Mythology and Religion


I've often thought about how the mythology of different cultures correspond to the Bible.

Keith Giles has written about some of the traditions of the American Indian. He recently went deeper in a blog post called, "The Cheyenne Creation Myth." - Fascinating!

The first time I was exposed to the Nordic mythology was when I was living in Iceland. The more I learned about it the more I couldn't help feel that much of it originated in a universal truth. For instance Odin, Thor, and Freya sounded so much like, father, son, and holy spirit.

There are many more similarities if you care to study it deeper. Here is an explanation I found on the Internet about the Nordic Sagas and the biblical account.

Author: Gunnar Thorsen

In the final battle between good and evil, Thor, the Son of the Father God Odin, will defeat evil in the form of a serpent and will give up his own life. In the Bible, Jesus, the Son of the Father God also defeats evil symbolized by a serpent and gives up His own life.

In the Poetic Edda, Ragnarok begins with the crowing of three roosters. In the Bible, Jesus tells Peter that he will deny him three times at the crowing of a rooster.

In Norse mythology, the God Heimdall blows his horn at the beginning of Ragnarok. In the Bible, trumpet blasts also cue apocalyptic events.

During Ragnarok, the World Tree called Yggsdrasil shudders, bringing to mind the tree upon which Christ was crucified, the tree that “shuddered” when nails were hammered into it.

Odin hung on a tree for nine days as he sought wisdom and knowledge, which He used to benefit humans. He pierced his side with his own spear. Jesus also hung on a tree as he sought salvation for all, and His side was pierced with a spear.

In another instance, Odin endured pain and sacrificed his physical body (in the form of His eye) to gain a cosmic understanding of reality, so the depictions of a one-eyed Odin symbolize the sacrifice of the earthly in exchange for the divine. Jesus sacrificed His body so that those mired in earthly things might attain the Divine.

Genesis 3:15 foretells that Christ will bruise the head of the serpent (Satan), and that the serpent will bruise Christ’s heel. Christ “bruised the serpent’s head” when He overcame Satan via His crucifixion, but when being crucified, a nail bruised His heels (as well as hands) and He died. In the final battle of Ragnarok, Thor kills the evil serpent Jormungandr, but dies after the serpent bites him.

It’s possible of course that different people, having separate experiences, developed similar expressions of belief or faith, but it’s also possible that Christianity (which is older than Norse religion) had an influence on the latter.

Here's something else I lifted from the internet...

From the heavens to the underworld, the Greeks and Romans both had a vast selection of gods and goddesses to worship, but just how different were they?

We know that the roles of the deities were often shared. Zeus, or Jupiter, is a good example of these similarities. In both versions of the mythos, he was the King of the Gods, as well as ruling over sky and thunder. He was known to wield a lightning bolt and was represented by the eagle...

To my understanding there are elements here of what we find in the bible, even if many things could have gotten distorted along the way.

I believe the spirit world is real, and that it is inhabited by principalities and powers, subject to the God of Creation or to the Evil one. I tend to believe that many original stories got twisted or embellished along the way.

The similarities between mythology and the bible has been used to attack the Judaeo-Christian beliefs. Men have tried to reverse the logic by saying that the bible authors took their inspiration from other myths and legends.

I think it's the other way around. The original events are reflected in the folklore and mythology of many civilizations, but in my opinion the best and most accurate accounts can be found in the Hebrew and Christian writings.

Another example is something I posted a while back about how the original Chinese characters depicted the Creation story God in Ancient China.

What do you think?

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