norse and greek gods comparison chart
Both of these mythologies have worked their way back in to popular culture in recent years, mainly due to fictionalized and modern versions of the characters of old appearing in novels, comics and movies. The afterlife in the Christian faith primarily centers on two locations: heaven and hell. Food: food was offered because it was valuable to the giver and necessary to their life, so it reflected their degree of devotion to the gods and trust in them to provide. The comparison chart below offers a comparative overview: Comparing and contrasting beliefs is only the beginning of understanding the differences and similarities between Norse mythology and Christianity. ( Log Out /  Norse temples may have been elaborate decorated outdoor spaces, not necessarily walled-in structures like in other areas of the world. Zeus. Valhalla is populated with slain warriors that pay allegiance to Odin. Anyone with the knowledge of more than one of these world mythologies would realize that there are some glaring similarities between them. Yet there are some very notable conceptual similarities as well, and in this article I would like to present these similarities and differences with reference to Greek and Norse mythology. All these different afterlives were present in the same realm, and were directly ruled over by Hades. This list includes Etruscan, Greek, Roman and Norse versions of similar gods and goddesses. There is no one Greek equivalent in terms of the power Odin possesses, as there is a different god for each aspect; Apollo for medicine, Hades for Death, Hecate for sorcery, and Athena and Ares for battle. Scandinavians in the Middle Ages didn’t keep written records of their history. Thor, also known as the god of thunder, is the son of Odin. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Norse mythology and Christianity may not seem to have much in common at first glance. Yet they have similarities, too. In summary, Jesus died in the place of sinners. The hall, which is a large open space with a high roof or ceiling consists of, in part, swords and shields of slain warriors. They are dissimilar in that they believe in different deities. Women play a prominent role in the Eddic age, and many of them are delineated as skilled warriors. The other crucial literary work composed in Old Norse relates to the Poetic Edda. Polytheism – the belief in multiple gods; e.g. Mary is mentioned throughout the Gospels and in the book of Acts, however Joseph is only mentioned in the birth stories, perhaps because he died when Jesus was young. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. So how do Norse mythology and Christianity compare to each other? I have detailed some of them below, for the purpose of comparison: 1. An example of one of the punishments handed out would be the cursing of Tantalus. Sacrifices occurred at Norse temples. Coming to the presentation of the family tree of ancient Greek gods and goddesses, Briggs made it clear –. Odin is known for sacrificing his eye for the purpose of acquiring wisdom. And also a very inconsistent family – a lot of these relations are vaguely defined at best, and in some cases, different sources directly contradict each other. Thor often travels with Loki. John Bruno Hare, the late founder of Internet Sacred Text Archive, had this to say about the related content of Poetic Edda –. Temples may have been developed from open-air spaces that were created in the woods or near riverbanks where people expressed their devotion to the gods. Paradise here was a part of the Underworld called Elysium where they carried out their respective employment in life, while the Fields of Punishment were for those who lived evil lives. Christianity relies on the teachings of the New Testament, as well as the Old Testament interpreted through the teachings of the New Testament. It’s also a social place where people are reunited with loved ones. The other half were recruited by magical beings called Valkyries, and were sent to Valhalla, “the hall of the fallen,” presided over directly by Odin. Instead many of the characters and their backstories were borne by the oral traditions developed during the Mycenaean Bronze Age. Baptism: Water baptism in Christianity is a ceremony that symbolizes important truths about a person. The Gospel writers record that Jesus rose physically from the dead on the third day. In Greek mythology, the Underworld existed as a separate realm underground and functioned as the afterlife, and was ruled by the god Hades. When Odin and his brothers defeated the giant Ymir and birthed the cosmos, the nine realms were created; but why did they stop at this number? There are four Gospels, which are biographies of Jesus of Nazareth. Hades. Communion: Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is in many traditions a regularly-occurring ceremony (as opposed to baptism), where a Christian physically consumes a drink and a food in commemoration of Jesus’ death for the sins of people. Hera. The Viking Shield: Why Is It Round, Wooden, and Painted? These people were to spend eternity in the Fields of Asphodel. Greek. For More Details On The Greek Gods And Goddesses – Check Our Comprehensive List. Posted By: Alok Bannerjee The Old Testament mostly records the history of the nation of Israel. Odin lives in Asgard and oversees the world. Roman and Jewish authorities were disturbed and threatened by Jesus’ teachings, including the claims he made about himself. The Norse reasoning behind day and night is that there were two human children, Sol and Mani, who were cursed by the gods for the arrogance of their father; Sol was condemned to ride the sun chariot and Mani to the moon chariot. Thor is described as big, strong, and red-haired with an aggressive and fierce demeanor. Their explanations involved the sun and moon being chariots and being driven by charioteers, but the reasons for the riding of the chariots is quite different. Around the age of 30, Jesus began a public ministry. Madhav Mehrotra is an English major minoring in Communication. gods and goddesses, 2nd person of the Trinity became a human being – Jesus of Nazareth; he remained in physical form after his resurrection, One Norse god, Baldr, referred to as the “bleeding god,” dies in certain myths, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified on a Roman cross, died and was entombed, Yes; Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead three days after his crucifixion; this event is central to the Christian faith, Jesus of Nazareth; the Apostles, especially Paul and Peter, Depends on the Christian tradition; examples: apostles, pastors, priests, Pope, Cardinals, elders, deacons, many more. Odin’s titles are said to reflect his diversity. The Codex Regius in itself is considered as one of the most important extant sources for both Norse mythology and Germanic legends. Understanding the people and figures associated with each worldview helps people understand the character of each belief system. The primary enemies of the gods, the Jotun (Frost Giants), sent two powerful wolves Skol and Hati to devour the sun and the moon. Valhalla is perhaps the most well-known description of the afterlife in Norse mythology. Now, of course, the greatest example of Classical Greeks being inspired by their ‘ancestors’ comes from the epic poetry of Homer in the Iliad and Odyssey. Edited by Adrija Chaudhuri. Both these figures are the most powerful gods in their respective myths, which is the primary factor behind them being kings. Greek mythology, unlike the Hindu Vedas or even the Bible, was not available to the ancient Greeks through a singular compilation of texts. the ascension out of the water). Mary’s pregnancy was supernatural as she was a virgin. The table is ordered by the Greek god's name. Instead, they relied on oral transmission, especially storytelling, to communicate the heroes they admired, the values they championed, and the beliefs they held. It could be done for a variety of reasons, including worship to Odin in particular; to turn away the wrath of the gods; and as a petition, especially during times of tribulation. In any case, the mythical gods, heroes, and monsters (a few of whom make their way into Iliad and Odyssey), epitomized various scopes, ranging from religious rites to weather. Some traditions hold to a third location called purgatory where some people reside temporarily. Because of this, it can be challenging to reconstruct the history of their worldview as there are few records to access and study. The most comprehensive primary source, written by Snorri Sturluson, is the least reliable by far, because it’s partly true but badly cited, and partly made up, and we can’t be really sure which is which. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Just some of the biggest, most important ones. bodies, hands, feet, eyes, etc.) Followers of Norse mythology regularly performed sacrifices. – and went through a lot of changes over their 3000+ year history. Odin is the chief god of Eddic mythology, and is known by many names, like the god of war and the god of the dead. 27 New Testament books; 4 books, 13 letters of Paul, etc. The never ending cycle of day and night is something which has fascinated and perplexed humans for millennia, and the Norse and Greek were no different. Other authors include, Luke, John, James, and Peter. I realize this is a weird way to lay out a family tree. Thor lives in Prudheimr where his hall called Bilsinir is located. Briggs has added this as a disclaimer –. Most of the Apostle Paul’s 13 letters are written to young churches that were facing internal and external challenges. Apollo. Christianity’s impact globally is historically unparalleled. He was born to poor Jewish parents named Mary and Joseph. In some traditions, the drink or “cup,” is actual wine and in other churches its juice. Those who died in combat were sent either to the realm of Freyja, the goddess of love and sexuality, called Folkvangr, which means “the field of the people” or “field of the warriors”. In other Christian traditions, babies and infants are baptized through having water sprinkled on their head. In any case, as for the presentation of the family tree of ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses, the brilliant infographic was made by the talented Korwin Briggs. Christians also don’t agree on whether or not hell is temporary or eternal. Norse mythology and Christianity are similar in that they are both theistic, meaning they both believe in supernatural deities. That perception is partly true because the belief systems do have stark differences. Partly due to popular culture’s interest in gods like Odin and Thor, Norse mythology has grown in the interest of many people in the Western world. There is a reason behind every conceivable phenomenon, including how the world came into being and how it will end, along with all that happens in between. There are many telltale similarities between Christian and Norse Pagan beliefs. The poems are great tragic literature, with vivid descriptions of the emotional states of the protagonists, Gods and heroes alike. There are very few similarities in the afterlife depicted in Norse and Greek mythology, as the Norse were more utilitarian while the Greek was more moralistic. Among all the above-mentioned mythologies, the Norse mythology probably has the vaguest of origins, with its primary scope borrowed from a patchwork of oral traditions and local tales that were conceived in pre-Christian Scandinavia. He was followed by various other Greek playwrights and poets (like Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides) who played their part in expanding and even refashioning some elements of the vast ambit of Greek mythology. 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