Christianity’s Influence On The Baldr Myth
Norse mythology is full of blood, war, and disgusting lies. The fact that it has possibly been influenced by Jesus, one of the most pro-love teachers of all time, is astonishing. One of the best examples, which proves Christianity had a direct influence on Norse religion, is the story of the death of Baldr. This story which was prominent in Norse culture and religion shows many direct similarities with the story of Christ. However, before looking at the story of Baldr, it will be beneficial if the many ways Christianity affects other cultures are inspected.
Christianity often sheds bits of information and ideas on cultures its been in contact with. This is seen in the story of Baldr, and in many other stories as well. By looking at how common this is for Christianity to do, it will become easier to connect the dots with the Baldr story. For instance, as seen in the new testament, after Jesus is crucified, He comes back three days later. This story would go on to be replicated by many other religions, including that of Greece and Egyptian origins. As stated in the Wikipedia’s article “Comparative Mythology”, “Some scholars have noted similarities between polytheistic stories of ‘Dying gods’ and the Christian story of Jesus of Nazareth.” This excerpt depicts how it is common for Christianity to shed its ideas on other cultures. And by using the idea of comparative mythology, its seen that stories and myths often patchwork off of each other. Christianity is often taken from because of its large popularity, and in some cases to ease people into the religion. Like many other cultures, Norse mythology has been greatly influenced by Christianity, which is evident in the story of Baldr.
The story of Baldr shares many parallels with the story of Christ. The two stories have so many similarities, that it is hard to not agree on Christian influence. The most obvious of these examples being the concept of a second coming. In the story of Baldr, after he dies and goes to the underworld, it says he will only return for Ragnarok (the Norse term for the apocalypse). As found in a translation of the story by Jean Lang, “But when all were fit to receive him, and peace and happiness reigned again on earth and in heaven, Baldr would come back.”(Snorri). This is strikingly similar to the second coming of Christ in revelations, “He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” ( Revelation 22:20, NIV). There is no way the evident resemblance of these two passages is from chance. Joseph Harris recognizes this clear stealing and goes on to wonder how many stories Baldr has patchworked from. “It is rather to suggest that Snorri’s account of the death of Baldr is not a straightforward rendition of earlier Norse traditions but instead a careful patchwork narrative elements from different sources.(Harris). The story This obvious coping of the Bible is also evident in the concept of universal sadness at the time of death.
In both the Baldr myth and Christ’s story, there is overwhelming grief across the whole world. In the Baldr myth, almost every living thing was grief-stricken over his death. Especially Odin, his father, who even went to the underworld to try and save him. In the story of Christ, God puts darkness over the world when Jesus is on the cross. “At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon(Mark 15:33). John Lindow does an excellent job of summarizing this up, “Since it is thought, the Baldr myth cannot have influenced the Christ story, the universal weeping for Baldr must be an indication of the influence of the Christ story on the Baldr myth. (Lindow)”. The reason for the similarities in both the universal weeping and second coming is unclear, but there is evidence to support it was to ease the Norse into Christianity.
With all these similarities in mind, it might be helpful to explore the term “Pagan Christ. Englekins explains the term as, “Essentially, the term denotes attributing Christ-like qualities to a historical or mythological figure, as described in the canonical New Testament texts.(Englekins). In other words, a Pagan Christ is when a religion suits one of their characters to fit that of Jesus. The reason for this is usually, but not always, to help in conversion to Christianity. While trying to find a reason for the Christian influence, Englekins goes on to say, “my hypothesis is that Snorri is indeed attempting to use Baldr to establish a pagan Christ model for his Icelandic Christian audience. (Englekins)” The cause of this is that people like familiarity. The conversion would be easier if they had stories of their own they could relate to the Bible. So in creating a Pagan Christ with the character Baldr, missionaries were making it easier for the Norse to accept Jesus.
Baldr’s story is a prime example of Christian influence, with undeniable similarities, it is easy to see the Christian input on Norse culture. Christianity often leaves footprints in places it’s been, and it’s easy to see those footprints when we compare the cultural stories of one people, to that of the Bible. The Norse story of Baldr is thoroughly littered with these footprints, which we see in its correspondence to the Gospels. These similarities point directly to Christian influence, so much so that Baldr becomes a perfect example of a Pagan Christ.
Claim The claim for Christianity states that 2,000 years ago God the Son came to the earth to reveal the earth to reveal the Father to us and then to die to save us from our sins; the resurrection is the evidence which supports this claim. Throughout this book, Dr. Ford refers to Jesus as, “God the Son”. Usually he is referred to as the Son of God, even in the bible. Ford refers to Jesus as God the Son...
The Spanish Empire was a highly influential empire that lasted from 1492-1976, although it is arguable that its greatest extent was from 1500 to 1800. During this period, the empire received a great influx of wealth and resources, as a result of obtaining new colonies in the Americas. This led to them colonizing even more, and with this, some of their ideals, such as Catholic Christianity spread rapidly throughout their colonies, and was even driving force in politics. The natives...
The environmental crisis has been the topic of conversation for many in the past decade. With pollution, deforestation and climate change being in the top three issues that need addressing, the world has started to take action. However, here rises an issue for religion with the following question being asked: what is religion’s role in the environmental crisis? It is my belief that it is important for there to be a certain element of inter-religious dialogue in order for respective...
Religions have significantly impacted cultural evolution of mankind being inseparable part of world history. Humans have tried to perceive unfamiliar concepts, such as after life, death and birth with the help of religion. Simultaneously. through the history each religion endeavored to prove its superiority for the purpose of dominance. While all belief systems promise lifelong peace and happiness essentially, they vary greatly due to main characteristics and values. Each religion has left its traces on the demographic, socio-cultural, historical and...
Dietary restrictions are within various religious practices that the follower can follow. While some religions prohibit the consumption of certain foods and drinks, others have periods of fasting. Catholic, Hinduism, and Judaism have multiple food laws that are practiced by the followers of those religions. Catholics must follow many food laws, such as no eating meat on Lenten Fridays. Jews have food laws such as eggs, fruits, vegetables, and grains are considered pareve, or neutral, and can be eaten with...
There is no one “African Traditional; Religion”, there are many, and Christianity could be said to be one of them, since it has been in Africa as long as it has been in Europe, and almost as long as it has been in Asia. African Traditional Religion has no specific founder whereas Christianity has its founder who is Supreme God. Christians believed in one God whereas African traditional religious people believed in many gods for example god of rainmaker, god...
According to a study of world religions, Christians makes up about thirty-one percent of the world’s population (Fairchild 2018). This leaves sixty-nine percent of people on Earth to other forms of religion, or no religion at all. Christianity, being the true faith, is extremely important into today’s society. While some may believe it is irrelevant or outdated, they are wasting their time with other forms of religion. Although many people in this day and age believe that Christianity is no...
The religions of the world help to bind people together through common beliefs and practices. They also try to help people gain a better understanding of the world and promote cooperation which is necessary for a civilized society. Religions and their core beliefs have been tested over the course of history. Two major world religions, Catholicism and Hinduism, continue to be challenged today. What it means to be a Catholic in the United States or a Hindu in India today...
According to what most people say, (and what the bible says) is that Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah/savior who was also Jewish was the son of God. The Bible is the holy book of the Christians. The first four books in the new testament of the Bible are the gospels written by 4 disciples named Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Gospel translates in old English to “good news”. A Martyr is a person who oofs (dies) for their beliefs. There...
01 / 09
Fair Use Policy
EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.