Who Is Inanna?
Today we are going to connect the Descent of Inanna to the Jesus Resurrection Narrative. The skeleton of the Inanna story can be found to match to the Jesus resurrection narrative in several ways.
Inanna is a Sumerian goddess of love, sensuality, fertility, procreation, and war. She is identified as Ishtar by the Akkadians and Assyrians. She is also identified as the Roman goddess Venus. Inanna is also the daughter of Enki in some myths and the daughter of Nanna is others. She is often referred to as “The Queen of Heaven.”
The Descent of Inanna
First, we don’t expect the story to exactly be paralleled in the Jesus narrative. We would expect some common ideas or themes that are prominent in both narratives. In the beginning, Inanna abandoned her throne to journey to the underworld and predicted to her followers what would happen prior to her death. She asked for 3 men to be asked for help but only the 3rd one will help. She was also foretold that she would die albeit that is what is assumed by going to the underworld. In this narrative, she is crucified when she gets down there. She is attacked verbally and with Mick Jagger face prior to being “turned into a corpse and hung on a hook.” This is the most obvious connection to Jesus.
She spends 3 days and nights being dead, then is brought back to life via magic plants and water. She goes on to ascend from the underworld but must provide them with a substitute. Her Husband Tammuz didn’t mourn her death so he was substituted but ultimately was saved.
Matching Jesus To Inanna
Inanna and her Descent were known to the Israelites. They would mourn for Tammuz, Inanna’s sacrificed husband, in the Jewish temples. (Ezekiel 8:14). They also made offerings to Inanna herself:
As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you. But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem.
Not only then, but in the book of Jeremiah they talk about how they would worship Inanna and Tammuz just make other Jews mad:
The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.
So to say that the Israelites would have no knowledge of Inanna or her descent would just be lying.
Similarities between Inanna’s Descent and the passion narratives are the 3 days and nights, The persecution, stripping of clothes, death, crucifixion, and resurrection. Of course, Jesus didn’t have to leave a substitute person behind. We would expect the Jews to present a savior that is more powerful than the old Gods. If Jesus was just as powerful, then he’d just be another agricultural God.
Inanna’s treatment on the way to the Underworld, her being stripped of her clothes and killed, matches what happened with Jesus as well. Both Jesus and Inanna predicted what would happen to them. Both were seen by their followers after they ascended.
The Israelites had intimate knowledge of the Inanna myths. They even worshipped them to spite God and faithful Jews. It’s no wonder that they drew up on these already established myths that they once held to concoct a Jewish savior. They just took the skeleton of Inanna’s myth and tweaked it for a Jewish audience.