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No Such Thing as Wizard Jesus

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Pictured: What you're not allowed to point out. (Image by sora-ko)

"I'm not impressed by superpowers. Whether 2,000 years ago or today."
Ben Santini, Stormwatch

Okay, so you have a setting where various people in the modern day have all these amazing powers. Whether they're born as mutants, mages, wizards, or something else, they're able to perform miraculous feats that warp reality itself.

Hrm, weren't there some other historical people who performed miraculous feats? People who ended up being worshipped? If you have these wizards running around turning lead into gold, who is to say that in this universe, Jesus wasn't just a cultist wizard conning people over by turning water into wine and restoring sight to the blind?

Nope, Jesus was never a wizard. This will never be brought up. You might get some talk about how, oh, the Greek Gods were really aliens or something, but if a character ever brings up a modern faith that people still practice widely — Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, or Islam — nobody will ever go, "Say, these people we're fighting can resurrect themselves. I wonder if that means Jesus was..." While Beethoven may have been an alien spy, Jesus never was.

Often one of the things that comes up during Fridge Logic, especially if say, there's a Christmas Episode or chapter during which the main characters, who have every ability Jesus ever displayed and more, still celebrate Christmas as if it's a big deal, when Larry has walked on water, can produce food from rocks, and has already come back from the dead several times.

And despite the trope name, this refers to all religious figures and prophets, e.g. Krishna, Moses, and Mohammed. This trope is for when half of the reason you're part of a religion is because of records of miracles performed by gods, prophets, or messiahs — a world where everyone is running around with superpowers and constantly coming back from death should dilute that, or at least be addressed in some way.

There is a pretty good reason why this trope is so prevalent. If you try to subvert it, and say that Jesus was, in fact, a wizard/mutant/shaman/psychic/alien, people WILL be offended (and if you say anything bad about L. Ron, you might get sued). It doesn't matter how perfect and kind and wonderful you might portray him as, there will be always the implication that he was either delusional, or a charlatan, because he went on to found a religion that portrays him as the son of God in a Verse where abilities such as his are rather common. It's pretty hard to Hand Wave that away without making him or the church look bad. Rather than take a side, many works will walk the line with a "Maybe Miracle, Maybe Magic" answer.

It should also be noted that many religious figures used their powers not as justification, but as advertisement. "Yes, I just turned water into wine, but while I have your attention why don't you stay and listen to what you can do about your soul?" If the religions in the universe have decided to worship these figures for their teachings instead of supernatural claims or whatever powers or origins they might have had, that's fine. The problem is that it never plays out that way. It instead becomes a cosmic version of the Elephant in the Living Room.

See also: No Such Thing as Space Jesus. That one is about how any powerful being that claims to be a god in Science Fiction clearly isn't and anyone who treats it as such is a gullible fool, whereas this one is that religious figures still get treated the same even if their magic powers are nothing special in the setting.

Contrast Religion is Magic. See also Jesus Was Way Cool.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The corpse parts in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Steel Ball Run are heavily implied to be that of Jesus. Despite utilizing the existing supernatural elements of the series, part of the reason the corpse serves as the goal of the Part is that its power is still on a whole different level and breaks several established rules.
  • Enel from One Piece believes himself to be a Physical God and has powers of divine thunder and apparent omniscience to back it up. However his title of "God" is really just a local term meaning "King" and several ordinary people have had it before him. His powers come from a Lightning Logia Devil Fruit - a very powerful one, but the series moves on to show many more that are just as strong. His ability to hear thoughts of anybody on Skypiea turns out to be a type of Haki, that other people in are also eventually shown to have. As the series has moved onto the New World section of the Grand Line, Enel's power turned from a one of a kind threat that was defeated on a technicality, to an elite but not necessarily someone reaching the levels of Emperors and Admirals.
  • Saint Seiya is a Crossover Cosmology, and you literally have gods and goddesses in human form. And Hyoga, one of the reincarnated Athena's loyal saints, is catholic and completely unconflicted about it. No mention is ever made as to whether Christianity as a whole or Jesus in particular have had any impact in previous deific conflicts. It is averted though, in that the Virgo saint Shaka is the reincarnation of the Buddha... and also serves Athena (though it might be more of a Pals with Jesus type thing, where he's temping part time for her).
  • It's implied in UQ Holder! (a series where magic spells can literally be bought as phone apps) that Karin is actually a Gender Flip of Judas and was blessed with immortality by Jesus so she would eventually be able to repent for her betrayal.

    Comic Books 
  • This trope is very prevalent in Super Hero comic books. Everybody and their mother has died and come back in these universes and wields far more power than most religious prophets or even gods in some cases. Plus, in many Fantasy Kitchen Sink comics verses, Physical Gods are superheroes and nobody says boo. The closest they come is having these supergods occasionally inspire (small, fringe) worshippers.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • X-Men: Mutants have been various important personages throughout history and have been around since the dawn of the Egyptian civilization at least. Try crucifying Wolverine and stuffing him in a cave for a couple of days and act surprised when he comes back to life. Also, during the House of M storyline, a teacher asks who the first mutant was… "and don't say Jesus, since he doesn't count".note  Interestingly enough, a few modern storylines subvert this by revealing that some angels and demons were actually early mutants. Though as your standard Fantasy Kitchen Sink, the Marvel Universe also has real angels and demons.
      • Wolverine has been crucified,- bolted to a big letter X by the Reavers and left to bake in the Australian outback. (They just had to Curb Stomp him with a surprise attack and eight-to-one odds, and he went up on the "cross" as docile as you please.) It even overloaded his Healing Factor for a time (couldn't do that these days), forcing him to run and hide instead of kill, and surprisingly, he never did get to give them the claws in return; changing writer syndrome deprived him of his sweet revenge. Though the Reavers were actually getting their revenge for the time Wolverine tore them apart back when they were ordinary human mooks rather than cyborgs.
    • It's also inverted amusingly enough, as Satan gets the same treatment as Jesus. There are any number of demons who claim to be THE Satan, with Mephisto being particularly prominent, but it's canon that none of them are the real deal. The actual Satan canonically is missing and hasn't been seen for countless millennia, leaving his throne in Hell empty. He's been gone for so long that many demons and devils struggle to remember what he was like, or if he was even real, but whatever he was, they're all so terrified of him that nobody is willing to claim his empty throne, frightened of what would happen if he did somehow come back and see someone in his chair.
    • The Eternals make things more complicated. Having been created by the Celestials at the dawn of humanity as a separate race rather than anything divine, they were worshiped as gods, and their names reflect this - Makkari (Mercury) and Thena (Athena) are examples, and at least one has been worshipped by the Incans as well. Except that there is ALSO a pantheon of Greek gods, who are divine. This all led to some confusion when Hercules was claimed to be one of the Eternals with false memories of the actual Hercules (turns out to have been a mistranslation on the part of an Eternal conversing with a Celestial). There is also some No Such Thing as Space Jesus at play here, as the line between Eternal and actual gods is… indistinct to say the least.
    • To be clear, canonically Christianity is just as true in the Marvel Universe as any other religion (the omnist/All Myths Are True approach). Angels, demons, and the Anti-Christ all very explicitly exist, are identified as such, and function like you'd expect (e.g., demons being burned by crosses). The monotheistic, benevolent God is also explicitly real, referred to as the One Above All, though He is deliberately portrayed as an amalgam of just about every supreme creator deity common throughout religions the world over. Heaven is explicitly a real place that most people go to when they die, assuming their souls aren't claimed by one of the other higher realms like Valhalla. The angels and demons aren't really treated any differently from the other pantheons, but the One Above All is called that for a reason being the ultimate being above all others that created the multiverse. Jesus himself is the odd man out of Christianity in that Marvel seemingly refuses to have him appear in person or give any hard stance on whether or not he was the genuine Son of God in this universe. Notably, there was going to be a Ghost Rider story in the 70s that had Jesus appear and help Ghost Rider out, firmly confirming that he IS the messiah, but it was nixed by editorial… not to avoid offending Christians, but to avoid offending other religions, as Jim Shooter feared it would violate the Marvel Universe's Crossover Cosmology and cement it as a "purely Christian" world; that it would give off the impression that the Christian God was the only genuine god, against the franchise's messages that all faiths were paths to the truth.
  • The DCU: Superman is always compared to Jesus in subtle or blatant ways (Oddly enough, as his origin was based on Moses, and he was created by 2 Jewish men), but nobody in the entire body of work has ever even made the passing suggestion that maybe Jesus was an alien shot to earth, too.
    • Jesus was actually, canonically, the real deal in the DC-verse; he's part of the backstory of The Spectre, who serves as an agent of God's Divine Wrath in the form of The Spirit of Vengeance. He was absent at the time of Jesus for the specific reason that Jesus was the Spirit of Forgiveness and the Lord did not want the two of them on Earth at the same time, as it would seem like he was sending mixed messages.
    • There was also a storyline in Doctor Fate involving a vampire who believed he could turn back into a human by drinking Jesus's blood from the Holy Grail.
  • This taboo once derailed an entire comic book story arc. Writer/artist Rick Veitch was working on a storyline in Swamp Thing (after Alan Moore's famous run) where the title character was falling backwards through time, and encountering both real historical figures and DC characters of the past. The plan was to culminate the story during the time of Jesus (usually obliquely called "The Nazarene" in the DC Universe). Swamp Thing himself was to take the role of an angel who gives Jesus a drink of water on his way to Calvary. And yes, the story was going to reveal that The Nazarene was, yes, a wizard, no different from Doctor Fate or Zatanna or the other mystical characters in the DC Universe. DC management popped a head-gasket and killed the story long after it had received official approval, so Veitch and his collaborators quit, and the story was never resolved.
  • The writer of The Son Of Dracula once got in an argument with the head of The Comics Code over whether Christians would be offended if he put in a reference to the book's main character being powerless inside a church (both the writer and the head of The Comics Code were Jewish).
  • At one point in Impulse, Max Mercury tries to convince Impulse that Santa Claus isn't real, because his powers are implausible. Impulse quickly (how else?) debunks every objection by naming a superhero with the same power. (E.g., the Atom can get down small chimneys.)
    • Plastic Man once tried to convince a child that Santa was real by telling him the story of an adventure he shared with the Justice League. The kid becomes skeptical when Plas gives Saint Nick Heat Vision, but both are flabbergasted when Santa flies by their window and uses said heat vision to write Merry Christmas in the snow. It's actually Martian Manhunter trolling them but as he flies off the real Santa is revealed to be watching.
    Santa Claus: Heat vision? What imagination these people have.

  • Bright takes place in a world where magic and other fantastical beings have co-existed with mankind since the dawn of time. There is even a separate quasi-Christian religion practiced by orcs that states their Messianic Archetype was the first Bright to have united the free races. Yet, nobody discusses the possibility of Jesus Christ being a Bright himself despite him being acknowledged to exist in this universe (several characters exclaim "Jesus!" and the story takes place in Los Angeles, a city historically founded by Catholic missionaries). It can come across as weird since certain historical figures that preceded him like Sargon of Akkad were Benevolent Mage Rulers.
  • Addressed in The Avengers (2012), where Maria Hill warns Captain America not to go after Thor and Loki on his own because they're superhuman, legendary creatures who are basically gods, and unlike Iron Man, he doesn't have a suit of Powered Armor. Cap replies that there's only one God, and he's pretty sure that He doesn't dress like that.
  • Ridley Scott has said in interviews that early drafts of Prometheus would have said that Jesus was an Engineer sent to put humanity on the right track. Though we weren't actually supposed to crucify him so the Engineers want to wipe us out in retaliation.

  • Played with by Christopher Moore.
    • In Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Joshua (AKA Jesus) is powerful in a son-of-god sense, but he learns a few of his tricks from monks and magicians.
    • In Coyote Blue, the Native American trickster god Coyote comments in passing how he met Jesus, and thought it was funny how he made such a big deal of coming back from the dead the one time (Coyote's brother in this case happens to be Anubis, who is constantly having to bring his mischievous brother back to life).
      "He was funny. He tried to teach me how to walk on water. I said I could do that just fine in the winter."
  • In the "secret history" short story Under St. Peter's by Harry Turtledove, the greatest secret of Christianity is that the actual Jesus resurrected from the dead, though not as the Bible tells it, but as a vampire (who was turned by the Romanian-born Roman centurion who brought him down from the cross after he fell unconscious), who has been imprisoned under the Vatican ever since he was brought there by St. Peter. The story is ambiguous as to whether Jesus is really divine or not (his vampirism itself is not specified to be due to either science or magic), as the now-vampiric Jesus currently remembers that in his pre-vampire existence he was only just a mere mortal, but he ultimately concedes that while he remembers every instant of his post-vampire existence perfectly, his memory of his human life meanwhile indeed remains as imperfect as that of a normal human. In any case, the Catholic Church continues to keep him locked up in perpetuity for both noble and self-serving reasons.
  • In Katherine Kurtz's Deryni novels there are factions within the Church that consider Deryni talents like healing to be the work of the devil because they imitate Jesus' miracles. On more than one occasion this leads to anti-Deryni pogroms. The obvious question of whether Jesus was simply one of them using the same powers is never directly referenced, but obliquely underlies much of the story (those Deryni inclined to religion tend to see their powers as divine gifts in any case.)
  • The Arthurian fantasy novel The Forever King has a Double Subversion: The plot revolves around the history of the Grail, which traditionally gained its magical powers from an encounter with Jesus, but in this telling existed and had its powers — including the power to defeat death — long before he appeared on the scene. Late in the book, there's a flashback to the events surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection, from the point of view of a character who knows about the Grail; he initially assumes (rather smugly) that Jesus was just an ordinary man brought back to life by the Grail, but then is surprised and disturbed by the discovery that it couldn't have been the Grail, and so therefore must have been something else he doesn't understand, possibly even a genuine act of God.
  • There's a scene in The Dark is Rising where Will protects a church and the members of it from an invasion of the Dark forces. Afterwards, the priest tries to ascribe the powers of the Old Ones of the Light as miracles derived from the Christian god, who he says came first and created all of existence. The narration says that Will thinks of saying something to correct the priest but doesn't say how he would have corrected him - did God come later? Does God even exist? Do the powers of the Old Ones come from a totally different source but the Christian God still exists? The text is about as purposefully vague as you can get in this part of the book.
  • The Nightside books and other series by Simon R. Green always make a point of saying that "only one man could ever bring the dead back to life" (and the resurrected Judas explicitly identifies Christ as that man) - completely ignoring that in the Bible, Elijah and Elisha could raise the dead as well, and some mediaeval saints were also said to have been capable of this. (Undead beings don't count.)
    • Its possible that Green overlooked Elijah and Elisha and others, on the other hand, most Christians would tell you that no, Elisha, Elijah, etc. did not raise anyone from the dead. They were ordinary men, and had no supernatural abilities or nature. Rather, it was God working through them that brought the dead back to life; they were merely His instruments. Thus, Jesus (being God) being the only man that can bring the dead back to life is quite correct.
    • In The Unnatural Enquirer John Taylor says only one man ever came back from Hell, and that was Jesus. Perhaps a bit of a retcon?
      • Considering that John himself spent most of Hex and the City accompanied by Sinner, a man who was booted out of Hell for still feeling love, he was probably using hyperbole with that one.
      • Christians believe that Jesus enter hell during the three days he was dead and emptied them.
    • Heck, in the books even angels, God's own stormtroopers can fix practically anything except death.
  • Harry Potter.
    • Wizards and witches can do amazing things with their magic, yet are unable to bring back the dead. Harry was the only known person to have survived the Avada Kevadra curse - twice - although both times, it was because he was specially protected from it. There are pretty good imitations of bringing back the dead, but the real thing doesn't exist. They also celebrate Christmas, one of the Hogwarts ghosts is the Fat Friar and Harry's parents have a Bible quote on their graves, so it seems likely that the wizarding community accepts conventional religion.
    • Also, Ron spends a summer in Egypt and makes a mention in his postcard of the old spells the Egyptian wizards put on the sarcophagi and pyramids.
    • J. K. Rowling stated "Hogwarts is a multi-faith school." So, presumably, all the major religions are represented.
    • Voldemort is stated to not have died, but this is only true in the most technical of senses. After his attack on the baby Harry, he became something that was described as 'less than the meanest ghost', and was capable of possessing bodies. While he might not have died by the strictest definition of the Potterverse, he could easily trick people into thinking that he had come back from the dead. In this case, any wizard with Horcruxes (Or alternatives), could put on a quite convincing show of dying and coming back. There's the problem that dark magic ruins your body. You do NOT get a good following looking like a snake, and cursing and subjugating your followers. You might get a cult of power hungry crazies, but you probably wouldn't ever be mainstream.
  • The Dresden Files is a bit complicated here:
    • First as All Myths Are True almost every deity you've heard of (and many you haven't) totally exist.. somewhere. If not without a twist or two (Santa Claus AKA the Winter King AKA Odin, yes that Odin) you probably didn't know. However the all the "little g" gods are essentially just powerful supernatural entities with peers like the Faerie Queens who are not said to be divinities. Likewise in the Nevernever all their realms are said to exist, some may require a heist novel to reach though.
    • At the same time Big G & Co certainly exist, but play by different rules without direct intervention beyond Contrived Coincidence. Twice now we've seen people's prayers for assistance answered within by the intervention of a Knight of the Cross, though Michael will admit He isn't always that quick. Angels and their Fallen brethren (who are distinct from demons) have been stated to wield power on a truly cosmic scale, but are subject to various rules keeping both from interfering in mortal affairs. Much. Relics of the Crucifixion not only exist but are at the center of several books, and can be powerful either because they are genuine, people believe they are, or both at once. One said object is a holy sword containing a nail from the Cross wielded by Sanya the athiest/agnostic who points out that perhaps this could all just be the work of merely powerful alien entities and actual coincidence. Sanya himself doesn't care because as long as he's helping people. The big implications of all this have been very scrupulously avoided. All very open to interpretation... but those necromancers probably had nothing to do with Jesus.
    • Monotheistic God's existence is explicitly stated as true by both Archangel Uriel, the various Fallen, and even one of the Fairy Queens. The later seems to regard God as a power outside her own - like a particularly powerful third party. Oh, and the devil also exists (separate from the Fallen).
    • Finally Harry repeatedly states he averts Religion is Magic, but many practitioners hold a different view and that they believe that makes it work for them anyways. And since Harry believes in magic itself he can use his pentacle to do things like ward off vampires. Likewise those of great faith can achieve supernatural results without any magical ability at all, or at least nothing like what Harry uses. Oh and science, totally true too just missing a few facts.
  • Princess of Wands by John Ringo has a kitchen sink approach to Religion, but The White God as he's known in the story is by far the most powerful. However the White God is said to be not only Yahweh and Jesus but also Allah and possibly all creator gods including that of Wicca.
    • In the second book, this is shown to be complicated. When the US is about to be eaten by a giant demon Blob, the only thing that saves everyone is the majority of the population praying to whatever deity they believe in, which convinces the White God they're worth saving. It made clear it doesn't matter what deity they pray to, so long as it's either one of the aspects of the White God or one of the other deities considered to be on the side of good.
  • The Night Watch (Series) is extremely ambiguous on the matter. Jesus is given the title of the "greatest light magician ever" by virtue of being the "Light itself" - the incarnation of the Light, one half of the Twilight. In other words, a Messiah. However, most Others, knowing that their afterlife is to dissolve back into the Twilight, are atheists; they don't believe in God as a being separate to the Light.
    • Not all of them. There is mention of an Other who is an Orthodox priest. He even tries to do some missionary work among the Others. He's not particularly successful, but he's there.
    • In Day Watch there was even a Dark Other character who also happened to be a devout Christian, which shows either that there are some very conflicting interpretations of Jesus within the Night Watch (Series) verse, or simply that Dark Is Not Evil.
    • Then you have The Last Watch, which basically claims that zero-level Others are the most powerful ever (this is the first time this is mentioned) and that Merlin was one of them, as well as Anton and Svetlana's young daughter. What this, apparently, means is that Merlin was just as strong as Jesus. In fact, Nadya Gorodetskaya is specifically referred to as the next Light Messiah, equating her with Jesus.
  • In A Bad Spell In Yurt, it is specifically pointed out that there are certain things that Jesus did (as well as angels and demons) that wizards cannot do. This is actually a plot point, as it helps the protagonist figure out that somebody's been communicating with demons: They're using "magic" which is beyond the capabilities of any wizard.
  • A. Lee Martinez' Divine Misfortune has every non-Abrahamic deity you could think of and several completely fictional ones but no mention of any version of the Abrahamic god is made.
  • John C. Wright's War of the Dreaming has deities from a plethora of pantheons but Jesus is never mentioned even though there are angels, specifically Uriel/Apollo and Lucifer. It is however hinted that Oberon had a hand in writing the Bible, at least the Old Testament, and Prometheus admits to being one of the angels mentioned as "laying with the daughters of men."
  • Discussed in Everworld, where devoutly Catholic April is Trapped in Another World where Physical Gods from mythology walk around and scheme against each other. At one point she bitterly comments that these beings don't deserve to be called gods, even as she later goes through a crisis of faith, wondering if she trusts in them more than the Christian God after she calls out to Athena to save her from falling and Athena does. She also refuses to sacrifice to the Orisha who pester them on their trip through Everworld-Africa. One of her companions, Jalil, is an atheist who similarly refuses to worship Everworld's gods, but at one point argues with April, apparently seeing her beliefs as hypocritical.
  • In the Secret Histories series, magic, super-science, aliens and other dimensions are real, but Jesus is treated as the real deal because, even with all those things, truly bringing someone back from death is impossible. When Mr. Stab (an immortal serial killer who was originally Jack the Ripper) seeks to pull a Heel–Face Turn after killing his latest female victim, he holds William, the Drood family librarian at knifepoint. Reasoning that the Droods, being the most powerful family on Earth both magically and technologically, will have the secrets by which he could resurrect his victims and atone for his crimes within their library, he demands to be told how to restore a dead person to life. William tells him that the best they can do is commune with a person's ghost or raise them as a zombie. Truly bringing them back from the grave? "Only one man could ever do that. I think that we can definitely agree that you're not him!"
  • In Ra magic is discovered in the modern age, but the narration specifically states that it is completely unlike any claimed magical abilities of earlier eras—in particular, it definitely has nothing to do with miracles attributed to Jesus or any other religious figures.
  • Played straight and rather subtly justified in Worm. Parahumans only started emerging a few decades ago, around the time that Scion appeared. For most of the story, the question of whether there were parahumans before that is left ambiguous, as is the more general question of why people are getting powers at all. (It's even implied that some people in-universe think that Scion is Jesus himself performing his Second Coming, which would be an inversion of the trope.) In the final arcs, it's revealed that Scion is an incredibly powerful - but non-divine - entity from a parallel universe and the source of parahumans' superpowers, but that he arrived too late to be responsible for any miracles before the modern era. Glaistig Uaine also states that no other such entities have ever visited the Earth before; so Jesus' miracles cannot possibly be explained by parahuman-style superpowers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Stargate SG-1 explained away pretty much every god or other powerful being in mythology as being Sufficiently Advanced Aliens but they were always hesitant to apply this to any religion with a decent number of modern followers.
    • They did it to a Captain Ersatz of that religion instead. Hallowed are the Ori! Though Daniel at one point does point out that many modern religions associate fire with evil. And what do the Ori manifest as?
    • Abrahamic religion very much gets this treatment; Eastern religion, however, not so much. We have Goa'uld for Nirrti, Kali, Amaterasu, and Yu the Great. Moreover, Daniel Jackson outright says that Buddhism may be the result of Oma Desala helping humans to ascend when he first encounters her.
    • They even handwave this one... they encounter a Goa'uld-run settlement that seems to follow medieval Christian rites (what with witch burning and stuff). Teal'c is quick to point out that unlike all the other ones, this particular Goa'uld can't be the original because a Goa'uld is "not capable of the acts of love and compassion depicted in the Bible". He must have skipped the parts about jealousy, wrath and genocide. It ends up turning out the Goa'uld is impersonating Satan.
    • It's worth noting that the Goa'uld were driven away from Earth long before the time Jesus was supposed to have lived. However, the possibility that he was a human on the verge of Ascension (who have been shown to have strange powers) and then went all the way has never been addressed.
    • Amusingly, when Vala becomes pregnant without having sex (due to the Ori), she comments whether anyone has heard of such a thing ever happening before. Everyone looks around at each other awkwardly for a moment;
      Mitchell: Well there is one...
      Teal'c: Darth Vader.
      Vala: Really! How did that turn out?
      Mitchell: Actually, I was thinking of King Arthur.
      Carter: You were?
  • We aren't shown what the effects of the masquerade being unveiled on Doctor Who have been on the world's religions, but one can only imagine what the effects would be if the Time Lords' regeneration powers would be if revealed. As it is, it's a little suspicious that none of the Doctor's many, many companions has ever brought up the similarities. Although Jesus isn't said to have changed appearance when he came back to life, the way Time Lords do.
    • Although River comments that she hates hearing about kind wizards in fairytales, since they always turn out to be The Doctor.
    • He has met Jesus, in fact. When aliens got the entire history of Christmas wrong, he explains it was nothing like that, "I was there." Of course, we could never get to see that meeting on screen. Ten also mentions having been to the first Easter. We never do find out from him what really happened, though, due to his Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny! interrupting that train of thought.
    • The Doctor fights a being who claims to be Satan in "The Impossible Planet" / "The Satan Pit". Interestingly, the crisis of faith he suffers during the episode is not due to following any kind of religion, but because "Satan" asserts that it had been bound on that world since before our universe began. While the Time Lords mastered travel between parallel universes, pocket universes, and had ventured from the beginning and end of our own, they never found any evidence that a universe could have existed before our own. The Doctor even goes so far to claim that even if one had, he believed it impossible that anything could have survived the collapse of reality before the Big Bang kickstarted it off again.
      • Funnily enough, though, his former companion Sarah Jane had no trouble believing that the Ancient Lights came from the pre-universe when they appeared in The Sarah Jane Adventures.
      • In the Expanded Universe, it's absolutely positive that there are beings from before our universe. The Guardians are among them (possibly the last surviving Time Lords from the previous universe), and even they have higher powers they defer to. If an Abrahamic creator God of this universe exists, he's less ultimate than the Guardians, and not that much more powerful than mortals like Rassilon or the Council of Eight or the Doctor (who were all able to rewrite the fundamental rules of this universe's reality, which ought to be no easier than writing the original rules).
    • In Torchwood: Children of Earth, reference is made to a religious woman who committed suicide after the public revelation of the existence of aliens, claiming that "Science has won".
    • Torchwood: Miracle Day comes close to breaching the subject, but still never deals with it explicitly.
      • In the Torchwood universe it seems to be canon that there's no existence after death, which suggests that Jesus/Christianity/many religions are fake, but the series it branched off from and all other adaptions of the series have never confirmed that this is the case. Most likely because Torchwood was made to be Darker and Edgier than its parent show, while Doctor Who usually leans towards optimism and All Myths Are True or Aliens Did It. So while fake!Jesus is implied in Torchwood, it's contradicted by the rest of the canon.
      • The parent show may have a different answer about the afterlife, but it's definitely not the Christian one. It's hard to make sense of stories like, say, Dark Water if people are souls who go to Heaven and Hell rather than just some kind of process attached to their physical brains. (Of course in the Expanded Universe there are a ton of contradictory afterlifes, from Katarina going to Hades to everyone leaving "N-Forms" to live in "Null Space" after they die.)
      • Meanwhile, in the Expanded Universe, Jesus was definitely a real person, and at least most of the things in the Gospel stories are true (and even non-Biblical myths like the Spear of Longinus), but the one question that's left open is the Resurrection.
      • The Faction Paradox spinoff has a technological afterlife (the Doctor's former companion/TARDIS turns herself into a megacity at the end of the universe and resurrects every human who ever lived). And Jesus is definitely there, but he's not sitting on a Revelation-style throne; he's just a carpenter and boatwright who tells the children stories and won't say whether he's the Son of God. And, even if he isn't, would a technologically-resurrected Jesus be the Son of God anyway, or just his human essence? That question leads to the Arian heresies and so on, so the author decided to leave it up to the reader.
  • Charmed really liked to dance around the theological implications of the setting, especially with things like Leo being brought back to life with holy healing powers by the Powers That Be and using a Theme Park Version of Wicca religion whenever the plot called for something religious to take place. They once had Leo and Piper gain the powers of the Hindu Gods. Piper even gets six arms, and fights demons with her goddess powers. And, the Greek gods were revealed to be humans empowered by whitelighters.
  • Heroes, with the revelation that the "Heroes" have been around much longer than anyone thought and that regeneration/self-resurrection is a power that popped up in at least two individuals. And people like Peter, who can basically do anything as the plot demands. There are some religious scenes in the series, such as weddings and funerals that take place in churches or temples. Nobody really brings up how their myriad superpowers would relate to miracles, though.
  • In one episode of Highlander, a priest who discovers the Immortals also learns about the Villain of the Week, who has a hobby of passing himself off as various gods, including in the present day, the Biblical one. The priest anxiously questions whether Jesus might have been another Immortal charlatan, but MacLeod points out that neither the existence of Immortals nor the fact that one of them is going around claiming to be a god is any proof that a real higher power doesn't exist in the world.
    • In Highlander: The Source, an Immortal Catholic priest is having an argument with Time Abyss Methos, and mentions something from scripture, prompting Methos to quip that he knew Jesus, and so the priest shouldn't try to pull that with him.
  • The television juggernaut Star Trek: The Original Series does actually mention Jesus directly in an episode called "Bread and Circuses." However, it does touch on this trope in the episode "Requiem for Methuselah." The episode stars a very long-lived human who turned out to have been many famous people in the past. However, rather than be Jesus, he was actually Lazarus. Sure, it undermines one of Jesus's miracles, but the show neatly avoids questioning whether Jesus was just another long-lived human.
  • Supernatural gets around this by simply not mentioning Jesus at all. In a world where God, Satan, Demons, Angels, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, the Bible, the Apocalypse, the Four Horsemen and a plethora of non-Judeo-Christian gods all exist, no one has ever asked in eleven seasons "Where is Jesus in all of this?" Not even the angels who have been looking for God for over six seasons.
    • One possible aversion, in "A Very Supernatural Christmas" the pagan gods recall how people lined up to sacrifice themselves until some "sandal-wearing hippy from Nazareth" showed up.
    • There is also a fan theory that the angel Joshua, seen briefly in the fifth season as the gardener of Heaven and the only angel who talks to God is Jesus. The historical Jesus would have been named Joshua (or more accurately Yehoshua) and there is a Bible passage that says Jesus was a gardener.
  • Iron Fist (2017): The resurrection the Hand provides allows people to revive from virtually any injury three days after they died. Nobody mentions that this is very similar to the story of Jesus. The Hand is implied to have existed a very long time too, maybe even two thousand years or more...
  • Lovecraft Country: While talking to Christina, Leti says she has become religious after being resurrected. After Christina points out that was magic, Leti asks what the difference is, listing Biblical miracles like walking on water etc., while the idea that Jesus was actually a magician doesn't come up.
  • In Legends of Tomorrow when the Legends are trying to stop the Legion of Doom abusing the Spear of Destiny, it's suggested that since it was created with the blood of Christ it could also be destroyed with it. Sara attempts to simply go back to the Crucifixion and steal the blood from Christs body but Rip gives her a Big "NO!" and tells her the crucifixion is somewhere a time traveler can never go.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Banestorm: Most people believe that God's power is qualitatively different from magic. The Catholic Church is thus very careful when making saints, since they have to make a distinction between miracles and spells (even raising the dead just requires a skilled necromancer).
  • In Nomine: Ethereal spirits are born from the power of human belief and imagination, and the Marches are populated by teeming multitudes of dream-fragments, culture heroes, mascots, fictional characters, embodiments of nations and concepts, and pagan gods. The exception to this rule is that celestially-inspired religions never produce Ethereals — since the associated flow of Essence is siphoned directly into the preexisting Heaven and Hell, there are no Ethereal Jesuses, Mohammads, Satans, Buddhas, angels, demons, or so forth.
  • Scion is a game about the children of gods developing divine powers, eventually becoming gods themselves. Though there is mention in Companion of a group of Abrahamic-religion believers trying to rewrite all other religions into their framework, there is no other mention of it. Given the theoretical uproar if they tried to stat out Jesus, this is probably for the best.
    • Though there's some hints that Abrahamic God might be the Titan Aten. Whether he actually is or isn't is deliberately left to canonical doubt and uncertainty.
    • There's also the san greal (the Holy Grail). No-one's quite sure which pantheon it comes from; while it is part of Christian iconography, any Scion with a strong rating in the Piety Virtue can use it.
    • Another likely candidate for the Abrahamic God is Logos, Titan of Logic, Reason and Order. It is highly likely that the material World was created due to its power and the gods never bound Logos since it was considered to be a highly benign Titan.
  • Witch Girls Adventures doesn't even try to touch this one. Even though Witches, Immortals, or other supernatural creatures are the truth behind just about every other God or other major mythological figure, the idea that one might have been the Abrahamic deity or Jesus isn't addressed even to dismiss it.
  • Warhammer 40,000: After multiple retcons from ordinary human to Space Marine Terminator to Adeptus Custodes, Ollanius Pius is now a Perpetual, a type of immortal human who regenerates from literally everything and was actually born before the Emperor. Despite this, he remained a pious (hurr hurr) Catholic during his life (or Catheric, as the religion was eventually known in the 31st century).

    Video Games 
  • The Xenosaga series focuses a plot point on Shion's past life- specifically that she was Mary Magdelyne, a follower of Jesus in her past lifetime. The real Jesus actually did exist, but he was simply an ordinary human. All his miracles were performed from behind the scenes by chaos. chaos himself was the real Jesus.


    Web Original 
  • The flash game "Stick War" featured people who fought in wars mostly motivated by religion. Some of the fighters were mages, and it's unknown how that connects to their religion.

    Western Animation 
  • In the South Park episode "Super Best Friends" Jesus loses out in a magic contest with David Blaine. Of course in South Park, Jesus really only has the ability to resurrect himself and super-carpentry. He's still most certainly the son of God in South Park, though, even if Christianity isn't portrayed as the "correct" religion (those would be Mormonism and Buddhism - God himself is a Buddhist and only Mormons get into heaven... likely so they wouldn't spoil Hell for everybody).
  • Gargoyles. The Children of Oberon have passed themselves off as gods to some humans in the past, such as Odin and Anubis. No mention of Jesus though. Word of God (heh) states that Jesus was in fact, NOT a Child of Oberon in the Gargoyles universe.
    • Though, in later comics, there a few allusions to biblical characters performing certain miracles with the Stone of Destiny-a magic slab of rock; Moses and Jacob among them.
      • Also from the later comics: The series had established that there are two types of magic. Human magic, that uses incantations, rituals, and mystical artifacts, and Avalon's Magic, which is the magic used by the various pagan gods and mystical folk heroes that make up Oberon's Children and is much more inherent and powerful, but still sometimes involves spoken spells and artifacts. When the Holy Grail is introduced in the comics, it is said to tap into a form of magic that is something else altogether.

Aversions and subversions:

    Anime and Manga 
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Nothing has indicated Christianity has ever existed, though there's still local religious milieu with monotheistic beliefs. Alchemy may be related to the generally secular tone of Amestrian society. Fuehrer King Bradley is something of a militant atheist, which given his... family background... is understandable.
    The relation of 'God' and 'the Truth Guy,' who claims this as one of his identities, is addressed only in passing and only by our atheistic main character. The scientific world as understood by alchemists is not rigidly materialist in the way our scientific world is, since souls definitely exist, this surprises no one, and there is alchemy equipped to affect them, i.e. Al's blood seal.
    Ishbala's failure to protect his people in any way from the Amestrian genocide campaign is invoked on-site as a great reason not to convert. Bradley was promised that God would judge him; narration that might be either his or Roy's says, "God is something created by humans. Therefore, what will judge us is not God, but probably 'humans.'", Arakawa didn't need to hold back much.
    • In the first anime it was implied a Christian society had existed and been destroyed and forgotten four hundred years previously, but only the trappings and none of the theology come up. On the other hand, in all versions the inability of alchemists to perform a successful resurrection when the soul of the original person 'does not exist in the world' is invoked as precisely why alchemists are not gods, even with the Philosopher's Stone. And that is the closest anyone really gets to a coherent eschatology in the setting.
  • The Saint King Olivie Sägebrecht from Lyrical Nanoha, a society of The Multiverse spanning Techno-Mages have a perfectly respectable religion that a large portion of the population are members. Yes, quite a few people can hurl lightning bolts and heal people with a touch; but that doesn't mean the lessons given shouldn't be revered.note 

    Comic Books 

  • Mr. Terrific, in conversation with a man whose suit is made out of corrupted souls, on a team that holds a bona fide angel, and another that had the embodiment of God's wrath, declares himself an atheist. Because in the DCU, you can only stand in so much awe from the everyday.
  • In The Authority it's very heavily implied that Jesus was one of the people that held the title of The Doctor (not that one). The previous Doctors also confirm that (as far as they know) the Christian God does not exist.
    • Stormwatch Team Achilles confronted this head-on. After an encounter with an alleged Merovingian descendant of Christ:
    BARAK: But we just saw him bring a dead man back to life. It was more than a bit reminiscent of Lazarus.
    SANTINI: Big Deal. We’ve got a guy locked inside Project Entry who managed to bring entire armies of dead people back to life. Not as well as de Molay did, but that’s the difference between retail and wholesale, isn’t it?
  • Not quite a "Jesus was one of us"-type thing, but PS238 has healer Vern managing to bring a recently-deceased Guardian Angel back to life. When the teachers discover what's happened, they realize they have to keep it under wraps because there would be global upset if the knowledge of a "Messiah-level" healer was made public.
  • The story "He Walked Among Us" in EC Comics' 'Weird Science #13' shows an astronaut marooned on a backward planet where he uses in medical kit to heal the sick, feeds the hungry with his instant rations, and publicly questions the status quo. When his colleagues eventually find the planet, people are wearing miniature replicas of the rack on which the astronaut was tortured to death.
  • In the wake of Secret Wars (1984), devout Catholic Nightcrawler has a crisis of faith after dealing with the Beyonder, who was for all extents and purposes omnipotent as God is thought to be, but certainly not all-loving.
  • So Beautiful And So Dangerous by Angus McKienote  has an alien mention that Earth is such a popular tourist destination that one crazy guy from Antares got himself crucified there.

    Fan Fic 
  • The Schoolkids Saga Fanfiction had a similar approach to Harry Potter, in that despite all the impressive powers being thrown around no one can bring someone back from the dead (without cheating) and healing serious medical problems is extremely difficult. Ironically L. Ron Hubbard is a Wizard Jesus in the canon funnily enough.
  • Harry Potter fanfiction averts this quite often, actually, whenever it cares to expand the universe far enough to get there. Jesus is most common, but other important religious figures can sometimes come up.
  • In A History of Magic Jesus is clearly stated to have been an Anomaly, a human whose latent magical abilities awakened independently of contracting with Incubators.

  • In The Man from Earth, Jesus was an immortal man who had listened to Buddha's teachings and then went on to spread them. He survived the crucifixion using meditation techniques he had learned in India, but his disciples didn't believe him when he tried to explain it. He remarks on how his teachings were distorted over the centuries; even the name Jesus was a byproduct of several consecutive retranslations.
  • In John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness, Jesus was an alien who left behind advanced instructions for dealing with the eponymous menace, also an alien entity. Unfortunately, the Church made the instructions secret and humanity was left unprepared. This is pretty sure to offend someone...
  • Averted and played straight in John Carter. The Therns state pretty clearly that the Martian religion was fake and they were behind it all. On the other hand, let's take a look. They can shapeshift, appear to have magic (or some super advanced technology), have been to Earth and are quite familiar with it (the leader talks about Carter's home state of Virginia). You get the idea.
  • Possibly averted and played straight in Prometheus. In one interview, Ridley Scott claimed that Jesus may have been an engineer, and the reason engineers don't like mankind much anymore is that humans killed their representative. It's unknown as to whether he was serious or not. Played straight in that it was an idea taken seriously, but left out of the movie.

  • Isaac Asimov seems to avert this trope quite a bit. In The Last Question, for example, the ending shows AC becoming the equivalent of God, reversing heat-death, and creating a new universe.

  • In Clive Barker's Imajica, Jesus was indeed a powerful wizard called a Maestro.

  • An entry in the Dune Encyclopedia claimed the Bene Gesserit existed millennia before humanity developed spaceflight, and more-or-less specifically stated that Jesus was nothing more than a premature — and, therefore, failedKwisatz Haderach.
    • Of course, the Dune Encyclopedia also deconstructs Paul Atreides as a mythic figure and comes to the conclusion that he never truly existed, so the Encyclopedia is considered an in-universe work rather than Word of God.
      • As Frank Herbert notes in the foreword, the Dune Encyclopedia is a work of Fanon that he appreciated, but reserved the right to overrule at any time.
      • Also, according to Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's prequels about Butlerian Jyhad, Bene Gesserit were created long after humans went into space.
  • Double Subverted in Tad Williams' The Burning Man. An old and embittered nobleman doubts whether the Jesus Expy Usires Aedon is a son of God - or just a half-sithi, because presumably all his miracles could be performed by a strong sithi magician. The nobleman contacts an ancient sithi to know the answer. However, the sithi doesn't know - and points out that it doesn't really matter, because a half-sithi could be a son of God just as well as a human.

  • In his Arthurian trilogy, Peter David brings up the possibility that Jesus got his powers from the Grail, instead of the other way around. And then Jesus also shows up as a Secret Service agent…
  • An implied aversion in Dave Duncan's The Great Game trilogy, in which travelers from other dimensions automatically gain supernatural charisma and the ability to collect "mana" from worshippers to perform miracles. It's pretty clear from the similarity of Nextdoor's languages to ancient Greek that many "strangers" were active at the time of Christ and earlier, and the protagonist becomes a Messianic Archetype by the end.
  • Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos books are an extreme aversion — the Messiah in the final book spends a fair amount of time discussing how she's just trying to get everyone to tap into the same power source / cosmic principle Jesus stumbled onto by genetic accident...and then attempted to pass on to his followers by having them ingest his DNA with some bread and wine...
  • The Nightwatch Tetrology flat out states that Jesus is an Other. Of course, it also states that he was an Other Beyond Classification and one of the three "Messiah" level Others in History. The reason this lands in Aversion territory and not "Walking the Line" is that the other two Messiahs are Merlin and a little girl.
  • In Joe Haldeman's Camouflage, an alien with the ability to change shape and heal from seemingly fatal injuries who was on Earth at Jesus' time hears of him and wonders if he was another of the same species, but never manages to find out anything for sure.
  • In Carrie Vaughn's Golden Apple two immortals, one of them a survivor of the Trojan War, the other, the Wandering Jew, discuss having met Jesus who, like all other deities, was simply a very powerful wizard.
  • In Orson Scott Card's The Lost Gate it is speculated that, like the various Indo-European pantheons the gods of other cultures, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam are also wizards from other worlds.
    • In the sequel The Gate Thief it is all but explicitly stated that Jesus was a gatemage.
  • In The Radiant Dawn, Dawn is seen as a divine being by the space-faring Wutner.
  • At the end of Jennifer Fallon's Tide Lords quadrology it's strongly hinted that Jesus was actually Cayal.
    Cayal: It's not my fault they saw me after I was supposed to have died.
  • Played with in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel where it's hinted, although never outright stated, that Abraham, who was the mentor to early humanity, is Yahweh.
  • Invoked in Matilda when Miss Honey describes Matilda's psychic power as the greatest miracle since the time of Jesus, and she speculates that Matilda's power may be divine in origin.
  • In Alexey Pehov's Under Manticore's Sign the major plot point is aversion of this trope. Not only was Jesus-like figure (Savior) a wizard, he and Satan were best buds until a major disagreement on the way magic should be used. When reaching an agreement proved impossible, Savior and his followers attacked Satan and Satan's faction. Later he established the Church for the sole reason to enforce his visionnote . Obviously, the Holy Book of said church claims that it was Satan and his followers who attacked Savior.
    • It is an interesting question whether it was worth it. It resulted in great underuse and underdevelopment of magicnote  and also resulted in great deal of people declared heretics and burnt at the stakenote . Yet it succeeded in that no magicians participated in European wars (other than as a healers) for 1500 years.
  • Artur Balder's Curdy trilogy averts this by stating that Jesus was an alchemist (a wizard by other name, that is). However, given that alchemists in the setting are connected to a deity called the Monarch who is later explained to be God, the entire affair gets very muddled.
  • The local Crystal Dragon Jesus in Mistborn is an interesting aversion. He was known to be a powerful Allomancer, and everything he did followed the rules of known magic in the setting, including his miraculous resurrection (he arranged for a shapeshifter to take his form after his death). Even after his ploys were explained, he's still worshiped in Wax and Wayne. A lot of the deification had to do with the oppressed skaa needing a god to believe in who wasn't the tyrannical God-Emperor.
  • In the rather genre-busting (dungeon punk alt-historical fantasy) novel Inne Pieśni (Other Songs) by Polish writer Jacek Dukaj, mankind is ruled by a kind of sorcerous overlords called "kratistoi" and it's widely accepted in-universe that Jesus was one of them. The catch is that the average kratistos, regardless of birth, has enough ruthlessness and will to power to claw his or her way to the top, and it's seen in-universe as just the way the world works. Thus, the common view is that His doctrine of peace and forgiveness worked directly against Him, undermining any attempts at empire-building He might otherwise commence and ultimately resulting in His premature death, with a perenially notorious loony sect of "Christians" being all that came out of it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • True Blood gives us this hilarious exchange:
    Jason: I don't know who Lazarus was, but he sure as hell was not the first vampire. Everybody knows it was Dracula.
    Luke: It's in the Bible, moron. Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead.
    Jason: So Jesus made the first vampire? Maybe Jesus was the first vampire. Man, he rose from the dead too, and he told people, "Hey y'all, drink my blood, it'll give you special powers."
    • Note, however, that that's a Cloud Cuckoolander talking to a Right-Wing Militia Fanatic. Thus, unreliable narrators both. The only vampire seen on the show until the third season who claimed to be over 2,000 years old said he had no personal knowledge of Jesus but wished he had.
    • Russell Edgington, who is 3,000 years old and the Big Bad, later said that he personally met Jesus, who according to him was "just a dirty hippie." Of course, he is likely an Unreliable Narrator too...
  • In Carnivàle, Word of God holds that Jesus was an Avatar.
  • The Outer Limits (1995) episode "The Shroud" has a cult attempting to clone Jesus from a strand of DNA on an ancient relic. The scientist they hire to do this hypothesizes that Jesus was simply a person with strong telekinetic ability—a trait shared with the newly-born clone. The minister she's working for is not amused, telling her she was hired for scientific, not theological, knowledge. Later it gets pretty well disproven by the parallels of the clone being conceived without sex, born in a barn, and spirited away from a madman.
  • Brought up in the Misfits Christmas special, where a local priest buys multiple super powers and claims to be the reincarnation of Jesus to get rich.
    • With some hilarity added through Kelly's comment of "What would God say?!"
  • In the fifth episode of Being Human (US) a vampire priest suggests that Jesus, having risen from the dead, might have been a vampire.
  • One episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. set after the events of Thor: The Dark World had the main characters talking about how the Norse gods turned out to be Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and speculating if any other deities, such as the Hindu gods, where also aliens.

  • In Iced Earth's Something Wicked Saga, Jesus was a man with precognition, and was assassinated by Anti-Hero Set Abomine. You really have to know the whole story to fully understand, and that would take a very long time to explain here.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Buddhism has a rather peculiar way with this trope. According to the Buddha, anyone who is shaping themselves for enlightenment will eventually gain supernatural powers, but it's actually a worldly distraction that prevents one from reaching true enlightenment. Therefore: If Wizard, Then Not Buddha.
    • On the other hand, Buddhism has been able to co-exist with theistic religions, usually by holding that while the gods exist, the gods themselves are on the same reincarnation cycle, being ones who are really close to Enlightenment but got distracted to be gods. While other deities chose not to proceed to nirvana but stay behind and help others achieve it.

    Stand-Up Comedy 

    Tabletop Games 
  • One of the sourcebooks in Unknown Armies mentions that a particular powerful immortal figure has no idea what was up with Jesus, since he was in China around that time.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • In early canon, it is implied that Jesus was none other than the Immortal God-Emperor of Mankind, who was also Saint George and several other historical figures.
    • Other sources state that he co-opted "certain ancient myths": by performing Jesus-like miracles, he passed himself off as Jesus; by having defeated something which might be the C'tan Void Dragon, that shows he was the basis of Saint George; etc. The fact that he was militantly anti-religious (ostensibly to deny the Chaos Gods worshippers, but maybe so he wouldn't have any competition) could point to the fact that he was trying to discredit whatever religions still had some foothold on Earth before he expanded his reach to the stars.
    • The Space Wolves psyker-equivalents (Rune Priests) have very different powers from the other Imperials, being able to conjure lightning, ghostly wolves, and earthquakes. Leman Russ believed their power comes from Fenris and not the Warp, making them acceptable to him, others are not so sure.
  • In Nomine
    • In In Nomine Satanis / Magna Veritas (the original French version), Jesus Christ was the Archangel of God, but had no servant angels, and after his original mission on Earth, now mostly spends his time working as a barkeep at Chez Régis.
    • In the Steve Jackson Games version, the Game Master's Guide said that the game would never have Jesus appear or explain his nature. It also said that (a) the Archangel Gabriel prophesied his birth (b) Jesus performed miracles, similar to other prophets, and attracted some celestial attention (c) by the time he came to the attention of the Divine Inquisition he had already died (d) most of the Archangels themselves don't know whether he was the Messiah or not (e) the Archangel Yves said he was important and encouraged other angels to support Christianity, and (f) neither Gabriel nor Yves has said whether he was the Messiah or not.
      • There are some 'suggestions' for what Jesus was. Most popular is that Jesus was a role of the Archangel Eli, with evidence being that some of Eli's attunements are similar to Jesus' miracles. In game canon, Eli has abandoned heaven to roam the Earth, and Eli being Jesus would suggest he's getting ready to stage the second coming.
      • In Nomine also addresses Islam, and it's acknowledged it is another attempt to introduce a monotheistic religion to humanity at a time Christianity and Judaism were weak, and the Archangel of Fire, Gabriel, literally appeared to dictate it to Muhammad. However, the version of the Koran that is in Heaven as "the original" conflicts with the version of the Koran that appears on Earth written by Muhammad (exactly how is not said). Whether these changes were an accident, a manipulation by Muhammad, or deliberate changes made by the Archangel Gabriel (which would be grossly heretical) led Dominic, the Archangel of Judgment, to put Gabriel on trial for potential heresy. The trial was inconclusive as Gabriel refused/could not tell what had happened and fled for her own domain. To attempt to bring Gabriel back would be civil war in heaven, so the trial was indefinitely postponed. Servitor angels of Fire and Judgment usually do not get along. Notably, Gabriel also experiences periodic prophetic episodes where God talks through her directly, leaving open the option that the edits came from the Almighty — although, of course, nobody has any hard proof.
  • In Nephilim, Jesus is stated to have been a Nephilim (an Elemental Embodiment from Atlantis) that reincarnated in a human embryo as part of The Plan by the Fool Arcanum, which granted him enlightenment and mystical knowledge far in excess of his peers. He's listed as the reason why the Fool Arcanum were all hunted down and killed by the other conspiracies.
  • In the Old World of Darkness:
    • Vampire: The Masquerade suggests that a group of Malkavian grave-robbers might have pulled off a "prank" of epic proportions sometime around 30 AD, but very few take the suggestion at face value, and everyone present at the time is certifiably insane anyway... However, Dark Ages: Vampire reveals that every vampire present in the Holy Land during Jesus' era mysteriously vanished, which raises some questions.
    • The world of Mage: The Ascension operates on Clap Your Hands If You Believe; religious figures can be genuine and powerful in the moment simply because people believe in them, and the Celestial Chorus mage faction draws its abilities from religious faith. One of the Chorus' iconic characters is even a Christian nun. There is some in-universe speculation as to the nature of Jesus and his role in the supernatural world, but mages usually don't bother much with it, since they know the true nature of reality and become nigh-godlike themselves with enough arete. The general consensus is that Jesus, Mohammed, and so on are just another unimportant side effect of the Muggles being unable to understand what's actually going on.
    • The Silent Striders in Werewolf: The Apocalypse have legends about Christ himself, stating that he warped the very nature of the Umbra around him—suggesting that whatever he was, he was the "real deal", and not just one of the supernatural types roaming about.
    • This idea is further fleshed out in Demon: The Fallen, where the "History" section of the book mentions the demons planning, plotting, or foreseeing the development of every faith on the planet except Christianity—"That one came out of nowhere." One sourcebook reveals that Christianity was created by Lucifer. If Jesus did exist he might well have been empowered by Lucifer, not God (who had been absent for some time), or been Lucifer.
  • Mage: The Awakening has some speculation as to whether Jesus was a mage who surpassed the normal limits of magical power. Tamers of the Cave, a group that explores the Power of the Void to try to transcend the self and engineer their own Heroic Sacrifice, particularly like to claim that Jesus was a member. Some of those hypothesize that his sacrifice was a failed attempt to help all muggles Awaken to magic.

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed: In the first Assassin's Creed game, the Templar researcher speculates that the Piece of Eden, along other artifacts like it, was the effector behind such miracles as the Parting of the Red Sea, the success of the Trojan Horse, the miracles surrounding 'the Christ-figure' and the plagues of Egypt, among other things. The sequel reveals that all gods in human mythologies were actually a Precursor race and were the creators of these artifacts.

  • This is a running gag in the World of Warcraft community. Shamans can self-resurrect, they go around healing people, they walk on water, etc. Is it any wonder WoW players frequently joke that "Jesus was a Shammie!"?
  • Subverted in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, when Irileth attempts to invokes this whilst dismissing the legend of the Dragonborn as a simple superstition and more "Nord nonsense". As this comes immediately after she had just witnessed the protagonist absorb the soul of a slain dragon right in front of her and demonstrate the Thu'um immediately afterwards, none of the other guards are particularly convinced.

  • Some of Jesus' appearances in Cyanide and Happiness (particularly those made around Easter) tend to show that he actually is a mindless zombie, but has all of his powers (for example, one person hid from zombie Jesus by going under water).
  • But I'm a Cat Person shows Jesus as an accomplished user of the same kind of magic that created the Beings. His "resurrection" came about when, after his death, Mary Magdalene became the new Master of his Being, and ordered the Being to take over Jesus' identity.

    Web Original 
  • The Bugle frequently makes reference to Jesus as an "early Palestinian magician" or similar; and at least once referred to his "magic donkey". They do pride themselves on being prime bullshitters, however.

  • The Salvation War had an interesting version. Jesus was just a human possessed by the angel Elhmas, who is the son of Yahweh, to make humans more peaceful race, since Elhmas saw that they could be more powerful than the Angels or even God. Of course, once the whole "nailed to the cross" was over with, the human was thrown into the Hell like the vast majority of other humans.
  • As This Very Wiki will tell you, Jesus was obviously a Time Lord. But then, so is everyone...
  • In Confinement, Connor questions why the SCP Foundation need to keep him and his Resurrective Immortality under wraps when people already believe in 'ghosts, aliens and resurrecting Jews', to which General Marcus tells him "We can't hide them all".

    Western Animation 
  • Solar Opposites:
    • In the Couch Gag for "The Lavatic Reactor", Korvo complains that people on Earth get annoyed when he points out that Christ was an alien.
    • The Couch Gag for a "Solar Opposites A Very Solar Holiday Opposites Special" also has Korvonsaying Jesus was an alien but weirdly this episode has a Jesus statue winking at Pupa after he reunites a father and son.

    Real Life 

Walking the line:

  • A Certain Magical Index is very close to the line. Magic operates through "Idol Theory", where symbolising or embodying a powerful figure lets you wield their power. Most religions use spells which invoke their own gods and their miracles, and Saints are simply mages born with bodies so similar to Jesus that they evoke his power automatically. Some level of Clap Your Hands If You Believe is implied, given that a number of spells explicitly rely on syncretism, and one mage is even capable of basing spells on Cinderella simply because her imagery is widely known. But at the same time no one doubts that Jesus really was the Son of God, capable of miracles and truly divine in nature, due to the fact that All Myths Are True and things like the Archangels and God are confirmed to exist. Except the Science Side, which is mostly made up of agnostics. Further Zigzagged when the AIM fields emitted by the Science Side's espers are shown to crystallise into winged Energy Beings in sufficient densities, suggesting that ancient naturally-ocurring espers may have either created or transformed into gods... though it's left ambiguous given that the process for artificially awakening esper powers was modelled on a Secret Art for permanently imbuing a mage with the power of an archangel.
  • Toyed with in Traci Harding's Ancient Future Trilogy. The notion that Jesus might have been one of the Chosen Immortals is brought up, but the cast decides not to pursue it due to the trickiness of the subject. Then addressed indirectly in the sequel trilogies.
  • Chronicles of Chaos: In Orphans of Chaos, Thelxiepia the siren—who lives side by side with Greek gods, Titans and such—is capable of actually observing (with her multidimensional senses) a divine force reaching down "from above" when an early Christian saint performed a miracle, which led to her conversion to Christianity. Although, since this was in the first few centuries AD, it was to Donatism—a now extinct Christian group—except for herself (being immortal). She also states that some of the other Greek myth types believe Jesus was a little-g god rather like themselves.
  • In the The Tales of Alvin Maker series, Alvin is the first Maker in two thousand years, a power he received from being the seventh son of a seventh son and the thirteenth child of a thirteenth child. It's strongly implied that Jesus Christ was the last Maker. But there is no mention if Jesus had six sisters and six brothers, or if he got his power a different way, say being the child of a virgin. Similarly, it's strongly implied that Alvin's powers are beyond the magic seen in the world and that they go into holy as well. Alvin even faces a whispering corrupting force called the Unmaker.
    • Since Alvin is a Captain Ersatz of Joseph Smith, his origin story is an explanation for prophets, not the savior/second coming. Though the distinction may seem somewhat trivial to a non-Christian, Jesus being actually significantly less overtly powerful than several of the prophets preceding him in the Bible.
  • In Matilda, Miss Honey speculates that Matilda's Psychic Powers may be divine in origin. We never really find out.
  • Rick Riordan features countless ancient deities in his stories, but repeatedly distinguishes between polytheistic gods and a monotheistic God. Riordan evidently considers the Big G too big and metaphysical to explore beyond "if God does exist, He's on a much higher plane of existence than the petty deities of ancient mythology."
    • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Percy finds out that the gods of Classical Mythology actually exist. He then proceeds to ask about the capital-G God. Chiron then dismisses that question as "metaphysical" and claims that the existence of the Greek gods is a "much smaller matter." However, later in the same book, when we see a corrupt televangelist in the Underworld:
      "But if he's a preacher," [Percy] said, "and he believes in a different hell...."
      Grover shrugged. "Who says he's seeing this place the way we're seeing it? Humans see what they want to see. You're very stubborn—er, persistent, that way."
    In addition, the story "The Son of Magic" from The Demigod Diaries, shows Hecate, the goddess of magic, praying in a Christian Church. Though what exactly she was doing is never told, it's implied she is praying to God.
    • The Kane Chronicles establish that Moses was actually a magician. On top of that, a comment from Bes in The Throne of Fire suggests that one of his miracles, the parting of the Red Sea, was something any magician from Ancient Egypt could've done. Although gods are manifestly real, All Myths Are True, and Moses was apparently so powerful that he was the only outsider ever to best the House of Life, so it certainly can be said to work anyway.
    • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard:
      • The Valkyrie Samairah al-Abbas is a devout Muslim who takes a henotheistic approach to life. Because Islam has only one true God, Sam interprets the Norse deities not as actual gods, but as powerful magical spirits akin to the Islamic concept of angels and jinn. Heimdall, Guardian of the Bifrost, also believes this interpretation.
      • The title character is Flat-Earth Atheist. Being an einherjar warrior, Magnus acknowledges the obvious existence of Norse gods, but he doesn't believe that a capital-g God exists.
      • Additionally, in the first book, there is a joke involving Thor challenging Jesus to a fight. Whether or not this means Jesus is real is up for interpretation.
  • Area 51: It's strongly implied that Moses (and the Exodus events generally) was really connected to the aliens somehow. Jesus is also implied to maybe have survived death with Airlia technology as well, though it's left uncertain.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Supernatural
    • In a 5th season episode the boys encounter an "anti christ", a very powerful being who was born of a mother who was impregnated by the demon who was possessing her. Considering Angels also possess people and that Castiel even states the Bible gets more wrong than it gets right...
    • The show has a weird twist on this trope in the form of Archangel Gabriel going into hiding as the Trickster god Loki. Since pagan gods still exist and have some form of power in this universe, even though much of the major mythology the show is based on is Christian, it was unknown if Loki was always Gabriel in hiding or if Gabriel took over the role from the original Loki until Loki showed up in a later season and made it clear it was the later. However, it's still unknown how many of the myths about Loki are really about him and how many are about Gabriel.
    • The show definitely walked the line when it introduced Joshua, the angel that talks to God, in Season Five. While never confirmed to be Jesus, the historical Jesus would have been named Joshua (or more accurately Yehoshua) and there is a Bible passage describing him as a gardener. Joshua is also the first angel in the series who is gentle, kind and not a soldier of any kind.

    Video Games 
  • In Dragon Age, events that might be miracles related to the Catholicesque Fantasy Counterpart Religion occur on a couple of occasions, but there's always a possible mundane explanation for them. In keeping with the game's theme, it's always ultimately left up to the player to decide whether to believe the mundane or the miraculous explanation.
    • At one point the character Wynne speculates that the Jesus-equivalent Andraste might have secretly been a mage as mages were capable of routinely performing all the various miracles that were attributed to her. (You can also find a book making this claim in Orzammar, whose description says it was saved from a fire.) Since the Chantry was founded as a rebellion against an oppressive magocracy and has very strict rules to keep mages from ever ruling over non-mages again, this is considered a rather drastic heresy.
      • This is further hurt in the eyes of the Thedasian public because it is the Holy Canon of The Remnant of said Magocracy, which has come to follow Andraste themselves (although the Southern Chantry would say they follow Andraste In Name Only).
      • On the other hand, it's not that unreasonable to assume that Andraste could have been a mage, but despised other mages who abused the non-mages, thus forming a rebellion against them.
    • The Urn of Sacred Ashes can restore the dying to perfect health with just a pinch of Andraste's ashes. This could be the Maker acting in the world... or it could be because the Urn has rested for centuries on a giant vein of lyrium.
    • Leliana receives a vision of the Grey Warden's coming, prompting her to join up with him/her. It could have been a message from the Maker... or it could have just been a lucky hallucination. When she describes the vision it's incredibly vague, she just interpreted it that way.
    • In Dragon Age II, the Big Bad of the Legacy DLC is Corypheus, an Ancient Tevinter Magister and one of the first Darkspawn. It's heavily implied that he was one of those responsible for entering the Golden City of the Maker, but rather than corrupting it with their evil as stated by the Chantry, he claims that the Black City was already abandoned and tainted by unknown forces before they arrived. While (apparently) confirming that at least some of the story was true, this leaves the mystery of what caused the Black City and the creation of the Darkspawn even more ambiguous, as well as whether the Maker supposedly abandoning humanity was even His choice?
      • In the next game there's even a scene where the games resident Token Tevinter team member becomes very distraught because he did think that it was all just superstition, only to find out that no, his people in fact almost did bring about the end of the world.
    • Contrast the ancient elven pantheon, which isn't so analogous to a Real Life faith; Inquisition has no problem revealing through an apparent primary source that they were never really gods at all.
  • Played with in Touhou: On one hand, most characters don't know of Christianity (which makes sense in the setting) and ask questions such as "who is that?" when Jesus is brought up, though they actually don't seem to particularily care who he was. On the other hand, the one character who does talk about Christianity is a "Wicked Hermit" who dresses up as Santa Claus and leaves presents for children but also steals valuable stuff from the places she visits as payment for said gifts. On top of that, said Hermit also considers the feats of Jesus completely unimpressive and thinks that her student resurrecting from a 1,000 year long death is much grander than the resurrection "that prophet" pulled off a few measly days after his execution.
    • Answering the question is done in The Last Comer, a fan-game with an expectedly female Jesus at the end. Turns out that Jesus has an ability like any other, it just so happens that her ability to "turn water into wine" is just as broken as any other abstract power in Touhou (wine is considered Christ's sacred blood, and since there is tons of water around us and we are also mostly made of water...). She also doesn't particulary emphasize being God's child.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Nasuverse effectively goes with the interpretation that Jesus was both a wizard and divine in nature. Not only is the setting All Myths Are True, with the likes of David and King Solomon having gained their blessings and powers from God in some form, those summonable as Servants include Saint Martha, who explicitly knew Jesus in life, witnessed his miracles, and had no doubt to his connection to God. There's some implication that he's in fact the original practioner of the First True Magic, magic so powerful that it can't be replicated by modern means, who was "born the night before B.C. became A.D."

  • Played with in Thunderstruck. A strong Christian character has realized she always had magical powers and just overlooked them. Praying for guidance one day she asks outright if he was like her, but she still prays to him. Indeed she could be argued to pray even more ardently when she realizes that perhaps he understands what she's going through all too well.
  • Discussed in It's Walky!. Alien abducted SEMME agents were given a variety of superhuman powers, and martian technology can do things like resurrect the dead. Joyce remains a devoted Christian despite the fact that, as her boss points out, Jesus didn't do anything they couldn't do.
    Linda: If you can still find awe after all you've seen... well, I envy you.