A Comparison of the Christian and Ancient Greek Cultures

1271 Words6 Pages
A Comparison of the Christian and Ancient Greek Cultures Most Christians (or those religions that follow the basic principles of the Bible) believe in the stories told in the Bible. In fact, these stories are usually regarded not only as mere stories, but also as actual historical accounts of important people, events, and concepts of the Christian faith. However, stories of Greek and Roman mythology are typically regarded as nothing more than fictional, fantasy stories. The idea that Ancient Greeks viewed these stories to be their religion seems insane to many people of Biblical Faith. This idea seems to cast a stigma of irrationality, almost ignorance, upon the Ancient Greeks. Although placing this stigmatism on a long-dead culture may seem to be unimportant in much of the contemporary world, it is important because this long-dead culture represents the history of a large portion of the world (the Ancient Greek empire was much more vast than modern-day Greece). Just as many Americans would find it offensive to have their history as irrational and ignorant, it seems logical that Greeks might as well. Therefore, it is necessary to try and understand that both Ancient Greeks and Ancient Christians may have held similar beliefs about the world they were living in. The fact is that Greek myths contain unrealistic and unbelievable characters, events, and other elements, but upon comparison of Greek mythology stories with different Biblical accounts, it is apparent that some parallels between the two do exist, and that the Ancient Greeks view of the events of the early world are very similar to the views of both ancient and contemporary Christians. The similarities begin with the creation stories, although these similarities are very minimal. In both the Christian creation story, Genesis, and in many accounts of the Ancient Greek creation story, the earth began with darkness and nothingness- a void, or Chaos, as known to the Greeks (Genesis 1:2; Tripp 159). This Chaos was the bearer (meaning that he gave birth to) of Ge/Gaia (Earth), Tartarus (underworld), Eros (love and sex), Erebus (darkness), and Nyx (night) (Tripp 159). In the Christian creation story, God is the parallel to the Greek Chaos in that he invents the same things (with the exception of an underworld; the creation of Adam and Eve and their later reproduction could be comparable to Eros) as Chaos bore (Genesis 1:1-18).
Open Document