Christianity vs. Mythology Essay
Christianity vs. Mythology
For many centuries, ancient Greek mythology has played an instrumental role in the development and foundation of all societies. The ancient myths formed through Greek Mythology has given meaning to the world people saw around them and helped answer perplexing questions such as, “Who made the world? How will it end? Who was the first man? Where do souls go after death?”. In fact, Greek mythology has provided meaning to people and the world around them in the same way Christianity and Judaism does.
Greek mythology can relate to Christianity and Judaism such that they all were based off oral tradition, they have helped mankind develop a community that shares a common world view through moral way of life, and they all respond to our quest for wonder, the mystical and the unknown. Nonetheless, it is necessary to try and understand that both Ancient Greeks and Ancient Christians may have held similar beliefs about the world they were living in.
In ancient Mythology, although there were no written texts that presented the several myths and stories such as the Christian Bible or the Hebrew Torah, the earliest Greek myths were part of an oral tradition. Ancient Greek myths, in their unknown beginnings, are believed to have been formed and passed on by oral tradition, meaning the myths originated from story-telling. The spread of Greek myths can relate to the early spread of Christianity and Judaism in the respect that the stories in the Bible and the Torah were stories about the sayings and acts of Jesus as told by story tellers long before they were ever recorded into a written text.
Greek mythology, Christianity and Judaism are also similar such that they all teach a moral way of life and help mankind share a common world view. Almost all ancient Greek myths were constructed to teach some sort of lesson or moral, for example, in the story of Arachne. In the story, Arachne expressed extreme pride in her weaving skills; in Ancient Greece, having too much pride was considered a very unfavorable quality to acquire. Arachne believed her weaving abilities were far more superior than that of Athena’s, the goddess of weaving, so she challenged her to a weaving contest.
In the end, Arachne’s skills did not even compare to Athena’s and Athena turned her into a spider. The story teaches that excessive pride and having a big ego is not considered acceptable if one wants to like a purely moral life. Like Greek mythology, Judaism and Christianity also strive to teach mankind how to live a fulfilling, moral life through the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments in Judaism and Christianity are a set of laws that God gave to the people of Israel that represent the main moral code of behavior every person should try to follow in order to live a spiritually pure and moral life.
Finally, Greek mythology, Christianity and Judaism are similar because they all attempt to answer our perplexing questions and wonders about the world we live in. For instance, one similarity lies with the stories of creation; The story of Pandora’s Box in Greek mythology and the Book of Genesis in Judaism and Christianity. In the story of Pandora’s Box, Pandora was the first woman created and she was given a box by the Gods that she was told to never open. In the end, her curiosity overcame her, she opened the box and out came all the evils of the world.
The story in the Book of Genesis is very similar- God created Adam and Eve and commanded them not to eat the fruit from the forbidden tree. Eventually, a serpent appeared to Eve and convinced her to eat the forbidden fruit. She persuaded her partner, Adam, to eat the fruit also and as a result, sin engulfed the world. The ancient Greeks and early Christians tried to find an explanation for the evil in the world, and both blame a woman for mankind’s downfall.
Subject: Ancient Rome,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 15 February 2017
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