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Old 02-10-2004, 10:54 AM   #1
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The Passion

Newsweek article

some people may find this to be an interesting read on The Passion of Jesus.

it is entitled, "Who Really Killed Jesus?" (or something close to that)
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Old 02-10-2004, 09:20 PM   #2
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Interesting read. I'm really curious to see this film.

This is a whole new side of Gibson for me. I believe the film isn't anti-Semitic--I may change my mind when I see it, but his choices about the portrayal of Pontius Pilate really confuse me.
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Old 02-10-2004, 11:32 PM   #3
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Excellent conclusion to the article...

Quote:
In the best of all possible worlds, "The Passion of the Christ" will prompt constructive conversations about the origins of the religion that claims 2 billion followers around the globe, conversations that ought to lead believers to see that Christian anti-Semitism should be seen as an impossibility—a contradiction in terms. To hate Jews because they are Jews—to hate anyone, in fact—is a sin in the Christian cosmos, for Jesus commands his followers to love their neighbor as themselves. On another level, anti-Semitism is a form of illogical and self-defeating self-loathing. Bluntly put, Jesus had to die for the Christian story to unfold, and the proper Christian posture toward the Jewish people should be one of respect, for the man Christians choose to see as their savior came from the ancient tribe of Judah, the very name from which "Jew" is derived. As children of Abraham, Christians and Jews are branches of the same tree, linked together in the mystery of God.

Let us end where we, and Gibson's movie, began—in the garden, in darkness. The guards have come to arrest Jesus. He watches as his disciples come to blows with the troops. Punches are thrown, and one of Jesus' men lashes out with a weapon, slashing off the ear of a servant of the high priest. Watching, removed from the fray, Jesus intervenes, commanding: "Put up thy sword," making real the New Testament commandment to love one another as he loved us, even unto death—a commandment whose roots stretch back to the 19th chapter of Leviticus: "... you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord." Amid the clash over Gibson's film and the debates about the nature of God, wheth-er you believe Jesus to be the savior of mankind or to have been an interesting first-century figure who left behind an inspiring moral philosophy, perhaps we can at least agree on this image of Jesus of Nazareth: confronted by violence, he chose peace; by hate, love; by sin, forgiveness—a powerful example for us all, whoever our gods may be.
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Old 02-10-2004, 11:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by AvsGirl41
but his choices about the portrayal of Pontius Pilate really confuse me.
How so?

What I find interesting is I know a lot of very conservative Christians that will not see a movie with an R rating no matter what, in fact I've seen those who judge people based on that, I wonder if they will stick to that principle.
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Old 02-11-2004, 12:46 AM   #5
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My brother - a conservative evangelical Christian - forwarded me an e-mail yesterday encouraging all Christians to flood the theaters this weekend to raise the box office and make the film #1 for its opening weekend. Evangelicals are rallying around this film. Heck, many evangelical churches throughout the country have already bought blocks of thousands of tickets.
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Old 02-11-2004, 01:04 AM   #6
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Yeah I got the same email and I was bothered by the fact that the majority of people sending this email have not seen the film. I mean what if this film is completely off the mark and the few critics reviews that you've read are wrong? Why are you blindly supporting something like this?

The same type of email went out for 'The Omega Code' and I thought that movie was horrible.
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Old 02-11-2004, 01:34 AM   #7
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Thing is, evangelical leaders with national influence like Rick Warren in Orange County have seen the film and are giving it a 'thumbs up.' A guy like Warren has a helluva lot of influence amongst evangelicals. (Wait, is there a pun in there somewhere? )
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Old 02-11-2004, 04:04 PM   #8
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Omega Code was released October 15, 1999.

I never saw Omega Code to this day.

On the night of October 15th, 1999, I went to watch Fight Club. And for the first time, I walked out of the theatre, feeling I finally got my money's worth for full admission.

That weekend, Omega Code made $2,000 more per theatre than Fight Club.
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Old 02-11-2004, 04:47 PM   #9
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I never saw Omega Code. It opened in only 304 theaters. Fight Club probably opened in over 1500 theaters.
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Old 02-11-2004, 04:57 PM   #10
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True... Fight Club opened in 1900some theatres.
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Old 02-11-2004, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


How so?

What I find interesting is I know a lot of very conservative Christians that will not see a movie with an R rating no matter what, in fact I've seen those who judge people based on that, I wonder if they will stick to that principle.
Well, that he is making a conscious choice not to villanize Pontius Pilate and to make him sympathetic.

But I seem to have forgotten my Sunday school, as I was discussing this with a friend of mine today and she brought up that most versions portray Pilate as sympathetic and, after all, he washes his hands of the whole thing. So now I'm confused as to why Newsweek is behaving as if Gibson's interpretation of Pilate is a new one.

I'm also confused as to all their information on the historic Pilate, as I remember reading long ago that there was very little information on him--he was a nobody stuck in a backwater of the Roman Empire, who just happened to get a big role in the New Testament. Maybe someone out there is more familiar with Roman history and can clear this up for me--it's one of my weakest areas of history knowledge.
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Old 02-11-2004, 11:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by AvsGirl41


Well, that he is making a conscious choice not to villanize Pontius Pilate and to make him sympathetic.

But I seem to have forgotten my Sunday school, as I was discussing this with a friend of mine today and she brought up that most versions portray Pilate as sympathetic and, after all, he washes his hands of the whole thing. So now I'm confused as to why Newsweek is behaving as if Gibson's interpretation of Pilate is a new one.

I'm also confused as to all their information on the historic Pilate, as I remember reading long ago that there was very little information on him--he was a nobody stuck in a backwater of the Roman Empire, who just happened to get a big role in the New Testament. Maybe someone out there is more familiar with Roman history and can clear this up for me--it's one of my weakest areas of history knowledge.
From my understanding Pilate was your typical politician. He did sympathize but gave into the mob for political gain.
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Old 02-12-2004, 02:49 AM   #13
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What I find humorous is that Evangelicals will be flocking to a movie produced, and directed by a Catholic.
That alone I find ironic.



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Old 02-12-2004, 09:57 AM   #14
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From several sources such as the noted Jewish historian of the period, Flavius Josephus, and the other historian mentioned in the article we have a good deal of information that Pilate was quite a notorious tyrant, known for his brutality.

The situation in Judea was quite complicated at the time. The policy of Augustus was was to limit the ammount of the Roman controlled terriotry that was officially part of the Empire to limit administrative costs. The Empire of Augustus was a good deal maller than a lot of maps make it out to be as a sizable chunk of that terriory was made up of Roman influenced or controlled client kingdoms. King Herod the Great's father had aided Julius Caesar in his wars in the region and that was what put Herod on that threon, After he died the region was divided under several rulers, Herod Antipas (who I believe ruled over Galilee - which was why in one Gospel the case of Jesus was referred to him) among them under the supervision of a Roman offical alternately called a Procurator or a Prefect (I've heard both) There were Roman troops in the kingdom to keep the client kingdomin line. In Jersalem the Temple's arisocracy (this group in Jospehus were reffered to as the Jews, much as in the gospel accounts)of priests had civil rule but had to do what the Romans said and keep the peace. Most of the aristocracy were Sadducees, a Jewish group who were very sever in their interpretation of the law (they disregarded everything but he five books of Moses) and didn't belive int he resurrection of the dead, which naturally set them up to be hostile to Jesus.

Basically the region was a powder keg as the Jewish people despised the Roman control and the Temple Aristocracy had to kee things in line for the good of their people (a revolt would lead to toltal Roman control - which it did in 69) and their continued position. Thus someone like Jesus threatened to unballeance the whole thing.

In my analysis there is a somewhat of a softening of Pilate in the gospels but if you read closely there is a lot of politicing of his actions. Whiel on one hand he looks innocent, in another sense he's passing the buck of Jesus execustion onto the Temple establishment so that they will get the movement's ire. But when it comes down to it the charge printed on the sign above Jesus head say exactly what Pilate's opinion was. The charge, "King of the Jews" established Pilate's view of Jesus as a rebel. In Matthew the first thing Pilate askes Jesus is, "Are you the King of the Jews?" again showing Pilate's primary concern (Matthew being written for Jews not Romanized Gentiles can probably be trusted to be more accurate in its portrayal of Pilate). Thus he was not executed for blasphemy but for political crimes. And he had to be brought before Pilate as only the Roman Procurator had the power of life and death.
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Old 02-12-2004, 10:35 AM   #15
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Thanks for the background.
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