The Two Babylons

I have never read the book, The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop, nor do I intend too; however, since I was recently hit with ‘facts’ from this book, I thought that maybe I would add a few links for rebuttal that I can refer to later.

One of the key rebuttals – because for some reason believe everyone that they read – is written by a former follower of the Hislop,

In my earlier Christian experience, certain literature fell into my hands that claimed a considerable amount of Babylonian paganism had been mixed into Christianity. While the Roman Catholic Church was the primary target of this criticism, it seemed the customs and beliefs with which pagan parallels could be found had also contaminated other churches. Much of what I encountered was based on a book called The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop (1807-1862)

Over the years The Two Babylons has impacted the thinking of many people, ranging all the way from those in radical cults (e.g., the Jehovah’s Witnesses) to very dedicated Christians who hunger for a move by God but are concerned about anything that might quench His Spirit. Its basic premise is that the pagan religion of ancient Babylon has continued to our day disguised as the Roman Catholic Church, prophesied in the Book of Revelation as “Mystery Babylon the Great” (thus, the idea of two Babylons—one ancient and one modern). Because this book is detailed and has a multitude of notes and references, I assumed, as did many others, it was factual. We quoted “Hislop” as an authority on paganism just as “Webster” might be quoted on word definitions.

As a young evangelist, I began to preach on the mixture of paganism with Christianity, and eventually I wrote a book based on Hislop, titled Babylon Mystery Religion (Ralph Woodrow Evangelistic Assn., 1966). In time, my book became quite popular, went through many printings, and was translated into Korean, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and several other languages. Hundreds quoted from it. Some regarded me as an authority on the subject of “pagan mixture.” Evan the noted Roman Catholic writer Karl Keating said, “Its best-known proponent is Ralph Woodrow, author of Babylon Mystery Religion“. 1

Many preferred my book over The Two Babylons because it was easier to read and understand. Sometimes the two books were confused with each other, and once I even had the experience of being greeted as “Reverend Hislop”! As time went on, however, I began to hear rumblings that Hislop was not a reliable historian, I heard this from a history teacher and in letters from people who heard this perspective expressed on the Bible Answer Man radio program. Even the Worldwide Church of God began to take a second look at the subject. As a result, I realized I needed to go back through Hislop’s work, my basic source, and prayerfully check it out.

You can read the rest here.

You can also visit here.

I will update this page with more rebuttals from time to time.

The idea that actual scholarship went into the Two Babylons is laughable. Ok, that’s harsh, but what real scholarship went into the book is trounced, destroyed, and mocked by the creative fiction used to supplement it.

You Might Also Like

32 Replies to “The Two Babylons”

  1. Hislop’s book is typical of the common anti-Catholic bias in the era of the British (UK) at that time. It has huge wholes in it, both historical and to supposed scholarship.
    Fr. R.

    1. However, having said that, his thoughts on the Triunity of God, and his understanding that humanity has a triune reality (Augustine), and that the Trinity of God is a basic Christian revelation, he does not deny.
      Fr. R.

  2. I am a Jehovah’s Witness. I take exception to comments made on the Internet that Jehovah’s Witnesses are a radical cult. I work secularly as a school teacher in public schools. I associate at work, sometimes after work with my wife, with persons from her job which is at a bank. People talk to her at the bank about their problems, and she’s helped many to get through some very tough situations. We have together helped some people out of child abuse, and the Watchtower publications and the Watchtower in Brooklyn have supported and helped us in doing so.

    There are some sites on the Internet that refer to Jehovah’s Witnesses as a cult This site refers to Jehovah’s Witnesses as a “radical cult”. In reading some of these posts, it seems as if any religion that doesn’t practice Christianity in the Orthodox way, or doesn’t believe in the Trinity, is labeled a cult. That’s ridiculous. Jehovah’s Witnesses practice Christianity pretty close to the way it was practiced in the 1st Century. People called the first century Christians a “sect”. Today Jehovah’s Witnesses are labeled “a cult”. I spoke today in school with a doctor of divnity from a Pentecostal Church. He knows Jehovah’s Witnesses, had been once to the Kingdom Hall, and was confused as to why Jehovah’s Witnesses are called a cult? I am also. It is a religion. It is seperate from what you could say “worldly” things, immorality, drunkenness, etc. We don’t go to war or salute the flag. We take our Christianity seriously and put God’s worship first, but we also participate in the local school, the community, work-related things. My wife attended a party this week for a girl who was leaving work, I’ve gone to work-related parties, that are not for holidays, and unless people ask, they don’t know that we are Witnesses, because we are the same as anyone else. So, in what way are we part of a cult?????

    1. John, JW’s are Arians, a heresy pure and simple. This was not practiced in the 1st century. I agree, however, that ‘cult’ is thrown around to easily to dismiss those that we disagree with.

  3. I agree with you on that point. Jehovah’s Witnesses are heretical Arians. The Catholic Church would have burned us at the stake, with our Bibles tied to us, if we lived in the dark ages for disagreeing with the Trinity. Thanks for the response.

  4. JW’s are simply a cult because they teach and disciple people away from both the proper doctrine of the Incarnation – Christ as both God & Man, dual in nature, not dual in Person, both perfect God and perfect Man. And also the eternal Son of the Father, in God Triune!
    Fr. R.

  5. It sounds like, then, any religion who disagress with the mainstream view of Christianity that developed after the 3rd Century, and the solidifcation of the Trinity doctrine by what became the Roman Catholic Church, and who believe in Jesus as God’s Son, is to be considered a “cult”. This is the problem with the Evanglicals who believe strongly in the Trinity. If you don’t go along with their flow, then your religion is labeled as a cult. We preach strongly the message of Jesus, as God’s Son, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we also baptize in the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit, but we don’t believe the three are one and the same, but that Jesus is the only-begotten Son of God, sent by God and who died for mankind’s sins, and was resurrected to heaven to sit at God’s right hand. The Trinity doctrine isn’t clearly illucidated in the Bible, the Jews prior to Jesus were strictly monotheistic and had no idea of a Trinity or even a duality of the godhead or of God. They worshipped only Yahweh, who said – I am one. Deut 6:4.

    1. The doctrine of the Trinity is also a very Eastern and Orthodox teaching, going back into their teaching and even oral tradition. Joel knows this also. The great doctrine of the Triinity of God is both a unity within a triunity, and forever one of the very great mysteries of God! As St. Paul wrote, “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” (1 Cor. 4:1)
      Fr. R.

        1. Joel,
          I would have loved to have had you in my seminary classroom! This is what the Orthodox believe, i.e. from their oral tradition somewhat. You are in such grave error here on your denial of the Trinity of God! Maybe someday you will see this? But only grace again can change our dull hearts & minds!
          Fr. R.

          1. Maybe some other Christian brethren can step up here and help you? I mean on this here blog? But your constant denial of God eternally triune is noted I hope?
            Fr. R.

          2. If not, I am sure you will find time to spread it around the blogosphere. Or perhaps in emails. Maybe you should just write a blog post on the matter?

Leave a Reply, Please!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.