The Parallels of Jesus and Hercules Essay

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Myths and religious doctrine are generally recognized as two entirely different things. Myths are usually referred to as a fictitious story or a half-truth; often they are stories shared between groups of people that are part of a cultural society. Religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, and purpose of the universe, and often containing an ethical code dictating appropriate human conduct. Although they differ in certain aspects, they still hold similarities. Comparable to parables within the Bible, myths have different versions which are both motivating, as well as entertaining. There are not only parallels to the idea of the stories but specific tales hold similar morals and equivalent characters.
"And the Word became flesh,
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“Hercules demonstrated his strength right from birth. He choked the serpents that had been sent to him by the jealous Hera.” (classicsunveiled.com)
Jesus was also marked for death as an infant, due to a prophecy proclaiming a new king would be born in Bethlehem. King Herod the Great, sought to remain firmly ensconced on his throne and believing the prophecy meant his reign would end, declared new born infants to death in the hopes of killing the one the prophecy referred to.
As men, both Jesus and Hercules performed miraculous or super-human feats of strength, will-power and self-discipline. Jesus was burdened with having to prove himself as the messiah and messenger of god. He traveled throughout Judea and performing miracles and casting out demons. Hercules also traveled the earth as a man helping mankind and performing feats, such as slaughtering monsters and demonstrating humility in mundane tasks such as cleaning stalls.
Another common element in both tales is the resurrecting of the dead. Jesus has the ability to resuscitate the dead and demonstrates this ability multiple times in the Bible. “These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.” (New Revised Standard Version, John 11:11) In this demonstration, Jesus addresses those grieving the death of Lazarus but expresses to them he is only sleeping and will awake again
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