Evangelicals, and most people, in general, believe that the only certified, card-carrying crucified savior of mankind was Jesus. But that is so far from the truth of what our documented histories say about other gods or goddesses of antiquity that suffered similar fates.
One that bears a resemblance to Jesus in certain aspects is the Sumerian Goddess, Inanna, or as she was known in ancient Babylon, Ishtar, and later to the Greeks as Aphrodite. She was a major god in the Sumerian pantheon. Clay tablets carved with her story have been dated to over two thousand years before Jesus.
Inanna was known as the “Queen of Heaven”, the “Goddess of Love”, the “First Daughter of the Moon”, and the “Evening Star”, which is the planet Venus, of which Inanna is a clear representation of. As far as gods and goddesses of antiquity, the goddess was the “Evening Star”, and the god (male) was the “Morning Star”. That’s interesting because we see references to that in the Bible as well.
So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.“
and I will give him the morning star.
The celebration of Easter is taught in church like it all happened just like it says in the Bible but in reality, it is a theologically and mythically designed history. The events of the crucifixion, death and ascension to heaven of Jesus indeed have deep spiritual layers. But at their core, are historicized versions of the myth of Inanna, as well as her husband, Dumuzi. More on him a little later.
To truly grasp the parallels between Jesus and Inanna, we need to first take a look at a piece of work called the Ascension of Isaiah, a pseudepigraphical (unknown author) text dating to the early 2nd century, as a consensus of scholars has concluded. That same consensus of scholars also acknowledges the extent to which the church modified the text in newer translations to say what they wanted it to say concerning Jesus. What is damning for the church is the fact that we actually have all of the copies; the original and modified versions. Jesus never even made it to earth in the earliest, untampered-with version. He was crucified by Satan and his demons in the first heaven under the moon, not on earth. Scholar Richard Carrier touches on this subject in an article here.
In the Ascension of Isaiah, Jesus descends from the seventh heaven to the first and goes through the crucifixion, etc. But we know that he is “resurrected” after three days and three nights.
The following is a translation from the original clay tablet of the Descent of Inanna and, for time’s sake, only references the seventh gate of the underworld. Every time she enters a new level of the underworld, she loses some article of clothing or jewelry.
When she entered the seventh gate, From her body the royal robe was removed. Inanna asked: "What is this?" 59 She was told: "Quiet, Inanna, the ways of the underworld are perfect. They may not be questioned." Naked and bowed low, Inanna entered the throne room. Ereshkigal rose from her throne. Inanna started toward the throne. The Annuna, the judges of the underworld, surrounded her. They passed judgment against her. Then Ereshkigal fastened on Inanna the eye of death. She spoke against her the word of wrath. She uttered against her the cry of guilt. She struck her. Inanna was turned into a corpse, A piece of rotting meat, And was hung from a hook on the wall.
“Hung from a hook on the wall” qualifies as crucifixion. She was elevated and impaled. That’s interesting because of the following passage in the Bible:
Acts 5-30 KJV
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
Hung from a hook or hanged on a tree. Either way you slice it, they share similarities in that aspect. But we aren’t done yet. Inanna needs to be resurrected, right? See the following:
When, after three days and three nights, Inanna had not returned, Ninshubur set up a lament for her by the ruins. She beat the drum for her in the assembly places. She circled the houses of the gods.
After much more talk about how to resurrect Inanna and detail about how her body would be recovered from the Underworld, two sly creatures retrieved her body and the following took place:
The kurgarra sprinkled the food of life on the corpse. The galatur sprinkled the water of life on the corpse. Inanna arose. . . .
So after three days and three nights, Inanna was resurrected, just like Jesus.
The numbers 3, 7 and 12 have had deep spiritual significance long before the writings of the Bible. Three is symbolic of a “major transformational shift”. Seven is “spiritual completion”. And the number twelve is “perfection”. All of these have their roots in ancient human perceptions of the movements of the stars in the heavens (ie: twelve signs of the zodiac, etc.). They are abundant in the Bible for a reason. Because they were used in symbolic ways to convey to you deep spiritual truths, not actual history. All of these ancient cultures wrote this way for the same reasons.
Obviously, this myth isn’t the only one that was borrowed by the Roman Catholic Church to create the Jesus character of the Gospels. Inanna’s husband, Dumuzi (Babylonian Tammuz), is introduced after Inanna is resurrected. Tammuz is even referenced in the Bible:
Ezekiel 8:14 KJV
14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord‘s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.
That just proves that the worship of Inanna/Ishtar and Dumuzi/Tammuz was rampant at the time Christianity was forming.
Okay, let’s break down the similarities of Inanna, Dumuzi and Jesus.
Jesus and Inanna both travel to a large city where they are arrested by soldiers, subsequently put on trial, convicted, sentenced to death, stripped of all of their clothing, tortured, hung on a hook/nailed to a cross/crucified, die, and after three days and three nights resurrect from the dead. Are there many differences to their stories? Yes. But remember, this is a mythic template that was used for many gods and goddesses of ancient times.
This isn’t saying that there wasn’t a man named Jesus that was crucified, rather that if there was, the story was embellished to adhere to an ancient pattern that was well known throughout the land.
Dumuzi, Inanna’s husband, was tortured and died a violent death after being betrayed by a close friend that accepted a bribe from his enemies. Both have a father that is a god and a mother that is a human. Dumuzi’s father, Enki, shares many similarities with Yahweh, the suppossed father of Jesus.
On a side note, in the 4th century, when Christians were trying to pin down in Jerusalem exactly where the tomb of Jesus was located, they chose the exact location of where a temple of Aphrodite (Inanna/Ishtar) stood. They tore it down and built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest church in the Christian world. It has to make you wonder, doesn’t it? If everything happened just like the Bible said it did, and all of these amazing things were happening in this region of the world, miraculous things, how did they not know where this tomb was located? Jesus’ followers would have known every movement of his body. More church shenanigans, as usual.
Far-Right Evangelicals are currently supporting a version of Christianity that is ignorant, intolerant, inhumane and quite simply anti-Christ.
Well, that’s it. I hope you enjoyed this series and all of the parallels we’ve covered. That’s all for the Analogy Series for now unless I find something else that piques my interest.