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Odin and Jesus comparison - Essay Example

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Odin and Jesus comparison

One of the most recognized similarities between Jesus and Odin occurs in terms of the crucifixion. In the Jesus myth the Bible depicts Jesus as being crucified by Roman soldiers after being turned in by his disciple Judas. While the Biblical articulation of the Jesus myth is well understood, less is understood of the Odin myth. Still, scholars recognize many similarities between Jesus crucifixion and Odin’s; it’s noted that:  The parallels between Odin’s death and Christ’s crucifixion are striking: both die voluntarily; Odin is pierced with a spear, so is Christ; Odin alludes to the lack of reviving drink and Christ gets vinegar; Odin screeches or shrieks before he dies, and Christ cries out ‘in a loud voice (Crossely-Holland, p. 187). The above secondary source indicates some of the significant similarities that have been identified between the two myths. There is the recognition that in some instances there is not a direct parallel; subsequently it is important to consider that some of the above established similarities may be the cause of confirmation bias. Still, the Odin emerged two-hundred fifty years before the Jesus myth and could easily have influenced the apostles when they were constructing the books of the New Testament. This perspective is further heightened by the recognition that Christian missionaries may have used portions of the Odin myth to convince individuals living in Germanic territories to convert to Christianity. In this way the Odin myth could have had a subtle influence on the way the Christian Jesus myth was articulated. When examining both crucifixion stories further there is the recognition that there are increasing similarities. In terms of spear piercing, Odin is recognized as having pierced his own side. This is contrasted with the Jesus myth, where a Roman centurion is the one who injures Jesus. Still, the effect of pain and suffering is one that remains constitute throughout both myths. In speaking of Odin hanging the myth indicates that Odin was hanged from a tree. After this occurs the Odin indicates, “With spear I was wounded, and offered I was” (Bellows, p. 60). There is the recognition that in both Jesus’ and Odin’s story a spear was used. There is also a similar qualitative consideration between the two myths. Jesus’ image on the cross is indelibly positioned with Western consciousness; a similar embodiment of suffering occurs with Odin as he hangs from the tree indicating that, “None made me happy with loaf or horn” (Bellows, p. 60). In both instances there is the image of the deity as suffering without help. Still, perhaps more significant is the underlining thematic recognition that in both instances the figure’s death constitutes a sacrifice for a greater cause. In the Jesus myth Jesus dies for the sins of humanity. This is contrasted with Odin who, “offered I was To Othin, myself to myself” (Bellows, p. 60). Here Odin is indicating that he sacrificed himself to himself. While the purpose for the sacrifice could ostensibly argued to be different between the myths, for Odin his death is done to gain knowledge for humanity. In both instances then there is the recognition that the death occurs to benefit humanity. In conclusion, this essay has compared the deities Odin and Jesus. Within this spectrum of examination the essay has demonstrated that both individuals share a number of ...Show more


Jesus and Odin While many practitioners of the Christian religious tradition believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible and Jesus, scholarship demonstrates that there are a tremendous amount of symbols that are potentially borrowed from past myths. In the Old Testament there is the recognition that the Flood story is also implemented in the earlier Epic of Gilgamesh…
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Odin and Jesus comparison essay example
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