This essay is about the role of the higher beings as shown in the bible and in the Iliad story. The Iliad is an epic by homer while the bible is the holy book for Christian. This essay specifically reflects on the first book of the bible, Genesis. The iliad is an influential piece of literature encompassing the entire range of the human experience and emotion. It is nevertheless not regarded as Holy Scripture. The poems epic captures the Trojan War, which took place during the penultimate year of Greek siege of the citadel of Troy (Ilium) for more than a decade. It involves gods, goddesses, heroes, and heroic exploits. A blind poet wrote the traditional views of the iliad in the 8th BC.
In the book of genesis, a monotheist God is introduced. He is the ultimate God and creator of all beings. He creates man and woman and places them as stewards in the Garden of Eden. He relates with them and often comes to fellowship. He gave a command not to eat a certain middle fruit. Through the woman, they fell and were banished from the Eden. God does not leave them but instead follows them through their life guiding them on the right ways to live. The role of the God mentioned in the book of genesis is to keep humans beings in check. He intended to streamline them to live in accordance to his decrees. He punishes them when they do something wrong and praises them when they do righteous deeds (Loughlin 40).
The worshipers of the Iliad are polytheists. The ancient Greek system had gods and goddesses with lesser deities such as the Nereid’s and the nymphs. The Trojans and the Greeks worship the same deities who take different sides in the war. These gods presided over different aspects of the humans experience and of the physical world: Zeus, god of the skies; Ares, god of war; Apollo, god of the sun, music, healing, and light; Aphrodite, goddess of sex, among many others. These gods are not spiritual beings but anthropomorphic which resembles humans and tend to behave like them (Hamilton 189). They display humanlike emotions. These gods live in patriarchal organizations. Zeus is the patriarch of the gods. The God in the Iliad are however very greedy, vain, self centered, malicious and two faced. For instance, Zeus demands a lot but does not always get the obedience of the other gods. A prophesy came out that a son would be born of Zeus and that he would be greater than he would. At the time, his first wife was already pregnant with Athena. Zeus swallowed her but Athena survived.
Both groups of worshipers from the bible and from the Iliad perceive their gods as just and fair. The gods of the Greeks and the Trojan in the Iliad live a self-indulgent lifestyle in mount Olympus. Their life is filled with parties and merry and they have the option of mingling with earthly mortals. They take a very involving role in the lives of humans even having sexual relations with mortals. These gods and goddesses also had mortal children with humans. The characters portrayed in the Iliad expect and accept these gods to interact with them on a daily basis. The celestial intervention plays an important role in the plot development of the Iliad.
Both the ancient Greeks and the ancient Christians mentioned in the book of genesis held beliefs about their worlds. They may not seem logic but they meant a lot to them back then. The Greek mythology contains unrealistic and unbelievable events, which can be compared and contrasted with the bible stories in the book of genesis. For instance, minimal similarities exist with the creation stories. Both beliefs claim that the earth began with a void or darkness (Genesis1:2. Tripp 159). The God concepts in the book of genesis fall parallel to the Greek chaos.
The goddesses in the Iliad posse’s great amounts of power over humans and at mount Olympus they affect the outcome of the war through manipulation and intertwining relationships. They gods take sides in the war. They display self-serving motives. One of the Apollo’s priests decides to have plague sent to the Achaeans because they refused to give back his beautiful daughter. Apollo goes ahead to obeying the priest because the priest is loyal. The priest would then sacrifice many bulls in Apollo’s name. More sacrifices would reflect to more followers hence more power for him among the gods (Homer 69).
According to the Iliad, the relationship with the gods was that of a servant- master where the master did not have to be just if his own desires are unfulfilled. This genesis God dwells in the midst of his people desiring to have an intimate relationship with them. This God is relating to the people as their father, their provider, and ones who guides. He is portrayed as a holy God who desires holiness to his people. He forgives people when they repent and does not demand for bloody sacrifices. In genesis chapter 18, Abraham pleads with God to save the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom and Gomorrah had committed sins that had angered God. He wished to destroy it by fire. Abraham pleaded with God to save the cities if he finds at least ten God fearing people. In the end Abrahams, relatives were saved. Nevertheless, Sodom was destroyed. Gods merciful nature helped saved his Abrams relatives. He also revealed his mind to his righteous people by telling them of his plans. The gods of the Greeks also walked among men. They were much more powerful than humans who were hailed upon by sacrifice and prayer.
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The genesis God is a jealous God he directs the people on the right things to do. He does not compromise when people disobey him. Through floods, he destroyed the people in Noah’s time. He opened the ground to swallow the Israelites when they worshiped other gods. He is however a God who was merciful and sought after his people to guide them. He commanded the people to obey and if they swayed, they would be followed by severe punishments (Hamilton 78).
In summary, we find that there are striking differences between the two aspects. God was not always kind and fair but is forgiving. He nevertheless does not hesitate to destroy in his moment of anger especially when people refuse to repent. He promises Abraham many blessings if he obeys him and leads the people to him. The gods of the Iliad’s are not firm in decision. They move with where it best suits them. All sacrifices are made to not only honor God but to also give him more strength. Of concern are the nature of gods in the Iliad and the character of the men that God had chosen to walk with. They are not righteous and the most holy. These deities also concern themselves with wars and their outcomes. Victory is almost certain if people walk in accordance to the ways of God. However, in the Iliad, the gods can take the sides that they chose. The sacrifices that are given and the interests of the Gods and their children played helped influence their decision.
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