The Theology of Superman

We got our first look at the Man of Steel trailers before the launch of Dark Knight Rises, and they did not disappoint.  Of all the superheros, Superman (IMO) has always been the story just packed full of spirituality.

For instance, Superman’s name on Krypton was “Kal-El,” which in Hebrew means either voice of God or vessel of God.  El mean’s “God,” and Kal is “voice” or “vessel.”  The name of Superman’s Kryptonian father, “Jor-El” essentially means “God teaches,” in Hebrew.

The 3 central tenets of Superman’s story, “justice, truth, and peace,” are directly referenced in the Mishnah.  The Mishnah states, “The world endures on three things: truth, justice, and peace.”

The name of Superman’s home planet “Krypton” means “hidden” in Greek, which is one way Jesus describes his movement, the “Kingdom of Heaven,” in the New Testament.

Jor-El teaches his son Superman to “show the way,” to earthlings who “lack the light,” and have the “capacity for good.”  These all seem to come straight out of John’s gospel.

In any case, I loved the two quotes in the trailers, excellent advice for any father to give his son.

Jor-El (Russell Crowe) in the trailer:  “You will give the people an ideal to strive towards.  They’ll race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall.  But in time, they will join you in the sun.  In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.”

Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) in the trailer: “You’re not just anyone.  One day you’re going to have to make a choice.  You have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be.  Whoever that man is, good character or bad, he’s going to change the world.”

Here’s a link that contains both trailers in case you haven’t seen them yet; it’s the same visual with different quotes:

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