If we could ask God for just one thing, it'd be this: We want superpowers like people in the Bible had.
Is that too much to ask? We could do a lot with our powers, some of it good. So why not? It used to happen quite a bit, the Bible is full of people who God infused with powers that would put most of the Marvel and DC lineup to shame. Such as:
Ezekiel was a prophet. For most Biblical prophets, this meant having freaky visions, telling them to people, being mocked and most likely being executed for heresy. But it was all worth it, when things like this happened:
That's Ezekiel 37: 1-14, and that's him raising a freaking army of the undead.
If we could do that ...
An army of the undead, right at our fingertips? Imagine the bank-robbers running when suddenly rotting arms reach up from the ground, grab that sack of cash, steal his car and beat him with his own intestines. But crime fighting is just the beginning, we're thinking there's really an incredible number of uses for your legions of undead henchman.
Also, it's not too far-fetched to assume that this would work on animals as well, so zombie horsemen could give us some serious mobility.
This special ability seems to require having a lot of exposed skeletons laying around, a resource we probably won't find while fighting crime with Spider-Man in New York (unless there are some neighborhoods that are way worse than we initially thought).
Secondly, some people might get a bit uneasy about the whole walking around town followed by an army of terrifying zombies. It's one of the tenets of being a superhero that your presence doesn't prompt horrified shrieks from children. So we would have to move somewhere where freakishly impossible and ethically questionable things won't seem out of place. Maybe the Netherlands.
In a part of the Bible some of you know from the movie The Ten Commandments, Moses and sidekick Aaron were about to lead the Jews out of Egypt when God told them to show the Pharaoh a new trick with his staff. So in Exodus 7:10-12:
Sure the magicians were able to pull off the snake trick with slightly less hungry snakes. But based on our experience with Egyptian magic, we bet those guys just threw down rubber snakes their magicians assistants wiggled around the floor with a wire.
Also, the above example is only one of many times those staffs come in handy. Before long, Moses and Aaron were using their magic staffs to turn rivers into blood, spread disease through the land and even summon armies of locusts. It was basically like God declared their staffs to be wild cards in a hand of terrifying superpower poker.
If we could do that ...
Crime does not want to see us out on the streets with one of these. Point a gun at us, buddy? Watch as it turns into a swarm of killer bees that sting your face off.
We'd be like a combination of Batman and Harry Potter, only instead of tiny wands we'd have huge freaking staffs that would also serve as clubs, or giant legs of fried chicken if we got hungry, or wanted to make a beating particularly humiliating. Though despite their ability to do anything, we suspect we'd still use the "turn into a snake" feature the most.
Like wizards, they seemed to become very weak without their staffs, so there are some serious problems there, particularly when you've got it in snake mode and it goes slithering under a car.
Samson is well known as one of the all-time badasses, and he got started early. From Judges 14: 5-6:
The writer points out that Samson tore apart a lion as easily as one would tear apart a young goat, which says something about the era they lived in since we're not sure we could tear apart a goat with the aid of a machine designed for the purpose.
He then made sure that his parents, who were with him, didn't know anything about it, probably using the old "Hey, look over there, and continue to do so while ignoring the grotesque sounds and spray of blood coming from this general direction." Most intriguing about this might be the fact that the Lion came "roaring" toward Samson, and yet he still killed it so quickly that his folks didn't find out. Big points for efficiency, right there.
After this, the legacy of Samson began, in which he killed enough people to populate a small city.
If we could do that ...
Biblical scholars have bitterly debated whether or not Samson could have stood up to modern weaponry. He clearly could not be killed with swords or spears, but was later killed when a building fell on him. We're actually not sure how much crime we'd want to be fighting if we could still be brought down with a bullet to the head.
No, we'd probably wind up with a lucrative career on the Mixed Martial Arts circuit instead. As for the lion-wrestling thing, it's hard to imagine that ever coming up unless we were drunk at the zoo.
Worth noting that Samson really only uses his super strength at times when danger is imminent, or (more often) when he was pissed off about something. We do believe we've got ourselves an Incredible Hulk on our hands.
But unlike the Hulk, Samson's weakness was that all his powers came from his long hair, so should it ever be shaved, he would lose his strength. That weakness seems pretty easy for the bad guys to exploit should they find out about it.
In Samson's case, his bitchy girlfriend, Delilah, nagged him until he revealed this fact at which point she shaved him and handed him over to his enemies. So we guess you could say Samson had two weaknesses, the other being boobs.
Jesus. Maybe you've heard of him. But of all the healing and feeding and returning from the dead he did, this has got to be the most awesome superpower he had, from Mark 4:35-41:
So they're out in the middle of a hurricane, tossed around like the guys on Deadliest Catch and Jesus, because he was just hardcore like that, didn't mind the drenching rain and the loud thunder and continued sleeping. His disciples woke him up and started griping with stupid complaints like "The boat is halfway under water!" and "We are going to die!"
Jesus told them they were faithless wusses and the disciples shut up. If that wasn't cool enough, he chewed out the storm, and it shut up, too. That has to be our favorite part, how he's just annoyed by the whole thing, as if being bothered to stop an entire weather systems was equivalent to getting woken up by your girlfriend to go kill a spider in the bathroom.
If we could do that ...
Between communicating with storms, walking on water and turning water into wine, the man pretty much had the whole water thing under his thumb. In some sense, we'd be like a non-useless aquaman, if that is even possible.
We're not completely sure what street crime we could stop with this ability, since the city would probably rather deal with the Joker than the eight-foot wall of water we'd use to kill him.
But man, if you're trying to commit a crime on the high seas, watch out. We're telling you right now that, with the simple addition of Jesus' water-command, ours would be a world entirely without pirates. Well, without the shitty boring kind at least.
Elijah and Elisha were an epic miracle-producing tag team in their time (sort of like if Superman had a younger protege named "Duperman"). Elijah, after a life spent raising the dead and calling down fire to smite heathen prophets, goes out like this:
That's 2 Kings 2: 11-14 where God, deciding that waiting thousands of years for someone so incredibly badass as Elijah to die would be too long, just plucked him from the ground and up through the pearly gates while he was still alive. And since God likes to make those rare public appearances count for something, he stages the whole thing in a cool-ass flaming chariot.
Elisha, now that his name would no longer be confused with anyone else, found that he could reach his full potential. Not to be outdone by the whole "whirlwind" thing, he uses Elijah's coat to casually split a river in half. That's right, something that was a huge deal for Charleton Heston's Moses was accomplished using only the powers that had rubbed off on a piece of Elijah's dirty laundry. How could Elisha, who was to be Elijah's successor, possibly top that?
When confronted by a gang of smartass kids, he summoned two bears to attack them. Yep, that'll do it.
If we could do that ...
We'd pretty much rule the world. Unlike Moses and Aaron, Elijah and Elisha didn't have those ridiculous "staff" things holding them back. These guys were basically plugged into The Matrix here, and could do anything they wanted whether the laws of physics were cool with it or not.
The thing is, we'd settle for any one of their powers by itself; the flaming, flying chariot for instance. Or just the ability to summon bears at will. Holy crap, there's like five situations a day where we'd like to do that.
But throw it all in, including calling down fire from the sky and controlling water? We wouldn't just be stopping criminals, we'd be stopping crime. You want to rob a bank? Well you'd better have a suit that's fireproof, waterproof and freaking bear proof. Multiple bear proof, in fact.
Well, for Elijah, the answer is quite obviously "none," considering that if he hadn't gotten a flaming ride up to heaven, he'd presumably still be alive today. We're not seeing a downside.
The Bible doesn't describe exactly how Elisha died, only that his last recorded act was telling the king that he was a moron. We wonder if that might not be why it was his last recorded act.
Some things that appear fun and wacky have dark secrets at their core.
It's time for these fictional characters to have some accountability.