The phallic ‘Savior of the World’ at the Vatican revisited

I have a forum post that is very lengthy and contains a significant amount of information for scholars and students of religious origins. There is bolded text for those who wish to skim this long post for the general ideas. Obviously, I found the original article I’m reviewing here to be highly valuable. Thanks to Bart Ehrman, in fact, we now have even more juicy stuff for the mythicist thesis!

The Phallic ‘Savior of the World’ Revisited

Following are some highlights of this long forum post, which is a review of one of the articles I cited in my original post “The phallic ‘Savior of the World’ hidden in the Vatican“: Youngstown State University professor Dr. Lorrayne Y. Baird’s “Priapus Gallinaceus: The Role of the Cock in Fertility and Eroticism in Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages,” Studies in Iconography, vols. 7-8, University of Kentucky, 1981-82, pp. 81-111.

In this article, Dr. Baird discusses the many phallic objects and the commentary in literature from antiquity, noting that the phallic cults have existed for thousands of years and were widespread around the Mediterranean into Northern and Western Europe, when Christianity was created. We discover that during the fifth century BCE or earlier, the Greeks anthropomorphized the ancient ithyphallic god under the epithet of Πρίαπος “Priapos” or, Latinized, “Priapus.”

Priapus the Good

The Priapus cult became so popular that early Church father Hippolytus (d. 236) described the efforts of a “Justinus” (a Christian priest of the 2nd-3rd cents.?) to “have Priapus recognized as God the Father, first person of the Trinity, the ‘Good One.'” Indeed, Priapus was called the “Good One,” as was the Jewish tribal god Yahweh, as well as many other gods and goddesses in antiquity. (See my “Chrestos” series.) In the Latin of Hippolytus, Priapus is called Bonus, while the Greek is ἀγαθός Agathos, by which Yahweh and Jesus are both styled in the Bible. (Mk 10:17-18) The use of agathos in Matthew 7:11 as juxtaposed with the Greek word poneros (“wicked”) indicates the former term’s relationship to chrestos. Hence, Priapus too is essentially a chrestos, possibly the object of worship in the writings of Pliny regarding Bithynia and “Christ” being worshipped there as a god.

Symbol of the sun

Savior of the WorldBaird also relates that the cock, Priapus and the gods in general were symbolic of the sun – a theme she repeats a number of times in her peer-reviewed, scholarly article published in a journal from an American university. Indeed, the “solarian connection” unites these figures as creators and protectors of life, as well as healers and saviors. Priapus was especial to fishermen, among others, which makes one wonder about the role he may have played in the creation of the gospel story, possibly serving as one archetype for the fisher of men “St. Peter.” As Baird explains, in the Christian era, Priapus was changed into a Catholic saint and given a number of names. In consideration of the phallic symbolism of his name, as well as other roles that clearly come from myth, such as the gatekeeper of heaven, we would not be remiss in suggesting that Peter is a remake in significant part of the highly popular god Priapus.

Secret museum collections

Furthermore, as I state in my forum commentary, Baird is not hesitant in stating outright that the University of Naples museum has a SECRET COLLECTION, asserted so matter-of-factly that one understands many museums possess such secret collections, including the Vatican. Indeed, it is in this writer’s work that the secret Vatican collection is likewise mentioned, which is why this article was originally of interest. As we can see, it is also a goldmine for other reasons as well.

The reality is that secret and hidden collections in museums are quite common, as such institutions do not and cannot display everything they possess, obviously. In my travels to some 200 archaeological sites in Greece, I encountered many of these back rooms in museums, since I was traveling with groups of students and scholars who were given access to them. I even worked in one of these storerooms while an archaeology student at Corinth, Greece. Anyone who does not know about these rooms in museums not available to the public apparently has not been to museums in the capacity of a scholar.

In any event, there is much more to this interesting and important article by Baird, who followed this one with another called “Christus Gallinaceus.”

Further Reading

The phallic ‘Savior of the World’ hidden in the Vatican

Bart Ehrman caught in lies and libel?


  1. Excellent work as usual, Acharya S.

    This type of work makes Bart Ehrman look like a silly high school kid. He knew nothing about this subject yet, had the nerve to criticize you out of utter ignorance. He has lost all credibility with his anti-mythicist book and everybody knows it.

    1. Hi,

      Just by looking at Bart Ehrman made me feel suspicious about his character!

      He never struck me as an honest person. He came across as arrogant and a know-all.

      I am reading The Rise, Decline and Fall of the Roman Religion, by James Ballantyne Hannay and its mind boggling!

      When I read the “Jewish” bible before, doubts crept in about it being the Word of God, but because of Cognitive dissonance, I went into denial, as all people do, who have their beliefs questioned.

      The book, Wilful Blindness by Margaret Heffernan is a MUST for anyone searching for Truth. Once you realize you have to DEBRIEF yourself FIRST, before you start to look at your “scared cows” and be prepared to “slaughter” them on the altar of TRUTH!

  2. Critics: Sometimes a rooster is just a rooster.
    Being a mythicist thanks to knowledge which flows from writers such as Frank Zindler, Kenneth Humphreys, and Achaya, I appreciate the scholarship exhibited by Achraria in this thread. All religions and their icons which exited in the first century and in the century or two before that should be researched for elements which the founders of Christianity incorporated into its dogma.

    I appreciate the in-depth research brought to light by Acharya in this thread. However, I am always disappointed by the critics of mythicism who denounce such research and who essentially rely on the logic that it is impossible to disprove the negative when they assert that Jesus of Nazareth actually existed.

  3. I was a huge fan of Bart Ehrman but I’ve now seen his dishonesty with my very own experience. I will never trust him again. I know other people who’ve tried to post Acharya’s responses at Ehrman’s blog and Youtube videos too but, I didn’t believe them until I saw it for myself.

    I’ve tried many times to post Acharya’s response at Dr. Bart Ehrman’s blog here:

    Dr. Bart Ehrman absolutely REFUSES to allow my comments to be posted. To me it shows just how dishonest he really is. Ehrman will not allow these to be posted:

    The phallic ‘Savior of the World’ hidden in the Vatican

    Over 80 Rebuttals to Bart Ehrman’s Anti-Mythicist Book ‘Did Jesus Exist?’

    Response to Jonathan Burke

    The end result is that people are misled into believing Ehrman has had the last word on the matter when nothing could be further from the truth. People like Dr. Ehrman get all the media press while Acharya’s work proving them wrong gets omitted. I was never a fan of hers due to all the attacks on her on the net, but now, I finally see what’s REALLY going on.

    These cowards hide behind their Ph.D’s in the fallacious form of credentialism even as they’ve been proven wrong repeatedly. If people knew about the utter dishonesty in New Testament scholarship there would be serious backlash. I very strongly feel that a serious investigation is badly needed.

  4. We have these axioms:

    In spite of my being irreligious, I will not rush to condemn author Ehrman for his pretended knowledge of ancient cultural beliefs; but these axioms will. No one is perfect. Even the god of the bible is not. So don’t pretend to be perfect. Accept your limitations; and accept the work of other researchers. NO ONE HAS MONOPOLY OF KNOWLEDGE. i appreciate Acharya S’s works. Only unthinking believers of religions don’t.

  5. Simply, amazing!!Christianity is just thievery and then playing on words. This phallic object worn on the forehead is qaallacha in Oromo. The root is qaall-uu ‘holy priest’ of the Oromo pre-Christian theology’ founded on worshiping Waaqa ‘the monolithic Black-Sky Supreme Being; Creator, Devine’ (also waaqa means ‘sky, heaven, cosmos’). Qaallu is first-born hereditary Abbaa Muudha ‘Father of Unction & Fertility’ (muudha also mean ‘loin, pelvis area, thigh, any sacred anointments (butter, semen..); to tighten, invigorate, make resilient and perpetuate’)’; muudhamuudhi ‘groin, testicles, genitalia’)’. The root is qul ‘pristine, neat, pure, saint, black, dark and nice; promise, covenant’ (by rhotic change qar ‘firstly, earlier; sharply, graining, shooting; sharp, stars; go crossing (mountains), die (euphemism)’. Qaallu lives isolated on green mountain foot hill with hot-spring-water (hoora), to where annual pilgrimage is made for sacrifices, circumcision, blessings for fertility of man, sapiens, satiens, earth, rain, peace, abundance. That’s why he wears qaall-acha (-acha is absolutive/nominative-accusative marker). Qallacha also mean ‘hereditarily received Grace, Sublimity, Intellect, Saintliness; head, indicator of direction (to holiness, ancestral spirituality of foreparents’. For the ritual of the Qaallu Institution is slughtered khoorma/koorma ‘black virile bull’. Khoorma also designates any ‘virile male rooster, ram, horse’. In Gada System, Khoorma is also ‘young virile, manly Oromo’. Now, change st. ‘Petter’ to ‘better’ translates the Oromo č’aallu and č’aall-cha is absolutive form. Qoola/qula means ‘penis, foreskin, fire-pin, thunderbolt’. By rhotacization /r/ and lambdization /l/ interchange all the concepts you discussed here are explainable.

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