It is written:
“It’s really not important if there are things called gods in heaven or on earth—and there are many of these “gods” and “lords” out there.” (1 Corinthians 8:3)
The study of history demonstrates that some of the ancient “gods” and “goddesses” that are venerated by people in the world are actually the spirits of deceased human beings, most of them long since deceased.
During their lives, some of these men and women were powerful heroes well-known for great feats, and as a result were worshiped by their descendants. It is also likely that these spirits continued to exist in the world as demons, seeking the worship which rightly only belongs to the one true God.
This is undoubtedly the origin of the Norse “god” known as Oden (also spelled Odin). In researching the various histories of the world (and how they point powerfully to the story of Noah and the Table of Nations in the Bible), Ken Johnson has documented:
“Six ancient manuscripts still preserve the linage of the Scandinavian people of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and the Anglo-Saxons….These six histories show a combined list of twenty generations from Noah to Odin. Scholars have long noted that the Scandinavians refer to Japheth, Noah’s son, as Sceaf….The twentieth generation is Oden or Woden. Oden was the principle ancestor worshiped as a god by the pagan Scandinavians.”. (Ken Johnson, Th.D., Ancient Post-Flood History: Historical Documents That Point To Biblical Creation, 2378-2435 (Kindle Edition))
Later, in explaining the research of the church fathers into these matters, Johnson noted:
“In order to spread the gospel, the early church fathers (Lactantius and several others) started researching history books that were already very ancient in t heir time. These included the history books of Herodotus, Strabo, Sanchoniathon, Ennius and others . The church fathers discovered the “gods” were simply deified men. The fathers identified where the “gods” actually ruled, died, and where they were buried….What we should take from this history is that, as Christians, we need to find the truth behind the myths and legends of false religions and cults. The church fathers dug up all this history from books already ancient in their time. They wanted to show from the sacred texts of the Greeks and Romans that their gods are simply deified men. Why worship what you know are not gods but just dead men? This information helped Christians take over the pagan Roman Empire. We can use the same method today. If we expose the real history behind the false religions and cults from their own “sacred” texts, we will have a stronger chance to convert unbelievers.” (Ken Johnson, Th.D., Ancient Post-Flood History: Historical Documents That Point To Biblical Creation, 2846-2995 (Kindle Edition)
Notice how some of the “church fathers” confirm these facts:
“I will further write and show, as far as my ability goes, how and for what causes images were made to kings and tyrants, and how they came to be regarded as gods. The people of Argos made images to Hercules, because he belonged to their city. Furthermore, he was strong, and by his valor, he slew noxious beasts. Besides that, they were afraid of him. For he was subject to no control, and he carried off the wives of many. His lust was great, like that of Zuradi the Persian, his friend. Again, the people of Acte worshipped Dionysius, a king, because he had recently planted the vine in their country. The Egyptians worshipped Joseph the Hebrew, who was called Serapis, because he supplied them with corn during the years of famine. (Melito (c. 170, E), 8.752)
“I maintain, then, that it was Orpheus, Homer, and Hesiod who gave both genealogies and names to those whom they call gods. Such, too, is the testimony of Herodotus. “My opinion,” he says, “is that Hesiod and Homer preceded me by four hundred years, and no more. And it was they who framed a theogony for the Greeks, and gave the gods their names. It was they who assigned them their various honors and functions, and described their forms.” (Athenagoras (c. 175, E), 2.136.)
“The gods, as they affirm, were not from the beginning. Rather, every one of them has come into existence just like ourselves.” (Athenagoras (c. 175, E), 2.137.)
“Not one of your gods is earlier than Saturn. From him, you trace all your deities, even those of higher rank and greater fame. . . . Yet, none of the writers about sacred antiquities have ventured to say that Saturn was anything but a man.” (Tertullian (c. 197, W), 3.26)
“As you cannot deny that these deities of yours once were men, you have taken it on yourselves to assert that they were made gods after their deaths.” (Tertullian (c. 197, W), 3.27)
“As we have already shown, every god depended on the decision of the senate for his deity.” (Tertullian (c. 197, W), 3.29)
“That those are no gods whom the common people worship, is known from this: They were formerly kings. On account of their royal memory, they subsequently began to be adored by their people even in death. Later, temples were founded to them. Next, images were sculptured to retain the faces of the deceased by such likenesses. Later, men sacrificed victims and celebrated festal days to give them honor. Finally, those rites became sacred to posterity—although at first they had been adopted as a consolation.” (Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.465.)
“Since it is evident from these things that they were men, it is not difficult to see how they began to be called gods. For apparently there were no kings before Saturn or Uranus. Rather, men existed in small numbers, and they lived a rural life without any ruler. Undoubtedly, then, in those days, men began to exalt the king himself and his whole family with the highest praises and with new honors—so that they even called them gods.” (Lactantius (c. 304–313, W), 7.26.)
“Different people privately honored the founders of their nation or city with the highest veneration—whether they were men distinguished for bravery, or women admirable for chastity. So the Egyptians honored Isis; the Moors, Juba; . . . the Romans, Quirinus. In the same exact manner, Athens worshipped Minerva; Samos, Juno; Paphos, Venus; . . . and Delos, Apollo. And thus various sacred rites were undertaken among different peoples and countries. For men desire to show gratitude to their rulers. . . . Moreover, the piety of their successors contributed largely to this error. For, in order that they might appear to be born from a divine origin, men paid divine honors to their parents.” (Lactantius (c. 304–313, W), 7.27.)
“[Others, however,] not only admit that gods have been made from men, but even boast of it as a subject of praise. [Such humans have been deified] either because of their valor (as in the case of Hercules), or because of their gifts (as Ceres and Liber), or because of the arts that they discovered (as Aesculapius or Minerva). But how foolish these things are! How unworthy of being the causes of why men should contaminate themselves with inexpiable guilt, and become enemies of God. For it is in contempt of Him that they make offerings to the dead.” (Lactantius (c. 304–313, W), 7.30)
“We can show that all those whom you represent to us as gods, and whom you call gods, were actually men. We can do this by quoting either Euhererus of Acragas . . . or Nicanor the Cyprian.” (Arnobius (c. 305, E), 6.486)
Several people that I have studied the Gospel with in Hazard worship Odin and other Norse “gods.” To them (and all of my pagan friends here and abroad), I ask you to consider this question with all diligence:
Why serve a dead human when you can know and live for the risen Savior, Jesus Christ?