Harmonizing Judas With Doctor Who

This post isn’t about singing harmony on a Lady Gaga song, but about turning a favorite conservative Christian passtime into a fun blogging activity. The discrepancies between the accounts of Judas’ fate, what happened to the 30 pieces of silver, and how the “Field of Blood” got its name are well known. If you aren’t familiar with them, read them for yourself in Acts 1:18-19 and Matthew 27:1-10.

Those who are determined to have the Bible contain no contradictions no matter the cost have devoted countless hours to harmonizing this and similar discrepancies. They seem not to realize that the one convoluted narrative that they piece together from the two is not what either account in the New Testament says. And so what is “inerrant” is their own contrived construction, while the New Testament writings are each on their own left looking inadequate, since they do not give the impression of what the inerrantist thinks “really happened.”

This meme asks you (and if you are reading this, you are tagged) to come up with the most creative, outlandish, entertaining or humorous way of harmonizing the accounts that you can. When you’ve done so, post it on your blog, and leave a link here to your post. And spread the word, asking those who pick up the meme from your blog to come here and share their links here as well.

Fans of LOST and Doctor Who know that even the most complicated plot lines with serious continuity errors can be resolved through time travel. And so here is my version of the harmonized story of Judas, featuring the Doctor and his TARDIS…

Judas sold the information about where Jesus would be on Passover night to the authorities for 30 pieces of silver. He then went without remorse and bought a field. While inspecting it, he tripped and fatally injured himself. While he was lying there in pain, he hears a wooshing noise, and a blue box appears in the field. A man in strange clothing comes out and introduces himself as the Doctor. He administers first aid, and when Judas gets a good look at him, he realizes that he is the man from whom he bought the field!

The Doctor explains to Judas that his actions will make history, but also cause much suffering. He gives Judas back the money he paid for the field, takes him in the TARDIS, and shows him the crucifixion. Judas is disturbed, and when the Doctor returns him to his own time, Judas runs off, heading straight for the temple. Judas throws the money into it and runs off to hang himself in the field that he had earlier purchased. Later, the priests will decide to buy a field with the money Judas threw into the temple, and will purchase a field whose previous owner just committed suicide and who had no heirs to inherit it.

The Doctor, meanwhile, tells half the details of what happened to a man named Matthew, and the other half to a man named Luke.

Now it’s your turn. Let’s see what you can come up with!

  • http://evolvingthoughts.net John S. Wilkins

    What, you don’t realise that Jesus was the Doctor? Jesus is called “Reb” by his disciples. That means “teacher”, which is also what “Doctor” means. Also, Jesus regenerated on the third day…

    • Anonymous

      But the disciples were able to recognize him and he kept the wounds.  Regenerated Time Lords have new repaired bodies (even growing back severed limbs) and new personalities.

  • http://evolvingthoughts.net John S. Wilkins

    What, you don’t realise that Jesus was the Doctor? Jesus is called “Reb” by his disciples. That means “teacher”, which is also what “Doctor” means. Also, Jesus regenerated on the third day…

    • http://digestofworms.blogspot.com/ admiralmattbar

      But the disciples were able to recognize him and he kept the wounds.  Regenerated Time Lords have new repaired bodies (even growing back severed limbs) and new personalities.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    I thought about going in that direction and decided against it. I wonder whether we will ever get a Doctor Who episode that has the Doctor visit first century Palestine. There certainly have been, and there is room for a lot more, time travel stories related to Jesus and his company.

    • Gordon Hudson

      Check out the book “Behold the Man” by Michael Moorcock. The main character travels back in time to meet Jesus, finds him to have a learning disability and is crucified in his place. The idea of a disabled Jesus actually comes from Rudolf Steiner who, as a literalist, assumed there had to be two Jesus children for the genealogies to make sense.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    I thought about going in that direction and decided against it. I wonder whether we will ever get a Doctor Who episode that has the Doctor visit first century Palestine. There certainly have been, and there is room for a lot more, time travel stories related to Jesus and his company.

    • Gordon Hudson

      Check out the book “Behold the Man” by Michael Moorcock. The main character travels back in time to meet Jesus, finds him to have a learning disability and is crucified in his place. The idea of a disabled Jesus actually comes from Rudolf Steiner who, as a literalist, assumed there had to be two Jesus children for the genealogies to make sense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thatjeffcarter Jeff Carter
  • http://www.facebook.com/thatjeffcarter Jeff Carter
  • Anonymous

    In the Easter special that came out when the season was replaced by tv movies the Doctor mentions the original Easter but does not go on to describe it (it is also unclear if he means the Christian Easter or the pagan one).

    • http://www.facebook.com/goodacre Mark Goodacre

      Yes, I was reminded of that.  You are thinking of Planet of the Dead, which aired at Easter 2009.

  • http://digestofworms.blogspot.com/ admiralmattbar

    In the Easter special that came out when the season was replaced by tv movies the Doctor mentions the original Easter but does not go on to describe it (it is also unclear if he means the Christian Easter or the pagan one).

    • http://www.facebook.com/goodacre Mark Goodacre

      Yes, I was reminded of that.  You are thinking of Planet of the Dead, which aired at Easter 2009.

  • Paul D.

    “The idea of a disabled Jesus actually comes from Rudolf Steiner who, as a literalist, assumed there had to be two Jesus children for the genealogies to make sense.”

    That is the most amazing attempt to harmonize the genealogies of Matthew and Luke I’ve ever heard. Heck, that could work for the entire birth narrative.

    Speaking of Jesus, time travel could solve the two birth narratives as well. Perhaps there was an entirely different timeline, with Jesus being born under Herod, Judas hanging himself, etc. that got changed by one of Captain Kirk’s shenanigans, and somehow Matthew’s gospel from the old timeline found its way into the new timeline.

    • Gary

      Paul D. comment “assumed there had to be two Jesus children for the genealogies to make sense.” No. I am sure “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” predated the concept, and caused the confusion between Matthew and Luke, not to mention Paul. Monty Python knows all, and sees all.

  • Paul D.

    “The idea of a disabled Jesus actually comes from Rudolf Steiner who, as a literalist, assumed there had to be two Jesus children for the genealogies to make sense.”

    That is the most amazing attempt to harmonize the genealogies of Matthew and Luke I’ve ever heard. Heck, that could work for the entire birth narrative.

    Speaking of Jesus, time travel could solve the two birth narratives as well. Perhaps there was an entirely different timeline, with Jesus being born under Herod, Judas hanging himself, etc. that got changed by one of Captain Kirk’s shenanigans, and somehow Matthew’s gospel from the old timeline found its way into the new timeline.

    • Gary

      Paul D. comment “assumed there had to be two Jesus children for the genealogies to make sense.” No. I am sure “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” predated the concept, and caused the confusion between Matthew and Luke, not to mention Paul. Monty Python knows all, and sees all.

  • http://www.gentlewisdom.org.uk/ Peter Kirk

    When the Doctor had finished with Judas, he took the Tardis to Gethsemane, while Jesus was praying and the disciples were sleeping. “Jesus,”, he said, “you don’t have to die. Just come with me in the Tardis.” “No, Doctor. Get behind me, Satan! God’s will has to be done.” “OK, but come with me for a short trip first, and I’ll bring you back here, before your friends even wake up.” First they travel ahead three days and appear outside a guarded tomb. The Doctor makes himself look like an angel, puts the guards to sleep, opens up the tomb, and takes the body. Then he sends Jesus out to comfort a woman in mourning. They move on and in the evening materialise the Tardis inside a locked upper room, and Jesus takes another trip outside. Then a few more appearances, including one by the Sea of Galilee, and another at the Mount of Olives, where the Tardis hovers in a cloud and draws Jesus up with a tractor beam (oops, wrong sci-fi series there I think). Finally they fast forward a few years and appear in a blinding flash on the Damascus road. Only then does the Doctor take Jesus back to Gethsemane. “Now at least they won’t forget you after you die”, he says in parting.

    Or maybe it just happened as the Bible says…

    • http://www.gentlewisdom.org.uk/ Peter Kirk

      This comment has now become part of a post on my blog: Doctor Who Meets Jesus.

  • http://www.gentlewisdom.org.uk/ Peter Kirk

    When the Doctor had finished with Judas, he took the Tardis to Gethsemane, while Jesus was praying and the disciples were sleeping. “Jesus,”, he said, “you don’t have to die. Just come with me in the Tardis.” “No, Doctor. Get behind me, Satan! God’s will has to be done.” “OK, but come with me for a short trip first, and I’ll bring you back here, before your friends even wake up.” First they travel ahead three days and appear outside a guarded tomb. The Doctor makes himself look like an angel, puts the guards to sleep, opens up the tomb, and takes the body. Then he sends Jesus out to comfort a woman in mourning. They move on and in the evening materialise the Tardis inside a locked upper room, and Jesus takes another trip outside. Then a few more appearances, including one by the Sea of Galilee, and another at the Mount of Olives, where the Tardis hovers in a cloud and draws Jesus up with a tractor beam (oops, wrong sci-fi series there I think). Finally they fast forward a few years and appear in a blinding flash on the Damascus road. Only then does the Doctor take Jesus back to Gethsemane. “Now at least they won’t forget you after you die”, he says in parting.

    Or maybe it just happened as the Bible says…

    • http://www.gentlewisdom.org.uk/ Peter Kirk

      This comment has now become part of a post on my blog: Doctor Who Meets Jesus.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Wow, these are some great responses already!

    @Paul D, I have sometimes thought that a simpler harmonization of the birth stories than some of the ones I have heard would be to posit that Jesus died in childhood the first time around (not surprising, given health and life expectancy issues in those times) and so a second attempt was made.

    @Gordon Hudson, I’ve only read the short story “Behold the Man” and pesumably really should read the novel. I’ve used the short story in my religion and science fiction class.

    @AdmiralMattbar, we have accounts in which the disciples don’t seem to recognize him. So on that basis alone one couldn’t exclude the “time lord hypothesis.” As for the wounds, presumably that’s due to an incomplete regeneration caused by a transitory quantum flux in the time vortex which caused the timey wimpy

    • Anonymous

      Did he forget to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow?  That’s a very un-Doctor thing to do!

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Wow, these are some great responses already!

    @Paul D, I have sometimes thought that a simpler harmonization of the birth stories than some of the ones I have heard would be to posit that Jesus died in childhood the first time around (not surprising, given health and life expectancy issues in those times) and so a second attempt was made.

    @Gordon Hudson, I’ve only read the short story “Behold the Man” and pesumably really should read the novel. I’ve used the short story in my religion and science fiction class.

    @AdmiralMattbar, we have accounts in which the disciples don’t seem to recognize him. So on that basis alone one couldn’t exclude the “time lord hypothesis.” As for the wounds, presumably that’s due to an incomplete regeneration caused by a transitory quantum flux in the time vortex which caused the timey wimey to siphon off regeneration energy… :-)

    • http://digestofworms.blogspot.com/ admiralmattbar

      Did he forget to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow?  That’s a very un-Doctor thing to do!

  • AaronRoss

    It is apparent by now, that just as there are those determined to have the bible contain no contradictions, there are those determined to have the bible contain contradictions.

    No matter what.

  • AaronRoss

    It is apparent by now, that just as there are those determined to have the bible contain no contradictions, there are those determined to have the bible contain contradictions.

    No matter what.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    @AaronRoss, you are neglecting a third category: those of us who really, desperately believed and wished to continue to believe that the Bible contains no contradictions or errors, but eventually found that the evidence from the Bible itself would not allow us to continue deluding ourselves that it was so.

    Why do inerrantists believe that those who do somersaults to deny the plain meaning of the text are faithful defenders of the Bible (it’s honor, if not it’s meaning) while those who stand for what the Bible actually says are considered infidels and ungodly? It seems to me that, if anything, it should be the other way around.

    • RandallMorrison

      Actually, the one doing the somersaults is the one who tries to avoid the spirt of the law by picking on the letter of the law, as some guy said once.

    • RandallMorrison

      Actually, the one doing the somersaults is the one who tries to avoid the spirt of the law by picking on the letter of the law, as some guy said once.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    @AaronRoss, you are neglecting a third category: those of us who really, desperately believed and wished to continue to believe that the Bible contains no contradictions or errors, but eventually found that the evidence from the Bible itself would not allow us to continue deluding ourselves that it was so.

    Why do inerrantists believe that those who do somersaults to deny the plain meaning of the text are faithful defenders of the Bible (it’s honor, if not it’s meaning) while those who stand for what the Bible actually says are considered infidels and ungodly? It seems to me that, if anything, it should be the other way around.

    • RandallMorrison

      Actually, the one doing the somersaults is the one who tries to avoid the spirt of the law by picking on the letter of the law, as some guy said once.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, we could fix a bigger problem using time travel.  There is that contradiction between the Synoptics and John on what day Jesus was crucified.  It’s also unclear what the length of the ministry of Jesus was.

    The first time Jesus’ ministry was only a year as the Synoptics would suggest, he gets caught after the Temple Tantrum, and you know the rest.  He then get’s transported back to Galilee, recalls the Disciples, and starts ministering again for a few years as John implies.  Isn’t everything perfect if we just make Jesus minister twice?  And would the sacrifice work twice as well?  To be born again… again!

  • Gilgamesh42

    Actually, we could fix a bigger problem using time travel.  There is that contradiction between the Synoptics and John on what day Jesus was crucified.  It’s also unclear what the length of the ministry of Jesus was.

    The first time Jesus’ ministry was only a year as the Synoptics would suggest, he gets caught after the Temple Tantrum, and you know the rest.  He then get’s transported back to Galilee, recalls the Disciples, and starts ministering again for a few years as John implies.  Isn’t everything perfect if we just make Jesus minister twice?  And would the sacrifice work twice as well?  To be born again… again!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YBFWIEFQPU7NTXYIY2SUIJA7TE Michael Cecil
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YBFWIEFQPU7NTXYIY2SUIJA7TE Michael Cecil
  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    @AdmiralMattbar, even the Doctor forgets things when it is essential to the storyline. :-)

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    @AdmiralMattbar, even the Doctor forgets things when it is essential to the storyline. :-)

  • Howard Mazzaferro

    @James, you would probably enjoy the 2007 movie, “The Man from Earth” if you have not seen it already.

  • Howard Mazzaferro

    @James, you would probably enjoy the 2007 movie, “The Man from Earth” if you have not seen it already.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    @google-2e495af83153bef01b686a6c2268489d:disqus , I don’t remember seeing it – thanks for the recommendation!

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    @google-2e495af83153bef01b686a6c2268489d:disqus , I don’t remember seeing it – thanks for the recommendation!

  • http://www.facebook.com/thatjeffcarter Jeff Carter

    I don’t know how it happened, but Blogspot swallowed two of my recent posts – here is the new link to the reposted : A Quantum Leap for Judas. 
    http://thatjeffcarterwashere.blogspot.com/2011/06/quantum-leap-for-judas-harmonizing_15.html

  • An Whovian in need of a life

    We know the Romans are Autons. Are the pharisees Cyberman – “You will be assimilated”. Ananias and Caiaphas, the Daleks – “Exterminate, exterminate!” Is Herod Adipose?
    Oh my; headless monks, plasmavores, ood, weeping angels, vashta nerada, the silence – allegorical fodder abounds in the Whoniverse.
    PS my moneys on Luke being the Doctor and i defy anyone to retcon that.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X