Saturday, March 14, 2015

Christ vs Odin


As much as some people may disagree, there are some interesting similarities between the Christian god (Jesus/YHVH/El) and the Allfather.

The first, and most obvious similarity is the depiction of a beard. But this is simply a coincidence. Men who grew out their hair and beard were considered mature and deemed wise. Most likely, society's  Christianised and mediocre view of the generic god as a "bearded old man in the sky," is most likely influenced by Odin. There is no Biblical account of the Judeo-Christian god having a beard.

Secondly, isn't it interesting how both Jesus and Odin were hung from a "tree" for a certain amount of days, went without food and drink, wounded by a spear, and sacrificed themselves unto themselves only to be reborn/resurrected a few days later? In the Havamal where Odin says "no one" gave him bread or mead, it almost sounds like he's being crucified. Scandinavia was Christened between the 8th and 12th centuries. The Havamal is estimated to have been written within the 13th century, some stanzas dating back to the 9th century.  The Biblical canon of the New Testiment (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are the earliest known documentation of Jesus' crucifixion; the earliest source dating prior to the 1st century.

Thirdly, observe the god's similar natures. The infamous Christian apologist's cliche, "God works in mysterious ways," is usually used when one doesn't know how to respond to a fundamental Judeo/Christian flaw: How can an all-loving god allow such torment/do evil things/send people to hell? Christian apologists will say that God does what's best for the world, even if we don't understand it. I am led to believe that Biblical authors dug themselves into a hole with that one, considering some of the atrocious acts attributed to Yahweh in the Old Testiment. Nonetheless, Odin acts similarly. Historically, he is infamous for "betraying" his followers by leaving them to die on the battlefield, among other things. But unlike the supposed qualities of the Judeo-Christian god[s], he is not a god of Love. Because of this, he is allowed to preform seemingly evil acts if he so chooses. But are his acts truly evil? Odin does what's best for the tribe, what's best for the world. Even if that means sacrificing one of his warriors so that they can join him in Valhalla. So we should trust that he is wise enough to make the right decisions, so long as he knows what is best for creation. What creator doesn't care for his creations?  One major difference is that Odin doesn't contradict himself.


Lucky for Asatruar and Odinists, Odin's story preceded the story of Jesus by approximately 250 years. There are parallels in the aspects of divine sacrifice which benefits humanity, and in the transcendence of death. Also with the spear-wounding in the side. You could even say that the self-sacrifice is a parallel. A sacrifice of the self, to the self. Much like the Christ/YHVH being aspects of the same divinity, which would make Christ a sacrifice of Himself to Himself. Honestly, the main differences are in reasoning, and scope, along with method.


Reasoning:


Odin - Sacrificed Himself to Himself to gain knowledge for Himself and for humanity. Salvation of humanity from ignorance?

Christ - Sacrificed for the "salvation" of humanity from Hell.

Scope:


Odin - Pierced His own side, and hung wounded for nine days and nights without food, water, or company.

Christ - Centurion pierced His side, and hung beaten for several hours with company and vinegar for consumption before dying.

Method:


Odin - Pierced His own side, and hung Himself on the Tree of Life, which encompasses all worlds. Transcendence encompassing the universe. A sacrifice for all.

Jesus - Beaten, hung and pierced by outside forces and hung upon a cross in the Middle East. A sacrifice for the Hebraic people.

Perhaps, in the end, Carl Jung was right. Perhaps the parallels were due to the work of the Collective Unconcious, and the human psyche's ability to create elements that are similar between cultures around the world.

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