compos_dementis: Picture of anime Mello with gothic M (happily plotting death)
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My English teacher, bless her black, cold heart, told us to pick a topic and write a 5-paragraph MLA report about something having to do with Greek mythology.

Just to show her that just because I'm agreeing to do this without a fight, I'm not giving up yet... I chose a topic that is bound to make her UberChristian, Bible-thumping mind despise me, if possible, more than she already did.

God, I love English class.

From Apollo to Christ: A Look at the Origins of the Christian Faith

There is no doubt that out of all the religions in humanity today, Christianity is the most popular and the widest spread. Over 33.1 percent of the globe was made up of Christian believers in the Year of our Lord 2002, and it is known to be even greater today. Families pray together before eating supper and the term “Christmas” meaning “birth of Christ” has been globally adopted as the name for the popular mid-December solstice holiday. In fact, Christianity is so popular on the planet Earth that nobody really thinks to question: “But where did it come from?”

Much of Christianity was almost directly taken from ancient Greek mythology. Let us begin where the Christian Bible begins: the Seven Days of Creation. Most people are familiar with the story of Adam and Eve; Eve being the foolish woman, Adam being the first man in existence. The mere thought of Eve – the “first woman” – could have possibly been derived from the Greek myth of Pandora. Pandora, who was the first woman in Greek religion, was given specific instructions not to open a certain box, just as Eve was told not to eat from a specific tree. Both women were portrayed as foolish and easily swayed, and both women went against the instructions given to them by men. The similarity could possibly have something to do with the shift away from matriarchy, a defining feature of invasion in Neolithic Europe; either way, Eve is considered to be the modern Pandora and the serpent’s fruit is considered to be the modern Pandora’s box.
The Christian afterlife is well-known to almost everybody in the world. The children can tell you that those who are pure at heart and follow the teachings of Christ will go to Heaven and those who do not will go to Hell. This ideology, however modern it may seem, is actually fairly ancient – the idea of punishment and reward in the afterlife has been considered since the ancient Greeks and possibly even before. The idea of Heaven is shockingly similar to the Elysium Fields of Hades, where the Greeks believed the humans that deserved rewarding would reside after death. Hell is the modern adaptation of Tartarus, another section of the Greek Underworld where the punished would suffer for eternity. The Christian idea of Purgatory, of a kind of in-between place, is also adapted from Greek mythology; Acheron, the entrance to Hades, was the place where souls would wander in constant worry.

Many comparisons could also be made between the Son of God Jesus Christ and the sun god Apollo. Both lead lives as men on earth; Jesus as 100% man and 100% God, and Apollo’s life as a true immortal. Jesus spent his life on earth spreading his love of God through miracles; Apollo wandered the earth, slaying Typhaon and Python and establishing his temple at Delphi. Apollo was not only the God of the Sun, but also the god of medicine, music, prophecy, and everything considered rational. Jesus stands for the same attributes: he created miracles by healing the sick and giving the spiritually sick “living water” that would heal them. Jesus prophesized the last days to come “like a thief in the night”, and told parables for people to better understand the rationality of life.

Christianity is the most popular religion in the world today just as Greek mythology was popular in Ancient Greece, where it was believed to be true. Both religions are so incredibly similar that some even believe that Christianity derived from the Ancient Greek mythology read about in English classrooms. Not to give power to one over the other, many religions are simply adaptations of older ones, which is believed to be the case with the ever-popular Christian belief.

This is only one of the many possible responses to the question: “Where did the Christian faith come from?”
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