Reader Janine D. recently wrote, “I heard there are Zombies mentioned in the Bible. Is that true?”
We’ve already established that Jesus cannot be accurately characterized as a Zombie (see Jesus Was Not A Zombie), and after considerable research, I can find only two other possible arguments that Zombies shuffled through the Holy Christian book.
“And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”
“Now this will be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouth. On that day a large-scale panic from the LORD will spread among them. One person will grab the hand of another, and one will attack the other.”
Matthew covers the physical aspect of the dead rising, but – just like Jesus – if these saints returned as fundamentally the same beings as they were before they died, then they fall short of the mark. Remember, a Zombie is a biologically definable animated being occupying a human corpse. It is not the resurrection of the same essential person who once lived in that body.
Zachariah has the gore and violence of any great modern Zombie movie, but nowhere does he actually say that people die and then return to fight the living. A plague that rots your flesh and eats your eyeballs is a major bummer, but it does not a Zombie Pandemic make.
Therefore, I would argue that neither passage fully describes an actual Zombie. So my answer, Janine, is: no. There are no true Zombies in the bible. What do you think?
Thanks to the folks at Monster By Mail for the Zombie Jesus illustration.