“Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.” The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah—which is the great city.” – Gen 10:8-12.
The Bible speaks sparingly of Nimrod but in “The Two Babylons, or The Papal Worship, Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife” (Loizeaux Brothers, 1959) Alexander Hislop (1807-1865) sets out to prove that Nimrod and his wife, Semiramis, were the inspiration for the important pagan religions of antiquity. He argues that a slew of deities including Adonis, Apollo, Attes, Baal-zebub, Bacchus, Cupid, Dagon, Hercules, Januis, Linus, Mars, Merodach, Mithra, Moloch, Narcissus, Oannes, Odin, Orion, Osiris, Pluto, Saturn, Tammuz, Teitan, Typhon, Vulcan, Wodan, Zoroaster, along with Aphrodite, Artemis, Astarte, Aurora, Bellona, Ceres, Diana, Isis, Juno, Mylitta, Proserpine, Rhea, Venus, and Vesta can be traced to the Babylon mystery cult worship of Nimrod and Semiramis. Hislop then argues that many elements of pagan belief and practice were brought into the Christian church via opportunists, accommodators, compromisers, and pseudo-Christians (sounds like many of the leadership in today’s Evangelicalism) and became the basis for much of Roman Catholicism.
“The Two Babylons” was first published in 1853 in pamphlet form, expanded in 1858, and first published as a hardcover in 1919. The publication has been surrounded by controversy since it was first introduced. Many fault Hislop’s extrapolations as reckless. I’m certainly not an antiquities scholar but there appears to be more than a grain of truth to Hislop’s arguments, which are supported by 400 footnotes along with 61 illustrations. Every decent Romanism collection must include “The Two Babylons.”
This book is definitely a tough read due to the 19th-century prose and plentiful small-font footnotes so it won’t do for breezy relaxing at the beach. You’ll definitley want to get your hands on an older Loizeaux Brothers edition (red and white dust cover) which contains the unaltered text and supporting material. Unfortunately, several of the recent self-published, print-on-demand editions have altered the text and don’t include the brief introduction, sixty-one illustrations, copious footnotes, lengthy appendices, or index.