Lazarus, the man Jesus Christ brought back from the dead, may have been Patient Zero in the zombie apocalypse. That is the shocking claim of an infectious disease specialist who contends that in performing His most astounding miracle, the Messiah inadvertently sparked the epidemic.
Dr. Godfrey P. Stockworthy and his team used computer analysis to chart every recorded zombie outbreak of the past 2,000 years and created a digital map.
“The map shows waves of outbreaks in concentric circles with the epicenter in the ancient town of Bethany, where Lazarus was resurrected, and spreading first across the Holy Land, then throughout the Roman Empire, then Asia and Africa,” revealed the British researcher. “The first documented zombie incidents took place in 34 A.D. just a few miles from the West Bank town of al-Eizariyat, as Bethany is now known.”
Chapter 11 of the Gospel According to St. John states that Jesus brought Lazarus back to life after the villager lay rotting in a tomb for four days. Little is known of what became of Lazarus after that, other than that the Bible says fearful chief priests considered putting him down. According to Eastern Orthodox tradition, he was driven from Judea and ended up in Cyprus—incidentally the site of one of the earliest mentions of “the walking death,” as ancient historians called the zombie plague. Another account says that terrified townsfolk set him out to sea in a boat without oars and that years later he was cornered in a cave in Marseilles, France, and beheaded. Contradicting that, a 16th century folktale relates how Rabbi Loew, the intrepid holy man who also took down the Golem of Prague, smote him in the forehead with a silver spike engraved with Hebrew lettering.
“Whichever account you believe, it’s noteworthy that in all of them, Lazarus could only be killed permanently by going for the head, just as with modern-day zombies,” Dr. Stockworthy observes.
Researchers know now that many cases of what were mistakenly called “lepers” in the Dark Ages and Medieval times were in fact zombies, whose decaying body parts and shambling gait struck fear into the hearts of peasants all over Europe. And historians are in almost unanimous agreement that the Holy Land was ground zero for what has become a widening epidemic. But Dr. Stockworthy is the first expert to pinpoint Lazarus of Bethany as the world’s first zombie.
The study, released April 15 on the eve of Easter, was greeted with skepticism by Bible scholars.
“To suggest that Jesus accidentally created zombies is ludicrous,” declared televangelist Reverend Alvin Becrest. “If Our Lord is responsible for the zombie apocalypse, and I’m not conceding that He is, it must be part of the divine plan.”
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth
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