Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
Since the Bible itself, in its truthfulness and accuracy, contains references throughout to pagan gods worshipped by non-Jewish or non-Christian cultures, I would say that, as long as Christians apply the criteria of the Bible to discern the falsity of the theology of those cultures, there is nothing sinful or to be feared in reading literature such as Greek and Roman mythology, or other classical works such as those cited in the question. Familiarity on the part of Christians with these references might open a door to discussion of faith with non-Christian individuals who are also familiar with them, but who wrongly view Christians as anti-intellectual, or who look down on Christianity as a belief system that cannot be defended reasonably and rationally. I am reminded particularly in this regard of the account of Paul at Athens in Acts 17:16-34, where he used his knowledge of Greek mythology and the writings of Greek poets as starting points for presenting the gospel to the highly-learned Athenians. He could not have done that if he had avoided studying those subjects for fear of displeasing or offending God.
Knowledge is what it is; information. Be it mythology, fiction, or certain or disputed facts, knowledge is valuable and should be sought at all times. It is what we do with that knowledge which determines our being. Closing our minds to knowledge gets us in trouble. I like reading science fiction. It stirs my imagination, not my faith. God gave us the choice to use knowledge for His good or not. Me and mine choose to use knowledge to broaden our walk with Jesus. Knowing how a Buddhist or Taoist views life can only enhance my compassion and understanding of them, which, in turn, enhances my journey with Jesus. I don't feel threatened with knowledge, I embrace it.
Well, it is a matter of personal choice and prayer. If it could lead you astray, stay away. The Bible is true and is the best and the only completely pure form of literature. Which means, as an aside, there HAS to be one version with "every word of God". I personally get a lot out of finding Biblical ideas copied in many many fairytales throughout humanity. To me "The Lord of the Sabbath is also the Lord of the parable and of every good fairytale." To be widely read should be desirable, not to be warned against. Remember, the Holy Spirit is the one that explains the Bible to us and he also leads us through life. Without his help, reading the Bible would be fruitless and frustrating. Again, if it would keep you out of the Bible, no. Other than that, I believe God is bigger than that. He does not need to bully us. He loves us.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.