In my time in school and college, I always enjoyed the study of ancient Greek, Roman, Chinese, and Native American myth. It was interesting to me to see how these past cultures explained common occurrences in life, with people or places that could not be seen in the physical world. We, as a modern culture, read about such Gods as Zeus, Venus, or other well known names and wonder, "how could those people be so foolish to think gods like that existed?" Yet at the same time we have beliefs in modern religions, such as Christianity, that there is a heaven with Jesus Christ, Jehovah, Angels, The Devil, and Demons. We attach to these heavenly beings, folk lore and legends, that have not been witnessed by anyone living today. We hold to a written document that we claim is inspired, that passes down these legends. Yet we seem to wear blinders to the fact that our adherence to these concepts, is no different in principle to what we study in mythology in history. This is especially true, when you learn that the Romans borrowed their religion from Greece and made minor changes. It shows that as a species, religion evolves. One culture takes over another, and they merge beliefs and ideas. With this in mind, it does not shock me to see that certain characters and events in the Bible, sound a lot like a page out of Greek myth. As an example, Samson and Hercules. Both men with enormous strength, that was given to them from God. Jesus Christ and Hercules and Perseus. All three virgin births, brought about by the head God impregnating a human woman. Even some of the terms from the Bible, refer to Greek gods. Hades for example, used to mean the tomb or death. Hades was the God of the underworld and had a lot in common with the Christian Devil. Hermes was the messenger of God and flew around with similar traits to Christian angels and Holy Ghost (Spirit). Angels and Muses are also very similar, in that the Bible refers to angels inspiring men to do great things, or to write great things. Pandora opened the box that brought pain to mankind. (Notice also, the blame placed on the woman to make her seem less then man). Even the concept of heaven, roots back to the Greeks who saw the Gods living above the clouds (First on Mt. Olympus, and then evolving into the clouds above). Honestly, I can go on and on, as I love this subject. Yet I have to wonder, when does religion become myth? For 1500 years ago, Zeus was real to the people and now he is myth. 1500 years from now, will Jesus Christ be a myth. It seems entirely possible. Even modern Christianity is cleaning out thoughts that relate to mythology. What do I mean? Well recently I was discussing with a Christian friend the story of Adam and Eve, and he mentioned that in their Church they no longer take those stories at face value. Instead they take the principles they taught, and apply that knowledge. Which to me, shows an excellent example of what I mean. Religion evolves and cultures and ideas combine to form new thoughts. Currently, it is the trusting culture of the past and the modern culture of information, trying to form a balance. Because inside, man wants to have some hope that life is not just these 70-80 years we see in front of us. Where does it lead? I don't know, but I am fairly certain that much like today, when we study Greek myth and get appalled at how those people murdered in the name of their God. When we laugh at their explanations for why sin entered the world. We will see future mankind viewing religions from our time period the same way, and I have no doubt religion's like Jehovah's Witnesses, will be used as an example of the extreme. What do you think about this?
Edited by - whyhideit on 2 February 2003 4:56:46