Dark Ages. Violent suppression of anything not sanctioned by the Holy See.
There was no "Holy See" when the bible was being written. There are exactly 2 verses in the whole of the Bible with the "lion, man, eagle lion" motif:
Ezekiel 4, 4-14:
"I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north —an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, but each of them had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. All four of them had faces and wings, and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved. Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. They each had two wings spreading out upward, each wing touching that of the creature on either side; and each had two other wings covering its body. Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning:
...and Revelation 4, 6-9:
"..and before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever."
(Note: Even though the beasts are winged, they "rest not day and night" and are therefore not stars.)
The Bible has little to say about Matthew, Mark or Luke. It has a great deal to say about John, but nothing to associate any of the supposed Gospel writers with Eagles, Oxen or Lions. Irenaeus just pulled the whole thing out of his ass. In fact since, at the time the Revelation was written the biblical Canon had not been established so the author would have no way of knowing there would be be four "official" Gospels in the New Testament. And what about all those "Lost Gospels" that were supposedly suppressed "because they were too close to the truth" or whatever? Would the "royal stars" illustration still work if there were five Gospels or six?
Not just Taylor, several others including Cornelius Agrippa picked up on the same theme.
Well if their arguments aren't any better than Taylor's, then they're probably just as wrong as he is.
I'd like to point out that the birthdays of Jesus and John the Baptist aren't in the bible either and yet we celebrate these two PAGAN festivals. Not forgetting Easter (Eostra) also.
? I've never celebrated John the Baptist's birthday in my life. Not a Catholic you see. How do you do it? Does it involve eating locusts?
As Pagans flocked to embrace Christianity they ended up bringing in a lot of inappropriate Pagan practices with them. The idea of celebrating the birthdays of imprtant figures like Jesus' and the "saints" is one of them. Jews never recorded or celebrated the birthdays of Moses, David or Isaac (because they didn't really care much about astrology) Some early Christians (Oregen in particular) were opposed to such celebrations.
And in non-English speaking countries "Easter" is still called Pascha (Passover ) which is an Abrahamic holiday
last I heard.
Since Constantine's Cross in the Sky it's been pretty damn clear what the Christian doctrine has been all about. It's been all about bringing an already existing Pagan tradition under central control in order to control the masses.
What actually happened is that Constantine turned Christianity into a Roman state religion enforced by the Roman State. Roman state religions don't have theological disputes; they're regulated by state appointed pontiffs and collegias. So Constantine and his successors backed a particular set of Bishops and presbyters against all others to establish an orthodoxy.
Under the old system Constantine was Pontifex Maximus and a living god. All official religions were under his control and citizens were required to sacrifice to the official gods with the government siphoning off a healthy percentage. Pagan polytheism was never an obstacle to control of the Roman masses.
When the Edict of Milan allowed Christians to serve openly in Constantine's legions with the promise that his victory would mean permanent legalization, you can imagine how many volunteers he has able to garner. After his takeover Constantine was able to count on a faction of devoted followers. He was also able to present himself as "new" kind of Emperor, backed by a new god and ruling from a new capital.
Monotheism would have another advantage for Constantine: fewer priests to deal with. Nobody likes priests, not even Jesus.
Indeed Constantine did. Didn't accept it himself until he was dying, no doubt hedging his bets.
And now we have Pope-iflex Maximus. Changed one dictator for another. Hell bent (pardon the expression) on violently supressing any other means of influencing the masses.