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Mythology and the Bible

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Question:  Dear Sir: I have found your site educational. I will be visiting it more as I get time. Thank you for your work in the Lord. Seeing that you are "in" the classics, I have a question: If we hold that the Jewish scriptures are true revelation, then the Greek myths and other material is either fully fabricated or is a distorted vapor of the truth. Assuming that there has been work in this area, where can I find analysis of the mythologies from the Judeo-Christian perspective? For instance it is hard to dismiss the similarities between Eve's sin and Pandora's box. I have a niece that is pursuing a Ph.D. in the Classics and I hope that material of this nature may provide an inroad to sharing the Gospel with her.  Thank you.

Response:  Thanks so much for your e-mail and kind comments. As to your specific question, some connections are obvious.  The Babylonian (and classical) flood myths almost certainly are derivative of the reality of the world-wide flood of Noah's day.  Scripture also tells us that the Nephilim, the angelic progeny of of Genesis chapter six, were "mighty men, men of renown", suggesting that the fame of these creatures may well have survived the flood (Gen.6:4), and it is no great stretch to see in them and their exploits the roots of much classical mythology (on the Nephilim, see Part 5 of the Satanic Rebellion series).  Distortion (rather than mere obstruction) of what the Bible has to say about God has always been a satanic priority, so that the numerous parallels one finds to the truth in all false religions and mythologies is not unexpected.

However, I regret to say that I am unable to point you to much specific bibliography on this subject, none, at any rate, that I could endorse in any way (exceptions include tangential comments to be found in F. Delitzsch's System of Biblical Psychology, and M.F. Unger's Archaeology of the Old Testament). Unbelievers tend to see both categories (i.e., the Bible and classical accounts) as myth, while believers generally dismiss myth as without any supernatural origin. Those who have attempted to connect some myth as containing germs of truth from scripture tend not to go into great detail on the subject. It is an open area for research, but not one brimming with potential (because of probable hostility from both sides). A wise old scholar once told me to stay away from metrical analysis and Etruscan, because, as he put it, "they are both terribly complicated fields and, in the end, they admit of no solution". This good advice probably applies doubly to the area of myth-origin from a believer's perspective, and no doubt explains the dearth of specific bibliography on the subject (at least as far as I am presently aware). Still, it is a fascinating area as your interesting parallel of Eve and Pandora shows. By the way, as you probably know, Hesiod actually has "jar" (pithos), not box. We owe the box to Erasmus.

Please see also the following link:  Giants and Nephilim, Sumerian Myths, and Sea Monsters

My best wishes (and prayers) for success with you niece.

Yours in Christ,

Bob Luginbill


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