Dismiss Notice

Welcome to Christian Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
  • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
  • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting after you have posted 20 posts and have received 5 likes.
  • Access to private conversations with other members.

We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Tartarus!? Greek mythical prison for the Titans or Biblical prison for fallen Angels?

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by DamianWarS, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih

    Messages:
    1,229
    Likes Received:
    1
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Christian
    Tartarus appears in 2 Peter 2:4 saying "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment." The word "hell" is the Greek word "tartaroo" which is a verb that means to be "cast down to Tartarus". This is the only biblical mention of this place and here it reveals that fallen angels are committed into pits of darkness. The KJV says "chains of darkness". This sounds a lot like the Greek mythical account of titans. So who borrowed from who? Is the biblical account a little too convenient especially when it's spoken to a Greek audience. How do we reconcile this?
     
  2. Lovely Jar

    Lovely Jar Pray Out Loud

    Messages:
    1,544
    Likes Received:
    1
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian
    Mythology, any way you cut it. ;)


    Tartarus

    by Martha Thompson
    Tartarus is the lowest region of the world, as far below earth as earth is from heaven. According to the Greek poet Hesiod, a bronze anvil falling from heaven would take nine days and nights to reach earth, and an object would take the same amount of time to fall from earth into Tartarus. Tartarus is described as a dank, gloomy pit, surrounded by a wall of bronze, and beyond that a three-fold layer of night. Along with Chaos, Earth, and Eros, it is one of the first entities to exist in the universe. (Continues)


    Hel

    by Micha F. Lindemans
    In Norse mythology, Hel is the ruler of Helheim, the realm of the dead. She is the youngest child of the evil god Loki and the giantess Angrboda. She is usually described as a horrible hag, half alive and half dead, with a gloomy and grim expression. Her face and body are those of a living woman, but her thighs and legs are those of a corpse, mottled and moldering. The gods had abducted Hel and her brothers from Angrboda's hall. They cast her in the underworld, into which she distributes those who are send to her; the wicked and those who died of sickness or old age. Her hall in Helheim is called Eljudnir, home of the dead. Her manservant is Ganglati and her maidservant is Ganglot (which both can be translated as "tardy").
     
  3. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih

    Messages:
    1,229
    Likes Received:
    1
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Christian
    Norse mythology is beyond the scope of this topic and I know what the Greeks say about Tartarus (I watched clash of the titans so I'm an expert) however I asked again... How do we reconcile this?
     
  4. brian57

    brian57 Junior Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Christian
    I believe that Peter may have been refering to Genesis 6 where the angels sinned - There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

    Mighty men and men of renown.
     
  5. Quantum Paradise

    Quantum Paradise Junior Member

    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Pentecostal
    It's just a question of linguistic limitations. Norse and Greek mythology do predate NT texts, so it is fairly obvious who borrowed from who. For instance, contextual evidence proves how the word ''Hades'' is the NT equivalent of the OT word ''Sheol'', the place of departed spirits.

    Does that mean we go to Greek mythology to learn more about ''Hades''? No. Just view them as linguistic placeholders, cross reference them with OT scriptures, keep it within the Biblical context.

    Bear in mind that the whole point of such communications is to further others' understanding of spiritual things, which is why these ''common'' words needed to be used. It's not a matter of convenience as much as it is a question of practicality.
     
  6. ChetSinger

    ChetSinger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,351
    Likes Received:
    27
    Gender:
    Male
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Protestant
    +1. I think both the Greeks and the Hebrews kept remembrances of past events.
     
  7. Lovely Jar

    Lovely Jar Pray Out Loud

    Messages:
    1,544
    Likes Received:
    1
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian
    Sure, watching Clash of the Titans will make you an expert.

    How do we reconcile this? It's easy. We grow up and realize mythology is mythology and has nothing to do with us. :)
    As for the rest Quantum nailed it.


    And btw, Norse and Greek mythology are outside the scope of Christian Apologetics. :)
     
  8. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih

    Messages:
    1,229
    Likes Received:
    1
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Christian
    This is beyond semantics. Fallen Angels cast in a type of prison until the day of judgement sounds like the Greek version of Tartarus to me. The bible could have called it the place of jellybeans for all I care it still doesn't eliminate the fact that from function alone it sounds like the Greek version of Tartarus.
     
  9. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih

    Messages:
    1,229
    Likes Received:
    1
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Christian
    The conversation is about Greek mythical elements in the bible so that means Greek mythology is within context and Norse mythology is not... It's not difficult stuff here. When it appears in something we (main stream Christianity) calls truth (the bible) then either our truth is compromised or else we need to provide some explanation of what this passage means and why it is in the bible (this is the reconciling part)... again... not difficult stuff and it's unfortunate I have to hold your hand to get you to this point. Where the difficult parts are is actually engaging in an answer... saying "mythology is mythology and has nothing to do with us" doesn't really contribute any real information.
     
  10. ChetSinger

    ChetSinger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,351
    Likes Received:
    27
    Gender:
    Male
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Protestant
    Imo, Peter is joining Greek and Hebrew histories together.

    The Greek Titans were a primeval race of large and powerful deities who were overthrown in battle and banished to a place the underworld called Tartarus.

    In Hebrew history, the Sons of God were deities who inhabited the earth prior to the Flood. They intermarried with human women and produced the Nephilim, who were giant men.

    These sons of God were later banished to the underworld for teaching men to sin. Their children, the Nephilim, had their spirits stripped from their bodies and began roaming the earth as demons.

    This Hebrew history appears in the Book of Enoch and is echoed by some early Christian writers such as Justin Martyr and Athenagoras.

    Imo, in 2 Peter 2, when Peter references angels and Tartarus he's joining Hebrew and Greek history together, linking the Titans to the sons of God and linking Tartarus to the Hebrew underworld.
     
  11. The Conductor

    The Conductor Χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι

    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    6
    Gender:
    Male
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Christian
  12. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih

    Messages:
    1,229
    Likes Received:
    1
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Christian
    Lets get some more facts here.

    The verse in question is 2 Peter 2:4 - "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment". The questionable part is the word "hell" which is the verb "tartaroo" and means "cast into tartarus" But it's just not the word that is the problem it's the like function of with Greek mythology that is the problem. Christian/Greek both see tartarus as a damned placed for supernatural beings where they are held captive. So it would stand to reason that one influenced the other.

    From the biblical side the Genesis 6 account of supposed "fallen angels" is by no means explicated so it is clear there is some middle text that pulls these two together. And there is... the middle text is the book of Enoch. The book of Enoch (the old part, called the book of watchers) is said to be written in the 4th or 3ird century BC. The oldest copies are written in the Ge'ez language (ancient Ethiopian) where it is thought to have originally authored the book. The book talks about the demoralization of mankind through he corruption and interbreeding of fallen Angels, the result was a great celestial battle where the fallen angels are imprisoned in a type of underworld. The greek transnational of this text calls this place tartarus.

    From the Greek side Tartarus is best known from Hesiod's Theogony wirtten in 8th or 7th century BC. Similar to the book of Enoch, but much more dramatic and mythical, it talks about a great battle of the gods between the two types of deities, the Olympians on one end and the titans on the other. The result was the titans were imprisoned in tartarus. This account is written as a poem so it assumes poetic flavours of wide uses of folklore and myth to tell its story.

    The book of Enoch is really the missing link but there are problems with it. The greek texts predate the oldest known texts of the book of Enoch by 500 years and the text is not part of the jewish cannon. This however may not really answer anything. Jewish literature and scripture is preserved by not trying to keep the oldest copy but instead by making an exact fresh copy of it and then throwing out the old copy (no point keeping them around). They were quite good at this and had a very strong system of ensuring an exact word for word copy was preserved. The oldest copies of the old testament are in fact found from the famous dead sea scrolls which was a forgotten hidden archive of scripture found in many caves and many scrolls (including parts of the book of Enoch) were and they are incredibly accurate to the latest copies (Masoretic Texts) which are about 1500 removed from each other and is a testament to the coping system of the Jews. The Jewish canon wasn't established until 200 BC so once it was established all literature that didn't "make the cut" would have naturally been de-emphasised and slowly disappeared or destroyed which could be a reason why the Book of Enoch has such a spotty background. What is persevered also may not have gone through the same rigorous system as "official scripture" when and if it was copied. which could be why we are left with possible "translations" of perhaps the original texts.

    The way I see it is either we accept the book of Enoch (at least the book of watchers portion) as a missing link text that may have lost its way in accuracy through translations and possible poor coping systems. Even still it tells us the fuller story of the events of Genesis 6 and this unique mention in 2 Peter (and references in Jude as well). We would have to assume that this account either in written or oral form pre-dates the greek myth and the greek version is a greek mythical contextualization or flavour of what would then be thought as originated by Jewish tradition. Any other account would then seem to tip the scales in the greek favour suggesting tartarus originated from greek thought.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  13. ChetSinger

    ChetSinger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,351
    Likes Received:
    27
    Gender:
    Male
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Protestant
    I like your post and agree with much of your thinking regarding the book of Enoch.

    My only comment is regarding the last paragraph where you try to determine which culture's story is the original.

    I'd like to suggest an additional possibility: that both culture's stories are recollections, however incomplete or flawed, of actual past events. That is, there really were angelic beings of large stature living among men in the distant past, and there was an ancient conflict that resulted in some of them being imprisoned in the underworld.
     
  14. he-man

    he-man he-man

    Messages:
    7,100
    Likes Received:
    6
    Gender:
    Male
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    2Pe 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to [G5020 ταρταρόω] and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
    The word Tartarus is also a proper noun, that is a name of a place, and accordingly should not be changed into a different word, and certainly not the same word that used for Hades and Gehennah.
    Tartarus originally came from Greek mythology and popular folk tales. It is the name of a prison in Hades that Zeus, after triumphing over the Titans, placed them, bound in chains to hold them for future punishment for crimes against humans. It was metaphorically seen as the place where justice was metered out in the spirit world, and this metaphor often found it's way into Jewish apocryphal writings about the end times.
    The history of the English word "hell" is also revealing. The Old English word from which hell is derived is "helan", which means to hide or cover, and is a verb. So at one time the English church understood that to be judged a sinner meant one would cower and want to hide in fear when in God's presence
    http://aggreen.net/beliefs/heaven_hell.html

    HELL. This is the word generally and unfortunately used by our translators to render the Hebrew
    Sheol ( sheol), or (vWE7) : "αιδης, and once θανατος, 2 Sam. xxii. 6 : Inferi or Inferna, or sometimes Mors).

    We say unfortunately, because — although, as St. Augustine truly asserts, Sheol, with its equivalents Inferi and Hades, are never used in a good sense (De Gen. ad Lit. xii. 33), yet —the English word Hell is mixed up with numberless associations entirely foreign to the minds of the ancient Hebrews.

    It would perhaps have been better to retain the Hebrew word Sheol, or else render it always by " the grave " or " the pit."

    Ewald accepts Luther's word Holle; even Untewelt, which is suggested by De Wette, involves conceptions too human for the purpose. Passing over the derivations suggested by older writers, it is now generally agreed that the word
    comes from the root (7Sti7), "to make hollow" (comp. Germ. Holle, "hell," with Hohle, "a hollow "), and therefore means the vast hollow subterranean resting-place which is the common receptacle of the dead (Ges. Thes. p. 1348; Bottcher, de Inferis, c. iv. p. 137 fF.; Ewald, ad Ps. p. 42).

    It is deep (Job xi. 8) and dark (Job x. 21, 22), in the
    centre of the earth (Num. xvi. 30; Deut. xxxii. 22), having within it depths on depths (Prov. ix. 18), and fastened with gates (Is. xxxviii. 10) and bars (Job xvii. 16). Some have fancied (as Jahn, Arch. Bibl. § 203, Eng. ed.) that the Jews, like the Greeks, believed in infernal rivers: thus Clemens Alex, defines Gehenna as " a river of fire " (Fragm. 38), and expressly compares it to the fiery rivers of Tartarus (Strom, v. 14, 92); and TertuUian says that it was supposed to resemble Pyriphlegethon (Apolog. cap. xlvii.).

    The notion, however, is not found in Scripture, for Ps. xviii. 5 is a mere metaphor.

    It is clear that in many passages of the O. T. Sheol can only mean " the grave," and is so rendered in the A. V. (see, for example, Gen. xxxvii. 35, xlii. 38; 1 Sam. ii. 6; Job xiv. 13). In other passages, however, it seems to involve a notion of punishment, and is therefore rendered in the A. V. by the word " Hell." But in many cases this translation misleads the reader. It is obvious, for instance, that Job xi. 8; Ps. cxxxix. 8; Am. ix. 2 (where " hell " is used as the antithesis of "heaven"), merely illustrate the Jewish notion of the locality of Sheol in the bowels of the earth.

    Even Ps. ix. 17, Prov. xv. 24, v. 5, ix. 18, seem to refer rather to the danger of terrible and precipitate death than to a place of infernal anguish.

    DR. WILLIAM SMITH'S DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  15. herelisasendme

    herelisasendme Newbie

    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian

    Hell or Tartarus "to hold captive i Tartarus." The ancient Greeks considered Tartarus to be the abode of the wicked dead and the place where punishment was meted out to them. It thus corresponded to the Gehenna of the Jews (Matt 5:22). Writing to people who lived in a Hellenistic atmosphere, Peter employs a Greek term to convey his thought, but does not thereby endorse either the Greek idea of Tartarus or the popular Jewish concept of Gehenna. here, Tartarus refers simply to the place of abode to which the evil angels are restricted until the day of judgment. Here the apostle looks to the future, when the judgement determined upon Satan and his angelic followers will finally be executed (Rev. 20:10).
     
  16. Lovely Jar

    Lovely Jar Pray Out Loud

    Messages:
    1,544
    Likes Received:
    1
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian
    ^_^ Idiot.
     
  17. he-man

    he-man he-man

    Messages:
    7,100
    Likes Received:
    6
    Gender:
    Male
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    It is clear that in many passages of the O. T. Sheol can only mean " the grave," and is so rendered in the A. V. (see, for example, Gen. xxxvii. 35, xlii. 38; 1 Sam. ii. 6; Job xiv. 13). In other passages, however, it seems to involve a notion of punishment, and is therefore rendered in the A. V. by the word " Hell." But in many cases this translation misleads the reader. It is obvious, for instance, that Job xi. 8; Ps. cxxxix. 8; Am. ix. 2 (where " hell " is used as the antithesis of "heaven"), merely illustrate the Jewish notion of the locality of Sheol in the bowels of the earth.

    Even Ps. ix. 17, Prov. xv. 24, v. 5, ix. 18, seem to refer rather to the danger of terrible and precipitate death than to a place of infernal anguish.

    DR. WILLIAM SMITH'S DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE

    In ancient Greek mythology and religion the DOMOS HAIDOU or "realm of Haides" was the land of the dead, the final resting place for departed souls. It was a dark and dismal realm in which bodiless ghosts flitted across grey fields of asphodel. The Homeric poets knew of no Islands of the Blessed or Elysian fields, or for that matter a Tartarean hell, instead all the spirits, including those of the great heroes, descended into Haides.


    A judge named Minos receives the dead from Hermes Psykhogogos (Leader of the Souls), and sentences the most wicked to eternal torment. Tartaros was secured with a surrounding wall of bronze set with a pair of gates, guarded by the hundred-handed Hekatonkheir giants, warders of the Titanes.


    Through the gates of Tartaros passed Nyx (goddess of the Night) who emerged to wrap the earth in darkness, and also her daughter Hemera (Day), who scattered the mists of night.
    The Pit sired a child, Typhoeus, a monstrous serpentine storm-giant who attempted to seize heaven. Zeus vanquished the creature and cast it back down into the Pit.


    Homer, Odyssey 24. 12 ff :
    "So did these ghosts travel on together squeaking, while easeful Hermes led them down [to the Land of the Dead] through the ways of dankness. They passed the streams of Okeanos, the White Rock (petra Leuka), the Gates of the Sun (pylai Hêlioi) and the Land of Dreams (demos oneiroi), and soon they came to the field of asphodel, where the souls (psykhai), the phantoms (eidola) of the dead have their habitation."
    Pindar, Olympian Ode 2. 57 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :

    “When they die, hearts that were void of mercy pay the due penalty, and of this world’s sins a judge [either Minos or Rhadamanthys] below the earth holds trial, and of dread necessity declares the word of doom.

    Virgil, Aeneid 6. 628 - 897 Latin Epic C1st B.C.: Two gates of Sleep there are [in Elysium] , whereof the one, they say, is horn and offers a ready exit to true shades, the other shining with the sheen of polished ivory, but delusive dreams issue upward through it from the world below. Thither Anchises, discoursing thus, escorts his son and with him the Sibylla, and sends them forth by the ivory gate: Aeneas speeds his way to the ships and rejoins his comrade." HADES, LAND OF THE DEAD 1 : Greek mythology


    Erebus was known as the embodiment of primordial darkness, the son of Chaos (who was the void from which all things developed, known also as Darkness). According to Hesiod's Theogony, Erebus was born with Nyx (Night), and was the father of Aether (the bright upper atmosphere) and Hemera (Day). Charon, the ferry-man who took the dead over the rivers of the infernal region, is also said to be the son of Erebus and Nyx.

    Later legend describes Erebus as the Infernal Region below the earth. In this version, Hades was split into two regions: Erebus, which the dead have to pass shortly after they have died, and Tartarus, the deepest region, where the Titans were imprisoned. Aristophanes' Birds says that Erebus and Nyx were also the parents of Eros, the god of love. He is often used metaphorically for Hades itself. Erebus
     
  18. ChetSinger

    ChetSinger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,351
    Likes Received:
    27
    Gender:
    Male
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Protestant
    I see you're new here. Please reconsider these kinds of posts.
     
Loading...