Noah, Jonah, Job, and Liz Lemon… Which one is not like the others?

In the past week or so I have been asking for your input to the following questions… What literary, TV, or movie character is your favorite?  What have you learned from him or her?  Who has inspired you?  Challenged you?  Taught you “timeless” truth?  I’ve gotten a handful of replies via the blog or through Twitter and Facebook.  Here are some of your answers…

Buffy the Vampire slayer… I was told the reason would take longer than the 140 character limit!

Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)… because he is quietly noble

Liz Lemo (30 Rock)… because she’s freaking hilarious

John (Brave New World)… A character of depth and passion, he rejects the new, modern world he has found himself in and reels from the lack of true humanity that is in it

Jean Valjean… no one is beyond redemption, life is a series of choices, and compassion is contagious

Elizabeth Bennett… first impressions are not always accurate!

Percy Blakeney… go out of your way to help others!

A decent list to be sure.  We could of course be more exhaustive, but this is a good representation.  Some perhaps are our favorites because they provide enjoyment.  Some provide inspiration.  Many, I think, provide an example of the person we would like to be or become (quite the challenge).

Perhaps you were asking yourself… why did Justin ask these questions?  Is he trying to drum up interest in his blog (nope, I don’t think I’ll end up being very popular).  Did he want to stimulate a conversational tone between with his readers (yep, you got me there).

There was another reason, though… I wanted to highlight that these characters are all fictional.  Yet they have still encouraged and challenged us, inspired and motivated us, taught and perhaps “unlearned” us.  But they’re all made up.  They’re a creation of someone’s mind.  Oh sure, they may have likely been inspired by actual historical persons, but they are not themselves real.

Now you may see where I’m going, especially with a title like “Noah, Jonah, Job, and Liz Lemon”.  There is no evidence for the existence of Noah, Jonah, or Job, yet many Christians believe that they must be real, historical individuals.  Any other “reading” of the Bible is disallowed because if they’re not historical, then when does history “start”?  (That deserves another post).  I maintain that these individuals’ historicity (or lack thereof) does nothing to take away from the life lesson and example that they provide.  Instead, their historicity is an issue for 1 particular type of Biblical interpretation.

Let’s return to the original question.  Noah, Jonah, Job, and Liz Lemon… Which one is not like the others?  I’ll agree that it’s Liz Lemon, but I think my reasons are because she’s a female and is a character on TV, not a character in the Bible.