Christ of the Holy Bible and Dionysus of Euripides Essay
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Christ of the Holy Bible and Dionysus of Euripides
Christ resembles Dionysus in many ways. Is it possible that Christ is simply an extension of the Dionysian myth? Though the concepts of wine and faith unite the two, the idea of revenge compared to self-sacrifice separates the two deities. Dionysus fits the Greek understanding of vengeful and selfish God that bear more anthropomorphic traits than Godly traits. Christ, however, transcends human desires for revenge and acts in self-sacrifice. This is the key separation between them.
The similarity between the two Gods is striking. Dionysus is associated with wine and revelry. Christ forever associated himself with wine and celebration through the act of Communion and the…show more content…
It is said that before he died he cried out, "It is finished." The last words that the chorus speaks echo the same thought. It is finished. That is not the only surprising thing. The Bible tells of God's struggle to find a way to salvage the relationship with his children. The last line of the Bacchae reverberates the concept of the Godly struggle to find the right action.
The motives of Dionysus are extremely perplexing to a modern audience. "I will go; for that which fate forbids, can never befall me. For this thy mockery be sure Dionysus will exact a recompense of thee-even the god whose existence thou deniest; for thou art injuring him by haling me to prison" (Euripides - 28).
John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." The quote from the Bacchae is rooted in Dionysus's individual desire for revenge upon those who snubbed him by not believing in him. Nowhere in the text is Dionysus noted for performing any large acts of self-sacrifice. The story of Jesus, on the other hand is based in self-sacrifice. According to John 3:16, Christ allowed himself to die on the cross to take on the pain of every person in the world. The contrast in motivations between the two divinities is startling whether or not one believes either to be truth.
Jesus is reputed to have