Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Babylon Religion Revealed

 

Babylon Religion Revealed

I want to begin this lecture by talking about Ninurta, sensationalism and historic facts.

The Nibiru collision is a supposed disastrous encounter between the Earth and a large planetary object (either a collision or a near-miss) which certain groups believe will take place in the early 21st century. Believers in this doomsday event usually refer to this object as Planet X or Nibiru. The idea that a planet-sized object could possibly collide with or pass by Earth in the near future is not supported by any scientific evidence and has been rejected as pseudoscience by astronomers and planetary scientists.
The idea was first put forward in 1995 by Nancy Lieder, founder of the website ZetaTalk. Lieder describes herself as a contactee with the ability to receive messages from extra-terrestrials from the Zeta Reticuli star system through an implant in her brain. She states that she was chosen to warn mankind that the object would sweep through the inner Solar System in May 2003 (though that date was later abandoned) causing Earth to undergo a pole shift that would destroy most of humanity. The predicted collision has subsequently spread beyond Lieder's website and has been embraced by numerous Internet doomsday groups, most of which link the event to the 2012 phenomenon. Although the name "Nibiru" (the name of a Babylonian god) is derived from the works of late "ancient astronaut" writer Zecharia Sitchin and his interpretations of Babylonian and Sumerian mythology, Sitchin denied any connection between his work and various claims of a coming apocalypse. The idea of the Nibiru encounter originated with Nancy Lieder, a Wisconsin woman who claims that as a girl she was contacted by gray extraterrestrials called Zetas, who implanted a communications device in her brain. In 1995, she founded the website ZetaTalk to disseminate her ideas. Lieder first came to public attention on Internet newsgroups during the build-up to Comet Hale-Bopp's 1997 perihelion. She stated, speaking as the Zetas, that "The Hale-Bopp comet does not exist. It is a fraud, perpetrated by those who would have the teeming masses quiescent until it is too late. Hale-Bopp is nothing more than a distant star, and will draw no closer." She claimed that the Hale-Bopp story was manufactured to distract people from the imminent arrival of a large planetary object, "Planet X", which would soon pass by Earth and destroy civilization. After Hale-Bopp's perihelion revealed it as one of the brightest and longest-observed comets of the last century, Lieder removed the first two sentences of her initial statement from her site, though they can still be found in Google's archives. Although Lieder originally referred to the object as "Planet X", it has become deeply associated with Nibiru, a planet from the works of ancient astronaut proponent Zecharia Sitchin, particularly his book The 12th Planet. According to Sitchin's interpretation of Babylonian religious texts, which contravenes every conclusion reached by credited scholars on the subject, a giant planet (called Nibiru or Marduk) passes by Earth every 3,600 years and allows its sentient inhabitants to interact with humanity. These beings, which Sitchin identified with the Annunaki of Sumerian myth, would become humanity's first gods. Lieder first made the connection between Nibiru and her Planet X on her site in 1996 ("Planet X does exist, and it is the 12th Planet, one and the same.").
However, Sitchin, who died in 2010, denied any connection between his work and Lieder's claims. In 2007, partly in response to Lieder's proclamations, Sitchin published a book, The End of Days, which set the time for the last passing of Nibiru by Earth at 556 BC, which would mean, given the object's supposed 3,600-year orbit, that it would return sometime around AD 2900. He did however say that he believed that the Annunaki might return earlier by spaceship, and that the timing of their return would coincide with the shift from the astrological Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius, sometime between 2090 and 2370.

The impact of the public fear of the Nibiru collision has been especially felt by professional astronomers. Mike Brown now says that Nibiru is the most common pseudoscientific topic he is asked about.
David Morrison, director of SETI, CSI Fellow and Senior Scientist at NASA's Astrobiology Institute at Ames Research Center, says he receives 20 to 25 emails a week about the impending arrival of Nibiru; some frightened, others angry and naming him as part of the conspiracy to keep the truth of the impending apocalypse from the public, and still others asking whether or not they should kill themselves, their children or their pets. Half of these emails are from outside the U.S. "Planetary scientists are being driven to distraction by Nibiru," notes science writer Govert Schilling, "And it is not surprising; you devote so much time, energy and creativity to fascinating scientific research, and find yourself on the tracks of the most amazing and interesting things, and all the public at large is concerned about is some crackpot theory about clay tablets, god-astronauts and a planet that doesn't exist."

Who or what is Ninurta? Ninurta (Nin Ur: God of War) in Sumerian and Akkadian mythology was the god of Lagash, identified with Ningirsu with whom he may always have been identical. In older transliteration the name is rendered Ninib and Ninip, and in early commentary he was sometimes incorrectly portrayed as a solar deity. In Nippur, Ninurta was worshiped as part of a triad of deities including his father, Enlil and his mother, Ninlil. In variant mythology, his mother is said to be the harvest goddess Ninhursag. The consort of Ninurta was Ugallu in Nippur and Bau when he was called Ningirsu. Ninurta often appears holding a bow and arrow, a sickle sword, or a mace named Sharur: Sharur is capable of speech in the Sumerian legend "Deeds and Exploits of Ninurta" and can take the form of a winged lion and may represent an archetype for the later Shedu. In another legend, Ninurta battles a birdlike monster called Imdugud (Akkadian: Anzû); a Babylonian version relates how the monster Anzû steals the Tablets of Destiny from Enlil. The Tablets of Destiny were believed to contain the details of fate and the future. Ninurta slays each of the monsters later known as the "Slain Heroes" (the Warrior Dragon, the Palm Tree King, Lord Saman-ana, the Bison-beast, the Mermaid, the Seven-headed Snake, the Six-headed Wild Ram), and despoils them of valuable items such as Gypsum, Strong Copper, and the Magilum boat). Eventually, Anzû is killed by Ninurta who delivers the Tablet of Destiny to his father, Enlil.

The Fourth Kind: Milla Jovovich movie features aliens speaking in ancient Sumerian.

Alien abduction flick The Fourth Kind bills itself as containing "actual footage" from case histories.

The footage is clearly faked but I know many people who took this film to be a documentary and were frightened by it.

The movie has an incredibly terrifying premise. Hundreds of people have gone missing from the tiny, isolated town of Nome, Alaska since the 1960s. These missing persons cases have never been solved. But then a psychiatrist named Abigail Tyler starts investigating a rash of sleep disorders in Nome, and discovers that her patients are all having the same visions of white owls who interrupt their dreams. And when she hypnotizes one of her patients to find out more about this "owl," he is reduced to abject terror and then flees her office to kill his family and himself. Another patient, when hypnotized, starts screaming in ancient Sumerian and starts levitating.

    Tyler undergoes hypnosis in an attempt to make contact with these beings     and reunite with her daughter. Campos and Odusami videotape the     session, and once hypnotized, it is revealed that Tyler witnessed the     abduction of her daughter and also shows scenes of her own abduction,     showing part of the abductors ship and it is hinted that they possibly took     some human egg cells from Abbey as well. the camera scrambles, and     Abbey begs to the alien that abducted Ashley to return her, the creature     replies, saying that its own child was never returned to it and then calls its     self the savoir, then the father and finally ends with "I am...God". when the     encounter ends Campos and Odusami rush over to the now unconscious     Abbey and then they notice something out of camera's view, the camera     scrambles again, and a volatile voice yells "Zimabu Eter!" which supposedly     translates to "Spirit from whom you cannot be saved" in English. When the     camera unscrambles it shows that all three of them are gone.

Finally, there's a whole "chariot of the gods" idea that's sort of flung into the story as if we weren't already up to our eyeballs in disbelief we couldn't suspend even if we wanted to. The aliens speak in ancient Sumerian, which a professor is inexplicably able to understand, despite the fact that the only access to Sumerian he has are from ancient texts. Nobody knows how the language would have been pronounced. Still, he figures out that the aliens are yelling things like "I am god," and using the word "destroyed" a lot. We also don't understand why they're still speaking an ancient language - you'd think by now they would try speaking English since they've been abducting Alaskans since before Sarah Palin was born.

So why are the aliens depicted in the movie speaking Sumerian-and why is the fake planet X called Ninurta-after a Babylonian god?

The reason is to give it some credibility or to make it seem plausible and to exploit the general lack of knowledge among the public about ancient Mesopotamia.

Even in Evangelical circles, fraudulent information about Babylonia is often put out. (I call this false information the Hislop Cult or the Two Babylons Cult-which I will examine later.)

I believe that this fraudulent information is very damaging and it is important for us to have accurate information about ancient Babylon-partly to help us to understand the story of the Bible better.

General information about the Background of Babylonia

The ancient inhabitants in Babylonia were the Sumerians. So the region is called ancient Sumer. Apparently, there was a group settled there even earlier than the Sumerians-because there are some words in Sumerian which are derived from an even earlier language.

The Sumerian language is a language isolate. This means that there are no languages known to be related to it. This makes it similar to Basque, which also has no known related language, but also makes it mysterious and alien, which is why it is used as an alien language in "the Fourth Kind." However, in our age there are dominate language groups-such as Semitic languages, Indo-European languages, and Bantu languages. In ancient times there were many "language isolates" that have vanished. Sumerian is also the most ancient written language.

Later, the Akkadians conquered the Sumerians and after centuries eventually assimilated. The Akkadians did use Sumerian as a type of official or sacred language (classical and liturgical language), similar to how Latin was used in the Middle Ages and how Hebrew has been used by the Jewish people.

The mythologies of the Sumerians and the Akkadians became related in a similar way that Greek and Roman Mythology is related. (There are some differences between Greek and Roman Mythology-but most often, the Romans adopted the Greek gods and gave them Roman names-Zeus became Jupiter, Hermes became Mercury, Hera became Juno, and ect.)

Akkadian was the language spoken by the Assyrians and Babylonians. Assyrians and Babylonians were distinct peoples-although they spoke the same language. For instance, the Scots and the English both speak the English language, but are distinct peoples, although they live very close to each other.

(Modern Aramaic speakers identify themselves as Assyrians-and Roman Catholic speakers of Eastern Aramaic dialects call themselves Chaldeans and Babylonians.)

Akkadian is a Semitic language. This means that it is closely related to Hebrew. In fact, Akkadian is the earliest attested Semitic language. Akkadian is an extinct language.

By investigating Semitic languages, comparing and contrasting the living Semitic languages (Arabic, Aramaic, Maltese, Socroti, ect.) we can trace the origins and development of the Semitic languages.

All Semitic languages, including Hebrew, evolved out of an extinct pre-historic language called Proto-Semitic.

The scientific study of ancient Mesopotamia is called Assyriology because Assyria was the first of the ancient Mesopotamian cities to be scientifically excavated.

Now, I want to mention that, in 2003-when I was serving with the military in Iraq, I was able to go to the ruins of ancient Babylon.

The Assyrians were able to establish a great empire with their powerful and advanced military. Unfortunately for the Assyrians, due to their conquests, they made a number of enemies and finally Assyria, and it's capital city of Nineveh, was destroyed by the Babylonians. Then the Babylonian Empire can to power. Babylon was conquered by the Persians and in turn the Persians were conquered by Alexander the Greats Hellenistic (or Greek) Empire. Late in the Greek period, Babylon (a city that Alexander had used as a capital and where he had died) fell into decline and was eventually abandoned. It became a heap of ruins that the Muslims often quarried for building supplies.

Historians believe that Human Civilization (which refers to humans living in cities) began in Mesopotamia-which is attested in the Bible in the Tower of Babel story.

Mesopotamia and the Bible

1. The garden of Eden was in Iraq. Eden was in Iraq -- Genesis 2:10-14. (There are different theories concerning the location of the Garden of Eden, the most plausible is southern Iraq-but the region southern Turkey/northern Iraq is also a likely location.)

2. Mesopotamia which is now Iraq was the cradle of civilization! Adam & Eve were created in Iraq -- Genesis 2:7-8.

3. Noah built the ark in Iraq.

4. The Tower of Babel was in Iraq. Nimrod established Babylon & theTower of Babel was built in Iraq -- Genesis 10:8-97 & 11:1-4. The confusion of the languages took place in Iraq -- Genesis 11:5-11.

5. Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq! Abraham came from a city in Iraq -- Genesis 11:31 & Acts 7:2-4.

6. Isaac's wife Rebekah is from Nahor which is in Iraq. Isaac's bride came from Iraq -- Genesis 24:3-4 &10.

7. Jacob met Rachel in Iraq. Jacob spent 20 years in Iraq -- Genesis 27:42-45 & 31:38.

8. Jonah preached in Nineveh - which is in Iraq.

9. Assyria which is in Iraq conquered the ten tribes of Israel. (This is the story of the "Ten Lost Tribes." It is likely that the Ten Lost Tribes were assimilated into the Assyrians. The Samaritans also claim to be descended from the Ten northern Tribes of Israel. They claim to be Ephraimites and Levites.)

10. The Book of Nahum is written about the fall of Assyria

11. Babylon which is in Iraq destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple-fulfilling the prophecies of Jeremiah.

12. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq.

13. Ezekiel preached in Iraq.

14. Daniel was in the lion's den in Iraq! The Book of Daniel is also set in Iraq

15. The 3 Hebrew children were in the fire in Iraq (that's good news to know that JESUS has been in Iraq too as the 4th person in the fiery furnace!).

16. Belshazzar, the King of Babylon saw the "writing on the wall" in Iraq.

17. Nehemiah and Ezra were Persian dignitaries and part of these books are set in Iran and Iraq.

18. The book of Esther is set in Iraq and Iran

19. The wise men were from Iraq. (From the Gospel of Matthew)

20. Peter may have preached in Iraq. (But it is uncertain what "Babylon" Peter preached at-it may have been Babylon in Iraq, or the Fortress of Babylon in Egypt, or perhaps Peter uses "Babylon" as a euphemism for Rome.)

Now we have seen the pivotal role that ancient Mesopotamia plays in the Bible story. That being so-why is there so much gross ignorance of Babylonia among Christians?

The book or Revelation has prophecies against Babylon, which was the old name for the nation of Iraq -- Revelation 17 &18. No other nation, except Israel, has more history and prophecy associated with it than Iraq.

(Some misunderstandings about Babylonia are due to people taking prophetic typology regarding Babylon and using that typology to interpret history.)

Another problem is that Babylon has not been able to capture the imagination of the public the way that Egypt has. In the 1920s, Sir Wooley excavated "Ur of the Chaldees" and there was much excitement regarding his excavating of the "City of Abraham." However, his discoveries were soon eclipsed among the public by Howard Carter's excavations of King Tutankhamen's tomb.

Hollywood continued to capture the imagination of the public with ancient Egypt with Mummy movies. Mesopotamia is referred to in "True Lies" and "Ghostbusters." In the silent era, there was a movie that featured Babylonia that was entitled "Intolerance." These are rare exceptions to the Hollywood blackout of ancient Mesopotamia. (The Scorpion King is said to be an "Akkadian" in the film-but the filmmakers have no interest in imparting anything historical in that movie.) So, ancient Babylon and Assyria hasn't made much of a pop cultural impact the way Egypt had.

Babylonian Religion

In times past, there was a lot of conjectural information about ancient Babylonia, mostly because at the time, we didn't have hard evidence to go on. (Unfortunately, most of these conjectures have been shown to be false by hard archeological evidence-but inaccurate information is still out there-and there are people who tirelessly put out so-called "facts" that have been shown to be fraudulent.)

IT IS A TRAVESTY TO HAVE ALL THIS NINURTA, 4TH KIND, TWO BABYLONS NON-SENSE OUT THERE WHEN WE NOW HAVE HARD FACTS.

The problem is that it seems that the general public is more interested in sensational claims that historical truth. People are more curious and interested in non-sense than in the facts. But the fraudulent information is VERY harmful-as we will see below when we examine the Two Babylons cult.

In the late 1800s, the CUNIFORM script was deciphered and now we have direct information from the Babylonians about what their religious beliefs were.

Babylonian Gods:

Asshur: (Actually, an Assyrian god). As the deified city Assur (pronounced Ashur), which dates from the 3rd millennium BC and was the capital of the Old Assyriankingdom. As such, Ashur did not originally have a family, but as the cult came under southern Mesopotamian influence he came to be regarded as the Assyrian equivalent of Enlil, the chief god of Nippur and one of the most important gods of the southern pantheon, and in time Ashur absorbed Enlil's wife Ninlil (as the Assyrian goddess Mullissu) and his sons Ninurta and Zababa - this process began around in the 13th century BC E and continued down to the 8th and 7th centuries.The Assyrians did not require conquered peoples to take up the worship of Ashur; instead, Assyrian imperial propaganda declared that the conquered peoples had been abandoned by their gods. When Assyria conquered Babylon in the Sargonid period (8th-7th centuries BCE), Assyrian scribes began to write the name of Ashur with the cuneiform signs AN.SHAR, literally "whole heaven" in Akkadian, the language of Assyria and Babylonia. The intention seems to have been to put Ashur at the head of the Babylonian pantheon, where Anshar and his counterpart Kishar ("whole earth") preceded even Enlil and Ninlil. Thus in the Sargonid version of the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian national creation myth, Marduk, the chief god of Babylon, does not appear, and instead it is Ashur, as Anshar, who slays Tiamat the chaos-monster and creates the world of mankind. Some scholars have claimed that Ashur was represented as the solar disc that appears frequently in Assyrian iconography, but evidence indicates that this is in fact the sun god Shamash. Many Assyrian kings had names that included the name Ashur, including, above all, Ashur-nasirpal, Esar-haddon (Ashur-aha-iddina), and Ashur-banipal. Epithets include bêlu rabû "great lord", ab ilâni "father of gods", šadû rabû "great mountain", and il aššurî "god of Ashur". The symbols of Ashur include:a winged disc with horns, enclosing four circles revolving round a middle circle; rippling rays fall down from either side of the disc; a circle or wheel, suspended from wings, and enclosing a warrior drawing his bow to discharge an arrow; the same circle; the warrior's bow, however, is carried in his left hand, while the right hand is uplifted as if to bless his worshipers

Bel and Nebo: Bel is Marduk and Nebo (cognate with Hebrew word "Nabi" meaning "prophet" is his son, the god of wisdom. Isaiah 46:1, "The god Bel bows down; the god Nebo stoops low. Their statues are seated on animals and cattle. The gods that you carry are burdens, a load for weary people." Nebo-is found in the name of the famous king Nebuchadnezzar (or Nebo-chadnezzer). Abed-nego means servant of Nebo.

Marduk: was the Babylonian name of a late-generation god from ancient Mesopotamia and patron deity of the city of Babylon, who, when Babylon became the political center of the Euphrates valley in the time of Hammurabi (18th century BCE), started to slowly rise to the position of the head of the Babylonian pantheon, a position he fully acquired by the second half of the second millennium BCE. The golden statue that Shadrech, Meshek, and Abed-nego refused to worship was a statue of Marduk (or perhaps Nebo). Mordecai, of the book of Esther, has a name that means servant of Marduk.

Nergal: An underworld deity mentioned in the Bible at 2 Kings 17:30.

Anu: The sky-god, father of the gods and chief Babylonian deity. His name means "Heaven."

Enlil: One of the most important gods of Mesopotamia, Enlil was second in authority only to Anu. He ruled over earth and bestowed kingship upon leaders of men. He was the keeper of the "Tablets of Destiny."

Enki (also called Ea): God of the waters and of the mystic arts. He saved mankind from the Great Flood.

Addad: Storm-god, same as Haddad/Baal in Canaanite mythology. His sacred animal was the bull.

Amurru: God of the Amorites-that was worshiped in Mesopotamia.

Ereshkigal: Goddess and ruler of the Netherworld. Wife of Nergel.

Ninurta: Originally an agricultural god-later became a god of war.

Sin (also called Nanna): The moon-god. The father of the sun-god and the goddess of love. The judge of the dead.

Shammash: The sun-god and the god of Justice.

Ishtar: Goddess of love. Wife of Tammuz.

Tammuz (called "Damuzi"): Shepherd-god.

Geshtinanna: Goddess of the vineyards and sister of Damuzi.

Babylonian Religious Practices:

Babylonians had an important new year celebration that was also an atonement service-in fact it was described Kappara-related to the Hebrew word Kippur. (The name of the festival was Akitu.) The king repented on behalf of the people and was slapped by the high priest so hard that it drew tears. This was a 12 day festival in March. The worship centered around Marduk.

The idols were brought into the temples in a processional festival.

Much like in the Jewish Temple, animals, lambs and bulls, were sacrificed and burnt offering were made. Ritual sex may have been practiced by the Babylonians on occasions-but this is speculative.

Important temples were towers called Ziggerats.

Important Babylonian Myths/Literature

The Law-code of Hammurabi: A law code similar in some ways to the law of Moses. Shamash, the god of Justice, gave these commandments, which were inscribed upon a stone tablet to King Hammurabi.

The Epic of Gilgamesh: This story of King Gilgamesh contains a version of the story of the Flood of Noah-and a story about how man was denied access to the fruit of the Tree of Life due to the mechanations of a serpent.

The Story of Ishtar and Tammuz: Ishtar marries the Shepherd King, Tammuz. Later, she decides to enter into Hell, and there she is held captive by Ereshkigal, the Queen of Hell. She escapes from hell, but trades her place with Tammuz. Tammuz's sister Geshtinanna, makes a deal with Ereshkigal that she will spend six months out of every year in hell, so that Tammuz can be free during that time.

The Two Babylons Cult/Apocryphal Tale

"You shall not add to, nor take away from this book…" (Revelations 22:19, Deuteronomy 4:2).

Christians cite these books and also stress concern about Apocrypha-however-there is one apocryphal tale that many Protestants and Evangelicals have added to the status of scripture-and it does like this.

The story goes like this: After the flood of Noah, people settled in Babylonia. There Nimrod became king. He married his mother Semiramis. He taught the people to worship idols. Shem, Noah's son, killed Nimrod and scattered his body parts in different cities as a warning to them, lest they follow Nimrod's sinful ways. But then, Semiramis gave birth to Nimrod's posthumous son and named him Tammuz and said that he was Nimrod reincarnated and that he was the sun-god. Then Semiramis had everyone worship the trinity of Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz and established the mother-goddess cult. She also taught that her sons and her husband were god-kings. All religions are derived from this Babylonian religion and Roman Catholicism is actually Nimrod worship, but given a Christian veneer.

There are many problems with this. First, this story isn't in the Bible. If it really happened why isn't it in the Bible? Also, this story as we have just seen doesn't match what we know about Babylonian religion.

Also, who is this Semiramis character? She isn't mentioned in the Bible.

Scholars believe that Semiramis was Sammuramat ruled 823-811 BC and was the wife of Shamshi-Adad V and mother of Adad-nirari III.

The Greeks heard about her and invented vulgar stories about her being the founder of Babylonia.

These lewd stories offended the Babylonians and a Babylonian named Berossus. Berossus published the Babyloniaca (hereafter, History of Babylonia) in three books some time around 290-278 BC, by the patronage of the Greek King Antiochus I. He establishes the fact that Babylon was built by King Nebuchadnesser and not by Semiramis-who was a queen of Assyria and not Babylonia. Berossus was quoted in Josephus and his writings seem to be accurate.

Another issue is that Babylonian kings were not viewed as gods. Naram-Sin, who reigned ca. 2254–2218 BC, was the first Mesopotamian king known to have claimed divinity for himself and his divine presumptions seemed to have created a backlash. Also, note how that during the Akitu festival, the king would humiliate himself before the gods and allow himself to be publically slapped by the high priest. Naram-Sin's dynasty soon collapsed after his rule.

Jewish stories (the Midrash) do not match the Nimrod-Semiramis-Tammuz tale either. In Midrash, Nimrod is a mighty hunter because he inherited the clothes that God made for Adam and Eve and these had magical properties. In Jewish Lore, Shem doesn't kill Nimrod. Shem is identified with Melkizedek. Nimrod persecutes Abraham in Jewish tradition. There are many different contradictory legends about Nimrod. Often he is portrayed as a tyrant. In some legends, he repents. In a few he is a righteous king. The Bible doesn't state is Nimrod was good or evil, it only states that he was a "mighty hunter before Yahweh" and that he ruled as a "mighty one."

The Nimrod-Semiramis-Tammuz story is not attested in any ancient historical writing, such as Josephus, nor is it found in any apocryphal or pseudopigraphal writings-so the question is-where did it come from?

It first appears in 1859 in the writings of a cult-leader named Alexander Hislop. Where did Alexander Hislop get the story? Basically, he just made it up. It is a product of his imagination.

He took the myths of Semiramis from a discredited ancient Greek writer-who was a rabid anti-Semite- named Diodorus Siculus (or Diodorus of Sicily). He wrote his works of myths and legends that were mistaken for history between 60 and 30 BC. He has Semiramis marry a king named Ninus-who she had put to death so that she could rule. Hislop thought that Ninus was Nimrod.

What Hislop did was take the myth of Semiramis and mix it with the story of the Egyptian god Osiris (indentifying Shem with Seth) and also mixing it with the story of the Levites concubine from 19 and coming up with a completely new story that was a product of his imagination.

No Assyriologist takes Hislop's work as having any historical value. He didn't know anything about ancient Babylonia-and he wrote before cuniform had been deciphered and before many important discoveries were made. This means Hislop's writings are out-dated, discredited, and have no credibility and are fraudulent. All the archeological evident from 1859 until today totally discredits "The Two Babylons."

Some Christians have given Hislop's "The Two Babylons" an almost Scriptural status. And unfortunately the book is still in print.

But why? Why would Christians promote a book that has been proven to be untrue? Because the facts don't matter-it is an excuse to be devisive and hateful.

Because, there is a general ignorance about Babylonia-and people are able to exploit that ignorance to attack Roman Catholicism and Christianity in general.

Soon after it was written, the book was shown by leaders of the church-that if what Hislop was saying was true-and it isn't-it wasn't just Roman Catholicism that is "pagan"-but the whole of the New Testament.

(In the early Church period, Clementine literature did identify Ninus from the Semiramis story with Nimrod. However, the scenario of Shem dismembering Nimrod and Semiramis giving birth to Tammuz the sun-god, are innovations of Hislop. "The Two Bablyons" contentions are not supported by historical or archeological evidence.)

Much of the attacks on Christianity in the Da Vinci Code were ultimately derived from Hislop's "Two Babylons."

I have been viciously attacked because I agree with the historical and archeological evidence that had disproven "The Two Babylons." The "Two Babylons" is rubbish-the same as "Planet Ninurta" and "The Fourth Kind." The Two Babylons is fraudulent and cultic literature. Many people are deeply committed to perpetuating and spreading this falsehood.

The problem is that the facts about Babylonia have not been made accessible to the general public-who are quick to pick up on bogus conspiracy theories-which are much easier to learn about.

Babylon's Enduring Legacy

Revelations 11:8, "And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified."

What city is that? This is how the Book of Revelation describes Jerusalem, but this isn't how most Christians think of Jerusalem. In popular imagination, Babylon is THE sinful city.

H.W.F. Saggs wrote, "The most important cereals in much of the Western world are wheat for bread and barley as the basis of beer; this is because their wild ancestors grew in the Near East, where they were cultivated in prehistoric times, and then transmitted to the rest of the world through Babylonia. Similiarily, our predominant meats are mutton, beef and pork because, despite the abundance of possible meat animals, the sheep, cow and pig were three of the four principle animals domesticated for food in the prehistoric Near East and taken over in Babylonia (the fourth was the goat, which has largely gone off the menu in recent centuries). [Except among the Mexicans who eat goat meat like nobody's business.]

Technological survivals include the plough and the potter's wheel, and possibly the wheel used for transport, which have come down to us from earliest Babylonia. The concept of writing is another vital survival, even though the original technique, cuneiform on clay fell into disuse two thousand years ago. . Ancient Babylonia gave us the place-value notation system fro writing of numerals…we still count in sixties for some purposes, such as geometry (360 degrees in a circle) and time) division of hours into minutes and minutes into seconds), and this system originated in third-millennium Babylonia…The twenty-four hour day, although not wholly of Babylonian origin, combines Babylonian and Egyptian elements. Astronomy, and even the names of some constellations, have their origin in Babylonian observations of stars and planets…[The Lunar calendar, used by Judaism and Islam, and even forms the basis of the Christian calendar is based on that used by the Babylonians. Some scholars believe that the seven day week is of Babylonian origin.] …Thus, although our modern life is separated from Babylonia by more than two thousand years, we remain linked by many fine strands of traditions…without which our world would be a very different place indeed."

There is a book entitled the "5,000 Year Leap" about how America has accomplished more for mankind in 200 years, than mankind has accomplished in 5,000 years. I think that there have been 5,000 year leaps before. The first occurred in the Ancient Near East, the second occurred in the Greco-Roman Era, and the most recent began with the Renaissance and Protestant Reformation.

In conclusion, we see that many of the contributions of ancient Babylonia are not pagan, sinful or "demonic," they are human and have benefited mankind.

Bibliography

Mesopotamia and the Bible: Comparative Explorations Edited by Mark W. Chavalas and K. Lawson Younger, Jr.

The Penguin Handbook of Ancient Religions Edited by John R. Hinnells

Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer

Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia by Stephen Bertman

Babylonians by H.W.F. Saggs

The Gateway of the Gods: The Rise and Fall of Babylon by Anton Gill

Babylon by Joan Oates

Babylon by J. L. Finkel and M.J. Seymour

Ancient Civilization: The Middle East: The Cradle of Civilization chief consultant Dr. Stephen Bourke

Near Eastern Mythology by John Gray

Reading from the Ancient Near East: Primary Sources for Old Testament Study edited by Bill T. Arnold and Braynt Beyer

The Babylonian Connection by Ralph Woodrow

Stephen Andrew Missick

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