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our God
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He who reigns and shall forever
 
our God is Peace
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our God
He who reigns and shall forever be
 
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can’t be harder than making
 
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The Black Prophets of Judaism, Christianity and Islam

All of the known Judeo-Christian & Islamic prophets and messengers were “black”.

I have come to this conclusion after reading the following sources extensively:

  • Hebrew/Israelite scripture and literature
  • Christian scripture and literature
  • Islamic scripture, narrations and literature
  • Genetic studies
  • Ancient historians
  • Modern historians
  • Archaeological reports
  • Historical portraits and self-portraiture

These sources are unambiguous and unanimous.

Long story short:  Abraham, Isaac, Ismail, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the Israelite prophets, Jesus, and Muhammad were all black.

Short story long, get ready for a long read…

Abraham / Ibrahim

Ibrahim was born in a house of idolaters in the ancient city of Ur, in the Mesopotamian plains of Babylonia (present-day Iraq). The language that was spoken at the time was Akkadian (wikipedia).  The empire united all the indigenous Akkadian-speaking Semites and the Sumerian speakers for the first time under one rule.

SUMERIAN ETHNIC TYPE

The earliest civilization of Mesopotamia was that of the Sumerians. They are designated in the Assyrio-Babylonian inscriptions as the black-heads or black-faced people, and they are shown on the monuments as beardless and with shaven heads. This easily distinguishes them from the Semitic Babylonians, who are shown with beards and long hair. From the myths and traditions of the Babylonians we learn that their culture came originally from the south. Sir Henry Rawlinson concluded from this and other evidence that the first civilized inhabitants of Sumer and Akkad were immigrants from the African Ethiopia. John D. Baldwin, the American Orientalist, on the other hand, claims that since ancient Arabia was also known as Ethiopia, they could have just as well come from that country.  (Jackson 1939)

(The Identity of the Sumerians As Seen In Ancient Art)

SEMITIC ETHNIC TYPE

Image of Israelites from the time of the Assyrian Empire

Semitic Genetic Marker:  The Cohen Haplotype-

Discovered in 1997 by Jewish scientists, this paternal genetic marker (it is found on the Y-chromosome) has a high frequency among the Jewish (Askenazi and Sephardic) priesthood (Cohanim) and is thought to be a signature of ancient Hebrew ancestry.  The haplotype (CMH) is indeed part of a haplogroup (Hg J) that originated in Black Arabia or Afrabia ca 30 kya (thousand years ago) and in high frequencies is believed to indicate “Semitism.”

Image of Israelites from the time of the Assyrian Empire

There was a further “discovery” that the “purest” surviving remnant of the Children of Israel identified by CMH tests is the tribe of Black Jews in India, the Bene Israel and the Black Jews of Cochin, who show a genetic affinity not only to Ethiopians and Yemenis, but also to the tribe of Black Jews in South Africa, the Lemba, whose relation to the ancient Hebrews has also been confirmed by the presence of high frequencies of the CMH. (Muhammad 2010)

Bene Israel (India)

Ethiopian Jews

Yemeni Jews

Lemba Jews (southern Africa)

Israelite Prophets (Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Daniel, etc.)

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The Fiery Ascent of the Prophet Elijah

In describing Abraham’s Semitic ancestry, we have described the appearance of the Semites and Israelites briefly.  There is further evidence that they were Black, even though I haven’t found specific personal descriptions for many of them.

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Prophet Malachi days.pravoslavie.ru

There is a very convincing, but also very long, presentation here to read, which analyzes Hebrew and Israelite scriptures to prove that the appearance of this branch of Semites was “black.”  I highly recommend reading it, but it’s too long to paste here:

Physical Appearance

physical appearance 2

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Prophet Daniel in the Lion’s Den illustrious-divinity.tumblr.com

Moses

There is a specific reference to Moses in an Islamic prophetic narration:

Moses was of brown complexion, straight hair and tall stature as if he was from the people of Az-Zutt.” (Bukhaari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 648)

Jesus

Most of these black gods were regarded as crucified saviors who died to save mankind by being nailed to a cross, or tied to a tree with arms outstretched as if on a cross, or slain violently in some other manner. Of these crucified saviors, the most prominent were Osiris and Horus of Egypt, Krishna of India, Mithra of Persia, Quetazlcoatl of Mexico, Adonis of Babylonia and Attis of Phrygia. Nearly all of these slain savior-gods have the following stories related about them: They are born of a virgin, on or near Dec. 25th (Christmas); their births are heralded by a star; they are born either in a cave or stable; they are slain, commonly by crucifixion; they descend into hell, and rise from the dead at the beginning of Spring (Easter), and finally ascend into heaven. The parallels between the legendary lives of these pagan messiahs and the life of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible are so similar that progressive Bible scholars now admit that stories of these heathen Christs have been woven into the life-story of Jesus. (These remarkable parallels are discussed and interpreted in a pamphlet, Christianity Before Christ, by John G. Jackson, New York, 1938.)

Jesus’ hair was short with tight curls

  • Bible: “…and the hair of his head like pure wool… (Daniel 7.9)”
  • Early Christian Historians: “At that time also there appeared a certain man of magic power … if it be meet to call him a man, [whose name is Jesus], whom [certain] Greeks call a son of [a] God, but his disciples [call] the true prophet who is supposed to have raised dead persons and to have cured all diseases. Both his nature and his form were human, for he was a man of simple appearance, mature age, black-skinned (melagchrous),… prognathous (lit. ‘with a long face [macroprosopos]), a long nose…with scanty & curly hair, but having a line in the middle of the head after the fashion of the Nazaraeans, with an undeveloped beard. (*Halōsis, ii.174).” (Flavius Josephus)”
  • Modern Bible Scholars: “While most religious artists have put long hair on Christ,most biblical scholars believe that it was probably short with tight curls…” [3]
  • Islamic Prophetic Narrations: “Jesus was a curly-haired man of moderate height.”

Jesus’ hair was also long, and parted at the middle

  • Early Christian Historians: “with scanty, curly* hair [1], but having a line in the middle of the head
  • Islamic Prophetic Narrations: “I saw in my dream a man of brown color the best one can see amongst brown color and his hair was long that it fell between his shoulders. His hair was lank and water was dribbling from his head and he was placing his hands on the shoulders of two men while circumambulating the Kaba. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘This is Jesus, son of Mary.’” (Prophet Muhammad)

“No, By Allah, the Prophet did not tell that Jesus was of red complexion but said, “While I was asleep circumambulating the Ka’ba (in my dream), suddenly I saw a man of brown complexion and lank hair walking between two men, and water was dropping from his head. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ The people said, ‘He is the son of Mary.’ Then I looked behind and I saw a red-complexioned, fat, curly-haired man, blind in the right eye which looked like a bulging out grape. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘He is Ad-Dajjal.’”

* Note the juxtaposition of the Messiah and False Messiah, both important to Islamic and Christian eschatology.

Which kind of hair did he have:  Tightly-Curled or Long?

Indeed both.

How can the same man have both short, tightly-curled or wooly hair, and also long, lank hair?

The answer is that these are describing different stages of (“dread”)locked hair, specifically those of an African.

Wool & Locked Hair

Wool compares favorably in appearance to (“dread”)locks:

Scanty, Short, and Curly Hair & Short Locked Hair

Only the hair of Sub-Saharan (“black”) Africans, and others like Andamanese Islanders and aboriginal Southeast Asians (“Negritos”, Orang Asli) is (tightly) curled or ‘woolly’ when it is short.  It also appears scanty or thin because of the parting of the hair into small knots (also known as ‘peppercorn’ hair texture):

These compare favorably with early depictions of Jesus Christ:

Long Hair that can be Scant & Tightly-Curled while Short

The locked hair of an African (or others with “Negroid”/“Africoid” features) is the only type of hair that can be both short and curly, and long hair.  Short locks are initially spread apart (‘scanty’) and tightly-curled, but after growing, their weight causes them to be long and limp (‘lanky’).

Jesus was a Dreadlocked African(-Diasporan)

Thus, the seeming contradiction is solved:  Jesus was a (“dread”)locked African(-diasporan).  His hair was sparse and tightly curled when short, and long and lank once it had grown into locks.  These are descriptions of different stages of his locked hair.

African(-diasporan) males compare favorably with phenotypical features common to Christian and Islamic sources, and also with those unique to each:

  • Common to both: Brown skinWoolly hairHair that is tightly curled when shortHair that can be parted in the middle when long
  • Christian only: Prognathous (having a projecting lower jaw or chin- common among many Sub-Saharan Africans)An undeveloped beard (Many Sub-Saharan Africans do not grow full beards)
  • Islamic only: Shoulder-length air that can drip lots of water
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Lastly, the peculiar Islamic description of copious water drops will be addressed in brief.  This can’t be a description of long hair of thin strands, because that hair lays flat when wet, and droplet dribble down the back of the person, but could only drop from his or her head if they shook it violently.

Wet Asiatic Hair

Locks on the other hand, absorb copious amounts of water, and can drip visible droplets for quite some time.5

Wet Locked Hair

Muhammad

Muhammad was a member of the tribe of Quraysh.  The progenitors of this tribe were Ibrahim/Abraham (see above) and Hajr’s (Hagar’s) son Ismail (Ishmael) and his wife from the Arab tribe Jurhum.

Below we will alternate between narrative of the amalgamation of these individuals and peoples and exposition of their ethnic types according to contemporary and modern historians and geneticists.  To illustrate, self-depictions of the relevant groups as well as illustrations consistent with the given descriptions will be included as well.

HAJR’S ETHNIC TYPE

Hajr was the daughter of Egyptian king and second wife of Abraham she was gifted to prophet Abraham from the king of Egypt. (wikipedia)

“It seems certain,” declares Sir E. A. Wallis Budge, “that classical historians and geographers called the whole region from India to Egypt, both countries inclusive, by the name of Ethiopia, and in consequence they regarded all the dark-skinned and black peoples who inhabited it as Ethiopians. Mention is made of Eastern and Western Ethiopians and it is probable that the Easterners were Asiatics and the Westerners Africans.” (History of Ethiopia, Vol. I., Preface, by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge.)

“Not a few writers,” says he, “like the traveler Volney in the 18th century, have expressed the belief that the ancient Egyptians were Negroes, or at any rate strongly Negroid. In recent times even a writer so discriminating as Ripley usually is has given his adhesion to this view.” (The writers referred to here, are Count Volney, the French Orientalist and Professor William Z. Ripley, of Harvard University, an eminent American Anthropologist.)

No people have bequeathed to us so many memorials of its form complexion and physiognomy as the Egyptians. … If we were left to form an opinion on the subject by the description of the Egyptians left by the Greek writers we should conclude that they were, if not Negroes, at least closely akin to the Negro race. That they were much darker in coloring than the neighboring Asiatics; that they had their frizzled either by nature or art; that their lips were thick and projecting, and their limbs slender, rests upon the authority of eye-witnesses who had traveled in the country and who could have had no motive to deceive. … The fullness of the lips seen in the Sphinx of the Pyramids and in the portraits of the kings is characteristic of the Negro. (The Ancient History of the East, pp. 25-26, London, 1881.)

In the Biblical genealogies, Cush (Ethiopia) and Mizraim (Egypt) are brothers, while from the former sprang Nimrod (Babylonia.)

Bust of an Egyptian princess (Akhenaten:  Prophet of Monotheism? )

Enter Arabia

He left with her and their son Ismaa’eel, and they journeyed and journeyed and journeyed on their riding animal through the desert, all the way south to Makka. You have to drive to Makka to appreciate this. It’s in the middle of a desert, not a sand desert, a volcanic field. There’s nothing there but cooled lava, i.e. a bunch of rocks. It is absolutely barren. Then, when they reached where Allaah had told them to reach, Ibraheem dismounted, left his wife and son- can you imagine how hard this would be?- remounted and started to ride away.

“Are you really going to leave me here?”

He says nothing.

“Are you really going to leave me here?”

No reply.

“Are you really going to leave me here?”

Silence. He doesn’t look back. His horse keeps walking.

“Did Allaah tell you to leave me here?”

“Yes.”

“Then we will be fine.”

Hajr, may Allaah have mercy on her, had nothing. She saw nothing. She heard nothing. There was nothing. Just a couple of rocky hills, in the middle of a lava field. But this woman had faith. She put her baby down and ran to the top of a hill to look around.

Nothing. Nothing but faith. She ran down that one, and up the other one. Nothing. Hungry (not that I-skipped-lunch-‘cause-I-was-busy feeling, REAL hunger). Thirst. And nothing. She ran back down and up again. Then back down and up again. Until she had run up those hills seven times.

Then she saw something. The angel Jibreel (a/k/a Gabriel), Allaah’s strong one. He dug with his heel in the ground, and water began to well out. In other narrations it was the writhing of the baby Ismaa’eel which opened this water source.

“Zam! Zam! (Stop! Stop!)” she commanded, fearing the spring of water would run itself onto the ground. She then dug a hole around it, so it would become a well. Had she left it, according to a narration attributed to Muhammad, it would be a river right now.

Hoopoe

Soon, the Hud-hud (hoopoe) a bird that flies around a source of water, started circling over their two heads. A tribe of Arabs- Jurhum- took note and followed. They were a noble people, so even thought they could have done away with Hajr and her son, they asked for permission to camp near the miraculous water source. Hajr, a young woman, mother of a suckling child, alone in a wasteland, was fearless. She gave them permission, but denied them any rights to ownership of the well.

Creation of Quraish, Muhammad’s Tribe

The tribe stayed and taught Ismail Arabic (Arabized him).  Soon he married one of them.  Thus began the tribe of Quraish, started by a Semitic-Sumerian prophet, an Egyptian princess, and the noblest of the Arabs.

Arab Ethnic Type

Medieval Arab genealogists divided Arabs into three groups, including the “Pure Arabs” of South Arabia, descending from Qahtan.  The Qahtanites (Qahtanis) are said to have migrated from the land of Yemen following the destruction of the Ma’rib Dam (sadd Ma’rib).

Jurhum (also Banu Jurhum) was a Qahtani tribe in the Arabian peninsula. An old Arab tribe, their historical abode was Yemen before they emigrated to Mecca (wikipedia).

Discussion of the Arab ethnic type as it concerns Prophet Muhammad, therefore, should focus on this branch of pure, originally southern Arabs.

Bertram Thomas, historian and former Prime Minister of Muscat and Oman, reported in his work ‘The Arabs’:

“The original inhabitants of Arabia…were not the familiar Arabs of our time but a very much darker people.  A proto-negroid belt of mankind stretched across the ancient world from Africa to Malaya.  This belt…(gave) rise to the Hamitic peoples of Africa, to the Dravidian peoples of India, and to an intermediate dark people inhabiting the Arabian peninsula.  (Muhammad 2011)

Modern dark-skinned descendants of ancient Arabians like the Qarra and Mahra of Oman told colonial observers they originated in Africa.

Al-Mubarrad (d. 898), the leading figure in the Basran grammatical tradition, claimed: “The Arabs used to take pride in their brown and black complexion (al-sumra wa al-sawād) and they had a distaste for a white and fair complexion (al-ḥumra wa al-shaqra), and they used to say that such was the complexion of the non-Arabs.”  (Ibn Abī al-Ḥadīd, Sharḥ nahj al-balāghah, V:56) (Muhammad 2013)

Ibn Mandhor (1232-1311 A.D.) says in his book Lisan El-Arab:

سبوطة الشعر هي الغالبة علـى شعور العجم من الروم والفرس. و جُعودة الشعر هي الغالبة علـى شعور العرب

“Non-kinky hair is the kind of hair that most non-Arabs like the Romans and Persians have while kinky hair is the kind of hair that most Arabs have.”

(l) Yemenite Bronze, Kingdom of Sheba, 715 CE?; (r) modern Arab youth

MUHAMMAD’S ETHNICITY

Now we know that the Quraish were a tribe founded by a Sumerian/Semitic/Egytian man and an Arab woman.  Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and Blessings be upon him, was a member of Banu Hashim, a sub-tribe of Quraish known for their strict endogamy (intramarriage within one’s group).  While this practice was prevalent amongst all the Quraysh- Al-Azmeh relates an instance of Qurayshi women marrying outsiders as being “unusual” (Azmeh 160)- the Banu Hashim were particularly known for it.

In his 2009 work “Black Arabia and The African Origin of Islam” Dr. Wesley Muhammad quotes Robert F. Spencer as saying: “It is said that the Quraish explained their short stature and dark skin by the fact that they always carefully adhered to endogamy.”  (Muhamad 2013)

Therefore, in the ethnic makeup of Prophet Muhammad, the Sumerian, Semitic, Kemetic and pure Arab strains would have been predominate, with outer admixture making up a negligible proportion.

Bonus:  The Buddha

According to some Islamic thinkers, the Buddha may be an acknowledged prophet:

The mid-twentieth century scholar, Hamid Abdul Qadir, in hisBuddha the Great: His Life and Philosophy (Arabic: Budha al-Akbar Hayatoh wa Falsaftoh), postulates that the Prophet Dhu’l-Kifl, meaning “the one from Kifl,” mentioned twice in the Quran (Al-Anbiya 85 and Sad 48) as patient and good, refers to Shakyamuni Buddha. Although most scholars identify Dhu’l-Kifl with the Prophet Ezekiel, Qadir explains that “Kifl” is the Arabicized form of Kapila, short for Kapilavastu. Although the truths that Buddha realized under the fig tree are not described as revelation, later great Buddhist masters have received revelations of sacred texts, such as Asanga in fourth century India directly from Maitreya in Tushita, the Heaven Filled with Joy.

In the list of prophets who are specifically mentioned in Islamic sources, there are certain names which do not seem to belong to the prophets of Israel. Many commentators therefore are inclined to believe that they are non-Arab prophets who are included in the list just for the sake of representation of the outer world. For instance, Dhul-Kifl is one name in the list of prophets which is unheard of in the Arab or Semitic references. Some scholars seem to have traced this name to Buddha, who was of Kapeel, which was the capital of a small state situated on the border of India and Nepal. Buddha not only belonged to Kapeel, but was many a time referred to as being ‘Of Kapeel’. This is exactly what is meant by the word ‘Dhul-Kifl’. It should be remembered that the consonant ‘p’ is not present in Arabic, and the nearest one to it is ‘fa’. Hence, Kapeel transliterated into Arabic becomes Kifl.”

Fig Tree is Bodhi Tree of Enlightenment

He also proposes that the Qur’anic mention of the fig tree (At-Tin 1-5) refers to Buddha as well, since he attained to enlightenment at the foot of one. Some scholars accept this theory and, as supportfor this position, point out that the eleventh-century Persian Muslim scholar of Indian history, al-Biruni, referred to Buddha as a Prophet. Others dismiss this last piece of evidence and explain that al-Biruni was merely describing that people in India regarded Buddha as a prophet.

Maitreya means Prophet

Manifestations of Buddha = Coming of Prophets?

Some scholars associate the prophesied future Buddha Maitreya, the Loving or Merciful One, with the Prophet Muhammad as the servant of the Merciful One.

Buddhists as People of the Book

Buddha’s attainment and his teachings of techniques for others to achieve the same are known in Sanskrit as “Dharma,” literally “preventive measures.” They are measures to take and methods to follow in order to avoid causing oneself and others suffering. Starting in the second century BCE, Buddha’s discourses on them that had been transmitted orally up until then were written down in the form of scriptural texts. In present-day Uzbekistan and northern Afghanistan, where the Arabs first encountered Buddhists, the versions of these texts most widely available were in Old Turk and Sogdian translation. In these languages, the word Dharma was translated as nom, a loan word from Greek, meaning “law.”

Buddhist Prostration

The Quran taught tolerance for the religions of “people of the Book,” which referred to Christianity and Judaism. When the Arabs encountered Buddhism, then although its followers were not strictly “people of the Book,” nevertheless they were granted the same status and rights as the Christians and Jews under their rule. They were allowed to follow their religion, provided the laypeople among them paid a poll-tax. Thus, the legal concept of “People of the Book” seems to have been widened to include those who followed a set of ethical principles of higher authority.

The Buddha, too, was “black”:

The statues of ancient Buddhas of the East depicted him as having woolly hair-always shown in corn rows or “peppercorn” texture of small tight curls. These statues also clearly show him to be Africoid, with the wide nose, thick lips and frizzy, nappy, hair which are distinctive Negro characteristics. In most ancient temples throughout Asia, he is shown as jet Black. In fact, in most of the ancient temples of Asia and India, statues of the gods and goddesses have Africoid features with woolly hair in the peppercorn style, while some even have dreadlocks. These pictures of Buddha portray him in no uncertain terms as a Negro with kinky, coiled hair, a flat nose and full lips

Buddha Vietnam

Buddha Thailand

Buddha China

Buddha India

Note the stretched ears of this modern Masaai man from Kenya and compare to the Buddha’s.

Buddha Thailand

There are absolutely no historical records that portray Buddha as pale-skinned or even ‘yellow’-skinned.

There were two types of Blacks from Africa who created the first civilization of mankind. One was the Nubian, who had broad features and Woolly, Nappy hair, while the other had the aquiline nose with straight hair,(Dravidian) but both were early ddescendants straight out of Black Africa.

Southern Indian Man

Modern Black people of Southern India.

Orissa women from northeast India. Note the similarity in jewellery worn compared to the African women below.

Woodabi woman from West Africa

Ndabele woman from South Africa

Pre-Buddhist South Asian society consisted of four basic groups.
1. Brahmins (priesthood)
2. Kshatriyas (the warrior class)
3. Vaishyas (the merchant class)
4. Sudras / Untouchables / outcastes, the hated ones

� These outcast in India consist of the agricultural labourers who are kept segregated in every village.
� They had to eat the carcasses of dead animals.
� They could only eat from broken plates.
� They had to tie a cup around their necks to catch their spit because it was considered to be contaminating.
� They had to tie a broom to their rear ends to hide their tracks, since crossing such tracks was forbidden and deemed to be polluting.
� They could only enter the other castes’ neighbourhood at night because their shadow was defiling.
� They had to clean corpses and wear the clothes of the dead.
� Their women were relegated to the function of common prostitutes.

Buddha Thailand
9th Century

Conclusion

The real question should be:  Why was there never a prophet/messenger who wasn’t“black”?

Sources

Original African Buddha

From “Ancient Black Buddha” by Horus:  Ancient Black Buddha – Religion – Nigeria

http://www.berzinarchives.com/we…

http://www.answering-christianit…

Al-Azmeh, Aziz.  The Emergence of Islam in Late Antiquity: Allah and his people.  Cambridge University Press.  2014.

Jackson, John G. “Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization” (1939); Retrieved 17.12.2014 fromhttp://2017blackart.wordpress.co…

King, Diane E. 2005 Kinship and State: Arab States. In Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, vol. II: Family, Law, and Politics. Suad Joseph, ed. Pp. 347-349. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers.

Mackenzie, Donald Alexander.  Indian Myth and Legend.  London:  Gresham Publishing Co., Ltd.  1913.  Retrieved from Indian Myth and Legend: Introduction

Muhammad, Wesley.  God’s Black Prophets: Deconstructing the Myth of the White Muhammad of Arabia and Jesus of Jerusalem.  A-Team Publishing.  2010.

ibid.  ““His Daddy was Black. His Momma was Black. So…” A Look at Prophet Muhammad’s Lineage”.  2013.  Retrieved fromhttps://www.academia.edu/5260656…

ibid.  “How Did Black Arabs Become White?”.  Black Arabia.  Retrieved fromhttp://www.blackarabia.blogspot….

ibid.  “Muhammad: The Black-skinned Prophet of Black Arabia”.  Black Arabia.  Retrieved fromhttp://blackarabia.blogspot.com/…

“Arabs”.  Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabs

“Abraham in Islam”.  Wikipedia. Abraham in Islam

“Banu Hashim”.  Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ba…

“Hagar in Islam”.  Wikipedia. Hagar in Islam

“Jurhum”.  Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ju…

“Patrilineality”.  Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pa…

Arabs & Arab Culture in Islamic History, Scripture & Prophecy

qãhırıï

Islam was revealed in Arabic in the Arabian Peninsula, but what does it actually say about Arabs?  What is their place in Islam and Islamic history?  And does this apply to today’s modern musta’rab (Arabized people) or only to the original Arabs?

Arabs & Islamic Culture in Islamic History

Enmity to Islam

  • The first opponents of Islam were Arabs. They tortured and killed Muslims, even spearing a woman- Sumayya- in her vagina.
  • The people Muslims had to flee from, several times, were Arabs.
  • The first army Muslims fought was an army of Arabs.
  • The first munafiqeen (hypocrites) were Arabs. They pretended to be Muslims ready to fight with Prophet Muhammad, sAá&s, then betrayed him.
  • The first murtadeen- renegade apostates- and false prophets were Arabs.

Enmity to Prophet Muhammad, sAá&s, and His Family

  • Arabs tried to assassinate Prophet Muhammad, sAá&s, a grave sin of the Children of Israel condemned in the Qur-an…

View original post 2,200 more words

Early Depiction of Jesus Shows Nappy Hair- Don’t Tell Megyn Fox!

Archaeologists in Spain say they have found one of the world’s earliest known images of Jesus. It is engraved on a glass plate dating back to the 4th Century AD, reports from Spain say.

The pieces were in an excellent state of preservation – 81% of its original area has now been pieced together by scientists.

El Mundo notes that Christ looks very different from later depictions: he has no beard, his hair is not too long and he is wearing a philosopher’s toga.

A reconstruction of images on the plate
A reconstruction of images on the plate

Images and text from BBC News

Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” is an Anti-Birth Control Anthem

“In one scene [of ex-girlfriend Esther Anderson’s film “Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend”], we learn the origin of the lyrics to “I Shot the Sheriff.” At the time, Ms. Anderson was on birth control pills, and Mr. Marley thought the pills were sacrilege. He wanted her to have his baby. He believed their love was strong and it was sin to kill his seed. The doctor who prescribed those baby-killing pills became the sheriff. And thanks to this movie, these lyrics, which Anderson helped write, are now put into a proper context:

‘Sheriff John Brown always hated me,
For what, I don’t know:
Every time I plant a seed,
He said kill it before it grow'”

From: http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/cultist/2012/04/untold_stories_bob_marleys_ex.php

Complete Song Lyrics: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/b/bob+marley/i+shot+the+sheriff_20021744.html

Your God is Black: 5 Gods Whitewashed in Recent History

Whether Hindu, Christian or Buddhist, Krishna, Mary or Lord Buddha, your god and savior, originally, was Black.  (Sorry, Megyn!)

1.  Krishna (Hinduism, Vedic Religions)

The Brahma Samhita is a Sanskrit Pancaratra text composed of verses of prayer spoken by Brahma glorifying the supreme Lord Krishna or Govinda at the beginning of creation.

The lyrics, chapter 5 verse 38 reads: “I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who plays on His transcendental flute. His eyes are like lotus flowers, He is decorated with peacock plumes, and His bodily color resembles the color of a fresh black cloud, although His bodily features are more beautiful than millions of Cupids.”

Chapter 6, verses 1-2 reads: “The Lord was dressed in yellow garments and had a blackish complexion.”

The Sanskrit word “Krishna” has the literal meaning “black,”  ”dark” or  ”dark-blue.” Krishna is also called “Śyāma,” the blackish one, or the beautiful dark boy with a blackish color.

Click HERE to read more about the Buddha, Imhotep, Mary (the Madonna), and Horus.

 

 

Martin Luther King Jr.: ”The Influence of the Mystery Religions on Christianity”

Borrowing was not only natural but inevitable…

SUMMARY

The victory of Christianity in the Roman empire is another example of that universal historical law, viz., that that culture which conquers is in turn conquered. This universal law is especially true of religion. It is inevitable when a new religion comes to exist side by side with a group of religions, from which it is continually detaching members, introducing them into its own midst with the practices of their original religions impressed upon their minds, that this new religion should tend to assimilate with the assimilation of their members, some of the elements of these existing religions. “The more crusading a religion is, the more it absorbs.” Certainly Christianity has been a crusading religion from the beginning. It is because of this crusading spirit and its superb power of adaptability that Christianity has been able to survive.

Transcriptions are intended to reproduce the source document accurately, adhering to the exact wording and punctuation of the original. In general, errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar have been neither corrected nor indicated by [sic].

 
  

“The Influence of the Mystery Religions on Christianity”

 

[29 November 1949-15 February 1950] [Chester, Pa.]

King wrote this paper for the course Development of Christian Ideas, taught by Davis. The essay examines how Christianity developed as a distinct religion with a set of central tenets and how it was influenced by those pagan religions it assimilated. King repeats material from an earlier paper, “A Study of Mithraism,” but he extends the discussion here to the influence of other mystery religions. Davis gave the essay an A, stating: “This is very good and I am glad to have your conclusion. It is not so much that Christianity was influenced by the Mystery Cults, or borrowed from them, but that in the long process of history this religion developed. It, Christianity, is the expression of the longing of people for light, truth, salvation, security.

“That is, with this study you have made, we see the philosophy both of Religion and History. Underneath all expression, whether words, creeds, cults, ceremonies is the spiritual order–the [ever] living search of men for higher life–a fuller life, more abundant, satisfying life.

“That is essential. Never stop with the external, which may seem like borrowing, but recognize there is the perennial struggle for truth, fuller life itself. So through experience, knowledge, as through other forms, the outer manifestations of religion change. The inner spiritual, continues ever.”

The Greco-Roman world in which the early church developed was one of diverse religions. The conditions of that era made it possible for these religions to sweep like a tidal wave over the ancient world. The people of that age were eager and zealous in their search for religious experience. The existence of this atmosphere was vitally important in the development and eventual triumph of Christianity.

These many religions, known as Mystery-Religions, were not alike in every respect: to draw this conclusion would lead to a gratuitous and erroneous supposition. They covered an enormous range, and manifested a great diversity in character and outlook, “from Orphism to Gnosticism, from the orgies of the Cabira to the fervours of the Hermetic contemplative.”[Footnote: Angus, The Mystery Religions and Christianity, p. vii.] However it is to be noticed that these Mysteries possessed many fundamental likenesses; (1) All held that the initiate shared in symbolic (sacramental) fashion the experiences of the god. (2) All had secret rites for the initiated. (3) All offered mystical cleansing from sin. (4) All promised a happy future life for the faithful.[Footnote: Enslin, Christian Beginnings, pp. 187, 188.]

It is not at all surprising in view of the wide and growing influence of these religions that when the disciples in Antioch and elsewhere preached a crucified and risen Jesus they should be regarded as the heralds of another mystery religion, and that Jesus himself should be taken for the divine Lord of the cult through whose death and resurrection salvation was to be had. That there were striking similarities between the developing church and these religions cannot be denied. Even Christian apologist had to admit that fact.

Christianity triumphed over these mystery religions after long conflict. This triumph may be attributed in part to the fact that Christianity took from its opponents their own weapons, and used them: the better elements of the mystery religions were transferred to the new religion. “As the religious history of the empire is studied more closely,” writes Cumont, “the triumph of the church will, in our opinion, appear more and more as the culmination of a long evolution of beliefs. We can understand the Christianity of the fifth century with its greatness and weakness, its spiritual exaltation and its puerile superstitions, if we know the moral antecedents of the world in which it developed.”[Footnote: Cumont, Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, p. xxiv.] The victory of Christianity in the Roman empire is another example of that universal historical law, viz., that that culture which conquers is in turn conquered. This universal law is expecially true of religion. It is inevitable when a new religion comes to exist side by side with a group of religions, from which it is continually detaching members, introducing them into its own midst with the practices of their original religions impressed upon their minds, that this new religion should tend to assimilate with the assimilation of their members, some of the elements of these existing religions. “The more crusading a religion is, the more it absorbs.” Certainly Christianity has been a crusading religion from the beginning. It is because of this crusading spirit and its superb power of adaptability that Christianity ahs {has} been able to survive.

It is at this point that we are able to see why knowledge of the Mystery religions is important for any serious study of the history of Christianity. It is well-nigh impossible to grasp Christianity through and through without knowledge of these cults. It must be remembered, as implied above, that Christianity was not a sudden and miraculous transformation, springing, forth full grown as Athene sprang from the head of Zeus, but it is a composite of slow and laborious growth. Therefore it is necessary to study the historical and social factors that contributed to the growth of Christianity. In speaking of the indispensability of knowledge of these cults as requisite for any serious study of Christianity, Dr. Angus says: “As an important background to early Christianity and as the chief medium of sacramentarianism to the West they cannot be neglected; for to fail to recognize the moral and spiritual values of Hellenistic-Oriental paganism is to misunderstand the early Christian centuries and to do injustice to the victory of Christianity. Moreover, much from the Mysteries has persisted in various modern phases of thought and practice.”[Footnote: Angus, The Mystery Religions and Christianity, p. viii.]

This is not to say that the early Christians sat down and copied these views verbatim. But after being in contact with these surrounding religions and hearing certain doctrines expressed, it was only natural for some of these views to become a part of their subconscious minds. When they sat down to write they were expressing consciously that which had dwelled in their subconscious minds. It is also significant to know that Roman tolerance had favoured this great syncretism of religious ideas. Borrowing was not only natural but inevitable.

The present study represents an attempt to provide a survey of the influence of the mystery religions on Christianity. In order to give a comprehensive picture of this subject, I will discuss Four {Five} of the most popular of these religions separately, rather than to view them en masse as a single great religious system. The latter method is apt to neglect the distinctive contribution of each cult to the religious life of the age and, at the same time, to attribute to a given cult phases of some other system. However, in the conclusion I will attempt to give those fundamental aspects, characteristic of all the cults, that greatly influenced Christianity.

 

The Influence Of The Cult Of Cybele and AttisThe first Oriental religion to invade the west was the cult of the Great Mother of the Gods. The divine personage in whom this cult centered was the Magna Mater Deum who was conceived as the source of all life as well as the personification of all the powers of nature.[Footnote: Willoughby, Pagan Regeneration, p. 114.] She was the “Great Mother” not only “of all the gods,” but of all men” as well. “The winds, the sea, the earth, and the snowy seat of Olympus are hers, and when from her mountains she ascends into the great heavens, the son of Cronus himself gives way before her, and in like manner do also the other immortal blest honor the dread goddess.”[Footnote:Quoted in Willoughby’s, Pagan Regeneration, p. 115.]At an early date there was associated with Cybele, the Great Mother, a hero-divinity called Attic who personified the life of the vegetable world particularly. Around these two divinities there grew up a “confused tangle of myths” in explanation of their cult rites. Various writers gave different Versions of the Cybele-Attis myth. However these specific differences need not concern us, for the most significant aspects are common in all the various versions. We are concerned at this point with showing how this religion influenced the thought of early Christians.

Attis was the Good Shepard, the son of Cybele, the Great Mother, who gave birth to him without union with mortal man, as in the story of the virgin Mary. According to the myth, Attis died, either slain by another or by his own hand. At the death of Attis, Cybele mourned vehemently until he arose to life again in the springtime. The central theme of the myth was the triumph of Attis over death, and the participant in the rites of the cult undoubtedly believed that his attachment to the victorious deity would insure a similar triumph in his life.

It is evident that in Rome there was a festival celebrating the death and resurrection of Attis. This celebration was held annually from March 22nd to 25th.[Footnote: Frazer, Adonis, Attis, Osiris, p. 166.] The influence of this religion on Christianity is shown by the fact that in Phrygia, Gaul, Italy, and other countries where Attis-worship was powerful, the Christians adapted the actual date, March 25th, as the anniversary of our Lord’s passion.[Footnote: Ibid, p. 199]

Again we may notice that at this same Attis festival on March 22nd, an effigy of the god was fastened to the trunk of a pine tree, Attis thus being “slain and hanged on a tree.” This effigy was later buried in a tomb. On March 24th, known as the Day of Blood, the High Priest, impersonating Attic, drew blood from him arm and offered it up in place of the blood of a human sacrifice, thus, as it were, sacrificing himself. It is this fact that immediately brings to mind the words in the Epistle to the Hebrews: “But Christ being come an High Priest . . . neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood . . . obtained eternal redemption for us.”[Footnote: Heb. 9:11, 12.] Now to get back to the festival. That night the priests went back to the tomb and found it empty, the god having risen on the third day from the dead; and on the 25th the resurrection was celebrated with great rejoicing. During this great celebration a sacramental meal of some kind was taken, and initiates were baptised with blood, whereby their sins were washed away and they were said to be “born again.”[Footnote: Weigall, The Paganism In Our Christianity, pp. 116, 117.]

There can hardly be any doubt of the fact that these ceremonies and beliefs strongly coloured the interpretation placed by the first Christians upon the life and death of the historic Jesus. Moreover, “the merging of the worship of Attis into that of Jesus was effected without interruption, for these pagan ceremonies were enacted in a sanctuary on the Vatican Hill, which was afterwards taken over by the Christians, and the mother church of St. Peter now stands upon the very spot.”[Footnote: Ibid, p. 117.]

 

The Influence of AdonisAnother popular religion which influenced the thought of early Christians was the worship of Adonis. As is commonly known Antioch was one of the earliest seats of Christianity. It was in this city that there was celebrated each year the death and resurrection of the god Adonis. This faith had always exerted its influence on Jewish thought, so much so that the prophet Ezekiel[Footnote: Ezekiel 8:14.] found it necessary to scold the women of Jerusalem for weeping for the dead Tammuz (Adonis) at the very gate of the temple. When we come to Christian thought the influence seems even greater, for even the place at Bethleham selected by the early Christians as the scene of the birth of Jesus was none other than an early shrine of this pagan god–a fact that led many to confuse Adonis with Jesus Christ.[Footnote: Weigall, op. cit., p. 110]It was believed that this god suffered a cruel death, after which he descended into hell, rose again, and then ascended into Heaven. Each following {year} there was a great festival in commemoration of his resurrection, and the very words, “The Lord is risen,” were probable used. The festival ended with the celebration of his ascention in the sight of his worshippers. Needless to say that this story of the death and resurrection of Adonis is quite similar to the Christian story of the death and resurrection of Christ. This coincidence had led many critics to suppose that the story of the burial and resurrection of Jesus is simply a myth borrowed from this pagan religion. Whether these critics are right in their interpretation or not still remains a moot question.

However when we come to the idea of Jesus’ decent into hell it seems that we have a direct borrow from the Adonis religion, and in fact from other religions also. Both the Apostles Creed and the Athanasian {Creed} say that between the Friday night and Sunday morning Jesus was in Hades. Now this idea has no scriptural foundation except in those difficult passages in the First Epistle of Peter[Footnote: I Peter 3:19-4:6.] which many scholars have designated as the most ambiguous passages of the New Testament. In fact the idea did not appear in the church as a tenet of Christianity until late in the Fourth Century.[Footnote: Weigall, op. cit., p. 113.] Such facts led almost inevitably to the view that this idea had a pagan origin, since it appears not only in the legend of Adonis, but also in those of Herakles, Dionyses, Orpheus, Osiris, Hermes, Balder, and other deities.[Footnote: Ibid, p. 114.]

The King greets Osiris, Horus and Isis.

 

The Influence of Osiris and IsisThe Egyptian mysteries of Isis and Osiris exerted considerable influence upon early Christianity. These two great Egyptian deities, whose worship passed into Europe, were revered not only in Rome but in many other centers where Christian communities were growing up. Osiris and Isis, so the legend runs, were at one and the same time, brother and sister, husband and wife; but Osiris was murdered, his coffined body being thrown into the Nile, and shortly afterwards the widowed and exiled Isis gave birth to a son, Horus. Meanwhile the coffin was washed up on the Syrian coast, and became miraculously lodged in the trunk of a tree. This tree afterwards chanced to be cut down and made into a pillar in the palace at Byblos, and there Isis at length found it. After recovering Osiris’ dismembered body, Isis restored him to life and installed him as King in the nether world; meanwhile Horus, having grown to manhood, reigned on earth, later becoming the third person of this great Egyptian trinity.[Footnote: Weigall, op. cit., p. 119.]In the records of both Herodotus and Plutarch we find that there was a festival held each year in Egypt celebrating the resurrection of Osiris. While Herodotus fails to give a date for this festival, Plutarch says that it lasted four days, giving the date as the seventeenth day of the Egyptian month Hathor, which, according to the Alexandrian claendar used by him, corresponded to November 13th.[Footnote: Frazer, op. cit., p. 257.] Other Egyptian records speak of another feast in honour of all the dead, when such lamps were lit, which was held about November 8th.[Footnote:Ibid, p. 258.]

It is interesting to note that the Christian feast of all Souls, in honor of the dead, likewise falls at the beginning of November; and in many countries lamps and candles are burned all night on that occassion. There seems little doubt that this custom was identical with the Egyptian festival. The festival of all Saints, which is held one day before that of all Souls is also probably identical with it in origin.[Footnote: Weigall, op. cit., p. 121.] This still stands as a festival in the Christian calendar; and thus Christians unconsciously perpetuate the worship of Osiris in modern times.

However this is not the only point at which the Religion of Osiris and Isis exerted influence on Christianity. There can hardly be any doubt that the myths of Isis had a direct bearing on the elevation of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, to the lofty position that she holds in Roman Catholic theology. As is commonly known Isis had two capacities which her worshippers warmly commended her for. Firstly, she was pictured as the lady of sorrows, weeping for the dead Osiris, and secondly she was commended as the divine mother, nursing her infant son, Horus. In the former capacity she was identified with the great mother-goddess, Demeter, whose mourning for Persephone was the main feature in the Eleusinian mysteries. In the latter capacity Isis was represented in tens of thousands of statuettes and paintings, holding the divine child in her arms. Now when Christianity triumphed we find that these same paintings and figures became those of the Madonna and child with little or no difference.[Footnote: Ibid, p. 123] In fact archaeologists are often left in confusion in attempting to distinguish the one from the other.

It is also interesting to note that in the second century a story began to spread stating that Mary had been miraculously carried to Heaven by Jesus and His angels.[Footnote: The spreading of this story has been attributed to Melito, Bishop of Sardis.] In the sixth century a festival came to be celebrated around this event known as the festival of Assumption, and it is now one of the greatest feasts of Roman Catholicism. It is celebrated annually on August 13th. But it was this very date that the festival of Dianna or Artemis was celebrated, with whom Isis was identified. Here we see how Mary gradually came to take the place of the goddess.[Footnote: Weigall, op. cit., p. 125.]

 

The Influence Of The Greater Mysteries At EleusisIn the first century of the Christian era the Eleusinian mystery cult was more favorable known than any of the cults of Greece. Its fame and popularity was largely due to the connexion of Eleusis with Athens. The origin of this cult is obscure and uncertain. Some writers traced its origin to Egypt while others upheld Eleusis in Greece as the place of its birth. 

In order to understand the type of religious experience represented by this important cult, we must turn to the myth of the rape of Demeter’s daughter by Pluto. It is stated with sufficient elaboration in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. In this myth, Persephone is depicted playing in the meadows of Mysia in Asia with the daughters of Oceanus and Tithys. While playing she was stolen by Pluto and carried off to the underworld to be his bride. The mother, frenzied with grief, rushed about the earth for nine days in search for her lost daughter, As a result of her wandering, she came to Eleusis where she was seen, although not recognized, by the four daughters of Kekeas sitting near a public well called the Fountain of Maidenhood. After telling a fictitious tale of her escape from pirates, she won the sympathy of the girls who took her home and at her own request was given a job to nurse their infant brother, Demophon. After making herself known, she commanded the people of Eleusis to build her a temple. In connection with the temple, she established certain ceremonies and rites for her worship.

During her short stay at the temple of Eleusis, the whole earth grew barren. Men began to die for the lack of food while the sacrifices to the gods decreased in number because the animals were dying out. The other gods pleaded with her to relent but she refused to do so until Persephone was restored to her. Pluto, (also called Hades) therefore, at the request of Zeus released her but not before he had caused her to eat a pomegranate seed which magically required her return after a period of time. Demeter, in her joy at the restoration of her lost daughter, allowed the crops to grow once more and institute in honor of the event the Eleusinian mysteries which gave to mortals the assurance of a happy future life.

The significance of this story is immediately clear. It was a nature myth portraying a vivid and realistic picture of the action of life in the vegetable world in regards to the changing seasons. Every year nature passes through a cycle of apparent death and resurrection. In winter, all plants die, this represents the period of Demeter’s grief over her daughter. Spring, the time when all plants come back to life, indicates the return of plenty when the goddess maintains all life until autumn when her daughter returns to Hades and the earth becomes once more desolated.[Footnote: Willoughby, op. cit., p. 42.]

The myth is also an example of poignant human experience, reflecting the joys, sorrows, and hopes of mankind in the face of death. The mysteries of human life and death are vividly enacted by Demeter, Persephone, and Hades. Hades, the god of death, stole the beloved daughter, Persephone, from Demeter, the life giver, who refused to admit defeat until she secured her daughter’s resurrection. In this legend, human beings, who are always loved and lost, are depicted as never or seldom loosing hope for reunion with their God. These fundamental human experiences and the life of nature are the main substances of the Eleusinian Mysteries. To the searchers of salvation, the Eleusinian cult offered not only the promise of a happy future, but also a definite assurance of it.[Footnote: Nilsson, Greek Popular Religion, p. 54.]

Now when we observe the modern Greek Easter festival it seems certain that it preserves the spirit if not the form of the old Eleusinian worship. In the spring, those who had shared Demeter’s grief for the loss of her daugher welcomed the return of Persephone with all the joy that the returning life of vegetation might kindle. And today similar experiences are represented by Greek Christians. After mourning over the dead Christ, represented most conspicuously by a wax image carried through the streets, there comes an announcement by the priest, on the midnight before Easter Sunday, that Christ is risen. At this moment the light from the candle of the priest is passed on to light the candles of his companions; guns and firecrackers are discharged as they prepare to break the Lenten fast.[Footnote: Fairbanks, Greek Religion, p. 288.] As in the Eleusinian mysteries the modern Greek Christian finds this a moment of supreme joy. So we might say that Eleusinianism was not blotted out by Christianity. On the contrary many of its forms and some of its old content has been perpetuated in Christianity.

 

 

The Influence of MithraismMithraism is perhaps the greatest example of paganism’s last effort to reconcile itself to the great spiritual movement which was gaining such sturdy influence with its purer conception of God.[Footnote: Dill, Roman Society From Nero to Marcus Aurelius, p. 585.] Ernest Renan, the French philosopher and Orientalist, expressed the opinion that Mithraism would have been the religion of the modern world if anything had occured to halt or destroy the growth of Christianity in the early centuries of its existence. All this goes to show how important Mithraism was in ancient times. It was suppressed by the Christians sometime in the latter part of the fourth century A.D.; but its collapse seems to have been due to the fact that by that time many of its doctrines and practices had been adopted by the church, so that it was practically absorbed by its rival. 

Originally Mithra was one of the lesser gods of the ancient Persian pantheon, but at the time of Christ he had come to be co-equal with Ahura Mazda, the Supreme Being. He possessed many attributes, the most important being his office of defender of truth and all good things. In the Avesta,[Footnote: This is the sacred book of the religion of Iran.] Mithra is represented as the genius of celestial light. He emerges from the rocky summits of eastern mountains at dawn, and goes through heaven with a team of four white horses; when the night falls he still illumines the surface of the earth, “ever walking, ever watchful.” He is not sun or moon or any star, but a spirit of light, ever wakeful, watching with a hundred eyes. He hears all and sees all: none can deceive him.[Footnote: Cumont, Mysteries of Mithra, pp. 2, 3.] Tarsus, the home of Saint Paul, was one of the great centres of his worship; and there is a decided tinge of Mithraism in the Epistles and Gospels. Such designations of our Lord as the Dayspring from on High, The Light, the Sun of Righteousness, and similar expressions seem to come directly from Mithraic influence.[Footnote: Weigall, op. cit., p. 129.]

Again tradition has it that Mithra was born from a rock, “the god out of the rock.” It must also be noticed that his worship was always conducted in a cave. Now it seems that the general belief of the early church that Jesus was born in a cave grows directly out of Mithraic ideas. The words of St. Paul, “They drank of that spiritual rock . . . and that rock was Christ” also seem to be {a} direct borrow from the Mithraic scriptures.

The Hebrew Sabbath having been abolished by Christians, the Church made a sacred day of Sunday, partly because it was the day of resurrection. But when we observe a little further we find that as a solar festival, Sunday was the sacred day of Mithra; it is also interesting to notice that since Mithra was addressed as Lord, Sunday must have been “the Lord’s Day” long before Christian use.[Footnote: Ibid., p. 137.] It is also to be noticed that our Christmas, December 25th, was the birthday of Mithra, and was only taken over in the Fourth Century as the date, actually unknown, of the birth of Jesus.

To make the picture a little more clear, we may list a few of the similarities between these two religions: (1) Both regard Sunday as a holy day. (2) December 25 came to be considered as the anniversary of the birth of Mithra and Christ also. (3) Baptism and a communion meal were important parts of the ritual of both groups. (4) The rebirth of converts was a fundamental idea in the two cults. (5) The struggle with evil and the eventual triumph of good were essential ideas in both religions. (6) In summary we may say that the belief in immortality, a mediator between god and man, the observance of certain sacramental rites, the rebirth of converts, and (in most cases) the support of high ethical ideas were common to Mithraism as well as Christianity. In fact, the comparison became so evident that many believed the Christian movement itself became a mystery cult. “Jesus was the divine Lord. He too had found the road to heaven by his suffering and resurrection. He too had God for his father. He had left behind the secret whereby men could achieve the goal with him.”[Footnote: Enslin, op. cit., p. 190.]

Although the above paragraph makes it obvious that there are many similarities between these two religions, we must guard against the fallacy of seeing all similarity as direct borrowing. For an instance, the sacraments of baptism and the eucharist have been mentioned as rites, which were preactice {practiced} by both Christians and pagans. It is improbable, however, that either of these were introduced into Christian practices by association with the mystery cults. The baptismal ceremony in both cases (Christian and Pagan) was supposed to have the effect of identifying the initiate with his savior. But although baptism did not originate with the Christians, still it was not copied from the pagans. It seems instead to have been carried over from Jewish background and modified by the new ideas and beliefs of the Christians. The eucharist, likewise through similar in some respects to the communion meal of Mithraism, was not a rite borrowed from it. There are several explanations regarding the beginning of the observance of the Lord’s Supper. Some held that the sacrament was instituted by Jesus himself. Others saw it as an out-growth from Jewish precedents. Still others felt that, after the death of Jesus, the disciples saw in their common meal an opportunity to hold a kind of memorial service for him.

On the whole, early Christians were not greatly concerned about the likenesses between the Mithraic cult and their own. They felt at first that these competitors were not worthy of consideration, and few references to them are found in Christian literature. When Mithraism became widespread and powerful, it attracted so much attention that certain Christian apologists felt the need to present an explanation for the similarities in their respective characteristics. The only one they could offer was quite naive, but it was in keeping with the trends of thought in that age. They maintained that it was the work of the devil who helped to confuse men by creating a pagan imitation of the true religion.

 

ConclusionThere can hardly be any gainsaying of the fact that Christianity was greatly influenced by the Mystery religions, both from a ritual and a doctrinal angle. This does not mean that there was a deliberate copying on the part of Christianity. On the contrary it was generally a natural and unconscious process rather than a deliberate plan of action. Christianity was subject to the same influences from the environment as were the other cults, and it sometimes produced the same reaction. The people were conditioned by the contact with the older religions and the background and general trend of the time. Dr. Shirley Jackson Case has written some words that are quite apt at this point. He says: “Following the lead of the apostle Paul, the Christian missionaries on gentile soil finally made of Christianity a more appealing religion than any of the other mystery cults. This was accomplished, not by any slavish process of imitation, but by {a} serious attempt to meet better the specific religious needs that the mysteries had awakened and nourished, and by phrasing religious assurances more convincingly in similar terminology.”[Footnote: Case, “The Mystery Religions,” The Encyclopedia of Religion, Edited by Vergilius Ferm, pp. 511-513]The greatest influence of the mystery religions on Christianity lies in a different direction from that of doctrine and ritual. It lies in the fact that the mystery religions paved the way for the presentation of Christianity to the world of that time. They prepared the people mentally and emotionally to understand the type of religion which Christianity represented. They were themselves, in verying degrees, imperfect examples of the Galilean cult which was to replace them. They encouraged the movement away from the state religions and the philosophical systems and toward the desire for personal salvation and promise of immortality. Christianity was truly indebted to the mystery religions for this contribution, for they had done this part of the groundwork and thus opened the way for Christian missionary work. Many views, while passing out of paganism into Christianity were given a more profound and spiritual meaning by Christians, yet we must be indebted to the source. To discuss Christianity without mentioning other religions would be like discussing the greatness of the Atlantic Ocean without the slightest mention of the many tributaries that keep it flowing.

Christianity, however, [strikeout illegible] survived because it appeared to be the result of a trend in the social order or in the historical cycle of the human race. Forces have been known to delay trends but very few have stopped them. The staggering question that now arises is, what will be the next stage of man’s religious progress? Is Christianity the crowning achievement in the development of religious thought or will there be another religion more advanced?

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Angus, S., The Mystery Religions and Christianity, (Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York: 1925),
2. Cumont, Franz, The Mysteries of Mithra, (The Open Court Publishing Co., Chicago: 1910).
3. Cumont, Franz, The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, (The Open House Publishing Co., Chicago: 1911).
4. Dill, Samuel, Roman Society From Nero To Marcus Aurelius, (Macmillan and Co., New York: 1905), pp. 585-626.
5. Enslin Morton S., Christian Beginnings, (Harper and Brothers Publishers, New York: 1938), pp. 186-200.
6. Frazer, J. E., Adonis, Attis, Osiris, (London, 1922), Vol. I.
7. Fairbanks, Arthur, Greek Religion, (American Book Co, New York: 1910).
8. Halliday, W. R., The Pagan Background of Early Christianity, (The University Press of Liverpool, London: N.D.), pp. 281-311.
9. Hyde, Walter, W, Paganism To Christianity in the Roman Empire, (University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia: 1946).
10. Moore, George F., History of Religions, (Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York: 1913), Vol. I, pp. 375-405.
11. Nilsson, Martin P., Greek Popular Religion, (Columbia University Press, New York: 1940), pp. 42-64.
12. Weigall Arthur, The Paganism in Our Christianity, (Hutchinson and Co. London: N.D.).
13. Willoughby, Harold R., Pagan Regeneration, (University of Chicago Press, Chicago: 1929).

THDS. MLKP-MBU: Box 112, folder 17.

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King Tut’s Mummified Erect Penis May Point to Ancient Religious Struggle

The mummified erect penis and other burial anomalies  were not accidents during embalming, Ikram suggests, but rather deliberate attempts to make the king appear as Osiris, the god of the underworld, in as literal a way as possible. The erect penis evokes Osiris’ regenerative powers; the black liquid made Tutankhamun’s skin color resemble that of Osiris; and the lost heart recalled the story of the god being cut to pieces by his brother Seth and his heart buried.

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© Jean-Pierre Dalbéra /Wikimedia Commons A head statue of Tutankhamun made of wood covered with plaster and then painted. The statue was found by Howard Carter in the pharaoh's tomb.
© Jean-Pierre Dalbéra /Wikimedia Commons
A head statue of Tutankhamun made of wood covered with plaster and then painted. The statue was found by Howard Carter in the pharaoh’s tomb.

SCIENTISTS AND SPECIAL-EFFECTS artists in Britain and New Zealand used digital techniques applied in crime investigations to fashion a fiberglass model they say provides the closest possible likeness of the pharaoh’s looks.

The cast of Tutankhamen’s head, which went on display for four weeks at London’s Science Museum on Monday, bears little resemblance to his golden death mask.

Unlike the famous face of the slight, heavy-lipped youth framed in a pharaoh’s headdress, the model shows a wide-faced young man with high cheekbones, smaller eyes and a heavy brow.

“I think people will be surprised it’s quite a different looking face. But it’s quite realistic given the technology used,” said a Science Museum spokeswoman.

A high-tech facial reconstruction has shed new light on the looks of King Tutankhamen, the teenage king of ancient Egypt immortalized for nearly a century by his golden death mask.
A high-tech facial reconstruction has shed new light on the looks of King Tutankhamen, the teenage king of ancient Egypt immortalized for nearly a century by his golden death mask.

X-RAY IMAGES USED

The reconstruction team was forced to use X-rays taken in 1968 for its impression of the 18-year-old’s looks because the mummified head of Tutankhamen was too dried and sunken to give lifelike dimensions, she said.

Robin Richards, a facial rebuilding expert from University College London, scanned the features of people of the same age, sex, build and ethnic group as Tutankhamen to create an approximation of skin type, which was wrapped onto the 3-D digital skull.

New Zealand special effects artists fleshed out the skull with eye color and skin pigment, and sculptors then created the finished product out of clay, casting it finally in fiberglass.

The tomb of King Tutankhamen, a boy king who ruled Egypt in the 14th century B.C. and died mysteriously at a young age, was discovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922.