In the previous article we saw how Egyptian, Babylonian, and Assyrian religion was synthesized into Greece and how it developed into a unique synthesis. In this article we again look deeper into the religions of Greece and the Dionysus Cult.
Dionysus, also commonly known by his Roman name Bacchus, appears to be a god who has two distinct origins. On the one hand, Dionysus was the god of wine, agriculture, and fertility of nature, who is also the patron god of the Greek stage. On the other hand, Dionysus also represents the outstanding features of mystery religions, such as those practiced at Eleusis: ecstasy, personal delivery from the daily world through physical or spiritual intoxication, and initiation into secret rites. Scholars have long suspected that the god known as Dionysus is in fact a fusion of a local Greek nature god, and another more potent god imported rather late in Greek pre-history from Phrygia (the central area of modern day Turkey) or Thrace.
Dionysus is identified with many other savior-gods. Dionysus was also called Bacchus, Zagreus, Sabazius, Adonis, Antheus, Zalmoxis, Pentheus, Pan, Liber Pater, or "the Liberator." His emblem was the thyrsus, a phallic scepter tipped with a pine cone. His priestesses were the Maenads, or Baccharites, who celebrated his orgies with drunkenness, nakednesss, and sacramental feasting. The maenads, or bacchantes, were a group of female devotees who left their homes to roam the wilderness in ecstatic devotion to Dionysus. They wore fawn skins and were believed to possess occult powers.
Dionysus was good and gentle to those who honored him, but he brought madness and destruction upon those who spurned him or the orgiastic rituals of his cult. According to tradition, Dionysus died each winter and was reborn in the spring. To his followers, this cyclical revival, accompanied by the seasonal renewal of the fruits of the earth, embodied the promise of the resurrection of the dead. The yearly rites in honor of the resurrection of Dionysus gradually evolved into the structured form of the Greek drama, and important festivals were held in honor of the god, during which great dramatic competitions were conducted.
Dionysus later hero-incarnation Orpheus, star of the popular Orphic Mysteries, was the same sacrificial god, torn to pieces by the Maenads. Proclus said, "Orpheus, because he was the principal in the Dionysian rites, is said to have suffered the same fate as the god" (Walker, The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, p. 237). Dionysus was hailed as "King of Kings and God of Gods." He was also the god-begotten, virgin-born Anointed One (Christos) whose mother seems to have been all three forms of the Triple Goddesss in his sacrificial Dendrites, "Young Man of the Tree." He was also a Horned God, with such forms as bull, goat, stag (Ibid.).
At Eleusis, the place of his "Advent," Dionysus appeared as a newborn Holy Child laid in a winnowing-basket, from which he was called Dionysus Liknites. Dionysus' cradle was the original form of the "manger" in which the infant Jesus was laid. All gain-gods, whose flesh was eaten in the form of bread, appeared as newborn babes in a vessel intended for seed corn (Ibid.).
Dionysus is often presented as a wine-god. But more than that he was a prototype of Christ, with a cult-center at Jerusalem, as well as nearly every other major city in the middle east. Plutarch said the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated in his honor: "I think that the festival of the Sabbath is not whole without relation to the festival of Dionysus." He added that the Jews abstain from pork because their god Dionysus-Adonis (Lord Dionysus) was slain by a boar." In the first century B.C.E. the Jews themselves claimed to worship Dionysus under his Phrygian name of Zeus Sabazius (Walker, The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, p. 236). Tacitus said Dionysus Liber was the god of Jerusalem in a former time, but a differnet god had replaced him, a god with less attractive characteristics: "Liber established a festive and cheerful worship, while the Jewish religion is tasteless and mean." Dionysus and Jehovah were literally two sides of the same coin in the 5th century B.C.E., when coins found near Gaza showed Dionysus on one side, and on the other a bearded figure labeled JHWH-Jehovah (Ibid.).
The above information is very important as it shows the Jews' indoctrination with Dionysus and similar religious concepts. This will have a strong influence later as well among the Essenes as they adapt their Messianic beliefs and pattern many of them after Dionysus and these Messianic beliefs come with them when the make conversion to the Jesus Movement following Jesus' crucifixion.
This will become most evident as we get deeper into this article.
It was not that the Greeks were without gods or religion; but their official deities were only immortal men and women, subject to all the passions and most of the moral frailties of mankind. When people wanted something of immediate concern, they implored these Olympians for aid, and offered sacrifices as rewards or propitiations. The most informative Greek work dealing with the origin of these deities is the Theogony of Hesiod, which was probably composed about 750 B. C. and of which the following is a brief summary:
In the beginning was Chaos, and Earth, who conceived and bore Heaven, or Uranus, without "the sweet rites of love." And then in the bed of Uranus, she bore the Titans, including Hyperion, Iapetos, Rhea, Mnemosyne, and Cronus, who married Rhea and who, by her, became the father of Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Lades, Poseidon, and Zeus. As Cronus had been told that one of his children would overthrow him, he ate the first five at birth. This so saddened Rhea that she appealed to her parents for aid; "and they conveyed her . . . into the rich land of Crete, when she was about to bring forth . . . Zeus."She hid her child in a cave, and, swaddling a stone, gave it to Cronus, who ate the stone (thinking it was a child), never suspecting the substitution of the child with the stone. When Zeus grew to manhood, he compelled his father to disgorge the stone and the five children he had devoured. After a fearful ten-year battle in which he defeated the Titans, Zeus became the king of the gods, the lord of the sky, the cloud-gatherer, and the master of the thunderbolt.
In the form of a golden shower (sun-worship) Zeus seduced Danae, who bore Perseus; in the form of a bull, he abducted Europa, who bore Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Sarpedon. By various amours and marriages, Zeus became the literal father of the Greek pantheon. And, last of all, Semele, daughter of Cadmus in Thebes, bore him Dionysus, the only child of a mortal ever to be recognized as an immortal god in the Greek pantheon (a godman).
In the Greek pantheon, three of the most important were not members of the original company, but pushed their way into it later.
Dionysis obtained many devotees upon the peninsula itself among the lower classes, and particularly among women, before the Trojan War; and after that event, his cult underwent a series of reforms, divisions, and expansions. As the older gods faded, the mystery deities became progressively more powerful: and among these, the greatest was Dionysus.
That the mysteries were neither of Cretan origin nor a part of the original Greek religion is established by the fact that the initiatory rites as practiced among these islanders were open to everyone, in contrast to the secret rituals of Byblus, Cyprus, Thrace, Samothrace, and Eleusis (Diodorus, V, 77). The mystery, which originated in Egypt, was imported into Greece long after Zeus and his strange family had migrated from Mt. Ida to Mt. Olyrnpus.
The subject of Dionysus is complex and baffling. The problem is further complicated by the fact that he appears in at least four characters:
Beyond this, almost all barbarian nations had their own versions of Dionysus under many names.
And yet there is a simple explanation: Dionysus, Bromius, Sabazius, Attis, Adonis, Zalmoxis, Corybas, Serapis, and Orpheus himself are replicas of their grand prototype Osiris; and the variations which appear among them resulted from the transplantation of the god from one country to another, and reflect simply the specific needs of his multifarious worshipers.
History and tradition alike bear witness to the greatness of this king, who ruled Egypt from 1980 to 1933 B.C.E. We know also that this period saw a great resurgence in the cult of Osiris. If we may trust the account given to Herodotus by the Egyptian priests and confirmed by Diodorus, Sesostris had a career so closely parallel to that attributed to Osiris that we conclude much of his history to have been incorporated into the Osiris-Dionysus myth (Apollonius, Rhodius, IV, p. 263). He is said to have led an army over all portions of Asia; and, passing into Europe, to have made himself master of Thrace and Scythia, where he left not only monuments but also soldiers for permanent colonization, which explains the widespread worship of Osiris/Dionysus in these regions. According to this hypothesis, the mysteries of Osiris were established in Thrace about the twentieth century, perhaps five hundred years after the Astarte-Adonis cult was established at Byblus. Understand that Osirian religious beliefs were instilled in these areas due to a permanent military presence.
Dionysus was entrenched among the barbarians and especially in Thrace long before he appeared in Greece. Although the widely traveled Herodotus never mentions a single shrine or temple of this god in his own country, he found his cult officially established in many other lands. He mentions particularly the Smyrneans (Persian War, I, 150), the Scythians (Ibid., IV, 78-80), the Byzantines (Ibid., IV, 87), the Budini (Ibid., IV, 108), the Getae (Ibid., IV, 93-96), and the Thracians themselves (Ibid., V, 7) who had an oracle of the god with a priestess, similar to that of the Greeks at Delphi (Persian War, VII, 111).
When Osiris arrived in Thrace, due to the efforts of the Egyptian King Sesostris, he became Dionysus, the god from Nysa. Herodotus uses the names interchangeably and declares: "Osiris is named Dionysus by the Greeks" (Persian War, II, 144). And he continues: "According to the Greek tradition, he was no sooner born than he was sewn up in Zeus's thigh, and carried off to Nysa, above Egypt, Ethiopia" (Ibid., II, 146) where he was said to have been reared.
Many Greek cities claimed Dionysus, but almost all admitted that he was reared at Nysa. He was the only deity who could penetrate nation after nation, become truly an international savior-god, for he was the adored and beloved redeemer who promised resurrection and immortality. That Osiris had become universal by 125 A.D. is established by Plutarch, who declares that we should "identify Osiris with Dionysus . . . the god of all people in common . . . and this they who have participated in the holy rites well know" (Isis and Osiris, p. 28).
Ancient authorities had no doubt concerning the identity of Osiris and Dionysus. Even as the Latins and Romans adopted the entire Greek pantheon intact but gave its members new names, so the Greeks themselves as well as the barbarians at a much earlier time appropriated the gods of other nations, altered them to suit their own needs, and called them by new names. Diodorus, writing in the first century B. C., declares: "the rite of Osiris is the same as that of Dionysus and that of Isis very similar to that of Demeter, the names alone having been interchanged" (Persian War, I, 96). And again: "Osiris is the one whom the Greeks call Dionysus" (Ibid., IV, 1). Plutarch reiterates that Osiris and Dionysus are identical (Isis and Osiris, 34), and declares that the public ceremonies of Osiris in Egypt and those of Dionysus in Greece are one and the same (Ibid., 35).
The only possible explanation for the universal Dionysus is that between 3000 and 500 B.C. Osiris was exported from Egypt by foreign visitors and carried along the trade routes by Egyptian armies and commerce into many lands, whose people readily embraced a god who conferred such benefits in this life and promised such unparalleled rewards hereafter. Diodorus reflects the confusion in which Dionysus was inextricably involved, and explains that the myths concerning him do not agree in every land; some say that there was only one, others that there were three, by that name; some believe that he never had a human birth at all; and others that he was simply the symbol of wine (Diodorus, III, 62).
No wonder that the classical historians found it impossible to convey a clear-cut history of Dionysus, or a single image of him: for, in addition to the multiple replicas which existed among the barbarians, we know that there were at least two major penetrations into Greece by his cult before 1200 B.C.E., and at least three far-reaching reforms of it between 1100 and 500 B.C.E. The Dionysus cult was first introduced from Egypt by a priest named Melampus, celebrated for divination, possibly as early as 1300 B.C.E., the second invasion came directly from Thrace, may have occurred about 1200 B.C.E. and is credited to Orpheus, although it probably antedated this prophet. Then followed several reforms of Dionysius worship or reconstitutions of the worship, to which Herodotus alludes when he says that "various sages have since" the time of Melampus "carried his teaching to greater perfection'' (Persian War, II, 49). They are as follows:
Melampus was a pre-Trojan hierophant mentioned by Homer and well known among the legendary Greeks of the heroic age. The evidence indicates that he was the first who, as Diodorus declares, "brought from Egypt the rites which the Greeks celebrate in the name of Dionysus" (Diodorus, I, 97). And again: "Isis thought the privates of Osiris worthy of divine honors . . . the Greeks, too, inasmuch as they received from the Egyptians the . . . festivals... of Dionysus, honor this member both in the mysteries and the initiatory rites and sacrifices of the god" (Ibid., I, 22).
That the Melampian cult was definitely phallic and that the great majority of its devotees were women is elaborated by Herodotus (Persian War, II, 49), who calls Osiris "Dionysus" and states that in Egypt his "festival is celebrated almost exactly as Dionysiac festivals are in Greece . . . They use . . . images eighteen inches high, pulled by strings, which the women carry around the villages. These images have male members about the same size, also operated by strings" (Ibid., 48).
While the Dionysian cult as introduced by Melampus bears a strong congenital resemblance to its Thracian relative, we note also a certain divergence. While the Dionysus cult was distinguished by its phallic emphasis, the Thracian cult was characterized by wild orgies, sexual excesses, and feasts of raw flesh, especially that of infants. Both, however, obtained their following almost exclusively among women.
From beginning to end, the Egyptian Osiris and the Greek Dionysus are conjoined by a multitude of congenital ties.
Although the preponderance of evidence indicates that Dionysus was first worshipped in Thrace, there was much uncertainty on this point also; and Strabo points out that both Pindar and Euripides confuse the rites of Cybele, Mother of the Gods in Phrygia, with those of Dionysus (Geography, X, iii, 13). And this we can well understand; for the rituals of Attis, Adonis, Sabazius, and Dionysus all stemmed from those of Osiris. This is confirmed and emphasized by Pausanias.
Thatthe Dionysiacs ate the raw flesh of a bovine, a human enemy, or an infant in order to become immortal Bacchoi or Dionysiacs is attested by incontrovertible evidence. Porphyrios reproduced the following from Euripides' Cretans, now lost: "Pure has my life been since that day when I became an initiate of Idaean Zeus and herdsman of night-wandering Zagreus; and having accomplished the raw feasts and held the torches aloft to the Mountain-Mother, yea torches of the Kuretes, I was raised to the holy estate and called a Bacchus." Plutarch wrote of "the mysteries . . . in which the eating of raw flesh, and the tearing in pieces of victims . . . are in use . . . and the human sacrifices offered of old" (On The Cessation of the Oracles, 14).
Clemens of Alexander declares that "the Bacchanals hold their orgies in honor of the frenzied Dionysus . . . by the eating of raw flesh" (Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation, II). He also states that, according to Dosidas, the Lesbians offered human sacrifices to Dionysus (Ibid., III). And Arnobius describes the feasts of the "wild Bacchanalians, which are named in the Greek omophagia . . . in which with seeming frenzy and the loss of your senses, you twine snakes about you; and to show yourselves full of the divinity and majesty of the god, tear in pieces the flesh with gory mouths" (Adversus Gentes, V, 19).
Let us examine omophagia to understand what we just read:
"Omophagia" means "Eating-into-the Belly." This was a Greek ritual of holy communion by eating the flesh of sacrificial victims, human or animal. This custom goes back to primitive tradition when worshippers would tear apart the victims with their hands and teeth as supposedly happened in the earliest cults of Dionysus, Opheus, Ziagreus, and other gods torn apart in their myths. "The communicants rushed madly upon the sacrificial animal, tore it to pieces and ate it raw, believing that the god was resident in the offering...It was believed thus there took place an identification with the god himself, together with a participation in his substance and qualities." His immorality was consumed tooboth in the omophagia and its descendant, the Christian sacrament of communionthough the body is no longer meat but tiny pieces of bread.
Ovid relates the terrible experiences of the daughters of Minyas in Orchomenas' (Metamorphoses, IV, vii). When these dutiful imitators of the industrious Athena were determined to shun the mad revels of the Bacchanalians, Dionysus came into their midst, filled the air with wild beasts, drove the girls mad, and transformed them into bats. According to another version, they drew lots and devoured the infant child of one of their number, Leucippe. Herodotus confirms (History, IX, 34) the tale of Apollodorus concerning the daughters of Proetus to the effect that only by payment of a huge bribe to Melampus could the virgins and matrons of Arcadia be freed from their dementia, in which they "roamed over the whole Argive land . . . abandoned their houses, destroyed their children, and flocked to the desert" (History, II, ii). In another passage, Apollodorus states that Dionysus drove the women of Argos mad because they would not honor him "and they on the mountains devoured the flesh of the infants whom they carried at their breasts" (Ibid., III, v).
W. K. C. Guthrie reproduces the scene from a vase of the fourth century B.C.E., now in the British Museum, showing the sacramental rending and eating of a child (Orpheus and the Greek Religion, p. 131). This depicts the ancient Dionysiac ritual, which the Orphean reform repudiated. We see Dionysus himself at the left looking on in dismay while a Thracian at the right is running away in horror. The central figure, who represents a primitive cultist, is holding an infant; he has just ripped out its arm and is conveying the bloody morsel to his lips. It is at least interesting to note that this is the very ritual which the pagans later attributed to the Christians and of which the Catholics accused their own Montanist sectarians.
It is obvious that neither Herodotus nor Euripides understood the esoteric nature or the dynamic forces which lay at the root of the Dionysiac mystery. It is certain that such wild and passionate excesses must have grown from hopes and promises hitherto unknown and undreamed. It was a religion of the poor, of women, of the common herd; it gave them a sense of worth and significance and offered what seemed a priceless reward. At the very least, it was a romantic halt from the continuous drudgery of a meaningless existence.
Among the barbarians, both men and women seem to have joined the cult of Dionysus: but in Greece, it was peculiarly a religion of women. The reason for this we may surmise. Perhaps women were then, as some say they now are, more religious than men; but we believe rather that in the Dionysiac mystery women found the means to throw off the heavy domination of their husbands which had come with the end of primitive communism, the establishment of private property, monogamic marriage, and the concomitant requirement of chastity among wives, all of which was of such recent origin that the memory of their former freedom, economic independence, and social dominance was still vivid in their consciousness. There is no doubt that this mutiny even involved the murder of their own children, whom the husbands now desired as property-heirs. As additional acts of revenge, the frenzied women also indulged in omophagia and promiscuous sex-orgies under the direction of the Dionysiac priests.
Although these female Dionysiacs revolted against their husbands, they were without taint of celibacy: in fact, there has never been an authentic feminist celibate movement. Women have often mutinied against men, but have never rejected them; for it is the nature of women to desire children, and men are essential for their generation and support. The feminine Osirians and Dionysiacs worshiped the male generative organ in their processions; and at Memphis they displayed their genitals to the sacred bull Apis, or Osiris, so that they might absorb something of his virility (Diodorus, I, 85). The Maenads did not repudiate sex; they simply rebelled against monoandric marriage until such time as they could gain equality with their husbands, or at least a better position in the home. The Amazons constituted another phase of the same revolt.
The Thracian Dionysus reflected the Osirisan Mystery in its crude and ancient form, preceding the era of Ani and Nebseni. It was more like the Osirianism of the Pyramid Texts, in which we find Unas eating gods and ancestors and Horus drinking copiously of the blood of his slain enemies. At that time human beings as well as animals were sacrificed by rending, and the raw flesh was eaten and the warm blood lapped up by the frenzied celebrants, to whom this gruesome sacrament was a precise and identical replica of their own dismembered Osiris (again we see the Egyptian influence of Osiris). The somewhat more mature form of Osirianism imported by Melampus emphasized its phallic nature; but it, too, practiced human omophagia.
The older Dionysiac mysteries which preceded the reforms of Orpheus were, therefore, definitely cannibalistic; except by rending and eating the god Osiris in the form of a divine substitute (which could be a bovine, a human enemy, or an infant) there could be no victory over death and the grave. This Eucharist was necessary for Eternal Life. These rites, orgies, and sacraments had a single purpose: to make the celebrants immortal by transforming them into an essence identical to that of Dionysus. The initiates were therefore called Bacchoi or Dionysiacs, which was no mere symbolism: it was understood as a literal fact. In the same manner, many centuries later, the followers of Christ were called Christians: they also believed themselves mystical members of Jesus' body and they became so by a process identical to that by which the devotees of Dionysus became Bacchantes...eating the body and blood of Jesus (Osiris) in the form of a Eucharist. There is truly nothng new under the sun!
I have dealt extensively with the Essenes, both on this web-site as well as another. The information presented shows you that it would be these Pythagorean-Buddhists Essenes who, having adopted these above pagan concepts, as well as others in their almost total repudiation of Biblical Judaism in the wake of their continued rejection as priests by the outlaw Temple cult, would, following the crucifixion of Jesus, convert in mass to the Jesus Movement of Palestine and bring these religious beliefs with them. In Jesus they identified their re-incarnated Teacher of Righetousness, who like Jesus, had been crucified. Along with their conversion would they bring their religious beliefs; religious beliefs which in that day and age, had more in common with pagan sun-worship and Osirian-Dionysus cults. Of course it goes without saying that they brought their sacred meal and Eucharist with them which they had inherited from these pagan nations since their rejection of Biblical Judaism in toto in the days of Jesus. With this strong influence, and following the destruction of the Temple, these Hellenized Jews, holding Pythagorean and Zoroastrian religious beliefs as the culmination of their religious synthesis over the last two-hundred years as the consequence of their rejection as rightful priests by the renegard Hasmonean priests, would have a demonstrative effect on the theology which would be later moulded around Jesus. This Essenic influence is easily detectable in the New Testament as the following "one" example shows. Let us examine the replication of the Osirian-Dionysus sacrament as coming from the lips of Jesus as detailed not only in the Gospels, but Paul as well:
Matt 26:26-28 26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (KJV)
Mark 14:22-24 22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. 23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. 24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. (KJV)
Luke 22:19-20 19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (KJV)
1 Cor 11:23-29 23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. (KJV)
The ritual as recorded in the New Testament is the same. This is the same ritual as that adopted by the Essenes; the only difference is that the godman to whom it is sanctified is not Jesus and not Osiris or Dionysus. The immortality is conferred with the identification with the Jesus through a mystical union as detailed the writer of the esoteric Gospel of John:
John 14:20 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you . (KJV)
John 6:30-41 30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? 31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
I must interrupt here to make sure you understand something. Jesus just said, or is made to say the the writer of the Gospel of John, that he is the Angel-Messiah of the Essenes. This is not the Davidic Messiah of the Old Testament, but a Messiah adopted by the Essenes which finds its roots in sun-worship of the Aryan nations.
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
Answer for yourself: Why do you think the Jews were troubled; did they not want the Messiah to come?
Answer for yourself: What did these Jews know that you don't? Simply said, they were familiar with the cults of Osiris, Babylonian and Assyrian religions, even Greek religious ideas. They were well familiar with the cult of Dionysus and the religious synthesis that I am revealing to you. These were hard sayings because this was not a Divine or unique revelation from YHVH they were hearing from the one whom they hoped would be Messiah, but rather a reiteration of paganism and they knew better.
So we have a dilemma on our hands. Either words were put into the mouth of Jesus by the early Essene Church, which we know they did, or else Jesus' Messianic expectations lay more with the Essenes that with Moses and the Prophets. Knowing what I know about the corruption and "fixing" of the New Testament, which is revealed to you at http://faithofyeshua.faith.web.com I prefer to believe that these sayings were put into the mouth of Jesus to further the influence of the Essene Christians, also called Nazarenes or Ebionites who later became believers in Jesus. These oral traditions connected to Jesus had great influence among the masses and the Greeks were quick to adopt them later as they offered nothing new; in fact, they already believed such ideas about Dionysus. Jesus was just a new and lastest version of Dionysus for the Greeks. This explains how a Jewish faith could be so readily adopted by an anti-Semitic Gentile world and how a Jewish Rabbi could be accepted by non-Jews who had a distaste for Jews in general. Finally, understand this is the re-selling of Jesus as a pagan godman and today the same is done through a corrupt document called the New Testament and over a billion people, who know little at all about the origin of the New Testament, accept such religious ideas uncritically and ask few if any questions when presented such material. The fear factor cannot be overlooked. It is a sad thing to worship God you whole life as a Christian and find out late in life you have been wrong and an idolater most of your life! I ought to know, for I was an ordained Pastor no less who studied hard, never expecting to disprove my faith, but when presented with such overwhelming evidence, could no longer deny its validity.
Plutarch, who repeats so often that Osiris and Dionysus are one and the same, tells of one Eudoxus, who objected that if these gods were identical, why did not Dionysus "cause the Nile to rise, or rule over the dead?" (Isis and Osiris, p. 64). The answer is simple enough: all who embraced the worship of Osiris under one of his pseudonyms took of him what they required, and otherwise altered him to conform with their own needs. Since they had no Nile to rise, naturally he did not bring any flood in the mountains of Thrace or Phrygia, or upon the rain-blessed fields of Greece. We must also note that nowhere is Dionysus identified with the seed which is buried and which is resurrected in the grain. This, we believe, is the case because at the time he first came among the Thracians, cereal-agriculture was not sufficiently important to be identified as the bread that came down from heaven. However, since they possessed grapes in abundance, he became the god of wine, which now replaced the barley-ale as his blood. And since this eschatology was new to the Hellenes, we need not be surprised that they did not at once import with Dionysus all the Osirian doctrines concerning the after-life. It was enough for these primitive Thracians and Greeks to know that, like their god, they could be resurrected into immortality by becoming one with him through the mystical sacrament.
Such was the god who pushed and elbowed his way into Greece during the second millennium. He was crude, gruesome, and in many respects repulsive; and before he could be widely accepted in a more refined age, it was necessary that he undergo a basic reformation. And this is precisely what happened in Orphism.
We address this in our next article.