Study Guide

The Birth of Perseus Birth of Jesus

Birth of Jesus

A whole lot of people pointed out the similarities between the story of Perseus' birth and that of Jesus Christ. Let's check out a couple of the major similarities.

Immaculate Conception

Both Danae and Mary, mother of Christ, are impregnated with a son by a god. In Christian tradition, Mary is impregnated with Jesus by the Christian God, and in ancient Greek mythology Danae is the "lucky" recipient of a son of Zeus. These ladies are also really similar in that they both remain virgins after the conception. Because Zeus impregnates Danae as a shower of gold, her virginity stays intact. The Bible doesn't go into detail about how exactly God impregnates Mary, but it's widely believed that she was still a virgin afterward. They don't call her the Virgin Mary for nothin'.

Baby-Killing Kings

Jesus and Perseus also have the unfortunate similarity of having almost been killed by a homicidal tyrant when they were infants. In Jesus' case the killer king is named Herod, who's an actual documented historical figure.

According to the Gospel of Matthew, Magi from the East arrived in Jerusalem, saying they'd seen a star shining in the sky, which they were sure signified the birth of a new King of the Jews. (How they made that leap is anybody's guess.) Just like with King Acrisius, a prophecy drives Herod to do some bad stuff, though Herod definitely takes things a little further. Not wanting any competition, Herod kills every baby around. For the full story, click here.

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