Brother Ron Barnes
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Mythology in the Bible


Dear Brother Ron

Why are old Greek gods now called mythology? Weren't all of these gods and stories the accepted beliefs of their day the same way the Bible is accepted today? I know from having to read about mythology in school recently that some of the 'myths' are pretty far-fetched. But couldn't one say the same thing about some of the parts of the bible?

New Al

Dear New Al

The Bible is a combination of fact and fiction. The existence and actions of many of the biblical people have been documented by historical evidence. On the other hand, many others (especially in the Old Testament) are clearly legends meant to teach moral lessons.

Looking at the names of the characters in some of the stories, it is obvious that these stories were intended to be allegorical, not historical. Take the story of Adam and Eve, for example. "Adam" is the Hebrew word for man and "Eve" is the Hebrew word for mother. "Eden" means delight. So we could begin the story by saying, "Once there was a man and a mother who lived in a delightful place".

We are all familiar with the story of the suffering and steadfastness of Job. The word "Job" means he that weeps or cries. What parent in their right mind would name their son Crybaby? Consider the premise for the story of Job. God and Satan are sitting around talking one day and Satan says, "You see your servant Job down there? I'll bet I can make him hate you."

God says, "OK, kill his children, take his possessions, afflict him with disease, just don't kill him. Winner buys the beer."

What kind of loving God allows one of His angels to torture and kill people to win a bet? If this story sounds familiar, it was the premise for the movie "Trading Places" with Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy.

I could go on about other Bible stories (such as Noah and the flood) but you get the idea.

Best always

Brother Ron