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Christians and Hellenism


Hellenism and Roman religion worship a variety of gods. In ancient times, the belief in many gods (= polytheism) was widespread among almost all peo-ples and not infrequently linked to occult prac-tices (see oracle), which God strictly forbids in the Holy Scriptures. Israel was the only people who served the one true God and obeyed his command-ments. The world of gods in ancient Greece, which originates from superstition and not from divine revelation, was significantly shaped in the works of the poets Homer and Hesiod.


The Olympian gods include the 12 main gods of an-cient Greece. According to mythological tradi-tion, they belong to the Olympian family of gods and live together on Mount Olympus, which is the highest mountain range in Greece. Since Olympus was inaccessible to humans at that time and was considered unreachable, the belief arose that the main gods lived there.

The gods of Olympus were among the highest in rank of all gods and ruled over the whole world from Olympus. They were considered immortal and possessed eternal beauty and youth. Each of the 12 gods had special abilities and was responsible for their own sphere of power (e.g. sea, harvest, war, death, etc.). The God of the Bible, on the other hand, is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfect. He is the origin of everything and unites everything in himself.


In Roman and Greek mythology in particular, the notion that gods, in a metaphysical sense, could beget offspring that were themselves divine, was widespread. Accordingly, a total of ten descen-dants are ascribed to Zeus; including Ares, Hepha-estus, Artemis, Apollon and Hermes. In addition, there are the two children of Zeus who have mor-tal women for their mothers and who were only later accepted into Olympus. Among them are Herakles (Hercules) and Dyonisos.

There were also the so-called “non-Olympic gods”. In addition, so-called "demigods" were worshiped, i.e. beings who are said to have emerged from the connection of a god with a human being and thus represent God and human beings in one person. These are said to have possessed both human and divine qualities and abilities. These include Dione, Aphrodite or Achilles.

The ancient deities of Egypt and Asia were adopted by later peoples. Hence the same "gods" are found in many pagan religions; only with different names. Hellinism also had a strong influence on the Jewish faith. One of the best-known thinkers of Hellenistic Judaism is the philosopher and theo-logian Philo of Alexandria, whose writings also had a decisive influence on the faith of Christians in the first centuries AD.

By the time of the apostles, Hellenism was wide-spread throughout the Mediterranean - the then known world. The concepts of God and traditions of the Greeks and Romans soon became more and more mixed with the traditions of the apostles. Then as now, dozens of elements of pagan supersti-tion and the Greco-Roman cult of idols and the dead can be found in Catholicism in particular.




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