With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on. -- William Morris

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Zombies in Bethany

Though not related to my other exegetical hijinks, I was translating parts of John 11 today for my Greek class and came across a rather disturbing discovery.

In the story of the Raising of Lazarus, Jesus proclaims in a loud voice in front of a large crowd His great confidence that the Father always listens to his prayers (John 11:41-32), and that He boldly told the people to open the tomb so that the crowd will come to believe that He is indeed sent by the Father(v.42). In effect, he says "I know you basically do whatever I ask you all the time, God; but for the sake of these people standing around, let's make some magic happen, huh? Let them know that I'm your number one man." One could interpret Jesus' words here as being rather presumptuous...

And as it turns out, this may have caused things to go horribly wrong. Everyone knows the story as it is often told: that Jesus calls for Lazarus to come out and he stumbles forth, still wrapped in his burial cloths, and Jesus says: "Loose him [lusate auton], and allow him to go away/home" (John 11:44). Jesus has successfully completed a resucitation miracle and sends the man on his way. BUT: The verb luo actually means both "to loose" and "to destroy"!!!! So by following the former meaning, exegetes have horribly misunderstood what is really happening here. This is not the story of a successful miracle, but rather the story of a botched miracle.

It's clear to me that the Father is playing a rather nasty practical joke on Jesus here: seeing that Jesus calls upon Him with all of those expectant eyes watching, the Father only restores Lazarus to an undead state, not to life. So when Jesus sees Lazarus stagger out as a freaking ZOMBIE, he and the entire crowd are struck with fear and Jesus shouts:
[AHHHH!!!!] DESTROY him (lusate auton) and get him out of here!!!!! (kai aphete auton hupagein)
How embarassing for our Lord and Savior...

Pax Christi,


  • At 3/07/2009 10:49 AM, Blogger Henry Karlson said…

    You should do a search for luo, and see what else should be destroyed. This is revolutionary, I tell you!

  • At 3/09/2009 3:22 PM, Blogger Brendan Sammon said…

    Isn't luo the word used when John the Baptist explains he is not worthy to 'loose' the sandals of the Jesus?

    So, did he really mean he is not worthy to destroy those sandals?

    Wait....I've got it:

    In ancient Palestine, anytime one teacher bequeathed his followers to another, there was a tradition that obligated the old teacher to play a practical joke upon the new teacher.

    The most popular of these was the 'hot foot' which somehow involved setting fire to the new teacher's sandals.

    So, when John's turn to do this arrives, he reverently albeit it begrudgingly explains that he is not worthy to destroy the sandals of the one they are to follow.

    Of course, that's when one of the more spirited, not to mention traditionalistic, apostles shouted: "HELL, I'll do it!!!"

  • At 3/09/2009 6:53 PM, Blogger X-Cathedra said…

    That may also explain the walking on water, which as a pericope likely followed this account in the original narrative.


Post a Comment

<< Home