This is a pretty tough section in that it requires the students to search and be on the look-out for Biblical allusions in many places from literature to popular music or advertising. Students may search for these in literature and other media as well, but keeping the radar on will also be important.
Assessment will be based on organization, comprehensiveness and relevance of allusions.
(categorize as needed: songs, news stories, advertisements, literature, poetry, art)


the-ten-commandments-1956-movie-03.jpg<---Charlton Heston as Moses in Cecil B. DeMille's film The Ten Commandments (1956)

Do YOU know what a "biblical allusion" is? Well, an allusion is defined as a reference that "calls something to mind without mentioning it explicitly" (for example, Edward and Bella's love affair is forbidden, just as the apple was to Adam and Eve -- Twilight alludes to the story of the first man and woman). Therefore, a biblical allusion must refer to the Bible.

external image twilight-cover.jpg
How do you think the cover art of Twilight alludes to the Bible? (Hint: the apple.)



"Turn, Turn, Turn" The Byrds (1959) Lyrics based on Book of Ecclesiastes
"Samson" Regina Spektor -- Allusions to the story of Samson (and Delilah)
"The Man Comes Around" Johnny Cash -- Particularly references the Book of Revelations (The "Man" refers to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ). For more info, click here.
This is War 30 Seconds To Mars -- allusion to Jesus
Imagine John Lennon - references to heaven and hell
La Vie Boheme Rent - full of allusions to different things, including an allusion to the birth of Jesus.
All This Time Sting: Actually has lines from the Bible.
"Gloria" Patti Smith


"David vs. Goliath"Man fights Chik-Fil-A for Eat More Kale rights
"Blasphemous Art Vandalized" -- Artist in Manila, Philippines glues a carving of a wooden penis onto an image Jesus Christ's face.


"The Prince of Egypt" Trailer
"The Ten Commandments" Trailer - the story of Exodus.
"Bruce Almighty" Trailer - full of references, including to exodus when he splits the 'red sea' or rather his tomato soup.
Evan Almighty Trailer - The story of Noah. The character Evan builds an ark for animals so they can withstand a flood.
"Stranger Than Fiction" Trailer
"ET" Trailer -- ET is a Jesus character that comes from the heavens. On earth he gets along with the children while the adults fear him. He dies but comes back. He ascends back into the sky but his connections remain.
The Matrix Trailer --- The One is a Messiah figure who is prophesied to save the world. Commentary on the fact that he only has power if he believes he is "The One", this beleif is given to him by his 'followers'
"The Lion King" -- Mufasa is a Christ figure. He sacrifices himself for his son.
"Pulp Fiction" CAUTION: This clip contains explicit language! -- The passage of Ezekiel 25:17 recurs throughout the film. Click the link for one such scene (the passage appears at the end of the video).
"Babel" -- The film's title itself alludes to the tower of Babel.


Doctor Who -- The Doctor is a Jesus figure who dies in martyrdom and is resurrected to save various worlds.

Lost-- The last name of one of the main characters, Jack, is Shepherd -- throughout the Bible, shepherds are depicted as leaders and sources of guidance.
After the character Juliet murders Danny and her life is spare, she is "marked" -- just as Cain was marked after killing Abel.

South Park-- Has the image of Jesus, even though it's poking fun at him.

Scrubs-- Has the miracle of birth, alluding the birth of Jesus

Heroes -- is based on the theme of evolution and creation. Episodes are divided up into books which are named after the books of the bible. There are profits as well that have the ability to see into the future.

House - in one episode House tells the husband of a cheating wife that the baby is the product of an immaculate conception. In an earlier episode he was pitted against against G-d to save a life.


The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis --The character of Aslan the "Great Lion" is a central character throughout the Chronicles. Lewis himself described Aslan as an alternative version of Jesus that is "as the form in which Christ might have appeared in a fantasy world".

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling -- The title character is "The Chosen One" is prophesied to save the world. He is willing to sacrifice himself to save those he loves, but in the ends comes back to life and saves the world.

"Howl" by Allen Ginsberg --
  • Part II of Ginsberg's famous (or infamous) poem repeatedly cries "Moloch!". In the Bible, Moloch is the idol in the Book of Leviticus to whom the Canaanites sacrificed children. In "Howl", Ginsberg implies that the characters portrayed in Part I were sacrificed to Moloch.
  • Towards the end of Part I, a line includes the words "eli eli lamma lamma sabachthani", which is a version of the last words of Jesus: "Oh God, why have you forsaken me?"

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien -- The protagonist, Frodo Baggins, bears the burden of the ring -- and all the evil of the world -- just as Jesus Christ bore the weight of the cross and all the world's sins.

"The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats -- This poem utilizes imagery of and allusion to the Apocalypse and the Second Coming of Christ as a metaphor for the mood post-war Europe.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy -- A story about a man and his son struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, the son is often portrayed as a Christ figure -- free of sin and evil, and the only beacon of hope left on earth.


Samsung Galaxy

Miller Life's "Noah" Commercial (References of Noah and the Ark)

Liberty Mutual's "Adam and Eve" Commercial (Based off of the story of Adam and Eve)


Angels in America - Tony Kushner - very heavy with themes of religion, angels, and prophets.
RENT - Jonathan Larson - Mimi is revived.
Hair -- Gald McDermot, James Rado, Gerome Ragni -- The character of Claude is an obvious Christ figure and from the first act gives benediction to the "tribe" and to the audience. Throughout the play, there are allusions to him being on a cross and, in the end, he is chosen to give his life for others.


"Piss Christ" by photographer Andres Serrano, which depicts a plastic crucifix submerged in urine (this piece was deemed extremely blasphemous, in case you didn't guess.)
external image 220px-Piss_Christ_by_Serrano_Andres_(1987).jpg

"Beethoven Frieze" by Gustav Klimt: -- This painting is meant to depict the rise and fall of Adam and Eve, and was created to convey the cyclical nature of that Bible story set to Beethoven's 9th Sympthony.
external image 483px-Gustav_Klimt_014.jpg

"Christ" by photographer Robert Mapplethorpe --
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Additionally, Mapplethorpe's Self-Portrait presents the photographer in a Christ-like stance:
external image robert_mapplethorpe_self_portrait_1975b.jpg

"The First Mourning" (in French "Premier Deuil") by William-Adolphe Bouguereau -- Portrays Adam and Eve mourning the death of Abel, who was murdered by Cain. According to the Bible, this was the first human death.
external image 741px-Bouguereau-The_First_Mourning-1888.jpg

The Nature of The Physical World
This is a modern view of the cross


Confession Chamber by Helen Gorrill
An exhibition of collections of confessions