creator), Lord Vishnu (the preserver) and Lord Shiva (the destroyer). They are aspects of Iswara the manifest Brahman, the highest God of Hinduism.  The Hindu Trinity is not native to the Vedas, but were a part of the ancient Indian culture, and is thought to have appeared at least 2000 years before the advent of Vedic Aryans who settled in the north.  The Hindu Trinity is one god with three different abilities or personalities / purposes–much like the Christian Trinity.

“In Scripture [the Bible] there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together…The word trias (of which the Latin trinitas is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A.D. 180…Afterwards it appears in its Latin form of trinitas in Tertullian (“De pud.” c. xxi)”. (The Blessed Trinity. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV, 1912 by Robert Appleton Company. New York, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company).

Clement is also noted for the introduction of liturgical vestments—but they did not exist at that time, nor even at the time of Stephen I (254-257), as noted by Mann (Mann, H. (1912) transcribed by Kenneth M. Caldwell, “Pope St. Stephen I” in The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. XIV. New York City, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company), who wrote: “In his days the vestments worn by the clergy at Mass and other church services did not differ in shape or material from those ordinarily wore by the laity.”

The idea that Clement had authority over any other presbyter is absurd, especially by those who claim such a stature based on Epistle from Rome to the Corinthians that is surreptitiously ascribed as 1 Clement.  As Sullivan wrote, “1 Clement certainly does not support the theory that before the apostles died; they appointed one man as bishop in each of the churches they founded. This letter witnesses rather to the fact that in the last decade of the first century, the collegial ministry of a group of presbyters…was still maintained in the Pauline church of Corinth. This was most likely also the case in the church in Rome at this period” (Sullivan F.A. From Apostles to Bishops: op. cit. pp. 91, 101).

The fourth pope is alleged to have had the name of Evaristus.  He is not mentioned in the Bible or in any other document (civil or ecclesiastical). It is claimed that he instituted a group of seven deacons (one for each of the hills of Rome) to write down “the popes utterances” to avoid disputes over what each said, but these decretals are now known as Peudo-Isidore and considered forgeries and the general consensus is that they were written in the ninth century by Carolingian supporters to free the church and bishops from interference by the state and metropolitan archbishops (Kirsch J. P. (1909). Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. Pope St. Evaristus. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. V. New York, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company; cp. Williams, Schafer (1973). “Codices Pseudo-Isidoriani, A Palaegraphico-Historical Study,” Monumenta Iuris Canonici Series C vol. 3, New York, NY, USA: Fordham University).  Nothing that the seven recorders where to have written down survives—nor a list of any popes, not even Evaristus—who was allegedly martyred, but there is no mention of any persecution in the Roman Church at this time (Irenæus, op. cit., 1.c. III, iv. 3).

Evaristus is alleged to have been followed by Alexander.  The only mention of an Alexander who followed Evaristus appears in one place: Irenæus, Adversus Haereses III, iii,3.  Legend has it that Alexander was only 20 years old when he was elected pope, and was quick to institute the use of Holy Water (dating from prehistoric and Paleolithic religions, known as chernips among ancient Greeks, the ancient Jews used it to determine purity in a woman (Numbers

Amrit Sanskar

5:12-31), the Sikhs use the term (Punjabi: ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ) for a ritual baptism ceremony known as Amrit Sanskar or Amrit Chhakhna.  It was popular among Mithraists from which Alexander took the concept; and, it would later be a part of Shi’a Islam as it is thought that by drinking the “healing water” the person would be cured of both physical and spiritual illnesses (Virani, Shafique (2007). The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. p.107-108). 

Legend states that Alexander also prescribed that the “host” (bread) be made from unleavened dough (without yeast)–which would erupt into a battle of words and swords between Christians in the West and East.  The only other thing he is noted for is the continuation of ancient Roman superstition, such as the custom of purifying a house from evil influences by sprinkling salt on the structure and its rooms (constituit aquam sparsionis cum sale benedici in habitaculis hominum).  

Holy Water for Purification in the theology of the Goddess Isis

Duchesne and Tillemont (Duchesne, Louis; Vogel, Cyrille (1886). Liber Pontificalis, Paris, France: E. Thorin, I, 127. Tillemont, Louis-Sébastien Le Nain de (1693-1712), Memoires pour server à l’histoire ecclesiastique des six premiers siecles, par le Sieur D.T. [i.e De Tillemont]. Paris, France: Chez Charles Robustel, II, 590 sqq) both claim that Alexander came up with neither the idea of holy water or salt or similar superstitious practices, as none are biblically sanctioned—and none are in any contemporaneous records.  Holy Water and salt to purify a home, person, or temple is found in ancient Egypt with the worship of the Goddess Isis, in Pompeii and Rome–thousands of years before the invention of Christianity or any writing by its apologists.  Both were regularly used in places of worship, homes, businesses, and even public baths.

 Why Alexander, the alleged bishop of Rome was beheaded is unanswered in ancient records, but there is a subtle inference that he died because he was a young man who was subject to military service and refused to fight.  This would, in most cases, lead to execution.  A stronger argument against Alexander is that he could have been beheaded because of his age (he was, according to legend, the youngest–some claimed he was only 20 years-old–bishop of Rome, and there exists graffiti suggesting scandal during his term) and being single, which was seen as a threat to the Roman family and continuation of its people as with the dwindling population, reproduction was expected: celibacy and chastity were equally seen as unnatural and abnormal behavior.  It may have been that Alexander was seen as an Archigallus by the Romans. 

Priest of Cybele (courtesy of V Roma) Archigallus burning incense to the Magna Mater terra-cotta relief of the Isola Sacra cemetery 3rd century CE

The priesthood of the Archigallus is described as either being instituted sometime during the Imperial reign of Claudius (41-54 CE) or Antoninus Pius (137-161 CE). The Archigallus was always a Roman citizen chosen by the Quindecemviri Sacris Faciundis (fifteen [quindecim] members of a college (collegium) with priestly duties, from which, ultimately, would come cardinals–cardinālis–a word that originally meant ” door hinge” on which the gates to heaven swing open and shut), whose term of service lasted for life and the Archigallus was forbidden to be celibate or avoid human sexuality.  It was through the Archigallus and his rites that the Magna Mater’s blessings of health and well-being were conferred on the Emperor, the Imperial family, the Senate, the army and the Roman State and people as a whole, and to avoid sexuality and stay a virgin would bring down the wrath of the gods. This was especially critical as by the time of the death of Marcus Aurelius (180 CE), a plague—most likely smallpox—spread fast, killing approximately 2000 people a day.

The next pope, Sixtus I (originally spelled Xystus) is a further illusion—one with the least credibility. There is no existing records to his existence or the claims that he ordered holy furnishings be touched only by priests, the triple chant of Sanctus (common in ancient Etruscan theology and later imported into ancient Roman rituals where it was known as carmen (Putnam, Michael C. J. (2001). Horace’s Carmen Saeculare. New Haven, CT, USA and London, UK: Yale University Press. p. 133; Frances Hickson Hahn, “Performing the Sacred: Prayers and Hymns”, in Rüpke, Jörg (2007) A Companion to Roman Religion. Malden, MA, USA: Blackwell Publishers); it even was a part of the Hawaiian Kahunas before the unfortunate invasion by Christian missionaries), or the writing of two letters that are now considered universally to be apocryphal.     

Sixtus may never have existed, but was a part of numerology that was a part of all world religions.  The earliest list of bishops of Rome to survive is the one supplied by Irenæus who was known as a systematic writer who put everything into order.  The first twelve “popes” represented the twelve original Apostles, but with the loss of Judas Iscariot, there was vacancy, and that vacancy was the sixth from which the Latin name Sixtus comes. (Duffy, Eamon. Saints & Sinners: A History of the Popes. Yale University Press, New Haven (CT), 2002, p.14).                

Telesphorus is the eighth pope recorded after the fourth century by Eusebius of Caesarea: Historia Ecclesiastica iv.7; iv.14, in Greek: Εκκλησιαστική ιστορία), but that record we only have far later redactions on, as the originals were “lost”—most likely burned by apologists for Rome.  It may be have been, in part, reconstructed from later chronographers of the Byzantine school who made excerpts from the work. The tables of the second part have been preserved completely in a Latin translation by Jerome, but the Latin shows serious flaws with knowledge of the Greek and polemics did play a part in the translation and copying of the work. Both parts are still extant in an Armenian translation) places the beginning of his pontificate in the twelfth year of the reign of Emperor Hadrian (128–129) and gives the date of his death as being in the first year of the reign of Antoninus Pius (138–139). 

What other references to Telesphorus that exist are fragments—and are only recorded (as such) by later writers, such as Eusebius (for example: in a fragment of a letter from Irenæus to Pope Victor I during the Easter controversy in the late 2nd century, preserved by Eusebius, Irenæus testifies that Telesphorus was one of the Roman bishops who always celebrated Easter on Sunday, rather than on other days of the week according to the calculation of the Jewish Passover), who claims, as it is alleged by many Roman Catholics today, Telesphorus created the Christmas Eve Mass and its songs.  There is no proof of this, as both Irenæus and Tertullian (the latter who ultimately renounces Christianity and becomes a Manichean) omit Christmas Eve from their list of feasts–and they wrote the earliest records on the history of the church. 

Origen was insulted by the idea, claiming in Lev. Hom (Homilies on Leviticus) viii (Migne, Patrologia Graeca, XII, 495) that only sinners, not saints, celebrate their birthday.  Arnobius (VII, 32, in PL, V, 1264) ridicules such “birthdays” as reminiscent of pagan gods—which had as its source ancient Egyptian rites (Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, I, xxi in P.G., VIII, 888) says that certain Egyptian theologians “over curiously” assign, not the year alone, but the day of Christ’s birth, placing it on 25 Pachon (20 May) in the twenty-eighth year of Augustus (Martindale C (1908). Transcribed by Susanti A. Suastika. Christmas. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III.  New York, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company).   

All references to Telesphorus in the Liber Pontificalis are considered to be forgeries.  The Feast of Lent, and its fasting, does not appear anywhere before the fifth century CE.  Lent is a Teutonic word that denotes the forty days’ fast preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season culminating in the worship of the goddess Oester (Easter).  (Thurston H (1910). Transcribed by Anthony A. Killeen. A.M.D.G. Lent. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX. New York, NY, USA: Robert Appleton Company).    Until the 600s, Lent began on Quadragesima (Fortieth) Sunday, but Gregory the Great (c.540-604) moved it to a Wednesday, now called Ash Wednesday, to secure the exact number of 40 days in Lent—not counting Sundays, which were feast days. Gregory, who is regarded as the father of the medieval papacy, is also credited with the ceremony that gives the day its name, and is credited with establishing chanting as a way of appeasing god. 

Irenæus knows nothing about lent, and most contemporaries condemned it and chanting as pagan (it has existed in nearly every ancient religion, and is common in Buddhism, Hinduism (Vaishnavism where chanting is included to free the body from “sins” especially by calling on the god Krishna, known as “the Christ”, where it is written: “One who fasts, follows the Janmastami vow, and keeps an all-night vigil on this day becomes freed from the sins of ten million births”,  all Mesopotamian/Abrahamic religions, and now in Islam where it is known as Ramadhan), as with Arnobius:

“What say you, O wise sons of Erectheus? What, you citizens of Minerva? The mind is eager to know with what words you will defend what it is so dangerous to maintain, or what arts you have by which to give safety to personages and causes wounded so mortally. This is no false mistrust, nor are you assailed with lying accusations: the infamy of your Eleusinia is declared both by their base beginnings and by the records of ancient literature, by the very signs, in fine, which you use when questioned in receiving the sacred things,—” I have fasted, and drunk the draught; I have taken out of the mystic cist, and put into the wicker-basket; I have received again, and transferred to the little chest”

(Arnobius [of Sicca]. Adversus Paganos or Against the Heathen (also known as Against the Pagans and as Against the Gentiles), V.26; the original is in Latin; a good translation, in German, is Des Afrikaner’s Arnobius sieben Buecher wider die Heiden Landshut: v. Vogel, 1842).

Arnobius further notes: The feast of Jupiter is tomorrow. Jupiter, I suppose, dines, and must be satiated with great banquets, and long filled with eager cravings for food by fasting, and hungry after the usual interval (Adversus Paganos, VII.32).  The emerging Christian communities rapidly adopted the heathen custom of having great banquets at the end of Lent.

Alexander Hislop was among the first to write of Lent’s pagan antecedents:

The forty days’ abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess. Such a Lent of forty days, “in the spring of the year,” is still observed by the Yezidis or Pagan Devil-worshippers of Koordistan, who have inherited it from their early masters, the Babylonians. Such a Lent of forty days was held in spring by the Pagan Mexicans, for thus we read in Humboldt, where he gives account of Mexican observances: “Three days after the vernal equinox…began a solemn fast of forty days in honour of the sun.” Such a Lent of forty days was observed in Egypt, as may be seen on consulting Wilkinson’s Egyptians. This Egyptian Lent of forty days, we are informed by Landseer, in his Sabean Researches, was held expressly in commemoration of Adonis or Osiris, the great mediatorial god. At the same time, the rape of Proserpine seems to have been commemorated, and in a similar manner; for Julius Firmicus informs us that, for “forty nights” the “wailing for Proserpine” continued; and from Arnobius we learn that the fast which the Pagans observed, called “Castus” or the “sacred” fast, was, by the Christians in his time, believed to have been primarily in imitation of the long fast of Ceres, when for many days she determinedly refused to eat on account of her “excess of sorrow,” that is, on account of the loss of her daughter Proserpine, when carried away by Pluto…

Babylonians honored the resurrection of their god, Tammuz

Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz, which was celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing, and which, in many countries, was considerably later than the Christian festival, being observed in Palestine and Assyria in June, therefore called the “month of Tammuz”; in Egypt, about the middle of May, and in Britain, some time in April. To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skilful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get Paganism and Christianity–now far sunk in idolatry–in this as in so many other things, to shake hands…

Lupercalia: the ancient custom of Lent

Let any one only read the atrocities that were commemorated during the “sacred fast” or Pagan Lent, as described by Arnobius and Clemens Alexandrinus, and surely he must blush for the Christianity of those who, with the full knowledge of all these abominations, “went down to Egypt for help” to stir up the languid devotion of the degenerate Church, and who could find no more excellent way to “revive” it, than by borrowing from so polluted a source; the absurdities and abominations connected with which the early Christian writers had held up to scorn. That Christians should ever think of introducing the Pagan abstinence of Lent was a sign of evil; it showed how low they had sunk, and it was also a cause of evil; it inevitably led to deeper degradation. Originally, even in Rome, Lent, with the preceding revelries of the Carnival, was entirely unknown; and even when fasting before the Christian Pasch was held to be necessary, it was by slow steps that, in this respect, it came to conform with the ritual of Paganism. What may have been the period of fasting in the Roman Church before sitting of the Nicene Council does not very clearly appear, but for a considerable period after that Council, we have distinct evidence that it did not exceed three weeks.

(Hislop, Alexander (1862). The Two Babylons, or, The papal worship proved to be the worship of Nimrod and his wife: with sixty-one woodcut illustrations from Nineveh, Babylon, Egypt, Pompeii, &c. Edinburgh, Scotland: James Wood, pp. 104-106, a revision of the 1858 publication that was printed privately in Edinburgh under the title The two Babylons: their identity, and the present antichrist also the last).

Telesphorus was, allegedly, succeeded by Hyginus.  Of him or his reign there is neither evidence nor the claim that he decreed that all children were to be baptized with godparents in attendance.  The only reference for Hyginus is in Eusebius’ Historia Ecclesiastica IV.xv-xvi, but it is not credible, being written two hundred years after the alleged bishop of Rome reigned.  Baptism is among the most ancient practices in all primitive religions, predating Christianity by at least 5000 years. Homer describes baptism as a “full body immersion” that initially was reserved for the gods, then the demigods (such as Achilles), and ultimately for mortals; baptism could be by water or fire (war, and flames).  The Tablets of Maklu saw baptism as a “spiritual cleansing” in the cult of Enke, lord of Eridu. 

Book of Going Forth by Day (Papyrus of Ani) preparing for Baptism

In the Book of Going Forth by Day in ancient Egypt, an entire treatise is devoted to baptizing newborn children to purify them of any blemishes acquired in the womb—an ideology that had as its source the theology of Osiris drowning in the Nile and being brought back to life by the washing of the water over his entire body. 

Ritual instruments for a crucified saviour (Cairo Egypt) 1285 BCE XIXth Dynasty

This ultimately led to the crucifixion of Osiris, as well as the invention of a special house to hide the god or the resurrection when he was not being worshipped.

Miniature shrine XVIIIth Dynasty ca 1325 BCE darkness to hide deity

Supreme Priests/Pontiffs, such as Seti I would oversee the receipt of special tithes and gifts to the crucified god.

Seti I consecrating offerings ca 1285 BCE XIX Dynasty

In the cult of Cybele—which became one of the parts of the great God Mithras—baptism was by blood in the right of sacrificing the bull (Taurobolium) to give the faithful greater vitality and virility (baptism has always had a sexual context, from rising from the water symbolizing the fetus leaving the womb to become a baby, to being covered with blood to endure hardships such as being wrongly beaten or being crucified, as with the ancient Akkadians: אַכַּד). 

Commemorative Taurobolium Altar (Rome ca 295 BCE)

The Emperor Theodosius the Great made Mithraism the only religion in the empire at the expense of Christianity, although the inscription appears no later than 134 CE and was widespread: from Asia Minor, Middle East, and so forth (Vermaseren, Maartan J. (1977).  Cybele and Attis: the Myth and the Cult. London, UK: Thames and Hudson p. 102).  By being baptized, the one receiving the water or blood gained “eternal life, being born again”.  The pagan origin of baptism was even noted in the early Christian communities that adopted the rite into their own ritual and rules:

“[Non-Christians] ascribe to their idols the imbuing of waters with the self-same efficacy [of purification]. … For washing is the channel through which they are initiated into some sacred rites–of some notorious Isis or Mithras…

Moreover, by carrying water around, and sprinkling it, they everywhere expiate country-seats, houses, temples, and whole cities: at all events, at the Apollinarian and Eleusinian games they are baptized; and they presume that the effect of their doing that is their regeneration and the remission of the penalties due to their perjuries.

Among the ancients, again, whoever had defiled himself with murder, was wont to go in quest of purifying waters.” –i.e. Washing away sin! [Tertullian, On Baptism, 5.]

Facts show that every sacrament, every act, every canon in the early Church was taken from ancient (“pagan”) religions and incorporated into Christianity before it became Paulinity.  This is seen in the legends laurelled around the first century popes—for whom there is no evidence, as Christianity borrowed salvation, baptism (including baptism of the dead in ancient Corinth (DeMaris, Richard (1996). Corinthian Religion and Baptism for the Dead (1 Corinthians 15:29): Insights from Archaeology and Anthropology. Provo, UT, USA: Maxwell Institute, p. 675) that gave rise to the ideology of the Mormons: Hugh Nibley, “Baptism for the Dead in Ancient Times,” in Nibley, Hugh; Compton, Todd; and Ricks, Stephen (1987). Mormonism and Early Christianity (Salt Lake City, UT, USA: Deseret Book and FARMS [Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies]), pp. 100-167), the Eucharist, heaven, hell, a virgin born Son of God—and more—from ancient Pagan religions. This matured under the mythological Pius I.

Legend has Pius I following Hyginus as pope. Concerning Pius I, there is no concrete information and no records.  The claim that he established Easter as a Christian celebration is wrong; that he decreed that Jews who converted to Christianity and” should be admitted and baptized) are forgeries.  It is said that Pius was influenced by Justin Martyr—but Justin has not been universally accepted as a Christian as he was judgmental, xenophobic and as his Dialogue with Trypho (especially chapter 80) shows, Justin was out of touch with the Greek world where Christianity began.  The only existing record of Pius I comes from a spurious source: Shepherd of Hermas (also known as The Pastor), written between the late second century and early third century and thus of no value to the discussion, save to note that it includes the line “The Pastor, moreover, did Hermas write very recently in our times in the city of Rome, while his brother bishop Pius sat in the chair of the Church of Rome.” The problem with the Pastor is that the author claims he was a former slave—and if he was the brother of Pius, both would have been slaves, which would be a stumbling block towards the papacy. (Caius, translated by S.D.F. Salmond, in Muratori, Lodovico Antonio (1738-1742) V.C. Antiquitates Italicae Medii aevi. Sive dissertations de moribus, ritibus, religion, regimine, aliisque faciem … Mediolani, Italia: Ex typographia Societatis Palatinae in regia curia. Vol. 3, col 854). Outside of that one line, nothing else exists.

Anicetus, it is claimed, followed Pius I.  Everything attributed to this claimant who has no documentation of having been a bishop or even having lived, can be traced to a different pretender or a later innovator. Anicetus’ main claim to fame was that he “dealt with” the Gnostic “heresy”—a heresy that lasted for generations more (Irenæus. Adversus Haereses III.iv.3 and iii.4).  What the Gnostic texts show is that few Roman Christians and no “bishop” had power over neither the Gnostics nor their theological interpretations. Other heretics included Justin Martyr (Eusebius Historia Ecclesiastica  IV.11). Justin, for example, did not believe in the immortality of the soul:

Trypho: “‘Therefore souls neither see God nor trans-migrate into other bodies; for they would know that so they are punished, and they would be afraid to commit even the most trivial sin afterwards. But that they can perceive that God exists, and that righteousness and piety are honourable, I also quite agree with you,’ said he.

Justin: “‘You are right,’ I replied.

Trypho: “‘These philosophers know nothing, then, about these things; for they cannot tell what a soul is.’

Justin: “‘It does not appear so.’

Trypho:“‘Nor ought it to be called immortal; for if it is immortal, it is plainly unbegotten.’ …

Justin: “God alone is unbegotten and incorruptible, and therefore He is God, but all other things after Him are created and corruptible. For this reason souls both die and are punished: since, if they were unbegotten, they would neither sin, nor be filled with folly, nor be cowardly, and again ferocious; nor would they willingly transform into swine, and serpents, and dogs and it would not indeed be just to compel them, if they be unbegotten” (Dialogue. IV-V).

Justin argued that the Jews (from which all Christians descended) erased parts of the Old Testament:

“And I wish you to observe, that they have altogether taken away many Scriptures from the translations effected by those seventy elders who were with Ptolemy…

Trypho remarked, “Whether [or not] the rulers of the people have erased any portion of the Scriptures, as you affirm, God knows; but it seems incredible.”

“Assuredly,” said I, “it does seem incredible”

(Justin Martyr. Dialogue with Trypho, LXXI, LXXIII). If “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), how can Justin claim parts were lost?  Furthermore, while the early Christians assumed that Jesus was a “new man”, the congregations held that the world was only about 3000 years old, yet Justin wrote: “And He was predicted before He appeared, first 5000 years before, and again 3000, then 2000, then 1000, and yet again 800; for in the succession of generations prophets after prophets arose” (The First Apology. XXXI).

Justin did have much in common with other pagan religions, especially Mithras, in his claim that Jesus was born in a cave:

And when those who record the mysteries of Mithras say that he was begotten of a rock, and call the place where those who believe in him are initiated a cave…they have attempted likewise to imitate the whole of Isaiah’s words?…’he shall dwell in the lofty cave of the strong rock. Bread shall be given to him, and his water [shall be] sure…’ (Trypho, LXX).

But when the Child was born in Bethlehem, since Joseph could not find lodging in that village, he took up his quarters in a certain cave near the village; and while they were there Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger, and here the Magi who came from Arabia found Him. I have repeated to you what Isaiah foretold about the sign which foreshadowed the cave (Trypho LXXVIII).

The greatest apostasy found in Justin Martyr is his claim that Jesus died on a cross  (crux):

“And the physiological discussion concerning the Son of God in the Timæus of Plato, where he says, He placed him crosswise in the universe, he borrowed in like manner from Moses; for in the writings of Moses it is related how at that time , when the Israelites went out of Egypt and were in the wilderness, they fell in with poisonous beasts, both vipers and asps , and every kind of serpent, which slew the people; and that Moses, by the inspiration and influence of God, took brass, and made it into the figure of a cross , and set it in the holy tabernacle , and said to the people, If you look to this figure, and believe, you shall be saved thereby. And when this was done, it is recorded that the serpents died, and it is handed down that the people thus escaped death. Which things Plato reading, and not accurately understanding, and not apprehending that it was the figure of the cross, but taking it to be a placing crosswise, he said that the power next to the first God was placed crosswise in the universe. And as to his speaking of a third, he did this because he read, as we said above, that which was spoken by Moses, that the Spirit of God moved over the waters. For he gives the second place to the Logos which is with God, who he said was placed crosswise in the universe; and the third place to the Spirit who was said to be borne upon the water, saying, And the third around the third. And hear how the Spirit of prophecy signified through Moses that there should be a conflagration. He spoke thus: Everlasting fire shall descend, and shall devour to the pit beneath” (First Apology, LX).

The cross, however, comes from Plato’s Timaeus (Robert Grigg, “Symphōnian Aeidō tēs Basileias”: An Image of Imperial Harmony on the Base of the Column of Arcadius” The Art Bulletin 59.4 (December 1977:469-482) p. 477, note 42).

Martyr is a cornucopia of absurdities who went so far as to have Jesus becoming equal to the god Prometheus:

“And then, when Jesus had gone to the river Jordan, where John was baptizing, and when He had stepped into the water, a fire was kindled in the Jordan” (Dialogue. Chapter LXXXVIII).

There is no fire in mentioned in any biblical account of Jesus’ baptism (see Matthew 3:1-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34). Justin simply taught this without biblical support.

The actual attack on those who twisted reality came from other groups or individuals, such as Polycarp of Smyrna.

While one can labor over all the other popes that the Roman Catholic Church claims to have sat in the chair of Peter (a chair more mythological than real), none can claim the title before Siricius (d. 398) who was the first to use it (Epistle VI in P. L. XIII, 1164), and then only with imperial permission. The Bishop of Rome (later called the Pope) the senior religious figure in the Western Empire which was drifting into a Dark Age of superstition while enlightened thinking and dialogue continued strong in the East at Constantinople. 

Siricius

The Bishop of Rome was seen officially as the chief Christian cleric only by imperial proclamation postulated in 380 by the Edict of Thessalonica. The fact that Siricius did not to set himself apart, but assumed the role of a spiritual father or leader—unlike today’s bishops, cardinals and popes who have made the outlandish, unbiblical and unhistorical claim initiated by Pius IX that they speak infallibly and have primacy over other bishops, endeared him to the imperial house and to the people. The claim that all bishops of Rome spoke infallibly, based on Matthew 16:18, is neither biblical nor provable by history in any of its facets.

The only Supreme Pontiff was the Emperor, as Justin Martyr noted: 

The Emperor Caesar Titus Ælius Adrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, Supreme Pontiff, in the fifteenth year of his tribuneship, Consul for the third time, Father of the fatherland, to the Common Assembly of Asia, greeting: I should have thought that the gods themselves would see to it that such offenders should not escape. For if they had the power, they themselves would much rather punish those who refuse to worship them; but it is you who bring trouble on these persons, and accuse as the opinion of atheists that which they hold, and lay to their charge certain other things which we are unable to prove. But it would be advantageous to them that they should be thought to die for that of which they are accused, and they conquer you by being lavish of their lives rather than yield that obedience which you require of them. And regarding the earthquakes which have already happened and are now occurring, it is not seemly that you remind us of them, losing heart whenever they occur, and thus set your conduct in contrast with that of these men; for they have much greater confidence towards God than you yourselves have. And you, indeed, seem at such times to ignore the gods, and you neglect the temples, and make no recognition of the worship of God. And hence you are jealous of those who do serve Him, and persecute them to the death. Concerning such persons, some others also of the governors of provinces wrote to my most divine father; to whom he replied that they should not at all disturb such persons, unless they were found to be attempting anything against the Roman government. And to myself many have sent intimations regarding such persons, to whom I also replied in pursuance of my father’s judgment. But if any one has a matter to bring against any person of this class, merely as such a person, let the accused be acquitted of the charge, even though he should be found to be such an one; but let the accuser he amenable to justice.

(The First Apology. LXVIII; Epistle Of Antoninus To The Common Assembly Of Asia). The letter (epistle) is considered spurious.  A future bishop of Rome would not usurp this title until late in the fourth century. 

The earthquakes were interpreted by many early Christians as a sign of the End Times when god would return to the earth and purge it of evil and evil-doers, leading to a great war—a war that fleshes out the horror story of John Patmos.  The letter argues that such a thought is nonsense and that End Times is a concept created by those who feel themselves persecuted.  The Emperor was not a Christian, as noted in his words, “some others also of the governors of provinces wrote to my most divine father, to whom he replied that they should not at all disturb such persons, unless they were found to be attempting anything against the Roman government.”  The word “atheists” meant anyone (basically the various Christian cults) who did not accept the official gods; it should be translated as “without the gods” not as “against god”; the problems of translation and interpretation are numerous here as the people to whom this letter was addressed were basically illiterate and seeking immediate answers written down for them, without having to use their own marginal reasoning intellectual powers.

While numerous historians consider the character of Antoninus a success and his reign “a blessing”, there are others who take a different, unfavorable view, as with Schiller, Hermann (1887). Geschichte der rom. Kaiserzeit. (Handbücher der Alten Geschichte: Ser. 1., ; 3. Abt. 2) II, p. 138. Eusebius op. cit. IV.26.10; Marcus Aurelius forbade “spontaneous” outbreaks of violence against Christians as it was disruptive of the pax or peace of the realm, loc. cit. IV.13, which later Christian apologists have attempted to define as an acceptance of Christianity and subtle reference to imperial approval—that is a misreading of the document—as Christians did die, either because of being found guilty of inciting others, or because of their determination to commit suicide, which “the brethren of believers” declared to be “martyrdoms” even though the deaths did not qualify as martyrdom—a situation that even present day apologists acknowledge:

“The pages of the contemporary apologists, though lacking in detail, are ample proof that capital punishment was frequently inflicted. The passive attitude of Antoninus had no small influence on the internal development of Christianity. Heresy was then rampant on all sides; consequently, in order to strengthen the bonds of discipline and morality, and to enforce unity of doctrine, concerted action was called for. The tolerant attitude of the Emperor made possible a broad and vigorous activity on the part of the Christian bishops, one evidence of which is the institution of synods or councils of the Christian leaders, then first held on an extensive scale, and described at some length by Eusebius in his Church History. In this way, it may be said, the Emperor contributed to the development of Christian unity”

gives the contemporary reader more insight into the charges brought against Christians as being “workers” against the empire, withdrawn, exclusive, and unsupportive.  The synods were anything but peaceful, with bishops drawing weapons, congregants screaming, participants impeaching opposition parties and philosophies and theologies, and the bans against “heresies” returned in kind and extent.  Under stronger secular rulers, such nonsense and barbarity of the early congregations was not tolerated (Tertullian, Ad Scapulam, ix: the last treatise Tertullian wrote as a Christian before he left the cult in disgust and became a “born again pagan”, being attracted to the New Prophecy (Montanism with a theology similar to contemporary Pentecostalism and the New Apostolic Reformation; as Eusebius wrote:

“And he [Montanus] became beside himself, and being suddenly in a sort of frenzy and ecstasy, he raved, and began to babble and utter strange things, prophesying in a manner contrary to the constant custom of the Church handed down by tradition from the beginning.”

Eusebius, op. cit., V.xvi,7, who noted such actions have no biblical foundation; later Tertullian in De Resurectione Carnis (On the Resurrection of the Flesh) argued that the New Prophecy cleared up ambiguities in scripture, which the traditional church rejected; recognized female bishops and presbyters, and other “worldly” activities denounced by Epiphanius, Against Heresies, 49.2.5, thereby acknowledging its existence) despite being the teacher of Cyprian (and predecessor of Augustine); cf. Quacquarelli, Antonio (1957). Tertulliani Ad Scapulam. Prolegomeni, Testo Critico e Commento. (Opuscula Patrum, i.) pp. 131. Paris, France: Desclée et Cie., 1957; the only existing copies are dated from the fifteenth century.  My personal copy is Q. Septimii Florentis Tertulliani Apologeticus et Ad scapulam liber: accessit M. Minucius Felicis Octavius Cantabrigiæ: Ex officina Joan. Hayes … : impensis Henr Dickinson & Rich. Green …, 1686 . [8], 135 p.).  What is unique in this document is the introduction of “holy oil” to be used by and for extreme unction by “the brethren” facing death (Tertullian, Ad Scapulamiv): an old and pagan custom going back at least 3000  years from Pharaonic Egypt (the

Hieroglyphic at Abyd

Pharaoh is depicted being anointed by Horus (sun-god and “father” of Pharaoh) and Thoth (god of wisdom), the oil of which is symbolically depicted as a stream of ankh); the Abhishekionians believed that the virtues of one killed could be transferred to survivors if the latter rubbed themselves with his caul-fat: the fatty membrane that surrounds internal organs; such anointing has a long history in Hindu theology, as well as most other religions.  It was a major part of Gnosticism and is discussed in the Gospel of Philip as well as the Acts of Thomas.  In Buddhism, butter (including that of yak) is commonly used.  Hindus use anointing oils to get rid of illness and bad luck as well as demonic possession.

The Gods anointing, sanctifying, and bestowing authority on Egyptian Pharaohs

Anointing is not unique to Judaism nor Christianity, but was incorporated into both by “pagan” cultures and theologies.  Judaism adopted it for the ritual of enthroning a king from the Pharoahs, Hyksos and ancient Sumerians, while Christianity incorporated it from the various rituals current in Alexandria, Egypt and the cult of Horus where much of the Jesus story is found.

What can be discovered in existing records is not only the absence of information for apostolic succession and the papacy, but equally important is the reality that most of what is allegedly Christian is far older than the Bible.  Its message is found throughout the Roman Empire in earlier civilizations.  The creation of the Bible was nothing less than an attempt to revise or rewrite history so as to control an ignorant people.

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Filed under Ancient Egypt, Bible, Bishop of Rome, Church history, Roman Catholicism

12 Apostles: Constellations, Numerology, &Theology in the world’s religions: Quest to Understand Origins; a study of textual criticism, translation, interpretation and linguistics

Christianity, like all religions, gives credence to numerology, and over the centuries has attempted to create perfect unions of numbers with beings. In order to fashion the perfect union, Christianity borrowed most of its theology, ontology, theophany, and religious ideology from other religions, philosophies, sciences and mathematics, and the writings the past contained.  From this plagiarism came the invention of a church created in 325 CE by the Emperor Constantine I.  It succeeded only by silencing the opposition, burning their books and their priests, and condemning those who do not accept as heretics, or those who leave the world of priestly disenchantment apostates. 

1520, German religious reformer Martin Luther burning the papal bull

These practices all religions and secular and sacerdotal dictators have used from the beginning of recorded history in an effort to erase the past so they can rewrite it in their own image that was fanciful and lacking fact.  The belief continues that if a “reformer”  erases the words and the scriptures or volumes written by those you oppose, the opposition with melt away and be forced to join the new cult.  It was the raison d’être for the holocaust by the Hebrews in their war on the original inhabitants of Palestine: Canaanites, Palestinians, Philistines, etc., through the carnage of the crusades and Inquisition of the Roman Catholic

Members of the Hitler Youth are shown burning books in Salzburg, Austria

Church and Protestant Thirty Years War, the rise of Adolf Hitler who regularly proclaimed his faith in the God of Christianity, to the organized certified hategroups in the USA (such as Focus on the Family), to radical Islams that demand the death of democracy, freedom, and non-believers in the non-Muslim world while attacking non-Muslims in Muslim lands. This has always been the

Muslims protest against freedom and democracy in the UK

case throughout the history of Christianity, Islam, and other theologies, with most congregations using the books to burn non-believers and apostates. 

Taliban terrorists destroyed the Buddha statues with artillery and explosives in 2001 (carved ca 500 CE)

Today evangelical extremists and religious fundamentalists, especially among the Baptists and Pentecostals, burn comic books, magazines, books, films and whatever they cannot censor: seeing in the unwanted media “pornography”–which has led even to the destruction of centuries old statues, as when Islamic radicals (Taliban) dynamited the famed Buddhas along the Silk Road in Afghanistan in 2001.  The statues had been carved more than 1500 years prior to their destruction, but when Islam conquered Afghanistan after numerous blood baths and the butcher of women, children and the elderly, the theological students (Taliban) of the new faith (Islam) began their systematic destruction of the famed statues.  This did not abate, for religious zealots continued to hurl stones against the great Buddhas who preached peace while Islam called for war (jihad) and demanded the destruction of all images–even though the images of Imams and the Prophet Muhammad continued for more than 1000 years: appearing in books–even the Qur’an–and papers (as I have in my private library).

Public comic book burning in Binghamton, NY by "the faithful"

Constantine accelerated by burning the writings of Arius (that, based on what slender information that exits, was closer to the New Testament Jesus than the Jesus of the official catholic [universal] Church). 

The Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicaea, with Arius's books being burned, below. (Drawing on vellum. From MS CLXV, Biblioteca Capitolare, Vercelli, a compendium of canon law produced in northern Italy ca. 825)

Constantine I (known as “the Great”) was a firm “pagan” who was far more devoted to the worship of Mithras than any other deity.  He created the catholic [universal] Church to win over the growing number of converts to the new cult out of the Middle East in an effort to stabilize a decaying empire. 

To buttress the Imperial state, he called together a small number of congregational leaders that history has deemed to be “bishops” to meet at the city of Nicaea.  At Nicaea the “bishops” hammered out details that led to a united group–coming out of the wreckage of various splinter entities that originated in Jerusalem and drifted away to Alexandria (the largest ghetto), Rome, numerous Greek πολις (polis: city-states), Egypt and other appendages to the empire.

Christianity and its various sects with different ideologies 325 CE

Constantine tried valiantly to get the various communities of “Christians”  (chrestianos and christianos) to come together.  His solution, was to incorporate as many of the various rites, rituals, adiaphora contents, and so forth into what would emerge as official “Christianity”—but with little in common with the Jesus of the New Testament.  Instead, Constantine’s “church” quickly took on the tapestry of Paulinity: complete with doctrines that are nowhere to be found in the Sayings of Jesus, but popular throughout the Roman Empire: End Times, Apocalypse, and numerology: especially glorifying and elevating the number 12.

A group of twelve things is called a duodecad. Twelve was an appropriate number for the religions of the empire, as it represented a common reality: the number of months in a year in the Western and Eastern European provinces, and the division of the skies represented by constellations reflecting the annual movement of heavenly bodies. Since education was weak to non-existent for most of the people of the empire, religion created mythologies and gave rise to numerous serendipitous superstitions and rank religious beliefs that were piled on top of respect for the number 12.

Zodiac : the constellations on the celestial sphere

Fortuitous fantasies and subsequent superstitions concerning signs of the Zodiac and life events have been, recently, comprehensively shown to be false. However, the shibboleth of ignorance brought with it a phylactery of priestly classes, pastors of congregations, and rabbis of writ to the detriment of learning, all disguised with the mask of the number 12. Eschatological symbolism in Judaism, as with the 12 Tribes of Israel (each being named after one of the twelve sons of Jacob) and early Christianity (with its invention of twelve apostles) was deeply indebted to the number 12, as will be discussed shortly.  But the debt that both Judaism and Christianity owe to this “divine number” goes beyond each of the religion’s history and antecedents.

Zoroastrianism was the religion during most of the Persian Empire

The ancient Zoroastrian religion had twelve commanders (depicted with wings) on the side of light (light being a symbol for the sun).  The ancient Zoroastrian holy book, the Menok i Xrat, says that the “twelve Signs of the Zodiac, as the Religion says, are the twelve commanders on the side of light” (Sagan, Carl (1995). Cosmos. Originally published 1981 by McDonald & Company; the 1995 edition was published at Avenel, NJ, USA: Wings Books: Distributed by Random House Value Pub.; another printing is by Abacus a division of Time Warner Books UK, at London, UK.  p. 58).  

Ahriman tried to destroy Ahura Mazda's creation by starting a battle

Zoroaster’s commanders are like archangels: fighting against evil in a battle for the fate of the world, and their invention came with the introduction of the mythology of End Times, Apocalypse and a universal war.  According to Zoroaster, this Final Battle, the ultimate universal war, would be with Ahura Mazda (Ahura means “light” and Mazda means “wisdom” in the Old Iranian language. Ahura Mazda is the “lord of light and wisdom” a creator god who had no beginning but is now and will “forever be”) ultimately triumphing over wickedness and evil. Ahura Mazda’s counterpart is Angra Mainyu, the “evil spirit”. 

Angra Mainyu is the creator of evil who will be destroyed in the Final Battle.  Zoroaster’s account antedates John of Patmos and his Apocalypse by 3000 years.  Zoroaster relates that Ahura Mazda gave the gods unique attributes: omniscience (all-knowing), omnipotence (all-powerful) and omnipresence (being everywhere).

Zoroaster’s Apostles spread out over the known world, following the same injunction that the followers of Jesus of the New Testament required of his believers, and matched in the nineteenth century CE by the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons).  The Twelve Apostles are the second highest ranking group in the Mormon church. and are known as the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. 

The First Presidency (must be selected unanimously) and the Twelve Apostles in September 1898. Reed Smoot is missing from this photograph

They serve under the direction of the First Presidency, which consists of three high priests (considered by some to be the Mormon Trinity) generally selected from the ranks of the Quorum of the Twelve.  Mormons believe that their Apostles are identical to those selected by the New Testament Jesus.  The Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith said:

They are the Twelve Apostles, who are called to the office of the Traveling High Council, who are to preside over the churches of the Saints, among the Gentiles, where there is a presidency established; and they are to travel and preach among the Gentiles, until the Lord shall command them to go to the Jews. They are to hold the keys of this ministry, to unlock the door of the Kingdom of heaven unto all nations, and to preach the Gospel to every creature. This is the power, authority, and virtue of their apostleship. (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. 2:200)

The Mormon Apostles seek unanimity in all their decisions. (Doctrine and Covenants 107:27).  The determine faith and morals, in the same manner as the Roman Catholic pontiff. 

Current Mormon (LDS) Apostles

Apostles of the LDS serve for their lifetime, unless removed from their position for iniquity or through resignation.  Few resign or are removed.

In all cases there is strong similarity.  All begin with saviour gods who were born during the time of a bright star; are visited by wise men, minister and preach a universal peace, are crucified, die, are born again, and return for a final battle. The star-gazers and sun-worshippers of the ancient world would be proud that they were followed by a long series of cultures that imagined a collection of twelve gods:

Among all the gods worshipped by the Greeks, the twelve deities who dwelt on Mt Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece, formed a special category of their own. The gods of Olympus were usually taken to be Zeus, Hera, Athena, Poseidon, Apollo, Artemis, Demeter, Hermes, Aphrodite, Ares, Hephaestus and Hestia. In certain local variations, positions among the ‘twelve’ were occupied by Pluto, Dionysus, Heracles or other local cult heroes.

(Mavromataki, Maria (1997).  Greek mythology and religion: cosmogony, the gods, religious customs, the heroes. Athens, Greece: Editions Haïtalis (Astrous 13, 13121). p. 24). In short, there was not a single religion in the ancient world through the time of Constantine and even beyond to the present day that did not have a savior god or goddess who called 12 Apostles to minister in his or her name.

The Greeks went further than many other faiths.  While the Greeks imagined 12 Gods living, creating, ruling and judging from Mount Olympus, they were aided by numerous sons and daughters (the more important deities had 12 sons in a manner similar to the Jewish Jacob) who numbered from 12 to 70 or 72 (cp. Luke 10:1; 72 is a more reasonable number for the disciples, as it is more easily divided by 12, the ultimate number being 6 that is half of 12).  I will discuss the spiritual significance of 6 later and how it applies to all theologies from ancient Ethiopia and Egypt to the present plethora of religious faiths and pseudo-religions such as the contemporary New Apostolic Reformation and others.

Fresco of Mithras slaying the bull, 2nd century CE, Marino, Italy

Out of this came the Passion of Mithras: the slaughter of the Sacred Bull, the yeh of Imperial Rome before much of it is incorporated by Imperial decree into Paulinity.  The religion was a direct challenge to the rise of various Jewish sects, including that of Christian Judaism.

Mithras and his 12 Apostles (signs of the Zodiac)

The followers of the God Mithras, who was born out of a rock/stone (petras:

Mithras born from the rock (petra genetrix), Marble, 180-192 AD. From the area of S. Stefano Rotondo, Rome.

πέτρα; cp. Matthew 16:18) that was to be the basis of faith as detailed in decorations and graffitti, including many Roman emperors such as Constantine, believed that the crucified Mithras was their eternal saviour who would transport them to a heavenly realm while having his message sent to all people of all nations by 12 disciples.  The same story is the foundation for what would become the faith of Christians who also believe that their saviour, in most ways identical to Mithras and with the Mithraist religion, had 12 disciples. 

Ancient religions used the number 12, believing, as Pythagoras argued, that it was a god-given gift to mortals and had divine properties and a profound mystical meaning.  This was because it is one of the lowest easily divisible numbers, unlike other numbers it has several dividing factors: 6, 4, 3, and 2. Since 12 was the lowest easily divisible number, it was used to prepare calendars and time pieces (clocks) that were used for and with astronomy (star-gazing, star charting, and that ultimately led to astrology—the study that assumes and attempts to interpret the influence of the heavenly bodies on human affairs—and the believe in a mystical heaven that was centered between the stars and composed of 12 constellations).

Sumerian Zodiac with inscription "the city of Nippur, honored by them as a central shrine"

The oldest preserved zodiac dates from 3100 – 3000 BCE when the Sumerians in Mesopotamia developed their Zodiac based on the six heavenly bodies (known as “houses” or “star groups”) they could see with the naked eye (astronomy).  These celestial objects are now known as planets.

On tablets the Sumerians wrote of visitors from “beyond the stars” who  had selected certain Sumerian cities as special communities for worship. The symbols on the Zodiac were remembrances of those who came, and used to understand (“foretell”) the future.

While the Sumerians used symbols in their Zodiac, theirs were not the first symbols of religious orientation.  Much of ancient Sumerian theology became the foundation for what would emerge as Hebrew theology.  For example:

“In the beginning everything was ocean – the Apsu – Chaos, whence arose a number of divinities, including Tiamat (the sea) and the gods Anu, Enlil and Enki (Ea), the later representatives of the tripartite world. Now Apsu desired to destroy his offspring, but was killed by Enki, who looked upon the Apsu as his home. Then Tiamat, who went forth to revenge Apsu, was vanquished in conflict with Sumer, Babylon and Assur, respectively. Now before the struggle, Tiamat had created, in place of Apsu, huge monsters in animal form.” 

To strengthen the faith, a Zodiac was created with early symbolism and text that includes passages about winged being who came to earth and would return someday from distant planets.  In the Heavenly Ocean were a variety of animal constellations: the “vanished” gods.  By 2600 BCE the Sumerians are writing about a great battle between Sumer, Babylon and Assur: the foundation for what would become Gog and Megog (Hebrew: גּוֹג וּמָגוֹג  that translates as “the four corners/quarters of the earth”; it is the cornerstone for Ezekiel 38-39 that was used as the foundation for Revelation 20; but, in Genesis 10, where Magog is the eponymous ancestor of a people or nation the text is more realistic and most likely written after the battle of the King Gyges of Lydia (687 BCE-652 BCE), although Josephus in separate passages in the “Jewish Antiquities” and “Jewish War” of the 1st century details that Jews of that time identified Gog and Magog with the Scythians, and concluded that Alexander the Great locked these horse-riding barbarians of the far north behind the Caucasus mountains with iron gates (Bietenholz, Peter G. (1994). Historia and fabula: myths and legends in historical thought from antiquity to the modern age. Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill).  It is a myth that has fascinated people from Scandinavia to China, speaks of giant warriors such as Ghengis Khan and contemporary dictators–but it remains an ever-expanding myth that brings out the wildest fears of many self-styled prophets (cp. Derry, T.K (1979). A history of Scandinavia: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. St. Paul / Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press; Marshall, Robert (1993). Storm from the East: from Ghengis Khan to Khubilai Khan. London, UK: BBC Books, and Berkeley, CA, USA: University of California Press; and the thesis/dissertation of Christensen, Arne Søby (2002). Cassiodorus, Jordanes, and the History of the Goths: Studies in a Migration Myth. Published in Copenhagen, Denmark: Museum Tusculanum Press).

Gog and Magog appear in Qur’an sura Al-Kahf (The Cave), 18:83-98, as Yajuj and Majuj (Ya-juj/Ya-jewjand Ma-juj/Ma-jewjor يأجوج و مأجوج, in Arabic), but this is a plagiarism from the “Gates of Alexander” story from the Alexander Romance, a thoroughly embellished compilation of Alexander the Great’s wars and adventures (Omrani Rekavandi, H., Sauer, E., Wilkinson, T. & Nokandeh, J. (2008), The enigma of the red snake: revealing one of the world’s greatest frontier walls, Current World Archaeology, No. 27, February/March 2008, pp. 12-22).  As with the Christian or Hebrew Bible or Torah, very little in the Qur’an is original or true.

Scorpio, Kudurru, Meli-Shipak and Nebuchadnezzar boundary stones 12th century BCE

Heavenly symbolism begins ca 4000 BCE and in Europe we have many megaliths and remains from the fourth millennium BCE.  Some megaliths with symbols can be dated back to 6000 BCE. The asterism (the science of the asterisk or “little star”; see: Walker, Christopher B. F. (1996). Astronomy before the Telescope.  London, UK: British Museum Press. pp. 50-67) Scorpio is the common denominator and symbol for the Ritual Age that extended from Northern Scandinavia and the Atlantic to the Pacific. There are no scorpions in Scandinavia so if we find several images it is surely the asterism; on the other hand there are a couple of rock carvings in the shape of Scorpio.

Canchal Mahona cave symbol (Spain)

At the same time, the eye symbol is used for the moon and has been found in a cave in Canhal Mahona (moon cycle; noting that the original first deity was a goddess: Venus) Spain.  It is also seen in Egyptian roof paintings of the celestial world.

It would not be until the rise of Babylon (and Assyria) that the Zodiac would be transmogrified into 12 signs or symbols, arising in the second millennium BCE with a cult growing up around its astrology.  Astrology became a cult in itself, with official claim that it was one of the two chief means at the disposal of the priests (who were called bare or “inspectors”) for ascertaining the will and intention of the gods (the other being through the inspection of the liver of the sacrificial animal).

Sumerian tablet: ancient aliens and the heavenly war

The Sumerians, however, had the number 12 and did more with the number 12 and astronomy than merely calculate the planets or tell times of planting and harvesting.  The number and its mythology played an intricate role in the Sumerian government, as the government was always composed of twelve people.

Sumerian ideas and technologies were passed to other civilizations: from Egypt to Mesopotamian empires, such as that of Babylon (Iraq).  In ancient Egypt, the number 12 stood for maturity, and girls under the age of 12, and boys under the age of 13, remained naked to testify to their innocence.  12 had no special divine qualities, but the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus and the Moscow Mathematical Papyrus show that the ancient Egyptians could perform the four basic mathematical operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division  (Gardiner, Sir Alan (1957). Egyptian Grammar: Being an Introduction to the Study of Hieroglyphs. Oxford, England: Griffith Institute. p. 197).  These were used ultimately, in praise of the Goddess Isis, a part of history’s original Trinity (Isis-Ra-El that the mercenaries known as Habiru/ Hebrews changed into Israel), and her theology.  From it came the obelisks and various calculated structures (Siliotti, Alberto (1998). The Discovery of Ancient Egypt. Edison, NJ, USA: Book Sales, Inc., p. 8 seq.). The Egyptians also used fractions, computed the volumes of boxes and pyramids, and calculate the surface areas of rectangles, triangles, circles and even spheres using principles underlying the Pythagorean Theorem: Area ≈ [(89)D]2 = (25681)r 2 ≈ 3.16r 2 being the basis for Pythagoras πr 2 (Strouhal, Eugen (1989). Life in Ancient Egypt. Norman, OK, USA: University of Oklahoma Press, p. 241).  

Like the Sumerians, the Babylonians, with their numbering system of 60, found the number 12 to be practical and useful for calendars and times—and to explain how their religion influenced the religions throughout the Middle East: from Mesopotamia to Southern Egypt and beyond. The author of Science: a Four Thousand Year History, Patricia Fara, says “the Babylonians split the heavens into twelve equal sections, one for each lunar month and carrying the name of a prominent constellation. Translated into Latin, these now exist as the twelve signs of the zodiac familiar from newspaper horoscopes, such as Aries the Ram and Taurus the Bull” (Fara, Patricia (2009). Science: A Four Thousand Year History. Oxford, UK; New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. p. 13). This idea was passed on from culture to culture:

The notion of the zodiac is very ancient, with roots in the early cultures of Mesopotamia. The first 12-signs of the Zodiac were named after the gods of these cultures. The Greeks adopted astrology from the Babylonians, and the Romans, in turn, adopted astrology from the Greeks. These people renamed the signs of the Mesopotamian zodiac in terms of their own mythologies, which is why the familiar zodiac of the contemporary West bears names from Mediterranean mythology.

(Lewis, James R. (2004) in Partridge, Christopher (2004).  Encyclopedia of New Religions (2004 edition). Oxford, UK: Lion Publishing. p. 337.)

Shēngxiào (chinese zodiac)

The same situation occurs in the orient (the Far East). The Chinese zodiac (The Shēngxiào) also had twelve divisions; although they were different to the common ones that Western culture adopted from the Sumerians.  The Chinese used animals to mark the zodiac, not gods.  Some scholars argue that the animals were representations of god, such as the winged-lion in Christianity representing the Apostle Mark.  This Zodiac was used from Korea to Japan and throughout East Asia (the Thais have the most unusual of calendars: “การเปลี่ยนวันใหม่ การนับวัน ทางโหราศาสตร์ไทย การเปลี่ยนปีนักษัตร โหราศาสตร์ ดูดวง ทำนายทายทัก” where the year starts at different times. 

Chinese Zodiac (art object)

The Chinese Zodiac reflected time cycles divided into 12 parts, and each is widely associated with a culture of attributing influence of a person’s relationship to the cycle upon their personality and/or events in their life.  None of the animals of the Chinese zodiac are associated with constellations but are linked to agriculture leading to 24 two-week segments known as Solar Terms that were defined by popular mythology by the Jade Emperor who selected twelve animals to represent the generation of matter: planets, people, and so forth.

Ivory Buddhist Tibetan talisman

When China was influenced by Buddhism, the Zodiac and its cycles were affected, in part. As the division of the divine realm into 12 areas was based on the original stellar usefulness of the number, non-godly religions also developed mystical systems that divided existence into 12 parts. Buddhists hold that life is composed of 12 stages, which together keep the wheel of life turning, ensnaring all life in a samsaric (cyclic) form of existence from which it is hard to escape.

The Buddhist teaching on samsaric existence is […] depicted in the Wheel of Becoming. […] The rim of the wheel is divided into twelve segments and scenes. These show how beings pass from one realm to another, and are call the nidanas. […] These scenes depict Buddhist teaching on Dependent Origination: the causal chain which ensures that the Wheel of Samara keeps revolving.

(Erricker, Clive (1995). Buddhism. Publisher: Lincolnwood (Chicago), Illinois, U.S.A. : NTC Pub. Group, 1995, pp. 45-48; reissued: London : Teach Yourself, 2008.  Cp. Erricker, Clive (1995). Teach Yourself Buddhism. London : Hodder Headline, 1995.)

In nearly every theology there have been lesser gods (usually twelve in number) and twelve superior gods. The ancient Zoroastrian holy book, the Menok i Xrat, says that the “twelve Signs of the Zodiac, as the Religion says, are the twelve commanders on the side of light” (Mavromataki (1997) p. 24); the full passage from the actual text reads:

All welfare and adversity that come to man and other creatures come through the Seven and the Twelve.  Twelve signs of the Zodiac, as the Religion says are the twelve commanders on the side of light; and the seven planets are said to be the seven commanders on the side of darkness.  And the seven planets oppress all creation and deliver it over to death and all manner of evil:  for the twelve signs of the Zodiac and the seven planets rule the fate of the world.

It is also found in cuneiform on stones from Assyria, Samaria and Babylon, which read:

The signs on Earth, just as those in heaven, give us signals.  Sky and Earth both produce portents; though appearing separately, they are not separate:  Sky and Earth are related.

This gave antecedent to the horror mythology of John of Patmos, the alleged author of the Christian Apocalypse. Christianity, like Judaism and Islam, is, indeed, deeply endebted to Zoroastrianism.  In Zoroastrianism, long before the advent of any of the other Mesopotamian/Middle Eastern religions even surfaced to attract any attention, the commanders fight against evil in a battle for the fate of the world. The star-gazers and sun-worshippers of the ancient world would be proud that they were followed by a long series of cultures that imagined a collection of twelve gods:

Among all the gods worshipped by the Greeks, the twelve deities who dwelt on Mt Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece, formed a special category of their own. The gods of Olympus were usually taken to be Zeus, Hera, Athena, Poseidon, Apollo, Artemis, Demeter, Hermes, Aphrodite, Ares, Hephaestus and Hestia. In certain local variations, positions among the ‘twelve’ were occupied by Pluto, Dionysus, Heracles or other local cult heroes.

Maria Mavromataki, Maria (1997).  Greek Mythology and Religion, loc. cit.

Some Gods had twelve sons, and some sun gods had 12 disciples to spread the message across the world that the sun wasn’t dead; it was rising again in the sky in spring, after being defeated in autumn.  This ideological theology transcended boarders, nations, and people, for it reached into Scandinavia, Russia, the Americas, and beyond.  As the stars are divided into twelve, it is only natural to presume that communities of Homo sapiens (even Neanderthals) can be divided into twelve geographical locations, and each one administered by a different personification of the Sun.

The Signs of the Zodiac became Leaders.  It was thought their influence over the lives of individual people could be worked out through a mixture of planet-watching and confused mysticism. The legacy that such lunacy left us was a deep-rooted religious tradition that the affairs of mankind are rightfully led by twelve leaders, with the religious literature of each including the notation: “As in heaven, so on Earth.”  

A detail from runestone G 181 in the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm. The three men are interpreted as Odin, Thor and Freyr.

Odin (Old Norse Óðinn) was referred to by more than 200 names; see: Gylfaginning XX, and Harrison, Dick & Svensson, Kristina (2007). Vikingaliv. Stockholm, Sweden: Natur och Kultur, 2007. p. 63, in Swedish; cp. Finnur Jónsson (1926-28). Ordbog til de af samfund til udg. af gml. nord. litteratur udgivne rímur samt til de af Dr. O. Jiriczek udgivne bósarimur, pp. 51-51. København: J. Jørgensen & Co., in Danish where there is an unfortunate mixture of Biflindi and Byrlindi), for example, who sat on a chair that overlooked all of creation, has 12 sons, and like the sons of Jacob, Odin’s sons represented mortal nations and places.  The best known children of Odin are Thor , Týr , Freyr , Heimdallr , and Loki (the “trickster” who frequently becomes combative and sometimes is considered a devil).  Other sons include Balder, Sigi, Vali, and Vithar.

God Lugh/Lugus

Odin and his children had one special gift: they could change shapes and turn from mortal bodies into those of animals.  There are parallels between Odin and Celtic Lugus: both are intellectual gods, commanding magic and poetry, yet furious in battle using a spear and carrying ravens. Julius Caesar (de Bello Gallico, 6.17.1) mentions Mercury as the chief god of Celtic religion, and Mercury has 12 sons who spread out across the known world to preach to and teach the people. 

Odin (the father) is a part of the Norse Trinity, joined by his son Thor (who is crucified), and son of inspiration—a Holy Ghost—Freyr (Adam of Bremen’s Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum 26 notes:

In hoc templo, quod totum ex auro paratum est, statuas trium deorum veneratur populus, ita ut potentissimus eorum Thor in medio solium habeat triclinio; hinc et inde locum possident Wodan et Fricco. Quorum significationes eiusmodi sunt : ‘Thor’, inquiunt, ‘praesidet in aere, qui tonitrus et fulmina, ventos ymbresque, serena et fruges gubernat. Alter Wodan, id est furor, bella gerit, hominique ministrat virtutem contra inimicos. Tertius est Fricco, pacem voluptatemque largiens mortalibus’. Cuius etiam simulacrum fingunt cum ingenti priapo. In this temple, entirely decked out in gold, the people worship the statues of three gods in such wise that the mightiest of them, Thor, occupies a throne in the middle of the chamber; Wotan and Frikko have places on either side. The significance of these gods is as follows: Thor, they say, presides over the air, which governs the thunder and lightning, the winds and rains, fair weather and crops. The other, Wotan—that is, the Furious—carries on war and imparts to man strength against his enemies. The third is Frikko, who bestows peace and pleasure on mortals. His likeness, too, they fashion with an immense phallus.

12 "sons" (tribes) of Jacob: astrological symbols

Much of this became the foundation for one of the greatest plagiarism in the ancient world: The Torah and the Talmud.  Not only were their twelve tribes named after the twelve sons of Jacob who is considered both a man (Genesis 32:24, 28) and a god (Genesis 32:28, 30), but Israel knew twelve tribes, called after the twelve sons of Jacob, according to mythology (there is no historical record of a Joseph in Egypt), Joseph had two sons: Manasseh and Ephraim who, by command of Jacob (actually one of the ancient gods of Israel [Is{is}-Ra-El]) were regarded as de facto “tribes” of Israel (Genesis 48:5, to preserve the numerological theology of 12; cp. Joshua 14:3-4). The best known of the sons of Jacob are Benjamin whose lineage produced King Saul and also who the Books of Acts of the Apostles introduces as Saul of Tarsus.  The priestly tribe of Levi produced Moses and the first High Priest, the brother of Moses: Aaron.  Judah’s family tree would boast of Kings David and Solomon and other rulers; the New Testament attached Jesus to the House of David even though there is no historical record to substantiate this Biblical figure.

12 sons/tribes of Jacob/Israel

The lineage of Jacob, in the Torah, includes: Reuben (it translates as “see”, and the tale is found in Genesis 29:32), Simeon (it translates as “hearing” and is also the son of Leah as was Reuben, and detailed in Genesis 29:33; he is not blessed by Moses and most likely was unknown), Levi (also a son of Leah, and translates as “joined” or “attached” and is found in Genesis 29:34), Judah (translates as Yah—not Yahweh—but is the name of an ancient Egyptian bull god, and is read at Genesis 29:35), Dan (a word meaning “judge” and the son of Bilhah who was Rachel’s servant, and is at Genesis 30:6), Naphtali (meaning “my wrestling” and invokes combat, with his nativity at Genesis 30:6), Gad (a word that details the Habiru/Hebrew’s origin, as it means “invader” or “troop” as the ancient Hebrews were mercenaries in Egypt working for the Hyksos; it is found at Genesis 39:11),  and he is the son of Leah’s servant Zilpah, whose story is at Genesis 30:11), Asher (which means “happy” was also the son of Zilpah and is recorded at Genesis 30:13),  Issachar (translates as “man for hire” or “wages” and implies prostitution; he is the son of Leah in Genesis 30:18), Zebulun (meaning “dwelling” and is the son of Leah and implies both greed and ownership, as it is recorded that Leah said “…now my husband will dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons”—six being a division of twelve by two sisters as Jacob committed incest by marrying his two first cousins; the story is at Genesis 30:20b), Joseph (translates as “increaser” and was the son of Rachel, but also was a term used for anticipated future pregnancies and thus the enrichment of the land through additional laborers or soldiers; it is found at Genesis 30:24), and, finally: Benjamin (translates a “son of the right hand” born to Rachel as she was dying (in Genesis 35:18, Rachel calls the infant Ben-Oni—“son of sorrow”—but Jacob renamed him Ben-Jamin, to do his bidding).  There is a popular myth of 10 Lost Tribes of Israel, but there is no historical basis for this claim:  Most Hebrews moved before and after the “Babylonian Captivity” and Jews are found in Alexandria, Egypt in the first century CE.

Judaism includes prophecies that are more condemnation, as with Reuben who “defiled” Jacob’s bed: implying incest with the mother or possibly a sister.  Simeon and Levi were known for sadism, and were cursed to be “scattered”. Judah was the most favored to become a king and ultimately to produce a warrior leader (messiah) to go against the enemies of Jacob and his tribes. Dan who was to be a judge over Israel is also called a serpent: “a viper by the path” that will ultimately force a rider to fall backward—and thus is the foundation for the allegory of Saul of Tarsus trip to Damascus.  Naphtali was a flatterer who “uses beautiful words” but could not always be trusted, and most likely has his origin in Loki or Scandinavia. Gad was to be routed in battle, but becomes a king and a judge. Asher loves “dainties” (delicacies of food) and represents the gluttony of a few both in food and possessions: “Let him dip his foot in oil. Your sandals shall be iron and bronze”. Issachar was considered “strong [as a] donkey”, while Zebulun “shall become a haven for ships”.  Joseph was to wear a crown—for which there is no historical evidence, but he would be permanently separated from his brothers.  Benjamin was to become a warrior but shares in the spoils with his tribe. (Genesis 49:1-27, ref. Deuteronomy 33:6-25).

Besides the “sons of Jacob” (females were seldom counted), there were twelve “minor” prophets (the Hebrew Bible, the Nevi’im, or Prophets): referring to the length of each “book”—not to the writer’s importance.  The Minor Prophets are: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

There were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, (symbolic of the seventy disciples (Luke 10:1) and other groups of seventy) at Elim (אֵילִם : sExodu ), probably 100 km southeast of Suez.  The breast piece of the high priest was decorated with twelve stones bearing the names of the twelve tribes (Ex-28:21) and the “bronze Sea” in the Temple of Jerusalem stood on twelve bulls (1Kings-7:25), for the bull, seen as a Golden Calf, was the symbol of Yeh (Exodus 32:4-5); Yahweh’s original name was El (Genesis 6:3).

Egyptian god Yah a golden calf (Apis)

These are just a few of the many occasions in which the Old Testament mentions the number twelve.  There were twelve stones of Hoshen (breastplate of judgment or priestly breastplate (Hebrew: hoshen חֹשֶׁן) was a sacred breastplate worn by the High Priest for the Israelites that contained 12 jewels: three in four rows), twelve loaves of show-bread on the shulchan (table) in the Beit Hamikdash: “House of Holy” (בֵּית־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ) or the Temple, and it was the age at which Bat Mitzvah is attained in Orthodox Judaism, and so forth.

Many sun-worshipping religions had their god-man figure gather twelve disciples, one for each division of space. The prime example is Mithras, the half-god half-human saviour of Mithraism, a Roman mystery religion. In keeping with other developed sun-worshipping religions, the saviour (Mithras) is depicted in drawing with an aurora behind his head, representing the sun. Followers were seen as stars.

As the stars are divided into twelve groups, it is natural to presume that communities of mortals can be divided into twelve geographical locations, and each one administered by a different personification of the Sun. The Signs of the Zodiac became Leaders; it was thought their influence over the lives of individual people could be worked out through a mixture of planet-watching and confused mysticism. The legacy that such lunacy left us was a deep-rooted religious tradition that the affairs of mankind are rightfully led by twelve leaders: As in (the heavens) heaven, so on Earth. Odin, for example, who sat on a chair that overlooked all of creation, has 12 sons.

Hávamál (Odin the crucified God)

Odin is one of more than 70 crucified saviours of the world. In Rúnatal, a section of the Hávamál (it translates as “Sayings of the High One” and is similar to the “Sayings of Jesus” presenting advice for living, proper conduct and wisdom and is both practical and metaphysical.  The Gestaþáttr is stanzas 1-80 (stanzas 1-79 comprise a set of maxims for how to handle oneself when a guest and traveling, focusing particularly on manners and other behavioral relationships between hosts and guests and the sacred lore of reciprocity and hospitality to the Norse worshippers of “the True God Odin”) and is a collection of proverbs and gnomic wisdom: sententious maxims put into verse to aid the memory that is considered divine opinions (it is best understood in the manner of Greek gnomes, belonging to the family of wisdom literature). Odin sacrifices to himself, being hung from the world tree (verdenstreet and världen träd) Yggdrasil for nine days and nights.  At this point Odin’s name is Hangatýr (meaning “the God who is hanged”; cf. Patton, Kimberley Christine (2009). “Myself to Myself: The Norse Odin and Divine Autosacrifice” in Religion of the Gods: Ritual, Paradox, and Reflexivity. Oxford, UK & New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press). Odin, the Father God, is pierced by his own spear (cp. John 19:34), in order to learn the wisdom that would give him power in the nine worlds. The worship of Odin, in the Norse form is particularly acknowledged in Ásatrú, the “faith in the Æsir”, an officially recognized religion in Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Spain.

Many sun-worshipping religions had their god-man figure gather twelve disciples, one for each division of space. The prime example is Mithras, the half-god half-human saviour of Mithraism, a Roman mystery religion. In keeping with other developed sun-worshipping religions, the saviour (Mithras) is depicted in drawing with an aurora behind his head, representing the sun.  Mithras had twelve apostles, celebrated feasts with twelve loaves of bread and twelve cups of wine that he proclaimed symbolized his body and blood.  Christian apologists, such as J. P. Arendzen, attempt to portray Mithras as being but an offshoot of Hindu theology, or M. J. Vermaseren, who argued that it comes as a “late[r] date for the expansion of Mithraism to the west” affirming that Mithraism borrowed from Christianity (M. J. Vermaseren (1963). Mithras, The Secret God. London, UK: Chatto & Windus, p. 76).  The absurdities in the apologists’ claims are abundant and the result of their desire to disprove Mithras and the theology it inspired: 

The few texts that do refer to the cult come not from Mithraic devotees themselves, but rather from outsiders such as early Church fathers, who mentioned Mithraism in order to attack it, and Platonic philosophers, who attempted to find support in Mithraic symbolism for their own philosophical ideas [emphasis mine].

The majority tried to claim the deity to be of Sanskrit extraction (मित्रा) found in the Rig Veda (3, Hymn 59) but this reasoning is contrived and strained.  (Ulansey, David (1991). The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries. Oxford, UK & New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press; it is digested in Biblical Archaeology Review under the title “Solving the Mithraic Mysteries” vol. 20.5 [September/October 1994] pp. 40-53; discussed here).  

The destruction of Mithraic literature and theology was calculated and executed by the emerging community (εκκλσία: ecclesia that originally meant “assembly” as in a debating society, but became the word for a “church” militant”: ecclesia militans, ecclesia penitens, ecclesia triumphans in preparation for battle against an Anti-Christ who was seen in the followers of Mithras, later Roman emperors from Nero to Constantine, and all “foreign” religions, based on Matthew 10:34) of Chrestianos, who were determined to erase any heritage of the past or any item that countered their god Jesus—a reminder that is poignantly portrayed in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. What exists, lives on in graffiti in the worship centers and in fragments of art (Francis, E.D. (1971). Hinnells, John R. ed. “Mithraic graffiti from Dura-Europos,” in Mithraic Studies, vol. 2. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. pp. 424–445).  Mithraic temples were neither isolated nor few.  These subterranean worship centers that numbered in the thousands have been found throughout the Roman Empire: from England in the north and west to Palestine in the south and east. Iconography in the Mithraea, such as that at Dura Europos wall paintings depict prophets carrying scrolls (Hinnells, John R., editor (1971). Mithraic Studies, vol. 2. Manchester University Press.  plate 25)—but their titles and duties are not found given the barbaric treatment the religion felt under the formally declared Christian church in 325 CE and its warrior bishops who were among the world’s most numerous book burners.

Tauroctony of Mithras

The iconography of Mithraism: the so-called tauroctony or “bull-slaying scene” in which the god of the cult, Mithras (Greek Μίθρας; the Persian is Mithra—an early example of the Greek form of the name is in a 4th century BCE work by Xenophon, the Cyropaedia (7.5.53), which is a biography of the Persian king Cyrus the Great; in Porphyry’s Greek text De Abstinentia (Περὶ ἀποχῆς ἐμψύχων II.56 and IV.16 for Pallas, and De antro nympharum 6 (for Euboulus and his history), there is a reference to the now-lost histories of the Mithraic mysteries, the wording of which suggests that these authors treated the name “Mithras” as an indeclinable foreign word), accompanied by a dog, a snake, a raven, and a scorpion, is shown in the act of killing a bull.  Other iconic scenes of Mithras show him being born from a rock (Commodian, Instructiones 1.13), slaughtering a bull, having a banquet (Plutarch, Pompeii 24-25) and sharing a banquet with the god Sol (the Sun). 

Sol and Mithras in a fresco from the Middle Mithraeum at Dura Europos, Syria ca 210 CE

Contrary to early “Christians” who tried to prove their god superior and antedating Mithras, we have written evidence to the contrary.  As Marvin Meyer argues that “early Christianity … in general, resembles Mithraism in a number of respects—enough to make Christian apologists scramble to invent creative theological explanations to account for the similarities” (Meyer, Marvin (2006). “The Mithras Liturgy”, in A.J. Levine, A. J.; Allison, Jr. Dale C.; and Crossan, John Dominic. The Historical Jesus in Context. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press. p. 179).  The Romans themselves regarded the mysteries as having Persian or Zoroastrian sources, a view sometimes argued by modern-era scholars. The historian Plutarch says (46 – 127 CE) that in 67 BCE a large band of pirates based in Cilicia (a province on the southeastern coast of Asia Minor) were practicing “secret rites” of Mithras. Initiates called themselves syndexioi, those “united by the handshake”.  Walter Burket noted: “Taking the right hand is the old Iranian form of a promise of allegiance,…” (Burkert, Walter (1987). Ancient mystery cults. Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press. pp. 16-17). Later, in Judaism and Paulinity (the Christian church), this allegiance was sealed with a kiss (osculum pacis), that is still practiced in different religions and groups.

An army of divine men and the secret army of Mithras (fresco from the catacomb of Priscilla)

The earliest physical remains of the religion of Mithras date from around the end of the first century CE.  While the majority of the faithful came from the ranks of the military (primarily soldiers) who came from all nations under Roman jurisdiction (even worshipping gods associated with Mithras), the

Julius Terentius, tribune of the Cohors XX Palmrenorum,and his men sacrificing sacrifice before the statues of Gordian III, Pupienus, and Balbinus

religion’s membership included significant numbers of bureaucrats and merchants, as well as laborers and “occasional men”: in short, from all walks of life (Clauss, Manfred (1990). “Die sieben Grade des Mithras-Kultes”. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik [ZPE] 82: 183–194); only women were excluded.

Mummy funerary inscription of the priest of Mithras: Ornouphios, son of Artemis, lived 14 years, Choiak 15, The 3rd year

This accelerated Mithraism‘s revival in the fourth century CE—although it was short-lived given the power being accumulated by the Christian Church (Griffith, Alison. “Mithraism in the private and public lives of 4th-c. senators in Rome”. Electronic Journal of Mithraic Studies [EJMS]).  That Mithraism was a part of far older periods can be seen in the mummy funerary inscription of the prieset of Mithras (MS in Greek on linen cloth, Egypt, late 1st c. BCE, 1 cloth (complete), 14×39 cm, single column, (9×21 cm), 6 lines in Greek half-uncial. Provenance: 1. H.P. Kraus, New York). There are more than 677 papyri, mainly originating in Middle Egypt, including Oxyrhynchus and Fayum, that are in the collection of the renowned papyrologist Prof. Atiyah. We find confirmation in Porphyry (Πορφύριος, ca 234-305 CE, who was best known for his notable and scholarly  De Philosophia ex oraculis [Philosophy from Oracles] (Read: De Philosophia ex oraculis haurienda librorum reliquiae. Wolf, Gustaff, ed. Berlini [Berlin, Germany] 1856: in Greek; a Latin version is available) and Adversus Christianos [Against the Christians] in which he wrote: “The Gods have proclaimed Christ to have been most pious, but the Christians are a confused and vicious sect.” Read: Porphyry, Contra los Cristianos: Recopilación de Fragmentos, Traducción, Introducción y Notas E. A. Ramos Jurado, J. Ritoré Ponce, A. Carmona Vázquez, I. Rodríguez Moreno, J. Ortolá Salas, J. M. Zamora Calvo. Cádiz: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Cádiz 2006), De antro nympharum 6 [On the Cave of the Nymphs 6 in On the cave of the nymphs in the thirteenth book of the Odyssey, translation by Thomas Taylor. London: [n.p.], 1895; a Greek edition was reissued by [Buffalo, NY, USA] Arethusa [Dept. of Classics, State University of New York at Buffalo] 1969), and in numerous shards (a few that I possess in my private library), and fragments of graffiti.  Prophyry was among the earliest to declare that parts of the Bible, especially the Book of Daniel, were fraudulent, being the work of a writer in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes (2nd century BCE). St. Jerome details this discovery (Gelasius, Historia Ecclesiastica III.23). 

Muslims of Spain as they depicted themselves

Prophyry’s attack on Christianity caused many faithful to rethink their conversion.  This led Constantine to order the work’s repression.  However, copies survived, being hidden by those who trusted the writer–much in the same manner as Muslims protected the writings of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and other pagans, and spirited them to the Caliphate while Christian bishops and priests were hunting both the Muslims and the pagan writings in order to destroy them. The major error, however, made by those defending Mithras was in claiming the faith came from an ancient Iranian text—there is no Iranian text, iconography, or other evidence for this assumption.  All that is known by direct evidence is that the worship service and theology was Roman in origin and is older than the legends of the New Testament.

What gives Mithraism scriptural importance is its use of the Zodiac and the use of constellations: Taurus the bull being sacrificed, supported by the images of other astronomical symbols: Canis Minor (the dog), Hydra (the snake), Corvus (the raven), Scorpio (the scorpion), and so forth—all being the elements of a star map.  The “bull-slayer”—the figure of a male killing the bull—is an allegory of the Father slaying his son that does come from the Hindu idea that is personified in Brahama, who is fashioned into Abraham (the final “a” is moved from the back to the front) who was ordered to slay Isaac, as “Theos” (θεός that is both plural and singular and the name of many gods) god of the New Testament.

While the concept of god is monotheistic in Christianity, it has not always been that way in other related faiths.  In fact, in Judaism “god” has 72 Divine Names. Islam has 99 Names for God, and the Hindu scripture Mahabharata contains a thousand names of Vishnu.  In every case the god(s) was/were determined to slay his son (cp. John 3:16). 

Sacrifice of Isaac by Orazio Riminaldi

All of these “religious sacrifices” were made under the constellations. This required that the saviour god(s) died at night—with a “cross” (Justin Martyr: crux, original text has σταυρός: pole) being made of wood: the spear that killed the bull (son) in Mithraism, the stake on which Jesus was sacrificed, the wood on which Isaac was to be burned after being stabbed, and so forth. 

Boninsegna: Jesus Last Supper with the 12 Apostles

From Mithraism came the story of Jesus and ultimately the New Testament. Christianity arose out of Judaism, and from Judaism and its predecessor theologies it inherited the reverence of the number 12. Jesus had 12 disciples. Early Gnostic Christians accepted this as a symbolic and figurative account, but later Pauline Christians took it all literally.

Jesus surrounds himself with 12 disciples [Barnabas was called Zeus, and Paul, in the Bible, is styled Hermes; Acts 14.12 my addition]. This is usually taken to be symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel. This notion of 12 tribes, however, is itself a symbolic reference to the 12 signs of the zodiac in Babylonian astrology, which the Jews adopted whilst in exile in Babylon. The zodiac was an extremely important symbol in the Pagan world. Osiris-Dionysis is symbolically represented as the still spiritual center of the turning wheel of change represented by the 12 signs. […] [In] the Mysteries of Mithras 12 disciples surrounded the godman, just as the 12 disciples surrounded Jesus. The Mithraic disciples were dressed up to represent the 12 signs of the zodiac and circled the initiate, who represented Mithras himself.

Shamash cylinder seal (Louvre AO9132) Sumerian origins of Mithraism

 Freke, Timothy & Gandy, Peter (1999). The Jesus Mysteries; Was the Original Jesus a Pagan God?  London, UK: Thomas (2000 paperback edition). [Book Review by Vexen Crabtree], p. 51.

Other religious scholars such as “Robertson, Niemojewski, Volney and others” also hold that “as son-god Jesus had twelve apostles representing the twelve houses of the zodiac” (Reynolds, Alfred (1993; originally published 1988).  Jesus versus Christianity.  London, UK: Cambridge International Publishers. p. 77-78).   The number 12 goes beyond the legendary apostles.  Revelation gives a description of the heavenly Jerusalem:  a city laid out like a square with twelve gates and twelve angels.  There are name plates on each of the gates, one for each of the names of the twelve tribes of Jerusalem, build on twelve foundations and with on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. It is clear that the writer wants to indicate that God’s new chosen people will be the followers of Jesus—no longer is heaven reserved for the Jews.  It is not clear why the heavenly Jerusalem required gates–to keep whom out? Nor is it stated why there would be houses, and angels acting as guards.  This reflects Babylonian theology, and does not take into consideration the laws of gravity.

The writer, whom tradition and redaction has styled as John Patmos, expresses his appreciation for the number twelve: “He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man’s measurement, which the angel was using” (verse 17). The writer raises the number twelve to the square in order to elevate it above ordinary human dimensions but still an angel was required to use mortal measurements.

The number 12 appears in numerous other “miracles” that the Jesus of the New Testament performed. “And a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years and could not be healed by any one, came up behind him (Jesus), and touched the fringe of his garment; and immediately her flow of blood ceased” (Luke 8:43).

5 loaves and 2 fish

The number also plays a role in the tale of Jesus feeding “the multitude” with five small barley loaves and two small fish supplied by a boy (in the original it is 5000 men; cf. Mark 8:9, 6:40 NIV, the emphasis is on smallness that becomes greatness; cp. Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15).  When the men had eaten, the remaining food was gathered up into twelve baskets—an imagery found in most mystery religions. The story is repeated as the “Feeding of the 4000” with seven loaves and an unknown quantity of “fishes” [sic] in Mark 8:1-9 and Matthew 15:32-39.

Mary Magdalene’s name is mentioned twelve times in the New Testament: Matthew 27:56 and 61, 28:1; Mark 15:40 and 47, 16:1; Luke 8:2, 24:10, John 19:25, 20:1 and 8.

Ariadne with stars over her head (Tintoretto)

The mythology in the Book of Revelation has “a woman clothed with the sun,

St. Mary with stars above her head and the moon at her feet

with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (12:1); this is among the most pagan additions to Patmos’ publication as it comes from Ovid’s Ariadne (Αριάδνη) whose heroine is given a constellation of stars (the Corona Borealis) and became immortal when assumed into heaven, having sat on the lap of the God Dionysius while drinking wine that represented the God’s sacred blood and by imbibing the fluid she became the God’s bride after hanging herself on a tree (crucifixion); she was the mother of numerous deities: Oenopion, the personification of wine, Staphylus (related to grapes), Thoas, Peparethus, Phanus, Eurymedon, Ceramus, Maron, Euanthes, Latramys and Tauropolis and an “unnamed” twelfth (Euanthes, Latramys and Tauropolis are only mentioned in scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 3. 997, read also Hesiod (ca 750 – 650), Θεογονία (Theogonia) 949 (showing Eastern influences such as the Hittite Song of Kumarbi and the Babylonian Enuma Elis that entered Greek culture by Greek trade with Mesopotamia that became highly popular in the 8th-7th centuries BCE); Ovid, full name Publius Ovidius Naso (20 March 43 BCE – CE 17/18) Metamorphoses (the Latin word comes from the Greek μετά meta and μορφή morphē, meaning “changes of shape”) l. c. ; Gaius Julius Hyginus (ca. 64 BCE – CE 17) Poeticon astronomicon opus utilissimum  ii. 5, while his Latin is acceptable, his Greek is saturated with elementary mistakes, but Hyginus does establish Ariadne theology and the use of stars denoting holiness and even divinity—almost always with women, setting the stage for tales of the assumption of virgins into heaven), setting the stage for the Twelve Gates, Twelve Pillars and other illusions illustrated by Patmos in his Apocalypse. 

Theseus and Ariadne at the Door to the Labyrinth

Homer suggests that the goddess eloped with Theseus after he slew the Minotaur in Odyssey XI, 321-325, but this cannot be verified because of the paucity of records, for that which exists claim that Dionysius demanded the Goddess for his wife, and Theseus abandoned her: Diodorus Siculus iv. 61, v. 51; Pausanias, i. 20. § 2, ix. 40. § 2, x. 29. § 2; the abandonment, however, was rejected by Paeon of Amathus as cited by Plutarch in his vita of Theseus, cf. 20.3-5 that has Theseus’ ship swept off-course in a store, leading Theseus putting his suffering and pregnant Ariadne on land, then attempting to save his ship—but failing and being swept out to sea).  The stars are a symbol of the constellations and as were painted on the lining of the robe of Mithras, will circle the head of the “Blessed Virgin Mary” and numerous saints in various religions, and tie these pictorializations to theologies as late as 800 BCE within the Greek world, and far older in the North and West. 

Revelation also contains a Tree of Life.  It is abundant “with its twelve kinds of fruit yielding its fruit every month” (22:2). 

The Tree of Life is found in every religion that has ever existed.  It is not unique to the Jews or to Revelation.  In Hindu theology, the Tree of Life is the human body (koshas) and its fruit the reproductive elements (this indicates that what was the “sin” of mortals was oral sex) that, if allowed to germinate and grow brings new generations and thus “eternal life” (cf. 135th hymn of the 10th book of Rig-Veda, and in the 15th chapter of Bhagavad-gita(1–4). banyan is

Fragment of a bronze helmet from Urartu, with the "Tree of Life" depicted.

believed to have nourished mortals with its “milk” before the advent of grain and other food. In Urartu around 13th to 6th century BCE, the Tree of Life was a religious symbol that had servants (some winged) standing on either side of the Tree of Life with one of their hands up as if they are taking care of it or petitioning God of Urartu for abundance and protection.  In ancient Egypt it was the same, although sometimes considered the tomb/coffin of Osiris, and at other times the penis of Osiris.

Tomb of Osiris (antecedent for the Ark of the Covenant)

In the Osiris Legend, Osiris was induced by his wicked brother Set to lie down in a magnificent coffer under the pretext of a game at a banquet. Set and his seventy-two (cp. Luke 10:1) conspirators immediately closed the lid and threw the coffer into the Nile.  This led his sister/wife, Isis, to search the globe for it so she could impregnate herself to give birth to a divine child (Horus) and complete the Egyptian Trinity.  Sacred and divine knowledge is associated with the Tree (phallus or coffin) as sacred lotus lilies that by the fourteenth century CE were known as fleur de lis, used by the French kings.

After Judaism and Christianity, Islam became another Abrahamic religion to accept the traditional division of the land into 12 areas (See sura 2:60 of the Qur’an).  “And [remember] when Musa [Moses] asked for water for his people, We said: ‘Strike the stone with your stick.’ Then gushed forth therefrom twelve springs. Each [group of] people knew its own place for water.  “Eat and drink of that which Allah has provided and do not act corruptly, making mischief on the earth.” (Qur’an sura 2.60)

In all religions where there is a discipleship of twelve, those who oversaw in the past and today in the Mormon faith send out missionaries in groups of two, who were/are called Apostles who were and are considered guides to perfection.  They have always been viewed as holy people (singularly and when together in conclave or consortium).  The Apostles are depicted with a bright solar light around their heads (frequently oval, but in the case of some early Christian saints, the halos were square).  This depiction has been universally recognized as a symbol of being either the son of a god/goddess or sons of gods/goddesses (directly: when both parents are deities; indirectly: when one of the parents is a mortal).  Many of these Apostles are accompanied by their brothers and/or sisters (for example, in Christianity the brothers by later redactions were Simon “Peter” and Andrew (Mark 1:16), while Zebedee is given parentage of James and John, (Mark 1:19; the word, used as a name only in Mark 15:40 and Matthew 27:56, means “the gift of god”).  Legend has it that Zebedee was the husband of Salome.

Adolf von Harnack

Scholars since the nineteenth century (at the latest) began to accept the fact that there is no historical proof that there was ever an Apostle, with Adolf von Harnack, a German theologian, criticizing the Act of the Apostles as being historically inaccurate (Harnack, Adolf von (1909). The Acts of the Apostles. New York, NY, USA: G. P. Putnam’s Sons ; London, UK: Williams & Norgate.  In the first century no record keeper or historian, not even Josephus (Yosef ben Matityahu, Hebrew יוסף בן מתתיהו, ca. 37-100 CE), recognizes the existence of any Apostle of the New Testament Jesus, except for “James the Just” who is styled as the “brother of Jesus”, and only briefly mentions Jesus—but the reference in his Testimonium Flavianum found in the Antiquities of the Jews 18.63-64 has been contested by reputable scholars since the seventeenth century with the majority arguing that it is a later addition and even fraud since the words and phrases correspond with standard Christian formulae and were added by a Christian copyist (much like university students who copy and paste together essays) in an effort to create evidence of a real Jesus (cp. Meier, J. P. (1990), “Jesus in Josephus: A Modest Proposal,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 52, pp. 76-103; Wells, George Albert (1971). The Jesus of the Early Christians. London, UK: Pemberton Books, p. 190; Brandon, S.G.F. (editor). Religion in Ancient History: Studies in Ideas, Men and Events. London, UK: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., p. 309; and, old, but not outdated: Whiston, William (1826), The Works of Flavius Josephus, the learned and authentic Jewish historian and celebrated warrior, vol. 4, London, UK: T. & J. Allman, pp. 380-385).  “Jesus who was the Christ” has been universally rejected as meaning Jesus (Wise, Isaac Mayer (1868). The Origin of Christianity, and a commentary to the Acts of the Apostles. Cincinnati, OH, USA: Bloch & Co., p. 137; Remsburg, John (1909) The Christ: a Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidences of His Existence. New York, NY, USA: The Truth Seeker Company; Wells, George Albert (1986). Did Jesus Exist? London, UK: Pemberton Publishing Co., p.11, with Arthur Drews in The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus, stating: “In the edition of Origen published by the Benedictines it is said that there was no mention of Jesus at all in Josephus before the time of Eusebius [about 300 CE, Ecclesiastical History, 1.11).  Moreover, in the sixteenth century Vossius had a manuscript of the text of Josephus in which there was not a word about Jesus” (Drews, Arthur (1912)  The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus. Chicago, IL, USA: Open Court Publishing Co.; London: UK: Watts).  Claudia Setzer summarized the debate over the authenticity and historicity of Josephus succinctly:

British scholarship has been relatively positive about Acts’ historicity, from Lightfoot and Ramsay to W.L. Knox and Bruce. German scholarship has, for the most part, evaluated negatively the historical worth of Acts, from Baur and his school to Dibelius, Conzelmann, and Haenchen. North American scholars show a range of opinion. Mattill and Gasque align with the British approach to Acts. Cadbury and Lake take a moderate line and to some degree sidestep the question of accurate historicity.

(Setzer, Claudia (1994). Jewish responses to early Christians: history and polemics, 30-150 C.E. Minneapolis, MN, USA: Fortress Press, p. 94.)

The situation is no different in Islam.  The lineage of the Prophet Muhammad were his relatives and descendants.  His familial successors spoke as if they were infallible popes, on faith and morals.  People listened to them as if they were gods, and from this rose the ayatollahs who claimed that they acted for the god of Muhammad.

Islam, nothing more than a discount version of a combination of Judaism and Christianity, mixed with Greek fables and Bedouin ontology developed one group of faith known as Muslim Shi’ahs.  These followers created a list of 12 ruling Imams or Ithna-‘ashariyyah branch of Shī‘ah Islam following Muhammad.

The Investiture of Ali, at Ghadir Khumm (Edinburgh codex: MS Arab 161, fol. 162r, CE 1309 or 8 Ilkhanid manuscript illustration)

It is believed by Twelver Shi’a Muslims that the Twelve Imams were foretold in the Hadith of the Twelve Successors and each of the Muslim Apostles (who originally were thought to be the twelve sons of Ishmael, the first-born son of Abraham: Genesis 25:13-16, cp. 25:17-20; ref. Sahih Bukhari 89:329), sequentially, is seen as the successor of Muhammad who is an infallible human individual who not only rules over the community with justice, as he is considered free from error and sin, and is chosen by divine decree, or nass, through the Prophet, being foretold by the Prophet he is able to keep and interpret the Divine Law and its esoteric meaning (Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (1979). Ideals and Realities of Islam. London, UK: Unwin Paperbacks. p. 10; and, Momen, Moojan (1985).  An Introduction to Shi`i Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelve. New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press. p.174). 

The Imam has the same stature and command as the Pope of Roman Catholic Church, the Prophet of the LDS Mormons, and the Patriarchs in the Greek Orthodox religion.  The first successor to Muhammad, was Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (Arabic: علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب) who was the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, and ruled the Caliphate from 656-661 CE, having been the first male convert to the new religion (his reign was marked by caravan raids from Mecca, civil wars, and his assassination in the mosque of Kufa).

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Bradlee Dean of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide: the voice of Christian hatred

Islam’s history, with the Number 12, has not been glorious nor peaceful, and Islam has devolved into a religion of violence, mind and body control, and hated—matching that of what is contemporary Christianity (for example, the messages of hate bleated by Bradlee Dean (Smith) in Minnesota (a self-confessed drug addict), Dakota Ary in Texas, James Dobson in Colorado, and other would-be demigods).  In the case of Islam, the first eleven Imams were murdered—even though they were heralded as being divinely ordained to preach the gospel of the Qur’an/Koran.  And as it was with the medieval Roman Catholic church that ordained children and even sold bishoprics and the rank of cardinal to small children (as was the case especially under Pope Julius II, to pay for his wars that he rode into, covered with human beloved so he could “preach the gospel of love”).

12 Imam (Apostles) of Islam following death of Muhammad 632 CE

Islam, as with all religions, had its mad prophets:

  • from the illiterate camel driver who married a 6 (or 7, the age is not precisely known) girl (on the age of A’isha, consult: Spellberg, D. A. (1994).  Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: the Legacy of A’isha bint Abi Bakr.  New York, NY, USA: Columbia University Press, 1994, p. 40; and, Armstrong, Karen (1992). Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet.  San Francisco, CA, USA: Harper, p. 157),
  • to Ali (the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad) who was slashed with a poisoned sword while praying in the mosque of Kufa in 661 CE;
  • Hasan who succeeded his father and was poisoned by his fourth wife (Ju’da) in 669,
  • he was followed by his brother Husayn—who was beheaded in the Battle of Karbala—in 680;
  • he was succeeded by Zayn al Abidin (great-grandson of the Prophet Muhammad) who survived the Battle of Karbala because he was too sick to fight but was murdered by poison in 712;
  • Muhammad al-Baqir the son of the previous Imam, took over the caliphate and although it is claimed “he was respected by all”, he was murdered by poisoning in 743;
  • Ja’far al-Sadiq who is best known for expanding Shari’a law to greater barbarity was murdered by poisoning in 765, was next;
  • Musa al-Kazim was next in line and died similarly in 799,
  • he was followed by an eight-year-old Muhammad al-Taqi who was poisoned by his wife in 835, a fate that awaited his successor:
  • Hasan al-Askari, who died of poisoning in 874, and, finally, the
  • twelfth profit, Muhammed Mahdi, son of Hasan al-Askari, went into hiding as a young child, and Shi’a Muslims still believe that he is alive and they are waiting for his return in Apocalyptic glory or gore in a Final Battle.

It has always been common in Islam to bestow Imamships on young children.  It is the belief that the Prophet loved young children so much that he married several, including the now famous Aisha bint Abu Bakr (612 – 678) (Arabic: عائشة‎) who has the unique distinction of achieving near divine status as the “Mother of the Believers” (أمّ المؤمنين in Qur’an/Koran 33.6; cp. Abbott, Nabia (1942). Aishah: the Beloved of Muhammad. Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press, 1942), and thereby gained for them eternal life following the resurrection of the body (يوم القيامة‎) before being judged (a break with pre-Islamic Arab thought) and sent to either be with Muhammad and the other Prophets (the Islamic heaven (جنّة‎ : paradise) is described in Qur’an/Koran 13:3518:3138:49–54, 35:33–3552:17–27 where everything anyone longs for in this life on earth will be found in paradise that is composed of seven levels, and the faithful obtain a level based upon their good deeds (the highest level has angels building palaces of solid gold for the chosen/most blessed, and everyone wears costly apparel, dines on exquisite banquets of all possible approved foods, and reclines on couches inlaid with gold or precious stones, while rejoicing in the company of their parents, wives, and children), or cast into a fiery hell (كفر‎‎). 

Hell in Islam

Hell was similar to that conjured by Christian prophets and priests. The Islamic hell is also divided into several levels where punishment is done according to the level of evil done in life, and while most of hell is fire (fueled by burning idols (rocks and stones) and human beings who were, in life, nonbelievers.  The hell known as Zamhareer is the coldest and most freezing of all and has regular blizzards, ice, snow, and cold that is unbearable—similar to Dante’s Inferno—and houses hypocrites (the most diabolical of sinners), two-faced people who claim to believe in Allah and his Prophet but denounce both in their hearts. 

Mohammed’s Call to Prophecy and the First Revelation; leaf from a copy of the Majmac al-tawarikhTimurid. From Herat, Afghanistan. In The Metropolitan Museum of Art, ca. 1425 CE

Islam has a special regard for the stars and nature, it is within the realm of Islam  belief  that all things are of divine origin and that Allah is the author of the world and the sky in which there are various homes for the faithful to enjoy worldly delights.  The number 12, since it was twelve years after Muhammad began to preach and with his converts performed the Hijra (“emigration”) to the city of Medina (formerly known as Yathrib) in 622, and converted everyone by the sword.  Unlike other religions, Islam does not have a Zodiac as its calendar is not based on the sun but the moon (which prior to Muhammad represented the goddess of love: Venus) with the invention of a new calendar in 622 CE known as the year 1 AH (التقويم الهجري : Hijra calendar, or anno Hegirae); it is a lunar calendar with days lasting from sunset to sunset.  Islamic holy days fall on fixed dates of the lunar calendar, which means that they occur in different seasons in different years in the Gregorian calendar. Islam dates its history from the First Day: (1 Muharram 1 AH) or Friday, 16 July 622 CE.

Theseus and the Minotaur

More enlightened religions and theosophies also had Apostles but these were exclusively used as symbols of the zodiac that represented time.  This was the case with the advanced theologies of the Gnostics understood things had natural origins and were in quest of truth, and were like the twelve disciples of Mithras who understood the symbols of the Zodiac and the number 12 to be symbolic of the stages of the waning and waxing sun throughout the year and thus the bull (slavery) who was sacrificed is the mark of harvesting and the beginning of repose (death) before renewal (being reborn) in spring.  Later religions took it literally and believed in an actual 12 disciples.  Some religions still do believe that there were 12 actual disciples who spread the message of their god(s)/goddess(es) and rely on disproven theories and numerology, especially glorifying the number 12 and its divisible numbers (6 is numerological common number in Islam, for example).

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