Archive for Tammuz

John the Baptist, myth of

Posted in Astronomy, Atheist, Bible, Christianity, culture, history, life, random, religion with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2009 by chouck017894

June 24–or Midsummer day–is alleged in Christianity to be the birthday of John the Baptist.  The date was a contrived arrangement instigated by Pope Gregory I (540?-604), who is called “the Great” because his pontificate was marked by fervor in propagating Christianity.  The conversion of Britain was begun under his direction and carried out by Augustine in 597, for example.  Gregory was passionately opposed to Paganism, introduced numerous changes in the liturgy of the mass, and is credited with revision of church music, better known as Gregorian chant.

The reason for Gregory’s passion for contriving a birth date for the unproven predecessor of Jesus was due to the Pagan’s midsummer festival which always coincided with the summer solstice and which was in honor of the Chaldean, Syrian, and Phoenician messiah Tammuz.  In his zeal for gathering Pagans into the Christian fold, Gregory had sent emissaries all across Europe, and the midsummer festival in honor of Tammuz was found to be lovingly favored nearly everywhere.  So entrenched was this yearly festival with its curious rites which engaged the minds of men that Gregory could not allow the season to pass without instigating some counter incentive for Christian purpose.  He was faced with the problem of what could the Christian faith business offer as enticement.

Gregory was divinely shrewd, counseling his subordinates (such as Augustine) that if Pagans were to be lured into the church the wisest policy was to make an effort to meet the Pagans half-way.  The answer to the dilemma was to incorporate the festival activity into the calendar of Christian holy events.  Of course it was impossible to retain an honor to Tammuz or Bel, but nothing in the myths of Jesus Christ could be linked as occurring specifically around the summer solstice period.  O what to do?

Then divine inspiration struck.  Since the birth of the Savior was honored at the time of the winter solstice, and John the Baptist was said to be  born before Jesus’ birth, was it not reasonable that the summer solstice was the birth time of his forerunner?  Hallelujah!

The Vatican think-tank had to contrive a link with Pagan thought though.  The link was discerned hiding in Pagan Mysteries:  there, after  Tammuz had been slain, he reappeared to the faithful under the name Oannes, and the name used in sacred language adopted by the Roman Church for John was Joannes!  Double Hallelujah!

Thus the Pagan festival of June 24 was made to cohabit with Christian ideas under the label festival of Joannes–Nativity of St. John–which, not so subtly, begins exactly as the Chaldean festivities.

The Pagans were not really fooled by all this jockeying.  They remembered that the name John was also  part of the church promotion of Christmas, with the feast of  “Saint John” the disciple (a personification of light) celebrated on the 27th of December immediately after the winter solstice.   Because retaliation from the church could be harsh, even deadly, the heathens and Pagans mockingly spoke of the year being divided “from John to John.”