Saturday, March 24, 2018

The History Channel Flubs Easter

I came across something today that burns me up. I am livid! And I'm only going to share it here today because it needs to be pointed out for the garbage it is.

I do not personally care for alien conspiracy theories, so I don't watch the History Channel very often. Apparently they have one-minute video shorts online. Somebody brought one to my attention called "Easter in 60." Well, I watched it, and I haven't been so shocked and aghast in quite a long time. People look at me funny when I tell them that the History Channel is wrong or that certain things in certain encyclopedias are wrong. Well, don't give me that look, I'm telling you how it is.

Anyone who reads this blog will already know every one of the claims of this video. I will relate them to you here:
Nimrod married his mother Semiramis, as enemy killed him and chopped him up, all parts were found except his genitals, Nimrod became Baal, Semiramis became Ishtar, she descended from the moon in a giant egg called "Ishtar's Egg," their son Tammuz was killed by a wild boar, Ishtar ordered no meat to be eaten for 40 days called Lent, and rabbits were celebrated as Temmuz loved rabbits.
The irresponsibility of this! The infantile claims! The utter lack of responsible research! The complete disregard for accuracy! How insulting that this would be associated with the word "history!"


I was unable to find a single thing in that video that was correct. Not one thing! Let's subject this to the patented AsBereansDid fact-checker, shall we?

  • Nimrod married his mother Semiramis - FALSE! 
There no record whatsoever for Nimrod in any historical record known to man, besides the Bible. That doesn't make the Bible wrong, it just makes Nimrod difficult to locate. Nimrod has the feel of being a title rather than a proper name. For example, it could be a joining of the ancient Semitic word 'Nin' which means King, and the city Marad, which was an important city in Kish. Nin Marad, King of Marad, would be a title, not a name. There is no hard evidence for this. I am just giving an example of what a title might look like. Or, Nimrod might be a birth name forgotten to history of an otherwise famous person who went by a different name. for example, no one knows the birth name of Hammurabi. Or, the name might be the Hebrew equivalent of a foreign name. For example, Pharaoh Shihanq is changed to Shishak, and Nabû-kudurri-uṣur is changed to Nebuchadnezzar. Or, the name might be purposefully wrong. The Hebrews would slightly alter names on purpose to change the meaning of a name. For example, Antiochus Epiphanes (God's Beloved) was called Epimenes (The Mad) as a slight. The Hebrew scribes would also leave the consonants alone but change vowels in names to the vowels in negative words to express animosity for the name. This should come as no surprise to anyone, but the real identity of this person is sadly unknown. If we can't even find the real name then there is no way on earth we know so much exacting detail about him. Neither Nimrod's mother nor his wife were ever mentioned in the Bible. Yet we can be confident that it was not Semiramis. How? Because there are some possible candidates for a Semiramis in history, except they lived after the time of David and Solomon. This makes them all more than 1,000 years too late. Hard to be born by a woman who lived over 1,000 years after you died.

  • An enemy killed him and chopped him up - INCONCLUSIVE.
Again, there is simply no clear record of Nimrod outside of the Bible. The Bible doesn't say how he died. History might say how he died, but we don't know who in history he is. Therefore we cannot know. Herman Hoeh, historian to the Worldwide Church of God, a man about whom Herbert W Armstrong once wrote, "It is my personal opinion that he is today the most accurately informed historian in the world" (Plain Truth magazine, Aug. 1956, p.4), even disagrees with this. Herman Hoeh said Nimrod was killed in Italy by Shem. Yes, that Shem, Noah's son. Now, don't take our mention of Hoeh as some endorsement of his work. We think most of what 'the most accurately informed man in the world' wrote was just as useless as the video we now review. I just bring it up to point out that the official teaching of the Worldwide Church of God contradicts itself.

  • All parts were found except his genitals - FALSE!
Since we can't know how he died, we can't know if he was chopped up. But this one point here, the losing of his genitals, is a dead giveaway for something else entirely. Nimrod was entirely Babylonian, but this story isn't! The author of this video is so historically uneducated that they confused the legitimate myth of the Egyptian God Osiris with Nimrod of Mesopotamia. They are trying to take Egyptian images and apply them to Babylon. The reason Osiris was chopped up is because Osiris pictured the Nile river, which split up at its Delta. Nothing in the Bible or history shows Nimrod had anything to do with Egypt. Granted, this is something the Worldwide Church of God did all the time. They got it from the Seventh Day Adventists who got it from Alexander Hislop. Yes, there's the man. Alexander Hislop - the most notorious purveyor of rubbish we know. We have plenty of articles on Hislop, dear reader, and we recommend you to them. I will forego my usual rant about the lack of source material in these claims, since it's a video and all. But if it were a written work, and if it was one of the few with sources cited, I guarantee you the source material would trace straight back to this man Alexander Hislop.

  • Nimrod became Baal the sun god - FALSE!
Baal wasn't the sun god in Babylon, Shamash was. Baal is a generic name, that means something roughly the same as "lord." Baal wasn't even specifically a Babylonian god. Baal was a Canaanite god. Canaan was not in Mesopotamia. Canaan was roughly the same area as Israel, but Nimrod's territory was far to the east and a bit north. And there were many Baals.

  • Semiramis became Ishtar - FALSE!
Ishtar (also called Inana) predates Semiramis by thousands of years! Inana is one of the oldest goddesses there are. It is quite possible Inana predates the time of Nimrod. But Semiramis came much, much later. There is no way possible that Semiramis became Ishtar.

  • She descended from the moon in a giant egg called "Ishtar's Egg" - FALSE!
Oh my! Where do I begin with this one? Ishtar was associated with the planet Venus, not the moon. In some myths she is the daughter of the moon goddess, but she is not the moon goddess. She did not descend to the earth in an egg. Neither eggs nor rabbits were part of her symbolism. Ishtar was a goddess of sexual attraction, but not of fertility. Ishtar had no direct affiliation with fertility or reproduction. It would make little sense that eggs would be associated with her. Ishtar’s main symbols were an eight-pointed star (probably representing the planet Venus), a pair of lions, a rosette or flower pattern, doves, and snakes.

  • Their son Tammuz was killed by a wild boar - FALSE!
In the Babylonian myth of Tammuz/Damuzid, he was dragged to the underworld by demons from the netherworld to take the place of Ishtar so she could go free, not killed by a boar. This was the focus of an annual festival. There is no ambiguity here. The author confuses the Babylonian Tammuz with the Greek Adonis. It was Adonis who was killed by a boar, not Tammuz. But Adonis is from Greece, not Mesopotamia, and came far too late to have anything to do with anything. The earliest reference to Adonis is in the 600s BC. Tammuz was not the son of Ishtar at all. Only very rarely was Ishtar given a son. In some later myths, Ishtar was Tammuz's sister. Most of the time, Ishtar married Tammuz. Nor either was he a hunter as the video claimed. Tammuz was a shepherd and a gardener. Tammuz is associated with the crop cycle, and thus he had the usual myths about an annual descent into the netherworld and eventual release again.

  • Ishtar ordered no meat to be eaten for 40 days called Lent - FALSE!
Not only is this false because it is completely made up whole cloth, but Lent is a Latin word. The Babylonians wouldn't know what a Lent is. Let's be clear here, this claim is 100% made up for the purposes of smearing Lent. However, Lent comes from the Jewish tradition of the Fast of the Firstborn, and it took three centuries to become a 40-day thing. At first there were a variety of lengths of the fast. One part of the Quartodeciman Controversy was a debate about how to keep the fast. Point being, the beginning and ending of Lent was not set for quite a number of years. It did eventually become 40 days. However, to claim that it originated from a pagan 40-day fast is sheer and utter nonsense. As for the no meat thing, that's a ridiculous claim. And another thing, the Lenten fast was not just about having no meat. This is obvious since there can be no eggs eaten either - and hence the colored eggs which they just got done smearing two points ago. This video seems to be unable to keep its own false accusations straight.

  • Rabbits were celebrated as Tammuz loved rabbits - FALSE!
Rabbits were not a symbol associated with Tammuz. This claim is infuriatingly false. It has all the sophistication of a drive-by shooting. You can practically hear the author trying to figure out what to say about rabbits. No, the Easter Bunny is a German/French invention not a Babylonian one. The first known mention comes from Georg Franck von Frankenau in his writing “De Ovis Paschalibus” [“On Easter Eggs”] in 1682, some 4,000 years after the video's claim!! He said:
“In Alsace and the neighboring regions those eggs are called hare-eggs because of the myth that is told to make the simple-minded and children believe that the Easter Hare was laying and hiding them in the grass of the gardens, so the children search them even more eagerly, for the delectation of the smiling adults.”
Alsace is in France, but at the time was controlled by the Germans. Don't you think it's odd that the Easter Bunny supposedly comes from ancient Mesopotamia but the first known mention is 4,000 years later in northern Europe? And I just want to point out that if the Easter Bunny comes from Tammuz, then it can't come from Ishtar or Eostre/Ostara. Just sayin.

And that will about do it.


Strangely, I don't feel much better having gotten this all off my chest. I think the reason is because I know beyond any doubt that these lies will outlive me and for all the research and the writing we at ABD have done, I will never have made a dent in the zeal of the people who will stop at nothing to bash Easter. All the while telling us how very much they love truth and history.

Shame SHAME on the History Channel for allowing this garbage to be put out on their outlets. I notice several people jumping on them about it already. They deserve all of the negativity they will get over this. Stick to what you do best - stories on Bigfoot.

Even so, I pray that the truth is clear to you, dear reader, even if the lies are legion. And I pray now that you are armed with the truth you can go out and spread it confidently and effectively.

I would like to leave you with a link to help you find other material on this subject. Because we have so much material, I have started using the Easter FAQ article as my place holder for links. Please do read it, share it, and come back again to us soon.

It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom. ; )
Acts 17:11


xHWA said...

I just want to put this info here because I feel too many odd stories about Nimrod are floating around out there, and also I might want it later for an article.

From the online Jewish Encyclopedia article on "Nimrod" (accessed 3/25/18):

Two prominent theories are now held in regard to Nimrod's identity: one, adopted by G. Smith and Jeremias, is that Nimrod is to be identified with the Babylonian hero Izdubar or Gishdubar (Gilgamesh); the second, that of Sayce,Pinches, and others, identifies Nimrod with Marduk, the Babylonian Mercury. The former identification is based on the fact that Izdubar is represented in the Babylonian epos as a mighty hunter, always accompanied by four dogs, and as the founder of the first great kingdom in Asia. Moreover, instead of "Izdubar"—the correct reading of which had not yet been determined—Jeremias saw the possibility of reading "Namra Udu" (shining light), a reading which would have made the identification with Nimrod almost certain. Those who identify Nimrod with Marduk, however, object that the name of Izdubar must be read, as is now generally conceded, "Gilgamesh," and that the signs which constitute the name of Marduk, who also is represented as a hunter, are read phonetically "Amar Ud"; and ideographically they may be read "Namr Ud"—in Hebrew "Nimrod." The difficulty of reconciling the Biblical Nimrod, the son of Cush, with Marduk, the son of Ea, may be overcome by interpreting the Biblical words as meaning that Nimrod was a descendant of Cush.

Two other theories may be mentioned: one is that Nimrod represents the constellation of Orion; the other is that Nimrod stands for a tribe, not an individual (comp. Lagarde, "Armenische Studien," in "Abhandlungen der Göttinger Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften," xxii. 77; Nöldeke, in "Z. D. M. G." xxviii. 279).

Note how there is nothing in here that is specific. There is no specific single Nimrod discovered. There are no specific details about Nimrod's life, or death, or family. Nimrod could be Gilgamesh. Nimrod could be a literary tool representing a group of people.

And just because I know that someone out there will build a straw man argument against my comment here, asking why I post an article from an encyclopedia if I don't trust encyclopedias, I will say that I am not against encyclopedias. I just fact check them is all. I have read and read and read about Nimrod for I don't even remember how many years now and what I see in this article does not in any way contradict what I read in other scholarly articles. Therefore I tend to trust this article.

xHWA said...

And now I also want to put this here just to emphasize how the legitimate historical information about Ishtar bears absolutely no resemblance to the made up conspiracy info about Ishtar that you can find in abundance online, and now apparently also on the History Channel.

The article "Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses" from the website "Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus" or ORACC:

This website gives it to us precisely as they find it.