Paganism Study Course: Lesson Two

Norse Paganism (One)

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The religion known as Asatro (also known as Asatru) is the worship and veneration of the Norse gods. These were the gods primarily worshipped by the Scandinavian peoples (known generally as the Vikings).

“WHO AND WHAT WERE THE VIKINGS? Those at the receiving end of attacks from the north used various names for those responsible. In Anglo-Saxon written sources, the terms “Danes”, “Northmen”, “pagans” or “heathens” were most often used. What is intriguing is that the term “Danes” did not carry much geographical accuracy. Consequently, when we read “Danes” in the accounts of a particular raid we cannot be certain that those responsible actually came from Denmark. For example, in one report of a raid on Portland, Dorset, in 789, the same entry says they were Danes–yet they came from Norway. The Franks (in what is now France and western Germany) called them the Nordmanni (Northmen) and so an area ceded to them in the tenth century would become Normandy (land of the Northmen). Slavs knew them from their ruddy complexions as the Rus (red) and a related word, Rhos, was used by the Byzantines, who employed them as mercenaries and met Scandinavians who had travelled down the rivers leading into the Black Sea and on into the eastern Mediterranean and the Byzantine Empire. This latter word (in the form Rus) would eventually give rise to the name of Russia: what started as a mixed Viking/ Slav state centred on Kiev was at the core of the early Russian nation. The Byzantines also called them Varangians (those who swear loyalty) and the mercenaries of the Varangian Guard served the Byzantine emperor in Constantinople. Then in Ireland they were the Lochlannach (Northmen), a designation similar to the one used by the Franks. The Irish went on to differentiate between the Norwegians as Finn-gaill (white foreigners) and the Danes as Dubh-gaill (black foreigners), which will be explained in Chapter 5. Far from Scandinavia, Islamic writers called them al-madjus (heathens) in a religiously derived label similar to that used by Anglo-Saxons. What is surprising to the modern reader is the fact that we hardly ever hear them called Vikings outside of Scandinavia. So where does the familiar term Viking come from? There is no definite answer as the term may have had a number of possible origins. In Old Icelandic (a variant of the Old Norse language) the word vík (bay, creek) may have been used to describe seamen hiding in, or sailing from, these coastal inlets, so a geographical term may have become a group name. In addition, an area of southern Norway was called Vik, so this may have become attached to those sailing from this area. Then again, the Old Icelandic verb víkja (moving, turning aside) may have come to describe seafarers who were always “on the move”. Old Norse Scandinavian written sources (which appear very late in Scandinavia) call a raider a víkingr, and a raiding expedition of such men a víking. This reminds us that “the word ‘Viking’ is something you did rather than what you were” 1”. (Martyn Whittock & Hannah Whittock, The Vikings: From Odin to Christ, 8-9 (Kindle Edition); Oxford, England; Lion Hudson Limited)

There were many Viking gods. The most famous was Odin (whose name carries with it the meaning of “the possessed one” or something similar), and his wife Frigg. Odin’s most well-known son was Thor.

In this study, we will focus on these three beings.

The Scriptures Of The Norse Religion

The two primary sources of Norse scripture are the Poetic Eddas and the Prose Eddas. The Poetic Eddas were preserved by Sæmund Sigfusson, and the Prose Eddas were preserved by his adopted grandson, Snorri Sturluson.

“Scholars continue to examine and analyze the historical roots of ancient and medieval deities, but it’s also important to attempt to understand exactly how these deities were viewed and worshiped by their followers. Regardless of the true explanation for the origins of certain gods, the people who followed them obviously had their own explanations regarding the origins of these deities as well. In the case of the Norse gods, there are several surviving myths and legends, particularly the two exceptional collections of Norse mythology called the Eddas. There are also other sources, including Icelandic sagas and other smaller documents. The “Eddas” are medieval texts that explain the origins, adventures and ultimate fates of the gods, as well as tales about the origins of the world and similar subjects. The first of the Eddas is called the “Elder” or “Poetic” Edda, because it is older and written in poetic form, while the other is the “Younger” or “Prose” Edda. While both are immensely important for understanding Odin, there are some significant differences between them.[ 17] The Poetic Edda is composed of a series of poems which probably existed for some time among the Norse before they were written down around the late 11th century. While there is no way to confirm their exact author, tradition states that they were collected by Sæmund Sigfusson, who was a descendant of the famous King Harald Hildetonn. If Sæmund did pen the book, he would have made a perfect author; his high status family gave him the opportunity for an education in the old tales and also provided him with the wealth to travel, which he did throughout Europe. And fortunately for posterity, Sæmund was born about 50 years before the institution of Christianity as the official religion of Iceland, which meant he could have learned the tales in a public setting without fear of persecution. It is known that in addition to the possible authorship of the Edda, Sæmund also wrote extensively on the history and poetry of his people and was reputed (in folklore even to this day) to be a sorcerer skilled in protective magics. Though it is unknown whether Sæmund was a believer, his status as a “sorcerer” and his interest in these tales indicate that he very well may have been and might have imagined the Edda as a document comparable to and in competition with the Christian Bible. True to its name, the Poetic Edda is composed of a series of thematic poems which are divided into two sections, the Mythological (which deals with the stories of the creation of the world and the gods) and the Heroic (which deals with the tales of the deeds of humans). Naturally, Odin features prominently in many of these tales, such as the Völuspá, an account of the creation and eventual fate of the world. In Völuspá, the narrator-a seeress-is explicitly telling her tale to Odin, so the tale not only revolves around Odin and his family but makes the god the official audience of the story. He also looms large in the Hávamál, the Lokasenna, the Lokasenna and the Hárbarðsljóð, all poems that are explored in greater detail below. The Prose Edda is at least a century younger than the Poetic Edda and has been authoritatively attributed to Snorri Sturluson, another prominent Icelander who lived from 1178-1241 and was twice the lawspeaker (a type of supreme magistrate) of the Medieval Commonwealth of Iceland. There is a direct connection between Snorri’s work and that of Saemund. As a young man, Snorri was fostered to the grandson of Saemund, a learned scholar who lived in the same region as Saemund and undoubtedly had access to his ancestor’s writings. Naturally, Snorri learned history from his foster father and cites the poems of the Poetic Edda numerous times in his work. He attempted to convert the disparate Norse songs and poems into a cohesive prose work, as well as adding an introduction and conclusion.[ 18] The Prose Edda differs in a number of important ways from the Poetic Edda, and while it is important to the study of Norse myths, it is sometimes considered to be the less valuable source. The work takes the form of prose stories, which is probably a change in genre from the original poems connected to the oral tradition, but Snorri references the Elder Edda a number of times and obviously used it as a source (though not his only one). Snorri clearly had access to traditional tales and writings, but he was undeniably a Christian and attempts in his book to explain away Norse mythology using the Euhemerist logic. Since Iceland was now Christian, Snorri likely did not have the same public access to the tales that Sæmund would have had generations earlier; in the mid-13th century, the Norse myths were considered a subject of historical research, not a living tradition.[ 19] If the Prose Edda were simply a retelling of tales, it would not warrant attention, but there are tales about Odin and the other gods in this book which only survive in it, thus making it an invaluable source. The Prose Edda is divided into three main parts (besides a commentary prologue): the Gylfaginning (The “Tricking of Gylfi”), the Skáldskaparmál (” The Language of Poetry”) and the Háttatal (a “List of Verse Forms”). The first details the stories of the Norse gods-including the creation of the world and the events of Ragnarok-within the framework of a human (King Gylfi) being tricked by a mysterious trio of beings and forced to answer their questions. The Skáldskaparmál and Háttatal are structured more as guides to poetic forms than collections of tales and do not relate directly to the stories of the gods. Both of the Eddas relate the creation of the world, a series of events in which Odin was closely connected. By comparing and combining the two, readers can reach a clear understanding of these early days. The Gylfaginning questions open with Odin, his names and his glory, and then turns to his origins: “Then said Gangleri: ‘What did he before heaven and earth were made?’ And Hárr answered: ‘He was then with the Rime-Giants.’ Gangleri said: ‘What was the beginning, or how began it, or what was before it?’ Hárr answered: ‘As is told in Völuspá: Erst was the age | when nothing was: Nor sand nor sea, | nor chilling stream-waves; Earth was not found, | nor Ether-Heaven,–A Yawning Gap, | but grass was none.’ Then said Jafnhárr: ‘It was many ages before the earth was shaped that the Mist-World was made…’” The Gylfaginning III-IV, from the Prose Edda[ 20] The tales describe the early world as one of fire, ice and mist that was largely populated by the rime giants, beings who would be Odin’s bitter enemies until the end of his life. These beings descended from a particularly mighty giant named Ymir, who was created by the coalescence of the icy mists and the primordial fire. Odin and his two brothers, on the other hand, are descendants of the god Búri, who was born out of the ice.” (Jesse Harasta & Charles River Editors, Odin and Thor: The Origins, History and Religious Evolution of the Norse Gods, 305-383 (Kindle Edition); Charles River Editors)

Most of our information of the Norse religion comes from these two books.

The Nine Realms

According to the Eddas, the universe is divided up into The Nine Realms.

One author (Matt Clayton, Norse Mythology: Captivating Stories Of The Gods, Sagas And Heroes, 1675-1686 (Kindle Edition)) provides much of the material for the following chart:

Chart Of The Nine Realms

Asgard (World Of The Aesir (Norse) Gods

Midgard (The Home Of Mankind/Middle Earth)

Vanaheim-Terriroty Of The Vanir Gods. Possible That Frigg (Odin’s Wife) Was From This Realm

Jotunheim-The World Of The Giants. Claimed That Loki (Thor’s Prankster Brother) Was Adopted From The Descendants Of This Realm

Niflheim-A Primitive World Of Ice

Muspelheim-Horrible World Of Fire

Alfheim-The Realm Of The Elves

Svartalfheim-The Land Of The Dwarves

Hel-The Realm Of The Dead and Overseen By A Goddess

Let’s Start With Odin

The first god we will examine in the Norse pantheon is the being known as Odin.

Divine Or Human?

In the Prose Edda, we find this interesting note:

“The lineage of Sif I cannot tell; she was fairest of all women, {p. 7} and her hair was like gold. Their son was Lóridi, who resembled his father; his son was Einridi, his son Vingethor, his son Vingener, his son Móda, his son Magi, his son Seskef, his son Bedvig, his son Athra (whom we call Annarr), his son Ítermann, his son Heremód, his son Skjaldun (whom we call Skjöld), his son Bjáf (whom we call Bjárr), his son Ját, his son Gudólfr, his son Finn, his son Fríallaf (whom we call Fridleifr); his son was he who is named Vóden, whom we call Odin: he was a man far-famed for wisdom and every accomplishment. His wife was Frígídá, whom we call Frigg….And wherever they went over the lands of the earth, many glorious things were spoken of them, so that they were held more like gods than men.” (Snorri Sturlson, Prose Edda (Translated by Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur), 11 (Kindle Edition)

As noted above, Snori Sturlson was a researcher living in the tenth-eleventh centuries A.D. who wrote down the legends of the Norse pantheon. By his time, manny of the Scandinavians had “converted” to Catholicism. As such, Sturlson’s writings reflect the belief long held by many in his day that the Norse gods were actually deified human beings.

Scholar Jesse Harasta notes the fact that this viewpoint has much evidence to document its’ claims regarding the origin of the pagan gods and goddesses, although he himself is skeptical about this possible explanation for the origin of the Norse gods:

“The Euhemerists are named after an early Christian figure named Euhermerus, who theorized that the Greek pantheon was in fact the deification of long-dead war leaders. Euhermerus argued that the Greek deities were in fact ancient human kings and heroes transformed into gods through the process of centuries of retelling and exaggeration. The Euhemerist position was a common one taken by early Christian polemicists fighting against Greek and Roman paganism, and it was well-known to any Medieval European Christian scholar, especially those who studied (and argued against) the Norse Heathen pantheon. The early Christian Norse scholars began to use Euhemerism as an argument against the Heathens, and the two most important writers in this area were Saxo Grammaticus and Snorri Sturluson, the author of the Prose Edda.[ 8] Snorri proposed his Euhemerist theory in the Prose Edda when he explained his belief that Odin and Thor and the other gods were once mortal humans, and that the sites of their tombs became places of worship over the centuries. Snorri believed that the Aesir were a group of people who lived in a city called Asgard in Western Asia and that their king-Odin-led them westward into the Germanic lands to found a new kingdom. 18th century manuscript of Snorri’s Prose Edda Saxo went even further, giving a more elaborate story. He believed that Odin was the king of Uppsala, and that he had encouraged his people to worship him as a god, to the point of having a golden idol made of himself for the temple. His wife, Frigg, along with her lover (a servant), stole the gold and forced Odin into exile. A sorcerer took his place and attempted to create his own cult, but eventually Odin returned and cast him out. The site of his tomb in Uppsala became a sacred place, which it continued to be until the end of the Heathen era. Uppsala was the ceremonial center of the Heathen Swedish kingdoms, with splendid temples in Saxo’s days as well as the tombs of the royal families, all of which added to his argument.[ 9] The Euhemerist authors of the early Christian and Medieval period had reason to believe that ancient kings would set themselves up as gods, and that they might be worshiped by their descendents. After all, they could simply point to the Roman Emperors. The Imperial Cult was the state religion of Rome between the founding of the Empire and its conversion to Christianity, and emperors were said to have divine guidance and, after their death, could be elevated to godhood by a vote in the Roman Senate. Some Romans who were elevated in this way included Julius Caesar and his heir Augustus. It served as a crucial element in holding the Roman Empire together, and it was bitterly opposed by the Early Christians. They could point to the human origins of Caesar and Augustus, and no doubt it was easy to theorize there was a similar explanation for the deification of gods like Zeus and Odin.[ 10] In a similar vein, it’s possible that actual historical figures were integrated into mythology. For example, Achilles may not have actually fought at Troy, but historians are virtually certain there was a Trojan War, and it would make sense for the figures in Homer’s Iliad to be based off actual stories of the war that at least had some basis in fact. There is, however, little direct evidence that suggests pantheons of gods were based on actual historical figures. Thus, this theory about actual historical figures probably does not explain the origins of the Norse gods, at least not comprehensively.” (Jesse Harasta & Charles River Editors, Odin and Thor: The Origins, History and Religious Evolution of the Norse Gods, 198-232 (Kindle Edition); Charles River Editors)

There is a great deal of historical evidence which undergirds the idea that the Norse gods were actually deified human beings. Indeed, much of the material from the church fathers regarding these matters predates the research of Euhermerus by centuries!

In examining the various histories of the world (and how they point undeniably to the account 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)

Johnson is correct in the meticulous research that the church fathers did in their examination of the origins of the “gods” of the pagans….and also of noting their deaths (even where they were buried)!

Here are a few examples of this evidence.

(The following quotations are taken from David Bercot, A Dictionary Of Early Christian Belief: A Reference Guide To More Than 700 Topics Discussed By The Early Church Fathers (Kindle Edition); Peabody, Massachusetts; Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC)

“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)

Scripture also teaches this correlation between dead humans (demons) and the gods of the various nations. Arnold has well written:

“These idols, however, were not mere harmless stone images a covenant person could be indifferent to. There was a real spiritual dimension to the pagan cults and the worship of idols. Biblical writers complete the picture of Yahweh’s attitude toward false gods by portraying the pagan cults as the work of demons. In Deuteronomy 32:16-17, 17, Israel’s abandonment of God for idols in the wilderness is explicitly described: They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols. They sacrificed to demons, which are not God-gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your fathers did not fear. (italics mine) The Psalms express the same thought. One psalm describes Israel’s entry into Canaan, deploring the fact that God’s people had adopted many of the local customs and had worshiped the local idols. They also “sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons,” which the psalmist sets parallel with the statement that they “sacrificed to the idols of Canaan” (Ps 106:37-38). In Psalm 96:5, where the Hebrew text reads, “for all the gods of the nations are idols,” the Septuagint text (the Greek translation) reads, “for all the gods of the nations are demons.” The Septuagint reflects the Jewish conviction that pagan religions had a close affiliation with the demonic realm. This belief also became the conviction of the apostle Paul (1 Cor 10:19-21).” (Clinton E. Arnold, Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters, 56-57 (Kindle Edition); Downers Grove, Illinois; InterVarsity Press)

Thus, it is very likely that Odin was indeed Woden, a human being worshipped by his descendants as a demon after his death!

Odin Is Not Eternal

Regardless of whether or not Odin was a deified human being, the Norse scriptures are clear that Odin was not the original Creator, nor does he posses the qualities of being eternal (especially since he will one day be destroyed).

Speaking of Odin from the Norse scriptures, Lindow notes:

“God of poetry, wisdom, hosts, and the dead; in the received mythology head of the pantheon. Odin’s father was Bur, son of Búri, the form licked from the salt blocks by the proto-cow Audhumla. Odin’s mother was Bestla, a giantess, the daughter of Bölthorn. His very genealogy, therefore, replicates a basic operational pattern, namely, that the gods take as wives (or make children with) the females of the giant group….At Ragnorak Fenrir will run free and will destroy Odin, only to have vengeance taken on him by Vidar. The cosmos will reemerge from teh fires and chaos of Ragnorok, but Odin will not be there.” (John Lindow, Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs, 247-251 (Kindle Edition); New York, NY; oxford University Press)

Please notice that even the Norse scriptures themselves acknowledge that Odin is not the eternal Creator of the universe.

Since Odin is not the true Creator, then he is not worthy of worship.

“However, just like any other finite thing, a finite god would need a cause. Also, it seems that an imperfect god would not be worthy of worship. A perfect and infinite God, however, does not have these problems and is able to overcome evil since He has both the desire and the ability to do it…If the gods are not eternal, but come from nature, then they are not the ultimate. Why worship something that is not of ultimate value? It would be better to worship nature itself which gave the gods birth; however, that would be pantheism…There is also a problem with the notion of an eternal universe.” (Norman L. Geisler & Ronald M. Brooks, When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook on Christian Evidences, 53 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Books)

Norse scriptures are clear that their gods are not truly Divine.

They had a beginning, and they will have an end.


Christians are commanded to provide rational evidence for why we believe what we do:

1 Peter 3:15-But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

The word “defense” speaks to us about a rational defense.

“The word was often used of the argument for the defense in a court of law, and though the word may have the idea of a judicial interrogation in which one is called to answer for the manner in which he has exercised his responsibility (Beare), the word can also mean an informal explanation or defense of one’s position. The word would aptly describe giving an answer to the skeptical, abusive, or derisive inquiries of ill-disposed neighbors (Kelly) (Cleon Rogers II and III, The New Linguistic And Exegetical Key To The Greek New Testament, 575; Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing House).”

When we ask for proof regarding the teachings of the Norse religion, is there any to be had?


Where is the evidence that any of these the accounts in the Eddas actually took place?

From a historical point of view, there are no discernible miracles that Odin or the Norse pantheon performed which may be examined and documented by credible sources. More to the point, while there are many accounts of journeys to the heavenly realms, there is not any discernible evidence that the Norse scriptures are historically verifiable.

Contrast this with the Bible, whose accounts (including its’ miraculous accounts) have been continually confirmed by archaeology:

“W. F. Albright of Johns Hopkins University states, “There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of Old Testament tradition.”[ 1] Likewise, Millar Burrows of Yale University offers this endorsement: On the whole, however, archaeological work has unquestionably strengthened confidence in the reliability of the scriptural record. More than one archaeologist has found his respect for the Bible increased by the experience of excavation in Palestine. Archaeology has in many cases refuted the views of modern critics. It has shown, in a number of instances, that these views rest on false assumptions and unreal, artificial schemes of historical development. This is a real contribution and not to be minimized.”[ 2]” (Paul E. Little, Know Why You Believe, 108 (Kindle Edition); Downers Grove, Illinois; InterVarsity Press)

Kennedy, in discussing numerous ways that archaeology has helped to confirm the Bible, has noted:

“Artifacts related to the Bible specifically have illuminated or confirmed events, chronologies, practices, terminology, locations, and individuals that would otherwise have remained a mystery. As an example, there are currently about 70 individuals mentioned in the Old Testament who have been confirmed by archaeological artifacts, and about 32 individuals in the New Testament so far confirmed by archaeology, with several more people from the Bible tentatively identified by archaeological artifacts. Many artifacts have also illuminated obscure words and practices in the Bible, from times long ago in lands far away, that would be misunderstood or unknown otherwise….The fallacious arguments claiming that the archaeological data shows the Bible to be unhistorical myth, legend, or propaganda are demonstrated to be sensationalism and falsehood by the artifact evidence presented in this book. Although 101 objects were presented, there might have been around 500 artifacts noted if there were no space restrictions and the scope was more comprehensive! Further, every year new and significant discoveries connected to the Bible are being made, suggesting that the amount of archaeological evidence will increase as time goes on and as ancient sites are found and excavated. Pass on this information to others, visit archaeological sites and museums to see these artifacts with your own eyes, and be on the lookout for these new exciting finds, which are usually announced in press releases, archaeology journals, and documentaries. Only time will tell what else lies buried, and the mysteries that will be revealed as more artifacts of the past are rediscovered.” (Titus M. Kennedy, Unearthing the Bible: 101 Archaeological Discoveries That Bring the Bible to Life, 238-239 (Kindle Edition); Eugene, Oregon; Harvest House Publishers)

The differences here between Christianity and the Norse religion are insurmountable.


Another powerful evidence that should be considered is in regard to prophecy and fulfillment.

During the Old Testament period, God challenged the gods of the pagans to prove that they were truly gods by revealing detailed knowledge of the future before it took place.

For example:

Isaiah 41:21-24-21    “Present your case,” says the LORD. “Bring forth your strong reasons,” says the King of Jacob. 22    “Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; Let them show the former things, what they were, That we may consider them, And know the latter end of them; Or declare to us things to come. 23    Show the things that are to come hereafter, That we may know that you are gods; Yes, do good or do evil, That we may be dismayed and see it together. 24    Indeed you are nothing, And your work is nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination.

Isaiah 42:9-Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

Isaiah 44:6-7-6    “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. 7    And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, Since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, Let them show these to them.

Isaiah 45:21-Tell and bring forth your case; Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, A just God and a Savior; There is none besides Me.

True prophecy, of course, must meet obvious standards.

One author has described such:

“First, though, let us remind ourselves of several principles that govern the validity of genuine prophecy. (1) True prophecies are stated emphatically; they are not couched in the jargon of contingency (unless, of course, contextual evidence suggests that one is dealing with a conditional prophecy). (2) Generally, a significant time frame must lapse between the prophetic utterance and the fulfillment, so as to exclude the possibility of ‘educated speculation.’ (3) The prophecy must involve specific details, not vague generalities. (4) The predictive declarations must be fulfilled precisely and completely. No mere substantial percentage will suffice. One should recognize, though, that occasionally a prophecy may contain figurative terminology; this does not, however, militate against its evidential validity.” (Wayne Jackson, ‘Babylon: A Test Case In Prophecy,’ in Kyle Butt, Behold! The Word Of God, 1598-1604 (Kindle Edition); Montgomery, Alabama; Apologetics Press)

Now, the Bible has hundreds of examples of amazingly complex prophecies which were written long before their fulfillment. Many examples of this may be found in what is known as Messianic prophecies (i.e., prophecies made in the Old Testament period from about 1450 B.C. To 408 B.C.). These prophecies describe in shocking detail the life and characteristics of Jesus Christ, literally written over a thousand years before He was born into the world!

“In the Old Testament, there are sixty major messianic prophecies and approximately 270 ramifications that were fulfilled in one person, Jesus Christ. It is helpful to look at all these predictions fulfilled in Christ as His “address.” You’ve probably never realize how important the details of your name and address are-and yet these details set you apart from the five billion other people who also inhabit this planet. With even greater detail, God wrote an address in history to single out His Son, the Messiah, the Savior of mankind, from anyone who has ever lived in history-past, present, or future. The specifics of this address can be found in the Old Testament, a document written over a period of a thousand years, which contains more than three hundred references to His coming. Using the science of probability, we find the chances of just forty-eight of these prophecies being fulfilled in one person to be right at one in 10157 (a one followed by 157 zeros!)…The following probabilities are taken from that book (Peter Stoner, Science Speaks, M.T.) to show that coincidence is ruled out by the science of probability. Stoner says that by using the modern science of probability in reference to just eight prophecies, “we find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 1017.” That would be 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000. In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that…”we take 1017silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he mist pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote in their own wisdom. Now these prophecies were either given by the inspiration of God or the prophets just wrote them as they thought they should be. In such a case the prophets had just one chance in 1017 of having them come true in any man, but they all came true in Christ. This means that the fulfillment of these eight prophecies alone proves that God inspired the writing of these prophecies to a definiteness which lacks only one chance in 1017 of being absolute.” (Josh McDowell and Bill Wilson, A Ready Defense: The Best Of Josh McDowell, 210, 213 (Kindle Edition); Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers)

Now, how do the Norse scriptures compare with this kind of evidence?

According to the Norse scriptures, it is Odin’s wife, Frigg, who has the gift of prophecy.

However, she refuses to use her alleged gift of prophecy!

“Frigg is his wife, and she knows all the fates of men, though she speaks no prophecy,–as is said here, when Odin himself spake with him of the Æsir whom men call Loki: Thou art mad now, | Loki, and reft of mind,–Why, Loki, leav’st thou not off? Frigg, methinks, | is wise in all fates, Though herself say them not!” (Snorri Sturlson, Prose Edda (Translated by Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur),), 25 (Kindle Edition))

Did Christianity Steal Norse Religious Belief?

One of the most often made claims today is that Christians “ripped off” various elements of pagan religion and incorporated them into Christianity. This is often known as the “copycat theory.”

A study of the Eddas (along with these conspiracy claims) clearly refutes such charges. One reason for this is because the religious teachings of the Eddas clearly were written nearly a thousand years after the New Testament Scriptures! As such, if any copycatting took place, it was undoubtedly the Eddas borrowing from the Old and New Testament Scriptures!

“The hypothesis is faced by one obvious difficulty. The difficulty appears in the late date of most of the sources of information…Every step is uncertain. In the first place, it is often by no means clear that the pagan usage has not been influenced by Christianity. The Church did not long remain obscure; even early in the second century, according to the testimony of Pliny, it was causing the heathen temples to be deserted. What is more likely than that in an age of syncretism the adherents of pagan religion should borrow weapons from so successful a rival? It must be remembered that the paganism of the Hellenistic age had elevated syncretism to a system; it had absolutely no objection of principle against receiving elements from every source. In the Christian Church, on the other hand, there was a strong objection to such procedure; Christianity from the beginning was like Judaism in being exclusive. It regarded with the utmost abhorrence anything that was tainted by a pagan origin. This abhorrence, at least in the early period, more than overbalanced the fact that the Christians for the most part had formerly been pagans, so that it might be thought natural for them to retain something of pagan belief. Conversion involved a passionate renunciation of former beliefs. Such, at any rate, was clearly the kind of conversion that was required by Paul.” (John Machen, The Origin Of Paul’s Religion, 3715-3740 (Kindle Edition).

Another researcher, discussing the popular and factually erroneous movie known as Zeitgeist (which strongly advocates the copycat theory), describes some of the fallacies with the copycat theory:

“Space constraints preclude a discussion of all but a few of the many specific fallacies Zeitgeist commits. One of the most blatant is the terminology fallacy. That is, events in the lives of the mythical gods, for example, are expressed using Christian terminology in order subtly to manipulate viewers into accepting that the same events in the life of Jesus also happened in the lives of mythical gods. We are told, for instance, that Horus, Krishna, Dionysius, and others were “baptized,” “born of a virgin,” “crucified,” and “resurrected”—just to mention a few. Examples of such locutions, however, involve assertions with no evidence, are ripped out of their Christian context, or are obtained from post-first-century sources. Nash observes: “One frequently encounters scholars who first use Christian terminology to describe pagan beliefs and practices and then marvel at the awesome parallels that they think they have discovered.” 21 A few examples will suffice. It is claimed that Horus was “born of the virgin Isis-Meri.” 22 In the most common version of the Osiris-Isis-Horus myth, Osiris has been murdered by Set and cut into 14 pieces. Isis, his wife (so we can assume she is not a virgin), retrieves all but one of the pieces and reconstructs Osiris. She cannot find the fourteenth piece (his sexual organ); so she fashions one out of wood and then has sexual relations with him. She later gives birth to Horus. Here are other alleged “virgin births.” Attis is conceived when Zeus spilled his seed on the side of a mountain which eventually became a pomegranate tree. Nana, mother of Attis, is sitting under the tree when a pomegranate falls in her lap and she becomes pregnant with the child of Zeus. Devaki, the mother of Krishna, had seven children before Krishna. 23 Dionysius’s mother, Semele, was impregnated by Zeus. In fact, none of the mythical gods experienced a “virginal” conception even close to the manner that Scripture claims of Jesus. 24 What of the claim that these figures were “crucified”? Krishna was shot in the foot with an arrow and died from his wounds. Attis castrated himself in a jealous rage, fled into the wilderness, and died. Depending on which version of the myth one reads, Horus either (1) did not die, (2) was merely stung by a scorpion, or (3) his death is conflated with the death of Osiris. 25 Adonis was gored by a wild boar. Yet, Acharya S justifies the use of the term “crucify” to describe the death of Horus as follows: When it is asserted that Horus (or Osiris) was “crucified” it should be kept in mind that it was not part of the Horus/ Osiris myth that the murdered god was held down and nailed on a cross, as we perceive the meaning of “crucified” to be, based on the drama we believe allegedly took place during Christ’s purported passion. Rather in one myth Osiris is torn to pieces before being raised from the dead, while Horus is stung by a scorpion prior to his resurrection. However, Egyptian deities, including Horus, were depicted in cruciform with arms extended or outstretched, as in various images that are comparable to crucifixes. 26 So, according to Murdock, anytime deities are depicted with arms outstretched, we are justified in claiming they were crucified. A final example is the claim that all of these gods were “resurrected” from the dead. While the idea that the resurrection of Jesus was borrowed from the “dying and rising gods” of the pagan mystery religions was very popular at one time, almost all scholars have abandoned this view today. Jonathan Z. Smith writes: All of the deities that have been identified as belonging to the class of dying and rising deities can be subsumed under the two larger classes of disappearing deities or dying deities. In the first case, the deities return but have not died; in the second case, the gods die but do not return. There is no unambiguous instance in the history of religions of a dying and rising deity. 27 The best known example of a resurrection claim is the Horus/ Osiris myth, but Osiris did not rise from the dead and return to this world as did Jesus. Instead, he was made king of the underworld. 28 After his death, Attis eventually turns into a pine tree. Many sources claiming resurrections were written long after the first-century sources for Christianity and therefore could not have influenced the Gospel accounts or Paul’s teaching in letters such as 1 Corinthians. A second-century source tells us of the resurrection of Adonis. Claims of Krishna’s resurrection do not emerge until the sixth or seventh century. 29 Older tradition holds he simply entered the spirit world where he is always present. This is not a resurrection in the manner in which the Gospels claim Jesus rose from the dead. A second fallacy is the nonbiblical fallacy. This is where a parallel is claimed about some aspect of Jesus that is not even reported in the Gospel accounts. One example is where Zeitgeist claims a parallel between the three stars in the belt of Orion called the “three kings” and the three kings who visited the baby Jesus. The problem is that the Gospels never call them kings and never state how many there are. 30 Another example, mentioned above, is the oft-claimed parallel of the birth date of all these deities, December 25, with the birth date of Christ. A third fallacy is the chronological fallacy. In order for the copycat charge of borrowing to succeed, one needs to provide evidence that the parallel preceded the writing of the Gospel accounts and the letters of Paul—all written in the first century. However, this simply is not the case. First, as mentioned above, there is no evidence that there was any pagan mystery influence in first-century Palestine. 31 Second, the mystery religions evolved over time, and as they did, their beliefs and narratives changed. This results in several versions of the various pagan myths. Most of the evidence we have of their narratives comes from sources dated in the second and third centuries, a time when they were experiencing the peak of their influence in the Mediterranean world. We have little evidence of the beliefs of these religions from the first century. Nash comments: Far too many writers on the subject use the available sources to form the plausible reconstructions of the third-century mystery experience and then uncritically reason back to what they think must have been the earlier nature of the cults. We have plenty of information about the mystery religions of the third century. But important differences exist between these religions and earlier expressions of the mystery experience (for which adequate information is extremely slim). 32 A fourth fallacy closely connected with this last one is the source fallacy. One of the comments often made in praise of Zeitgeist is how well the claims are documented. It is true that, in the transcript of the movie, many of the claims are documented; some by multiple sources. The brief section quoted above has 44 citations from 11 different sources to support its claims. At first glance this may seem impressive. As scholars will insist, however, it is not the number of sources that matter but their quality—and the quality of these sources is highly questionable. Not one of them is a primary source of the religion under discussion. They are all secondary, and most of them are the older, discredited sources that have been abandoned by most critical scholars. These sources often make undocumented assertions, speculate on causal relationships, and offer selective interpretations of some texts (of which there is much unrevealed disagreement). Often the authors are not experts in the field of religion, or they are experts in a related field (such as Egyptology), neither of which is a qualification over which to drape a cloak of scholarship. What inevitably results is rabid and unprincipled speculation on the origin of Christianity. One reason why primary sources are not relevant is that they are not as conclusive as copycat theorists would lead one to believe. Because these ancient religions evolved over time, often no one authoritative story exists to which one may appeal. For example, the story of Horus in Zeitgeist is pieced together from a number of sources, some of which conflict. It is like playing “connect the dots,” but interpreting how to connect those dots is a slippery, unscholarly enterprise. These writers seem to use the life of Jesus as a guide for how to connect the dots for the life of Horus and then proclaim that the story of Jesus is based on Horus—when actually it is the other way around! Other religions don’t fare much better. For example, there is no text for Mithraism; everything we know about the religion comes either from interpreting reliefs and statues or from brief comments by other ancient writers, almost all of whom are post-first century. Metzger comments, “It goes without saying that alleged parallels which are discovered by pursuing such methodology evaporate when they are confronted with the original texts. In a word, one must beware of what have been called ‘parallels made plausible by selective description.'” 33 The final fallacy to mention is the difference fallacy, which is committed by an overemphasis on (supposed) similarities between two things while ignoring the vast and relevant differences between them. Again, Metzger observes, “In arriving at a just estimate of the relation of the Mysteries to Christianity as reflected in the New Testament, attention must be given to their differences as well as resemblances.” 34 The differences between Christianity and the pagan religions are enormous, and yet Zeitgeist ignores them. Here are a few examples. First, whereas all of the mystery religions are tied into the vegetative cycle of birth-death-rebirth and continue to follow this cycle year after year ad infinitum, Christianity is linear, viewing all of history as headed on a trajectory culminating in God’s transforming this world into a renewed creation—the new heaven and new earth. Second, mystery religions are secretive. One has to go through secret initiation rites to become a member. They are full of secret knowledge, available only to some, which is one reason we don’t know a lot about them. By contrast, Christianity is open to all to scrutinize and to embrace. It is a “mystery of revelation.” 35 Third, doctrine and beliefs are totally unimportant in pagan mystery religions. In fact, a characteristic hallmark is their syncretism: you can hold almost any belief and still become a member of their religion. They emphasize feeling and experience over doctrine and belief. 36 In diametric contrast, doctrine and beliefs are the heart and soul of Christianity, which is highly exclusivistic. That is one of the major reasons Christians were so persecuted in the Roman Empire. They held that there was only one way to God. Fourth, the pagan mystery religions are almost completely void of almost any ethical element. Rahner comments: At no stage [of their development] do the mysteries bear comparison with the ethical commandments of the new Testaments and their realization in early Christianity. The two terms are truly incommensurable—and this is not the foregone conclusion of apologists but results from an unbiased examination of the sources by scholars who cannot be accused of denominational commitment. 37 Fifth, even if one accepts the “dying and rising gods” concept, the meaning of the death of Christ is completely different. Christ died for the sins of mankind; none of the pagan gods died for someone else. Pagan gods died under compulsion, but Jesus died willingly. Jesus died and was raised once; the pagan gods die cyclically. Jesus’ death was not tragic or a defeat; it was a victory. Pagans mourn and lament the death of their gods. 38 Finally, and most importantly, the view of the church from the very beginning is that Jesus was a real person who lived in history. His death and resurrection were actual events of history. Metzger states, “Unlike the deities of the Mysteries, who were nebulous figures of an imaginary past, the Divine being whom the Christian worshipped as Lord was known as a real Person on earth only a short time before the earliest documents of the New Testament were written.” 39 It is the historicity of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection that makes Christianity the true anti-mystery.” (Mark Foreman,’ Challenging The Zeitgeist Movie: Parallelomania On Steroids, in Paul Copan & William Lane Craig, Come Let Us Reason: New Essays In Christian Apologetics, 3509-3615 (Kindle Edition); Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group)

The Foreshadowing Of The Gospel In Norse Mythology

Finally, it is worth considering that there are elements of Norse religion which may reflect hope in the Good News of Jesus Christ.

One of the oldest prophecies in the Bible is found in the Book of Genesis:

Genesis 3:15-And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

One researcher, Lois Clymer, traces how the fragments of this prophecy of Jesus Christ are interwoven throughout the various religions of the world:

“Can we prove that Christianity was not borrowed from pagan myths and mysteries? We can, by tracing the fascinating threads which show the story, the Sacred Promise, woven throughout history. The story of Jesus begins not in Bethlehem but at the beginning of man’s time on Earth. Some of these threads are the myths, the constellations of the zodiac, and other astronomical signs.” (Lois Clymer, Sacred Strands: The Story Of A Redeemer Woven Throughout History, 7 (Kindle Edition); Sisters, Oregon; Deep River Books)

Regarding the Norse religion, she documents:

“Viking” and “Norse” are two words that can be used interchangeably. They refer to the Indo-European people who lived in Scandinavia during the Viking Age. The different names may refer somewhat to their different lifestyles. The Norse were traders, whereas the Vikings were primarily farmers who were sometimes pirates and warriors who traveled in their longboats to faraway parts of the world, to trade and sometimes to conquer other lands in order to expand their territory and to settle. The Viking raiders were made up of landowners, freemen, and any adventuresome young clan members who were looking for booty overseas. At home they were farmers, but at sea they were raiders and pillagers. They raided and colonized wide areas of Europe from the seventh to eleventh centuries. Their burning, plundering, and killing earned them the name “Viking,” which means “pirate” in the early Scandinavian languages. Most of what is known about the origin of the Norse and Viking people is derived from the evidence of language. The Germanic languages include English, Norweigian, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, and German. Various Germanic tribes migrated into Italy, Gaul, Spain, and North Africa. Many merged with other people groups such as the Danes in Denmark, the Swedes in Sweden, and the Saxons in England. Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. He wrote and published a book now known as the Germania in 98 AD. He told that the Germans were sheep and cattle farmers and that most of their food came from milk, cheese, and meat, but that they also grew grain, root crops, and vegetables. According to most historians, the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD resulted from the successful attempt of the Germanic people to occupy the lands of the Roman Empire. The eastern Germanic people remained migratory for a longer period of time, whereas the western Germanic people were more settled, with an agricultural base which allowed them to support more people. They periodically cleared forest land to extend their agriculture. The Germanic people created a strong military and were fierce in battle. Their love of battle appeared to be linked with their religion; two of their most important gods, Odin (also called Woden) and his son Thor were gods of war. The leaders of the clans were called chieftains, and one of their responsibilities was to keep the warriors united. The Vikings terrorized Europe between 700 AD and 1100 AD. The Viking navigators used the sun and stars to guide them. They also relied on landmarks such as islands. When they invaded a new territory, they usually came with a few hundred ships and thousands of warriors. They were known for their surprise attacks. They could row their light boats into shallow rivers. They fought with axes and used both hands to swing their axes at enemies. The Vikings’ skills in sailing and shipmaking gave them the ability to travel farther and faster than most sailors of their time. Their fast, low-draft longship had an average length of one hundred feet with a width of twenty-five feet, could carry two hundred armed men with fifty oars, and could sometimes achieve speeds of eleven knots (more than twelve miles per hour). When the areas they had conquered converted to Christianity, the Old Norse values were weakened. Many of the Norse and Vikings eventually became part of the cultures they had come in contact with. The Danish Vikings who invaded England became part of the English culture, while those who settled Normandy became French. Earliest History The Genesis writer identifies where the sixteen grandsons of Noah repopulated after the flood. It is easy to find these sixteen places because people in various areas often called themselves by the name of their common ancestor and also sometimes named their land, major rivers, and major cities by his name. In addition, they sometimes claimed their ancestor as their god. All sixteen grandsons can be traced to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Two of the grandsons, Gomer and Tiras, both sons of Japheth, can be traced to the Germans and to the Vikings. The Bible says Gomer settled in the “north quarters.” The Gauls in the first century were called Gomerites, and the Welsh language itself has been called Gomeraeg. One of the sons of Gomer was Ashkenaz, which is the Hebrew word for Germany. Josephus wrote that Tiras, another grandson of Noah, became the ancestor of the Thirsians (Thracians). Tiras was worshipped by his descendants as Thuras (Thor), the god of thunder. The basic dress of the Thracian and Viking warriors was a tunic, a cloak or cape, a cap, and boots. The cloak or cape was thrown over one shoulder. They carried a shield and spear, plus a small sword or dagger. Thor Thor, the son of Odin, was the god of thunder and of the sky in Norse and old Germanic mythology. The thunder god is known for his chief weapon, the mighty hammer Mjellnir or Crusher, which returned magically to his hand like a boomerang when he threw it. His hammer caused lightning which flashed across the sky when he used it. Thor also wore a magical belt that doubled his strength, and he owned a pair of goats that pulled his chariot across the sky. Hymir was the father of the god Tyr. Hymir owned a large kettle, and Tyr and Thor paid Hymir a visit to get this kettle. During that visit Thor and Hymir went fishing, using an ox for bait. Something bit the ox, and when Thor drew up his line he realized that he had hooked Jormungand, the giant serpent. Putting his feet on the ocean floor, Thor pulled and pulled on the line while the serpent spit out poison. Just as Thor was about to strike the serpent with his hammer, Hymir cut the line and the serpent sank back down. The myths say they will fight again on the day called Ragnarok, the end of the world. At that day, Thor will kill the serpent but will die from its poison. 40 Again, we see in this myth a type of the battle described in Genesis 3: 15. Thor struggles with the serpent and will eventually kill it, even though he will die from its poison. In Genesis the man born of a woman conquers the serpent, even though he is bruised by this serpent. The thread of the Redeemer continues to appear throughout the globe.” (Lois Clymer, Sacred Strands: The Story Of A Redeemer Woven Through History, 69-71 (Kindle Edition); Sisters, Oregon; Deep River Books)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.


1. Who are the three main gods of the Norse pantheon? ___________________________________________________

2. What is the “copycat theory?” ____________________________________________________________________________

3. Who was Euhermerus and what was his theory of the origins of the pagan gods and goddesses ? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

4. Who are some other early writers who confirm Euhermerus’s theory? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

5. What are the main scriptures of the Norse religion? ________________________________________________________________________________________

6. “In the Old Testament, there are __________ major messianic prophecies and approximately ________ ramifications that were fulfilled in one person, ___________ __________ It is helpful to look at all these predictions fulfilled in Christ as His “address.”….The specifics of this address can be found in the Old Testament, a document written over a period of a thousand years, which contains more than ____________ ______________ references to His coming. Using the science of probability, we find the chances of just forty-eight of these prophecies being fulfilled in one person to be right at one in 10157 (a one followed by 157 zeros!)…The following probabilities are taken from that book (Peter Stoner, Science Speaks, M.T.) to show that coincidence is ruled out by the science of probability. Stoner says that by using the modern science of probability in reference to just eight prophecies, “we find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 1017.” That would be 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000. In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that…”we take 1017silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark ___________ of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the ___________. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he mist pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would have of getting the __________ one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote in their own wisdom….This means that the ____________________ of these __________ prophecies alone proves that God inspired the writing of these prophecies to a definiteness which lacks only one chance in 1017 of being absolute.” (Josh McDowell and Bill Wilson, A Ready Defense: The Best Of Josh McDowell, 210, 213 (Kindle Edition); Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers)

7. Describe the nine realms. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

8. According to the Norse scriptures, is Odin an eternal god? ______

9. What are some problems with the copycat theory? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

10. According to the Prose Edda, ___________ had the gift of prophecy but refuses to use it.

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