Are Greek Gods Real?

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘Were the Greek Gods Real?’ by Roman Roads Media

Written by: Recapz Bot

Written by: Recapz Bot

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Greek myths reflect some truth; changing stories to accommodate lenient beliefs about gods; rejecting pagan gods is like seeing religion as an evolution; pagan beliefs may be distorted memories of truth.

Key Insights

  • Greek gods and myths have a grain of truth behind them.
  • The Old Testament suggests that knowledge of transcendent beings like angels was passed down through generations.
  • Stories can change over time, especially when later generations become rebellious and no longer walk with God.
  • The motivation to change the stories is to live with a more lenient and less demanding concept of God.
  • The end result is stories about gods who only expect ritualistic sacrifices and don't care about the state of one's heart.
  • The stories of the gods may not be true, but they are likely based on a knowledge of superior beings who interacted with humans in the past.
  • Rejecting pagan gods entirely as falsehoods is akin to thinking like an evolutionist, who sees religion as a gradual invention.
  • Pagan beliefs can be seen as a warped and distorted memory of the truth held by believers in God who came before them.

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In the ancient epics and myths, of course, the gods show up all the time. They’re an essential part of the myths. So, the question is, were the Greek gods real? And there’s a number of ways to answer this, but they all are driven by certain outlooks on history, on the supernatural, on the origins of man.

And here’s the way I approach the question. First of all, my going assumption is that there’s a grain of truth behind all the myths. Myths don’t arise for no reason. Where that grain of truth is, is another question, of course. But there’s a grain of truth behind all the myths and legends. Something causes them to arise.

Secondly, in the scripture, if we take the Old Testament account of the origins of man and of nations seriously, we see that all human beings have come from a common ancestor. Not just Adam, but filtered down through Noah and his three sons. Because everyone is wiped out in the flood, and then Noah and his three sons, through Noah and his three sons, the earth is repopulated.

And so, we read in the early chapters of Genesis that the three sons of Noah become the progenitors of the nations of the earth, and where their descendants have spread out to. But if we think about the way generations work, about the dynamic that goes on between parents and the children that they’re raising, parents teach their children things. Parents tell them where they came from. Parents tell their children what the history of their family is.

And so, if we think about what the generations after Noah and his three sons would have been doing, they would be passing on the knowledge that they have, and it would be especially motivated by the fact that the earth has been destroyed, and they’re the only people, and they need to tell their children what the earth had been. They need to pass on to their children and to generations what the world had known before the world was wiped out.

So, it’s inconceivable to me that Noah and his three sons would pass on to immediately subsequent generations information about the past world without knowledge of the angels, the cherubim that guard the Garden of Eden, who would have been known by 2,000 years of generations until the flood removed the necessity of cherubim guarding the Garden of Eden.

It’s inconceivable that they would have passed on knowledge about the past without talking about having walked with God in the garden, about having been given information that we can never receive, about knowing that the sons of God fell in love with and intermarried the daughters of men and produced a race of giants. And that, of course, is an entirely new topic that can be gotten into another time, but in my opinion, that’s an account of angels mixing it up with human beings.

So, Noah and his sons would have passed on knowledge of transcendent beings, God himself and the superior created beings we call the angels, to subsequent generations. Noah and his three sons, presumably, are godly people, so they tell the story straight.

But as later generations continue to pass on the stories, because parents don’t simply stop telling the stories, they’re wonderful stories, but as the stories get passed on from generation to generation, stories can get warped and changed. Just in the natural process of repeating a story, like the game of telephone, where you sit around in a circle and whisper in one another’s ear, and by the time the tale gets back to the person who starts the tale, it’s been changed, sometimes out of all recognition. There’s a natural sort of tendency for stories to change.

But there’s also a motivation for stories to change when later generations after Noah and their three sons become rebellious and no longer walk with God. It’s one thing to pass on a story about a God who loves you and with whom you have a good relationship, but it’s another idea, a whole other thing, to pass on a story about a God who cares about your morality, who cares about the state of your heart, who has expectations about you.

So I can conceive quite easily of the stories of God and the angels being passed on from generation to generation, but being changed so that we can live with them, so that I don’t have to talk about a God to whom I’m accountable. He’s still there, and these angelic beings to whom God has given power and authority over the nations of the earth, that knowledge is still there, but I change the stories so that I can live with them, and I tell my children different stories about these powerful beings.

So the end result would be stories about gods that expect only a smoking sheep thrown at them now and then in sacrifice, a God who only cares that you fulfill the rituals and the rites, but doesn’t care about the state of your heart. That’s a God you can live with, and that’s a God like Zeus and Apollo and Hera and the other gods.

So it seems to me that since all myths have a grain of truth, and since the origin of man is what the Scripture tells us it is, and there had been a knowledge of superior beings called angels, and these angels, according to the Old Testament, have been given power over the nations of men, we see that in Daniel, when a wicked prince of Persia withstands Michael the archangel, the prince of Israel, when he’s coming to aid Daniel, we see this in Deuteronomy, where we’re told that the nations of men are set under the guidance of the angels, called gods in the Psalms.

All these things suggest to me that the stories of the gods are not simply made-up fiction, that the stories of the gods are based on reality. The actual things that are told about the gods in the myths may not be true, but they probably are based on a knowledge that there are superior beings which have had dealings with men in the past.

And there’s one other point that we might make about this as well. To say that pagan gods and pagan religions are mere inventions, entire falsehoods, and there’s no truth to it until Christianity comes along, is to be thinking like an evolutionist. Evolutionists tell us that we evolved from cavemen or from apes swinging in the trees, and then gradually the idea of religion starts with being terrified of the thunder, and then a priestly class saying, “I have a way of taking away your fear,” and so on. That’s an evolutionary theory.

But when we Christians say that the gods are entirely false, and there’s no truth to them at all, we’re talking like those evolutionists. Instead of saying that paganism is entirely false and it needs to be entirely rejected, as though there’s no value in it at all, we need to think rather that the pagans were not the first people on the earth.

That’s what an evolutionist would tell us. It was believers in God who were the first people on the earth. Pagans came along and rejected the truth. But they didn’t reject it by throwing it away entirely, they just warp it and distort it so that they can live with it.

So, as Christians, we look at pagan thought, pagan philosophy, pagan religion, pagan beliefs, pagan stories of the gods, and we can discern in it a warped, distorted memory of the beginning.

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘Were the Greek Gods Real?’ by Roman Roads Media