Myths From Hislop: A Call To Examine Facts

By Marcia Montenegro

"If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame." Proverbs 18:13

"A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will not escape." Proverbs 19:5

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." Colossians 3:12-14


Many mistaken views can be traced to the pages of The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop. This book made a number of claims which do not rest on clear historical data, but were conclusions drawn by Hislop influenced by his own biases.

One of Hislop's supporters, Ralph Woodrow, wrote a book based on Hislop's book titled Babylon Mystery Religion. However, Woodrow later discovered that Hislop's claims were largely unsubstantiated, and Woodrow withdrew his support of Hislop, pulling his own book out of print. Woodrow wrote a book to expose the false claims he was now rejecting, The Babylon Connection?

In an article (link below), Woodrow shows the fallacies behind some of Hislop's thinking:

"Let's suppose that on May 10th a man was stabbed to death in Seattle. There were strong reasons for believing a certain person did it. He had motive. He was physically strong. He owned a large knife. He had a criminal record. He was known to have a violent temper and had threatened the victim in the past. All of these things would point to him as the murderer, except for one thing: on May 10th he was not in Seattle--he was in Florida!

So is it with the claims about pagan origins. What may seem to have a connection, upon further investigation, has no connection at all!

By this method, one could take virtually anything and do the same--even the "golden arches" at McDonald's! The Encyclopedia Americana (article: "Arch") says the use of arches was known in Babylon as early as 2020 B.C. Since Babylon was called "the golden city" (Isa. 14:4), can there be any doubt about the origin of the golden arches? As silly as this is, this is the type of proof that has been offered over and over about pagan origins."

Since many popular ideas derive from Hislop's book, some may not want to face the facts and prefer to cling to these unproven or even false views. Many notions linking Easter and Christmas with paganism are linked to Hislop. This is often used by cultists as a battering ram against Christians.

But as Christians, we are called to truth. After all, Jesus is the truth (John 14:6)! How can we as Christians claim to embrace and preach Jesus if we ourselves do not want to see factual evidence that overturns some cherished beliefs that came from Hislop (or any other less than credible sources)? Therefore, it is suitable and biblical to examine all claims in the light of objective truth and reject any that are unsupported by solid data and which spring from dubious sources. Let us not jump to conclusions or make hasty judgments.

Expose of Hislop's book

Article by Ralph Woodrow, regarding his previously published book Babylon Mystery Religion, and his public statement of the errors in that book (Woodrow also wrote and published The Babylon Connection? as a corrective to his original book that promulgated the Hislop errors)

Woodrow's book, The Babylon Connection?

A point-by-point refutation of some of the major claims by Hislop

Is Easter a pagan word?

 

 

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