ONE OF THE MOST outstanding examples of
how Babylonian sun worship
has continued to our day may be seen in the way Mary worship
replaced the ancient worship of the mother goddess.
The story of
the mother and child was widely known in ancient Babylon and
developed into an established worship. Numerous monuments of
Babylon show the goddess mother Semiramis with her child Tammuz in
When the people
of Babylon were scattered to the various parts of the earth, they
carried the worship of the divine mother and her child with
them. This explains why many nations worshiped a mother and
child--in one form or another--centuries before the true savior,
Jesus Christ, was born into this world. In the various countries
where this worship spread, the mother and child were called by
different names, for, we will recall, language was confused at
The Chinese had a mother goddess called Shingmoo
or the "Holy Mother." She is pictured with child in arms and
rays of glory around her head.
Germans worshiped the virgin Hertha with child in arms. The
Scandinavians called her Disa who was
also pictured with a child. The Etruscans
called her Nutria, and among the Druids the Virgo-Patitura was
worshiped as the "Mother of God." In India, she was known as
Indrani, who was also represented with child in arms, as shown in
the pictures to the left.
The mother goddess was known as
Aphodite or Ceres to the Greeks; Nana, to the Sumerians; and as
Venus or Fortuna to her devotees in the olden days of Rome, and
her child as Jupiter.
In Asia, the
mother was known as Cybele and the child as Deoius. "But
regardless of her name or place," says one writer, "she was the
wife of Baal, the virgin queen of heaven, who bore fruit although
she never conceived."
accompanying picture below shows the mother and child as Devaki
and Crishna. For ages, Isi, the "Great Goddess" and her
child Iswara, have been worshiped in India where temples were
erected for their worship.
children of Israel fell into apostasy, they too were defiled with
this mother goddess worship. As we read in Judges 2:13:
"They forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth."
Ashtaroth or Ashtoreth was the name by which the goddess was known
to the children of Israel. It is pitiful to think that those
who had known the true God would depart from him and worship the
heathen mother. Yet this is exactly what they did repeatedly
(Judges 10:6; 1 Sam. 7:3,4; 12:10; I Kings 11:5; 2 Kings
23-13). One of the titles by which the goddess was known
among them was "the queen of heaven" (Jer. 44:17-19). The
prophet Jeremiah rebuked them for worshiping her, but they
rebelled against his warning.
the great mother was known as Diana. The temple dedicated to
her in that city was one of the seven wonders of the ancient
world! Not only at Ephesus, but through out all Asia and the
world was the goddess worshiped (Acts 19:27).
In Egypt, the
mother was known as Isis and her child as Horus. It is very
common for the religious monuments of Egypt to show the infant
Horus seated on the lap of his mother.
worship, having spread from Babylon to the various nations, in
different names and forms, finally became established at Rome and
throughout the Roman Empire. Says a noted writer concerning
this period: "The worship of the Great Mother...was very popular
under the Roman Empire. Inscriptions prove that the two (the
mother and the child) received divine honors...not only in Italy
and especially at Rome, but also in the provinces, particularly in
Africa, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, and Bulgaria."
It was during
this period when the worship of the divine mother was very
prominent that the savior, Jesus Christ, founded the New Testament
church. What a glorious church it was in those early
days! By the third and fourth centuries, however, what was
known as the "church" had in many ways departed from the original
faith, falling into the apostasy about which the apostles had
warned. When this "falling away" came, much sun worship was mixed with
Christianity. Unconverted sun
worshipers were taken into the professing church and in
numerous instances were allowed to continue many of their sun worship rites and
customs--usually with a few reservations or changes to make their
beliefs appear more similar to Christian doctrine.
One of the best
examples of such a carry over from
sun worship may be seen in the way the worship of the
great mother continued--only in a slightly different form and with
a new name! You See, many sun
worshipers had been drawn to Christianity, but so strong
was their adoration for the mother goddess, they did not want to
forsake her. Compromising church leaders saw that if they
could find some similarity in Christianity with the worship of the
mother goddess, they could greatly increase their numbers.
But who could replace the great mother of sun worship? Mary, of course,
was the most logical person for them to choose. Why couldn't
they allow the people to continue their prayers and devotion to a
mother goddess, only call her by the name of Mary?
Apparently this was the reasoning employed, for this is exactly
what happened! Little by little, the worship that had been
associated with the sun worship
mother was transferred to Mary.
worship was no part of the original Christian faith! It is
evident that Mary was a fine, dedicated, and godly
woman--especially chosen to bear the body of our savior-yet none
of the apostles or Jesus himself ever hinted at the idea of Mary
worship. As The Encyclopedia Britannica states, during the
first centuries of the church, no emphasis was placed upon Mary
whatsoever. This point is admitted by The Catholic
Encyclopedia also: "Devotion to Our Blessed Lady in its ultimate
analysis must be regarded as a practical application of the
doctrine of the Communion of Saints. Seeing that this
doctrine is not contained, at least explicitly, in the earlier
forms of the Apostles' Creed, there is
perhaps no ground for surprise if we do not meet
with any clear traces of the cultus of the Blessed Virgin the
first Christian centuries," the worship of Mary being a later
It was not
until the time of Constantine--the early part of the fourth
century--that anyone began to look to Mary as a goddess.
Even at this period, such worship was frowned upon, as is evident
by the words of Epiphanius who denounced certain ones of Trace,
Arabia, and elsewhere, for worshiping Mary as a goddess and
offering cakes at her shrine. She should be held in honor,
he said, "but let no one adore Mary." Yet, within just a few
more years, Mary worship was not only condoned but became an
official doctrine at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD.!
Ephesus? It was in this city that Diana had been worshiped
as the goddess of virginity and motherhood from primitive
times! She was said to represent the generative powers of
nature and so was pictured with many breasts. A
tower--shaped crown, a symbol of the tower of Babel, adorned her
are held by a people for centuries, they are not easily
forsaken. So church leaders at Ephesus--as the falling away
came--also reasoned that if people would be allowed to hold their
ideas about a mother goddess, if this could be mixed into
Christianity and the name Mary substituted, they could gain more
converts. But this was
not God's method.
When Paul had
come to Ephesus in earlier days, no compromise was made with sun worship
. People were
truly converted and destroyed their idols of the goddess (Acts
19:24,27). How tragic that the church at Ephesus in later
centuries compromised and adopted a form of mother goddess
worship, the Council of Ephesus finally making it an official
doctrine! The sun worship
influence in this decision seems apparent.
A further indication that Mary worship
developed out of the old worship of the mother goddess, may be
seen in the titles that are ascribed to her. Mary is often
called "The Madonna." According to Hislop, this expression
is the translation of one of the titles by which the Babylonian
goddess was known. In deified form, Nimrod came to be known
as Baal. The title of his wife, the female divinity, would
be the equivalent of Baalti. In English, this word means, "My
lady"; in Latin, "Mea Domina," and in Italian, it is corrupted
into the well-known "Madonna"!
Among the Phoenicians, the mother goddess was
known as "The may of the Sea," and even this title is applied to
Mary--though there is no connection between Mary and the sea!
The scriptures make it plain that there is one
mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5),
Yet Roman Catholicism teaches that Mary is also a
"mediator." Prayers to her form a very important part of
Catholic worship. There is no scriptural basis for this idea, yet
this concept was not foreign to the ideas linked with the mother
goddess. She bore as one of her names "Mylitta," that is,
"The Mediatrix" or mediator.
Mary is often called "the queen of
heaven". But Mary, the mother of Jesus, is not the queen of
heaven. "The queen of heaven" was a title of the mother
goddess that was worshiped centuries before Mary was ever
born. Clear back in the days of Jeremiah, the people were
worshiping "the queen of heaven" and practicing rites that
were sacred to her. As we read in Jeremiah
7:18,20: "The children gather wood, and the fathers
kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to
the queen of heaven."
One of the titles by which Isis was known was
the "mother of God." Later this same title was applied to
Mary by the theologians of Alexandria. Mary was, of course,
the mother of Jesus, but only in the sense of his human nature,
his humanity. The original meaning of "mother of God" went
beyond this: it attached a glorified position to the mother, and
in much the same way, Roman Catholics have been taught to think of
So firmly written in the sun worship
mind was the image
of the mother goddess with child in her arms, when the days of the
according to one writer, the ancient portrait of Isis and the
child Horus was ultimately accepted not only in popular opinion,
but by formal episcopal sanction, as the portrait of the Virgin
and her child." Representations of Isis and her child were
often enclosed in a framework of flowers. This practice too was
applied to Mary, as those who have studied Medieval art well know.
Phoenician goddess of fertility, was associated with the crescent
moon, as seen on an old medal.
The Egyptian goddess of fertility, Isis, was
represented as standing on the crescent moon with stars
surrounding her head. In Roman Catholic churches all , over
Europe may be seen pictures of Mary exactly the same way.
The picture to the right shows Mary with twelve stars circling her
head and the crescent moon under her feet!
numerous ways, leaders of the falling away attempted to make
Mary appear similar to the goddess of sun worship
and exalt her to a divine plane,
Even as the sun worshipers
had statues of the goddess, so statues were made of
"Mary." It is said that in some cases the very same
statues that had been worshiped as Isis (with her child) were
simply renamed as Mary and the Christ child.
"When Christianity triumphed," says one writer, "these paintings
and figures became those of the madonna and child without any
break in continuity: no archaeologist, in fact, can now tell
whether some of these objects represent the one or the other."
Many of these renamed figures were crowned and adorned with
Jewels--in exactly the same way as the images of the Hindu and
Egyptian virgins. But Mary, the mother of Jesus, was not
rich (Lk.2:24; Lev. 12:8). From where, then, did these jewels and
crowns come that are seen on these statues?
By compromises---some very obvious, others more hidden--the
worship of the ancient mother continued within the church of the
falling away, with the name of Mary being substituted in place of
the older names.
“Signs and symbols rule the Sun Worship world, not
words nor laws.”