Easter: Matthew’s Zombie Invasion!by Don Lacey on Apr. 08, 2012, under Art & Culture, Atheism, Biblical Inerrancy, Christian Self-Righteous Arrogance, Christianity, Critical Thinking, Faith, Fundamentalism, God & Bible, History, Logic, Religion
Here is a timely post from Jim Wilson:
“Christianity is the belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree” – Internet meme of unknown origin.
“..and the resurrected lord Jesus appeared to his apostles and said unto them… Braaainnnnsss!” Happy Easter everyone, and in case I don’t hear from you Monday, happy 50% off the cost of egg and bunny shaped candy day! For those unfamiliar with the gospel attributed to Matthew (it was not actually written by a Matthew, but was written anonymously, and the name was assigned to it later), the resurrection narrative features a full out zombie invasion, as well as plenty of other reason to doubt its reliability.
Jesus is claimed to have resurrected from the dead. There is now some evidence that Christians are tiring of Atheist habitually calling Jesus a zombie, and using it as point of mockery. I like zombie stories and Jesus fits most popular descriptions of zombies. According to the story, Jesus died is brought reanimated and moves about. Also, Jesus has the visible wounds on his body from his crucifixion. Perhaps he lacked the mindless, slow moving man-eating behaviors of the zombies in modern movies, but the image of a dead mangled body walking about is rather zombie-like.
What is more interesting though, is that according to Matthew 27:51- 53, “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” This is a full out zombie invasion of a significant city, during a well recorded time in Roman antiquity. If something this unnatural and this monumental happened, it would almost certainly have been recorded by countless witnesses. Yet it appears in the Gospel attributed to Matthew and nowhere else.
These dead holy men, presumably got to live out their lives again, and yet we never hear any further stories involving them, or anything directly from them either. As noted before, no other gospel or any book of the New Testament mentions this incident. This is also true of: Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, the two earthquakes surrounding Jesus’ death, and the strange celestial activity around the time of Jesus birth. These are events that would have been independently verifiable but, they are not mentioned anywhere else in contemporaneous literature, including the other gospels.
Interestingly, Matthew’s gospel largely copies Mark’s gospel (the shortest, most stripped down and most likely earliest gospel) word for word in many places, but embellishes heavily on it, in some cases simply doubling the beneficiaries of Jesus’ miracles, or placing extra emphasis Jesus’ divinity, and his ties to the Old Testament.
Additionally, there is also evidence that the authors of Matthew and Luke copied from a shared earlier lost source, which consisted largely of sayings, known to scholars as the Gospel of Q. It contains word-word material found in Matthew and Luke, but missing from Mark.
Biblical scholars generally believe that Matthew was written in the late 1st century (more than a lifetime after Jesus’ supposed death), by an individual who was not an eyewitness at all, but an unknown from Roman Syria. The author of Matthew, also had an agenda that centered on preserving the Jewish nature of Christianity and preventing its Jewish traditions from becoming lost in a religion growing increasingly more popular among Gentiles. Matthew’s gospel frequently makes (often sloppy) attempts to tie incidents in Jesus’ life to statements in Jewish scripture and presents the only gospel that directly states that the law of the Old Testament is to be kept by Christians. In Matthew 5:18 the Bible says: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Many Christians dismiss this, saying that because of Jesus, they no longer have to follow the law of the Old Testament. It amazes me that they, never consider the possibility that the gospel writers disagreed on important points of theology.
There are many reasons to dismiss Matthew’s gospel and its zombie invasion story and this is but one example of an inconsistency that makes it difficult to blindly accept a literal reading of the Bible.
Bonus, a brief look into Easter traditions:
Easter is the day when Christians celebrate the resurrection Jesus with the seemingly nonsensical practice of dying chicken eggs. They tell their children that eggs have been hidden by a magical rabbit. The rabbit is, the ancient symbol of fertility, for obvious reasons, and its habit of giving birth to large litters around spring time have made them commonly associated with the vernal equinox.
Interestingly, an ancient superstition that rabbits are hermaphroditic and able to reproduce without intercourse also led to the association with the Virgin Mary and Jesus. German immigrants introduced the eastern bunny mythology to the United States in the 18th century, though it was originally thought of as an egg-laying hare. Jacob Grimm (of the famous Grimm brothers) noted that similar traditions existed in Germany. He believed that they were tied to the worship of a Germanic goddess called Ēostre or Ostara. This being may have been related to the Norse goddess Freyja who was also associated with hares.
Combine this with another ancient spring time fertility symbol—the egg and much of the tradition starts to make sense. Eastern Orthodox Christians, have a tradition of using red dye in their eggs representing the blood of Christ. A Catholic tradition forbids the consumption of eggs during the lent fasting, to insure that eggs would be abundant around Easter time.
While Christians claim Easter, the most cursory of research will produce the not so hidden fact that holiday is derived from the springtime celebrations of many traditions (http://www.truthontheweb.org/easter.htm). In any case, this is a great time of year to be alive, enjoy the pleasant experiences surrounding the vernal equinox!