In modern parlance, a myth is a legend or fairy‐story unbelievable and untrue but nevertheless disseminated. It has a more technical meaning in biblical studies and covers those stories or narratives which describe the actions of the other‐worldly in terms of this world, in both OT and NT. In Genesis the Creation and the Fall are myths, and are markedly similar to the creation stories of Israel's Near Eastern neighbours. It was a mistake of expositors and preachers in the past to treat these chapters as ‘historical’ accounts of the origin of the universe and the cause of original sin. There are also myths in OT (e.g. Isa. 25: 7) and NT (e.g. Matt. 24: 31) to express beliefs about the end of the world and God's judgement. Some theologians use the term ‘myth’ to denote a way of expressing intimations of supernatural significance; they are rendered intelligible by means of familiar terms derived from valid natural experience.

Much of the discussion in the second half of the 20th cent. about biblical myths was prompted by Bultmann's demythologization enterprise.