Pt5. The Myth making of Don Richardson - transforming myths into history
Don Richardson writes “The theologians responded unwisely by rejecting the sky-god phenomenon as being of no consequence. They in turn persuaded generations of their students to adopt the same defensive posture. Ever since, some theologians have made it part of their career to discredit Bible-paralleling beliefs in folk religions as "distortions" or "satanic counterfeits."
It is true, of course, that falsehoods, distortions and spiritual counterfeits do exist in the world. It is also possible for bearers of the gospel to get sidetracked by them, just as it is possible for a bee buzzing among blossoms to bumble into a Venus's-flytrap by mistake. But bees do not call a halt to nectar-gathering because of danger from Venus's-flytraps.” (p.53 Eternity in their Hearts)
Richardson’s rigid posturing avoids seeing any of these cultures myths of god (the ones he used) being counterfeits, or piecemeal distortions. This does not help anyone arrive at the truth. It is not just his way or the highway. There are many other researchers besides Richardson who have done extensive research (especially over the last 30 years since his book was released) that have come to some very different conclusions. We will look at several of his best examples and compare it theirs.
We need a factual and Biblical approach to arrive at what is true. The complete facts and information cannot be dismissed because of so called old attitudes to have one see them as genuine parallels.
Richardson thinks because the name of god relates to a sky god or called a supreme being that it automatically means it is the same God that was REVEALED to the Hebrews. Again one should not make theories from assumptions or a few similarities. We are speaking of tribes who know nothing specific of God; the Hebrews were not like these tribes. That had moral system woven into their society with a high degree of law and punishment (all instructed by God). They were given the instructions on how to approach God by a certain system, instructed ion how to build the tabernacle that was a replica of what is in heaven (Heb.8:5). You can’t have other nations to be like the nation Israel that was a theocracy, who were given special (direct) revelation for over 1,400 years. You can’t attribute to another tribal people the same knowledge or relationship and make them equal or on the same level by them having only a general belief of a god. For the gentiles to know God they would have the same system given to Israel; they do not.
The idea of a supreme being found in ancient religions should not be mistaken for the true God. Their god and the ways they worshipped Him show they had a different God than the Hebrews, and it is NOT the Father who sent Jesus Christ. We start with the truth of the Bible, not the culture. The culture does not define the Bible, the Bible defines it.
Israel was a nation which God promised to be with them ALWAYS, protecting them that they would continue to exist. And for nearly 1,900 years when they were no longer in the land their identity was kept and they now fulfill the prophecies written in the book by being brought back in the land today.
In Richardson’s book does not mention any scriptures that show Israel being unique, receiving the oracles of God. His statements of the Gentiles he does not mention at all the numerous time the Bible says they do not know God, why? It’s obvious -- it will go against his inclusive theory of the majority of folk religions knowing God.
He turns cultures myths into truth, he wants you to believe they are somehow equally true like the Bible (1.e. they had a book from God but lost it).
If God said they (the Gentiles) do not know Him how does Richardson ignore this and say they do? Not only that but the majority do. “We have been wrong. In actual fact, more than 90 percent of this world's folk religions acknowledge at least the existence of God. Some even anticipate His redeeming concern for mankind." That God was already present in hundreds of cultures (90% of folk religions, the majority) making them gospel ready?
Some people want to find Christianity in their culture; they see what they want to see. Some want people to believe they were always with God and that He formed their culture. Others will actually do research and are careful to distinguish Christ from their cultures religion.
The category Richardson put these god[s] of the various cultures (who had lost a book) is not false, but forgotten, lost. Consider Richardson’s formula for including these cultures into Christianity ... tell the culture there former supreme (sky) god that they do not know today is God the Father who sent his son. Not only is this void of common sense it a myth of Biblical proportions (2 Tim.4:4; 1 Tim.1:4; Titus 1:14).
Second or third hand stories passed on from past generations of 100-200 years to 1,000 years ago are inaccurate especially when we look at the details left out. Centuries go by; these false gods do not become truer because some missionary made a bridge by their cultural mythical beliefs.
One is left trusting the story teller instead of the Bible. And few hold up to any biblical scrutiny today.
We will go through a number of his stories, the main ones and point out why it is contrary to the Bible as well as flawed research.
Everyone has a prophet
“The apostle Paul called Epimenides a "prophet." One wonders what title he would have ascribed to Pachacuti, whose spiritual insight as a pagan far surpassed even Epimenides'. (p.33 Eternity in their Hearts)
Paul called Epimenides THEIR prophet, not God’s. God did not give his truth to the other nations through their prophets, he makes it perfectly clear the only “nation” prophets were given is to Israel, especially through the New Testament. They were his witnesses (Isa.43:10,12; 44:8)
For 2,000 years the Lord developed the one true religion from the lineage of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob into the nation of twelve tribes. God did not send prophets of these other cultures to correct them. He did not give them the law or the tabernacle or priesthood, they received nothing. It is not the same God. As with all the other tribes he points to, God was silent and never corrected them because of what we see in Rom.1 which is the overarching principle of why Abraham was chosen. God made a theocracy with the nation Israel, they were unlike any other.
Pachacuti and 'Viracocha'
Richardson chose Machi Pichu to be the cover of his book and uses Pachacuti as an example, apparently he thought this was a glistening example of what he is trying to convey. So we must look at what was said of him.
Richardson: “Discovering a man like Pachacuti in fifteenth-century Peru is as startling as finding an Abraham in Ur or a Melchizedek among the Canaanites.”
Richardson asks, “How did a fifteenth century Peruvian king named Pachacuti, recognize that there was only one true God, before the coming of the Europeans? Richardson points to the insight of Pachacuti (p.34-35) who came to understand that 'Viracocha' (the Inca god) really was the God of all Creation - and not merely a sun god. In his own words, Pachacuti described the one true God, they called Viracocha: Within the Inca tradition was the story of Viracocha - the Lord, the omnipotent Creator of all things. When Pachacuti came to his realization that they had been worshipping the wrong god, he had to look no further than his own culture.”
"He is ancient, remote, supreme, and uncreated...He manifests himself as a trinity when he wishes...otherwise only heavenly warriors and archangels surround his loneliness. He created all peoples by his 'word.'"
Yes, how does a fifteenth century Peruvian king named Pachacuti say this one God is a “Trinity” (Not three eternal persons but manifests as three. 3 what?) How can this word that was strictly from New Testament revelation and termed by apologists in the first few centuries be used? One thing is certain you do not call God a Trinity without New Testament revelation, as this term was first written by the early church.
Do Christians believe this story? Does anyone think critically, biblically anymore, or just accept what someone famous says as the gospel truth? Did this word trinity Pachacuti mentioned (which I cannot find evidence of) have Jesus as the Son of God along with the Holy Spirit? What exactly did Pachacti know about the nature of God?
There are answers from other researchers
“The Sun was called INTI, “sun god,” and P’ONCAW, “daylight” (modern P’ONCAY). Polo and his disciples. Acoste and Cobo, say that there were three images of the Sun called APO. INTI? lord sun,” CORI-INTI, “son sun,” and INTI-WAWQI, “sun brother,” for which different explanations were given. (See Cobo, lg99-96, bk. 13. ch. 6.) While the existence of these three statues is perfectly possible, they lock suspiciously like a conscious imitation of the Christian Trinity made up for the benefit of the Spanish missionaries” (p.294 Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest by John Howland Rowe)
Pachacuti is over 1,400 years AFTER Christ, how can anyone believe this was separate tradition of those who had no writing without contact with someone else? Like so many other people groups, we don’t know whom Pachacuti met, what travelers came through or what he could have heard second or third hand (if he did at all). Certainly stories of Israel’s exodus spread throughout the nearby lands of how the Egyptian army was defeated by Israel’s God (as with Rahab). Could the story of Christ be spread by travelers that may not be missionaries? Richardson wants us to accept that those who had no revelation had one of the most revealing revelations of God’s nature, a trinity, which only comes from the apostle’s writings. Nonsense!
It is the gospel message given for an individual, a tribe or nation to be made right with God. “In the rest of this book (and in companion volumes to follow) I will prove that this assumption is false. God has indeed prepared the Gentile world to receive the gospel.” (p.33 Eternity in the Hearts) . Then he presents his story on the Inca's and Pachacuti, who never received the gospel. So Richardson’s reference to Pachacuti’s discovery and reformation becomes a moot point because it did not lead to salvation for him or anyone else. Yet Richardson says on p.35, He “reached out for and found a God far greater than any popular "god" of his own culture. Unlike Epimenides, however, Pachacuti did not leave the God of his discovery in the category of "unknown." He identified that God by name, and more.”
Pachacuti’s statements of Viracocha have to be understood in the context of his culture and its own history.
Pachacuti realized he had been worshiping a mere thing as Creator! “And asked If Inti is not the true God, then who is?” Richardson writes, “Where could a pagan Inca, cut off from Judeo-Christian illumination, find an answer to a question like that?
The answer is quite simple—from old traditions lying dormant within his own culture! That such an event is possible was foreseen by none other than the apostle Paul when he wrote that Theos, in the past, "let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony" (Acts 14:16-17, italics added (p.37 Eternity in their Hearts?)
The first problem is that this witness, which is about supplying mans basic needs as it reads “that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” How is that relative to them having God dormant in their culture? And let’s not overlook the premise -- it says he let ALL the nations go their own way. This is actually is a witness against this theory.
The Inca civilization was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America which began in Peru about 1200 AD. Most accounts agree on thirteen emperors.
How far back can we go? The Incas worshipped the earth goddess Pachamama, and the sun god, the Inti. Of equal importance with the sky gods were the female supernaturals, Earth (PACA-MAMA, “earth mother”) and Sea (MAMA-BOCA, “mother sea”). (p.295 Inca culture at the Time of the Spanish conquest, John Rowe)
The old traditions do not help support Richardson’s theory.
“the Inca handed down many legends of gods and heroes, quite similar to those with which the Romans of the time of Augustus filled out the blanks in the early history of their city. Most of these legends deal with the origins of men and customs and the adventures of their more remote ancestors. It is not always easy to draw a rigid line between legend and history, but for the purposes of this summary, the historical period can be said to begin early in the 15th century.” (p.202 Inca culture at conquest, John Rowe)
“Viracocha, the creator made a world of earth and sky and left it in darkness. Then he decided to make people to live in it, so he carved statues of stone in the shape of giants and gave them life. After a while, when the giants displeased him, he destroyed them by turning some to stone at Tiahuanaco, Pucara, and other places, and overwhelming the rest with a great flood (ONO PACAKOTI, “water cataclysm”), from which he saved only two assistants. Then he created a new race of his own size to replace the giants he had destroyed. First he gave the world light by causing the sun and moon to emerge from the Island of Titicaca. … Then Viracocha went to Tiahuanaco, where he modeled animals and men out of clay, each species and tribe in its proper shape. On the models of men, he painted the clothes that they were to wear. Then he gave men their customs, food, languages, and songs, and ordered them to descend into the earth and emerge from caves, lakes, and hills in the districts where he instructed them to settle. Viracocha himself set out toward the north with his two assistants’ to call the tribes out of the earth and to see if they were obeying his commands” (P.315 Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest by John Howland Rowe)
There are but a few slim resemblances in word, the meaning is not the same. One can see that going into their past is not helpful to make a case of original monotheism.
Richardson writes, “Pachacuti recalled also that his own father, Hatun Tupac, once claimed to receive counsel in a dream from Viracocha. Viracocha reminded Hatun Tupac in that dream that He was truly the Creator of all things. Hatun Tupac promptly renamed himself (dare we say presumptuously?) Viracocha! (p.37 Eternity in Their Hearts)
His assumption that the ancient Inca god was the true God is absurd. Richardson’s point of general revelation being sufficient is seen as weighed and found wanting in this example. It did not lead to further special revelation as Pachacuti’s own father, Hatun Tupac called HIMSELF God (Viracocha). Who does that when they hear from the true God?
“Pachacuti took action. He called a congress of the priests of the sun—a pagan equivalent of the Nicene Council if you like—at beautiful Coricancha. In fact, one scholar dubs that congress the Council of Coricancha, thus ranking it among the great theological councils of history." (p.38 Eternity in their Hearts)
Really, greater than two men using the Bible to confirm if Jesus was either a created being or God himself? The fact that Richardson uses this to promote Pachacuti as a great monotheist reforming his culture is problematic when one reads further of their history (even from those Richardson quotes from).
“Instead of trying to replace regional and local deities,
Pachacuti had them assimilated into Wiracocha. The Creator adopted the
names, attributes, and wakakuna of the principal deities of the provinces. In
most cases this was no problem, since many of these deities already were creator
gods and gift-bringers. They assimilated into Wiracocha without losing their
original names and attributes. Pachacuti used the Situa and the other annual
Inca ceremonies and poem-prayer-songs in this cultural revolution.”
(Introduction the sacred hymns of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+sacred+hymns+of+Pachacuti.-a0141997146 underline mine
“Viracocha (sometimes spelled Wiracocha) created all of the other gods, as well as men and animals, and so ruled them all. This greatest of the gods had no name but only a series of titles. These are most commonly given as Ilya-Tiqsi Viracocha Pachayacachiq, which in Quechua means “ancient foundation, lord, instructor of the world.” The Spanish most commonly referred to him as Viracocha, using one of his titles as a name.” (The Incas New Perspectives by Gordon F. McEwan ABC CCLIO Santa Barbara, California Denver, Colorado Oxford, England) underline mine.
The Incas knew him as Viracocha, but he was not just exclusive to the Inca’s. To the Mayans He is Kukulkan, Quetzalcoatl to the Aztecs, Gucumatz in Central America, Votan in Palenque.
His numerous attributes and aspects included Pachawallpaq, world creator; Pachakama, world governor; and Pachayachachiq, world teacher. We will see why this was assigned to him.
Richardson states, “Further confirmation of the authenticity of de Molina's compilation has surfaced” (p.36 ibid)
‘In 1575, in Cuzco, a Spanish priest named Cristobel de Molina collected a number of Inca hymns along with certain traditions associated with them. “Modern scholars, rediscovering de Molina's collection, marveled at their revolutionary content. Some at first refused to believe they were genuinely Inca! Surely, they thought, de Molina himself must have edited his own European thought into the original Inca composition. Alfred Metraux, however, in his History of the Incas, agrees with Professor John H. Rowe who, he says, "has succeeded in restoring the hymns to their original version, [and is] convinced that they owe nothing to the missionaries' teaching. The forms and expressions used are basically different to those of the Christian liturgy in the Inca tongue." (p.36-37 ibid.)
Richardson’s theory certainly has challenges. In the book “the Inca Hymns and the Epic-Makers” we read: “The very elevation of Viracocha as a theistic concept has more than once aroused the suspicion that the Incas did not invent him on their own, and that their surviving hymns underwent the influence of those Spanish missionaries who set to work in Peru immediately after the conquest in 1533. Though it is common knowledge that the Spanish exploited and adapted existing liturgy in the Andes (11), the suspicion is untenable for many reasons. One is that Quechua-speaking Spanish priests like Molina did not fully understand all the hymns they collected, though these have a high degree of internal consistency. Far more important: in dogma and tone the hymns are positively non- or anti-Christian. Man is pre-lapsarian, in need not of redemption but of protection. He addresses god not with Hebreo-Christian yearning (of the kind which creeps into Mossi's translations), nor with the will to appease or atone” (Gordon Brotherston, Inca Hymns and the Epic-Makers) underline mine.
Not all agree with Richardson’s conclusions, especially those who have done extensive research and have no agenda to find the true God in hundreds of cultures.
Rowe whom Alfred Metraux quotes is as important as Molina:
“John Rowe has conscientiously reconstructed Molina's Quechua text (6) and provided a translation into a European language superior to Molina's Spanish "Declaraciones" (p.200Inca Hymns and the Epic-Makers Gordon Brotherston)
Brotherstonalso mentions “Markham himself was directly responsible for popularizing some quite inadequate versions of Pachacuti's hymns when he Englished M. A. Mossi's Spanish translations of them (4) in his best-seller "The Incas of Peru" (1911); Mossi's notion that Quechua like all other languages in the world derived from Hebrew had not steered him closer to his originals, and indeed later led Means (1931:434ff.) to find them similar to David's Psalms - a truly misleading comparison. More recently scholars like Jesús Lara have reworked these translations (5), while John Rowe has conscientiously reconstructed Molina's Quechua text (6) and provided a translation into a European language superior to Molina's Spanish "Declaraciones" (which Markham had previously rendered into the English of a Victorian hymnal). (p. 200 Gordon Brotherston Inca Hymns and the Epic-Makers)
We need to think biblically, not separate from the Bible and look at history correctly. Viracocha is known as the feathered serpent god, depicted by a water symbol, that of the serpent or snake. The serpent and snake in the Bible are a symbol of Satan, which changes the whole representation of Viracocha. “Viracocha was one of the most important deities in the Inca pantheon and seen as the creator of all things, or the substance from which all things are created, and intimately associated with the sea. (Dover, Robert V. H.; Katharine E. Seibold, John Holmes McDowell (1992). Andean cosmologies through time: persistence and emergence. Caribbean and Latin American studies. Indiana University Press. p. 274)
So we have gods, a pantheon, and he is associated with the sea, (Lake Titicaca). This is who Richardson claims is the God in heaven that created everything?
“Viracocha was believed to have created humanity at the ancient site of Tiwanaku in Bolivia or on an island in Lake Titicaca near the border between modern Peru and Bolivia. After the creation he traveled through the Andes performing miracles and teaching people how to live. He is said to have appeared as an old man with a long beard wearing plain clothes and carrying a staff.” (The Incas New Perspectives by Gordon F. McEwan ABC CCLIO Santa Barbara, California Denver, Colorado Oxford, England) underline mine.
He is depicted as the sun god of creation [wearing a sun crown] and the moon god. Viracocha was worshipped as god of the sun and of storms, with thunderbolts in his hands, and tears descending from his eyes as rain. In his conquering, “Pachacuti took an image of the Thunder God for his guardian (Sarmiento, 1906, ch. 14; Cobo, 1890-95, bk. 12, ch. 13; bk. 13, ch. 9). (P.297 Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest by John Howland Rowe).
“Alfred Metraux, however, in his History of the Incas, agrees with Professor John H. Rowe who, he says, "has succeeded in restoring the hymns to their original version, [and is] convinced that they owe nothing to the missionaries' teaching. The forms and expressions used are basically different to those of the Christian liturgy in the Inca tongue." (p.36 Eternity in their Hearts)
I could not be find this in Rowe’s book, what I did find was the opposite: “Because the ideas of Inca religion were so thoroughly woven into these poems, they were frowned on by the missionaries and none was ever literally recorded. However, summaries of several were preserved in Spanish prose by Sarmiento, Betanzos, and Pacha’cuti” (P.321)
“All the types of Inca literature so far considered suffered heavily from Spanish influence or repression since the Conquest, (p.322 Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest by John Howland Rowe) underline mine
“In addition, 16th- and 17th-century writers copied liberally from one another, often without giving credit, so that many works which are usually termed “sources” or “documents” are ’only third or
fourth-hand restatements of the original testimony, marred by carelessness and by personal or political prejudice…It is wisest, however, to consult the original text even when an English translation does exist, for much often depends on details of wording, and none of the translations is entirely accurate” (p.194 Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest by John Howland Rowe)
In one of the hymns it says “my Wiracocha, earth spirit, sacred mountain; "Lord." Viracocha was the maintainer of the world and of the other deities. The sun was the tangible manifestation, but the invisible Viracocha was above the sun. Many of these same hymns are secondarily consecrated to the other deities; Pachamama (Earth Mother, in hymn 9) and Inti (the Sun, in hymn 10) are invoked alone.
When one reads what is actually Incan history, they understand for one to make Viracocha into the eternal God becomes more than a grand canyon leap. To make Pachacuti a prophet or on the same level as Job, or Melchizedek is also disturbing. Pachacuti may have been divorcing himself from the ancient religious ways but he certainly did not find biblical truth in the way the bible explains it.
Daniel Kikawa repeats Richardson’s theory and quotes Alfred Metraux in History of the Incas referring to the Virococha cult, who he states is the Lord, also known in mythology as “the ancient one”, “maker of earth”, “old man of the sky”, etc.
In doing research like this it’s imperative to pay attention to details. What both Richardson and Kikawa forgot to include in their quotes of Alfred Metraux is this: “At his side there is usually a second mythological being, the "Transformer," who completes his work and instructs the people in the rudiments of civilization.”
In one of the prayers to Viracocha it says, “Viracocha, Lord of the Universe! Whether male or female”…. being one who, even with his spittle, can work sorcery. Where are Thou?” (From: Ancient Civilizations of the Andes by Philip Ainsworth Means, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1931, pp. 437-439.)
“Where art Thou? Is certainly not a phrase from the language of the Incas and it shows an outside influence. Working sorcery which was part of their cultures belief in spirits does exhibit his association.
Richardson writes, “… Pachacuti, whose spiritual insight as a pagan far surpassed even Epimenides' (p.34 Eternity in Their Hearts.)
That’s not saying much when we look at all the details.
None of this story portrays the monotheism found in the Bible. So if Pachacuti surpasses Epimenedes, a prophet according to Richardson what do we have here?
Richardson wants you to believe this story and much more. In fact when we read ofPachacuti, his so called monotheistic conversion does come into question.
The most important servants of the Creator were the sky gods, headed by the Sun, who was believed to be the divine ancestor of the Inca dynasty…. The “Temple of the Sun” in Cuzco housed images of all the sky gods of the Inca and a host of lesser supernaturals besides; its most important image was not of the Sun but of Viracoca. (P.294 Inca culture at conquest John Rowe)
So Viracocha had an idol in the temple of the Sun.
“The high priest then came forward, made a gesture of reverence to the images of Viracocha and the other gods, had the animals led four times around the images, and then dedicated them to Viracocha in the name of the Sun (p.307 Inca culture at conquest John Rowe).
The Inca ruler Pachacuti and his army were conquering the lands surrounding the Cuzco area,
“Certain images, especially those representing tribal ancestors, were regularly carried into battle by the Inca and their neighbors” (p.281 Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest by JOHN HOWLAND ROWE 1946)“The numerous stones, called puruauca, that Pachacuti claimed had turned to warriors to help him defeat the Chanca army during the siege of Cuzco were all worshiped as huacas. (Cobo 1990: 35–36; Rowe 1946: 296).
“Pachacuti cried out that even the stones were turning to men to help the Inca, and after the battle he pointed out a large number of loose stones on the battlefield which had done so. These stones were reverently collected and distributed around Cuzco as shrines (Acosta, 1940, bk. 6, ch. 21; Cobo, 1890-95, bk. 13,ch. 8).
Rowe writes on p.280 (Rowe is cited by A. Metraux in Richardson’s book) “From the time of Pachacuti, religion was used to justify the Inca conquest, on the pretext that the purest and highest form of religion was the Inca way of worshiping the Creator, the sky gods, and the place spirits, and that it was the Inca’s duty to spread this religion throughout the, world.”
On his deathbed he spoke this to Tupac Inca his son: "Son! you now see how many great nations I leave to you, and you know what labour they have cost me. Mind that you are the man to keep and augment them. …When I am dead, take care of my body, and put it in my houses at Patallacta. Have my golden image in the House of the Sun, and make my subjects, in all the provinces, offer up solemn sacrifice, after which keep the feast of purucaya, that I may go to rest with my father the Sun." (Death of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui "History of the Incas" by Pedro Sarmiento De Gamboa, translated by Clements Markham, Cambridge: The Hakluyt Society 1907, pp. 138-139.) underline mine
Consider the statement “rest with my father the Sun! Which certainly brings into question his so called biblical monotheism (besides his image in the temple of the sun). His son Thupa Yupanqui continued his father's conquest campaigns.
What is even more disturbing is “When Pachacuti died in 1447, many of his supporters followed him into death by committing suicide (People in World History p.27)
“For the funeral of the Inca Pachacuti Five thousand llamas were sacrificed and 1,000 children” (Betanzos 1996: 134–137; Rowe 1946: 286). Quoted in The Incas New Perspectives Gordon F. McEwan ABC CCLIO Santa Barbara, California Denver, Colorado Oxford, England)
Is that what a reformed monotheistic culture would do for its leader?
Richardson’s portrayal of historical events is sorely lacking. Again, it’s not just what he wrote but what he omits that can change the conclusion of his theory, for what omitted is crucial. Few people of any culture in the ancient world were really monotheistic (i.e. Job and Melchizedek are a few of the Bibles INDIVIDUAL examples), not a hundred of cultures as he claims.
Richardson does exactly what you would you would expect a cultural inclusivist to do, use the lowest amount of similarity of another culture to be accepted as near sameness of the ancient saints.
“And how ironic that Spanish Catholics, in their zeal to abolish Inca "idolatry," destroyed a monotheistic belief which, in effect, constituted an interim Old Testament to open the minds of thousands to the good news of Viracocha's incarnation in the Person of His Son (p.40 Eternity in their Hearts)
What the Catholics did was certainly wrong but then Richardson point of them destroying a monotheistic culture is hardly the case.
In 1438 Pachacuti became the 9th emperor and most agree he died in 1471 AD. That’s a long time period before the Spaniards came and conquered. In 1532 Incan Ruler Huayna Capac died. Two of his many sons, Atahualpa and Huáscar, began to fight each other over his empire. Atahualpa was victorious but the Empire was in ruins. It was then Francisco Pizarro led the Spanish conquistadors to defeat the weakened Inca armies; they were not monotheistic.
Yet Richardson says, I like to call him the "Incan Melchizedek." This statment diminishes Jesus as the Melchizedek priest for all mankind.
There are apologists for Christianity that use this story, repeating the errors of Richardson’s research. This occurs for only one reason, because they have not done their own independent research using what primary resources we have or looked to those who are the experts on this and other cultures. We need to be careful that we do not continue this error. There is a need to correct the inclusiveness that has purposely rejected the false, corrupted and counterfeit myths.
What Richardson has created is another myth from the Incan religious myth. And he does this over and over again.