Popular Culture's Interpretations Of Biblical Characters

1495 words - 6 pages

There are many biblical characters that are portrayed in popular culture through visual texts. Popular culture is the way that is most popular and implemented by mass audiences and gives insight into the ways and behaviors of contemporary society (Lynch, 2005). Jesus is described before his death in the Last Supper through America’s favorite television show, The Family Guy. Another film that depicts a segment of Jesus’s life such as his crucifixion and death is demonstrated through Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion of the Christ. Moses, another character that is depicted through a children’s film the Prince of Egypt, shows his heroic deeds by redeeming the people of Israel. These different depictions show how societies interpret biblical text and demonstrate that as new generations come about, perceptions of the biblical text is continually changing

The Family Guy is an American animated television show portrays a scene in season seven, episode two called, “I Dream of Jesus.” The show is commonly known amongst young an audience that loves comedy. Throughout a scene as Peter and his Family are seen having dinner, Jesus is present. This is similar to the last supper that is described in Mark 14:17-25. The biblical text describes how Jesus predicts what would happen to him with his twelve disciples as he faces betrayal. The biblical text is differentiated to the one of popular culture through time, environment, clothing, and language. In the episode, while Jesus is seen dining with the family, he makes a statement also familiar in the biblical text of Matthew 14:17 saying, “Truly, I tell you one of you is going to betray me.” He pauses and laughs saying, “Ahaha, I’m just kidding”. However the biblical text gives no evidence of Jesus making jokes at that crucial time, the biblical text implies Jesus’s passion as he discusses that one of his own would betray him (Senior, 2007). However, The Family Guy show doesn’t go further to explain who would betray Jesus. This shows that how in terms of Jesus and his last supper popular culture sees less importance in the betrayer and more on the betrayal. . There are a few differences that are discovered throughout this scene; with the family Jesus has a casual tone with contemporary English speaking skills. However, it is known that Jesus and his disciples spoke Aramaic at that time (Senior, 2007). Peter and his family had ice cream for their supper whilst biblical text indicates Jesus and his disciples had bread and wine. Lastly, Jesus is portrayed at the dining table wearing a robe and having a long beard, biblical material does not give evidence of clothing wear in that time, however historians can show the type of clothes wore by men in that era. Throughout both examples, popular culture seems to innovate modern Jesus with certain biblical traits, such as the robe and beard. Throughout the visual text it is clearly evident that the Jesus presented in the biblical text has is not truly interpreted within...

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