Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Exploring the Exodus

By Stephen Andrew Missick


How important is the Exodus? The Bible often traces the origins of Israel and God's choosing of them to be his people- to Egypt and not to Abraham.

1 Samuel 2:27

A man of God came to Eli and said to him, "Thus the Lord has said, 'I revealed myself to the family of your ancestor in Egypt when they were slaves of the house of Pharaoh.'

Ezekiel 20:5-6

Thus says the Lord God: On the day when I chose Israel, I swore to the offspring of the house of Jacob—making myself known to them in the land of Egypt—I swore to them, saying, I am the Lord your God.
On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands.

We also see Hosea 11:1, "When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt, I called my son." (This passage is applied to the Christ-child in Matthew 2.) Hosea, like most of the prophets, dates the real beginning of Israel from the time of Moses and the Exodus.

There are many other passages like these.

The Israelites major feast days are centered around the Exodus-or were given during the period of the Exodus.

Passover/ Feast of Unleavened Bread: "Independence Day" a sacred (as opposed to civil) New Years. A celebration and remembrance of the Exodus

Pentecost/Shavuot: A celebration of the giving of the Law

Succot/Tabernacles: A remembrance of the Israelites living in booths.

"The Nomadic Ideal"

As Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Moses lived a nomadic life, many followers of the Lord viewed the desert life will nostalgia and felt that this time period represented a time when the people were closer to God.

In Hosea 2:16, God says of Israel, "So I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart…She shall respond there as in the days of her youth, when she came up from the land of Egypt. On that day, says the Lord, she shall call me, "My husband."'

Here, Israel's journey in the desert represents for Hosea the time of Israel's fidelity, before it was corrupted by Canaan. See also Jeremiah 2:2-27 and Amos 5:25.

There are 7 major candidates for Mount Sinai.


  1. Jebel Catherine: The "traditional" Mount Sinai
  2. Jebel Serbal: Apparently viewed as Mount Sinai before Jebel Catherine was-contains ancient graffiti identifying it as a sacred place
  3. Jebel Sin Bashir: a "three days journey" from Egypt
  4. Jebel Helal: located near Kadesh Barnea
  5. El-Khrob: in southern Midian
  6. Jebel El-Lawz in Saudi Arabia
  7. Hashem el-Tarif, AKA Gebel Khashem Tarif. This is advocated by Simcha Jacobovici in "Exodus De-coded."




How far could the Israelites go in a short period of time?

Let us examine how far trail-riders go in their journeys to Houston. A trail ride from Anderson, Texas to Houston, Texas crossed 80 miles in 10 days. One trial ride was going a greater distance. Starting at Reynosa, Mexico and traveling to Houston. They started on February 9 and arrived February 29 and traveled a total of 386 miles to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 2011

Tuthmosis III, went with great haste to crush a Canaanite uprising in Megiddo. He was able to go about 15 miles a day according to the records that he left.

NOTE: There are iteneraries in the Bible that give us a time frame that we have to work with Exodus 12, 13, 14, 15 and Numbers 33)

Who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus?

The Hyksos Theory

1600-1500-The Egyptians expulsed Semites from Egypt when they drove their Hyksos Canaanite overlords from Egypt. In ancient times it was thought that this was the Exodus referred to in the Bible. However, it seems to early and doesn't conform with the Biblical timeline.

The Amenhotep II Theory

(This theory is based on a literal reading of a time-span given in the Bible)

Thutmose I is believed to be the Pharaoh during whose reign Moses was born. Some argue that Queen Hatshepsut is the daughter of Pharaoh who saved baby Moses from the Nile. After Thutmose I died, there the male heir was not of age and Queen Hatshepsut seized the throne.

Thutmose III (1479-1425) Queen Hatshepsut ruled until this young king came of age. When he did she continued to rule and they had a co-regency. (After she died Thutmose III had her name on monuments and her images defaced.) Certain Bible students believe this Pharaoh is the "Pharaoh of the Oppression" from whom Moses fled to Midian after murdering the Egyptian taskmaster.

Amenhotep II (1427-1401) According to this theory Thuthmose III was the Pharaoh of the oppression. Hatshepsut was the daughter of Thutmose I and probably the "daughter of Pharaoh" who reared Moses. After Hatshepset died Moses was expelled by Tuthmose II probably around 1485 B.C. Tuthmoses III's son, Amenhotep II ruled from 1453-1419 and was the Pharaoh of the Exodus (1450-1424 BC?). (Davis suggests that the "Dream Stela" of Thutmose IV, the son and successor of Amenhotep II, provides support for the argument of Amenhotep being the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Thutmoses IV was not the first born son. To legitimize his claim to the throne, Thutmose claimed that as he slept by the Sphinx it spoke to him in a dream as the god Har-em-akht. The Sphinx promised him if he unburied him then he would come to rule over Egypt.

The Ramesses Theory

The description of Egypt in Exodus seems to fit the historical context of the period around the rule of Ramesses the Great. This is the majority opinion. The Bible says that the Hebrew's built Pi-Ramesses. So here we do have a known Pharaoh and a known city mentioned in the Bible. The Movie "Ten Commandments" with Cecil B. DeMille and "Prince of Egypt" with Val Kilmer have Ramesses as the Pharaoh of the Exodus and Seti as the Pharaoh of the Oppression. Ben Kingsley's "Moses" and Burt Lancaster's "Moses the Lawgiver" have Ramesses as the Pharaoh of the oppression and Merenptah as the Pharaoh of the Exodus.

Yahweh Verses the Gods of Egypt


We discussed the historical evidence for the Hebrews living in Egypt. I mentioned that there is an abundance of evidence that Semitic people settled in Egypt. We know that certain Semites rose to high positions the way that Joseph did. So, we have evidence for the Hebrews living in Egypt staring at us-but we don't see it because we have false ideas about the Hebrews in Egypt. They were not worshiping to God of Abraham in Egypt. They were worshiping idols and Egyptian gods.


According to the Bible, while the Hebrews were slaves in Egypt, they worshiped the gods of Egypt (Joshua 24:14, Ezekiel 20:7-8). They had no knowledge of the name of God (Exodus 3:13-14, 6:2-3). God first revealed himself to the Israelites in Egypt through Moses (Exodus 4:30-31). In many places in the Bible it is stated that God (Yahweh or "Jehovah") first revealed himself to Israel when they were slaves in Egypt (1 Samuel 2:27, Ezekiel 20:5, Hosea 11:1, 12:9, 13:4). Archeologists have discovered a significant amount of evidence that proves that there was a large minority of Semitic people who lived in ancient Egypt. I believe the Hebrews were among this population of Semites in Egypt. Since there were so many Semites in Egypt, not only did these Semites worship the gods of Egypt (as the Bible says the Hebrews did) the Egyptians worshiped the gods of the Semites. Egyptians worshiped the Semitic gods Baal, Hauron and Reshep and the goddesses Anat, Astarte, Baalat and Qadesh. (Seth was often identified with the Semitic god Baal.) I believe that knowing about cultures and beliefs of biblical times deepens our understanding of the Scriptures.


The Bible says that Yahweh's mission in the plagues was to "execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt" (Exodus 12:11-13, Numbers 33:4). Also, in order to properly understand the religion of the Israelites during their sojourn in Egypt, it is necessary to understand ancient Egyptian religion since Joshua 24:14 makes it clear that the Israelites worshiped Egyptian gods while they were slaves in Egypt. (Also, Moses asked God what his name was so that he could tell the Israelites what god had sent him (Exodus 3:13). The Israelites had lost knowledge of God.) In retellings of the Exodus, such as Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments, ancient Egyptian religion isn't properly explained or represented. The only thing that the viewer would learn from this movie about ancient Egyptian religion is that they worshiped idols. Even in some scholarly works by Evangelical Christians, ancient Egyptian religion is superficially treated.

The Bible says that Yahweh's mission in the plagues was to "execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt" (Exodus 12:11-13, Numbers 33:4). To fully understand the Exodus account and what this means it is necessary to be familiar with ancient Egyptian religion. The Lord specifically said in Exodus 12:12, "…against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment. I am Yahweh." How did God execute judgment against the gods of Egypt? John J. Davis in his book "Moses and the Gods of Egypt" argued that God judged Egypt's false gods by directing a plague against each of the main gods of Ancient Egypt. However, he seems to have a rather superficial knowledge of Egyptian religion.

Every plague had its meaning. God had a purpose in each of the plagues.

IMPORTANT NOTE: THERE WAS NO ONE EGYPTIAN RELIGION. There were different religions in ancient Egypt. Egyptian religion was never unified into one coherent system.

First Plague: The Nile Turns into Blood (Exodus12:12

Hapi was the god of the annual inundation (flooding) of the Nile. Khnum , a creator god, was a god of the source of the Nile. Anukis was a goddess of the Nile.

The ancient described Egypt as the "Gift of the Nile." In a sense, Egypt is the Nile and the Nile was personified and worshiped as a god.

The Egyptians prayed for the gods to bless the Nile. (Their survival literally depended upon it.) The Coptic mass includes a blessing for the Nile.

The Second Plague: Frogs

Heket, the goddess of magic, was a frog headed goddess. A group of eight gods who were held to be creator deities were called the Ogdoad. There were four serpent headed gods and four frog headed goddesses.

The Ogdoad of Hermopolis: Gods: Nun, Heh, Kek, Amun Goddesses: Nunet, Hauket, Kauket, Amunet. Their identity: Water, Infinity, Darkness, and Hiddeness or wind.

These eight deities formed the original mound of dry land, from which a lotus flower, or in another version an egg arose, that gave birth to Ra. The Ogdoad of Hermopolis were held by some Egyptians to be creator deities. So, the frog had a powerful religious symbolism to the Egyptians.

The Third Plague: Flies +

The Fourth Plague: Lice, gnats or mosquitos (Exodus 8:8, 8:20)

The Egyptians didn't worship flies or other pestilent insects. (They did have a beetle god called Kheferi. And a scorpion goddess named Serqet.) They did however pray to Harpokrates-Horus the Child and Isis his mother, to heal them from insect bites.
Obviously, these gods were helpless to deliver than from the biting insects.


The Fifth Plague: Cattle Disease (Exodus 9:1-6)

Egyptians worshiped cattle goddesses and sacred cows. These gods and goddesses were probably what was behind Aaron building the golden calf.

HATHOR: the goddess of love appeared with the head or horns of a cow.

THE APIS BULL: was worshiped as an incarnation of Ptah, a creator god.

THE MNEVIS BULL: was an incarnation of Ra.

And so with this plague, important symbols of Egyptian deities died.

The Sixth Plague: Boils

Egyptians worshiped two gods of pestilence. These were Sekhmet, a lion headed goddess and Resheph (a Semitic god, whose name in Hebrew means plague). They would intercede with these gods for them to end plagues. The Egyptian gods had no power to end the plagues.

The Seventh Plague: Hail (Exodus 9:13)

Nut was the goddess of the sky. Seth was the god of storms.

The Eighth Plague: Locusts (Exodus 10:1-6)

The locusts consumed the fruit of the ground. Osiris was the god of fertility and vegetation. Through the plague of locusts, Osiris, one of the most important Egyptian gods was rendered powerless.

The Ninth Plague: Darkness (Exodus 10:21)

Ra was the great god of Egypt. Egyptians were sun worshipers. Probably the most important gods of ancient Egypt was Amen-Ra.

Yahweh shows his superiority over Ra by blotting out his light.

The Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn Son

Khnum was the ram god. He was the creator of mankind and the god of the Nile. The lamb was his sacred animal. Killing this animal and painting the door with its blood was a show of defiance and rejection of Egyptian religion, and was from the Egyptian perspective, sacrilege.

The death of Pharaoh's son was a strike at the very foundation of Egyptian royal religion. The first born son of the king was believed to be the reincarnation of Horus, the son of Osiris.

(Hoffmeier has protested saying that we shouldn't imagine Egyptians to be like the Hindus with sacred animals. (but Hindus themselves aren't like hindus-we have false assumptions and stereotypes about the Hindu religion). The Egyptians would sacrifice cows and would sacrifice and mummify animals such as cats to the cat goddess Bast and mummify crocodiles for Sobek the crocodile god and baboons for Thoth the baboon god.

And we need to realize that there were beliefs that the Egyptians had which were similar to concepts found in the Bible:

Ptah: spoke the world into existence

Khnum: formed man from the dust of the earth

Amen: a transcendent god

Atum: eternally existant and uncreated.

Aten: monotheistic god (Amen too)





James K. Hoffmeir Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition


James K. Hoffmeier Ancient Israel in Sinai: Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition




























Stephen Andrew Missick


Reverend Stephen Andrew Missick is the author of The Assyrian Church in the Mongol Empire, Mar Thoma: The Apostolic Foundation of the Assyrian Church in India, and Socotra: The Mysterious Island of the Church of the East which were published in the Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies (Volume XIII, No. 2, 1999, Volume XIV, No. 2, 2000 and Volume XVI No. 1, 2002). He is the author of The Words of Jesus in the Original Aramaic: Discovering the Semitic Roots of Christianity, Mary of Magdala: Magdalene, the Forgotten Aramaic Prophetess of Christianity, Treasures of the Language of Jesus: The Aramaic Source of Christ's Teaching, Aramaic: The Language of Jesus of Nazareth and Christ the Man. He is an ordained minister of the gospel. He graduated from Sam Houston State University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rev. Missick has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and has lived among the Coptic Christians in Egypt and Aramaic Christians in Syria. He also served as a soldier in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and 2004. While serving as a soldier in Iraq he learned Aramaic from native Aramaic-speaking Iraqi Assyrian Christians. Rev. Missick is the writer and illustrator of the comic book "The Assyrians: The Oldest Christian People," the comic strip Chronicles: Facts from the Bible and the comic book series The Hammer of God which are available from The Hammer of God comic book series dramatizes the stories of Judah Maccabee and Charles Martel. He has also served as a chaplain in the Army National Guard in Iraq during his second deployment in 2009 and 2010. He participated in an archeological excavation of Bethsaida in Galilee in 2011 and went on a missionary trip to Uganda in 2012 and India in 2013.

PO Box 882, Shepherd, Texas, 77371




King of Saints Tabernacle: Messianic Congregation

2228 FM 1725

Cleveland, TX 77328


The Paschal Lamb

By Stephen Andrew Missick


Jesus in his life fulfilled the Law.

As a child, Jesus relived the Exodus. As a child, Jesus had a sojourn in the land of Egypt and made an exodus from Egypt back to the Promised Land (Matthew 2).

At the Mount of Transfiguration-Jesus' transfiguration most likely occurred as the Jewish feast of Sukkot-or Tabernacles-was nearing, Luke's Gospel says that the Apostles heard Jesus, Moses and Elijah discussing Christ's "Exodus"-which would soon take place. The New American Bible translates Luke 9:30-31 as follows, "And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem."

So, Jesus was literally fulfilling the Exodus in his life.

In John's Gospel-John cries out, "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world." (John 1:29).

We tend to think of the Atonement as the fulfilling of the Yom Kippur –or Day of Atonement, but a lamb wasn't offered on the Day of Atonement. That sacrifice was a bull and a goat. Jesus' atonement fulfilled the Passover. According to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Christ's work in heaven now is fulfilling the role of the High Priest and the Day of Atonement. Of course, the entire sacrificial system was a prophetic type of the sacrifice of Christ and was fulfilled by Jesus in his death and resurrection.

The Passover lamb-could be a lamb or a goat kid. At the time of Jesus the lamb had to be slaughtered in the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem. The Samaritans still carry out the sacrifices. Muslims perform animal sacrifices on a huge scale-actually in a similar manner to the way Passover was originally observed. Each Muslim household sacrifices a goat (mostly), sheep or even a cow in their annual "feast of the sacrifice."

Early "Jewish Restoration" movements

In the New Testament, the Greek word used for the bread of the Passover observed by Jesus is artos, which literally means "Leavened Bread." For this reason, the Coptic Christians use leavened bread during mass, as do the Assyrians of the Church of the East. In fact, they have a tradition, that the very bread they use contains leaven from the Last Supper. However, before the Passover the Jews purge leaven from their house. Jesus used leaven as a type for sin (Matthew 16:5). In addition to that Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5: 6-8, "Don't you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." So here, Paul appeals for Christians to keep the Passover-and connects Christ with the symbolism of the Unleavened Bread-of the Passover. The Roman Catholic Church does not use Leavened Bread for Communion-as does the Eastern Churches. This is probably due to an early "Jewish Roots Restorationism" movement.

Also, Joachim Jeremias, a scholar who grew up in the Holy Land and focused on the Jewish roots and on Hebrew/Aramaic found that Aptos was often used in Greek for bread in a general sense and did not necessary always mean just unleavened bread.

The Quatrodeciman Controversy

The word Quatrodeciman is the word for "14." This refers to the 14th of Nisan, the date when the Passover falls. Quatrodecimans were early eastern Christians who observed Passover and celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus on the 14th of Nisan. Polycarp was the disciple of John the Apostle. Ireneaus was the disciple of Polycarp. People looked at this as being an unbroken link with the apostles. Polycarp and his followers claimed that John the Apostle had taught them to observe the Passover on the 14th of Nisan.

Of the disputes about the date when Christian Pasch should be celebrated, disputes known as Paschal/Easter controversies, the Quartodeciman is the first recorded.

In the mid–second century, the practice in the Roman province of Asia was for the pre-Paschal fast to end and the feast to be held on the 14th day (the full moon) of the Jewish lunar month of Nisan, the date on which the Passover sacrifice had been offered when the Second Temple stood, and "the day when the people put away the leaven". Those who observed this practice were called Quartodecimani, Latin for "fourteenthers", because of holding their celebration on the fourteenth day of Nisan.

The practice had been followed by Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna (c. 69 – c. 155), one of the seven churches of Asia, and a disciple of John the Apostle, and by Melito of Sardis (d. c. 180). Irenaeus says that Polycarp visited Rome when Anicetus was its bishop (c. 153–68), and among the topics discussed was this divergence of custom. Irenaeus noted:

Neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp not to observe what he had always observed with John the disciple of our Lord, and the other apostles with whom he had associated; neither could Polycarp persuade Anicetus to observe it, as he said that he ought to follow the customs of the presbyters that had preceded him.

It is not known how long the Nisan 14 practice lasted. The church historian Socrates knew of Quartodecimans who were deprived of their churches by John Chrysostom, and harassed in unspecified ways by Nestorius,both bishops of Constantinople. This indicates that the Nisan 14 practice, or a practice that was called by the same name, lingered into the 4th century.



The Didache (Composed circa 70 AD-120 AD)

First, concerning the cup:

We thank thee, our Father, for the holy vine of David Thy servant, which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever..

And concerning the broken bread:

We thank Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom; for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever..

Melito of Sardis

Melito of Sardis (died c. 180) was the bishop of Sardis near Smyrna in western Anatolia, and a great authority in Early Christianity: Jerome, speaking of the Old Testament canon established by Melito, quotes Tertullian to the effect that he was esteemed a prophet by many of the faithful.

Melito was a Quartodeciman (Fourteenther), observing Easter on the Jewish Passover date of 14 Nisan, as did Polycrates of Ephesus et al., writing On the Passover and other works, which were destroyed after Easter observance was fixed on Sunday and they were declared heretics.

He visited the famous theological library of Caesarea Martima, which had the "Hebrew Matthew, "The Hexapla," and many other important ancient Christian books in its collection of 30,000 volumes. The library of Caesarea was destroyed by the Muslims.

Melito's Canon is similar to that used by the Jews. Melito says, "Accordingly when I went East and came to the place where these things were preached and done, I learned accurately the books of the Old Testament, and send them to thee as written below. Their names are as follows: Of Moses, five books: Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy; Jesus Nave (meaning "Joshua/Jesus the Son of Nun"), Judges, Ruth; of Kings, four books; of Chronicles, two; the Psalms of David, the Proverbs of Solomon, Wisdom also, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Job; of Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah; of the twelve prophets, one book ; Daniel, Ezekiel, Esdras (Ezra). From which also I have made the extracts, dividing them into six books."

Melito's "On the Passover"

Peri Pascha (English title On the Pascha) is a 2nd century homily of Melito of Sardis written between A.D.160 and 170 in Asia Minor. "Peri Pascha" has been described as a "Christian Passover Haggadah." The homily was initially pronounced during "Easter" festival night celebrated, according to the custom of Quartodecimans, together with Jewish Passover on the 14th of Nissan.

The text is inspired by the Jewish Haggadah of Pesach, especially in the following, " It is he-Jesus that has delivered us from slavery to liberty, from darkness to light, from death to life, from tyranny to eternal loyalty" ("On the Pascha, 68).

In "On the Pascha," Melito rebukes Jews for rejecting their Messiah-however, it seems that Melito was a Jewish Christian himself-thus, scholars have pointed out this modern misreading of the text, that of Melito being an anti-Semite, and do not consider that Melito encouraged any form of anti-semitism, especially since he advocated Quartodeciman beliefs. As Hanneken stated, "In conclusion, we find Melito to be closer to the Prophets and the Sages than modern anti-Judaism. [There are many passages in the Bible, in which Israel is rebuked, that if the reader didn't know that the passages were from the Old Testament, would assume were anti-Semitic statements.] Melito identifies himself within the same tradition as those he criticizes, and he calls them to repentance with compassion." He preaches the victory over death achieved by Jesus having been himself led as a lamb. He clothed death with shame because he arose from the dead, and raised up mortals from the grave below (n. 67-68, cf. 100). In the context of Jesus' death and resurrection Melito preaches forgiveness. Christ speaks of himself as of the one who is forgivness itself:

I, he says, am the Christ. I am the one who destroyed death, and triumphed over the enemy, and trampled Hades under foot, and bound the strong one, and carried off man to the heights of heaven, I, he says, am the Christ. Therefore, come, all families of men, you who have been befouled with sins, and receive forgiveness for your sins. I am your forgiveness, I am the passover of your salvation, I am the lamb which was sacrificed for you, I am your ransom, I am your light, I am your saviour, I am your resurrection, I am your king, I am leading you up to the heights of heaven, I will show you the eternal Father, I will raise you up by my right hand. (Peri Pascha 102-103).




Additional Resources


Joachim Jeremias "The Eucharistic Words of Jesus"


Was Easter borrowed from a Pagan Holiday? By Anthony McRoy


Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper by Brant Pitre


Was Jesus' Last Supper a Seder? By Jonathan Klawans






Stephen Andrew Missick


Reverend Stephen Andrew Missick is the author of The Assyrian Church in the Mongol Empire, Mar Thoma: The Apostolic Foundation of the Assyrian Church in India, and Socotra: The Mysterious Island of the Church of the East which were published in the Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies (Volume XIII, No. 2, 1999, Volume XIV, No. 2, 2000 and Volume XVI No. 1, 2002). He is the author of The Words of Jesus in the Original Aramaic: Discovering the Semitic Roots of Christianity, Mary of Magdala: Magdalene, the Forgotten Aramaic Prophetess of Christianity, Treasures of the Language of Jesus: The Aramaic Source of Christ's Teaching, Aramaic: The Language of Jesus of Nazareth and Christ the Man. He is an ordained minister of the gospel. He graduated from Sam Houston State University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rev. Missick has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and has lived among the Coptic Christians in Egypt and Aramaic Christians in Syria. He also served as a soldier in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and 2004. While serving as a soldier in Iraq he learned Aramaic from native Aramaic-speaking Iraqi Assyrian Christians. Rev. Missick is the writer and illustrator of the comic book "The Assyrians: The Oldest Christian People," the comic strip Chronicles: Facts from the Bible and the comic book series The Hammer of God which are available from The Hammer of God comic book series dramatizes the stories of Judah Maccabee and Charles Martel. He has also served as a chaplain in the Army National Guard in Iraq during his second deployment in 2009 and 2010. He participated in an archeological excavation of Bethsaida in Galilee in 2011 and went on a missionary trip to Uganda in 2012 and to India in 2013.

PO Box 882, Shepherd, Texas, 77371




King of Saints Tabernacle: Messianic Congregation

2228 FM 1725

Cleveland, TX 77328


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.)


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.



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

PO Box 882, Shepherd, Texas, 77371




King of Saints Tabernacle: Messianic Congregation

2228 FM 1725

Cleveland, TX 77328


Friday, April 19, 2013

“The last 10 years have been the worst for Iraqi Christians because they bore witness to the biggest exodus and migration in the history of Iraq,” William Warda, the head of the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization told the news agency.

Many Christians live in the provinces of Baghdad, Nineveh, and Kirkuk, and Dohuk and Erbil, which are both in the autonomous region of Kurdistan. Warda said some 1.4 million Christians lived in Iraq prior to Hussein's ouster. Under the democratically-elected government that now oversees the war-torn, but oil-rich nation, Islamic extremists have been able to operate more freely.

“More than two-thirds [of Christians] have emigrated,” Warda noted.

One byproduct of regime change in the Middle East, whether at the hand of the U.S. military and its allies or demonstrators in the streets, has been a decline in tolerance for other religions, say experts. Only one Catholic church remains in Afghanistan, and it must be heavily protected. In Egypt and Libya, where demonstrators overthrew dictators in recent years, Christians have come under heavy persecution, say concerned advocates.

“What is clear is that the mass exodus of Christians in the Middle East - including Iraq - has been caused by radical Islam - whether by Islamic governments, terrorist organizations, or extreme Islamists," said Tiffany Barrans, international legal director of the American Center for Law and Justice. "We examined the issue in Iraq in a 2011 report from our European affiliate. At that time, we determined that Al Qaeda had been strategically targeting Iraqi Christians - even issuing a warning to all Christians to leave the country.

One of the most dramatic cases of Christian persecution came in late October of 2010, when Al Qaeda members laid siege to Our Lady of Deliverance Church in Baghdad, killing 58 and wounding 78 in a bloodbath Pope Benedict XVI denounced as “ferocious.” Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also condemned the attack, calling it an attempt to drive more Christians out of the country.
“This tragic event sent a powerful message to Christians in Iraq - they are in grave danger and should leave the country," Barrans said. “Iraq’s hostility toward Christianity is well documented. Tragically Iraq has become a place where Christians and religious minorities are not welcome.