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February 25, 2004

The Passion of the Bloggers

First of all, check out the BeliefNet page on "The Passion," with many articles on different religious approaches to the crucifixion, Gibson's church, the making of the film, letters between Gibson and the ADL, historical background, text of the Gospels and the other writings which inspired Gibson's script, debates among theologians, and more. Excellent excellent site.

Several long link-studded posts from last summer on "The Passion." Follow the controversy surrounding the movie as it was being made and discussed: links to Vatican II, the statement of the panel of Catholic theologians that they didn't steal Mel's script, Mel's "Traditionalist" movement and his dad, skirmishes with the ADL, etc.

Previous posts this week, on the occasion of the movie premier:

The Passion of the Historians. Inaccuracies in the movie, according to both history and the Gospels.

The Passion of Anne Catherine Emmerich. The 18th c. nun who inspired Mel's extra-Gospel visions, and fears of antisemitic violence beyond our shores.

The Passion of the Christians. Our allies call Mel on his shit.

The Passion of the Film Critics. Lots of rotten tomatoes.

The Passion of The Jewish Week. A roundup of media reactions around the country, and NYC Jews on whether they will see the movie and why.

The Passion of the Marketing Execs. Roofing nails and sequels.

The Passion of the Pundits: The New Republic's sardonic guide to the opinion-makers in this religious war of words.

Speaking of the passion of bloggers: I have visited many blog comment threads heatedly discussing this movie, and I have been dumbfounded by so much denial or justification of the biased treatment of Jews. Well, Dennis Prager explains it all. Read the whole thing, and post it wherever you see people butting heads over this movie.

UPDATE: This quiet, earnest, thoughtful advice from one Christian to another, and published in a major Christian journal, is also a must read. Please post this everywhere you see defenders of the movie being sneering and dismissive of Jewish concerns. Thank you.

UPDATE: One passionate blogger responds to a petty delinker. Not a globally applicable must-read like the previous two, but stirring.

Judith | 02/25/04 at 10:55 PM | Categories: - Comparative Religion

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» Mad Mel redux from Kesher Talk
We had occasion to write a lot about Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" when it came out. That and our coverage of "Munich" may be the most thorough fiskings of films you have ever seen. So now that... [Read More]

Tracked on July 29, 2006 09:14 PM



As for Tequila Mel's drunken rant, having heard people say a lot of embarrassing things when their drunk, I'm really not inclined to judge his soul based sole on a single sentence. He was apparently on the verge of releasing a movie on the Holocaust which is now canned. Perhaps that would have been more relevatory. His own classification of his statement was that it was were dispicable and that he doesn't believe it. That hardly makes him a skin-head.

What could he say to change the attitude of some people about him? Say that no Jew had anything to do with Jesus's death in any way? Is that what this is really all about?

I haven't see "The Passion of the Christ", but after following the links here, the question seems to be not whether IT or GIBSON are anti-semitic but whether the gospels are. It seems there are a couple disconnects in this dispute.

Much of the dispute seems to come from the assertion by some that the gospels were fabricated political tracts...a subtle way of saying that their report is not true without having to offer any evidence that they are. That way one can imply that the "Jewish" antagonism against Christians in the 1st and 2nd centuries (google "James the Righteous" and "Polycarp", and the multitude of Christan and secular witnesses that a synagogue was not a safe place for a Christian) was only in response to slurs generated by them to "steal" congregants. Not only is this a losing argument, it is totally unncessary.

It is unnecessary because the gospels all agree that Jesus was crucified due to machinations by the Temple leaders who wanted him eliminated but did not feel safe doing it themselves. This hardly includes ALL Jews. In fact, it implies that many Jews were favorably inclined to him. The gospels imply that it was only in Nazareth and Jerusalem that his life was in any immediate danger.

It is a losing argument because two of the gospels (Matthew & John) were (traditionally) written by Jewish Christians. The internally textual evidence seems to back up their Jewish authorship; ala familiarity with Jerusalem archetecture, Judean geography, and Jewish practices. This is particularly so in the case of "John", as The Pavement was rediscovered practically using the gospel as a map.

1st and 2nd century Jewish Christians found nothing incompatible in their religion and their belief that Jesus was the Jewish Moshiach. The fundamental Christology of Christianity was established during this period. In a lot of ways, present day Christianity (with it's emphasis on a required blood sacrifice) is actually closer to 1st century Jewish theology than is modern Judaism which began to be developed in the mid 2nd century with the realization that the Temple might not be coming back in the forseeable future.

j wynn | August 2, 2006 02:37 PM

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