Psalm 35

Posted in Psalms with tags on 04/24/2013 by caspianrex

I don’t know if anyone is reading this blog any more, but here’s another entry anyway…

Now I realize that I am taking several verses out of context here, but isn’t that the best way to do zombie-themed commentary?  I am reminded of the way lots of End Times experts do eisegesis.  This is the same thing.

This psalm contains several little hints about some possible zombie uprising.  Verse 11 contains the phrase “Violent witnesses rise up…”  A couple verses later (verse 13) we read, “…when they became ill, my clothing was sackcloth.”  What is this illness?  A zombie plague perhaps?  Verse 15 says, “But at my limping they rejoiced and gathered together; they gathered together against me. Striking me down…They ripped me to pieces and did not keep silent.”  And in the next verse: “There was a grinding of teeth against me.”  Sounds a bit like a group of zombies descending on a wounded individual.  (Don’t ask me how the psalmist is able to report this after he’s been ripped to pieces.  Perhaps he’s writing a description from the point of view of someone he’s seen torn to pieces.)  Finally, in verse 21: “And they open wide their mouth even against me.”  Lots of the imagery seems pretty consistent with zombie attacks.

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Meanwhile, it appears that the psalmist is depending on the Lord to defend him from the undead uprising.  The very first verse of the psalm says, “War against those warring against me.  Take hold of buckler and large shield, and do rise up in my help, and draw spear and double ax to meet those pursuing me.”  A perfect description of an anti-zombie arsenal, if I ever heard one…

All Scripture quotations from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

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Psalm 27:1-2, 5

Posted in Uncategorized on 02/02/2012 by caspianrex

Has it really been ten months since our last post here on ZBC?  Wow.  Well, I do have a bit of an excuse: we had a second child in November, so I’ve been a bit busy.  Anyway, I got thinking about zombies today, as I was glossing through my favorite heretical Bible translation, the New World Translation, published and used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Lo and behold, I turned to these words in Psalm 27:

Jehovah is my light and my salvation, of whom shall I be in fear?

Jehovah is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be in dread?

When the evildoers approached against me to eat up my flesh,

They being my adversaries and enemies personally,

They themselves stumbled and fell.  (Psalm 27:1-2, NWT)

The phrases I’ve italicized make it pretty clear that the passage is speaking of a zombie attack, possibly in the context of the Zombie Apocalypse.  Notice also the use of horror words like “fear” and “dread” in the first verse.  These are commonly used words in describing zombie attacks, especially that word “dread.”  And the evildoers (read zombies) are eating the psalmist’s flesh.  Nothing could be plainer.

Fortunately, there is rescue in sight.  Jehovah is going to provide an escape route.  The fifth verse continues: ” For he will hide me in his covert in the day of calamity; He will conceal me in the secret place of his tent; High on a rock he will put me.”  This instantly brought to mind the hiding places that Zombie Apocalypse survivors absolutely must find, if they are to survive the onslaught of the undead hordes.  A secret tent, high on a rock, is ideal!

Once again, the New World Translation provides a wealth of zombie references…

The nature of Zombies, scripturally speaking

Posted in Ecclesiastes, NWT on 03/09/2011 by caspianrex

Ecclesiastes 9:5-6

5 For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, because the remembrance of them has been forgotten. 6 Also, their love and their hate and their jealousy have already perished, and they have no portion anymore to time indefinite in anything that has to be done under the sun.  (NWT)

Although it specifically mentions “the dead,” this brief passage may give us a bit of insight into the nature of the undead as well.  “The living are conscious that they will die…”  Of course, most people hope that they will not be the unlucky ones who end up undead, rather than dead.  But what can a person expect if he or she becomes one of the living dead?  This scripture addresses that subject, albeit somewhat obliquely.  “As for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all…”  We see this situation clearly modeled in the traditional zombie literature.  Unlike the myths about vampires, who seem to be conscious of a great deal, zombies do not display anything we would normally describe as consciousness.  The passage goes on to explain that the dead (and by extension, the undead) do not have wages, which makes sense.  “Their love and their hate and their jealousy have already perished,” which may sound good to some.  But, as zombie films have clearly shown, such an existence is bleak at best.

The NWT’s rendering is a bit confusing in the next line: “…they have no portion anymore to time indefinite…”  The NKJV reads a little more sensibly, “Nevermore will they have a share in anything…”  However, those wacky JWs may have stumbled onto something that touches zombie existence.  Time, of course, continues to march on after death.  Is it not curious that the NWT rendering discusses the dead’s share “to time indefinite”?  It seems somewhat odd to speak of the dead experiencing time in any way, and yet, unlike more traditional translations, the NWT’s version could possibly imply time continuing for the dead after death, but with the dead (spiritually dead or undead) having no ability to receive any enjoyment from the passage of time.  Admittedly this is a bit of a stretch, but one must admit, considering the wording of the NWT, it is at least plausible.  So, looking at the passage as a whole, we see a bleak existence for the zombie: he or she continues to experience time, in a sense, but without any of the conscious appreciation of the passage of time, or the emotional complexity that makes time have a personal impact, as it does for the living.  A living hell, in a very real sense.  (I suppose it depends on your definition of “real” in that sentence.)

Just a brief word about my own choice of Bible translations, as it relates to other posts here on the Zombie Bible Commentary.  The creator of the ZBC has favored the Lamsa translation of the Syriac Peshitta for his posts.  However, I have chosen the New World Translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, as it is at least as bizarre as the Lamsa (if not more so), and some of the clumsy or oddly worded translation choices seem to lend themselves quite well to “zombie-centric” interpretations.  At least, that has been my impression thus far.  It is also readily available online at www.watchtower.org.  You can hardly find a more heretical translation available in today’s Bible market!

New contributor debut

Posted in Matthew on 01/19/2011 by Zombie Luther

We here at the Zombie Bible Commentary have been busy behind the scenes the last few weeks.  One of the results is that this commentary now has a second contributing author!  Below is the debut posting from the Zombie Bible Commentary‘s newest author, caspianrex (AKA Cory).  Remember folks, there are now two of us, caspianrex and Zombie Luther.*

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“Therefore, when YOU catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place, (let the reader use discernment,) then let those in Judea begin fleeing to the mountains. Let the man on the housetop not come down to take the goods out of his house; and let the man in the field not return to the house to pick up his outer garment. Woe to the pregnant women and those suckling a baby in those days! Keep praying that YOUR flight may not occur in wintertime, nor on the sabbath day; for then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again.In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short.  -Matthew 24:15-22 (NWT)

This passage from Matthew’s Gospel is usually interpreted (especially by those of a premillenial dispensationalist bent) as a prophetic passage, describing the events that will lead to Armageddon.  Is this passage apocalyptic, in the popular sense of the term?  The zombie theologian may interpret it more specifically as a description of the coming Zombie Apocalypse.  The Zombie Apocalypse, as has been mentioned elsewhere in this blog, is a central theme of zombie mythology.  And the passage quoted above certainly seems to harmonize with the classic descriptions of that crucial event.  The New World Translation (quoted above) speaks of “the disgusting thing that causes desolation.”  What can be more disgusting than a zombie–a rotting, flesh eating, undead monster that is eternally hungry, and will stop at nothing in its quest for brains and other body parts?  Zombies are well known to cause immense desolation, in pretty much every scenario hitherto conceived.  As far as zombies “standing in a holy place,” unlike vampires (those other undead abominations), zombies have absolutely no fear of religious symbols.  In fact, in the films in which survivors have taken refuge in a house of worship, the zombies usually make quick work of breaking in and munching on the people inside.  Indeed, in the film Zombies of Mass Destruction, a preacher believes he can successfully convert some people who have shown evidence of becoming zombies, with predictably disastrous results for himself and his “flock.”

Certainly, pregnant and nursing women are at a distinct disadvantage in any Zombie Apocalypse scenario, so the verse about them is not at all surprising.  The one verse in this passage which seems to be a bit mystifying vis a vis zombies is the one that speaks of wintertime being such a dangerous time for the “disgusting thing that causes desolation” to take place.  Would winter be a worse time than other seasons for a Zombie Apocalypse to take place?  Well, it depends on the exact timing of the event in relationship to winter.  If the zombies began to attack in the late fall, they could actually be slowed down quite a bit by the colder temperatures.  However, this could actually create an even bigger problem.  If there is one thing almost all zombie films have taught us, the non-infected humans who are competing for survival can easily become a greater threat than the undead themselves.  In a Zombie Apocalypse, law and order quickly deteriorate, and people begin to commit horrible crimes against their neighbors, once the barriers of society have been removed.  Fleeing to a mountain stronghold could be the only possibility for survival for many, and it would be a slim one at that. The colder temperatures would make it even more difficult for the uninfected to survive.  And frozen zombies can easily thaw out once warmer weather arrives, easily picking off the humans who have been weakened by the winter. Readers of The Walking Dead will know exactly how difficult winter can be for survivors.   But going back to try to stock up on supplies can be equally dangerous; thus the advice for people not to return to their houses to pick up goods or clothing.

It is plain to see that the Scripture passage quoted here fits a Zombie Apocalypse quite as well as it fits any premillenial dispensationalist position.  Food for thought for the zombie theologian and the Left Behind fan alike…

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*Zombie Luther is derived from this author’s being a Lutheran as well as an old joke from theology school that “zombie Luther” would return and punish those who deviated from Scripture.  Like everything else on this blog, no offense is intended – it’s satire!

Genesis 1:26-28

Posted in Genesis on 12/09/2010 by Zombie Luther

Are Zombies “Green”?

Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild beasts of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  And God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild beasts that move upon the earth.”

Genesis 1:26-28

In this passage, humans are given a species wide mandate to rule as benevolent kings (cf. 9:2, Ps 8:5-8, Heb 2:5-9) over animal and plant kingdoms.  In the past few generations, increasing attention has been given to the question, what exactly does it mean to “subdue” the earth?  The Zombie Bible Commentary, though, would like to raise the obvious burning question for zombie enthusiasts, are zombies green?  Zombies are, by most renderings, entirely focused on humans with all other animal and plant life existing simply as scenery.  Likewise, it would be quite difficult to imagine zombies having “dominion” over anything at all.  All of this is obvious, but it is worth going over it so that we can dismiss any notion of zombies having the role of steward over creation that humans do in the language of Genesis.  Even in the highest views of zombie potential, their stewardship would function in a hands-off, let nature get back to nature, approach.

Even if zombies don’t particularly fit the role of having “dominion” over creation as humans are said to have, are they green?  Imagining a world overrun by zombies is almost always focused on the human-zombie conflict; that is, we imagine burnt out buildings, war zone like destruction, and wandering groups of people struggling to survive in a post-societal world.  This would most likely involve environmental destruction similar to other battlefields.  Imagining a scenario in which the zombies win and humans are either extinct or a small minority on the planet, there are definitely some “green” qualities to zombie supremacy: 1) no need for fossil fuels of any kind and 2) no need for agriculture/consumption of large animal populations.  Unless zombies begin to consume other animal life and wipe it out along with human beings, a zombie supremacy would provide the rest of the planet an opportunity for a restart of sorts.  Yes, zombies are quite green and could be quite good for the earth, except that billions of people would have to die in order to bring it out.  Oh well, once we’re zombies we won’t care anyhow.

Endorsed by Zombie Bob

Posted in Uncategorized on 12/06/2010 by Zombie Luther

This happened last week, but have only just been able to share.  The Zombie Bible Commentary got its first zombie endorsement!


Source: A Zombie Bob PSA by Caspianrex.

Luke 13:1-5

Posted in Luke on 11/30/2010 by Zombie Luther

Zombie Guilt?

AT that time there came some men and told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  And Jesus answered, saying to them, Do you think that those Galileans were greater sinners than all the other Galileans, because this happened to them? No; but I say to you that all of you also, if you do not repent, will perish in the same way. Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Shiloha fell, and it killed them; do you think that they were greater sinners than all the other men who live in Jerusalem? No, but I say to you that unless you repent, all of you will perish like them.

Luke 13:1-5

This short passage in Luke (not paralleled anywhere else) is an even more direct than usual statement by Jesus that tragedy is not a sign of relative moral failure.  The attempt to understand calamity by blaming the victim (presumably for their sinfulness) is as ancient as human civilization.

The zombie enthusiast has been offered two families of causes of a zombie apocalypse that are worth recalling.  1.  The rules of death are universally suspended for some unknown reason (perhaps scientific accident, metaphysical tragedy, etc.); they are essentially undead.  2.  Zombie-ism is a biological condition (virus, genetic mutation, etc.); they are essentially affected human beings.  These will no doubt have an effect on how the zombie enthusiast engages the question, “are the undead being punished/cursed for something they did?  Or, in other words, is there a connection between guilt and zombie-ism?

In the first case there does not seem to be any room for blaming the victims (zombies) for having become undead.  This is clear because any and all who die will become zombies.  It is only a matter of time before everyone is eventually a zombie with the only real question being will there be an ongoing human presence.  The second case is more complicated.  If zombie-ism is a disease or some other alteration of the human species, then it is clear that someone(s) can be blamed for zombie-ism itself though it may not be clear where to confine the blame.  In 28 Days Later, one could blame the lab testing the rage virus on chimpanzees, the animal rights activists, or both.  Zooming out a little, one could also blame the society that allows/encourages such biological testing via financial incentives.  This would include the British government, the university system, and English society as a whole.  28 Weeks Later makes the moral culpability more intriguing by introducing the notion that one can simply be a carrier of the virus that is otherwise unharmed (though brutally killed later).  The sequel was grayer in terms of the innocent, villains, and outsiders killed trying to be good who nonetheless suffer.  Suffice it to say, there is no indication that the zombie enthusiast can draw any conclusion other than this: zombie-ism carries no localized burden of guilt on the individual(s), but is rather a condemnation of society as a whole.