Reviews of Athena and Eden

The Book That is Transforming the Way We View the Classical World!

". . . original, seminal, ground-breaking, unforgettable, and highly recommended . . ."

Author and educator Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr. offers the non-specialist general reader a unique, accessible, and provocative look at classical artwork and human spirituality. Athena and Eden focuses on the majesty of the Parthenon and its mystical connection to the Book of Genesis. Illustrated with numerous black-and-white photographs of Greek artistic treasures, sculptures, and pottery, Athena and Eden is an original, seminal, ground breaking, unforgettable, and highly recommended perspective that will be of particular interest to students of Hellenic art, architecture, mythology, and religion.

Reviewer's Choice, The Midwest Book Review

". . . lucid, even daunting . . . [the author] is schooled in the original languages and texts [of Scripture]."

What meanings were there in the marble figures now gone from the Parthenon? Generations of scholars have suggested answers. For the eastern sculptures in particular, the only mention remaining from antiquity is a single sentence in Pausaniaus, the Roman travel writer: "All the figures relate to the birth of Athena." Some of them, battered, are now in the British Museum.

In Athena and Eden, Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr. proposes a solution. Or put it this way: in his lucid, even daunting, book, today's standard theologies take on awkward postures.

The pediment's centerpiece shows Hephaistos (Roman Vulcan) whacking Zeus (Jupiter) on the head with an axe. Up from the fissure springs Athena (Minerva), among other things the patroness of ancient Athens. Hera (Juno) stands there, upstaged. Other gods attend.

Johnson then posits a parallelism between Greco-Roman and Hebrew cosmologies. Deified, Adam becomes Zeus; Eve turns into Athena. And—Johnson points to the non-hostile snakes often present in ancient vase paintings and sculptures—Eden's serpent turns out to have done us a favor, that famous garden day when humanity attained a measure of self-dependence.

The role of Cain (founder of the first city) turns upside down.

Readers committed to tradition in Scripture should know that when Johnson claims mistranslations, he is schooled in the original languages and texts.

James H. Bready, The Baltimore Sun

"provokes avid discussion . . . easily approachable . . .
ground-breaking work"

The focus of Greek civilization, the Parthenon captures viewers imaginations even as it conceals its true meaning. In his ground-breaking work, Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr. author of ATHENA AND EDEN: THE HIDDEN MEANING OF THE PARTHENON'S EAST FACADE demonstrates that when Athena is seen to be Eve, then Greek mythology becomes narrative art. Consequently, the marble sculptures on the east pediment of the Parthenon relate the story of the origin of mankind, matching the Genesis account in detail.

Johnson asserts that scholars have previously been unsuccessful in identifying most of the figures in the east pediment because they have failed to connect Athena with Even and the story of Eden in the Book of Genesis. Through careful research, Johnson demonstrates that we do have the literature and art to serve as a source of reconstruction. Painstaking comparison demonstrates shows that the sculptures of the eastern pediment depict the Garden of Eden, the birth of Eve, and the Great Flood. Furthermore, the goddess Athena, whom the Greeks worshipped as the one who brought the serpent's wisdom, is the same person the Book of Genesis calls Eve.

Johnson, a West Point graduate, author, teacher and public speaker based his research on surviving sculptures, the ancient writings of Homer, Hesiod, Pindar and others, plus myths, vase art and the work of numerous experts. His controversial approach will certainly garner attention from all who are interested in the classics, religion, art, and mythology. Indeed, Johnson's unique perspective will provoke avid discussion among academics for years to come, yet is easily approachable by any who hold an interest in our origins., Top 50 Amazon Reviewer

"Shocked by the strength and cogency
of Mr. Johnson's arguments . . ."

Lacking knowledge of the architectural issues involved, I had to approach Athena and Eden with my experience of ancient and classical Greek literature. I was shocked by the strength and cogency of Mr. Johnson's arguments. Though not yet fully convinced of all of the conclusions Mr. Johnson has reached, Athena and Eden has definitely given me some ideas to chew on while Mr. Johnson writes his second volume.

Many near eastern/mediteraenean cultures exhibit shared memories of a common prehistory. From Gilgamesh in Mesopotamia to early tales of Osiris in Egypt, echoes of the Genesis and Flood stories abound. If Mr. Johnson is correct, than Greek mythology is a very twisted (possibly Satanic) retelling of the fall of Man.

As far as particulars—I found his arguments about the true identity of the Zeus figure extremely compelling. Yet the Athena/Hera division is still a little muddled in my mind (probably more my fault than the author's).

Overall, Athena and Eden is a very intriguing book that deserves a lot of attention. It gets my recommendation.

NotATameLion, Top 100 Amazon Reviewer


"I couldn't put the book down."

Mr. Johnson clearly reveals the hidden meaning of the Parthenon's east facade by simply mirroring the scriptures. The text is so easy to read and concisely written that it is impossible to deny the simplicity of this revelation. I couldn't put the book down. It's obvious that Mr. Johnson has done very thorough research on this subject. I look forward to his next enlightening publication!

Lisa Ann Marone, St. Pete Beach, FL

"... more than another dose of rehashed mythology. This book has substance."

I finished reading Athena and Eden: The Hidden Meaning of the Parthenon's East Facade a few days ago, and would recommend this book to anyone interested in an entirely new view of these ancient sculptures. It's more than another history lesson, and more than another dose of re-hashed mythology. This book has substance.

Mark Wadsworth, Churchill, MD

"... meticulously, succinctly and clearly putting back together the pieces of the east facade of the famous Parthenon in Athens . . ."

Every now and then a book comes along that inspires me, excites me, enlightens me, pushes the edge of the envelope and gives me food for thought. Athena and Eden by Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr. is such a book.

However, I must also state that I am not an expert on Greek Mythology or ancient Greek architecture, so I cannot argue the toss, and have taken Robert Johnson's arguments at face value given the evidence that he has presented, evidence that is backed up by ancient Greek art and images that clearly illuminate the many points that this author has put across and that highlight his hypothesis. From my standpoint, I think that Athena and Eden is a valid argument for anyone interested in religion in general and/or ancient Greek belief.

When the famous Library of Alexandria in Egypt was burned down in 391 A.D and Christianity became the State religion, 900,000 scrolls containing a wealth of knowledge of the Mediterranean world were lost. If any of these works had survived, perhaps wars would not have been fought in the name of religion as we would have had a different perception, realizing that many of the world's beliefs are joined by a number of common threads. However, all that is left to us today are monuments, statues, pottery and other images waiting to be deciphered in order to reveal their secrets.

This Robert Johnson has done in Athena and Eden, meticulously, succinctly and clearly putting back together the pieces of the east facade (which are scattered all over the world) of the famous Parthenon in Athens dedicated to Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and Power, who ruled over the city that gave birth to democracy. At 159 pages this is a quick, easy, fun and enlightening read with lots of illustrations highlighting each point, and you don't have to have a working knowledge of Greek mythology to enjoy it!

As with many of the Mesopotamian myths that reflect the stories found in Genesis in The Bible, so too does Robert Johnson find similar threads in ancient Greek religious belief. In our educational institutions, we have been brought up to believe that the stories of the Greek Gods and Goddesses are myths and legends. This is actually doing the cradle of Western Civilization a disservice. Their religion was as valid to them as Christianity, Islam and Judaism are to many today. And what is more, Johnson's insights will offer a measure of enlightenment to those with an open mind who are prepared to push the edge of the envelope. Dare to explore and enjoy!

Gail Evans, A Associate Reviewer, South Africa

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