English Essays

The Greek Gods vs. The Hebrew God

The beginning and origin of the world in both Greek and Hebrew culture involved their god/gods. However, there are some major differences in their stories. What are the deviations that help distinguish them from one another?

One of the most obvious differences in the stories are the number of gods involved. In the Hebrew account of the world there is only one God. The creator of everything and sovereign over all. However, the Greeks believed in a multitude of gods. Each with their own separate powers and authorities.

In the Hebrew account of the world, the first thing to have existed on the earth was light. God spoke and the earth was flooded with light. According to the story, God continued to create everything on earth. He created the sea, the animals, plants and last of all; man.

The famous Greek poet Hesiod wrote the Theogony, which tells the story of the origin of the world and the gods. In his account, chaos existed on earth first. After that came mother earth. Then earth and the starry heaven bore the first generation of gods.

“Verily at the first Chaos came to be, but next wide-bosomed Earth, the ever-sure foundations of all the deathless ones………..”

“she lay with Heaven and bare deep-swirling Oceanus, Coeus, and Crius and Hyperion…….etc.”

In the Hebrew book of Genesis, after God created man; He gave him a commandment. The man Adam and his wife Eve were tricked by the serpent into disobeying God’s command. As a punishment, man was no longer immortal. Also, because of their deed sin entered the world. This was manifested in many ways; selfishness, anger cruelty etc. Also, man had to work harder for his lively-hood.

According to Hesiod’s account in the Theogony, the results of the reproduction of the first gods (Earth, Night, Ocean, and Heaven) were Strife, Toil, Forgetfulness, etc.

“And night bore hateful Doom and black Fate and Death, and she bare Sleep and the tribe of Dreams……………. Blame and painful Woe………….and the avenging Fates.”

“But abhorred Strife bare painful Toil and Forgetfulness and Famine and tearful Sorrows, Fighting also, Battles, Murders, Manslaughters, Quarrels, Lying Words, Disputes, Lawlessness and Ruin, all of one nature, and Oath who most troubles men upon earth when anyone willfully swears a false oath.”

So, all of the natural natures of man today came from the reproduction of the Greek’s  first gods.

The major difference in these two stories are the character of the gods. The gods in the Theogony were cruel and uncaring. They were not too worried with what happened to the humans below them. The God of Genesis however, was a more kind and loving god. After the punishing of Adam and Eve, he provided a way for mankind to come back to him and live with him in eternity.

 

 

 

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