This time of year many denominational church’s are observing a form of Lent that begins with Ash Wednesday, the marking of a cross on a person’s forehead by “sacramental” ashes. As this cannot be found anywhere in the Bible, old or new Testament, where did this come from?


According to “Catholic Online”, (, “While not specifically instituted in the Bible text, the 40-day period of repentance is also analogous to the 40 days during which Moses repented and fasted in response to the making of the Golden calf.”

However, Exodus does not support this. In Chapter 32, verses 30 – 35, Moses tells the people they have sinned a great sin and that he will go up unto the Lord to make an atonement for their sin. In verse 34, God tells him to lead them people unto the promised land. Note, this is not after 40 days, but on the same day as he went to the Lord.

Then, (Exodus Ch 34:10 – 34:28) Moses goes up again to the mountain, where God recites His commandments to Moses. Note, there is no period of repentence as the Catholic church claims. Although he did spend 40 days on the mountain, it was not in repentence, but to receive the Ten Commandments.

Further on, according to the Catholic Encylopedia,  we read that “Following the example of the Ninevites, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes, our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told “Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return.”

However, when reading of the Ninevites (and numerous other examples in the Old Testament), the person who repented would sit in ashes dressed only in rags (sackcloth), and would heap, or throw, the ashes on themselves and on top of their heads. This NOT the same as marking a cross on the forehead.

Next, some Catholic’s will use Ezekiel 9:4 as analogous to marking the forehead; however, when you read Ezekiel chapter 9, you find a very different reason for marking the forehead:
Ezekiel 9:4 – And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. {9:5} And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have yepity: {9:6} Slay utterly old [and] young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom [is] the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which [were] before the house. {9:7} And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth.  And they went forth, and slew in the city.

In other words, when a mark is placed upon someone’s forehead in the Bible (incl Book of Revelation), it is not because of remembrance, it is a specific act for a specific reason, to mark those who will be saved from death because of a abominable act. This was a commandment directly from God, not from some “tradition” (really a ritual act), for a SPECIFIC purpose…this is not the same thing as the ritualistic marking of a person in remembrance of something.

Furthermore, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia (, there was no Apolistic “tradition” on a 40-day fast:

“The passage of primary importance is one quoted by Eusebius (Church History V.24) from a letter of St. Irenaeus to Pope Victor in connection with the Easter controversy. There Irenaeus says that there is not only a controversy about the time of keeping Easter but also regarding the preliminary fast. “For”, he continues, “some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while others reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast”. He also urges that this variety of usage is of ancient date (i.e., pre-Christian), which implies that there could have been no Apostolic tradition on the subject…We may then fairly conclude that Irenaeus about the year 190 knew nothing of any Easter fast of forty days.”
The same inference must be drawn from the language of Tertullian only a few years later. When writing as a Montanist, he contrasts the very slender term of fasting observed by the Catholics (i.e., “the days on which the bridegroom was taken away”, probably meaning the Friday and Saturday of Holy Week) with the longer but still restricted period of a fortnight which was kept by the Montanists. No doubt he was referring to fasting of a very strict kind (xerophagiæ — dry fasts), but there is no indication in his works, though he wrote an entire treatise “De Jejunio”, and often touches upon the subject elsewhere, that he was acquainted with any period of forty days consecrated to more or less continuous fasting (see Tertullian, On Fasting 2 and 14; cf. On Prayer 18; etc.)…And there is the same silence observable in all the pre-Nicene Fathers, though many had occasion to mention such an Apostolic institution if it had existed. We may note for example that there is no mention of Lent in St. Dionysius of Alexandria (ed. Feltoe, 94 sqq.) or in the “Didascalia”, which Funk attributes to about the year yet both speak diffusely of the paschal fast.

So, the Catholic Encyplopedia itself admits there was no tradition of Lent from Jesus or his disciples, thus we can see that this was a “man-made” tradition or ritual. Also from the Catholic Encylopedia, we read “Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.” This further confirms that it was a “symbol” made “sacramental” by the “blessing of the Church”. This is a man-made tradition not of Jesus Christ.

Well, if Jesus Christ did not originate this (or for that matter, the first Disciples), what other reason might there be for this? It is a well-known fact that after the Roman Catholic Church was made the official state religion, it incorporated MANY pagan practices in it’s converting peoples of different lands. One of these is mentioned in the Bible, regarding Tammuz, an Egyptian Sun god that was inherited from the Babylonian “god” Marduk, who was himself the “deification” of Nimrod, builder of the Tower of Babel.

In the Book of Ezekiel, God is showing him all of the abominable practices the Jew’s have begun doing, even in the Temple.
We read “Ezekiel Chapter 8:13-“He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, [and] thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. {8:14} Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which [was] toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. {8:15} Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen [this,] O son of man? turn thee yet again, [and] thou shalt see greater abominations than these. {8:16} And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, [were] about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.”

Tammuz, symbolized by the TAU symbol (Used as a form of cross in the Catholic, as well as other denomination of churches), was a SOLAR god, who was worshipped by bowing towards the EAST (the point of the rising sun). Note also that the twenty five men (most likely the Elders, or members of the Sanhedrin), were facing AWAY from the Temple of the Lord, indicating a blasphemous type of worship.  Tammuz was mourned for 40 days each year, and the people would place the TAU symbol on their foreheads, and FAST in worship of him. Tammuz is the offspring of the Egyptian god Osiris and goddess mother Isis, and is usually pictured as a baby being held by his mother, who was venerated as a goddess. Isis was herself a manifestation from the time of Nimrod, handed down to the Egyptians as a form of Nimrod’s harlot wife, Semiramis, who instituted the “Mystery religion” that was based upon secret knowledge. It is ISIS, or actually Semiramis (The “Queen of Heaven”, a pagan goddess), who is the source of the Mystery Religion, spoken of throughout the Bible as an abomination, and the symbol of the Whore of Babylon who is destroyed in the Book of Revelation.

According to some scholars ( Giuseppe Ricciotti, Vita di Gesù Cristo, Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana (1948) p. 276 n.), the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is built over a cave that was originally a shrine to Tammuz.
The Church Father Jerome, who died in Bethlehem in 420, reports in addition that the holy cave was at one point consecrated by the heathen to the worship of Adonis (Tammuz), and a pleasant sacred grove planted before it, to wipe out the memory of Jesus. Modern mythologists, however, reverse the supposition, insisting that the cult of Adonis-Tammuz originated the shrine and that it was the Christians who took it over, substituting the worship of their own God. (NPNF2-06. Jerome: The Principal Works of St. Jerome)

This is all common historical and theological knowledge, upon which if you spend any time researching the different cultures of the world, you will come to find.

As a Christian, and as a believer in the Bible, we are told not to bow to anything other than the one true God, and to flee from idolatry or pagan practices. If you believe that Lent and “Ash Wednesday” are from God or Jesus Christ, please reference it in the Bible to me and I will debate with you on it. Otherwise, which god are you worshipping?

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