Balder, Frey, and Jesus

Our subject(s) are a pair, one named Balder, the other Frey. Now being these guys are Norse in origin, one would guess that they are seriously post AD, and they would be right; source material for these guys is between the 11th and 13th century AD, making "copycatting" by Christians a matter of who lost the keys to the Delorean. But even if they were not AD critters, they don't make much of a Christ.

First, Balder. From an academic site now defunct (with supplements from The Dictionary of Norse Mythology and Legend, 12-13) we have the story of "The Death of Balder" -- he did die, to be sure, but that everyday event is where all resemblance to Jesus ends. Balder was apparently a really Mr. Clean kind of guy: "fair in appearance and so brilliant that all light flashes from him." He was beautiful, had nice hair, nice voice, and was no nauseatingly nice all around that "none of his decisions have effect." Anyways, the story goes that:

Balder the Good had some terrible dreams that threatened his life. When he told the Æsir these dreams, they decided to seek protection for Balder from every kind of peril. Frigg exacted an oath from fire and water, iron and all kinds of metals, stones, earth, trees, ailments, beasts, birds, poison, and serpents, that they would not harm Balder. And when this had been done and put to the test, Balder and the Æsir used to amuse themselves by making him stand up at their assemblies for some of them to throw darts at, others to strike and the rest to throw stones at.
No matter what was done he was never hurt, and everyone thought that a fine thing. When Loki, Laufey's son, saw that, however, he was annoyed that Balder was not hurt, and he went disguised as a woman to Fensalir to visit Frigg. Frigg asked this woman if she knew what the Æsir were doing at the assembly. She answered that they were all throwing things at Balder, moreover that he was not being hurt. Frigg remarked: "Neither weapons nor trees will injure Balder; I have taken an oath from them all."
The woman asked: "Has everything sworn you an oath to spare Balder?"
Frigg replied: "West of Valhalla grows a little bush called mistletoe, I did not exact an oath from it; I thought it too young." Thereupon the woman disappeared.
Loki took hold of the mistletoe, pulled it up and went to the assembly. Now Hod was standing on the outer edge of the circle of men because he was blind.
Loki asked him: "Why aren't you throwing darts at Balder?"
He replied: "Because I can't see where Balder is, and, another thing, I have no weapon."
Then Loki said: "You go and do as the others are doing and show Balder honor like the other men. I will show you where he is standing. Throw this twig at him."
Hod took the mistletoe and aimed at Balder as directed by Loki. The dart went right through him, and he fell dead to the ground. This was the greatest misfortune ever to befall gods and men.

Oops! Well, at least it wasn't lawn darts that killed Balder, we'd have the Consumer Product Safety Commission all over Valhalla. After recovering from the surprise, the gods pack up Balder's body in a funeral pyre and set it out to sea after it is lit.

Elsewhere it is noted that Balder is the god of "light, joy, purity, beauty, innocence, and reconciliation." Not a bad job, but Balder ends up in the underworld and has to stay there until after Ragnarok (the Norse Armageddon).

The gods try to get him out, and almost succeed when an agreement is reached that if everything on earth weeps (including stones and metal) he can go home, but one grumpy giantess name Thokk refuses, so Balder ends up stuck.

So what do we have in common with Jesus? 1) A death. 2) An association with light (and if we stretch it, reconciliation, but not between God and man). That's it.

Now for Frey, whose name often has an "r" on the end. From here (and confirmed by the Dictionary, 47-8) we have this:

Freyr is the god of sun and rain, and the patron of bountiful harvests. He is both a god of peace and a brave warrior. He is also the ruler of the elves. Freyr is the most prominent and most beautiful of the male members of the Vanir, and is called 'God of the World'. After the merging of the Aesir and the Vanir, Freyr was called 'Lord of the Aesir'. Freyr was also called upon to grant a fertile marriage.

Ruler of the elves! Well, that's a match for the disciples, isn't it? Bet you didn't know the loaves at the feeding of the 5000 were actually Keebler cookies. But there's more:

He is married to the beautiful giantess Gerd, and is the son of Njord. His sister is Freya. He rides a chariot pulled by the golden boar Gullinbursti which was made for him by the dwarves Brokk and Eitri. He owns the ship Skidbladnir ("wooden-bladed"), which always sails directly towards its target, and which can become so small that it can fit in Freyr's pocket. He also possesses a sword that would by itself emerge from its sheath and spread a field with carnage whenever the owner desired it.
Freyr's shield bearer and servant is Skirnir, to whom he gave his sword, which Skirnir demanded as a reward for making Gerd his wife. On the day of Ragnarok he will battle without weapons (for he gave his sword away to Skirnir), and will be the first to be killed by the fire giant Surt.

Do you see any resemblance to Jesus here? I sure don't -- and that's all we need to say.

-JPH