"I can't help it. I reckon I'm just like that Pandora character in the Greek mythology book Mr. Foster assigned. I've got too much curiosity for my own good. I can't help peeking under the Christmas tree to guess what's inside the packages, and I can't help wondering what else was in Aunt Lydia's letter that Mother didn't share."
"You know what happened to Pandora, don't you?" Melinda asked.
Andi turned around and faced her sister. "She opened the box, and out sprang all the world's troubles. But it's just a story. Daniel's visit is for real."
It's all about the story of Pandora. Enjoy! You can click on the graphic of the table below and print it out to fill in.
Pandora’s Box: Why Is There Evil in the World?
|Pandora trying to shut the lid|
Like so many ancient cultures that abandoned the truth of God’s Word, the Greeks (and Romans) made up their own stories (myths) to explain what they saw in the world around them. They had a story for everything, and some are quite interesting and fun to read. Did you ever wonder how the constellation of Orion got its name? The Greeks had a story to explain how the mighty hunter ended up in the sky. Even the planets are named after various gods and goddesses of Greek and Roman myths.
The story of Pandora is their explanation for how evil (or sin) entered the world.
The story of Pandora dates back to about 700 or 800 B.C. (before Christ). After mankind received the stolen gift of fire from Prometheus (a story for another time), an angry Zeus (the chief god) gave them a punishing gift to compensate for this great gift of fire they now had. From clay was molded the first woman, a “beautiful evil,” whose descendants would torment the human race. The other gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus gave her gifts: Aphrodite gave her beauty, Apollo bestowed on her the gift of music, Athena silver gowns and necklaces. Hera gave the woman a curious nature. Hermes gave her the name Pandora, meaning “all-gifted.”
Pandora eventually married, and Zeus gifted her with a locked box as a wedding present (the Greek word should really be translated “jar”). He told her she should never open that box, but Pandora’s curiosity overruled her good sense. Every time she walked by the beautiful box, she wondered what was inside. Clothes? Jewelry? She begged her husband for the key, but he always said no. She so longed to see what was inside that one day when her husband was sleeping, she stole the key and sneaked a peek.
Instantly, out sprang all kinds of evil to infect the world: sickness, famine, hate, envy, and every wickedness one could imagine. And death. Pandora cried out and slammed the lid shut, but it was too late. Death and evil had entered the world. The “golden age” was over. But to her surprise, there was one good thing that trailed out of the box last: hope.
Was there ever really hope? The story never says. Unlike the Bible, which is full of hope, there is no happy ending for mankind in the story of Pandora’s Box.
Something Extra: If you are interested in learning more about the stories from ancient Greece, copy this link into your browser. Disclosure: This is an official National Geographic site, but I have not read everything there. Just sayin' . . . GREEK MYTHS
God’s Word: The source of all truth
It’s astonishing how people will make up their own version of the truth rather than accept God’s instructions laid out in the Bible. Do they really think they can avoid facing the Creator one day if they simply refuse to believe He is the “I AM,” the one, true God?
Read Genesis 3 (yes, the whole chapter) to learn the real reason sin entered the world. Not only does the Genesis account give the sad, hard facts, but Genesis 3:15 also gives mankind a hope the ancient Greeks did not have.
Although the Bible tells the true story, the two accounts do share similarities. This makes it likely that after the fall and the flood, ancient people groups took the Creation account and the Fall of Man with them as they spread out over the earth (like they took the Flood account with them). But that knowledge was clearly twisted as the years went by, and much was forgotten.
Using the Scriptures given in parentheses and the story from the previous page, find the similarities between the two accounts and fill out the chart.