Who was Tammuz and how does he compare to Christ?

A:

Tammuz, also known as Dumuzi, was the shepherd-god and lover of the goddess Astarte or Inanna. Ezekiel 8:14 describes women in the Jerusalem Temple 'weeping for Tammuz'. We now know they were weeping because Inanna had condemned him to hell, after herself being crucified and resurrected. Tammuz was also the name of the tenth month of the Jewish calendar, and is still used as the Iraqi name for the month of July. Origen says of Tammuz in his "Comments on Ezekiel" (Selecta in Ezechielem) that "they say that for a long time certain rites of initiation are conducted: first, that they weep for him, since he has died; second, that they rejoice for him because he has risen from the dead." Note that Origen could not have observed Jews worshipping Tammuz, since they would not have worshipped Tammuz in the post-Exilic period.

Tammuz were said to be born of the virgin Myrrha on 25th December. Some say he was born in the very cave in Bethlehem now considered the birthplace of Jesus. Helena had the Nativity Church built at Bethlehem after demolishing the temple of Tammuz-Adonis.

Earl Doherty argues that Christianity began with a story like that of Tammuz, with all the action taking place in the spiritual realms.