Jehovah Identical with Bacchus

Would Christians still maintain the identity of the "Father" of Jesus and Jehovah, if evidence sufficiently clear could be adduced that the "Lord God" was no other than the Pagan Bacchus, Dionysos? Well, this identity of the Jehovah at Mount Sinai with the god Bacchus is hardly disputable. The name mrp or Iao, according to Theodoret, which is the secret name of the Phrenician Mystery-god;* and it was actually adopted from the Chaldeans with whom it also was the secret name of the creator. Wherever Bacchus was worshipped there was a tradition of Nysa and a cave where he was reared. Beth-San or Scythopolis in Palestine had that designation; so had a spot on Mount Parnassus. But Diodorus declares that Nysa was between Phoenicia and Egypt; Euripides states that

* See Judges xiii. 18, "And the angel of the Lord said unto him: Why askest thou after my name, seeing it is Secret?"

Dionysos came to Greece from India; and Diodorus adds his testimony: "Osiris was brought up in Nysa, in Arabia the Happy; he was the son of Zeus, and was named from his father (nominative Zeus, genitive Dios) and the place DioNysos" — the Zeus or Jove of Nysa. This identity of name or title is very significant. In Greece Dionysos was second only to Zeus, and Pindar says:

"So Father Zeus governs all things, and Bacchus he governs also."

But outside of Greece Bacchus was the all-powerful "Zagreus, the highest of gods." Moses seems to have worshipped him personally and together with the populace at Mount Sinai; unless we admit that he was an initiated priest, an adept, who knew how to lift the veil which hangs behind all such exoteric worship, but kept the secret. "And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-NISSI"! or Iao-Nisi. What better evidence is required to show that the Sinaitic god was indifferently Bacchus, Osiris, and Jehovah? Mr. Sharpe appends also his testimony that the place where Osiris was born "was Mount Sinai, called by the Egyptians Mount Nissa." The Brazen Serpent was a nis, wm, and the month of the Jewish Passover nisan.

If the Mosaic "Lord God" was the only living God, and Jesus His only Son, how account for the rebellious language of the latter? Without hesitation or qualification he sweeps away the Jewish lex talionis and substitutes for it the law of charity and self-denial. If the Old Testament is a divine revelation, how can the New Testament be? Are we required to believe and worship a Deity who contradicts himself every few hundred years? Was Moses inspired, or was Jesus not the son of God? This is a dilemma from which the theologians are bond to rescue us. It is from this very dilemma that the Gnostics endeavored to snatch the budding Christianity.

Justice has been waiting nineteen centuries for intelligent commentators to appreciate this difference between the orthodox Tertullian and the Gnostic Marcion. The brutal violence, unfairness, and bigotry of the "great African" repulse all who accept his Christianity. "How can a god," inquired Marcion, "break his own commandments? How could he consistently prohibit idolatry and image-worship, and still cause Moses to set up the brazen serpent? How command: Thou shalt not steal, and then order the Israelites to spoil the Egyptians of their gold and silver?" Anticipating the results of modern criticism, Marcion denies the applicability to Jesus of the so-called Messianic prophecies. Writes the author of Supernatural Religion:* "The Emmanuel of Isaiah is not Christ; the 'Virgin,' his mother, is simply a 'young woman,' an alma of the temple; and the sufferings of the servant of God (Isaiah lii. 13 - liii. 3) are not predictions of the death of Jesus."+

f Emmanuel was doubtless the son of the prophet himself, as described in the sixth chapter; what was predicted, can only be interpreted on that hypothesis. The prophet had also announced to Ahaz the extinction of his line. "If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established." Next

"Nothing better than those Mysteries, by which, from a rough and fierce life, we are polished to gentleness (humanity, kindness), and softened."

Cicero: de Legibus, ii., 14

"Descend, O Soma, with that stream with which thou lightest up the Sun. . . .Soma, a Life Ocean spread through All, thou fillest creative the Sun with beams."

". . . the beautiful Virgin ascends, with long hair, and she holds two ears in her hand, and sits on a seat and feeds a Boy as yet little, and suckles him and gives him food."

Avenar comes the prediction of the placing of a new prince on the throne — Hezekiah of Bethlehem, said to have been Isaiah's son-in-law, under whom the captives should return from the uttermost parts of the earth. Assyria should be humbled, and peace overspread the Israelitish country, compare Isaiah vii. 14-16; viii. 3, 4; ix. 6, 7; x. 12, 20, 21; xi.; Micah v., 2-7. The popular party, the party of the prophets, always opposed to the Zadokite priesthood, had resolved to set aside Ahaz and his time-serving policy, which had let in Assyria upon Palestine, and to set up Hezekiah, a man of their own, who should rebel against Assyria and overthrow the Assur-worship and Baalim (2 Kings xv. 11). Though only the prophets hint this, it being cut out from the historical books, it is noticeable that Ahaz offered his own child to Moloch, also that he died at the age of thirty-six, and Hezekiah took the throne at twenty-five, in full adult age.

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