|Dionysus with satyrs. Interior of a cup painted
by the Brygos Painter, Cabinet des Médailles.
Wikipedia commons photo
It’s so interesting to study the myths of the world when one has a Christian perspective. The other myths then make sense. We can understand their origin, their point of view, their characters … because if a person is a Christian one knows that all other religions and all myths are written by satan.
The Greek and Roman myths in particular are interesting and have many parallels in opposite to the Christian bible. Allow me to offer a few verses which allude to this fascinating story. I say allude, because aside from a few specific bible verses, we don’t know any more. However since all scripture is God breathed and profitable, and the verses are in there, it is good to study them. God wants us to know. He just didn’t happen to reveal it all.
In Genesis 6:1-4, we read that the world had become totally corrupt. One item that God mentioned in aiding and abetting this corruption was the fallen angels, who left their first estate as Jude says, and came down and messed with women. These unholy angels were the worst of the worst, the vilest.
“When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.”
Some people reject this, saying that angels can’t/don’t mate, however the plain language in Genesis says they did. The angels who came to inspect Sodom stayed overnight, slept, and ate. The verse in Hebrews says that holy angels minister to us, unawares, obviously taking on human form and can do so incognito so that we remain unaware. Both the holy angels and the unholy angels have or can adopt a biology when they enter this dimension. (Gen. 18:1–2, 8; 19:1, 5; Heb. 13:2). (If interested there is more here)
Artist: Peter Paul Rubens, c.1630
In primeval times (pre-flood) vicious and perverse angels came down and sinned with women and spawned a race of fierce and mighty men of old. I believe that this is where we get the myth of the demigods. Homer and Hesiod use the term, hemitheoi, meaning the person had one parent who was a ‘god’ and one who was a mortal. I personally believe that the secular/mythological cultural memory of these half-breeds, such as the mighty men of old mentioned in Genesis 6, were men like Hercules and Aeneas, and were the product of such matings. They really overstepped, and these particular unholy angels who did the deeds were locked up in Tartarus, as Peter explains in 2 Peter 2:4, Holman Standard Christian Bible,
“For if God didn’t spare the angels who sinned but threw them down into Tartarus and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness until judgment;”
Tartarus is the lowest, darkest, worst dungeon.
It is here where the Lord Jesus went after He died, in order to proclaim His success over sin to these forever-lost spirits in chains-
|Wilhelm Kotarbinski: The Spirit of the Abyss|
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.” (1 Peter 3:18-20)
MacArthur explains, “Those wicked spirits were sent to the abyss because they overstepped the boundaries of God’s tolerance. They filled the earth with their wretchedness to such an extent that not even 120 years of Noah’s preaching convinced anyone beyond his family to repent, believe in God, and escape His judgment. Since that time, the demons who committed such heinous sins had been bound and imprisoned when Jesus died at Calvary. Perhaps by then they thought He had lost the upper hand over them, but such was not the case. Instead He appeared in their midst and proclaimed His triumph. Colossians 2:15 declares, “When [God] had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through [Christ].” (source)
Jude mentions these chained up spirits also,
“And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day” (Jude 1:6)
|Wiki photo, commons|
And although it doesn’t say Tartarus, it is there in my opinion that the demons at Gadara pled with Jesus not to be sent to the abyss,
“And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss.” (Luke 8:31)
Abyss, or abussos in Greek means unfathomable depth, the home of the dead and of evil spirits. “Noooo, anything but Tartarus!! Let us go into the pigs!!
The angels are called the ‘sons of God.’ In the bible version, satan, a son of God, wanted to overthrow the Father,
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:12-15)
Photo of statue of The Jupiter de Smyrne, discovered in Smyrna in 1680
But he was and will be unsuccessful. In satan’s version of the Greek mythology, the Olympians, the sons, incited a war in heaven and were successful in overthrowing the fathers.
Revelation 12:7-9 has the real story of the war in heaven, and the ending,
“Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him“
In a postscript to this, frighteningly, these worst of the worst angel criminals will be let out of the abyss on the great day of judgment,
|The Abyss of Hell, Sandro Botticelli 1480|
“And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft.” (Revelation 9:1-2)
Which brings us back to Genesis- if there are so many they blotted out the sun upon their release there were a LOT of those sinning angels,…and Tartarus must be pretty big to hold them all!
Fortunately, true Christians will be lifted up to heaven bodily, either dead & resurrected or alive, we will be glorified, and spend eternity with Jesus in New Jerusalem, before the terrible demons are let out of the abyss..
All other religions are written by satan, and so are the myths. What are myths? Why do they originate?
Robert Graves said in the “Introduction,” to his New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology
“Mythology is the study of whatever religious or heroic legends are so foreign to a student’s experience that he cannot believe them to be true. . . . Myth has two main functions. The first is to answer the sort of awkward questions that children ask, such as: ‘Who made the world? How will it end? Who was the first man? Where do souls go after death?’. . . . The second function of myth is to justify an existing social system and account for traditional rites and customs.“
Lawrence J. Hatab said it simply. In his book Myth and Philosophy he wrote, “A myth is a narrative which discloses a sacred world.“
If you don’t have Jesus, who is the Truth, then you are only too willing to insert into your spiritual vacuum a myth which will attempt disclose a sacred world. It will be a false world, but it will have germs of ancient truth, but will be wrapped in a lie. I’m so grateful satan cannot re-write the truth, it will be as God ordains. Satan will lose his place and be cast down, and eventually be incarcerated in the Lake of Fire forever. (Revelation 20:10). If you don’t have Jesus as Truth though, you will be open to any supposed “sacred” mythology. See how deeply these people were deceived by the myth when the real God’s representatives were standing in front of them!
“And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.” (Acts 14:11-15)