Athena and Eve. The Real Meaning of Greek Myth - Part 2
Zeus was fond of his son Hephaistos, who performed an indispensable and appreciated function as armorer of the gods. On the other hand, Zeus considered his youngest son, Ares, to be worthless, calling him "hateful"and "pestilent" and a "renegade." 14 The ancient poet, Homer, referred to Ares as "the bane of mortals." 15 The only reason Ares has a place in the Greek pantheon is that he is the son of Zeus; that is, he is one of the two actual sons of the first couple, Adam and Eve, of whom Zeus and Hera are deifications. Zeus hates Ares, but accepts responsibility for siring him: "for thou art mine offspring, and it was to me that thy mother bare thee," and then rails at this son of his, telling him that if he were born of any other god, he would have been "lower than the sons of heaven" long ago.16 Some scholars say Greek religion is anthropomorphic; that is, gods take human form. That’s not quite right. What happens is that real human ancestors retain their original identities and take on godlike qualities. Ares, as a deification of Seth, is trapped, in a sense, by the historical framework. His father, Zeus, had to hate him, and Greek heroes were expected to kill his children.
While the scriptural viewpoint defines Seth/Ares as the Yahweh-believing, or spiritual son, Greek religion defines him as hated by, and antagonistic to, the ruling gods who are part of the serpent’s system. Likewise, while Zeus-religion looks on Hephaistos/Kain as the true and devoted son, the scriptural viewpoint defines him as part of the wicked one’s system. Jews and Christians dislike and shun the line of Kain, but they can’t get rid of him or his line without altering their spiritual standpoint and history itself. Kain is part of the Scriptures, and he is there to stay. Zeus-religion has the same kind of situation. It hates the line of Ares, but it cannot eliminate the line from its history, for, as we shall see, the basic achievement of Zeus-religion, its grand celebration even, is the triumph of the way of Kain over the way of Seth. Ares is part of Greek sacred literature and art, and he is there to stay.
According to Genesis, the Flood temporarily wiped out the way of Kain. Noah, in the line of Seth, "a just man" (Genesis 6:9), survived with his wife, three sons, and their wives in the Ark. All but these eight people disappeared into the earth. The Greeks pictured this cataclysmic event as half-men/half-horses known as Kentaurs (Centaurs) pounding a man named Kaineus into the ground with a rock (Figure 6). Kaineus means "pertaining to Kain," or more directly, "the line of Kain."

Figure 6. Kentaurs pound Kaineus into the ground wirht a boulder
West Frieze of the Temple of Hephaistos, Athens, c. 440 BC.

Who were the Kentaurs? The original Greek word for Kentaur, Kentauros, means hundred (where we get century and cent) and most likely relates to the fact that Noah, the chief of the line of Seth, warned of the Flood for one hundred years. 17 In most vase paintings of them, the Kentaurs carried symmetrical branches, a sign that they belonged to a certain branch of humanity. The Greeks, who embraced the way of Kain, did not acknowledge the Creator God, and so they couldn’t blame Him for the Flood. They blamed the survivors of it, that strange branch of humanity they didn’t really understand—the line of Seth.

The resurgence of the way of Kain after the Flood
For a number of years after the Flood, God’s awesome and decisive intervention in human affairs remained fresh in the minds of Noah’s descendants, and the way of Kain remained dormant. Then, gradually, a yearning for the serpent’s wisdom began to take hold. On a shield band panel from about 550 BC, a Greek artist depicted this all-too-human desire perfectly (Figure 7).

Figure 7. Herakles and Nereus, the „Salt Sea Old Man“ 

The characters are the great hero, Herakles (Hercules), the Nimrod of Genesis transported to Greek soil, and Nereus, the Greek Noah. Nereus means the "Wet One." His bottom half is a fish, signifying that he came through the Flood. The inscription on this panel refers to him as Halios Geron—"The Salt Sea Old Man." 18 Herakles demands to know something that only the Salt Sea Old Man can tell him. A flame and a serpent come out of Nereus’ head. Herakles wants to know where to find the enlightenment of the serpent. According to Apollodorus:
Herakles seized [Nereus] while he slept, and though the god turned himself into all kinds of shapes, the hero bound him and did not release him till he had learned from him where were the apples of the Hesperides. 8
Life in service to the God of Noah seemed boring. Humanity wanted another big bite of the apple from the serpent’s tree in the Garden of the Hesperides. Ancient Greek religion commemorates the return and triumph of the way of Kain after the Flood, and it is celebrated in many interrelated ways in myth and art:
	•	Hermes, the Cush of Babylon, embraces the serpent’s system and becomes deified as the chief prophet of Zeus religion.19
	•	Poseidon, a ‘brother’ of Zeus marries a daughter of Noah/Nereus and replaces him as god of the sea.20
	•	The gods inspire Greek heroes to wound Ares/Seth and kill his offspring.21
	•	A special child, the seed of Hephaistos/Kain, is reborn from the earth in Athens.22
	•	In one of his famous twelve labours, Herakles, the Nimrod of Genesis, kills the three-bodied Geryon who represents the spiritual authority of the three sons of Noah.23
	•	As his final labour, Herakles returns to the serpent’s tree in the Garden of the Hesperides and obtains the sacred apples for Athena.24
	•	In the great culminating and decisive battle, the gods in concert (as a religious system) overwhelm and defeat the Giants who represent the Yahweh-believing sons of Noah.25

Athena—the serpent’s Eve reborn after the Flood
In one way or another, Athena is involved with all of these events. She is the ultimate symbol of the great victory of Zeus-religion. She is the serpent’s Eve, reborn and exalted after the Flood. According to the Greek myth, she was born full-grown out of Zeus, an unmistakable picture of Eve being born full-grown out of Adam. 26 And she was born in the presence of Hera, the primal Eve, meaning that she (Athena) is the new representation of Eve in the Greek age. As a sign of this change, Herakles presented the golden apples from the serpent’s tree, which once belonged to Hera, to his patron goddess, Athena.
Now that we understand what Greek religion was about, we are in a position to understand the religious statement the Athenians made to their world and to posterity when they erected Athena’s ivory and gold-plated idol-image in the Parthenon (Figure 8).

Figure 8. Athena Parthenos, full-size reproduction in the Nashville
Parthenon by Alan LeQuire <>.
The Judeo-Christian tradition traces the current state of humanity back to a woman, a serpent and a tree. Athena’s idol-image shows us the woman and the serpent, but where is the tree? The very core of the statue is wood—a tree. In both the Greek and Judeo-Christian traditions, a tree is at the core of what happened between a woman and a serpent in paradise.
Note that the serpent rises up next to Athena as a friend. In Genesis, Yahweh had condemned the serpent to crawl on its belly as a deceiver of humanity, yet all who entered the Parthenon to worship or admire the great statue were forced to look up to both Athena and the serpent. That is because the Greek religious system, the very opposite of the Judeo-Christian, was based on the notion that the serpent had enlightened humanity in paradise.
Athena holds Nike in her right hand, the hand of power. Nike symbolizes victory—Eve’s "victory"for humanity when she ate the fruit offered by the serpent. Athena is the only goddess in Greek art who is ever pictured holding Nike. Athena’s very name speaks of Eve. In Genesis 3:4, the serpent promised Eve that when she ate the fruit of the tree she would not die. In the most ancient Greek writing (Linear B), the name of the goddess first appears as Athana. The word thanatos in ancient Greek means death. A-thanatos signifies deathlessness. A-thana is the shortened form of Athanatos meaning the deathless one, or more specifically, the embodiment of the serpent’s promise to Eve that she would never die, but would be as the gods, knowing good and evil. Through Athana(tos), later called Athena, the serpent has made good his promise to Eve.
On the front of her aegis, or goatskin, which covered the top of her chest, Athena wore the head of the Gorgon Medusa—the head of serpents. The aegis is a symbol of authority. The symbolism is straightforward: the source of Athena’s authority is the head of serpents.
Atop Athena’s helmet, between winged griffins, crouched an inscrutable sphinx. As we know from the story of Oedipus, Hera originally controlled this riddle-uttering winged monster with the head of a woman and the body of a lion. But it is now after the Flood. Athena’s possession of the sphinx shows that her authority supersedes that of Hera in the new Greek Age. The wings of the sphinx symbolize power in the heavens; the body of the lion, power on Earth; and the woman’s head represents the mysterious Eve, mother of all living. As we have seen, Hera, the primal Eve, carried the sceptre of rule by birth. Athena, the new Eve of the Greek Age, carries a deadly spear, a sign that she led the great spiritual battle to defeat the Yahweh-believing sons of Noah and re-establish the way of Kain after the Flood.
There is even a more obvious demonstration of Athena’s identity as the reborn serpent’s Eve. Meeting the ancient Greeks at eye level as they entered the Parthenon was the statue base of the great idol-image of Athena. In the centre of it, surrounded by the gods giving her gifts, stood a sculpted Pandora—the woman who, according to Greek myth, was responsible for letting evil out into the world. Could not a schoolchild grasp that Athena’s gold and ivory grandeur above Pandora was literally based on this obvious picture of Eve?

The curse of the Gorgon Medusa
Athena’s true identity is so self-evident that she may as well have worn a sign around her neck saying, "Hello, I’m the serpent-worshipping Eve of Genesis." Why haven’t the great scholars of Greek myth been able to see something so simple? I attribute their abysmal ignorance to the curse of the Gorgon Medusa on Athena’s aegis (Figure 9), the focal point of her idol-image. If you remember the myth, the look of the Gorgon Medusa had the power to turn men to stone. The hero, Perseus, who cut off the Gorgon’s head and presented it to Athena, used his polished shield as a mirror to view her indirectly, negating the power of her gaze. Most of the revered teachers of mythology and anthropology (J.J. Bachofen, Jane Ellen Harrison, Robert Graves, Joseph Campbell et al.) 27 were at worst atheists, and at best contemptuous of the Book of Genesis. As they looked to Athena herself for their understanding, the stare of the Gorgon on her aegis turned their minds figuratively to stone—a kind of mental paralysis set in. In this intellectual stupor, they were unable to recognize Athena as the serpent’s Eve. As unbelievers, they would never have considered looking away from Athena and toward Genesis in order to understand the identity of the goddess.

Figure 9. Athena depicted on an Attic red-figure vase from c.525 BC.
Her aegis is positioned over her right shoulder so that the face of the Gorgon head—the head of serpents—can be seen.
We believe God and so the curse of the Gorgon has no power with us. We instinctively look away from the Gorgon and toward the Scriptures for our understanding. When we view Athena’s image indirectly, as it is clearly and simply reflected in the Book of Genesis, we get a true picture of her identity, and understand her role in Greek religion as a depiction of Eve—the serpent’s Eve.

Modern scholarship has yet to learn the simple lesson that, without reference to the early events described in the Book of Genesis, it is not possible to make any real sense of Greek mythology. In fact, the entire formidable religious framework of ancient Greek society means virtually nothing without reference to those events. The next time you’re in a bookstore or a library, go to the mythology section. Look at all the books on the subject and ponder all the fruitless theorizing and all the wasted paper that have resulted from writers leaving the Creator of Heaven and Earth out of what they imagine is their deep and reasonable thinking.

Levitating Stone
1. Plato, Euthydemus, from: The Dialogues of Plato, Jowett, B. (Translator), Third Edition, Vol. I, Oxford at the Clarendon Press: Oxford University Press, Humphrey Milford Publisher, 302d, 1892.
2. Hornblower, S. and Spawforth, A. (Eds.), The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, p. 332, 1998.
3. Kerényi, C., Zeus and Hera: Archetypal Image of Father, Husband, and Wife, Princeton University Press, Princeton, p. 5, 1975.
4. Johnson, R.B., Jr, Athena and Kain: The True Meaning of Greek Myth, Solving Light Books, Annapolis, p. 169, 2003.
5. Hesiod, Works and Days, Evelyn-White, H.G. (Translator), William Heinemann Ltd and Harvard University Press, London, 105, 1914.
6. Hesiod, Ref. 5, 59.
7. Homer, The Iliad, Lattimore, R. (Translator), University of Chicago Press, Lattimore, R. (Translator), University of Chicago Press, Iliad Chicago and London, 503 and frequently, 1961.
8. Apollodorus, Apollodorus, The Library, with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, 2 Volumes, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. and London, 2.5.11, 1921.
9. Euripides, Hippolytus, Kovacs, D. (Translator), Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 744–750, 1996.
10. Hesiod, Theogony, Evelyn-White, H.G. (Translator), Harvard University Press and William Heinemann Ltd, London, 519, 1914.
11. Plato, Cratylus, from Ref. 1, 407c.
12. Graves, R., The Greek Myths, Volume II, The Folio Society, London, p. 682, 1996.
13. Johnson, Ref. 4, p. 58.
14. Homer, Ref. 7, 885–889.
15. Homer, Ref. 7, 846.
16. Homer, Ref. 7, 895.
17. See 2 Peter 2:5; Genesis 5:32 and 7:6.
18. Carpenter, T.H., Art and Myth in Ancient Greece, Thames and Hudson, Illus. 87, London, 1991. Carpenter says ‘Old man of the sea’, but ‘Salt Sea Old Man’ is closer to the original Greek.
19. Johnson, R.B. Jr, Athena and Eden: The Hidden Meaning of the Parthenon’s East Façade, Solving Light Books, Annapolis, pp. 99–104, 143; 2002; and Johnson, Ref. 4, pp. 121–131.
20. Johnson, Ref. 4, pp. 86–91.
21. Johnson, Ref. 4, pp. 152–155.
22. Johnson, Ref. 4, pp. 183–191.
23. Johnson, Ref. 19, pp. 116–118; and Johnson, Ref. 4, pp. 156–157.
24. Johnson, Ref. 19, pp. 66, 89–91; and Johnson, Ref. 4, pp. 161–164.
25. Johnson, Ref. 19, pp. 120–123; and Johnson, Ref. 4, pp. 167–181.
26. Johnson, Ref. 19, pp. 21–28.
27. See Johnson, R.B., Jr, The serpent worshippers, TJ 17(3):66–69, 2003.
28. 2 Timothy 2:10.

Erstellt 11. August 2006. Update 25. März 2007.
© Medical-Manager Wolfgang Timm

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the two antagonistic sons of the first family
Now if Zeus and Hera are pictures of Adam and Eve, we would expect them to have two antagonistic male children just as the first man and woman did. Zeus and Hera had two male children: Hephaistos, the elder, and Ares; and they were as averse to each other as Kain and Seth.
Adam and Eve had three sons: Kain, Abel and Seth. But Kain killed Abel, evidently before the latter had offspring. Since Seth replaced Abel, we look at Adam and Eve as having two sons, each of whom, in turn, had offspring. In the Scriptures, the line of Seth is the line of Christ. The book of Matthew traces the lineage of Christ through David to Abraham; and the Book of Luke further traces the lineage of Abraham to Adam through his son Seth. This is often referred to as the line of belief in the Creator-God or the line of faith. On the other hand, the Scriptures define the line of Kain as one of unbelief in the Creator-God. According to I John 3:12, "Kain was of the wicked one," a straightforward reference to "the ancient serpent called Adversary and Satan, who is deceiving the whole inhabited earth"(Revelation 12:9).
The Greeks deified Kain as Hephaistos, god of the forge. They deified his younger brother, Seth, as Ares, the troublesome god of conflict and war. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, Kain is the evil one whose way is to be shunned. In the Greek religious system, Ares, the Seth of Genesis, is the traitor and the one who causes ruin and woe.
By his Roman name, Vulcan, we associate Hephaistos, the deified Kain, immediately with the forge and the foundry. According to Genesis 4:22, the members of Kain’s family were the fi rst to become forgers "of every tool of copper and iron." These surely included the hammer, the axe and the tongs—the tools most often associated with Hephaistos in Greek art.
Hephaistos’ banishment from, and return to, Olympus (a place where the Creator is excluded from the pantheon) is a "myth" which constituted an essential element of Greek religion; it appeared painted, sculpted and bronzed throughout the Archaic and Classical periods. In the Greek religious system, the banishment of Hephaistos corresponds, in Genesis, to Kain’s being commanded to wander the earth by Yahweh: "A rover and a wanderer shall you become in the earth" (Genesis 4:12). According to Greek sources, it was Hera or Zeus, or both, who banished their eldest son. Since the Greeks rejected the Creator-God, it makes sense that they would attribute the banishment of Hephaistos to his parents instead.
Kain wandered for a time but then defied Yahweh again and ceased his wandering:
And knowing is Kain his wife and she is pregnant and bearing Enoch. And coming is it that he is building a city, and calling is he the name of the city as the name of his son, Enoch (Genesis 4:17).
The return of Hephaistos to Olympus in Greek religion corresponds to Kain’s ignoring Yahweh’s command to wander, and his building a city instead. Out of that city, the defiant line of Kain prospered as he and his offspring embraced the wisdom of the serpent.
As a reward for his return, Hephaistos received the beautiful and sensuous Aphrodite as his wife. Just as Kain’s wife was most likely his sister, so Aphrodite was the sister of Hephaistos. Zeus is the father of both Aphrodite and Hephaistos, and Aphrodite’s mother, Dione, is the same woman/goddess as Hera, but from a different and more ancient oral tradition.
In Plato’s dialogue, Cratylus, Sokrates describes Hephaistos as "the princely lord of light." 11 According to Robert Graves, his name is a contraction of hemeraphaestos, which means "he who shines by day." 12 On a vase scene from the Archaic period, the young Hephaistos stands on his father’s lap in the presence of his mother, Hera. He holds two torches and is hailed as "light of Zeus." 13 Hephaistos shines because he is Eve’s eldest son, Kain, who rejects the Creator and embraces the serpent’s enlightenment, the very basis of Zeus-religion.
Athena and Eve
Bearbeitung: Medical-Manager Wolfgang Timm
The Parthenon Code