Myths, legends, and the Bible: how do they fit together?
When myths and legends come our way, what should our response be? Some would say to reject all of them as products of an ignorant imagination, but I think that is a bit extreme. Others would say that they should be studied as clues to the archaic man’s thinking, but that doesn’t help us much today. I think that the answer is to study them to help us learn what is good, and what to avoid. Myths and legends can also help us gain a greater appreciation for the Bible’s message by looking at what it would have meant in that day.
We should first look at what a myth or legend is, and the difference between them. A myth is defined as a traditional story, usually concerning the early history of a certain people. It can also mean a widely held, but false idea. A legend is also a traditional story, but it is usually much closer to the here and now. We should also remember that defining something as a myth or legend is a purely subjective decision that depends on the judge’s beliefs. For instance, an atheist will call the Bible a collection of myths, legends, and fables, while a Christian will look at the Bible as the inerrant book to follow for life.
When trying to determine whether there is anything of value in a myth or legend, we should always remember to view it through the lens of the Scriptures. If we follow the guidelines of the Bible, we may discover either virtues that we are missing, or fallacies in what most people believe were the beliefs of ancient men. We should also remember that all of mankind has a measure of grace from God, and so no man is entirely without a set of Biblically sound morals somewhere in his life. When I say this, I mean that all men have a built-in moral compass. This means that man’s myths and legends will always have something done correctly, even though not everything will be the same way.
I now want to give a few examples of modern-day myths and legends. One of these is the theory of evolution and the Big Bang, whose followers are forced to believe that ths incredibly fine-tuned universe is the product of random chance. Both of these are more outrageous and require more faith than any other account of creation I have yet heard. Another is today’s New Age philosophy. The idea of a “force” that binds the universe together and exists within everyone is great, and even partly true, but I think Star Wars is cooler. These are the two that came to mind right off the bat.
All together, I hope that I have shown that our attitude towards myths and legends should be that of a gentle student of God. We should remember to worship God, and learn from him in all that we do. We should also remember that people’s beliefs can always be places to evangelize from, as eventually, something can always be found that relates back to the Bible, and from there to Jesus. Please comment on this, and tell me what you think about it. Type to you later!