Posted by: NotAScientist | March 16, 2009

Is Jesus a zombie?

It is quite common in the online atheist community, and possibly even in the liberal-Christian one, to refer to the god of Christianity as “Zombie Jesus”.

This name, besides being hilarious, is on the surface an incredibly apt and accurate way to describe the god that around 80% of Americans say they believe in. After all, the Jesus character is written to have died and returned from the dead, and is deeply linked in some circles with the eating of human flesh. What could be more ghoulish than that?

But rather than simply using the title “Zombie Jesus” like all those before me, I thought it would be prudent to actually research the issue.

Is the Jesus character a zombie? Or some other member of the living dead? A vampire or Frankenstein-like monster, perhaps? How can we tell?

Simple. We turn to the font of all zombie knowledge. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks.

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A zombie, according to Mr. Brooks, is not a supernatural or magical creature. It is a human that has been infected with a virus that kills the body and mutates the brain into a new organ:

Once mutation is complete, this new organ reanimates the body into a form that bears little resemblance (physiologically speaking) to the original corpse. … This new organism is a zombie, a member of the living dead.

Alas, this criteria does not seem to apply to Jesus. According to the story, he was killed by Roman soldiers by being crucified. Presumably, he bled to death. No indication is given that he suffered a bite from another zombie, or was infected by the virus in any way.

Still, the biblical story holds that Jesus comes back from the dead.

So let’s look further.

Another aspect of the zombie is that it eats the flesh of humans. There are certainly no writings that indicate any of the apostles were eaten upon Jesus’ return. And yet, Catholic and some Protestant traditions hold that Christians are supposed to eat the flesh of their god.

Could this be a form of zombie eating? Not according to Max Brooks.

Humans have been infected by brushing their open wounds against those of a zombie or by being splattered by its remains after an explosion. Ingestion of infected flesh (provided the person has no open mouth sores), however, results in permanent death rather than infection. Infected flesh has proven to be highly toxic.

The fact that there are not whole masses of Catholic dying due to infected zombie flesh seems to suggest, at least, that Jesus’ zombification may be exaggerated.

Still, one is always served by keeping vigilant. Christians will often speak about Jesus returning once more. If this is the case, we best be on our guard.

Jesus may not be a zombie. But if he is, don’t make the same mistake that the Romans made. Crucifixions don’t work.

You can only stop a Jesus by destroying its brains.

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Responses

  1. glat that one’s now debunked

  2. According the Dwight Shrute “There are several ways to kill a zombie. But the most satisfying one is to stab it in the brain, with a wooden stick.”

    the more you know

  3. In response to your comment:

    Because the aim of the film was portrayed as trying to discredit all religion as ridiculous, or ‘religulous.’ Ignoring the historical benefits of religion as cited through one example in my review, as well as the existence of millions of educated, free thinking deeply religious people, the film became one sided. One sided documentaries aren’t enjoyable to me, and don’t exhibit good movie-making in my opinion. While I still LIKED the film, it wasn’t great, because it didn’t present two sides to one story, or explore the issue well enough outside of just looking at stupid people.

  4. WOW!
    Someone has been watching too many movies!

    You wrote “And yet, Catholic and some Protestant traditions hold that Christians are supposed to eat the flesh of their god.” Yeah, Catholics do say that the bread is literally the flesh of Christ, but that is just a twist on what was ACTUALLY taught to us, by Jesus. “This is my body, which is given for you. Keep on doing this in memory of me.” This is called a metaphor. Jesus makes it clear that this act, eating the bread, was to be done in MEMORY of Him. A true understanding of this often mis-understood act makes it clear that Jesus was not encouraging a zombie-like attitude.
    I can’t even believe that I am commenting on this, but it IS a fairly hilarious post!

  5. “I can’t even believe that I am commenting on this, but it IS a fairly hilarious post!”

    That’s all it’s attempting to be.

  6. Gotta disagree with Brooks description of Zombies, I’m very old school in that I follow the old Haitian methods of putting someone into a coma and then bringing them back with various mind altering drugs until they’re in a state of constant confusion, amnesia and reduced will-power. If that is the case for Zombie Jesus, wouldn’t it make more sense to worship the Shaman that made him that way??

  7. Great post!

    Check out my Zombie Research Society blog at:

    http://www.zombieresearch.net

    Hope you like it, and keep up the good work!

  8. Thanks for the laugh!

  9. Funny one Morse. When pointed in the right direction your sarcasm is book worthy…okay that may be exaggerating, but who knows……?

    FYI – Death by crucifixion caused suffocation if memory serves me correct.

    Funny post!

  10. tree,

    Thanks.

    If I remember my Roman history correctly (and I’m a bit obsessed), crucifixion was designed to be a long, drawn out, torturous process. So much so that, if we take the Bible story literally, Jesus’ time on the cross was probably less than the average time most would be there before dying.

  11. Crucifixion was brutal enough, but as I understand it, the time was a lot less because he was beaten, suffered severe blood loss and was nailed rather than tied.

    Quicker suffocation because He lacked the physical strength to keep pushing Himself back up…

  12. I believe it was common practice to nail victims of crucifixion. I could be wrong, of course.

  13. Another small detail to consider would be the need (as noted in the Bible) to get all those being crucified taken down and buried before the evening marking the beginning of the Sabbath (or Holy day of some sort – can’t recall). Hence, a circumstantial reason for quickening the death’s of those being crucified. (aka they broke the legs of those not yet dead)
    Of course, I can’t use the word dead without a little nostalgia, “Bring out ‘cha dead… Bring out ‘cha dead… – But I’m not dead yet!” (add English accent as desired)

  14. Why would the Romans be concerned about following the rules of the Sabbath?

    Have you seen Spamalot the Musical, btw? ;)

  15. I don’t think the Romans were concerned about the Sabbath as much as they were concerned about an uprising. It’s strongly reflected in Pilate agreeing to the mob’s demands.

    Anyway – I’ve read different things about crucifixion. One historian said something along the lines of the methodology depending on the sadistic expediency of the moment. Josephus’ writings say “nails” at one point…

  16. As he wasn’t born until 37 AD, Josephus isn’t exactly a reliable source as to the specifics of the crucifixion of Yeshua. Or is the quote you’re referring to a reference to the general practice of crucifixion, and not the specifics?

  17. The latter. Trying to shake the cobwebs loose in my brain, I seem to recall it being about the war around 70 AD…

  18. Crassus, pre-Gospels, definitely used nails. But that, of course, is at least partially due to efficiency and brutality.

    If you’re crucifying slaves up and down the Appian Way, you’re not going to take time to tie each one when a few strikes of a hammer will suffice. Nor are you going to go easy when the point is to intimidate the other slaves so that they never revolt again.

    • Quick question Morse: wtf is up with constantine? Why a christian emperor! Ugh, if only i had a time machine…

  19. OK! You’ve convinced me. Jesus was nailed!!! :)

  20. That could be taken in so many wrong ways…;)

  21. Yeah… but I’d already clicked “submit” when I thought about it.
    I’ve been up before 5 AM the last two days. Too little sleep and too many cobwebs…

  22. Ha! Wow… I just came over to see what you were up to on your blog, only to see I adressed this earlier today on mine. Too much good stuff.

    Yeah, it’s all fun and games until they’re talking about something you care about.

  23. Heard of Spamalot but have not seen it as I recall. I did see a Comedy a while back that had a bit piece parodying Monty Python.
    Hey, you should turn on the new REPLY option for comments…that way this comment could be inserted under the one it’s referencing…but, alas, it sits down here where people read it and muse, “What the heck is this guy talking about?”

    Oh, and lawrenewal pretty much answered the Sabbath question…appeasment of the Jews at a time when the town was simply way over packed with extra Jews. Riots were frowned upon and governors weren’t rewarded for losing control, as I understand it.

    RE nails et al…I thought I read somewhere that they used both nails and rope/strips of cloth to support the arms in case the hand/wrist pulled off of a nail. Sounds like there were simply varying techniques based on location and material availability.

  24. “You can only stop a Jesus by destroying its brains”
    ———————————–

    I’m not so sure that will work. It hasn’t worked YET on most of the christians I’ve met :-)

  25. “If you’re crucifying slaves up and down the Appian Way, you’re not going to take time to tie each one when a few strikes of a hammer will suffice.”

    I believe you would have to use some ropes The bones in the hand are not strong enough to hold the weight of the body.

  26. Jesus can’t be a zombie because zombies are cool. That’s my short answer. :)

  27. Comparing Jesus to zombies is blasphemy. Zombies are way too good to be compared to that charlatan!

  28. What about the zombies from the origional Night of the Living Dead? They were resurected by radiation, not a virus. Maybe Jesus is that sort of zombie (God radiation bzzz bzzz). The whole drinking his blood thing kind of reminded me of some of those old Dracula movies where if you drank the vampire blood (usually from a nifty golden cup) you turned into a vampire. Jesus is not a zombie, he’s a zombie-vampire hybrid.

  29. [...] Humor Leave a Comment  I stumbled onto mOrsecode’s blog again today and ran into his Zombie Post He quotes various criteria that need to be met for one to be considered a zombie. In the end he [...]

  30. The OP is not even close to being funny. It is so lacking in humor, I can’t believe others actually find it funny. It does not deserve a single “ha”. What is ironic is that the author of the OP does not like it when his own version of “humor” is used on him. Hmmm….can u say “hypocrite”?

    • You don’t find it funny. Plenty of people disagree with you. You’re welcome to your opinion.

      And making personal insults against a person is not the same as comparing two fictional characters (a zombie and Jesus).


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