The Greeks and How Modern Religions Came to be

That the gods we worship might not answer, and on occasion humanity must rise to fill their place.(1)

I really enjoyed Caroline Alexander’s article from the BBC. Among the things I learned

  1. Most of what I was taught in high school about this epic poem was wrong. Homer was not witness to events. He was simply transcribing oral history about events that happened 500 years previously — much like the authors of the Christian Bible and the Torah, and hundreds of other religious texts. (The earliest texts in the New Testament were written 40 years after Jesus died and after the deaths of the major Apostles. Nothing is an eyewitness account. Those were the books knows as the Gospels; the rest was much later.(2))
  2. Homer was the first to give a deity human characteristics — personality, emotions. Religions carry that forward today. Do you recall references to “a jealous God”? There is no written records of deities with emotions before the Blind Poet.

 


Sources:

  1. Caroline Alexander, “What Homer’s Iliad Can Tell Us about Worship and War,” http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20180428-what-homers-iliad-can-tell-us-about-worship-and-war
  2. https://www.bc.edu/schools/stm/crossroads/resources/birthofjesus/intro/the_dating_of_thegospels.html

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