A/N: I meant to update Moon and Shield. Again. I meant to. But then I went back to school and suddenly this came to me during class because we're talking about the rise of Christianity in the Roman empire (yaaaaaay...). So. I do promise an update of Moon and Shield by the end of the month (probably), but please bear with me as midterm season begins.
Disclaimer: I own not the following: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the Bible, the lecture paraphrased, Harry Potter, Still Alive (the song from Portal).
Warning: There is analysis and commentary on the Bible within. This is not meant to offend, but rather act as a chance to experience the jaded thoughts of a pagan regarding Christianity (aka: "What would Percy do?"). This is not meant to be an attack on anyone's faith. Flames are not, and will never, be appreciated.
Now, on with the fic!
Okay, I totally admit that I'm dropping in on this class because of Annabeth. I mean, history is cool, but I also like real-world application. Unfortunately, most of human society can't see through the Mist, so my area of interest is usually classified as mythology. Not history. But when I've already met up with some Egyptians, I'm just trying to prepare before I run into (knowing my luck) Ishtar. Or Gilgamesh (who honestly is actually made out to be kinda a dick in the myth and then he gets better, so maybe he won't actually be a disappointment compared to Herakles.)
But yeah, the class. That is not in New Rome (is not, actually, anywhere near New Rome or Camp). Considering the amount of time I spend at those two locations, most people would probably wonder why I didn't just stay close to either of them.
Well, you know the paparazzi? Yeah, they've got nothing on the godly equivalents. Colin Creevy wanted pictures of Harry Potter? The Naiads are worse.
This is probably the point where Annabeth would tell me that I'm mixing my metaphors. This is also the point where I channel Nico and all the early teenaged angst that I didn't expel getting chased by monsters and say, "whatever."
Anyways, New Rome is worse.
(Yes, there are worse things than the paparazzi.)
I don't fit there. My father doesn't fit there, in New Rome.
Although the Romans eventually (semi-accidently at first) expanded their territory until it became and empire surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and claimed it as their own (literally), they were not a maritime people. Greece, made up, in part, by various islands needed the sea and Poseidon for their livelihood and safety. Not so much in Rome.
The first time Rome had a navy, it was to defeat the Carthaginians in the first Punic War. They won that war easily and that was the last real note of the Roman navy. The subsequent Punic Wars were fought primarily on land, and my father was never called upon as he was in Greece.
Which is really, really awkward, especially as a son of Poseidon and not Neptune.
So I'm not in New Rome, going to the university there. I'm nowhere near Camp (I'm also nowhere near New York). My college education is spotty and I probably won't get an actual degree, since trying to fill out all the paperwork for transferring or studying abroad (even within the US) is painful to both write and read.
But nothing commands the sea, so here I am, wandering between colleges when I don't have to pop by and make sure people know I'm still alive.
Seriously, I feel like I should just have Leo program it so that whenever I show up that song plays. It's already my ring tone for most of them anyways.
Popping by has been beneficial in it's own way, though. I get to stay in direct contact with people (hey, if Nico can travel through shadows, I totally had to learn to travel into different bodies of water) and it makes it a little easier to choose some courses to take. I might not understand everything that goes on in them, but at least I can discuss the basics with people back in New Rome or at Camp and that makes the distance seem a little bit smaller.
We're not back on quests or anything, living out of each other's pockets, but we're not all completely cut off, either.
I got into Literature because of Jason, Mechanics because of Leo, Zoology from Frank, Physics from Piper, a little bit of everything from Nico, and as much Architecture as I can stand from Annabeth. That isn't to say that I've not struck out on my own, either. If I'd actually stayed in one place, I probably would've majored in marine biology and dabbled in ecology (because going around the country and the world as I have, you start to see that global warming and other things are Big Problems).
I also might have ended up with a Classics major.
There's so much that went on during the period of Greco-Roman influence, which can be argued to have never, honestly, ended. I mean, look at our government, our important buildings, the mottos of the freaking colleges. Those are the most common examples that I can think of and I've met the gods from that pantheon.
Which is how I ended up in a class discussing the Bible.
Maybe that doesn't make sense. I talk with pagan gods and now I'm going to listen about a religion that denounces all but The God? But how much influence has Christianity (and Judaism, and Islam, though obviously those two have their own beliefs, the basis is similar, if not arguably the same) had on the world? How much have the gods I met been influenced by other religions?
Where is this religions God?
I mean, with my luck I'm going to end up running into someone from that pantheon eventually.
So, yeah, Bible class.
"As you should know, today we'll be discussing the Gospel of Matthew," the lady at the front of the room says.
"Now, already in the first chapter, we see contradicting ideas. Is Jesus a true descendent of David? He is accepted as one, but that would mean that God is not his father, as Jesus is patrilineally descended from David. Yet God is Jesus' father. That, too, is stated.
"So there's elements of how much do you believe is true. Joseph, who wanted to end his relationship with Mary after finding out she's pregnant before they're wed (and so did not have sex), is told by an angel to not do so, because this baby is important. Joseph is then praised for not finding a different wife after the revelation that God is Jesus' father.
"This still doesn't answer the question, 'who is Jesus's father?' But that's a matter of personal belief."
Huh. Zeus wouldn't be able to keep from bragging, Hades wouldn't cheat on Persephone – no, seriously, Hades has the best track record of not cheating out of all the other gods – and my dad probably wouldn't mind doing his own bragging. There wouldn't be any doubt of whose son Jesus was if he were Greek.
But to be born just to be a savior? Are these people listening to themselves? A born. Savior. The kid, who was born, and supposedly was the indirect cause of all these other kids being slaughtered, is supposed to save everyone.
Okay, then. This doesn't sound semi-familiar at all.
Thunder rumbles off in the distance, even though the sky was sunny when I'd entered the class.
Nice to see the gods are keeping tabs on me.
"As we go through the Gospel of Matthew, we also see other times of divine intervention. In chapter four, and even as late as chapter 12."
Well, that's new. Nice to see that God is keeping an eye out on his son. Pseudo-son. Son figure? Adopted?
Are there different rules for omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient beings?
(Haha, see, Annabeth! I learned something from the SAT books!)
The lecturing professor continues. "And we also see internal conflict. In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls on the Pharisees and their hypocritical practices, at one point referring to them as a 'nest of vipers.'
"It seems clear that the biggest point of contention between Jesus and the Pharisees is the sincerity of the actions and the law. Jesus, in his sermon, promotes the idea of keeping the law, but stresses that sincerity is the most important aspect. The Pharisees disagree."
Okay, so it's not one big happy family. Fair enough. It isn't like I don't have much experience with that, although the Christians did seem to cut down on the amount of incest that went on.
I mean, I guess in some technicality whenever a demigod dates another demigod it's still some form of incest (I mean, c'mon, we can say all we like about how gods don't have DNA, but explain how we all have some physical characteristics reminiscent of the gods. Without using the word magic. Also, if they don't have DNA, what is the other half of our physical beings? Ether? Belief? I need to stop taking genetics courses)….
"Matthew seems to favor the image of Jesus as the teacher/guide, in comparison to Mark, who favors Jesus as an apocalyptic king. Given the difference in the time periods they wrote, and the change in their audience, it is understandable that the image changed."
Whoa, apocalyptic king? Big destiny much?
How much does history repeat itself anyways? The son overthrows the father, the rebels are suppressed, are successful, splinter groups shift and scatter, only to come back and attack the origin.
Why? What's the purpose of the cycles? There are 12 Apostles and 12 Olympians and 12 months in a year designed by a man who was killed in front of the statue of his onetime father-in-law and a partner in ruling an empire.
There were 5 quests, in fewer years, and a total of Grover, Annabeth, Clarisse, Zoë, Bianca, Thalia, Tyson, Rachel, Nico, Beckendorf, me, and one far longer ago that left Luke to Kronos.
Three Graces and the nine muses. Three Fates and twelve is divisible by three and so each gets four which sounds like death in Chinese and Japanese.
I'm out and back in the open air. I might have also accidently called a rainstorm.
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