Yes and No. We do not have to guess as to what “myth” means. It comes directly from the Greek, who used it in their discussion of two disciplines, Philosophy and Theology. In theology a myth is a story about the gods, no one now believes to be true, so this type of myth is a fiction.
In philosophy they distinguished between two kinds of meaning or truth, Logos and Mythos. Mythos truth is based tradition and/ or authority. The myths were true because everyone said it was true. Logos is truth based on rational examination and discussion. Because it is based on shared experience, it is objective truth. Myth is unexamined reality and thus apt to be subjective.
Christianity makes the shocking claim that Jesus Christ is the Logos, the Way the Truth, and the Life. The contract of Jesus with the gods of the myths is also shocking and led to the conversion of the ancient pagans from their traditional beliefs to Christianity.
Now people want to say that Christianity is not Logos, but Mythos, which is false. Presumably they want to say that mythos is about spiritual Truth, which is very different from Logos which is rational Truth, which is false.
@Christy and @Randy, thank you for helping me understand the origin of this use of myth. While this is helpful, this does not change the facts as I see them.
John 1:1 says, “In the Beginning was the Logos.” Lewis is saying, “In the Beginning was the true Myth.” Jesus did not go around telling people that He w3as the Messiah sent by YHWH to save God’s People.
Jesus want around doing the work of the Messiah so everyone could see for themselves Who He was. That is how He announced Himself by reading from the book of Isiah. That is what He told the disciples of John. When He revealed Himself to His disciples, He asked them, “Who do you say I am?” Then He spoke about His death because He knew that this was part of His mission as the Messiah. Thus Jesus was the not Messiah because He descended from David, was born of a virgin, or sent by God. He is the Messiah because He died for our sins and saved God’s people.
@Randy, please do not use the Word if God to refer to the Bible. The Bible capitalizes Word only in one place John 1:1 to refer to Jesus Christ as the Logos, therefore we should use the term Word of God to refer to Jesus Christ and not the Bible.
This is important because Fundamentalists when they refer to the Bible as the Word of God mean that it is absolutely true or inerrant and therefore must be treated as Mythos. That is true because God says it is, not because humans created in the Image of God can use their God given mind to verify the truth of the Bible. The fact that Genesis communicates spiritual facts that we can readily experience indicates the truth of the Bible is Logos, verifiable, not Mythos, which cannot.
The big question at the time of C.S. Lewis was the question of the Beginning. Both philosophy and science said that the universe does not have a Beginning. The Genesis clearly says that it does. Now it is clear based on verifiable scientific information that Genesis is right, although many scientists are denying this. This is evidence that Genesis is Logos, not Mythos. It is true spiritually, philosophically, and scientifically, but not a textbook for any of these.
John 1:1 is the controlling text for the Christian understanding of the Creation, not Genesis.