Epilogue from The Parthenon Code


Noah’s Cloak, the Parthenon, and the Christ

The unseen, background presence of Nereus/Noah pervaded the myth/art of the Parthenon. Each of the seven sculptural themes related to him in some meaningful way. His daughter, Amphitrite, and his son-in-law, Poseidon, appeared in the center of the west pediment. As the events leading up to the Trojan War began with the abduction of his daughter, Thetis, by the Zeus-worshipper, Peleus, we can be sure that they were depicted on one of the thirty-two badly battered metopes on the north side. The theme of the east metopes was the gods routing the Giants—Noah’s Yahweh-believing sons. The theme of the west metopes was the Greeks’ routing the Amazons—his outraged, Yahweh-believing daughters. The south metopes depicted the events leading up to the Flood through which Nereus/Noah had saved humanity. In the center of the east pediment, the rebirth of the serpent’s Eve boasted of the return of the way of Kain and the victory of Zeus-religion over Nereus/Noah and his Yahweh-believing children. The immortal Herakles on the left side of that pediment certainly evoked vase-images of his elbowing and pushing Nereus/Noah out of the way and seizing his authority. And finally, the frieze celebrated the Greeks’ possession of the cloak of Nereus/Noah. The Greek sculptors did not want us to miss the point that Zeus-religion reigned supreme, not just in general terms, but specifically over Nereus/Noah and his God-centered spiritual viewpoint.

In about 50 AD, Paul arrived in Athens. He knew what the Parthenon was and what it represented. In fact, “his spirit was incited in him at beholding the city being idol-ridden” (Acts 17:16). He most likely had the Parthenon idol-image of Athena in mind when he wrote in Romans 1:22-23 about those who,

Alleging themselves to be wise . . . are made stupid, and they change the glory of the incorruptible God into the likes of an image of a corruptible human being [Eve] and flying creatures [the winged griffins on Athena’s helmet and Nike in her right hand] and quadrupeds [the griffins and the lion-bodied sphinx on Athena’s helmet] and reptiles [the serpent rising up at Athena’s side, those trimming her aegis, and the Gorgon Medusa—the head of serpents].

Zeus-religion boasted of the Greeks’ total spiritual alienation from Noah and his God. It was as if the sculptors of the Parthenon had intentionally buried Noah, his God, and their spiritual children beneath their own marble heroes and gods.

In Athens and elsewhere, Paul spoke with anyone who would listen about another Man who had been buried in a different part of the Mediterranean world. On His Father’s side, this Man was the only-begotten Son of the God of Noah. On His mother’s side, sixty-seven generations removed from Noah, He was the “Seed of the woman” (Genesis 3:15) Who shall crush the serpent’s head. Paul testified that this Man, Christ Jesus, had died, and having been resurrected from the dead, now lived. At midday on the road to Damascus, this Man appeared to Paul “as a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun” (Acts 26:13). Paul had seen the Light through Whom Helios and his far lesser light had been created.

Three of the original twelve apostles had glimpsed the unveiled glory of Christ as well:

And after six days, Jesus is taking aside Peter and James and John and is bringing them up into a very high mountain, privately, alone. And He was transformed in front of them. And His garments became glistening, very white, as snow, such as no fuller on earth is able thus to whiten (Mark 9:2-3).

This is Noah’s greatest Son, the legitimate, blameless, and worthy heir of Noah’s cloak, the “Mediator of God and mankind” (I Timothy 2:5); and, as “the Image of the Invisible God” (II Corinthians 4:4), the One to Whom mankind rightly looks for instruction in truth.

Let’s think back to that young student who asked, “Where does Greek myth come from?” By the grace of God, we have answered her question. We know now that Greek myth is the true story of the origins of the human race, a story told from a rebellious religious orientation that leaves out the Creator of heaven and earth, and shuns His prophets. And we’ve learned that the Parthenon sculptures were the Greek artists’ ultimate expression of the “myths” of Zeus-religion, and of man as the measure of all things. But “O, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How inscrutable are His judgments, and untraceable His ways!” (Romans 11:33). What the Greeks meant to be an unparalleled, intricately chiseled monument to the glory of mankind turns out to be a detailed history of mankind’s delusion, and a clear-cut validation of the truth of the Word of God.

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