PAGAN SUN WORSHIP AND CATHOLICISM
THE PAGAN SUN WHEEL, THE OBELISK AND BAAL
Above is a Roman coin from the 3rd century A.D. (Probus, A.D. 276-282) which on the reverse depicts the pagan sun god driving a chariot drawn by four horses (Sol in Quadriga). The inscription reads SOLI INVICTO - The Invincible Sun.]
At right is a similar mosaic found in the Vatican grottoes under St. Peter's Basilica, on the vaulted ceiling of the tomb of the Julii (also known as "Mausoleum M"). It depicts Christ as the sun-god Helios / Sol riding in his chariot, and is dated to the 3rd century A.D. The two left horses were destroyed when the hole was made to enter the tomb. Other mosaics in this Christian tomb depicted Jonah and the whale, the good shepherd carrying a lamb, and fishermen. This blending of paganism with Christianity is syncretism, and apostasy.
At left is one of 24 (one for each hour of a day) pagan sun wheels that decorate the Konark Sun Temple in India, built as a huge ornately carved chariot for the Hindu sun god.
Note the following verse-
2 Ki 23:11 And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.
From the book
"The New Illustrated Great Controversy"
Copyright © LLT Productions
Used by Permission
When Israel apostatized, they made chariots dedicated to the sun god, who it was thought, traveled across the sky in a great chariot. Hence the origin of the sun wheel.
The Symbols of Baal, Ishtar and Shamash
Below is an artifact unearthed in the holy of holies of the pagan temple in the Canaanite city of Hatzor / Hazor, in northern Israel. It is described as follows:
|"Of special interest is a square basalt altar for burning
incense. On one of its sides, a circle with a cross in the center — the
divine symbol of the Canaanite storm god — is carved in low relief."
"... a basalt offering table, pillar-shaped, with a carved symbol of the storm god Baal on its side. That symbol was a circle with a cross in the center"
... The Akkadian Ishtar is also, to a greater extent, an astral deity, associated with the planet Venus: with Shamash, sun god, and Sin, moon god, she forms a secondary astral triad. In this manifestation her symbol is a star with 6, 8, or 16 rays within a circle. ...
Source: Encyclopedia Britannica Online, article on Ishtar.
The Star of Ishtar
Because some astronomical objects move through the sky in repeated and known intervals of time, the behavior of the celestial gods associated with them can be symbolized numerically. Ishtar, as the planet Venus, perhaps was handled this way in the eight-pointed star that usually stands for her on Babylonian boundary stones.
References to Venus as early as 3000 BC are known from evidence at Uruk, an important early Sumerian city in southern Iraq. One clay tablet found at the site says "star Inanna," and another contains symbols for the words "star, setting sun, Inanna." Inanna is Venus, known later as Ishtar, and the Uruk tablets specify her celestial identity with the symbol for "star": an eight-pointed star.
Source: Echoes of the Ancient Skies: the Astronomy of Lost Civilizations, by Dr. Edwin C. Krupp, pg. 303.
So can the star within a circle, or sun wheel, be found in the Vatican in Rome? Indeed it can!
|Here is a photo of the papal palace with the pope at the window of his apartment. Note the many eight-pointed stars of Ishtar in the decorative work above the windows. Some are within a darker circle.|
Detail from a photo by
|Here you see a view of the piazza or plaza at the Vatican,
also known as St. Peter's square. The papal palace is on the right edge of
the photo. The large eight-rayed sun wheel design, symbolic of Ishtar, is
immediately noticeable. Look closely in the center of the wheel. What you
see there is an obelisk, a genuine Egyptian obelisk shipped from
Heliopolis to Rome by the Roman emperor Caligula. The obelisk is, of
course, a phallic symbol,* but it also was used in sun worship. Click on
the image to view a larger version of the same image.
* It is claimed that the word 'obelisk' literally means 'Baal's shaft' or 'Baal's organ of reproduction'. Source: Masonic and Occult Symbols Illustrated, by Dr. Cathy Burns, pg. 341.
Here is an old photo of the center of St. Peter's square, and note that around the obelisk, at the center of the huge eight-point sun wheel, is a smaller four-pointed sun wheel, the same symbol as found on the altar stone in the temple of Baal in Hatzor!
In Ezekiel chapter 10, the sapphire throne of God is seen, and four wheels within a wheel. St. Peter's square appears to imitate this with pagan symbology.
Here you see the reverse side of a coin celebrating the pontificate of John Paul II, and on it is the obelisk and sun wheel of St. Peter's piazza, and a very distinct sunburst emanating from the Basilica itself. The correlation of the symbology is striking.
Pope John Paul II, at World Youth Day 2000, was wearing a crimson and gold stole, which bears the symbols of Baal / Shamash within an eight-pointed star of Ishtar. An enlargement is shown below.
Pope Pius XII wearing the same stole.
Symbol of Baal
found in Hazor, Israel
Symbol of the
pagan sun-god Shamash
|Detail of the symbol on the papal stole.||
Detail from the Stela of
The British Museum
|The Egyptian obelisk that stands in the square of St. John Lateran (shown at left) is the largest in existence. Originally carved during the reign of Pharaoh Thutmoses III, it stood in the Temple of Amon in Thebes (Karnak), but was removed to Rome by emperor Constantius (A.D. 317-361), and placed in the Circus Maximus. In 1587 Pope Sixtus V unearthed the fallen, broken and long forgotten obelisk and had it repaired and placed in the Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano. Interestingly enough, it is possible that Moses saw this very obelisk when he was in Egypt. Now this obelisk, meant to honor the sun god, stands beside what Catholics call the supreme "Mother of all Churches", the official cathedra of the bishop of Rome, the Pope, which brings to mind Revelation 17: 5 and the apostate Mother Church, Mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots, who stands accused of fornication, a mixing of the sacred with the profane, truth with error.|
Of the several functions of the PILLAR among early peoples, the Egyptian obelisk was worshipped as the dwelling place of the sun-god.
Source: Illustrated Dictionary of Symbols in Eastern and Western Art by James Hall, published by HarperCollins, 1994, page 75.
The pagan association of the obelisk was something well understood by the church. The Jesuit scholar, Athanasius Kircher in his book Obeliscus Pamphilius, published in 1650, gives an account of the ancient views of the obelisk as the digitus solis, or "finger of the sun".
Pope Sixtus V (1585 - 1590) had the Egyptian obelisks erected all over Rome, as Counter-Reformation monuments.
The word matstsebah in Hebrew means standing images or obelisk and it can be found in many places of the Bible. Here is Strong's definition of the Hebrew word matstsebah-
H4676. matstsebah, mats-tsay-baw'; fem. (causat.) part. of H5324; something stationed, i.e. a column or (memorial stone); by anal. an idol:--garrison, (standing) image, pillar.
In the following verses matstsebah has been translated as image(s)-
Exo 23:24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.
Exo 34:13 But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:
Lev 26:1 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.
Deu 7:5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.
Deu 12:3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.
1 Ki 14:23 For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.
2 Ki 3:2 And he wrought evil in the sight of the LORD; but not like his father, and like his mother: for he put away the image of Baal that his father had made.
2 Ki 10:26 And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them.
2 Ki 10:27 And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day.
2 Chr 14:3 For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves:
2 Chr 31:1 Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities.
Jer 43:13 He shall break also the images of Bethshemesh, that is in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire.
Micah 5:13 Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.
Another Hebrew word is also used for "sun images" or obelisks, the word chamman. Again, here is the Strong's definition-
H2553. chamman, kham-mawn'; from H2535; a sun-pillar:--idol, image.
Chamman is also translated as simply image(s) in the King James:
Isa 17:8 And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.
Isa 27:9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up.
2 Chr 34:4 And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.
Here is a close-up of the obelisk in front of St. Peter's. Have you ever given any thought to the origin of the church steeple? Could it be a modern representation of the pagan obelisk? Indeed!
From the book
"The New Illustrated Great Controversy"
Copyright © LLT Productions
Used by Permission
So in St. Peter's square, the symbol of Baal is within the symbol of Ishtar, and at the center is an Egyptian obelisk, all representing pagan sun worship.
Pope Celebrates Palm Sunday at Pagan Sun Pillar
|Images © 2000 by CTV|
Above are pictures of John Paul II, dressed in scarlet, celebrating Palm Sunday in St. Peter's square on April 16th, 2000, with a "grove" of potted palms and hundred-year-old olive trees placed around the standing solar pillar (matstsebah) or obelisk, in the center of the Vatican's large pagan solar wheel symbolizing Baal and Ishtar.
Deu 16:21 Thou shalt not plant thee a grove (asherah) of any trees near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee.
Deu 16:22 Neither shalt thou set thee up any image (matstsebah / pillar); which the LORD thy God hateth.
Now below are two photos of a statue in St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome.
© SCALA Florence
It is supposedly a statue of Peter enthroned. Notice the sun wheel above his head? This statue is thought by some to actually be a pagan statue of Jupiter, removed from the Pantheon in Rome (a pagan temple), moved into St. Peter's and renamed Peter. The extended right foot has been nearly worn away from the many pilgrims who kiss it in homage. Note also that the pattern on the wall behind the statue utilizes the symbol of Baal / Shamash!
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia online article Portraits of the Apostles:
The famous bronze statue of St. Peter in the basilica of this Apostle in Rome is by some regarded as a work of the fifth or sixth century, by others as pertaining to the thirteenth. The latter date is adopted by Kraus and Kaufmann among others; Lowrie, however, maintains that "no statue of the Renaissance can be compared with this for genuine understanding of the classic dress", and, therefore, this writer holds for the more ancient date. The marble statue of St. Peter taken from the old basilica, now in the crypt of the Vatican, was originally, in all probability, an ancient consular statue which was transformed into a representation of the Prince of Apostles.
Here you see a photo looking up into the dome of St. Peter's. Notice the very obvious 16 ray sun wheel. Indeed the light from the sun streams into the center hub of the dome making a genuine sun-lit sunburst image at the center of the wheel.
As you can see from the Bible verses quoted above, these symbols were associated with sun worship, which is strongly condemned in scripture. So why are they so prevalent in the Roman Catholic Church, if they are associated with paganism and apostasy?
|From the book Art Treasures of the
© 1974 by Smeets Offset B.V.
Ezek 8:16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.
Ezek 8:17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here?
Catholic rebuttal by Mario Derksen
Note: Mario Derksen's website at www.cathinsight.com is now defunct. The page formerly at this link, http://cathinsight.com/apologetics/adventism/sunbursts.htm, and all other pages at that domain, are not in the archives of Archive.org.
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