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Greek Mythology - Zeus vs Christianity

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Greek Mythology - Zeus vs Christianity

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In this essay I will consider the features of Zeus as emphasised by mythology, and draw conclusions on the nature of the Greek gods as opposed to Christianity.

According to Hesiod’s Works and Days, before Zeus ruled gods and mortals his father Cronus dictated a golden race. This was the first of four races created by the gods. The last three were fashioned by Zeus after he took the golden throne of Olympus from Cronus. The silver race came after the golden race and were destroyed by Zeus because they refused to pay tribute to the gods.

Animal sacrifice was hugely important to the gods. Human sacrifice however was not acceptable. It was okay for the gods to swallow each other (Zeus with his pregnant wife Metis, and Cronus who swallowed Zeus’s brothers and sisters) because they cannot die. This was not the case when Lycaon served Zeus his dismembered son. Infuriated Zeus punished Lycaon’s insolence by turning him into a wolf and striking his remaining sons down with thunderbolts. Animal sacrifice in Christianity became outdated with the New Testament however the Christian god sacrificed his son Jesus for the sins of the people and long before the crucifixion he ordered Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac to show how deep his love for the god went, before stopping Abraham as he was about to obey.

The third race that came before us –the fourth and final Iron race, was the bronze race. It is here that versions of this myth change. It is said that Zeus grew tired of the Bronze species and wanted to exterminate them to make space for an improved race, but they eradicated themselves with relentless fighting before he had the chance. Yet in another version one that links to Christianity, is that he brought about a primeval flood to destroy the bronze people save for two, Deucalion and Pyrrha. This couple would become the race that all modern humans are descended from just like Noah and his family. Unlike with Noah, who was instructed by God himself to...