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Greek mythology in the Bible

 
 
Reply Sat 29 Jun, 2013 06:38 pm
I want to talk about some instances in the Bible of references to Greek Mythology. One reference is fairly straightforward while the others are a bit more hidden.

The first reference appears in 2 Peter 2:4--
"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell, and delivered [them] into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment..."
According to Strong's Concordance, the phrase “cast them down to hell” correlates to the Greek word “tartaroo” which means “to thrust down to Tartarus." Anyone familiar with Greek mythology will recognize Tartarus as the lowest level of the underworld, underneath Hades. Tartarus is the place where most of the Titans were cast down and imprisoned after their defeat by the Olympian gods. Tartarus is where Sisyphus was doomed to roll a boulder up a hill for eternity; it is where Tantalus was doomed to stand in a pool of water and be “tantalized” forever.

The other references occur in the story of Adam and Eve. It is my interpretation and understanding that the story of Adam and Eve is essentially the story of Epimetheus and Pandora. According to myth, Epimetheus and his brother Prometheus were Titans who were tasked with giving characteristic qualities to all the animals. The biblical correlate of this is how God tasked Adam with assigning names to all the animals. Later in the biblical story, Eve encounters a serpent. Now, there are many misunderstandings about the serpent in this story. Many Christians believe that the serpent was evil, however I believe this interpretation to be completely wrong. As a matter of fact, the serpent is actually the hero of the story, analogous to Prometheus in the Greek story. The serpent's encounter with Eve concerns the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The fruit of this tree bestowed enhanced intelligence upon the eater of it, and hence the serpent advised Eve to eat the fruit. It is commonly said that the serpent deceived Eve but this couldn't be further from the truth. The snake only makes two assertions in the story-- that Eve will not die from eating the fruit and that she will become like a god, knowing good and evil-- and both assertions proved to be true. In Genesis 2:17, God says that the humans would die on the same day of eating the fruit, but God was lying because Adam and Eve both lived for centuries after eating the fruit. The serpent's second assertion is confirmed by God himself in Genesis 3:22--"And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil..." In making the humans smarter, such that they saw the folly of going naked and fashioned clothes for themselves, the serpent was essentially laying the foundation for human civilization, much in the same way that Prometheus' theft of fire from the gods was a prerequisite for human civilization. So if the serpent was the good guy, then why was it punished by God? One can't be sure, but it is interesting to compare this event to the Tower of Babel story in Genesis 11:1-9, where God saw the architectural progress of man and deliberately undermined their efforts, apparently out of petty jealousy. Furthermore, just as Prometheus is punished by the gods for his act, the serpent is also punished by God. Eve is analogous to Pandora. Just as Eve was offered as a gift to Adam, Pandora was offered as a gift to Epimetheus. Just as Pandora, out of curiosity, opened the jar given to her by Prometheus and caused evil to plague mankind, Eve, out of curiosity for the fruit, also sets in motion a sequence of events leading to man's ruin.

There are still other similarities between the Greek and Hebrew stories. In the Pelasgian creation myth, the goddess Eurynome, after having risen naked from the primordial chaos, created the universe by having a romantic relationship with the serpent, Ophion. Later, when the serpent began to boast about being the sole author of the universe, Eurynome banished it by "bruising its head with her heel"--which sounds eerily similar to Genesis 3:15--"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." There seem to be correlations in regards to the nudity of both Eurynome and Eve, and in regards to the interaction between a woman and a snake. All things considered, I think it is virtually undeniable that there is a connection between the Hebrew story and the Greek myth.

My question is this: In light of these references to Greek mythology, is it possible to still believe in the infallibility of the Bible and the validity of Christianity? Is it possible to hold as true a belief that draws from myths you unequivocally hold to be false?
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jun, 2013 06:53 pm
@Mysterio448,
You should be speaking of the biblical references in Greek and Roman mythology. For, if the angels that sinned are willing conscripts of "the father of the lie" (John 8:44), it is no wonder that the religions derived from their antediluvian presence would be as you say "unequivocally (held) to be false'.

If only those had been the only religions of their deceit.
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AugustineBrother
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2016 02:52 pm
@Mysterio448,
Sure, you must be in tears to see Biblical themes in Greek myths but that is far more telling.
Intimations of Christianity Among the Ancient Greeks
by Simone Weil

" She looks at evidence of "Christian" feelings in Greek literature, notably in Electra, Orestes, and Antigone, and in the Iliad, going on to examine God in Plato, and divine love in creation, as seen by the ancient Greeks."

What is true SHOULD have adumbrations all through history even if some are Satanic copying. What about Virgil's Fourth Eclogue
Christian interpretations of Virgil's Fourth Eclogue - Wikipedia
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CVeigh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 11:28 am
@Mysterio448,
I don't hold the myths to be false.They are myths. you have to know what was trying to be conveyed. Plus, the new context is just that. I might quote Dickens to make a moral point but the fact Dickens is fiction has no bearing, it is the use that -- -I ---- -put it to that matters. Heck, I wouldn't quote it if it were saying the obvious.
The Anointed
 
  0  
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2021 04:08 pm
@CVeigh,
According to Greek mythology, Zeus was the sixth child born to Time (Kronos) and Space (Rhea), Time was his father and Space his mother. Zeus is the Godhead, the Most-High that was created on the sixth day, or the sixth period of universal activity, the sixth generation of the universe. Zeus, the sixth child born to Time and Space is called the father of Gods and men, the most high and powerful among mortals, whom all others obey.

His five siblings, Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon were swallowed by their father ’Time’ immediately after they were born. The five universal bodies, who were born to Time and Space prior to the sixth universal child, did not develop a mind, that is to say, a spiritual godhead to the universal body in which they were developing.

When Zeus was born, his mother ’Space’ hid him in a cave, a tunnel (A worm hole) and gave to her partner ‘Time,’ a stone wrapped in swaddling cloth, which he swallowed. The stone swallowed by Time was none other than the philosopher’s stone, the concealed stone of many colors, the single stone with seven facets, the mystic seed of transcendental life, which should invade, tinge, and wholly transmute, the imperfect self into spiritual gold.

The son of Zeus and his sister wife Demeter, is Dionysus who is equated with Osiris. The Platonists who believed the Greek myths, called Dionysus, the mind within us, our master, our indwelling ruler.”

Demeter was the sister wife of Zeus and mother of Dionysus [The firstborn son of Zeus and the successor to the throne of the spiritual godhead to the human race] whose body was torn to pieces by the Titans, then boiled in water before being roasted in fire; [The baptism of blood, water, and fire.
When Zeus had grown, it was by a cunning devise of Metis ‘which is divine wisdom,’ that Cronos (Time) was forced to bring up the five children or the previous five universal bodies that he had swallowed before they had developed a Supreme personality of godhead within them, but first of all the seven faceted stone.

Those children who were swallowed by time, were the product of the first five creative days or periods of universal activity, (The first five generations of the universe.) Osiris like Adam was the first man to be mummified and Osiris is the god of the first of the five new made days.

Osiris/Adam, the first man to be mummified, was created on the seventh day, by “The Son of Man,” who was born at the close of the 6th generation, who was ‘the Lord to the glory of ‘EL’ the creator.

Budge—Book of the Dead, p. 627, “O Osiris, son of Nut (Primeval matter), I have given unto thee the Sovereignty of thy father Seb (Time), and the goddess Mut (Space), thy mother, (Lord of Space and Time) who gave birth to the gods, brought you forth as the first born of five gods, and created thy beauties and fashioned thy members.”

Isis, the sister wife to Osiris, was the most popular goddess from the time of Psamtik 1 (663-610 B.C) till the coming of Christianity, her cult appealed to the Greeks and Romans alike and when Egypt came under Roman rule, her cult spread through much of Europe. By the time of Jesus, the chief center of her worship was in Rome. Isis is commonly depicted with Horus the child (Harpocrates) on her lap, and today, it is impossible for the average punter to distinguish between the late pagan and early Christian figures of the mother and child, it’s almost as though the old Pagan Queen was stripped of her old garments and clothed with the new covering of Christianity.
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