Yahoo Plus and the Curse of Mammon

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Aside from paedophilia, another news trend that frequently makes the headlines in our country is the gale of Internet fraud (popularly known as “Yahoo Yahoo”) which has morphed into a raging tide of occult crimes – ranging from items of used clothing being stolen and re-sold for fetish purposes to grisly ritual murders.

These are indeed dangerous times when many people’s regard for human lives (even for family members, friends and lovers) has been completely eroded by an inordinate love for mad money.

I am aware of some African folks who sit in their Ivory Towers and dismiss such reports as urban legends. I am really not interested in convincing them to accept the reality of the supernatural anyway.

I always tell people that if these occult rites have not been working for people, they would have quit them a long time ago.

A study of ancient and modern occult-related crimes and rituals shows that virtually every culture appeases spirits in one form or the other for power and material wealth. Though their requirements and mode of operation differ.

The Nigerian lingo for Internet fraud mixed with occult ritual practices is “Yahoo plus-plus”.

The terms and conditions underlying such occult transactions boil down to offering human and animal parts to demon spirits in exchange for material prosperity.

Sometime in 2018, an Internet fraudster cum ritualist in Ghana, with the aid of graphic pictures, revealed the torment he has been enduring ever since he dabbled in his Faustian trade.

“The spiritualist also asked me to buy a pot, egg, bag and padlock and he will put the money in the pot for me and that the money will be okay for me to use after some few months,” he said.

“Since the day I brought the pot home, I do not feel free. I am being haunted and I can’t sleep till the next morning. It is always like I am being haunted by human beings, lions and fire. They appear physically and I don’t know what to do,” he lamented.

In another sad case in Ughelli, Delta State, a “Yahoo guy” in his 20s became insane and eventually committed suicide few weeks after throwing a lavish birthday party at a popular hotel in the town – spending thousands of naira on drinks for guests who attended his party.

A source revealed that, “All attempts to restrain him were fruitless as he charged at anyone that tried to restrain him [and] continued using the broken bottle on himself until he slumped and died,” a resident of the community stated.

“He ran away from the church his mother took him to the community town hall and started stabbing himself. The more sympathizers tried to stop him from continuously stabbing himself, the more he did so,” he added.

“In the last three years,” wrote Nosa Akenzua in Orient Daily News, “desperation and inordinate quest for quick money among the youths of Asaba and some top businessmen from all over the country has engendered horrendous sorrow, and even tragedy. This arises from their involvement in high-power ritual practices as the gateway to stupendous wealth.”

Many of the people in the aforementioned article throng the shrines of various pagan deities, particularly that of Onishe (Alanwanyi Asaba), a mother goddess whose shrine is situated along the banks of River Niger and is often depicted having gargantuan breasts, (said to symbolize fertility and abundance).

Every culture has a deity that is often tasked with bestowing wealth or fortune in exchange for all manner of votive offerings e.g. Yemoja, Ikenga, Lakshmi, Plutus, Ops, Fortuna, Gad, Jeng gu etc.

Many Wiccans cast such money spells using certain chants, candles, potions and energies drawn from the “Old Ones.”

In the words of Selah Towers, quoted in the New York Post, “Casting spells, I saw results. Usually, it was like — maybe I needed money or I needed a car. I needed love in my life. It was very selfish. It was all about what I wanted. I was really satisfied with my life.’”

In LaVeyan Satanism, this money ritual is called “compassion ritual.” An ancient demonic strongman that is invoked during satanic rites for wealth and is regarded as the treasurer of hell is called “Mammon.” Some Satanists call him “Zeus.”

According to former satanists, his base is in the water kingdom, and his visual representation is of a male figure having golden body parts.

The spirit of Mammon makes humans bow to money in the place of God. It leads their hearts away from God, sears their conscience to do anything to have wealth and ultimately leads them into destruction.

In African demonism, ritual culprits
also make use of women’s underwear or menstrual pads as Voodoo links wherein their victims’ womb and/or its products are offered to demons in exchange for wealth. In some cases, they utilise semen.

In a certain interview, a young man who self-identifies as a retired “Yahoo guy” admits that there are various forms of money-making rituals. One involves bathing in the public.

Another rite involves wiping of a lady’s vagina with a magickally “charged” material after sexual intercourse and there is also one in which the candidate must have sex with a girl after bathing with a local ritual soap.

Once he ejaculates into her, the lady won’t get pregnant again and if she does, she will miscarry. “That one too is very potent and many slay queens have been used for this but they don’t know yet!” he added.

“When I was active, the one I know that is 100 per cent [efficacious] is the one that you tie the person’s picture with thread and bury it beside the grave of a person whose gender is same as the person you want to hit … After the person sends you money, you must buy [a] ram and wear one tira [talisman] round its neck. The ram will die overnight.”

Satan and his demons always require human or animal sacrifices literally or symbolically for every covenant. There is no free gift in magick; it’s always by pact. It’s like the trade of Esau – giving you a plate of pottage but removing your entire birthright.

Evil spirits seduce people with promises of great wealth but what they offer is a counterfeit, diabolic wealth that ruins the lives of its recipients.

In the light of this desperation, we need to turn our attention to God’s Word:

1. It is only God who gives true material possession and will add other blessings that can’t be purchased with money to it.

“The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it” (Prov. 10:22 NLT).

But Satan is the chief distributor of the wealth of sorrow; wealth of torment; wealth of destruction – evil wealth that will ultimately lead one to Hell a place of everlasting sorrow.

True prosperity lies with God. And you can’t receive it unless you are in His kingdom and have His righteousness. Any wealth that is not received in God’s kingdom and by the righteousness of Jesus Christ is a wealth of sorrow.

2. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17).

Satan has no good gift to offer anybody; he hates humanity! He is a master deceiver who disguises his packages to lure in the foolhardy. He offers desperate souls fresh apples but he won’t show them the deadly worms and maggots within it. He offers people sweet wine but doesn’t tell them it’s laced with Cyanide.

Why do you think many who obtain riches from the kingdom of darkness suffer endlessly from serious afflictions, untimely deaths, accidents, barrenness, prolonged ailments and destructive habits that eventually wear them out and render their wealth absolutely meaningless?

Why do you think their successive generation usually suffer from chains of poverty, inexplicable failures and mental illnesses? I will tell you why, because they received a Greek gift – one seeming benefit plus hundred troubles. That’s why many fetish priests themselves steer clear of such rituals. They know better.

3. There is much dignity in decent labour. “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man” (Prov. 6:10-11).

It’s unfortunate that our value system has so much plunged that there’s a huge disconnect between the dignity of hard work, ethics and integrity and what the society has redefined as success.

As a result, many youths have cultivated magical ideas about money. They don’t desire to work for N1000 but wish to live the life of N500,000. They want to live large and cut corners to achieve it.

With the way wealth is being flaunted by Nigerian celebrities, politicians and even some “prosperity preachers,” it is not far fetched why Ponzi schemes, money-making rituals and Internet scams have continued to attract many youths. These desperadoes want to climb their trees from its leaves and circumvent reality. That’s an exercise in self-delusion!

4. We need to extricate ourselves from this nutured mentality that we can make humongous sums of money irrespective of the political and economic realities of our country.

Nigeria is currently passing through a phase of economic downturn and we need to get our acts together and fashion realistic and productive means of survival, rather than taking the devious route of making pacts with vicious spirits.

Many who resort to Internet scams and money making rituals have little or no labour skills to make it through life. Tragically, the noble culture of apprenticeship that builds a society has been virtually replaced by a culture of greed, narcissism, vanity ‘Logo Benz’ appropriating lifestyle.

Avarice is a form of idolatry. It is one of the shackles of Mammon that drags humanity away from the will and purposes of God.

5. “The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble” (Prov. 28:20).

If you have a “I-must-be-rich-at-all-cost” mindset, rest assured you will fall into many evil snares. We need to cultivate a balanced attitude towards opulence.

Those wealthy figures we admire in our TVs and magazines also had their small beginnings. They laboured from obscurity into limelight; they lived in self-denial, discipline and endured years of set back and disappointments before becoming a household name – that is, for those of them who toured a noble path.

Start with something small and watch it grow. Anybody that is too big for something small is too small for something big.

Let’s deal with this culture of greed and idolatry that is bringing the curse of Mammon on our nation and sending many people to a Christless grave after a lifetime of horrendous crimes.

Refutation of “Constantine’s Creation of Jesus”

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One of the fans of this blog’s Facebook page sent me a pamphlet entitled Constantine’s Creation of Jesus Christ by Kerrie French.

This title alone betrays the book’s conspiracy theme. Reading its first two pages, it became clear to me that the write-up is aimed at misleading folks into the Sacred Name Movement (SNM), a sect linked to the Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM).

The SNM began within the Church of God (Seventh-Day), propagated by Clarence Dodd in the 1930s.

It seeks to conform Christianity to its ‘Hebrew Roots’ in practice, belief and worship. SNM groups advocate for the use of the “sacred name” of God as Yahweh (though there’s no agreement on this) and Jesus as Yahshua (varied as well) and keeping Old Testament laws.

Now, when a new religious movement claims to have “the only truth,” or an exclusive understanding of an old truth, its truth claims need to be critically examined.

To this end, I will be rebutting the main arguments in this pamphlet. Quotes from it will appear in blue:

It appears that in A.D. 325, a new god was conceived within the black and white marble halls of Roman Catholicism … Constantine’s intention at Nicea was to create an entirely new god for his empire who would unite all religious factions under one deity. Presbyters were asked to debate and decide who their god would be. Delegates argued among themselves, expressing personal motives for inclusion of particular writings that promoted the finer traits of their own special deity (pp. 1-2).

Each sentence here is patently false. There was no Roman Catholicism in the 4th century. Not one single person at the Council of Nicea adheres to the definitive doctrines of Roman Catholicism.

The intention of the Council of Nicaea was to settle a Christological controversy caused by a presbyter named Arius who denied the deity of Christ. It was never about “creating a god.”

It is a rather shameless and deceptive undertaking for someone to distort a documented historical event that is well-attested to by ancient sources in the name of presenting the truth. Even a heathen shouldn’t stoop that low. Here are three standard reference works on the council of Nicea:

Encyclopedia Britannica

New World Encyclopedia

Encyclopedia.com

Throughout the meeting, howling factions were immersed in heated debates, and the names of 53 gods were tabled for discussion. “As of yet, no god had been selected by the council, and so they balloted in order to determine that matter. . . For one year and five months the balloting lasted. . .” God’s Book of Eskra, Prof. S.L. MacGuire’s translation, Salisbury, 1922, chapter xlviii, paragraphs 36, 41 (p. 2-3).

Again, we are treated to mythical assertions. I personally wonder why, of all the councils in church history, Nicea seems to be the favourite dream works studio of conspiracy fiction writers and anti-Christians who re-write history when it doesn’t play their game.

Kerrie laces this paragraph with a source to feign legitimacy, but that is a smoking gun right there.

An entry of the quote and God’s Book of Eskra into Google search engine shows that this quote and its alleged source is identical on all SNM websites. These guys just mindlessly parrot and copy one another without any recourse to intellectual scrutiny.

God’s Book of Eskra is not a historical source. It was an occult legendary book called Oahspe, written by a dentist named John Ballow Newbrough and published in 1882.

Newbrough admitted his work came from spirits (“automatic writing”) without any prior text before him.

The translator “Prof. S. L. MacGuire” was obviously made up since the Oahspe was already written in English.

A search of “S. L. MacGuire God’s Book of Eskra” on WorldCat (a compendium of 71,000 library catalogues in 112 countries) turns up no relevant hit.

These SNM websites got the quote in question from one original source: Tony Bushby’s Forged Origins of the New Testament (2007). Bushby must have fabricated “Prof. S.L. MacGuire” and his alleged “translation” to make Newbrough’s book appear as an ancient source.

So there are three strikes against this one: a false claim, a fraudulent reference and a demonic source. Absolutely invalid.

I invite my readers to read about the council of Nicaea from both Judaic and Catholic sources and draw their own conclusions:

Encyclopedia Judaica

Catholic Encyclopedia

Constantine was the ruling spirit at Nicaea and he ultimately decided upon a new god for them. To involve British factions, he ruled that the name of the Druid god, “Hesus,” be joined with the Eastern Saviour-god, Krishna (Krishna is Sanskrit for Christ), and thus “Hesus Krishna” [Jesus Christ] would be the official name of the New Roman god (p. 3).

The post-Nicene detour of Roman churches into Arianism and the necessity of the Council of Constantinople to redress this is one proof that Constantine wasn’t the ruling spirit at Nicaea.

The Gaulish god, Esus, has no connection with Jesus (an Anglicized name). This writer fondly imagines that the people at Nicea and the Celtic Druids spoke English language.

According to this goofy reasoning, Constantine picked a Celtic god, joined it to an Indian god to become a “new Roman god”! This nonsense is beyond belief.

The name Jesus is an English transliteration of the Hebrew Yeshua or Yehoshua and Greek Iēosus. It literally means “the LORD (or Yahweh) is salvation.” Centuries before a council held in Nicaea, the Bible speaks of several people bearing this name:

Jesus Barabbas, a prisoner released by Pontius Pilate before Jesus was crucified (Mt. 27:16-17 REB); an ancestor of Jesus (Lk. 3:29); Joshua, son of Nun (Acts 7:45); Jesus Justus, a Jewish Christian who with the apostle Paul sent greetings to the Colossians (Col. 4:11) (Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, ed. Ronald Youngblood, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995, p. 658).

Whether it’s spelled Jesus, Joshua or Yeshua, it means the same: the Lord our salvation (Matt. 1:21).

Changing a name from one language to another doesn’t change the meaning of the name nor does it change the character or identity of the person.

Following long-standing heathen custom, Constantine used the official gathering and the Roman apotheosis decree to legally deify two deities as one, and did so by democratic consent. A new god was proclaimed and “officially” ratified by Constantine (p. 3).

This is straight from the fevered imaginations of Tony Bushby, but with a twist. While Bushby asserts the Bible was formed at Nicea, Kerrie French and his SNM comrades claim a “new god” was proclaimed there.

Notice his choice of words too. He vaguely refers to “heathen custom,” that a man gathered people to “legally deify two deities as one” by “democratic consent.” This is gobbledygook, even by heathen standards.

If there was such a decree, it would be documented. The writer resorts to demagoguery in place of facts. He strings together big words to dazzle his uninformed readers when in actual fact, he’s saying nonsense.

Some authorities, who have spent their entire lives studying the origins of names, believe that “Jesus” actually means— “Hail Zeus!” For Iesous in Greek is “Hail Zeus.” That is, “Ie” translates as “Hail” and “sous” or “sus” is Zeus. Dictionary of Christian Lore and Legend, J.C.J. Melford, 1983, p. 126.

 No quotation from the source is given, but on some SNM websites where this line was copied from, the quote appears to have been astutely wrenched from its context.

Notice that the writer talks about “some authorities who have spent their entire lives studying the origins of names,” but gave only one source that can’t even be termed an authority. This is cultic politics of language: maximal claims, minimal output.

Initially, he says Jesus was an amalgam of a Celtic and Indian god which became a Roman god, now he says the name is of a Greek god. This writer couldn’t even convince himself.

The Greek word for “hail” is xaipe or xaipete and it’s not a constituent of the name Iēosus. The name Iēosus is found in the Greek Septuagint, a translation dating to the B.C. era.

First century works of Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, written in Koine Greek also refers to at least 20 different people with the name Iēosus (Jesus) (Paul Eddy and Gregory Boyd, The Jesus Legend, Baker Pub., 2007, 129).

That the name ends with “sus” or “sous” furnishes no evidence that it’s from Zeus. That a certain word or word part sounds like another is no proof of commonality.

For instance, it would be insane for someone to say that Yahuwah was stolen from the Sumerian monster deity named Huwawa because of the phonetic similarity. Yet this is the dark, twisted logic being touted by SNM adherents.

Apparently, this new fabricated name was applied throughout the pages of the Scripture’s Renewed Covenant (NT), radically altering every reference of Yahusha יהושׁע (H#3091) the Messiah to “Hail Zeus-Krishna” (Jesus Christ). Deceptively, the reference to Christ was never a Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Messiah, but it specifically comes from the name of a pagan god, Christna, most commonly spelled Krishna (p. 3)

Bear in mind that Sacred Name and Hebrew Roots adherents deny the validity of the Greek New Testament, asserting that it was “originally” written in Aramaic – a claim that is rather a testament to their profound delusion.

Thus, when this writer calls the NT “Renewed covenant,” he is peddling an agendum that denies the plain differences between the Old and New covenants.

He also alleges that the Bible has been “radically altered.” On pg. 4, he writes: “Who said the Scriptures remain pure and undefiled? Should we not be wise to discern what else has been changed, manipulated, or removed?”

This is the convenient cop out cultists mouth when they realise their folly cannot be substantiated by Scripture. The NT was written in Greek, so there wasn’t any need for the Hebrew name of Jesus to be expunged from it. Moreover, His Hebrew name is Yeshua (or Jeshua) not Yahusha.

John F. Sawyer, Professor of Religious Studies at University of Newcastle, England, has this to say about the word “Christ”:

“The word is derived from the common biblical Hebrew word māšîah, meaning ‘anointed.’ In Greek it is transcribed as messias and translated as christos. In the Hebrew Bible, the term is most often used of kings, whose investiture was marked especially by anointing oil” (The Oxford Companion to the Bible, eds. Bruce Metzger and Michael Coogan, Oxford Press, 1993, 513).

The birth of what is known today as CHRISTIANITY did not exist until Constantine united his empire under the name of his newly fabricated god “Jesus Christ” … Simply, no one was a Christian prior to A.D. 325. All the churches that claim to be Christian today are merely daughters of the Roman stylized system of false worship of “Hail Zeus-Christna” (p. 4).

Certainly, once you eliminate the Lord Jesus from the equation and dismiss the validity of Scripture, the next logical step is to throw 17 centuries of historic, orthodox Christianity under the bus. What you end up with might appear ‘Christian’ but it’s the kingdom of the cults.

This is the logical plinth on which Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and Christian Science cults are based.

They first have to abjure church history to justify their own existence. That way, they can easily claim to be “restoring ancient Christianity.” The logic is: no one got it right until we alone came on the scene.

At least, most of them aren’t ridiculous to the extent of declaring that no one was a Christian prior to 325 A.D.

The Christianized churches continue to utilize the fabricated terms to replace Yahuah יהוה with “the Lord,” and perpetuate the contrived tradition of replacing Yahusha ,יהושׁע the Messiah, with “Jesus Christ” (Hail Zeus-Christna) (p. 5).

Notice a pattern: Each time the writer refers to Jesus, he finds it necessary to include Zeus-Krishna in brackets beside it. This is aimed to program an unwary reader’s mind to associate the name of Jesus with pagan deities even though this lacks a factual basis. This is Pavlovian brainwashing, utilized by most cults.

In the Old Testament, we see that God revealed Himself by different names. In more than 6,000 times, He is revealed as YHWH (often pronounced as Yahweh) which is likely related to the verb “to be” (Ex. 6:6; 20:2).

He is designated as Adonai, which means “lord” or “master” 449 times. Adhon reveals God’s authority as Master, One who is sovereign in His rule (Ps. 110:1; Hos. 12:14).

He is also designated as Elohim, a plural Hebrew form more than 2,000 times (Dt. 32:17; Josh. 3:10) (Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology, Moody Press, 2008, 201).

Therefore, when a group places an extreme emphasis on a certain name of God and builds a castle around it, alleging it is “suppressed information” a cultic mindset is being instilled into its adherents.

Interestingly, in Scripture, the term elohim is also used as a generic term for “god” as when speaking of the Philistine god Dagon (“elohim” 1 Sam. 5:7); Chemosh, the god (“elohim”) of Ammon and Moab (Jgs. 11:24) and Milcom (1 Kgs 11:33). But SNM don’t push out articles on the name elohim.

Here is the point: the context and usage of “lord” determines who is being referred to. When apostle Paul quotes Psalm 117:1 “Praise the LORD (Yahweh), all you nations…”, and then writes, “Praise the Lord (Kurios), all you Gentiles…” (Rom.15:11), every right thinking reader can see that Yahweh is equivalent to the Lord Jesus.

Whether in Greek (Iēsous), Latin (Iesus), Arabic (Yesu), French (Jésus) or Yoruba/Igbo (Jesu), the name of Jesus carries the same power and authority in setting free men from sin and Satan.

The writer says false religious organizations don’t observe “Yahuah’s sacred seventh-day Sabbaths and/or set-apart Feast Days of Scripture … [They are] lacking in the knowledge of the truth unto salvation and the power bestowed in the true sacred names” (p. 7).

Let no legalist or “sacred name” nutter lead us to make an idol out of any earthly language and bring us back under bondage of the Old Testament laws.

This pamphlet states its agenda when it says: “Names have meanings, but it is not proper to translate them” (p. 10).

SNM heretics have so much idolized Hebrew language that they believe any translation of Jesus’ name into any language on earth other than Hebrew must be despised and demonized in every sort of way – whether by hook or crook. That is the fundamental assumption underlying this excuse of a pamphlet.

Nothing in it is new however. For many years, enemies of the Gospel have tried in vain to parallel Jesus with Attis, Mithras, Krishna or Horus.

The difference now is that the atheists, agnostics and skeptics have left it up to modern day Judaizers who claim to be Christians to regurgitate their delusion.

Mithras, Zeus and Jesus Christ

One of the arguments used by anti-Christians to discredit the historicity of Christ, His atonement for sin and Christianity as a whole is that Jesus was “modelled” after older pagan deities like the Roman Mithras or the Greek Zeus.

One of them quoted Gerald Berry’s Religions of the World, saying:

“Both Mithras and Christ were described as ‘the Way, ‘the Truth,’ ‘the Light,’ ‘the Life,’ ‘the Word,’ ‘the Son of God,’ ‘the Good Shepherd.’ The Christian litany to Jesus could easily be an allegorical litany to the sun-god. Mithras is often represented as carrying a lamb on his shoulders, just as Jesus is. Midnight services were found in both religions. The virgin mother… was easily merged with the virgin mother Mary. Petra, the sacred rock of Mithraism, became Peter, the foundation of the Christian Church.”

These critics also allege that Mithras was born on December 25; was visited by shepherds at birth; had 12 apostles, instituted a last supper and died for humanity – all of which the New Testament allegedly adopted for Jesus.

First, we all need to understand the historical setting of the Roman Empire where Christianity and Mithraism thrived. The early church consistently refused to integrate with the surrounding syncretic religions. This was why for three centuries, Christianity was despised and persecuted.

In first century Roman Empire, four major classes of religions were embraced:

Nature religions – revolving around belief in supernatural power in natural things and worship of trees, sun, moon, rivers, stones and deities in charge of them e.g Greek paganism.

State religion – the Emperors were believed to be gods and accorded divine honours. Festivals were held in their honour and sacrifices offered to their images for the unity of the Empire.

Mystery religions – secret societies or cults that claim to help people out of difficult life situations and provide a bridge to the afterlife. They had certain ceremonial acts such as water rites, ritual meals, blood sacrifices which were kept secret to non-initiates e.g. Mithraism, Eleusinian mysteries, Bacchanalian mysteries, mysteries of Isis.

Judaism – the early Romans couldn’t initially distinguish Jews who practiced Judaism from Christian Jews. In Acts 18:12-17, Gallio the Roman governor, dismissed Paul’s case as a dispute within the sects of Judaism. But as unbelieving Jews increasingly opposed Christianity, the heathen also joined them. [1]

What impressed the pagan world of the new faith of Christianity was not its familiarity but its difference. Christianity was regarded  a “strange religion;” an illegal religion (religio illicita), and this led to the murder of many Christians.

If Jesus was a myth and Christianity was merely an offspring of paganism, the disciples and early Christians wouldn’t have laid down their lives instead of giving it up.

The pagans who killed and persecuted Christians during those times knew full well that what they believed was far different from what their victims believed.

Mithraism was a mystery religion practiced between 1st-4th century A.D. The religion had its roots in the Hindu Vedas. It developed in Persia about 500 years before Christ and further developed in Zoroaster’s (Zarathustra) movement about 200 years before Christ.

Mithraism reached its peak in third century Rome, during the same period Christianity was rapidly growing.

Those who claim Mithras was a prototype of Christ assume that Mithra worship was a cohesive, consistent and monolithic religion, but this is not so:

“The god is unique in being worshipped in four distinct religions: Hinduism (as Mitra), in Iranian Zoroastrianism and Manicheanism (as Mithra), and in the Roman Empire (as Mithras).” [2]

Not only were there variations in his name, each religion’s beliefs about Mithra also differed. The Persian cult differs markedly from the Roman one. The Roman Mithras is said to have slain a bull but there is no evidence that the Persian Mithra ever had anything to do with killing a bull.

Some writers agree that the bull-slaying Mithras must have been a god worshipped in the 1st century BC to whom an old name was applied. [3]

This eliminates any possibility of someone modelling Christ after Mithras.

Many critics also ignorantly conflate Mithra with Sol when they identify him as the sun god.

Various artworks depict Mithras dining with Sol; Mithras ascending behind Sol in the latter’s chariot and both deities shaking hands and at an altar with pieces of meat on a spit. One artwork shows Sol kneeling before Mithras who holds an object resembling a bull’s haunch. [4]

This difference is crucial, because the birthday of Sol Invictus was December 25, but that was not Mithras’ birthday. Amongst Roman mystery cults, Mithraism had no “public” face; its ceremonies were confined only to the initiates. The festival of Sol Invictus on December 25 wasn’t specific to Mithraism. [5]

Mithras wasn’t born of a virgin like Jesus. He was said to have been miraculously born from a rock and there are different accounts of this. One version said he leaped out of the rock as a child, another says as a youth, another says as flames yet another said he emerged as thunderbolt. But there is no account of Mithras born by a virgin mother.

The claim of Mithras visited by shepherds at birth or having 12 apostles lacks documented evidence. This is simply a cheap attempt by hostile critics to “christianize” the myths of Mithras and create a false parallel with Christ. A scholar admits:

“We possess virtually no theological statements either by Mithraists themselves or by other writers.” [6]

The alleged salvific death of Mithra is based on an inscription that says “and you have saved us … in the shed blood.” But no written narrative or theology from Mithraism survives and limited information can be derived from these inscriptions. “However, in the absence of any ancient explanations of its meaning, Mithra’s iconography has proven to be exceptionally difficult to decipher.” [7]

According to Robert Turcan, Mithraic salvation had little to do with the other worldly destiny of individual souls, but was based on the Zoroastrian pattern of man’s participation in the cosmic struggle of the good creation against the forces of evil. That is far from what the New Testament teaches.

The so-called “last supper” by Mithras is a fanciful deduction from the ritual meal observed by Mithraists. Modern critics, deploying a twisted logic, assume that since Mithraism had such ritual meals and was supposedly older, Christianity must have stolen the idea from them! This hypothesis falls flat on its face.

Most of the textual evidence for Mithraist doctrine dates after the New Testament was widely circulated. There is even the possibility that Mithraism adopted the communion rite from Christianity, because they had no concept of death and resurrection of their god.

Justin Martyr, in his First Apology (chapter 66) accused the Mithraists of diabolically imitating the Christian communion.

David Ulansey therefore concludes: “Owing to the cult’s secrecy, we possess almost no literary evidence about the beliefs of Mithraism. The few texts that do refer to the cult come not from Mithraic devotees themselves, but rather from outsiders such as early Church fathers, who mentioned Mithraism in order to attack it, and Platonic philosophers, who attempted to find support in Mithraic symbolism for their own philosophical ideas.” [8]

In light of the post-Christian origins of the mysteries of Mithras, Dr. Edwin Yamauchi states: “Those who seek to adduce Mithra as a prototype of the risen Christ ignore the late date for the expansion of Mithraism to the west.” [9]

Zeus and Jesus

Some uninformed critics and misguided Christians assert that Jesus was modelled after Zeus by some crypto-pagans in the early church who stripped Christianity of its Hebrew roots and changed the Saviour’s name into a pagan god’s so as to merge it with paganism.

A. B. Triana wrote in Origins of Christianity:

“They (the Graeco-Roman World) had worshiped Zeus as the supreme deity. Their savior was Zeus, so now they were ready to accept Jehoshua as Jesus – Ieosus, meaning hail Zeus. Now our translated scriptures say that Jahwah’s (Jehovah’s) Son’s name is Jesus, which is a compound word made up of Ie and Zeus (Hail Zeus)”

Proponents of this bizarre conspiracy theory (mostly Hebrew Roots adherents) are not only bereft of proofs, but also stumped by their own imaginations.

They teach that anyone who uses the name of Jesus instead of His Hebrew name, Yahshua, is worshipping a false god and is not saved. Actually, the Hebrew name of Jesus is Yeshua, a form of the name Joshua and both mean the same: “Yahweh is salvation.”

The similarity in pronunciation between Ieosus and Zeus doesn’t imply a borrowing of one from the other. To suggest that the name Bruno was derived from Juno is a phonetic fallacy. The Greek word for “hail” is xaipe or xaipete and it’s not a constituent of the Greek name Ieosus, so the “hail Zeus” accusation is hinged on wholesale ignorance.

Ieosus is the Greek name of Christ and that was the language in which the New Testament was written. First century works of Jewish historian, Josephus Flavius – written in Koine Greek – refer to at least 20 different people with the name Jesus (i.e Ieosus). [10] The Hebrew name of Jesus is not “too sacred” to be transliterated into another language neither does its translation change its meaning.

God’s name is not limited by human language; He created all languages and may not expect everyone to use the same name for Him. The name of Jesus given in Matthew 1:21 is the one by which men shall be saved from their sins. This name carries the same power and authority whether as Iesus (Latin), Yasu (Arabic), Jésus (French) or Jesu (Yoruba, Igbo).

The name “Jesus” is the Anglicized form of Ieosus or Yeshua and it has nothing to do with Zeus. No informed person with a modicum of intellectual honesty would claim Jesus is a copy of Zeus.

Zeus’ infancy narrative even has varying accounts. One version says he was raised by Gaia; another says by a goat named Amalthea; another says by a nymph Adamanthea; another says a nymph named Cynosura, yet another says by a shepherd family.

Some critics have also attempted to forge a link between Christ and Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, ritual madness, fertility and religious ecstasy. The mysteries of Dionysus was known as a ‘cult of souls’ in which priests forged necromantic links with the dead. But the Lord Jesus “has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10).

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Law and Prophets of the Old Testament. He has no link to any ancient pagan deity neither was Christianity built on the foundation of myths artfully spurn by pagans.

End notes

1. Titilayo Dipe, History and Doctrines of the Early Church, University of Ibadan Press, 1992, 2-4.

2. John Hinnells, Studies in Mithraism, Rome, 1990, 11.

3. David Ulansey, Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries, Oxford University Press, 1991, 8.

4. Roger Beck, Mithraism, Ashgate Publishing, 2004, 287-287.

5. Walter Burkert, Ancient Mystery Cults, Harvard University, 1987, 10.

6. Clauss Manfred, The Roman Cult of Mithras: The God and his Mysteries, Richard Gordon Books, 2001, xxi.

7. David Ulansey, p. 8.

8. David Ulansey, The Cosmic Mysteries of Mithras.

9. M. J. Vermaseren, Mithras, The Secret God, Chatto and Windos, 1963, 76.

10. Paul Eddy and Gregory Boyd, The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition, Baker pub., 2007, 129.