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The Theology of Marvel's Avengers: Endgame, Genesis, and Revelation

The event of a generation, right? The culmination of a generation's worth of movies. Avengers: Endgame! Well, maybe not all that, but still pretty amazing.

With the apocalyptic overtones and the wielding of God-like powers in Avengers Endgame, Marvel couldn't help but stumble into some theological questions and Biblical references. Did you catch them?

SPOILER ALERT! Nothing will be spared.

Now that Thanos wields the Infinity Gauntlet his power is God-like and, well, infinite. He has the power to create and to destroy. He is Marvel's version of the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

It's no wonder then that Avengers Endgame was heavy on references to the Books of Genesis and Revelation, the beginning and end of the Bible.

Let's dig in!

The Ultimate Avengers Endgame review, Easter egg breakdown, and Catholic nerd analysis … are you ready for it? The Catholic Nerds cover everything from the "Snap-ter-math" to Thanos and his Sabbath-day of resting.

How about Thor axing Thanos and Josh Brolin’s head “brollin” on the floor? ... and of course we’ll address the Captain America time-travel plot holes. Listen now below:

Did the Catholic Nerds miss any important Christian references? Please let us know in the comments below.

Here's a breakdown of the Theology of Avengers Endgame that's covered in the Podcast:

Black Widow's Sacrifice and the Protoevangelium

Red Skull is the keeper of the Soul Stone on the planet Vormir. Did you notice how he addressed everyone that came to retrieve the Soul Stone?

Red Skull addressed Thanos as “Thanos, son of Alars". Red Skull addressed Black Widow as "Natasha, son of Ivan".

Red Skull always addresses the seeker according to their father's name. That is, until Hawkeye. Red Skull addresses Hawkeye in Endgame as "Clint, son of Edith". Hawkeye is instead addressed according to his mother's name. Why?

This is likely a reference to the comics, in which Hawkeye's father is physically abusive. It reminded me of something else, though.

Referring to a child as the "son of his father" is how children are addressed in the Bible, as well. With one exception. This occurs at the Protoevangelium.

One verse in Genesis, 3:15, contains the entire Gospel. That's why it is called the "First Gospel" or Proto-evangelium.

Genesis 3:15 includes three prophecies, including that of the Immaculate Conception and the Passion and Death of Christ.

Genesis 3:15 also includes the first Prophesy of the Virgin Birth. But where?

Two words. "Her seed." Jesus, the Messiah, is addressed only as "Her seed." That is, Mary's seed.

Why would Jesus not be referred to as "his seed"? Because Jesus was conceived without the seed of man. Jesus was born of the Virgin!

Does that make sense? Are you wondering where the other prophesies of Genesis 3:15 are? Read this for a deeper explanation of the Protoevangelium.

Thanos, the Garden of Eden, and his Day of Rest

Did you catch how Thanos described his long-sought retirement? He wanted to ...

... finally rest and watch the sun rise on a grateful universe

The use of "rest" in this quote is no mistake. We find the little "g" god, Thanos, resting after being tired from his act of Creation. It's the dark version of Creation, certainly. Thanos is resting after the exertion of his new creation, a world without strife and starvation due to a lack of resources. Or so he planned.

Also, we find Thanos walking through his Garden, as well. What does this remind you of? (Besides Maximus walking in fields of grain at the end of the movie Gladiator?)

God's work of creation is associated with the Garden of Eden. That's why we find Thanos in a garden. It is the dawn of his new, albeit terrible, creation.

Plus, I love this shot of his now-useless armor hanging as a scarecrow. It comes straight out of comics.

The Number of the Beast, Earth Prime, and Ant-Man's Van 

Endgame follows Ant-Man as, like us, he is seeing the world that Thanos has "created" for the first time. Ant-Man reappears from the Quantum Realm through the Quantum Tunnel in Luis' "ugly brown van". But the van is in long-term lock-up back in San Francisco.  

Did you notice the unit number for the ugly, brown van? It was 616.

Why 616? Our earth is just one of many, many other earths in the Marvel multi-verse.  

So which Earth is our Earth? You guessed it. Number 616. 

There is some discrepancy whether the Marvel Cinematic Universe will actually feature the multi-verse. However, it was recently revealed in Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (the "verse" part referring to the multi-verse) that the "original" Peter Parker came from Earth 616. There are a lot of different Spideys teaming up in the Spider-Verse:

Number of the Beast? Are you thinking 666 is the sign of the beast not 616?

What is the Number of the Beast? 666 or 616?

We are told in Revelation 13 that "the number of the beast" will be 666. (Read more about the Book of Revelation, chapter 12, in this article I wrote.) Here's Revelation 13:11-18:

Then I saw another beast which rose out of the earth; it had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. ... it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let him who has understanding reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number, its number is six hundred and sixty-six.

Hey, but what about 616? The number of the beast is actually is 6. Why? Because all the "beasts", even man, were created on the 6th day of Creation. But man is created for the 7th day, to be with God, not for the 6th day, to behave "like a beast". That's why the number is demonic, because it represents man falling away from God. 

Three sixes (666) is an unholy trinity of sixes, which is even worse. That is why 666 will be the mark of the beast, symbolically or not. 

So, what about 616? Certain ancient manuscripts of the Bible has 616 instead of the number 666. In fact, the oldest known text of Revelation 13, which is over 1,700 years old, has 616 instead of 666.[1]

Is Marvel indicating that our Earth is evil somehow? Possibly, but the Earth that Ant-Man stumbles into is definitely fallen following Thanos' snap, the "snap-ter-math". 

What is the Marvel history behind Earth Prime being numbered Earth-616? 

The point in comics history when Earth Prime was first numbered 616 can be pinpointed, even if there is some disagreement as to the reasoning behind it. 

1983's The Daredevils #7 includes the first time Earth Prime was numbered "Earth-616". The Daredevils was actually a British comic book series, featuring some reprints of Frank Miller Daredevil stories.

Plus ...

Peggy Carter as Captain Britain?? Well, almost ...

The Daredevils also included a superhero team led by none other than ... Captain Britain. Not only that, it was written by the amazing Alan Moore, plus Alan Davis.

Long story short, Captain Britain (Brian Braddock) gets caught up in an inter-dimensional court case over the destruction of a reality. Captain Britain soon discovers he's just one of an infinite number of parallel reality variants making up a larger Captain Britain Corps. Braddock is referred to as "Captain Britain of Earth 616" to distinguish him from all the other Captain Britains.

So why did Alan Moore or Alan Thorpe choose the number 616? Here is a source citing a Biblical origin for Earth-616:

The short story titled "Rough Justice" is credited to writer Alan Moore and artist Alan Davis, so it should be easy to find out who had the idea of assigning a number to Marvel's original reality. When Davis was credited for the assigning of the number, he claimed it was the work of prior Captain Britain writer Dave Thorpe. The number? Davis said it reflected Thorpe's cynical views on superhero stories, giving their universe a variation of The Mark of The Beast ('666').

Whether Thorpe actually had such a cynical view of superheroes or whether the choice of 616 even reflected a cynical view is still a question, though. Nevertheless, the Biblical meaning of 616 was apparent to the creators.

Kim Jeong Cameo in Avengers Endgame ...

Also, did you notice Kim Jeong's cameo as the security guard? 

This is a bit obscure, but did you notice what he was reading? That book is a collection of post-apocalyptic fiction stories by J. G. Ballard. One the stories in the book is actually called “Endgame”.

Wearing the Infinity Gauntlet on the Right or Left Hand? And the Catholic Infinity Gauntlet of St. Teresa of Avila

Did you notice which hand Thanos wore the Infinity Stones Gauntlet on?

The left. The word "sinister" derives from the Latin word for left. Sorry to all you left-handers, including myself, but this is the evil side.

Did you notice which hand the Hulk wore the Infinity Gauntlet on?

The right. That's the "good" side. That's why the good guys switch hands. Jesus also sits at the "right hand" of God.

Also, you may have come across the Catholic Infinity Gauntlet.

The middle image above is the reliquary containing the incorrupt hand of the 16th-century Spanish mystic St. Teresa of Avila. Here's part of the story from Aleteia's article on the Catholic Infinity Gauntlet:

The similarities are eerie in all respects. The color on the gilded silver reliquary is exactly like that of the Infinity Gauntlet, and the rings on the reliquary are even the same colors as the stones on the Gauntlet, although the colors are in a different order. While Marvel has not claimed a connection between the two, it seems likely that someone in Marvel’s design department saw the relic and filed that information away for later use.
According to historical records, St. Teresa of Avila’s body was exhumed nine months after her death, when it was first observed that her body did not decay. Even though the passage of time had rotted her clothing, her remains were incorrupt, just as they had been when she died. Relics from the Spanish saint were distributed for veneration, but her hand was stolen in 1936 by Francisco Franco, the Spanish military dictator. Franco reportedly took the relic with him everywhere he went and even slept with it on his nightstand.

You can read more about his here.

Lastly, Do Not Forget: Thor is Based on Jesus

Here is an article I have written on this subject. The Thor comic is based on the Norse myth of Thor. The Norse myth of Thor was based on Jesus. Read more about Thor and Jesus here.

Footnotes: Marvel's Avengers: Endgame

[1] A fragment from Papyrus 115 taken from the Oxyrhynchus site, was discovered at the Oxford University's Ashmolean Museum in 2005. It gave the beast's number as 616 χις. This fragment is the oldest manuscript (about 1,700 years old) of Revelation 13 found as of 2017. Here's the archived article from National Geographic. Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, known before the Papyrus 115 finding but dating to after it, has 616 written in full: ἑξακόσιοι δέκα ἕξ, hexakosioi deka hex (lit. "six hundred and sixteen").

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  1. These movies are fun yet quite dangerous, essentially causing viewers to be averse to Christ and the Bible. The words of God and Christ, for instance, are virtually always put in the villain's mouth.

    These protestants do a great job revealing this - I urge you to watch:

    1. All things in moderation, even superheroes. I do agree that proper formation is required before watching almost anything these days.

  2. Woah.. So many new things to know you have surely done a great job finding and writing all these. Keep doing the good work.

  3. All the marvel MCU movies are based on mocking God and making him look like a madman of malevolent rage, where the human race is the good guy and must prepare to fight him in the last battle. Remember, the avengers are beings with exceptional powers that unite to fight battles to save humanity from "evil" beings that come from outer space. In this perspective, if you pay attention to the dialogues of many marvel movies including Thor, guardians of the galaxy, the avengers, endgame, eternals, etc you will clearly understand the reference and mockery they make between God the father, jesus christ, antichrist, etc, all to prepare humanity to fight against God in the last battle.

  4. In one of these movies someone said who is your master? They said what am I suppose to say JESUS? Yessssss you were
    As much as I did like the action, watching them is like they talking about my mother to my face...only it's my Father. This may be due to the apostate church foolishness I get it. But the true church the body of Christ ain't no joke he will not be mocked.

  5. To those people who commented after Scott responded to Dunstin, he has acknowledged the problematic aspects of these movies. He doesn't need more commentary from readers pointing out the problematic elements of these films.