The Ba'al Theory of Christian Origins

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Just ran across a new theory of Xian origins covering a Ba'al vector into the 'new' religion. I have watched the first video, but not the second or read the book. So far, I can agree with much of the presentation with some minor quibbles which I'll comment on later.

Part 1:

Part 2:


The book, The Ba'al Theory of Christianity (also for free at : http://baaltheoryofchristianity.com/downloads ) by Glenn Young:

While much has been offered to "demystify" or deconstruct" Christianity The Ba'al Theory of Christianity takes this evaluation into a field that has not been truly explored the origins of one of the cornerstones of Christianity; God sacrificed his only begotten son. This work projects this concept comes from the long forgotten or ignored impact of the Phoenician religion and their ancient valuing of human sacrifice (specifically child sacrifice.)

To present the argument this work looks at the origins of human sacrifice; the extensive expansion of its use through the highly influential religion of Phoenicia and its colonies (such as Carthage); and later the extensive struggle over the valuing of human sacrifice as societies tended to move away from the act.

As part of a new evaluation of the history this work offers the theory, that the key political events of the times were in part a struggle between those who practiced and valued human sacrifice and those who had moved away from the overt ritual.

The work looks at the religious impacts of such political events as the destruction of the ancient states of Judea and Israel; the destruction of the Phoenician empire by the Greeks and Romans; and the impact of the re-establishment of the state of Judah.

At its core, the Ba'al Theory speculates that after their destruction, the Ba'alist had religion reforms somewhat similar to the well known religious reforms among the followers of Yahweh which happened during the "Babylonian exile" where "worshipers of Yahweh" became "Jews." The difference in the reform efforts was that the Yahweh worshipers came to blame their destruction on the practice of human sacrifice; and completely rejected it. After their destruction, the followers of Ba'al, also reformed their religion not by abandoning the value of child sacrifice but by transforming the actual child sacrifice into a "virtual act," one great on-going human sacrifice that ended the need for any more overt acts (or the function of the Catholic Mass).

This work speculates that the repressed follower of Ba'al, in this time of political crisis,transformed or morphed their well known ancient foundation story about the god El, taking his only begotten son, and after making him a king, sacrificed him - a tale that goes back some 8,000 years. This updated version was placed in their current time with different names but the same story. This transformation became the story of Jesus.

But the work does not stop with the impact of child sacrifice on the development of Christianity, it also looks at other influences of the religion of Phoenicia- including how Greek and Roman religions morphed out of Ba'alism, with Zeus and Jupiter being a morphed version of Ba'al. And how 150 years before Constantine, Rome had a emperor who declared Ba'al the one true god, and who performed human sacrifices. The work also looks at how Ba'alims influenced so many other cultures, including the Celts. (worshiped the god Bel; burned people as part of their rituals )

And how Judaism was created mainly based on complete rejection of values of Ba'alism. As a part of this process this work speculates how it is likely the original story Abraham sacrificed Isaac because it would have been standard for their time. Only later with the anti-sacrifice movement did the story "morphed".

The work goes on to look at how this valuing of human sacrifice was morphed under Christian rule - to create the Auto de Fe's of Spain and the witch burning craze in Europe. The work projects that these events were morphed versions of the ancient rites of burning people to appease a god.


The Ba'al Theory covers all these points and more in an effort to bring to light a repressed history of a very important religion of ancient times - and the impact of this religion in the most unexpected places - including the very foundation of the Christian religion - that being God sacrificed his only begotten son.​
 
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
My first comment is to to the artwork shown in the Part 2 video is misinterpreted in my understanding. Yahweh of Samaria is supposed to be the man standing in the foreground, with his son and wife, Asherah, behind him. The calf in the depiction is not likely depicting the golden calf of Exodus 32, and I doubt that Exodus 32:5 is really naming the golden calf Yahweh in any case.

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That said, I believe that Yahweh was likely indeed a younger brother of Ba'al within the Canaanite pantheon. This is why villages of Yahweh-ites and Ba'al-ites can be found intermingled as was typical for other polytheistic regions like Mesopotamia and Egypt. And this is why the Jewish canon is replete with younger brothers (e.g. Jacob and Joseph) usurping their older siblings, thus matching Yahweh's usurpation of Ba'al.

But more importantly, Glenn Young's theory makes sense from the standpoint that God's sacrifice of his only begotten son would indeed make a compelling appeal to widespread Semitic (not Jewish) adherents of the Ba'al religion. Of course, the appeal here is to further discontinue the practice of child sacrifice to Ba'al, but rather that the one time sacrifice of Jesus was to replace the need to continue with the grisly old practice. In this sense, the Christian sacrifice was accomplishing generally the same thing as the aborted sacrifice of Isaac, just on a larger geographical scale.

The scale is larger because not only did the Phoenicians have a wider and prior geographical reach than did the later Jews but there was a deeper strata of such Semitic peoples throughout the Mediterranean and southern European regions. Such as the Beltane (Bel - Ba'al) fire rituals and related were practiced as far as the British Isles and even fairly late as discussed.

And, importantly, Young makes the point that the messages of the 'sacrifices' of Isaac and Jesus are meant to say that their respective target audiences were indeed engaged in such practices. The same goes for the Mosiac laws of cultural inversion, albeit that the intent here was more to create a synthetic society that was diametrically opposite its neighbors, culturally opposite in almost every sense. Here for the purpose of creating a political foil, a foil that is still being cynically exploited today.

Young accepts to common notion today that prior to the Babylonian and Persian period that the Judiac canon is of whole cloth. Yet, one must explain what is otherwise a vacuum between the collapse of the Late Bronze Age and the Babylonian Exile. If one excuses what is likely many propagandic glosses, the canon does a rather good job of explaining the bloody and brutal process of clearing the field for the new order to come. Such as these cannot be performed with the flip of a switch by the fiat of an imperial leader. Too many people object to the destruction and degradation of their native cultures.

The forced emigration of the so-called Lost Tribes by the Assyrians was a common practice of the day, and likely these peoples were those who would not conform to the new Mosaic order. These Israelite 'Hebrews' were the prior Canaanites and adherents of Ba'al, many of whom likely ended up in Europe and Scythia.

Such cultural resistance is also why the theory that 'late' Christianity just popped up out of the air, because someone like Constantine flipped a switch doesn't work. There needed to be a critical mass of 'Christians' in society, including in the government and military, over a period of time, as is recorded to have been the case.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Glenn Young's theory makes sense from the standpoint that God's sacrifice of his only begotten son would indeed make a compelling appeal to widespread Semitic (not Jewish) adherents of the Ba'al religion. Of course, the appeal here is to further discontinue the practice of child sacrifice to Ba'al... not only did the Phoenicians have a wider and prior geographical reach than did the later Jews but there was a deeper strata of such Semitic peoples throughout the Mediterranean and southern European regions. Such as the Beltane (Bel - Ba'al) fire rituals and related were practiced as far as the British Isles and even fairly late as discussed.
Is Young saying that child sacrifice to Ba'al was indeed widely practiced among Phoenicians and other Semitic peoples, as late as the 1st century AD?
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Good question.

The video discusses some later instances, and I know that there is debate over such as late at the Carthaginian period, regarding the nature of child cemeteries (sacrifices or natural causes). I'm not sure how much detail Young goes into this in his book.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Glenn Young goes to great length to define terms and more as in the effort to discuss his topic that spans a great period of time, as cultures fracture and morph over time. As such, this is a valuable effort in and of itself.

In one of his essays to discuss one of the problems involved he touches on a valuable comparison between the Trojan War character Achilles and King David. This is also interesting to me as I have just noted the relationship of Jesus on the Cross - becoming a cryptic "superposition" of the prior Greek twin saviors, Castor and Pollux. The twins being cattle rustlers and were ironically killed by their twin cousins (also cattle rustlers) for such. Upon their death, Castor and Pollux ascended to the heavens and became the Gemini constellation.

The 'rogue' sociologist, Francisco Gil-White has demonstrated how the moral concept of a 'hero', such as Achilles has become inverted in our times from that of the manly warrior with no 'modern' scruples, to our notion of a really 'good' guy. Of course, now Donald J. Trump is inverting the hero concept back to something more akin to Achilles and ... Samson.

The following excerpt from pages 19 and 20 of The Ba'al Theory of Christianity:

There is one essay in the Introductory Essay that covers the difficulties in finding facts that are not religiously tainted. While not directly included in the introduction because it is relatively tangential to the main story line, I urge you to read in its entirety prior to taking on the main books. This is the essay entitled “The Battle of the Super Heroes - Achilles vs David. – (Introductory Essay 6).

  • This essay shows how extensive the documentation is to support the existence of the societies portrayed in the Iliad. There are archeological findings of many cities, including Troy and Mycenae, extensive pottery, armor, and all forms of artifacts to show that the portrayal in the Iliad is a fair and relatively correct representation of the world of Achilles in the story line. And
  • How the documented evidence of the society portrayed in the Bible of the Kingdom of David is virtually non-existent. That after extensive efforts over 150 years of modern archeology, there is only one item found that supports that there was ever a David (a stele from a king of Israel saying he was from the house of David), and more critical to this lack of evidence is the counter evidence that there is really no space in history for a great Davidic kingdom, when you look at the findings and records of other states that actually did exist (Egypt, Assyria, etc,)

However, we in this world and in this time see Achilles as only a myth and David as valid, actual history. This view of history exists only because the dominance of Christianity and its mandate of absolute belief in the truth of the Bible; questioning of this mandate could be a capital offense leading to domicide. Therefore, the acceptance of David as fact is solely based on the 1500 year or so Western requirement to accept David or face death, not the real evidence of the historical record. And in addition, this capital offense was present for those who were willing to see Greek and Roman stories as facts and not just myths.

As pointed out by this essay, religious tyranny and absolutism that controlled “thought” in the West for some 1500 years still plays out in our understanding of history. This Christian religious influence is directly challenged in this book and asks the reader to look at this Ba’al Theory of Christianity on the basis of real evidence, or at least on the basis of the evidence we have left that was not completely destroyed by Christians during the authoritarian rule. In short, I ask the reader to set aside all notions of preconceived, religious dominated “history.”

But, we must ask here, if Achilles existed how about Castor and Pollux - and their sister Helen, all three siblings born of eggs and of at least one divine parent? As Young notes, there is scant evidence for Kings David and Solomon, yet, there is evidence for a 'Greek' tribe of Dan posing as the Hebrew tribe of Dan in norther Israel. And, the Book of Judges records Samson to have been a Nazarite son of the leaders of the same Danites. After the collapse of the Late Bronze Age, marked by the Trojan War, the land of Mycenae Greece (the supposed victors) goes abandoned for centuries, including the Greek Danoi, but a tribe of Dan shows up in Israel with Greek culture. And they also show up in the British Isles under the same name (see the Tuatha de Danann and the Scotichronicon), and all with earlier ties to Egypt (see Egyptus and Danaus).
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Glenn Young presents a 2005 paper by Sanford Holst, excerpted below, that presents a different picture the Phoenicians in relationship to the so-called Sea Peoples, and of which also presents the Mycenaeans as late comers to the party in Palestine. The latter is actually the case presented in the book of Judges for the "tribe of Dan", in that they were late to be settled and were seafarers. They just weren't "Hebrews", whether any of the Israelite tribes were such.

Holst discusses that it appears that the Phoenicians appeared to have made a strategic deal with the Sea People confederation, which profited the Phoenicians by eliminating the Hittites and appearing to have weakened the Egyptians. This provides a more complex picture than I had gleaned from Eric Cline's 1177 BCE, The Collapse of the Late Bronze Age account. As such, perhaps the Phoenician 'Canaanites' allowed the Peleset to peacefully settle 'Palestine' so as to help provide a buffer from the Egyptians.

As part of the apparent deal, the Sea (and Land) Peoples left the Phoenician cities alone, except for Ugarit, the Canaanite city closest to the Hittites.

If so, and if the tribe of Dan were really 'Egyptians', via Mycenae, then this would account for the actions of the Danite, Samson, against the Philistines.

The account below also calls into question the narrative of the Trojan War, far beyond that Helen was born of an egg along with her brothers.

...
Based upon the sum of this evidence, we can only conclude that observations of the Phoenician cites being undamaged during this time, and having been accorded a special status by the invaders, have been verified. That there was a relationship or partnership of some nature between the Sea Peoples and the Phoenicians is clearly in evidence.

The next step in probing the mystery of the Sea Peoples is to examine the economic and environmental factors cited by Philip C. Betancourt[xiii] and others as being the primary cause of the mass migration of the Sea Peoples. In this interesting train of logic, Betancourt et al seem to have begun by observing that after the Sea Peoples were settled in Palestine there was a similarity between their pottery and that of the Mycenaeans. Therefore the assumption was made that the Sea Peoples were Mycenaeans. This led to a search being made in Greece to find the cause of the Sea Peoples migration. Betancourt noted there was an adequate supply of food at this time in Greece and that the population had grown very large. An essential link in their food system was the extensive trade in the Aegean which allowed shortages in any locality to be made up by shipments from other areas.

He also pointed out that widespread disruption of this system of distribution could have caused a collapse of the society and a descent into warfare and migration. He postulated further that a simple two-year drought could have caused this whole system to collapse. All of this was offered to support a position that the Mycenaeans might have been the Sea Peoples.

But at that point the model failed. He admitted that the similarity between Mycenaean and Philistine pottery did not begin until a later date—the middle of the 12th century BC—and not at the beginning of that century when the Sea Peoples migration took place. Further there was no evidence of widespread drought or famine in Greece prior to the Sea Peoples attacks. Similarly there was no evidence of the Mycenaeans destroying the Hittite empire, nor of their forming vast caravans of people moving by land down the Levantine coast. Yet the actual Sea Peoples did all these things. We will soon see how the Mycenaeans fit into the events of this time—however it is already clear they were not the Sea Peoples. ...

http://www.phoenician.org/sea_peoples.htm
 
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
The following summarizes the so-called Ba'al Cycle, found on tablets in the ruins of Ugarit, in northernmost Canaan. One sees that Ba'al, a son of El, is killed by Mot and then is resurrected.

Below from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baal_Cycle

The Baʿal Cycle series of stories are summarized thus:

  • Yam wants to rule over the other gods and be the most powerful of all
  • Baʿal Hadad opposes Yam and slays him
  • Baʿal Hadad, with the help of Anath and Athirat, persuades El to allow him a palace
  • Baʿal Hadad commissions Kothar-wa-Khasis to build him a palace.
  • King of the gods and ruler of the world seeks to subjugate Mot
  • Mot kills Baʿal Hadad
  • Anath brutally kills Mot, grinds him up and scatters his ashes
  • Baʿal Hadad returns to Mount Saphon
  • Mot, having recovered from being ground up and scattered, challenges Baʿal Hadad
  • Baʿal Hadad refuses; Mot submits
  • Baʿal Hadad rules again

The final part of the Baʿal cycle is concerned with Baʿal's battle against Mot, a personification of Death. Continuing from the preceding section, Mot concludes his reply to Baʿal. His reply is that he, like a lion in the desert, hungers constantly for human flesh and blood. By inviting Mot to a meal of bread and wine, Mot is offended, and threatens to cause the heavens to wilt and collapse, breaking Baʿal into pieces. Mot then will eat him piece by piece. When the text continues, Baʿal, or a speaker on his behalf admits his fear and dread of Mot. The speaker then tells Gupn and Ugar to go back to Mot and tell him that Baʿal will be eternally his slave, news to which Mot rejoices. When the text continues Baʿal complains to El that his dominion is in danger of passing to Mot. He then sends messengers to Sheger and Ithm, who are responsible for Cattle and Sheep, and asks them to provide animals for a feast, to which he will invite Mot. When the texts continue, a messenger from Mot arrives in the divine assembly, demanding to know where Baʿal is. They both go up to El's house where El asks what has been happening. When the text continues, a speaker who is probably Shapash the sun-goddess addresses Baʿal. She is advising him to find a substitute in his image, which will be sought out and slain by Mot. She then promises to bury his body, and advises him to go to the two mountains which mark the entrance of the underworld, and to move them aside. Then he is to go down into the earth and hide. He finds a heifer in the fields, and with it a human child, whom he dresses in his robes and offers as a gift to Mot.

However, similar to allegations about the sacrifice of Jesus, there is this, in red highlight, that Ba'al should find a substitute for himself. In some respects Mot can be equated with such as Brutus and Judas, both of whom shared their respective Last Suppers with Julius Caesar and Jesus Christ.

We also find out in the Wikipedia link that Yam's prior name was 'Yaw', and while Yam expresses the desire to rule over the other gods, within the Judaic context, at least, Yahweh accomplishes this deed.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
The following summarizes the so-called Ba'al Cycle, found on tablets in the ruins of Ugarit, in northernmost Canaan.
This seems generally similar to the genre of "Dying God" narratives identified by Frazer in "The Golden Bough": the stories of Osiris, Tammuz, Attis, and Dionysus. Frazer was published in 1890, while this Ba'al Cycle wasn't discovered and translated until ~1930, otherwise it presumably would have made the cut. The twist here is that both the benevolent god and his nemesis die together, almost simultaneously, and are then resurrected together for their final battle?
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
The grizzly tale is now emerging: the Saudi expat, WaPo journalist and alleged CIA asset, Jamal Khashoggi, met exactly the same fate as Ba'al and Osiris. Chopped up into pieces. For any Doubting Thomases, it's said that there are snuff tapes. So far, there's no sign that he's going to be resurrected.

So the topic is timely after all. This ancient Ba'al religion is making a comeback.
 
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
I was searching for something regarding child sacrifice and a speculation I made, about elites possibly substituting others' children as their own, that I thought I had posted before and came across this:

19All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male. 20But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty. (Exodus 34 KJV)​

According to the Biblical narrative Abraham had stopped Hebrew child sacrifice, but hundreds of years later during the Exodus period the 'Hebrews' (really Canaanites) must be told again in a different way. As the firstborn male ass must be redeemed (saved from sacrifice) using a substituted lamb, so must the firstborn sons be redeemed with a suitable substitute sacrifice.

In any case, the problem with substituting another child would be that you'd have to claim that your own child was resurrected in order for them to be seen alive again.

Here's another I found dealing with substitution, from the first century BCE Diodorus Siculus (Library XX xiv):

In former times the Carthaginians had been accustomed to sacrifice to this god [Baal] the noblest of their sons, but more recently, secretly buying and nurturing children, they had sent these to the sacrifice.

Diodorus goes on to say that the Carthaginians, under attack, thought better of their impiety and sacrificed 200 of their noblest children, with even more 'victims' volunteering. But is this claim just dark propaganda of the Romans?
 
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Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Certain Doubting Thomases are pointing out that the tapes and other reporting of the Khashoggi incident are all second hand, at least as far as us plebs are concerned. For example, Caitlin Johnstone and 'Catte'. They note that the incident is drawing enormous amounts of mainstream media attention, considering that Saudi Arabia murders people on a regular basis, and by the tens of thousands in Yemen. They suggest that this may represent a turning point in Anglo-American/Saudi Arabian foreign relations, as the Saudis are suddenly being recognized as enemies rather than friends. Or maybe all the outrage is because the incident involves an MSM / CIA person, rather than a typical 'unworthy' victim.

It hardly matters, as far as the evocation of Ba'al Circle imagery.
 
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