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Sex, Drugs , Violence and the Bible
By Chris Bennett and Neil McQueen

Oannes

The worship of serpents by Moses and the Israelites isn't actually so surprising when we understand the roots of the culture from which the Israelites emerged. The Bible tells us that Abram left his home in the Sumerian city of Ur, and settled in Haran with his father Terah, wife Sarai, and nephew Lot. It is important that Abram, the patriarch of the Israelites, should hale from Ur, the foremost of the original Sumerian cities to emerge in the Persian Gulf. This ties the family of Abraham in with the cult of Ur giving us the cultic background from which the new religion of Abraham grew. As a citizen of Ur Abraham would have been involved with the worship of the deities of Ur. Thus the rites of fertility practiced in honour of the divine couple Asherah and Baal as well the worship of the ancient and enigmatic figure of Oannes.

 "In the first year of the world there appeared, from the Persian Gulf, a being named Oannes". Fragments of Berossus, From Alexander Polyhistor

Joseph Campbell wrote that the Baptism of Jesus by John, "was an ancient rite coming down from the old Sumerian temple city Eridu, of the water god Ea, 'God of the House of Water'...In the Hellenistic period, Ea was called Oannes , which is in Greek  Ioannes,  Latin  Johannes , Hebrew Yohanan,  English John."(Campbell 1964) Elsewhere the eminent theologian commented that Ea "functioned as a god of purification in the water rituals known as rituals of "the house of baptism".

"John the Baptist seems to have been identified by early Christian syncretists in Egypt with the Chaldean god Oannes who according to Berossus used to appear at long intervals in the Persian Gulf, disguised as the merman Odacon [Dagon], and renew his original revelation to the faithful" (Graves 1966).

This Being [Oannes] in the day-time used to converse with men...he gave them an insight into letters and sciences, and every kind of art. He taught them to construct houses, to found temples, to compile laws, and explained to them the principles of geometric knowledge. He made them distinguish the seeds of the earth, and shewed them how to collect fruits; in short, he instructed them in everything which could soften manners and humanize mankind. From that time, so universal were his instructions, nothing had been added material by way of improvement. When the sun set, it was the custom of this Being to plunge again into the sea, and abide all night in the deep; for he was amphibious. -- Fragments of Berossus, From Alexander Polyhistor

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