If the Doctor met Jesus

If the Doctor met Jesus April 19, 2013

I came across this image on a Christian meme Facebook page:

It had to get a mention here, since it brings religion and Doctor Who together. But I’m not impressed with what it does at the intersection.

If the Doctor were to encounter the historical Jesus, surely he would have been the Galilean exorcist, teacher, and/or Messianic claimant that historians find at the core of the Gospel narratives. Not a figure who speaks more directly with the later Christological claims of the church than even the Jesus of the Gospel of John (although falling backwards is reminiscent of what John alone depicts as happening in the Garden of Gethsemane). The historical Jesus didn’t cause people to fall over backwards in awe at his presence. He was clearly an thoroughly a human being.

If, on the other hand, the Doctor is here envisaged as encountering the exalted post-Easter Christ, then when and where is that supposed to be happening? Is the “right hand of God” a place that one can get with the TARDIS? And why does it have brick walls and ladders?

Imagining the Doctor encountering Jesus is a nice idea. But I think that it would make for a more interesting story, or meme image, if the figure of Jesus were treated with more seriousness and depth than this meme image does.

Because the truth is, for all its lofty language about Jesus, the image above treats Jesus very superficially. It is more concerned to heap on lofty titles, than to think either about historical realism or any serious theological considerations.

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