Christianity vs. Greek Mythology

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Throughout many ages religion has been a very important part of history. It shaped many cultures and allowed us to better understand many civilizations. Two of these cultures are those of the Christians and Greeks. Both have similarities and differences in their religious beliefs that have been compared often and I have chosen to discuss the similarities and differences of Christianity and ancient Greek mythology.

Christianity is a monotheistic religion, or belief in only one God, and spiritual practices are based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as written in the New Testament of the Bible, with the role of Jesus as savior and the Son of God. Greek mythology is a polytheistic religion, which is the belief in and worship of multiple deities, called gods and goddesses, belonging to the culture of ancient Greece.

Even though their definitions are different, the faith of Christianity and one God and the culture of the Greeks in mythology of many gods are alike in a number of ways. To begin, in both religions humans believe that there are speakers for their God/gods. These people include pastors, priests and nuns in Christianity, and storytellers or prophets in Greek times. Furthermore, the people believe that their God or gods are above humans. Both cultures believe a god is above all mortal and of this earth, and he or she listens to people when they need help, and have supernatural power to help. This is why both the Christians and the Greeks pray to their God and gods for forgiveness.

Another similarity between the religious beliefs of these two cultures is that they have explanations for many of ancient mysteries of life and major events on earth. The ancient Greeks and early Christians tried to find an explanation for the evil in the world, and both blame a woman for man’s downfall. Greeks believe a woman named Pandora opened a forbidden box and released all evil into the world. Christians believe a woman named Eve released evil after eating from a forbidden tree. Also, in both the ancient Greek and Christian beliefs of the early world, there exist stories of great floods that destroyed most of humankind. In Greek mythology, Zeus orders a man named Deucalion to make a chest in which he and his family can survive the flood Zeus was going to bring upon the earth. In the Bible, the account of Christian beliefs, God orders a man named Noah to build an ark in which he and his family, and two of each animal, can survive the destruction from a flood God was going to send.

War was also a common characteristic of both the ancient Greek world and of the Biblical world. For example, the Trojan War is a major event in Greek history, and is written about most famously in Homer's Iliad. The gods always seemed to play important roles in this war, especially Zeus, Ares the god of war, and the other and goddesses living on Mount Olympus. Wars between Greek city-states were also common, with gods and goddesses almost always involved in them in some way. In similar comparison, the Bible accounts many stories of wars between different countries and religious groups, with God being involved in some way in the outcome or fate of the peoples. One of the most famous examples is the war between the Philistines and the Israelites. In this war, God interfered and sent a small shepherd boy David to save the Israelites. David does so by killing the giant Goliath, a super-human thing he would not have been able to accomplish without God's help. These examples show the cross-cultural belief that war was an important event in the ancient world, and the gods, and God, played significant roles.

While Christianity and ancient Greek mythology have many similarities, there are key differences. The main and most obvious difference is that Christian belief is about only one God, and its beliefs and commandments are written about in the Bible. Christians regard the stories told in Bible as actual...
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