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Robert M. Price is both a biblical academic and a analyzer of accustomed culture, and he is able-bodied able to analyze two super-powered heroes who came to apple from addition place, Jesus and Superman. His Bible Geek podcast for 5/18/2011 compares these two superheroes and finds added similarities than you adeptness expect.
You could altercate that Superman is a Christ-like figure, but that’s not the affair here. Rather, the techniques Christian apologists use to achieve that the Christ adventure is actual would additionally advance historians to a agnate cessation about Superman.
There are Superman comics, radio shows, TV shows and cartoons, movies, and alike novels and video amateur over a 75-year span, and the acceptance aren’t consistently consistent. Suppose a approaching historian is aggravating to accomplish faculty of this and decides to baddest aloof the accustomed facts. These adeptness be: Superman grew up in Smallville, was able abundant to lift a car, bearded himself as anchorman Clark Kent, and so on. In the Superman canon, annihilation contradicts these claims, so they charge be historical, right?
We see the aforementioned affair with Christian apologists. They’ll booty the accustomed elements of the actuality adventure and appeal that they charge be historical. Jesus was born, he was crucified, he was buried, and the tomb was after begin empty. Who could altercate with these? They charge be historical.
Gary Habermas is able-bodied accustomed for his basal facts argument, that with aloof a scattering of facts accustomed by accordant scholars, the awakening of Jesus is the accessible conclusion. (I’ve accounting added on this altercation here.)
Or booty the Testimonium Flavianum, the access in the writings of first-century historian Josephus that gives a adulatory annual of Jesus. This is clashing annihilation a Jew like Josephus would write, and alike abounding bourgeois advisers accede it isn’t authentic. Instead of abnegation it as an accessible forgery, however, abounding are bent to deliver what they can and brainstorm a ashen aboriginal by Josephus that they can acknowledge as historical. (More here.)
If we booty the comics as gospel, what extra-comical affirmation is there for Superman? Plenty, accustomed the abundant radio and TV series, movies, and added media. Thought bubbles don’t construe from print media, and Jimmy Olsen aboriginal appeared in a radio appearance to accord Clark Kent or Superman an alibi to explain what he’s thinking. There are endless instances area Superman is referenced by journalists or accustomed citizens.
We see the aforementioned affair in Christian apologetics. Some writings were declared heretical, like the writings of Marcion. Some books are approved in some churches but not in others. For example, 1 and 2 Maccabees are approved in the Catholic Church but not in Protestant churches. Apologists point agilely to bare mentions of Christianity in the works of first- and aboriginal second-century historians.
Superman originated with aerial academy acceptance Jerry Siegel (writer) and Joe Shuster (artist), but the absolute assize is the aftereffect of abounding hands—other banana writers and artists, TV and cine screenwriters, radio scriptwriters, and more. Plot holes, analytic flaws, and added errors are assured with so abounding contributors. An internet chase for “Superman chain errors” allotment two actor hits.
More austere are the advised changes. For example, anybody on Superman’s home planet of Krypton originally had superpowers, but after abandoned Clark Kent had them due to the earth’s chicken sun. And is Superman cool aloof as a man, or additionally as a teen, a boy, or a baby? Some projects reboot Superman, attention the ample outline after actuality accountable by capacity in antecedent incarnations.
As with Superman, there are abounding adverse versions of Jesus. The biblical band-aid was to bead the inconsistent versions, and the writings of the Marcionites and Gnostics didn’t accomplish the cut (at atomic according to the band that won the acceptance contest). After contributions by Mohammed and Joseph Smith weren’t included either.
Though the books of the Bible were called to amuse a attenuated orthodoxy, we still see the adumbration of these inconsistencies. For example, does post-resurrection Jesus accept a spirit anatomy (Luke 24:31) or a concrete anatomy (eight verses later)? How can Jesus go to “Paradise” with the bandit on the day of his afterlife according to Luke back Acts says Jesus remained on apple for 40 days? Addition example: Paul’s credo conflicted with the stricter angle of the James/Peter sect, and he abstracts this attempt in Galatians 2:11–21.
Superman is fatigued from added super-savior acceptance of the time, and the borrowing can be obvious. For example, you apparently apperceive of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic, but Doc Savage additionally had a Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic, and his aboriginal name was additionally Clark. Doc Savage (née 1933) is the Man of Bronze and Superman (1938) is the Man of Steel.
Captain Approaching (1940) is The Man of Tomorrow; so is Superman.
The adherent of The Adumbration (1930) was Margo Lane; Superman’s was Lois Lane.
Likewise, we see affluence of examples in the Bible that draw from above-mentioned traditions from civilizations in the region.
If the techniques of Christian apologists are valid, approaching Kentites would be justified in their belief. Or, if that argumentation is awry and a actual Superman is ridiculous, the aforementioned is accurate for the actuality story.
On the face of it, the Superman adventure is far added believable than the Jesus story. Superman is an able actuality who lived on a planet, and we accept that back that’s what we are. Superman got actuality with technology, and we accept that, too—we accept a bound adeptness to biking through amplitude ourselves. But Jesus? We accept aught universally accustomed affirmation of a abnormal anything.
Another important aberration is that Superman saves bodies whether they accept in him or not.
Two possibilities exist:either we are abandoned in the cosmos or we are not.
(This is an amend of a column that originally appeared 6/11/14.)
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