Had the Jesus in the Walking Dead parody been Mohammed instead, the writers and production teams involved in the comic book and television versions would risk Charlie Hebdo-style executions. Making their fictional character just dissimilar enough to avoid crossing the boundary into the sacrilegious, the creators of the successful franchise are in a glee-fest, thumbing their noses at the offended, to the extent of making their “Jesus” character a homosexual.
According to Troy L. Smith of Cleveland.com, “Jesus,” the Walking Dead protagonist who also goes by the name of “Paul,” sports long hair and a beard consistent with the traditional depictions of Jesus of Nazareth. In the franchise’s characterization, Jesus plays savior, putting himself in harm’s way to protect others.
Partly to blame for the irreverence toward Jesus is the current liberal thrust to be inclusive in the name of political correctness. Thus atheist, evolutionist, and non-Christian influences are able to seed the mainstream with anti-Jesus representations such as the mock-up in The Walking Dead.
While disrespect for Jesus as a hallowed figure increases with the proliferation of claims from different quarters that he is a myth, evidence keeps cropping up that he did exist beyond the cock-eyed imaginings of the Walking Dead creators. Non-Christian historians provide relatively objective evidence of his existence.
First-century Roman historian Josephus Flavius of Jewish descent mentioned Jesus twice in pro-Jewish material, giving Him the profound weight ignored by The Walking Dead. A scholar-fighter descended from a line of Jewish priests during the Jewish Revolt of A.D. 66., Josephus was a Roman captive turned freedman engaged in scholarly activity. Jesus entries appeared in Josephus’ account of the Jewish Revolt called the Jewish War, and the history of the Jews, called Antiquities, both works of a much more serious nature than The Walking Dead.
Christian Apologetics Research Ministry reveals one mention by Josephus of Jesus in a “Testimonium Flavianum” passage of Antiquities (Ant. 18.63-64) translated into English.
“At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.”
Another non-Christian Roman historian, Publius Tacitus, mentioned Jesus in an account of the burning of Rome during Emperor Nero’s reign, planting the blame on Christians. Tacitus referred to Jesus as Christus in Annals, book 15, chapter 44, detailing Roman atrocities as gruesome as those in The Walking Dead’s killer zombie scenes.
“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.”
The Jewish Talmud attests to a Jesus walking the narrow path that made him vulnerable to ridicule. The website Every Student shows how the Talmud looked at the holy man in a mocking light that could be regarded as a precursor to his caricature in The Walking Dead.
“We learn that Jesus was conceived out of wedlock, gathered disciples, made blasphemous claims about himself, and worked miracles, but these miracles are attributed to sorcery and not to God.”
Even Islam’s Mohammed, over five hundred years after Jesus’ death, spoke of Issa, the Islamic name for the Jewish historical figure, as a prophet worthy of the respect absent in The Walking Dead.
Would today’s Christians raise a hue and cry over the mockery of Jesus in AMC’s hit show The Walking Dead?
[Photo via AMC]