The cult of the Apis bull
started at the very beginning of Egyptian history as a fertility god connected
to grain and the herds.
the land of Canaan the Apis bull was known as Baal.
the sacred ascended bull of Memphis after its death according to the
hieroglyphic texts which were found on stelae and other objects in the Serapeum
Serapis was a syncretistic deity
derived from the worship of the Egyptian Osiris and Apis (Osiris + Apis =
Greek and Roman authors have much to say about
Apis, the marks by which the black bull-calf was
recognized, the manner of his conception by a ray from heaven, his house at
Memphis with court for disporting himself, the mode of prognostication from his
actions, the mourning at his death, his costly burial, and the rejoicings
throughout the country when a new Apis was found. (Dalai Lama)
The Apis bull, a manifestation of Pharaoh,
symbolized the king's courageous heart, great strength, virility, and fighting
Auguste Mariette's excavation of the Serapeum of Saqqara
revealed the tombs of over sixty animals, ranging from the time of
Amenhotep III to that of the
was buried in a separate tomb with a chapel built above.
5th century BC
Herodotus equates the Egyptian god
Osiris and the Greek god
III of Macedonia founds Alexandria.
Alexandria becomes not only
a center of Hellenism but also home to
the largest Hebrew community in the world.
Septuagint, the Greek translation of
the Misnah, is produced here
Ptolemy I succeedes
Alexander III of
Macedonia and assumes the
traditional title of Pharaoh.
Ptolemy I Soter I (Ptolemy the Savior) promoted
Serapis while adding Hellenistic
overtones most notable in the use of a human headed idol rather than an animal
headed idol like Anubus.
The followers of Serapis endorse him as the
patron of Alexandria.
The composite term Serapis is found around the
start of the first century BC, for example in Aegyptiaca by Hecataeus of
Abdera, and in works by Leon of Pella.
At the time of the birth of
Jesus of Nazareth the
Gnostic Mystery of the Serapis
was well ensconced in Alexandria.
"When in ancient times a
pestilence arose in Egypt, the common people ascribed their troubles to the
workings of a divine agency; for indeed with many strangers of all sorts
dwelling in their midst and practicing different rites of religion and
sacrifice, their own traditional observances in honor of the gods had fallen
Hence the natives of the land surmised that unless they
removed the foreigners, their troubles would never be resolved.
therefore, the aliens were driven from the country, and the most outstanding
and active among them banded together and, as some say, were cast ashore in
Greece and certain other regions; their leaders were notable men, chief among
them being Danaus and Cadmus.
The greater number were driven into what is
now called Judaea, which is not far distant from Egypt.
was headed by a man called Moshe
Rabbenu, outstanding both for his wisdom and for his courage.
taking possession of the Land of Cannan he founded
In addition he established the
temple that they hold in chief veneration, instituted their forms of worship
and ritual, drew up their laws and ordered their political institutions.
Moshe Rabbenu divided them
into twelve tribes, since this is regarded as the
most perfect number corresponding to the number of months a year.
He had no images whatsoever
of the gods made for them, being of the opinion that God is not in human
form; rather the Heaven that
surrounds the earth is alone divine, and rules the universe.
sacrifices that he established differ from those of other nations, as does
their way of living, for as a result of their own expulsion from Egypt he
introduced a kind of misanthropic and
inhospitable way of life." - Aegyptiaca by Hecataeus of Abdera
Gnostic Mystery of the Serapis
Creator made flesh, humanities Savior is the Son of the
Creator = the Creator made flesh;
Father of the Savior resides in heaven while the
mother is a mortal virgin.
Serapis' birth was prophesized by a
star in the
Serapis was born in a shed before three
Serapis allows his followers to be
born again through
the rites of
Serapis miraculously turned water into wine at the marriage
Serapis was powerless to perform miracles in
Serapis rode triumphantly into town on a donkey while
people waved palm leaves to honor him.
had 12 disciples.
licentious behavior Serapis was hung on a tree.
Serapis dies at the Vernal
Equinox as a sacrifice for the sins of
the world, descends to hell
after bodily death, and on the third day his
tomb is visited by three female followers, he rises from the dead and ascends
resurrection are celebrated by
a ritual meal of bread and wine, which
symbolize his body and blood.
Gnostic mystery groups
existed in the eastern Mediterranean
during the late classical antiquity period, including the
Eleusinian, Dionysian and Orphic
mysteries along with the Mithraic as well
as the Mystery of
Some of the many divinities that the
Romans nominally adopted from other
cultures also came to be worshiped in the Gnostic mysteries - for instance
Egyptian Isis, Thracian/Phrygian
Sabazius and Phrygian
At the heart of
the Gnostic Mystery of Christ
was the myth of a dying and resurrecting
god taking human form, an
Avatar, who was known by different names in different cultures:
in Egypt he was Osiris and later
- in Greece Dionysus;
- in Asia Minor
- in Italy
This dying and resurrecting god had been
popular throughout the ancient world for centuries and carried many local names
but was mostly seen as a Bull as seen in the Canaanite god of fertility
Baal. (Age of Taurus)
It was the cross pollination with Hellenism,
which always modeled the gods in human form, that allowed, first, the
Alexandrian followers of Serapis
and, then, the Essenes
to model the Dying and Resurrecting God on,
first, the Greek ruler Alexander III of Macedonia,
and, then, Jesus of
The name 'Osiris-Dionysus' was sometimes used
to denote the universal composite
nature of reality in much the same way that the term
Serapis was used before being
replace by the term Christ.
Chrestus (Christus) was another name
for the Egyptian god, Serapis.
Chrestus may be translated as
"In the city on the borders of Egypt
which boasts Alexander of
Macedonia as its founder, Serapis and Isis are worshiped with a
reverence that is almost fanatical.
Evidence that the sun, under the
name of Serapis, is the object of
all this reverence is either the basket set on the head of the god or the
figure of a three-headed creature placed by his statue.
The middle head
of this figure, which is also the largest, represents a lion's; on the right a
dog raises its head with a gentle and fawning air; and on the left the neck
ends in the head of a ravening wolf.
All three beasts are joined
together by the coils of a serpent whose head returns to the god's right hand
which keeps the monster in check." - Macrobius, Saturnalia
Constantine was searching for
a new State religion to unite
the far flung reaches of the Roman Empire.
this end Constantine took existing
fragmented and splintered Gnostic
Mysteries, which had evolved out of the
original traditions of the tribes surounding the Mediterranean the synthesizing
the Mysteries of the Serapis with the Mysteries of Mithras and codifying
the structure into a new religion
with a new sacred text - the
New Testament, underlain by the
ponoerologic mythology of the Sadducees found
codified in the Septuagint and
legitimized by the
writings of Saul of Tarsus.
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