This article establishes connections and correlations between the Odin character and the Christ character. This article is the second and main article of a two part series. The first article, which is a primer for this one, is titled Odin as Christ? Primer. Sources from the first article will not be repeated here unless they are significant. The main sources I will be referencing are Chapter 5 of ‘The Beginning of Horde Russia’ by A. T. Fomenko and G.V. Nosovsky (0), ‘Poetic Edda’ translated by H.A. Bellows (1), and ‘Heimskringla’ translated by A. Finlay and A. Faulkes (2).
A few notable details from (1, pg. xxi – xxii); Old Norse literature allegedly covers the years around 850 – 1300AD. From around 875 to 1100 was the “great spontaneous period of oral literature”. The bulk of the Old Norse literature was written down and gathered mostly between 1150 and 1250. Here we can see 200 – 300 years of supposed oral transmission of information that is eventually followed by writing it down.
The first book of interest is the ‘Poetic Edda’ (1). The ‘Poetic Edda’ is a collection of Old Norse poems. H.A. Bellows informs us that Brynjolfur Sveinsson discovered a manuscript in 1643 that later went on to be known as the ‘Poetic Edda’. This is a supporting premise for the conclusion established in ‘Odin as Christ? Primer’ that the Icelandic and Scandinavian chronicles start appearing out of obscurity only in the 17th century.
Our source also reports of 300 years of “scholarly struggles” concerning the topic of the ‘Edda’. I imagine this 300 years is the 300 hundred years from around 1650 to the early 1900s. This means that the struggle has now been going on for some 400 odd years. They report further that the ‘Edda’’s “history is strangely mysterious”, and that they do not know when the ‘Edda’ were composed, where they were composed, who gathered them together, when they gathered them together, or “what an ‘Edda’ is”. – (1, pg. xv).
The second book of interest is the ‘Heimskringla’ (2). This book is also a collection of Old Norse poems. The ‘Heimskringla’ supposedly covers the chronology of 793 – 1263AD. It is commonly believed to be authored by Snorri Sturluson, but no authorship is certain. Please see my article ‘Odin as Christ? Primer’ for more information on Sturluson.
On page vii of (2), we find a report which states that the earliest work which credits Sturluson is a 16th century translation of the ‘Heimskringla’ which is based on a lost manuscript. On page xii of (2), we find a report which states that the earliest known surviving manuscript is a single leaf that dates back allegedly to 1240AD. The whole of ‘Heimskringla’ is preserved in 17th century transcripts. This book falls in line with the rest of the appearances out of obscurity.
Ari’s ‘Íslendingabók’ (3) is considered “the oldest surviving Icelandic vernacular text”. The wikipedia reports that Brynjolfur Sveinsson used the services of priest Jón Erlendsson in Villingaholt to make a copy of ‘Íslendingabók’. The bishop did not like the first copy and requested that a second one be made. The second one still survives today at the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies. However, the first copy disappeared without a trace and has never yet been found. What was on this original copy? We may only be able to speculate.
Could the god Odin be partially reflecting stories of the character Jesus Christ from the Gospels? Let us consult (1) for information about the origins of the ‘Edda’. On pages xviii-xix, it is reported that the poems were the works of many men, from many different times. It is claimed that it is clear that most of them survived through the oral tradition over multiple generations before they were finally recorded by being written down.
You may recall from earlier that the bulk of the Old Norse literature was written down and gathered mostly between 1150 and 1250. On the same pages most recently cited, you may find the claim that Christianity was accepted in the Norse world in the 11th century. This places the acceptance of Christianity in this area some 150 -250 years prior to when the bulk of the literature was written down.
Do the scholars believe that there is much influence from Christianity on the oral stories of the Norse? The answer is seemingly “no”. The “…mythological poems seem strongly marked by pagan sincerity…” and “…it seems likely that … the poems dealing with the gods definitely antedate the year 1000”. In other words, the gods could not have been inspired by Christian stories because Christianity was not there at the time.
As we have concluded in this series’ first article, these histories only appear in the 17th century, and as we have concluded in this article, the introduction of Christianity arrives 2-3 centuries before most of the stories were written. Although this sounds similar to the stories of the origins of the Gospels, I will save further comments on that pattern for later articles.
Who is Odin? (9)
Odin is a god that is commonly “associated with wisdom, healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, battle, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the runic alphabet.” Over two hundred names have been given to him, some of which can be found @ (10). Odin is often depicted with one eye and a long beard, wearing a cloak and a broad hat, and wielding a spear. His company often includes two wolves and two ravens. He also rides an eight-legged flying horse. It is also reported that Odin does not eat food, for he is wholly sustained on wine alone.
The first apparent connection between Odin and Christ are the titles that mark them both as Creators of the Universe. You may find in the book ‘Tsar of the Slavs’ (11) that Christ is occasionally given the roles of creating the universe. Christ as Creator of the Universe is still echoed in many churches today that maintain a three-in-one godhead.
The second apparent connection between Odin and Christ are the story elements pertaining to hanging on a cross/tree and being pierced with a spear. I am referencing stanzas 139-146 from the Hovamol found in (1). Stanza 139 is Odin’s speech about hanging on a windy tree for nine full nights. He wounds himself with a spear and offers himself to himself in order to obtain the runes. Stanza 140 mentions that Odin shrieks before falling back to where he originated. Stanza 141 mentioned that Odin received a drink of ‘goodly mead’.
For those familiar with the Crucifixion found in the Gospel, you may have already noticed some similarities. I will highlight these similarities so that all members of this audience may learn of them. Christ’s crucifixion portrays Jesus Christ having been stabbed in the ribs by ’The Holy Lance’ while being crucified on a cross. This may be related to the stories of Odin hanging on a tree and being stabbed by a spear. Christ is hanging on the Cross to sacrifice himself (God the Son) to himself (God the Father) to save the world. This may be related to the stories of Odin offering himself to himself to save the world. Christ drinks vinegar from a sponge before his death in the Gospels. This may be related to the stories of Odin drinking the mead in stanza 141.
In another book from the ‘Poetic Edda’, ‘Grimnismol’, we find the story of Odin bound between two pillars of blazing fires. This may be related to the stories of Christ being hung between two crosses holding criminals. Another interesting note that I found is in stanza 40, where the creation of the world in this book seems to me to be close to the story of Kala Purusha.
The third apparent connection between Odin and Christ is the one eye of Odin and the damaged eye of Christ. Please reference ‘Tsar of Slavs’ for information pertaining to Christ’s eye being gouged out. The damaged eye of Christ may be preserved in Egyptian mythology as the eye of Ra, or the eye of Udjet. Relations to the All Seeing Eye of God and the Eye of Aries have been made. Matthew 5:29 has an interesting passage about Christ and eyes as well.
The fourth apparent connection between Odin and Christ is that they are both reported to have been very tall, as well as bearded. They both are described as dressing similarly as well, where Odin wears a cloak, Christ wears a tunic.
The fifth apparent connection between Odin and Christ is Odin’s Gold ring and Christ’s severed hand. In the book ‘Tsar of the Slavs’, it is shown that the blood dripping from Christ’s severed hand may have been distorted into the Norse myths by honoring this as ‘dripping golden rings’ from Odin’s hand. This notion is supported further by the commemoration of Christ’s death on the 9th hour and Odin’s death on the 9th day. The blood of Christ is still today an important topic, so it can be said that this connection is important as well. There are many old icons and paintings that show angels collecting Christ’s blood. You can even find and visit some cathedrals today that claim to have drops of Christ’s blood.
The sixth apparent connection between Odin and Christ is their mutual love for wine. As shown is ‘Tsar of the Slavs’, this love may be echoes of the invention of Russian vodka by Christ. Where the Biblical Christ could turn water to wine, the god Odin only drank wine that never ran dry. The connection of wine and Christ is prominent in the Last Supper and sometimes is honored even today in the practice of communion.
The seventh apparent connection between Odin and Christ is Odin’s octopus horse and Christ’s donkeys. Where Odin rides an eight-legged horse into Valhalla, Christ rides two donkeys into Jerusalem. According to (0), the Church Slavonic Gospel may claim it is a donkey and a stallion which Christ rides into Jerusalem. Mention of laying clothes in the road may be reflected in (12) as the criss cross pattern below Odin and his steed.
The eighth connection between Odin and Christ is that both may be referred to as the ‘Father of Poetry’ and the ‘Father of All Knowledge’. In ‘Tsar of the Slavs’, it is shown that Christ may have authored the poetic work known as the Psalter. As mentioned before, Odin is considered the inventor and keeper of the magic runes, as well as being the ‘Patron of History’. Christ has been shown in ‘Tsar of the Slavs’ to have been represented as Euclid, the founder of geometry. These are the reasons why Odin/Christ may be considered the ‘Father of Poetry’ and the ‘Father of All Knowledge’.
The ninth and final connection is one put forth by me that I am not aware of seeing anywhere else. Odin is accompanied often by his wolves, and sometimes by his ravens ‘which bring him knowledge’. There are apparent connections between Odin and his wolves to Christ and his cynocephaly. Both types of dogs are seen ‘guarding’ Christ, although one pair be wolves and the other be dog-headed men. Another bell that rang was Noah’s raven and dove. Could there be some relation between Noah’s birds and Odin’s birds? Records mention that Odin cares much more for one of his ravens over the other. Noah also pays more mind to one bird over the other. These are loose connections, but arguably relevant. Bells ring of Midas’ touch as well.
I summarize the connections by number for convenience:
1 – Both are sometimes considered as Creator of the Universe
2 – Both are pierced by a spear while hanging
3 – Both are reported to have a damaged eye
4 – Both are reported to have been tall and bearded
5 – Both are reported to ‘drip’ on the 9th
6 – Both are infamous for their stories of wine
7 – Both are reported to ride on eight legs
8 – Both are considered the ‘Father of Poetry’ and ‘Father of Knowledge’
9 – Both are reported to have ‘guard dogs’
This concludes the portion dedicated to showing the connections between Odin and Christ.
Now we focus on the ‘Younger Edda’’s account of the end of the world and note that it is quite similar to the Christian’s apocalypse. Both accounts tell us of a brutal destruction of the world where the sun and stars are darkened, earthquakes ravage the lands, and the destruction only ends with the establishment of a new paradise. Both accounts also mention the important sounding of horns. We can also note the apparent connections between the serpent Satan being caste into the hell and Odin imprisoning the World Serpent, where both ‘evil’ characters resurface for a final fight in the end of the world.
We may ask ‘Who came first?’. Christ or Odin? Odin or Christ? If there are no Christian elements in the old records that contain the Norse mythologies, then is it that these Norse elements have influenced the Christian stories in such a dramatic way?
Note: January 7th, 2019 is when I first published this article. I made a major update to it on November 4th, 2020. I deleted some information about book burnings because upon looking back on this, that information felt irrelevant to drawing attention to the comparisons.
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