Is Harry Potter the Son of God?
by Abigail BeauSeigneur
As we approach the release of the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series, Potter friends and foes alike are in for the surprise of their lives. The story of Harry Potter is, and always was, a Christian allegory – a fictionalized modern-day adaptation of the life of Christ, intended to introduce his character to a new generation.
J.K. Rowling states she is a Christian author:
Yes, I am, which seems to offend the religious right far worse than if I said I thought there was no God. Every time I’ve been asked if I believe in God, I’ve said yes, because I do, but no one ever really has gone any more deeply into it than that, and I have to say that does suit me, because if I talk too freely about that [her Christianity] I think the intelligent reader, whether 10 or 60, will be able to guess what’s coming in the books.(1)
Elsewhere, Rowling has told us that “why Dumbledore had James’s cloak when he died is crucial.”(2) She has also told us that Dumbledore’s “gleam of triumph”(3) is “enormously significant.”(4) But here she tells us that knowing more about her religious beliefs is not just crucial, not just enormously significant, but will blow the whole thing open so that even a 10-year-old will be able to figure it out. Note that she said this in October 2000, at which point readers only had four of seven books; we knew nothing of the prophecy, and the word “Horcrux” did not even exist in the lexicon. So early in the series, we need only to have known the specifics of Rowling’s religious beliefs to solve the puzzle.
Perhaps what she won’t tell is her denomination, but since it is known that she is a member of the Church of Scotland congregation,(5) which is not particularly theologically unique from other mainstream denominations, that information hardly seems illuminating to the Potter story. What else might she be refusing to divulge? When a person states that they are a Christian, they may mean one of several things: “I believe in God,” “I’m not an atheist or Jewish or Muslim or Hindu,” “I go to church sometimes,” “I go to church every week,” or “I believe that Jesus Christ was the incarnate God who died to redeem the world of their sins, and I have a personal relationship with him as my Lord and Savior.”
Do any of these statements have the potential to reveal the ultimate plot of the series? One of them must since Rowling has said it is so. The only one of the above statements that approaches that potential is the last, which I will henceforth refer to as “Christ-follower.” If Rowling is a Christ-follower, what might that mean for Harry Potter? I believe that it means Harry is the Christ – of the wizarding world, that is – of J.K. Rowling’s created universe.
Can this be? Can a writer so censored by elements of the religious right, the writer of a book that portrays “good” witches and wizards, the writer of scenes so horrific as the senseless murder of a young boy,(6) a villain who drinks unicorn blood(7) and uses the bones of his father – whom he murdered – and the blood of his enemy to regain a physical body,(8) a writer who uses symbolism from the tarot, a writer blamed for encouraging interest in witchcraft among teens(9) be a Christ-follower and actually be writing about Christ? I say yes.
I know of at least one other author who uses the beliefs of those most unlike Christianity to ultimately tell a story of Christ.(10) Additionally, can we ignore the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis? Both of them portray magic in their stories, yet no one questions their intentions. This is because the faith of both is known and because their symbolism and use of allegory are more easily recognizable (particularly since their stories are complete, whereas Rowling’s is not). Is it possible that J.K. Rowling (who, by the way, also goes by her initials and last name and who read Lewis’s Narnia books repeatedly as a child(11)) is doing the same but simply hiding her ultimate intent? Again, I say yes.
Rowling’s books are being scrutinized endlessly by her fans, who are trying to find connections with, it seems, every piece of literature and mythology known to man, including possible symbolism from the tarot, ancient runes, and alchemy. Newsweek even compared Harry to Tony Soprano,(12) and for all I know, some may be listening to the audiobooks backward. Some of these analyses are quite convincing, others absurd. By comparison to such efforts, my analysis may seem lacking in sufficient complexity and obscurity to satisfy some. However, let me remind you of the passage with which I began this journey. Rowling asserts that knowing more about her religious beliefs will blow the whole thing apart. That knowledge is enough.
Reviewing some of Rowling’s symbolism and examining similarities between Harry and Christ will reveal further evidence to bolster the supposition that Rowling is telling an allegorical gospel. (While it is tempting to compare Rowling’s novels with those of Tolkien and Lewis, for this article, I will limit the analysis to a comparison of Rowling’s works directly to the gospel.)
As with any allegory, some similarities and allusions will be obvious even to the casual reader of the Potter series and to those who know little about Christ. Some will be clear only to those who are truly knowledgeable on both topics. I do not claim that every character and event in the Harry Potter series has a biblical parallel, nor would I ever assume to know the exact design of one of the greatest and most intentional authors of our time. However, there is much compelling evidence for my theory, which, when considered as a whole, makes a rather strong argument.
Rowling uses a fantastic amount of symbolism in her story, especially through names. She admits that names are “really crucial” to her and that some of her characters have had eight or nine names before she hit the right one.(13) Harry’s last name, Potter, is connotative of Christ. Isaiah calls God the potter: “you are our father, we are the clay and you are the potter.” (14) This consequently points to Christ, since in Christian theology God the Father and God the Son (Christ) are one and the same.(15)
Harry’s scars on his head(16) and hand(17) may be intended to partially match Christ’s scars from his crucifixion.(18) Rowling tells us that the shape of Harry’s lightning-bolt scar is not its most significant characteristic.(19) Perhaps its significance is its location, his forehead. There are several important references to forehead markings in the Bible. The high priest was to wear upon his forehead a seal with the words “Holy to the Lord,” “so the LORD will accept the people.” (20) Additionally, the people of Israel were told to tie the commands of God to their hands and to wear them on their foreheads as reminders.(21) In Revelation, God will mark his followers’ foreheads with the seal of God,(22) so that when locusts are sent upon the earth in judgment, those with the seal will not be harmed.(23) (I will discuss the perhaps best known biblical forehead marking, the mark of the beast, later, when I examine Rowling’s Satan parallel.)
Harry’s stag Patronus(24) (a conjured protector that drives away certain dark creatures) provides even more symbolism. The stag is historically a symbol of Christ and an enemy and overcomer of the serpent,(25) a common symbol for Satan. The stag Patronus is used in the Potter series to link Harry to his father, James, who was an Animagus (a wizard who can turn into an animal at will), whose animal form was a stag. For this reason, James’s nickname was Prongs.(26) It seems as though Rowling is trying to bring attention to that part of the creature. Interestingly, Christian stag representations often hold a cross in prongs of the antlers.(27) Since the image of the stag is present on the inside flap of the cover of the British children’s version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we are assured the stag will come into play again.
Harry plays Quidditch (a wizarding sport) for Gryffindor, his house at Hogwarts. His position is Seeker; his job is to catch a tiny enchanted ball (the “Snitch”) before the other team’s Seeker does.(28) Though he had never heard of the sport, he was recruited in his first year because of his natural talent.(29) While Christ does not fly around on a broomstick trying to catch a tiny enchanted ball, he does declare of himself, “[I] came to seek and save those who are lost.” (30) The devil, like the other team’s Seeker, is also seeking these souls, but his purpose is to take them to hell. I believe that Rowling has given Harry the position of “Seeker” in order to allude to Christ, the seeker of lost souls.
Further related to Quidditch, Harry’s first broom is called a Nimbus 2000.(31) Nimbus is the term for the halo-like orbs of light shown around the heads of artistic representations of saints and of Christ.
Quidditch may actually be a metaphor for the spiritual and physical worlds, as what generally determines the outcome of the game is not the goals, but rather who catches the Golden Snitch; just as what really matters on earth is not all the things we do in the physical realm, but rather what is happening in the spiritual realm and who “catches” the souls of men. I wonder, in fact, if the entire purpose for creating Quidditch, with its peculiar rules, is not as a metaphor for this truth. When Rowling talks about writing Quidditch, she candidly remarks, “to be honest with you, Quidditch matches have been the bane of my life in the Harry Potter books.” (33) Her further comments regarding Quidditch insinuate that she has no interest in sports.(34)
It is interesting that Rowling has not set her story in an alternate or parallel universe. In her story, the world is the same as it ever was, and the things about which she tells us are simply unknown and unseen by most Muggles (non-magical people). What happens in the wizarding world affects the Muggle world; Muggles are simply unaware of the cause. According to Christian belief, there is a world like that. It is unseen and unknown to most but affects everything that happens in this world nonetheless. That world is the spiritual realm, in which Christ and the devil, angels, and demons battle for the souls of men.(35) According to Rowling, “Witchcraft is just a metaphor for this other world of possibilities, beyond convention, that the mind can reach.” (36)
There is definite significance given to blood in the Potter series. The blood of Harry’s mother Lily protected Harry from the attack by Voldemort when he was an infant,(37) and that protection continues as long as Harry can call the place where his mother’s blood dwells “home” (by residing in the home of his mothers sister.)(38) Intent on overcoming this protection, Voldemort used Harry’s blood to gain a new body and resurrect himself.(39) When Harry informed Dumbledore of what Voldemort had done, he perceived a momentary “gleam of triumph” in Dumbledore’s eyes,(40) which Rowling reveals is still enormously significant.(41) Because Lily’s blood now runs through Voldemort’s veins, he can now touch Harry without causing himself harm.(42) However, he still cannot bear to possess Harry.(43) When Harry and Dumbledore began their search to find the Horcruxes that contain pieces of Voldemort’s soul, they had to enter a magically sealed cave to get to the Horcrux. In order to enter, a blood payment was required.(44) Dumbledore insisted that his blood be used, as Harry’s blood is worth more than his.(45)
Though the precise significance of blood in the Harry Potter series is yet to be revealed, it seems extremely likely that it is related to the significance of blood in the Christian faith. Blood on the doorposts protected the inhabitants from the plague that killed all the firstborn sons of Egypt.(46) Blood was later used to confirm God’s covenant with the people of Israel.(47) Most importantly, Christ’s blood was shed for the payment of sin,(48) and by his blood, his followers are made right in the sight of God.(49)
A wand is a witch or wizard’s most important tool. The wand chooses its wizard,(50) and it has a powerful connection to its owner.(51) We know that Rowling has chosen her wands with great care. Hermione and Ron’s wand woods both correspond to their birth months, according to Celtic tradition. On the other hand, Hagrid’s wand wood is representative of his character.(52)
The wands of Harry and Voldemort give even more insight. Harry’s wand is made of holly and phoenix feather (an unusual combination, according to Ollivander, the wandmaker)(53); Voldemort’s is yew and phoenix feather.(54) Though their owners are enemies, the wands are “brothers,” meaning that both have in their cores a feather from the same phoenix.(55) We know the symbolism of the wand woods directly from Rowling:
I gave Harry a wand made of holly wood…It was not an arbitrary decision: holly has certain connotations that were perfect for Harry, particularly when contrasted with the traditional associations of yew, from which Voldemort’s wand is made. European tradition has it that the holly tree (the name comes from ‘holy’) repels evil, while yew, which can achieve astonishing longevity (there are British yew trees over two thousand years old), can symbolise both death and resurrection; the sap [of the yew] is also poisonous.(56)
Additionally, holly is associated with death and rebirth in pagan and Christian lore.(57)
Harry’s wand core, which everyone seems to pay attention to only for the fact that it is related to Voldemort’s, has vital symbolism as well. Phoenixes are mythical birds of resurrection; they repeatedly die (by bursting into flames), and are reborn.(58) We have already seen this symbolism played out in Voldemort’s life. He should have been killed by the rebounding Killing Curse that he cast at Harry.(59) However, he was able to just barely evade death, because he had created Horcruxes, which held and protected pieces of his soul severed in the act of committing murders.(60) He existed for years as “less than spirit,” (61) and was later able to resurrect himself through an “old piece of dark magic.” (62)
Harry may also have the power to resurrect himself. His wand symbolizes holiness and resurrection. How can this not be a reference to Christ, who was sinless (holy)(63) and rose again after being brutally crucified?(64)
Symbolism from Deathly Hallows
There has been much speculation as to the meaning of the symbol on the spine of the British children’s version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This symbol is clearly important as it is present not only on the cover but was also used in early June on Rowling’s website to access a limited feature.(65) Many have sought to interpret the symbol in its entirety, but I believe it may be an invention by Rowling, which can be deciphered with relative ease. “The triangle is one of the most easily recognized religious symbols in the West, most commonly associated with the Christian trinity.” (66) The vertical line represents man, and the path from earth to heaven.(67) The circle represents completeness, eternity, and the soul.(68) The symbol also closely resembles the well-known All-Seeing Eye, commonly used during the Renaissance (and seen on the dollar bill) as a symbol of God.(69)
Though all good villains have much in common, including arrogance, a lust for power, and disregard for human life, there are some unusual similarities between Voldemort and the Devil, aka Satan, that further support the theory that Harry Potter is an allegorical Christ. Voldemort’s given name, Tom Riddle, may be intended to reflect characteristics of Satan, “a liar” (70) who schemes to confuse and mislead,” (71) much like a riddle. Voldemort is also called the “Dark Lord,” (72) while Satan is known as “The Prince of Darkness.” (73) Voldemort is so feared that many are afraid to say his name.(74) Historically people have feared to say the name of Satan as well. Voldemort is instead called things like “You Know Who,” “He Who Must Not Be Named,” and my personal favorite, “Lord Thingy.” (75) Satan was called by such names as “The Bad Man” and “Old Scratch.” (76)
The Devil and Voldemort have similar histories. Though Tom Riddle was clearly a disturbed child,(77) when he arrived at Hogwarts, he behaved his very best, became well-liked by professors and students, was considered very good looking, received excellent grades, and was even awarded the honor and authority of Head Boy in his seventh year.(78) Likewise, Satan was created with great beauty and wisdom and was given authority over all the cherubim, which were the highest order of created beings.(79) Both gave up their high places to seek an even higher position and greater power. Tom Riddle desired to be immortal and the greatest sorcerer in the world.(80)Satan desired to be like God.(81)
Satan and Voldemort are both associated with snakes and have both appeared as snakes.(82) Both Voldemort and Satan possess not only snakes but also people.(83) While Satan commands demons,(84) Voldemort commands dementors.(85) Both identify their followers by a mandatory indelible mark – the Dark Mark, which Voldemort uses to mark his followers,(86) which is hauntingly similar to the mark of the beast used in the book of Revelation.(87)
Life and Times
Prophecies are an important aspect of both Harry’s and Christ’s stories. Both were prophesied before their births and both are prophesied to cause the ultimate downfall of their enemies.
The prophecy concerning Harry’s birth states:
The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies.(88)
As Professor Dumbledore tells Harry, the first part of the prophecy could have referred to either Harry or another boy, Neville Longbottom. However, as Dumbledore further explains, the next part of the prophecy makes it clear that Harry is the intended subject. “The final identifying feature of the boy who could vanquish Voldemort [was that] Voldemort himself would ‘mark him as his equal.’” (89) By attempting to kill Harry, Voldemort did just that.(90) The question that remains regarding the prophecy is if and how Harry will vanquish Lord Voldemort.
Fulfilled prophecies of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ are too many to list here (see footnote).(91) There are prophecies about his mother,(92) his ancestry,(93)and his place of birth.(94) It was also prophesied as early as the book of Genesis that Christ will defeat his enemy.(95)
Both Harry and Christ were targeted for death at the approximate age of one, and in both cases, the would-be murderers’ motivation was a prophecy that foretold that the intended victim would one day overcome them. Voldemort, hearing that the one with the power to vanquish him was coming, understood that threat to be Harry.(96) Voldemort planned to do away with this threat long before he could be dangerous, while his enemy was still an infant.(97) Harry’s parents, James and Lily, had been warned of Voldemort’s plan to kill Harry and attempted to hide the child, only to have a friend betray them to the enemy.(98) However, because Lily sacrificed her own life for Harry’s, he was protected by an ancient magic(99); Voldemort’s attempt turned out to be his (at least temporary) undoing, and he failed to eliminate the threat.(100)
Herod, the Roman-imposed king of the Jews at the time of Christ’s birth, knew the prophecies predicting a coming legitimate king of the Jews. Since Christ had already fulfilled the early requirements of the prophecies, Herod feared him as a threat to his reign and wanted Christ dead.(101) In an attempt to kill Christ, Herod ordered his soldiers to kill all the boys aged 2 years or younger in and around Bethlehem. Having been warned of the plan in a dream, Christ’s family escaped to Egypt.(102)
Throughout the Potter series, Voldemort has continued his attempts to kill Harry; however, all of his attempts to this point have failed.(103) The attempts to kill Christ did not stop at his infancy either. The people of his hometown tried to push him off a cliff.(104) The Pharisees began plotting Christ’s arrest and death very early in his ministry.(105) Twice they tried to stone him, but both times he miraculously slipped away.(106) These attempts were unsuccessful because his time had not yet come.(107)
When we first properly meet Harry Potter, he is 11 years of age. At this time, Harry, “The Boy Who Lived,” (108) is sleeping in a cupboard, or closet, under the stairs,(109) a rather humble place for one whose name would be known by all wizardkind.(110) Harry’s humble position is kindred to Christ’s. Christ, “The King of the Jews,” (111) and “The King of Kings,” (112) was born in a lowly stable and spent his first nights sleeping in a manger, a feeding trough for animals.(113)
Both boys were forced from their homes for their own protection. Dumbledore realized after Voldemort’s first attempt to kill Harry and Voldemort’s subsequent downfall that Voldemort’s followers may yet try to kill Harry. For Harry’s safety, Dumbledore took him to live with his Muggle relatives.(114) Christ’s family spent several years in Egypt hiding from Herod, and was later prevented from returning home by the violent reign of Herod’s son.(115)
As pre-teens, both boys started showing their potential, a glimpse of what they would later become. Harry was performing magic, though unknowingly and unintentionally,(116) and Christ was teaching in the temple.(117)
As Harry was finding his place in the wizarding world, and as Christ was preparing to take his place in his ministry, both faced temptations. Both were victorious over the temptations, showing us the value of their morals and character.
Voldemort tried to tempt Harry when Harry faced him at the end of his first year at Hogwarts. In his attempt to get Harry to turn over the Sorcerer’s Stone, Voldemort told Harry, “There is no good or evil, only power and those too weak to seek it.” (118) Voldemort contended, “better to save your own life and join me.” (119) Harry resisted these temptations and refused to give Voldemort the stone,(120) which would have enabled Voldemort to create a body of his own, rather than having to rely on possession and unicorn blood to survive.(121) In light of Voldemort’s correlation to the Devil, it is interesting that while Harry was being tempted, he “felt as if Devil’s Snare was rooting him to the spot.” (122)
Christ’s temptation occurred in the wilderness, alone, as Harry was when facing Voldemort. Christ had eaten nothing for forty days and forty nights. Satan’s first attempt at temptation was to challenge, “If you are the Son of God, change these stones into loaves of bread.” Because Christ was there for fasting, and because he had chosen to give up his limitless power to fully experience humanity,(123) Christ refused. Satan then took Christ to the highest point of the temple and dared him to jump off and let the angels come to his aid, as scriptures said they would. Christ again refused, responding, “The scriptures also say, ‘Do not test the Lord your God.’” A third time Satan tried to tempt Christ, showing him all nations of the world and their glory, saying “I will give it all to you, if you will only kneel down and worship me.” Christ resisted a third time, telling Satan, “Get out of here, Satan. For the scriptures say, ‘you must worship the Lord your God; serve only him.’” (124)
Harry and Christ faced additional temptations, and in resisting, proved their purity of heart. Harry was tempted by the Mirror of Erised, which showed him the deepest desire of his heart, and tempted him to “dwell on dreams and forget to live.” However, after Dumbledore explained the mirror to Harry and removed it, Harry briefly dwelt on it, but soon stopped thinking of it.(125) Harry also has an amazing ability to resist the Imperius Curse,(126) and overcame the Veelas’ power after being exposed to them only once.(127) Likewise when the Jews tried to force Christ to be their king, he would not, as that was not his mission at that time.(128) Out of obedience to his Father, he resisted using his great power against his enemies, even as they led him to his death.(129)
Problems with Authority
Both Harry and Christ have issues with authority, or at least unjust, corrupt, discriminatory authorities. For Harry, it is the Ministry of Magic; for Christ, it was the Pharisees and religious leaders of his time. Both were persecuted for speaking out and for not adhering to commonly accepted social mores. Harry spoke the truth about the return of Voldemort,(130) declared that the convicted murderer Sirius Black was innocent,(131) and regularly breaks the rules.(132) Christ spoke about a relationship with God that is not based on rigid rules,(133) declared people’s sins to be forgiven,(134) and regularly broke the rules of the corrupt authorities of the time.
Not So Mr. Nice Guy
When the authorities acted inappropriately, neither Harry nor Christ was afraid to say so. They were both quite outspoken and chastened authority figures when they felt it necessary. Harry called an official of the Ministry of Magic a liar when she denied Voldemort’s return, and practically got into a shouting match with her when she refused to admit the truth.(135) He further publicly contradicted the Ministry by giving a newspaper interview about the return of Voldemort.(136) After the Ministry finally came to their senses, Harry refused to give the Minister of Magic information that he wanted or to become the Ministry’s poster-boy to help them improve their image.(137)
The religious leaders of Christ’s time were as wrong about how to follow God as the Ministry of Magic was about Voldemort’s return, and Christ was not afraid to say so. At a dinner in the home of a Pharisee, Christ criticized the Pharisees sharply. He called them greedy, uncharitable, power-hungry, wicked, and corrupt. He blamed the teachers of the religious law for the murder of God’s prophets.(138) He publicly spoke against both,(139) referred to them as “snakes” and “sons of vipers” (140) and repeatedly called them hypocrites.(141) He told them, “even corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do.” (142)
Friend of Outcasts
Another commonality between Harry and Christ is their proclivity for making friends with unlikely and unpopular people (and in Harry’s case, creatures). On occasion, this caused problems for both, as the general public expected “better” from both Harry and Christ.
Harry Potter is a friend to many who are shunned by society. His first friend in the wizarding world, Rubeus Hagrid, is one such example. Very early in Harry’s acquaintance with Hagrid, Harry found out that Hagrid was not well looked upon by some in the wizarding world. Draco Malfoy called Hagrid “savage,” and shared that he “lives in a hut on the school grounds and every now and then he gets drunk, tries to do magic, and ends up setting fire to his bed.” Rather than deciding that he didn’t want to spend time with Hagrid because of this, Harry responded coldly, saying, “I think he’s brilliant.” (143) He has maintained a good friendship with Hagrid throughout his time at Hogwarts, even helping him to smuggle his illegal baby dragon, Norbert, to safety at great personal risk.(144) Harry felt no qualms about being friends with Hagrid even upon finding out he is half-giant, despite the implications of this fact.(145)
Harry’s two best friends are something of outcasts. Hermione is Muggle-born and considered by some students to be a frizzy-haired, buck-toothed know-it-all. Ron is from a poor family, and some consider his father a failure. Harry is also friends with no less than a werewolf (Lupin); a ghost (Nearly Headless Nick); a house-elf (Dobby); Neville Longbottom, who is unconfident, inept, and unpopular(146); and Luna (“Loony”) Lovegood, who is considered extremely odd because of her unusual style and inclination to believe in unlikely things.(147) He is not merely acquainted with these outcasts; they are truly his friends. He sees no reason why Lupin’s lycanthropy should prevent him from teaching.(148) Harry kindly attended Nearly Headless Nick’s “Deathday Party,” even though he preferred not to, and it was not very pleasant.(149) He is kind and gracious to Dobby the house-elf, has always treated him as an equal, and even helped him to escape slavery.(150) And when Romilda Vane offered Harry a seat in her train compartment so that he didn’t have to sit with Neville and Luna, Harry coldly responded, “They’re friends of mine.” Luna gets to the heart of the matter with her insight, “People expect you to have cooler friends than us.” (151)
Christ was also regularly in the company of people who weren’t accepted in their society; his critics called him a “friend of sinners.” (152) “Among the 12 [Apostles] were fishermen, a tax collector [tax collectors were often corrupt], and a revolutionary. The Gospels record the constant failings, struggles, and doubts of these twelve men who followed Jesus Christ.” (153) His closest friends were not the keepers of the law, not the aristocratic or wealthy or powerful, they were mostly just ordinary working-class guys. When he eats with Matthew and a group of other tax collectors, the Pharisees ask the disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” (154) Christ made no secret of the fact that he would spend time with such people, and invited himself to dinner at the home of another tax collector, Zacchaeus, while surrounded by a crowd that was listening to his teachings.(155) He conversed with a Samaritan woman,(156) at a time when Samaritans and Jews (he was Jewish) hated one another.(157) He truly respected women in a time when many looked upon women as second-class citizens.(158) He even goes so far as to touch a leper(159) – the outcast of outcasts – and someone whose disease was contagious through physical contact.(160)
Problems with Rules
When rules have stood in the way of helping other people and doing what was right, both Harry and Christ have disregarded the rules. Harry ran towards a troll to rescue Hermione rather than back to his dorm as instructed, because to him, people are more important than rules.(161) Christ healed a blind man on the Sabbath(162) because to him, people are more important than rules (the Pharisees, who could not perform miracles, nonetheless considered themselves justified to regulate them and so determined that it was against the law to heal on the Sabbath). Both spoke out again and again about what they believe, despite how angry they made the authorities or what anyone did to stop them.
Misunderstood and Mistreated
Harry and Christ were both persecuted for doing what is right by the very people they were trying to help. Harry was accused of being a dark wizard and was accused of causing the attacks he was trying to stop.(163) Christ was accused of being evil and working for the devil, even as he cast out evil spirits.(164)
Neither was treated with respect by those who should have known them best. Harry’s family treated him with neglect and cruelty,(165) “as though he were something very nasty…like a slug.” (166) Christ’s brothers ridiculed him,(167) and his family tried to prevent him from ministering to the people because they thought he was crazy.(168)People from his hometown refused to believe what he said,(169) and even went so far as to try to kill him because of the claims he made about himself.(170)
When they spoke the truth – Harry about Voldemort, and Christ about God – they were not believed and subsequently persecuted. The Ministry of Magic used their connections at the Daily Prophet to launch a smear campaign against Harry,(171) and the Pharisees asked many complicated theological questions in a continual campaign to incriminate Christ.(172)
A Chance to Sever Ties
It’s not easy to follow a maverick. Friends of both Harry and Christ suffered for their association with these two radicals. It must have been tough to trust some of the crazy things they said. Consider Christ’s statement that his disciples must eat his flesh and drink his blood to have eternal life,(173) or Harry’s claim to hear a voice in the walls that no one else could.(174) How strange it must have seemed to Peter to be told to step out of a boat onto the water,(175) or to Ron and Hermione when Harry wanted to go to a spider’s funeral to convince someone who wouldn’t even be there to give him vital information.(176) Friendship with the persecuted, hated, and unorthodox can also be dangerous, especially when both the authorities and the wicked try to stand in the way of doing what is right.
Both Harry and Christ realized the suffering that their friends endured because of them, and both offered their friends a chance to leave. For example, when attempting to protect the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry had planned to operate alone; when his friends tried to accompany him he protested that they could get expelled,(177) and later told them, “If you want to go back I won’t blame you.” (178) After Harry had been ridiculed and vilified for months by the Ministry of Magic and his peers, Ron’s brother Percy suggested that Ron “sever ties” with Harry, who he calls “unbalanced.” Harry offered him that opportunity.(179)
After Christ’s audacious and confusing statement about eating his flesh and drinking his blood, many were offended and none understood that he was speaking in a spiritual, not physical, sense. Many who had been following him chose to desert him. Christ asked the twelve whether they would like to leave as well.(180) He warned them that spreading his message would cause them to be persecuted and threatened, and might cause even their families to turn against them.(181)
A trap is set.
Neither the Ministry of Magic nor the Pharisees were pleased with our rule breakers. Both, in the opinion of the authorities, were to be stopped by whatever means necessary.
The Pharisees were always trying to catch Christ doing something wrong – eager to have a crime, however petty, of which to accuse him. They schemed and plotted and tried to trick him into implicating himself. They “found” a woman in the act of adultery and brought her to him for his judgment, thinking that they had finally created an impossible situation.(182) “The [religious] law required that both parties to adultery be stoned…” (Note that those who brought the woman had violated the law themselves by neglecting to bring the man for judgment as well.) “If Jesus said the woman should not be stoned, they would accuse him of violating [the religious] law. If he urged them to execute her, they would report him to the Romans, who did not permit the Jews to carry out their own executions. [Israel was part of the Roman Empire at this time].” (183) After they demanded that Christ answer as to her judgment, he told them, “All right, stone her, but let those who have never sinned throw the first stones,” (184) which caused all the people, each knowing that they were not without sin, to walk away, one by one. Christ had neither violated Moses’ law nor acted in a way that would anger the Romans. The Pharisees and teachers of the law were unsuccessful in trapping him, in this and many similar plots.
Harry was set up similarly by Dolores Umbridge of the Ministry of Magic, who sent dementors to attack Harry to force him to do magic illegally. Her “confession” of ordering the attack is telling: “They were all bleating about silencing you somehow – discrediting you – but I was the one who actually did something about it.” “[The Minister of Magic] never knew I ordered the dementors after Potter last summer, but he was delighted to be given the chance to expel him, all the same.” (185) The trap set for Harry was meant to be impossible. He could either allow the dementors to suck out both his own soul and that of his cousin Dudley, or defend himself with magic. When Harry defended himself and his cousin from the dementors, the Ministry immediately sent an owl telling him that since he had broken the law by performing magic outside of school and in front of a Muggle, he was to be expelled from Hogwarts, and his wand destroyed.(186) Only through Dumbledore’s intervention was this injustice averted.(187)
When James and Lily Potter heard that their son was to be targeted by Voldemort, they hid to protect Harry. They employed the Fidelius Charm, “an immensely complex spell involving the magical concealment of a secret inside a single, living soul.” (188) The chosen Secret-Keeper was Peter Pettigrew, a supposed friend of the Potters. However, Peter betrayed Harry and his parents,(189) claiming it was out of fear of Voldemort.(190)
Just as Harry, through his parents, was betrayed by a trusted friend, so was Christ betrayed. One of Christ’s closest friends delivered him to those who wanted him dead, for 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave.(191) The Pharisees, who had been plotting Christ’s death since the beginning of his ministry, wanted to capture Christ without arousing attention.(192) They ordered anyone who knew his whereabouts to report it.(193) They made a deal with Judas Iscariot, who led a mob to Christ’s location and pointed him out by a prearranged signal, a greeting of a kiss.(194)
Mock Trial (Or “Making a Mockery of the Justice System”)
Harry’s trial for using magic against the dementors was immensely unfair, even before it started. Protocol was completely thrown out the window. Rather than a simple disciplinary hearing before the head of Magical Law Enforcement, which was appropriate given the offense, Harry was tried before the entire Wizengamot, the high court of the wizarding world.(195) The time and the location were changed at the last minute, apparently in an attempt to make Harry late so that he would look bad,(196) and to try to prevent Dumbledore from being there to assist in Harry’s defense.(197)
Harry was not allowed to speak to defend himself, and when he tried, was made to look like a fool and a liar. He was not allowed to explain mitigating circumstances,(198) and past “offenses” which had nothing to do with the trial at hand were used in an attempt to sully his character.(199) His witness was allowed only after Dumbledore insisted,(200) and Harry was not allowed to defend himself regarding the aforementioned past offenses.(201) Those charging Harry treated everything he said to explain himself as though it were a laughable, obviously false tale, “a very nice little cover story.” (202) Harry’s only salvation from the unfair charges against him and their subsequent punishment was Dumbledore’s intervention.(203)
Christ’s trial was an equal miscarriage of justice. After he was arrested, he was bound and subjected to two trials, both conducted at night, in secrecy, which was illegal. The normal elaborate system of screening witnesses was thrown aside(204) as they tried to find witnesses against Christ,(205) so they could put him to death.(206) “Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.” (207) Those present hit, beat, slapped, spat on, insulted, and mocked Christ.(208) A third trial took place at daybreak, before the Sanhedrin, the supreme court of Jewish law,(209) to formalize the verdict of the previous night in an attempt to make things look legal.(210)
Since the Romans would not allow the Jews to carry out the death penalty, they then had to take Christ before the Roman governor, Pilate.(211) Christ was sent back and forth between the Roman authorities, who were unable to find any charge against him. But the religious leaders worked up the crowd, and they demanded Christ’s death. Eventually, Pilate gave in and sentenced Christ to death because he didn’t want a riot.(212)
The Choice Between What Is Right and What Is Easy
Though Harry and Christ were born to shoulder a certain burden,(213) both were given a choice. They did not have to fulfill the ultimate outcomes of the prophecies about them. As Dumbledore and Rowling both stress, a choice must be made between what is right and what is easy.(214) Though Harry has made a decision to risk his life by attempting to eliminate the Horcruxes and kill Voldemort,(215) his true decision between what is right and what is easy is yet to come.
Christ’s choice between what is right and what is easy was whether to allow himself to be arrested and killed to defeat sin and vanquish Satan. His choice was motivated by love.(216) This did not make it an easy choice, however. He knew exactly what was coming and had told his followers beforehand.(217) He agonized, even sweating blood over the decision. He asked if there was another way. He finally said to God the Father, “Not my will, but yours be done.” (218)
It’s All Leading Up to This
Love as a Weapon
The prophecy said that Harry is “the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord,” and that he has “power the Dark Lord knows not.” As Dumbledore told Harry, that power is his heart,(219) which he defines as not only Harry’s capacity to love but also his pureness of heart.(220) Harry’s weapon to defeat evil will be love. This was also Lily’s weapon, which provided protection for Harry when Voldemort attempted to kill him as an infant. Her love was a shield over him, which caused Voldemort’s Killing Curse to rebound off of Harry and back onto himself.(221) If her name is any indication, Lily was also pure of heart. Lily’s love was manifested in her sacrifice. She chose to protect her son at the cost of her life.(222) Her love also left a lingering protection over him thereafter.(223) “[Lily’s] blood became [Harry’s] refuge.” (224) It stands to reason that Harry’s use of love as a weapon will also require a sacrifice. As Christ said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (225) Up to now, in the only incidence Rowling has given us of love as a weapon, it was used as a defensive weapon, which required Lily to sacrifice her own life.
Christ’s weapon against Satan is also the purity and love in his heart. Love led Christ to sacrifice himself, and by his sinless life and purity of heart, he was a worthy sacrifice. Though he was innocent,(226) he was sacrificed for sin, and by his choice, he bore the sins of all men, so that they might be made free from the power of sin(227) and reconciled to God, who demands payment and recompense for sin because he is a holy God who cannot sanction any impurity. For those who choose to follow Christ, his blood remains their refuge. As Lily’s sacrifice protected Harry, so Christ’s sacrifice frees his followers from the burden of sin and protects them from the devil’s grasp.(228) Only by dying could Lily protect Harry, and “Only by dying could Christ break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.” (229)
From what we know of Harry, we can easily believe that he might sacrifice his life, either to save another or in the fight against evil. From his first year at Hogwarts, when he faced Voldemort, Harry showed that fighting evil is more important to him than his own well-being.(230) As Hermione states, Harry has a “saving people thing.” (231) He is not afraid of death and has chosen many times to risk losing his life to save the life of another. One such example occurred when Harry and his friends were fighting the Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries. “All he could think of doing was to draw the Death Eaters away from the others.” (232) I believe that Harry will choose death to thwart evil because not doing so would result in the continual suffering and probable destruction of all that is good in both the wizard and Muggle worlds. The only real question is how this will occur in the final book. Will he die in an attempt to save someone, or, if he is himself a Horcrux, as some have suggested, will he sacrifice himself to cause Voldemort to once more be mortal?(233)
Return from Death
The defeat of Satan was not complete without Christ’s resurrection, which was necessary to prove to the world that Christ was who he claimed to be and that he was a worthy sacrifice for sin. If Christ had simply died, Satan would have won. Therefore, if Harry’s weapon is love, and if love must be manifested in a sacrifice to be used as a weapon, and if the sacrifice must include death, then only through his resurrection can Harry have true victory.
Rowling has given us a hint that a resurrection may occur. She seems to have slipped up in answering an interview question, and her need to correct herself bears examination. When a reader suggested that Harry’s mother will return from the dead, Rowling’s response is, “I’m afraid there will be no coming back fro- for Harry’s parents.” (234) It seems as though Rowling starts to say, “there will be no coming back from the dead,” however, she feels the need to edit herself, and instead says “for Harry’s parents.”
The problem that some may see with this analysis is what Rowling said immediately preceding this statement. Although she states that magic cannot bring dead people back to life, she says “the natural law…of death applies to wizards as it applies to Muggles and there is no returning once you’re properly dead, you know, they might be able to save very close-to-death people better than we can, by magic…they have certain knowledge we don’t, but once you’re dead, you’re dead.” (235) Nonetheless, this does not rule out Harry coming back to life. The natural law of death, which Rowling refers to as applying to Muggles and wizards alike, certainly did not stop Christ from rising from the dead. It is important at this point to remember the symbolism from Harry’s wand – it represents holiness, repels evil, and represents death and resurrection. The natural law of death does not apply to phoenixes and neither will it keep Harry Potter in the grave.
A Possible Scenario
Though I cannot hope to guess every plot twist, to show that the allegory can be successfully completed, I present here a possible scenario. While Harry could die in battle, to effectively complete the allegory, it is more likely that Harry will voluntarily choose, out of loving sacrifice, to do something that will most assuredly result in his death.
Many believe that Harry may be a Horcrux. This theory would certainly correspond with the theory of Harry as Christ, especially if the Horcrux is encapsulated within his scar. Christ, taking all the worlds sin upon himself, sacrificed himself to destroy sin. The Horcrux within Harry may represent the sin that Christ bore, and to destroy the Horcrux, Harry will have to sacrifice himself, just as Christ did.
However, if Harry sacrifices himself to destroy the Horcrux inside him, the bodily Voldemort would remain. Harry would, of course, want to finish the job himself, so he must find a way to simultaneously sacrifice himself and kill Voldemort.
Harry may end his life (and Voldemort’s) by going through the veil in the death room (or “death chamber”) of the Department of Mysteries. Evidence for this theory appears on the cover of the American edition of Deathly Hallows. Harry and Voldemort are shown in a coliseum-like space with a curtain pulled back on both sides and dark figures in the background. It is believed by many, myself included, that this place is behind the veil. The drawn curtain is likely the veil itself. The figures in the background are likely the souls of the dead, watching Harry and Voldemort.
The veil may represent the curtain in the Jewish temple that separated the people from the Holy of Holies, the dwelling place of God. “At [the moment of Christ’s death, this curtain] was torn in two, from the top to the bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.” (236) Might the veil in the death room also tear? Might it happen at the moment of Harry’s death? Might the dead, at least Harry, come back out of it? The cover of Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows shows the curtain pulled back, with rubble in the foreground. Cover artist Mary GrandePré assures us that all aspects of the cover art have significance.(237)
The American cover of Deathly Hallows also shows Harry and Voldemort without wands. Harry, looking hopeful, seems to be welcoming something coming from above; Voldemort, on the other hand, looks terrified. Remember the locked room in the Department of Mysteries? The one that “contains a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than nature” (238) – the love room? Remember also Voldemort’s inability to possess Harry because he could not bear the love inside Harry?(239) What if, because he went through the veil willingly, as a living sacrifice, Harry is given the ability to open a door from behind the veil, directly into the love room? That would certainly terrify Voldemort. The (very carefully worded)(240) prophecy says that Harry will vanquish Voldemort, not kill him. To vanquish means to defeat, conquer, or subjugate, but not necessarily to kill.(241) Christ’s final victory will come when Satan is thrown into the fiery pit for eternity.(242) As Dumbledore tells Voldemort, “there are things much worse than death.” (243) Perhaps Harry’s final victory will be to lock Voldemort in the love room, to be tortured for eternity by that which he hates.
Harry’s love sacrifice will allow him to freely leave the love room, exit the Department of Mysteries, and return to his friends. (Voldemort, however, will be trapped.) Because the Horcrux within him will be destroyed, Harry will emerge without his scar. This scenario would certainly explain why Rowling (Editor’s note: At least until recently!) tells us that the last word of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is “scar.” (244)
There is one thing that if anyone guessed I would be really annoyed, as it is kind of the heart of it all. And it kind of explains everything…everything has been building up to it, and I’ve laid all my clues. (245)
She has laid her clues. She has said she couldn’t answer questions about the book’s religious content until the conclusion of book seven. (246)
When questioned about her belief in God, Rowling avoids the question.
This is so frustrating. Again, there is so much I would like to say, and come back when I’ve written book seven. But then maybe [I] won’t need to even say it ’cause you’ll have found it out anyway. You’ll have read it. (247)
She cautiously contradicts an interviewer’s assertion that her books are free of references to God. “Um. I don’t think they’re that secular,” she says, choosing her words slowly. “But, obviously, Dumbledore is not Jesus.”(248) Of course, he isn’t – Harry is.
She has told us where to look to find out what is coming in the final book – her Christianity. She has told us that it’s so easy a 10-year-old could figure it out. (249) The secret to Harry Potter is tied to Rowling’s Christianity. The master of the red herring has done it. She has tricked the entire world. What appears to be a book about witchcraft is a story about Jesus Christ.
(1) Wyman, Max. “‘You can lead a fool to a book but you can’t make them think’: Author has frank words for the religious right,” The Vancouver Sun (British Columbia), October 26, 2000.
(2) J.K. Rowling Official Site. “Extra Stuff: Miscellaneous,” “NAQ,” jkrowling.com
(3) Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (GOF). New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2000. (hardback), pg. 696.
(4) Anelli, Melissa and Emerson Spartz. “The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview with Joanne Rowling: Part Three,” The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005.
(5) Weeks, Linton. “Charmed, I’m Sure,” The Washington Post, October 20, 1999.
(6) GOF pg. 638.
(7) Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (SS). New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 1998. (paperback), pg. 256.
(8) GOF pg. 641-643.
(9) Wohlberg, Steve. “Author Contends Harry Potter Fuels Wiccan Growth Among Teens and that Witchcraft ‘Spells Trouble’ for Society,” Christian Newswire, June 25, 2007.
(10) James BeauSeigneur, in his Christ Clone Trilogy.
(11) de Bertodano, Helena. “Harry Potter Charms a Nation.” Electronic Telegraph, 25 July 1998.
(12) Jones, Malcolm. “When Harry Met Tony,” Newsweek, June 11, 2007.
(13) Lydon, Christopher. J.K. Rowling interview transcript, The Connection (WBUR Radio), 12 October, 1999 – part 3, part 9.
(14) Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation. Tyndale House Publishers, 1996. Isaiah 64:8.
(15) The Bible. John 10:30, John 14:8,9 (New Living Translation).
(16) SS pg. 15.
(17) Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix (OOTP). New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2003. (paperback), pg. 267-268; Rowling, J.K.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (HBP). New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2005. (hardback), pg. 347.
(18) The Bible. Matthew 27:29; Mark 15:17, John 20:25 (unless otherwise noted, all Bible verses may be referenced in any translation).
(19) J.K. Rowling’s World Book Day Chat, BBC, March 4, 2004.
(20) Exodus 28:36-38 (NLT).
(21) Deuteronomy 6:8, 11:18.
(22) Revelation 7:3.
(23) Revelation 9:4.
(24) Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (POA). New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 1999. (paperback), pg. 411.
(25) A Poor Clare Colettine Nun. “A Primer to Catholic Symbolism: Christian Symbolism,” Boston Catholic Journal, s.v. “The Stag (Deer)”; The Medieval Bestiary: Animals in the Middle Ages, 2nd ed., s.v. “Stag.”
(26) POA pg. 424
(27) Fairs, Marcus. “Scottish Parliament,” Icon Magazine, May 2004; Brown, C.F. Wemyss. “St. Hubert.” The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII. Published 1910. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York; Mershman, Francis. “Sts. Eustachius and Companions.” The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume V. Published 1909. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, May 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.
(28) SS pg. 169.
(29) SS pg. 151.
(30) Luke 19:10 (NLT).
(31) SS pg. 164.
(32) “Nimbus.” The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.
(33) Anelli, Spartz. “The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Rowling,” Part Two.
(35) Ephesians 6:12.
(36) Hulbert, Dan. “Just wild about Harry: Dedicated fans of a young wizard have Scottish scribe J.K. Rowling to thank,” The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, October 22, 1999.
(37) SS pg. 299, GOF pg. 652-653.
(38) OOTP pg. 836.
(39) GOF pg. 656-657.
(40) GOF pg. 696.
(41) Anelli, and Spartz. “The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Rowling,” Part Three.
(42) GOF pg. 652-653.
(43) GOF pg. 652-653.
(44) HBP pg. 559.
(45) HBP pg. 560.
(46) Exodus 12:7, 12-13, 21-23.
(47) Exodus 24: 4-8.
(48) Acts 20:28, Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 9:13-13, 10:10, 10:21-23
(49) Romans 3:25, 5:9, Colossians 1:19-22.
(50) SS pg. 85.
(51) SS pg. 84.
(52) J.K. Rowling Official Site. “Extra Stuff: Miscellaneous: Wands.”
(53) SS pg. 84.
(54) J.K. Rowling Official Site. “Extra Stuff: Miscellaneous: Wands.”
(55) SS pg. 85
(56) J.K. Rowling Official Site. “Extra Stuff: Miscellaneous: Wands”
(57) “The Lore of Trees: A Wiccan Perspective.” Silver Wolf’s Lair, 2001-2005. Smith, Jennifer. “Sacred Woods and the Lore of Trees,” Tara Hill Designs, April 28, 2006.
(58) Rowling, J.K. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2001. pg. 32.
(59) GOF pg. 653.
(60) HBP 497-502.
(61) GOF pg. 653.
(62) GOF pg. 656.
(63) 1 Peter 1:18-20 (NLT).
(64) Romans 14:8-10, Acts 5:30 (NLT).
(65) “Third W.O.M.B.A.T. test now available on JK’s site,” HPANA, JUNE 13.
(66) About.com. Alternate Religions. “The Secret Language of Symbols.”
(69) About.com. Alternate Religions. “All Seeing Eye (Eye of Providence).”
(70) John 8:44.
(71) 2 Corinthians 2:11.
(72) OOTP pg. 532.
(73) Ephesians 6:12.
(74) SS pg. 11; OOTP pg. 532.
(75) OOTP pg. 845.
(76) Montgomery, Lucy Maud. The Story Girl. New York, Bantam Books, 1987. pg. 247.
(77) HBP pg. 267-277.
(78) Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (COS). New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 1999. (paperback), pg. 329, HBP 360-361.
(79) Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G. Footsteps of the Messiah, 2nd ed. Ariel Ministries, 1984. pg. 383.
(80) COS pg. 314, GOF pg. 653, 658.
(81) Isaiah 14:12-14, Footsteps of the Messiah pg. 384-385.
(82) Genesis 3:1-15, Revelation 12:9, 20:2; GOF pg. 12-13, 654, 656, OOTP pg. 532-533, HBP pg. 506-507.
(83) John 13:27 (more often it is Satan’s demons who possess, rather than Satan himself), GOF pg. 654.
(84) Matthew 12:24.
(85) GOF pg. 651, 707.
(86) GOF pg. 645, 709-710.
(87) Revelation 13:16-18.
(88) OOTP pg. 841.
(89) OOTP pg. 842.
(91) “Messianic Prophecies,” Christian Answers Network. Eden Communications; “Messianic Prophecies,” Clarifying Christianity, 1998; Prophecies of the Old Testament Fulfilled in Jesus Christ; and many others.
(92) Isaiah 7:14.
(93) Genesis 12:3, Gen.17:19, Numbers 24:17, Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1-5, 2 Samuel 7:12-16.
(94) Micah 5:2.
(95) Genesis 3:15; Life Application Study Bible notes for Genesis 3:15.
(96) OOTP pg. 842.
(97) OOTP pg. 785, 786, 839-842.
(98) POA pg. 374.
(99) SS pg. 299.
(100) POA pg. 368.
(101) Life Application Study Bible notes for Matthew 2:16.
(102) Matthew 2:1-18 (NLT).
(103) SS pg. 295; COS pg. 318-322; GOF pg. 658-669; OOTP pg. 813; OOTP pg. 842.
(104) Luke 4:16-30.
(105) Matthew 12:14; Mark 3:6; Luke 6:11.
(106) John 8:59, 10:31-39.
(107) John 7:30.
(108) SS pg. 17.
(109) SS pg. 19.
(110) SS pg. 13.
(111) Matthew 27:37 (NLT).
(112) 1 Timothy 6:15 (NLT).
(113) Luke 2:6,7.
(114) OOTP pg. 835.
(115) Matthew 2:13-15; 19-23.
(116) SS pg. 24-25.
(117) Luke 2:41-47.
(118) In the movie, it is Voldemort who says this from the back of Quirrell’s head. In the book, it is Quirrell, before it is clear to Harry that Quirrell is possessed by Voldemort. SS pg. 291; SS movie – scene 31.
(119) SS pg. 294.
(121) SS pg. 293, 294.
(122) SS pg. 293. It is especially interesting to note that many of the things that Harry “feels as if” were occurring actually were happening, such as when he feels as if Dumbledore and Snape are reading his mind.
(123) Life Application Study Bible – notes for Matthew 4-10 and 4:3,4.
(124) Matthew 4:1-11.
(125) SS pg. 213-216.
(126) GOF pg. 231-232, 661-662.
(127) GOF pg. 103, 125-126.
(128) John 6:14-15.
(129) Matthew 26:48-54, John 8:11.
(130) GOF pg. 706.
(131) POA pg. 389.
(132) OOTP pg. 148-149.
(133) Mark 12:28-34.
(134) Mark 2:5; Luke 5:20.
(135) OOTP pg. 244-246.
(136) OOTP pg. 578-581.
(137) HBP pg. 343-348.
(138) Luke 11:37-53.
(139) Matthew 23:1-36; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 20:45-47.
(140) Matthew 23:33 (NLT).
(141) Matthew 15:7-9; Mark 7: 6-9, Matthew 16:1-4, Matthew 22:18 to name a few.
(142) Matthew 21:31,32.
(143) SS pg. 78.
(144) SS pg. 236-241.
(145) GOF pg. 428-430, 452-453.
(146) COS pg. 185; GOF pg. 236-237, 399; OOTP pg. 186, 187-188, 393.
(147) OOTP pg. 261-262.
(148) POA pg. 423.
(149) COS pg. 129-137.
(150) COS pg. 13-15; 337-338.
(151) HBP pg. 138-139.
(152) Luke 7:34 (NLT).
(153) “Who were the twelve (12) disciples / apostles of Jesus Christ?“, Got Questions Ministries, 2002-2007.
(154) Matthew 9:10-11 (NLT).
(155) Luke 19:1-7 (NLT).
(156) John 4:7-30, 39-42.
(157) Life Application Study Bible – notes for John 4:4, notes for John 4:7-9.
(158) Life Application Study Bible pg. 1563 – Jesus and Women.
(159) Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 2:40-45; Luke 5:12-16.
(160) Life Application Study Bible – notes for Matthew 8:2,3; notes for Luke 5:12.
(161) SS 173-175.
(162) John 9:1-16.
(163) COS pg. 198-199.
(164) Luke 11:14-22, Matthew 12: 22-35; Mark 3:22-30.
(165) HBP pg. 55.
(166) SS pg. 22.
(167) John 7:1-5.
(168) Mark 3:20-21.
(169) Matthew 13:53-58; Mark 6:1-6.
(170) Luke 4: 16-30.
(171) OOTP pg. 73-74, 94, 567.
(172) Matthew 21:23-27, 22:15-37.
(173) John 6:51-58.
(174) COS pg. 137-138.
(175) Matthew 14:25-31.
(176) HBP pg. 477-478.
(177) SS pg. 271.
(178) SS pg. 275.
(179) OOTP pg. 297-299.
(180) John 6:60-67.
(181) Matthew 10:16-36; John 15:18-21.
(182) John 8:1-11.
(183) Life Application Study Bible notes for John 8:3-6.
(184) John 8:7 (NLT).
(185) OOTP pg. 747.
(186) OOTP pg. 27.
(187) OOTP pg. 32,33.
(188) POA pg. 205.
(189) GOF pg. 216.
(190) POA pg. 374.
(191) Matthew 26:14-16; Life Application Study Bible – notes for Matthew 26: 15.
(192) Matthew 26:4,5; Mark 14:1,2; Luke 22:2.
(193) John 11:57.
(194) Luke 22:6; Matthew 26:47-50; Mark 14:43-46; Luke 22:47-48; John 18:2-9,12.
(195) OOTP pg. 149.
(196) OOTP pg. 137.
(197) OOTP pg. 139.
(198) OOTP pg. 140.
(199) OOTP pg. 148, 149.
(200) OOTP pg. 142, 143.
(201) OOTP pg. 148, 149.
(202) OOTP pg. 142.
(203) OOTP pg. 139-151.
(204) Life Application Study Bible – page 1473, “How Jesus’ trial was illegal.”
(205) Matthew 26:59.
(206) Matthew 26:59, 60; Mark 14:55.
(207) Mark 14:56.
(208) Matthew 26: 67, 68; Mark 14:65; Luke 22:63-65.
(209) Matthew 27:1; Mark 15:1; Luke 22: 66.
(210) Life Application Study Bible – page 1663, “The six stages of Jesus’ trial”; Thomas, Robert L., and Gundry. Stanley N. The NIV Harmony of the Gospels. San Francisco, Harper, and Row, 1988. Page 219, notes on Luke 22:66.
(211) John 18:30, 31.
(212) The NIV Harmony of the Gospels – sections 159-161.
(213) J.K. Rowling on The Diane Rehm Show, WAMU Radio Washington, D.C., October 20, 1999 (re-broadcast December 24, 1999); Isaiah 52:13-53:12.
(214) GOF pg. 724; Jensen, Jeff. “‘Fire’ Storm,” Entertainment Weekly, September 7, 2000.
(215) HBP pg. 511, 512.
(216) Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45.
(217) Matthew 20:17-19; Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-34.
(218) Matthew 26:30, 36-46; Mark 14:26, 32-42; Luke 22:39-46.
(219) OOTP pg. 843, 844.
(220) HBP pg. 511.
(221) SS pg. 299, GOF pg. 653.
(222) Anelli, and Spartz. “The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling,” Part One; GOF pg. 216-217.
(223) SS pg. 299.
(224) OOTP pg. 836.
(225) John 15:13 NLT.
(226) Matthew 27:4, 27:19, Luke 23:14, 23:47.
(227) Colossians 2:13-15.
(228) Romans 3:25, 5:9, Colossians 1:19-22.
(229) Hebrews 2:14 NLT.
(230) SS pg. 297.
(231) OOTP pg. 733.
(232) OOTP pg. 799.
(233) HBP pg. 609.
(234) Lydon, Christopher. J.K. Rowling interview transcript, The Connection (WBUR Radio), 12 October 1999 – part 25.
(236) Matthew 27:51-52 NIV.
(237) Campbell, Janis. “Potter artist Mary GrandPre makes magic,” Detroit Free Press, June 5, 2007.
(238) OOTP pg. 843.
(239) OOTP pg. 844.
(241) “Vanquish.” The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language.
(242) Revelation 20:10.
(243) OOTP pg. 814.
(244) Anelli, and Spartz. “The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling,” Part Two.
(245) Paxman, Jeremy. “JK’s OOTP interview,” BBC Newsnight 19 June 2003.
(246) Tucker, Ernest. “No end in sight for Pottermania,” Chicago Sun-Times, October 22, 1999.
(247) “J.K. Rowling Interview,” CBC News World: Hot Type, July 13, 2000.
(248) Grossman, Lev. “J.K. Rowling Hogwarts And All,” Time Magazine, 17 July 2005.
(249) Wyman, Max. “‘You can lead a fool to a book but you can’t make them think'”