The Two Babylons

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Cover of an edition (mentions 1919) of The Two Babylons, which claims that Catholic doctrines and ceremonies are a veiled continuation of Babylonian paganism.

The Two Babylons, subtitled The Papal Worship Proved to Be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife is a religious pamphlet published in 1853 by the Presbyterian Free Church of Scotland theologian Alexander Hislop (1807–65), expanded in 1858, and finally published as a book in 1919. Its central theme is its allegation that the Catholic Church is a veiled continuation of the pagan religion of Babylon, a product of a millennia-old conspiracy.[1]

Hislop ultimately traces Catholic doctrines back to the worship of Nimrod, claiming that the Roman Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon in the Bible Book of Revelation 17:5, and that "the Pope himself is truly and properly the lineal representative of Belshazzar". He claims that the Christogram IHS really stands for Isis, Horus, Seth.

Scholar Lester L. Grabbe has highlighted the picture presented by Hislop, that Nimrod is equated with Ninus is based on a misunderstanding of historical Babylon and its religion, however his book remains popular among some fundamentalist Protestant Christians[1] and among Jehovah's Witnesses, with The Watchtower frequently publishing excerpts from Hislop until the 1980s.[2]

The book's thesis has also featured prominently in the conspiracy theories of racist groups such as The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord[3] and other conspiracy theorists.[4]

Although extensively footnoted, some commentators (in particular Ralph Woodrow) have stated that there are numerous misconceptions, fabrications and grave factual errors in the document.[5]

In 2011 a critical edition was published which also contains the English book by Ralph Woodrow[6] as well as the papers by Ralph Woodrow and Dr. Eddy Lanz.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Grabbe, Lester L. Can a 'history of Israel' be Written? p. 28, 1997, Continuum International Publishing Group
  2. ^ "Lent and Ash Wednesday are NOT pagan relics". 
  3. ^ Michael Barkun Religion and the Racist Right, pp. 192-193, UNC Press 1997
  4. ^ Michael Barkun A Culture of Conspiracy, p. 210, Univ. of California Press 1997
  5. ^ Woodrow, Ralph BOOK REVIEW - The Two Babylons: A Case Study in Poor Methodology Christian Research Institute, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2000
  6. ^ Von Babylon nach Rom? – The Two Babylons?, 2011; ISBN 978-3-9811529-5-1. A critical edition, which includes the German book by Hislop

External links[edit]