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The origins of Temple Prostitution


Hard-core atheist
Premium Member
2 Maccabees 6:4

For the temple was filled with debauchery and revelling by the Gentiles, who dallied with prostitutes and had intercourse with women within the sacred precincts, and besides brought in things for sacrifice that were unfit. (NRSV)

The Hebrew author accused the Greeks of having transformed the Jewish temple into a house of prostitution. Yet, he mentions no priestesses while in some of the ancient Greek temples the women taking part in the ‘orgies’ were the priestesses.

The subject of temple prostitution has not been resolved to this date. The following information is according to Wikipedia.

“The historicity of literal sacred prostitution, particularly in some places and periods, is a controversial topic within the academic world. Historically mainstream historiography has considered it a probable reality, based on the abundance of ancient sources and chroniclers detailing its practices, although it has proved harder to differentiate between true prostitution and sacred sex without remuneration. Authors have also interpreted evidence as secular prostitution administered in the temple under the patronage of fertility deities, not as an act of religious worship by itself. However, scholarship in the 21st century has challenged the veracity of sacred prostitution as a concept, suggesting that the claims are based on mistranslations, misunderstandings or outright inventions of ancient authors.

The practice of temple prostitution was a historical event. Not a concept!
Scholarship in the 21st century accuses its own mistranslations of its own ignorance of history.

Research on the origins of the practice of temple prostitution (attached below in pdf file) arrives at the conclusion that the temple evolved out of a special kind of house of prostitution, which had been established by the kings of the ancient Near East to augment the population of their subjects and produce slaves.


  • The Origins of Temple Prostitution.pdf
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