zeus never lies

From Prometheus Bound:

So think carefully! This is no idle threat but the utter truth, coming from Zeus’ mouth and he never lies but brings everything to fruition.

In Prometheus Bound, Zeus is said to “never lie”. This is obviously a rule of thumb or only applicable to the context. It means that every time Zeus threatens destruction, he follows through. Zeus is often depicted as a deceiver. Zeus takes the form of Artemis to evade his wife. Zeus pretends to be Satyros in order to have an affair with Antiope. One would be hard pressed to find a Christian who is familiar with Greek theology who also claims that Zeus never lies. Most people familiar with Greek theology would also admit that Zeus can lie even about the subject of this sentence. The sentence has meaning: that Zeus will follow through on his threats.

The point of this passage is illustrate the reading comprehension divide between Christians reading non-Biblical material and Christians reading Biblical material. The Bible makes several claims that God (Yahweh) cannot lie, but instead of Christians understanding these verses with normal reading comprehension skills, the text is morphed into a statement about Negative Attributes. The extreme position taken is that “it is impossible for God to lie”. This position is that not only does God “not lie” but that God “cannot lie”. The less extreme version is that “God never lies ever about anything.”

The Bible has a different story. God can and God has lied. From deceiving King Saul to lying to Ahab, God uses deceit against His enemies.

See also:

On God and the Ability to Lie
Lies by Prophets and other Lies in the Bible

About christopher fisher

The blog is meant for educational/entertainment purposes. All material can be used and reproduced in any length for any purpose as long as I am cited as the source.
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