The Power of Myth

Myth and Legend

Throughout the ages many legends and myths have been formed to explain subjects ranging from the histories of peoples to an attempt to explain natural phenomena within the created world. Many of these legends and myths were not even authored with the intention of being regarded seriously, but in time some came to be believed to such a degree that pagan worship of false deities arose.

Tall Tales

Even in more recent years, the sharing of “tall tales” became popular, with the expectation that many aspects of the tales would be hyperbolic and larger than life (e.g. the “tall” element). These stories were taken less seriously, but remained a part of the culture at large many years after their original telling and purpose.

Now consider a history of such legend, myth, and “tall tales” in the context of how one today would choose to regard the Biblical account. In the Bible there are many examples of grand events, many of them with miraculous and supernatural elements. In a culture which has (in many degrees rightly) dismissed ancient myth as superstition and regards hyperbolic “tall tales” as exaggerations, it is no surprise that the Biblical account has at best been accepted as exaggerating, and at worst has been dismissed also as myth.

A Key Difference

The key distinction is one of authorship. The pagan myths of old ring false due to their inconsistency, illogic, and contradiction; all signs of an imperfect authorship. The “tall tales” of more recent years ring false due to their obvious sensationalism and need for hyperbole, many times because the overall story is lacking and simplistic; also signs of imperfect authorship.

The Bible however is different. Its author is perfect, having its source in the inspiration of Almighty God. Beyond that, however, is the reality that God has not only been author to the inspired words, but author to the real power behind the supernatural and miraculous events that occurred. It is no myth, because the Deity is truly real. It is no “tall tale” for that Deity has the means to accomplish every deed recorded, no matter how seemingly impossible (Mat. 19:26).

Emphasize Reality

When presenting the Bible and specifically many of the historical events found within its pages, it is important to emphasize the reality of all that is recorded. These were not but stories meant to explain the un-definable, nor were they “tall tales” to capture one’s imagination. These are real accounts of real events. And that makes them all the more wondrous!

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