Icons of the Most Holy Mother of God (Queen of Heaven)
Mother Goddess, among the nations where it was known, was called “Mylitta”, which in translation means “intercessor”. Therefore, it is not surprising that they call Mary “intercessor” in Orthodoxy, though such a name has no Biblical basis. History also claims that at the time of the paganization of Christianity, the Egyptian Church bishops issued a special decree where they renamed the statues of Isis and Horus as Mary and Jesus, without any break in continuity. In this way, the pagan icon worshipers continued to worship the same images only with different names.
Ernst Benz gives us very useful information about the time of the first Icon of the Mother of God:
“Regarding the image of Mary, there is nothing clearly defined directly in the New Testament. Assumptions for the creation of icons of the Mother of God were devised only in the Mariology of the fourth century. The New Testament gives very few physical details about Mary. The Eastern Orthodox Church has numerous legends about Mary, which primarily focuses on the amazing appearance of the miraculous image of the Mother of God.”
What is particularly important is that the Orthodox icons of Mary generally depict her holding Jesus in her arms. These portraits are identical to those of the Queen of Heaven with her divine child as seen in many, previously listed, old religions and cults. (If you were to visit the home of followers of Hare Krishna, you would most likely see, among other images, one of the virgin Devaki with her son, which is similar to the Orthodox icons of Mary and Jesus.) On one icon called “Holy Virgin Giving Breast Feeding”, Mary is shown to breastfeed the baby Jesus. Professor Markovic says a few words:
“Lastly, my argument concerns the motifs, ‘Mother and Child’, Aphrodite and Eros… We are here restricted to the so-called type “curotrofni” representation of the goddess, that is, Aphrodite with the baby Eros on her breasts, which was on the side… The goddess of love and her babies have become a popular theme in Greek art… Painted vases from the Lipari Islands (330 B.C.; LIMC 1238) shows a happy mother breastfeeding her baby, Venus lactans. Similar terracotta from the British Museum shows the same position Isis lactans (first century B.C.), with the great Egyptian goddess Isis breastfeeding the baby Harpocrates (in Egypt, “the baby Horus”). Our next step is to compare Isis lactans from Karanisa in Egypt (around 300 A.D.) with Maria lactans (Virgin Mary breastfeeding Christ), with bas-reliefs from Medinet Madi (about 500 A.D., now in Berlin): they are identical, the only important difference is that the artist drew two crosses for Mary.
The conclusion is clear: the type of archaeological Venus lactans influenced the type of Isis lactans, and this influence is reflected again in the early Christian icons as Maria lactans (i.e. the Orthodox icon of “Holy Virgin Giving Breast Feeding”)… To take a step further – kampanska oinochoe (around 350 BC, now in Paris, LIMC 1241) shows how Aphrodite adores her son Eros, just as Mary adores her baby Jesus in the most famous Russian icon, the Virgin of Vladimir, which was painted by a Byzantine artist about 1125 (now in the church in the Kremlin). In short, religious traditions have long histories, and many versions of Aphrodite were transferred to the Virgin Mary.”
Our conclusion would be identical to that presented by the above author. Based on a detailed study of Scriptural texts that speak of Jesus’ mother Mary, and the views of pagan religion, we can safely conclude that the beliefs of Orthodox Christianity are not based on the teachings of God’s inspired and infallible Word. With sorrow, we must note that the theologians and believers mentioned in this branch of the Christian faith are sorely misinformed and misguided by the teachings of the “holy fathers”, who seduced them to pursue this path.
The Israelites in the Old Testament time were warned by the prophet of God that to revere the Queen of Heaven violates the will of the Almighty:
“…all the proud men spoke, saying to Jeremiah, ‘You speak falsely! The LORD our God has not sent you to say, ‘Do not go to Egypt to dwell there’… 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 certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble.”
I sincerely hope that a certain percentage of my Serbian people will realize that the Word of God is very clear, and that those who continue to violate His will, such as those during the time of Jeremiah, the Lord will later punish with His holy wrath.
In addition to these truths proven about the beliefs of Eastern churches along with other historical facts in consideration of its other dogmas , once again we emphasize the point that the Orthodox Church is definitely not an extension of the first apostolic Church founded by Christ.