Greek mythology has always been of interest to me, with its significant meaning behind the names, depicting an image of the characteristics and/or appearances, the specific duties performed (e.g. Hermes, able to move freely between the worlds of mortal and divine, Persephone, queen of the underworld, kidnapped by Hades) and its history of love, beauty and war.
Although these stories are simply that: myths and tales, there have been likenesses and differences found throughout history by various theologians and philosophers. One myth in particular is the opening of Pandora’s Box. This story reminds the reader of the Biblical account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
In highlighting the content of each narrative, the likenesses and differences are easy to identify.
- Greek Myth: In classical Greek mythology, Pandora was the first human woman on Earth and was created by the gods.
- Genesis Account: In the book of Genesis, Adam was the first human on Earth, and God created Eve to be Adam’s companion.
- Summary: Eve was in fact the first woman on Earth, as the story of Pandora depicts. However, Eve was created by the one true God, not multiple gods.
- Greek Myth: In the creation of Pandora, she was given many gifts by the gods, including curiosity.
- Genesis Account: Eve was given choice; the opportunity to obey or disobey God in taking of the forbidden fruit, which she did disobey, after being deceived by Satan.
- Summary: Both women were given choice; however, where Pandora is portrayed as not being able to overcome her curiosity, Eve was deceived by Satan and chose to eat of the fruit, to satisfy her desire.
- Greek Myth: When Pandora opened the box, the evils contained within were released into the world.
- Genesis Account: When Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, the fall of man came and sin entered the world; separating man from God.
- Summary: When each woman “took” of what they could not have, sin entered the world.
- Greek Myth: When Pandora attempted to close the container, she was unable to do so until all evil was released.
- Genesis Account: When Eve ate of the fruit, she hid; terrified of her and Adam’s nakedness, as well as their vulnerability to God’s wrath.
- Summary: Pandora attempted to reverse her action by closing the lid; Eve hid, unable to bear the consequence of her decision.
- Greek Myth: Pandora was fearful of Zeus’ wrath to come.
- Genesis Account: Eve was terrified to the point of hiding from God’s wrath.
- Summary: Both women grasped the fact that they had disobeyed.
- Greek Myth: However, Pandora was not punished by Zeus for he knew this would happen.
- Genesis Account: God did in fact, punish Adam and Eve by banishing them from the Garden of Eden and they were no longer to eat of the Tree of Life.
- Summary: Where Zeus did not punish Pandora, God did punish, for Adam and Eve had disobeyed God’s instruction to not eat of the forbidden fruit.
- Greek Myth: Some accounts state that when Pandora saw hope at the bottom of the container, she closed it, without letting hope into the world; however, other accounts state she let hope out to bring good into the world.
- Genesis Account: The only hope that humanity has is through the death and resurrection of Christ, for through Him, we have been redeemed and are again in God’s presence.
- Summary: What is depicted as hope in the myth is truly Christ, for He is the only hope for humanity to be redeemed from their sins.
In conclusion, where the myth of Pandora’s Box possesses a gaping hole of emptiness and despair, the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection overwhelmingly fulfills it. He is the hope we are to cling to.