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Author Topic: Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ"  (Read 10765 times) Average Rating: 0
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Donna Rose
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« Reply #45 on: January 11, 2004, 12:11:59 PM »

Quote
I for one think it's disgusting to see Christians fawning over movies - Matrix and Lord of the Rings included.

As an artist, I have to comment. There is nothing wrong - in fact there is everything right - with seeking out our Christian faith and beliefs in movies and other art forms. Often such a practice gives understanding and affirmation to those who are in great need of it (I was one of these - and often still am). This goes for both the spectator and the artist. Again, I have relied on art in the capacity of both artist and spectator to help me understand things about my faith that for one reason of another I could not understand otherwise. In the most important case to date, it brought me back to my church. Is such a thing "disgusting"?

Now, I understand that there are the Holy Scriptures, mass (or Divine Liturgy), and an entire Christian community at one's church of priests, friends, and family that are meant to assist such people in understanding the faith. But not everyone has those things as strongly as others - I didn't.

Wasn't Jesus Christ a storyteller? He did exactly what we do in order to move his followers' hearts to understand exactly Who and What He is, and what it means to follow Him. The way I see it, storytelling through any medium is something that has been passed down to us as Christians - a tool to use for the betterment of ourselves and our neighbor. This is how I try to use it, anyway.

I know that it is very easy, living in a society where "art" and "entertainment" are often confused, to misuse or misinterpret this tool. But that doesn't mean it should be done away with althogether or viewed as "disgusting," for there are some of us who still "get it" (my words), and the tool has been more than valuable for us. My heart tells me Mel Gibson is one of these who "gets it"...but only time will tell.  Smiley
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« Reply #46 on: January 11, 2004, 07:59:30 PM »

Donna,

Allow me to comment as a non-artist who simply doesn't "get it."

We have our spiritual senses pricked in many different ways, through different mediums, and at different times.  It's not a matter of art, it's a matter of life.  I was once brought to my spiritual senses by a license plate.  Go figure.

It is one thing to be touched by the Lord through a medium, which can be quite serendipitous, it is another thing to consciously look to "Hollywood" to give spiritual Truth and Life.

Yes, I think it's "disgusting" to see Christians, of any kind, tripping over themselves to applaud a man and his movie because he can pull off a shockingly brutal crucifixion scene, seemingly in the face of "persecution."  Does the movie give an accurate portrayal of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, or just a horrible kind of "eyecandy"?

As an artist, have you involved yourself with iconography?

Regards in Christ,
David
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Donna Rose
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« Reply #47 on: January 11, 2004, 08:53:24 PM »

David,

Quote
It is one thing to be touched by the Lord through a medium, which can be quite serendipitous, it is another thing to consciously look to "Hollywood" to give spiritual Truth and Life.

I agree with you. But there is sometimes a very subtle distinction between "Hollywood" and film as art. I am not a filmmaker, but I know filmmakers who find much of their spiritual Truth and Life in the art of film - or at least it helps them to understand them better. And there are many films that, even though they are widely released and make good money, contain many of the Truths of our faith. Sometimes these films are mistook for "Hollywood" films, but in essence they are not, in my humble opinion.

Quote
Yes, I think it's "disgusting" to see Christians, of any kind, tripping over themselves to applaud a man and his movie because he can pull off a shockingly brutal crucifixion scene, seemingly in the face of "persecution."  Does the movie give an accurate portrayal of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, or just a horrible kind of "eyecandy"?

As for the upcoming Mel Gibson film, I tend to steer away from the politics of such things (i.e. art), and wait until I experience them for myself to see if Truth is in fact guiding and present in them. This film will be no exception for me. In the context of the film, it's possible the brutal crucifixion scene will contain more Truth than if it were less shocking, but it is also possible the violence may pull me out of the film due to its shocking nature (which perhaps would indicate a lack of Truth). As I said, only time well tell. Smiley But I do plan to approach this piece as I approach all art - with an open heart in search of the Truth. This attitude makes for the most fulfilled spectators, I've found in my experience.  Wink

Quote
As an artist, have you involved yourself with iconography?

No, I haven't. My main medium is the theatre - I am an actor.  Smiley

~*Donna
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« Reply #48 on: January 12, 2004, 12:51:11 AM »

Donna,

I agree with you. The movie is more powerful and closer to the reality of the crucifixion with the truthfulness of the brutality that was inflicted upon our lord. Apart from all of the talk about the impact The Passion of The Christ will have on the non-Christians, I think that there will also give christians a deeper appreciation for what our Lord has done for them (which the cheesy Jesus movies have barley been able to acomplish).

I don't believe that this is being done for "eye candy" because the brutality isn't something that is pleasant to watch. It's being done to give people a very close experience of what it was like.

As I have said previously, the arts are a very powerful medium, especially in this day and age, and it has the power to reach countless multitudes of people. Why should satan have dominion over the arts? It doesn't make sense to me. I think that God should have dominon over everything, especially the arts.

I don't buy into that defeatist theology that is espoused by many christians. It's not the Bible, and it is too minimalistic.

Strobert,

Yes I do play the bagpipes; however, like your son, I have had to lay the great highland pipes down for a while and focous more on the shuttle pipes because of how busy I have been this past year (I moved across country, had a new babie, finished school, ect........)

The shuttle pipes are different than the kitchen pipes because you can play the shuttle pipes with a guitar (which I like to do). And they are made for the indoors (I'm sure my wife and daughter wouldn't appreciate me blowing the highland pipes inside ha ha ha)

I'm glad to see that there are so many members on this site who either play the pipes or have friends or relatives who do! Who know's, mabey it's a sign that Orthodoxy is ready to reclaim Scotland, and the other celtic places!! After all, Celtic Christianity was originally Orthodox.

God bless

Jake

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« Reply #49 on: January 12, 2004, 12:55:52 AM »

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My main medium is the theatre - I am an actor.

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« Reply #50 on: January 13, 2004, 09:55:15 PM »

Gibson is a  true modern day saint in my eyes

Then let us thank God glorification is not up to your eyes!

Quote
it's a sad day when we see some in the church bashing this movie

It is the inflated view of its importance or impact that is under fire.  I for one think it's disgusting to see Christians fawning over movies - Matrix and Lord of the Rings included.

David


Why?

I think movies are wonderful. Christianity has generally in its history supported the arts.

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« Reply #51 on: January 14, 2004, 11:23:12 AM »

DavidWhy?

I think movies are wonderful.

It depends on the quality of popcorn, I'm afraid.  Perhaps the reason behind David's negative take on films can be found in the possibility that his local theatre fails to meet expected standards in that department?

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« Reply #52 on: January 14, 2004, 11:28:47 AM »

Like the new Avatar Donna Cheesy
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« Reply #53 on: January 14, 2004, 01:21:36 PM »

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Like the new Avatar Donna  Cheesy

thank you kindly Smiley while i was browsing around the boards it occurred to me that my old one was a tiny bit...tacky  Tongue hehe

Quote
It depends on the quality of popcorn, I'm afraid.  Perhaps the reason behind David's negative take on films can be found in the possibility that his local theatre fails to meet expected standards in that department?

ah yes, quality of popcorn is a KEY influence on the artistic spectator's experience of a piece - take it from a seasoned (no pun intended  Grin) practitioner in the field  Wink
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« Reply #54 on: January 18, 2004, 11:55:54 PM »

Here is a review I just read about "The passion of the Christ" on Ain't it cool news. com


Quote
Wahoo Rob gives his take on THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST!
Hey folks, Harry here... I love this movie. I've decided to hold off writing a review till I see the final version, simply because we have so many of these other "rough cut" reviews that have come in. I'd rather write a review that talks about the differences between the cut I saw at BNAT5 and the release version. I'm curious what, if any, cuts are made to the film, what the final score does to it and ultimately the visual effects that Mel intends for the film. Here's Wahoo Rob with a look at the film, as of a week ago...

Harry,  

I'm a long-time visitor to your site and have a great appreciation for the movie info I find here. I've been a movie fan since my youth, catching double-features like those old Steve Reeves Hercules movies and Sir Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes for 25 cents (yep, that oughta date me). Doesn't matter if it's comic book or indie art, I love it. Usually I keep my opinions to myself when it comes to the web...but I've simply got to weigh in on The Passion.  

I was lucky enough to see a rough cut at a Young Life (Christian ministry to teens) staff conference last Sunday in Orlando, Florida. Jim Caviezel showed up for the screening and spoke afterwards about the demanding physical aspects of the role. The whole experience was remarkable.  

Now granted, my Christian beliefs definitely color my response to this movie...but I've seen pretty much every "Jesus" movie ever made and this one's different. Gibson's offering resonates in a way that I can't explain. It's been 7 days since I've seen the movie and I can't get it out of my mind.  

I had some concerns when I heard Caviezel was playing Jesus, that he was too "pretty" to play an man Isaiah called "a man of sorrows" and who had "no beauty or to attract us to him." Those concerns were easily resolved. His performance is powerful and rich.  

Maia Morganstern is transcendant as Jesus' mother, Mary. She somehow manages to balance the despair of watching her son tortured and killed with an other-wordly awareness that he is fulfilling his purpose and mission on earth. The exchange between Mary and Jesus on the Via de la Rosa after he stumbles beneath the weight of the Cross is at the same time heart-rending and uplifting.  

The rest of the cast is excellent. From a conflicted Pilate and a debauched Herod to the gender-ambiguous Satan, Gibson has drawn exactly what he needed from each member of the cast.  

Is it anti-Semitic? I'm not Jewish, so obviously I can't speak from that point of view...but I wonder how a movie whose hero is Jewish (along with his mother and friends). Caiphas and the other Jewish leaders who sought the death of Jesus seem more politically and theologically calculating than thirsty for blood. And there are plenty of other positive Jewish portrayals throughout the film, from the dissenting priests at Jesus' trial to Simon who, when pulled from the crowd to help carry the cross, goes from worried that he might be identified to closely with Jesus to a man who sees that there's something different about this suffering "criminal."  

This movie is hard to watch. The cut we saw was so very close to NC-17. It was brutal. But it was necessary. One of your early reviewers said something like "we have to see this." He/she is right. It's critical that we know, really know. The audience, made up of Young Life staffers from around the world, didn't just cry...they sobbed.  

If there was ever a movie that should be deemed "must see", this has to be it.  

Keep up the great web site!  

If you use this, just call me...  

WahooRob

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« Reply #55 on: January 19, 2004, 12:11:30 AM »

great article Orthodox Bagpiper, thanx for posting Smiley what with the theatrical trailer and articles like this one, i can't seem to wrap my mind around my feelings of anticipation for this film...they are too huge! so i wont try lol but suffice it to say, Ash Wednesday can't come fast enough!
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« Reply #56 on: January 19, 2004, 06:10:44 PM »

Quote
This movie is hard to watch. The cut we saw was so very close to NC-17. It was brutal. But it was necessary. One of your early reviewers said something like "we have to see this." He/she is right. It's critical that we know, really know. The audience, made up of Young Life staffers from around the world, didn't just cry...they sobbed.  

If there was ever a movie that should be deemed "must see", this has to be it.

I wonder how the Church has survived for almost two thousand years without this film?  Maybe this will give It the boost It needs.  Now we have what is necessary so that we will really know what happened that fateful day.  Maybe our Bishops will send out an ukase so everyone will realize how important this really is - we must see this movie.  Only now do we begin to understand the sanctity of the man, the mystery, the legend - the one they call...Mel Gibson.
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« Reply #57 on: January 19, 2004, 08:39:56 PM »

I wonder how the Church has survived for almost two thousand years without this film?  Maybe this will give It the boost It needs.  Now we have what is necessary so that we will really know what happened that fateful day.  Maybe our Bishops will send out an ukase so everyone will realize how important this really is - we must see this movie.  Only now do we begin to understand the sanctity of the man, the mystery, the legend - the one they call...Mel Gibson.

is that sarcasm i smell? Roll Eyes

I do want to see this film, i just hope that the "excessive brutality" is not just intended for gore/thrill-seekers.  Like I know "Black Hawk Down" was a good movie, especially for historical reasons.  But I couldn't keep my eyes on the screen for a straight minute! Lips Sealed
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« Reply #58 on: January 20, 2004, 12:42:29 AM »

is that sarcasm i smell? Roll Eyes

I do want to see this film, i just hope that the "excessive brutality" is not just intended for gore/thrill-seekers.  Like I know "Black Hawk Down" was a good movie, especially for historical reasons.  But I couldn't keep my eyes on the screen for a straight minute! Lips Sealed

Black Hawk Down, which is incidentially also my favorite movie was gory in depiction but entirely accurate in screenplay.  The events that occured in Somalia were a disturbing and vivid reminder to us of what still goes on in the world.

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« Reply #59 on: January 20, 2004, 06:02:15 AM »

It is hard to see an enemy humilated and brutally beaten, what about the Lord himself ? Scary......
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« Reply #60 on: January 20, 2004, 01:14:10 PM »

Black Hawk Down, which is incidentially also my favorite movie was gory in depiction but entirely accurate in screenplay.  The events that occured in Somalia were a disturbing and vivid reminder to us of what still goes on in the world.



And I appreciate this...I just have a weak stomach, which is why I'm not going to med school; drugs don't bleed  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #61 on: January 22, 2004, 10:21:13 PM »

NEW RELEASE from the  VATICAN

The Pope & Mel Gibson's Film

http://archives.insidethevatican.com/news/index.php?fdate=20

Pokoj
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« Reply #62 on: January 22, 2004, 10:32:43 PM »

Jakub: i hafta register to read what's at that link...any chance u could copy n paste it??? Smiley

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« Reply #63 on: January 22, 2004, 10:48:08 PM »

Donna Rose

Copy? Paste ? You're talking to a person who can't use PC for Dummies.

But I did read it at: www.seattlecatholic.com

If you don't mind reading from a Trad. RC site.


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« Reply #64 on: January 28, 2004, 02:07:51 PM »

I recieved this in an email today. Sounds like the movie will transcend it's gory reputation. WARNING: For those who hate to have movie plots given away before seeing a film, there are details included here...

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Dear friends:

Below are Paul Harvey's stirring comments concerning
Mel Gibson's new movie, "The Passion of the Christ,"
due to be released
on February 25, 2004. Note that Harvey says the movie
is "a kind of art that is a rarity in life."

I really did not know what to expect. I was thrilled
to have been invited to a private viewing of Mel
Gibson's film "The Passion," but I had also read all
the cautious articles and spin. I grew up in a Jewish
town and owe much of my own faith journey to this
influence. I have a life long, deeply held aversion to
anything that might even indirectly encourage any
form of anti-Semitic thought, language or actions.

I arrived at the private viewing for "The Passion",
held in WashingtonDCand greeted some familiar faces.
The environment was typically Washingtonian, with
people greeting you with a smile but seeming to look
beyond you, having an agenda beyond the words. The
film was very briefly introduced, without fanfare, and
then the room darkened. From the gripping
opening scene in the Garden of Gethsemane, to the very
human and tender portrayal of the earthly ministry of
Jesus, through the betrayal, the arrest, the
scourging, the way of the cross, the encounter with
the thieves, the surrender on the Cross, until the
final scene in the empty tomb, this was not simply a
movie; it was an encounter, unlike anything I
have ever experienced.

In addition to being a masterpiece of film-making and
an artistic triumph, "The Passion" evoked more deep
reflection, sorrow and emotional reaction within me
than anything since my wedding, my ordination or the
birth of my children. Frankly, I will never be the
same. When the film concluded, this "invitation only"
gathering of "movers and shakers" in Washington, DC
were shaking indeed, but this time from sobbing. I am
not sure there was a dry eye in the place. The crowd
that had been glad-handing before the film was now
eerily silent. No one could speak because words were
woefully inadequate. We had experienced a kind of art
that is a rarity in life, the kind that makes heaven
touch earth.

One scene in the film has now been forever etched in
my mind. A brutalized, wounded Jesus was soon to fall
again under the weight of the cross. His mother had
made her way along the Via Della Rosa. As she ran to
him, she flashed back to a memory of Jesus as a child,
falling in the dirt road outside of their home. Just
as she reached to protect him from the fall, she was
now reaching to touch his wounded adult face. Jesus
looked at her with intensely probing and passionately
loving eyes (and at all of us through the screen) and
said "Behold I make all things new." These are
words taken from the last Book of the New Testament,
the Book of Revelations. Suddenly, the purpose of the
pain was so clear and the wounds, that earlier in the
film had been so difficult to see in His face,
His back, indeed all over His body, became intensely
beautiful! . They had been borne voluntarily for love.

At the end of the film, after we had all had a chance
to recover, a question and answer period ensued. The
unanimous praise for the film, from a rather diverse
crowd, was as astounding as the compliments were
effusive. The questions included the one question that
seems to follow this film, even though it has not yet
even been released. "Why is this film considered by
some to be "anti-Semitic?" Frankly, having now
experienced (you do not "view" this film) "the
Passion" it is a question that is impossible to
answer. A law professor whom I admire sat in front of
me. He raised his hand and responded "After watching
this film, I do not understand how anyone can
insinuate that it even remotely presents that the Jews
killed Jesus. It doesn't." He continued "It made me
realize that my sins killed Jesus"

I agree. There is not a scintilla of anti-Semitism to
be found anywhere in this powerful film. If there
were, I would be among the first to decry it.  It
faithfully tells the Gospel story in a dramatically
beautiful, sensitive and profoundly engaging way.

Those who are alleging otherwise have either not seen
the film or have another agenda behind their
protestations. This is not a "Christian" film,
in the sense that it will appeal only to those who
identify themselves as followers of Jesus Christ. It
is a deeply human, beautiful story that will deeply
touch all men and women. It is a profound work of art.
Yes, its producer is a Catholic Christian and
thankfully  has remained faithful to the Gospel text;
if that is no longer acceptable behavior than we are
all in trouble. History demands that we remain
faithful to the story and Christians have a right to
tell it. After all, we believe that it is the
greatest story ever told and that its message is for
all men and women. The greatest right is the right to
hear the truth.

We would all be well advised to remember that the
Gospel narratives to which "The Passion" is so
faithful were written by Jewish men who followed
a Jewish Rabbi whose life and teaching have forever
changed the history of the world. The problem is not
the message but those who have distorted it
and used it for hate rather than love. The solution is
not to censor the message, but rather to promote the
kind of gift of love that is Mel Gibson's filmmaking
masterpiece, "The Passion."  

It should be seen by as many people as possible. I
intend to do everything I can to make sure that is the
case. I am passionate about "The Passion."
You will be as well. Don't miss it!


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« Reply #65 on: January 28, 2004, 03:55:44 PM »

EWTN had a interview with Mel on 1/23/04, I suppose you can access it somewhere on their site, I listened to it and believe it will shed alot of light on the movie & him.

www.ewtn.com

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« Reply #66 on: January 28, 2004, 04:06:58 PM »

I accessed the below link at http://www.catholicity.com/.  The article rebuts those critics who claim that the PASSION is antisemitic.  I am providing the link to the article in lieu of cuting and pasting the article directly on OC.net because I am uncertain of the rules for copyright protection of on-line news articles and wouldn't want to get myself or this Forum in hot water.



Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Mel Gibson's 'The Passion' follows the Scripture

By David Klinghoffer
Special to the Los Angeles Times

http://www.dhonline.com/articles/2004/01/09/news/religion/religion02.txt

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« Reply #67 on: January 28, 2004, 04:30:32 PM »

I forgot to post that according to the interview, the film does have sub-titles. Again, its worth a listen.

james
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« Reply #68 on: January 28, 2004, 04:44:53 PM »

I forgot to post that according to the interview, the film does have sub-titles. Again, its worth a listen.

james

I would actually prefer that the movie not have any subtitles.  No, I am not fluent or literate in Aramaic or Latin but the power of the movie might be enhanced by putting the theater goer into the position of being a spectator as close as possible to how the Passion and Crucifixion actually happened.  There were no subtitles on Calvary!

One criticism of The PASSION that I have encountered stated that the languages of the film should have been Aramaic and the Koine rather than Aramaic and Latin.  The Koine was the administrative language of the Roman Empire.  Anybody have a take on how valid this criticism may be?

In any case, subtitles or not, the high point of the film for me will be Pilate exclaiming before the crowd, "Ecce Homo!"

Jim C.
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« Reply #69 on: January 28, 2004, 04:49:13 PM »

I always thought the same, that Greek would have been used as the lingua franca of the Empire in Palestine.  While I have no doubt some more erudite folks would know Latin, Greek was the everyday language of commerce and government.  

A priest I knew in college had a theory that Christ himself spoke Greek on a regular basis, as would any self-respecting tradesman of the day, even if he came from the backwoods of Palestine.
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« Reply #70 on: January 28, 2004, 05:38:28 PM »

I forgot to post that according to the interview, the film does have sub-titles. Again, its worth a listen.

This is confirmed by the latest trailer also.

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« Reply #71 on: January 28, 2004, 05:48:50 PM »

I would actually prefer that the movie not have any subtitles.  No, I am not fluent or literate in Aramaic or Latin but the power of the movie might be enhanced by putting the theater goer into the position of being a spectator as close as possible to how the Passion and Crucifixion actually happened.  There were no subtitles on Calvary!

It was the director's original intention not to feature subtitles in the film.  That was later changed.

I would very much value Arabic subtitles (maybe in a D.V.D. version), if only to be able to observe fully what similarities exist between these two languages in close proximity to each another.  Then again, one can only guess as to whether there is any accuracy in the choice of dialect Gibson chose.  After all, it is the assertion of some that the form of Latin used in the film is an anachronistic eighteenth century form, pronunciation and all.

Quote
One criticism of The PASSION that I have encountered stated that the languages of the film should have been Aramaic and the Koine rather than Aramaic and Latin.  The Koine was the administrative language of the Roman Empire.  Anybody have a take on how valid this criticism may be?

I would say Latin takes a back seat to Greek in this case, as history bears out.

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« Reply #72 on: January 28, 2004, 06:25:53 PM »

A priest I knew in college had a theory that Christ himself spoke Greek on a regular basis, as would any self-respecting tradesman of the day, even if he came from the backwoods of Palestine.

   He probably did. Of course, Christ could have spoken Farsi or English if he pleased (not that it'd have counted in that area).
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« Reply #73 on: February 20, 2004, 10:32:56 PM »

I thought that mel Gibson did an excellent interview with Diane Sawyer (even though she acted like a sour puss).

I wondered what y'all thought of the interview (if you saw it)

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« Reply #74 on: February 24, 2004, 10:55:23 PM »

Here is a online copy of The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Interesting read .

www.emmerich1.com/DOLOROUS_PASSION_OF_OUR_LORD_JESUS_CHRIST.htm

I will try to see the Passion tomorrow.


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« Reply #75 on: February 25, 2004, 01:06:15 AM »

Unfortunately, this week is jam-packed with exams, and i will not be able to see the movie probably 'til the weekend.

Hope you who will see it enjoy it, and a Blessed Ash Wednesday to those for whom it applies Wink

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« Reply #76 on: April 03, 2004, 05:21:26 PM »

I post this (from a small Orthodox message board, without confirmation) as I see this posting, from an evangelivcal missionary no less, to show an unexpected result from Mel's movie.
<excerpted>:

Subject: "The Passion of the Christ" movie in the Middle East

This is really amazing! We got this email from a "friend of a friend" who had gotten this at a retreat she just attended. I assume it's for real. I pray that it is! The people writing the following emails are missionaries in Qatar. Pretty awesome whats happening over there!! Please read it all the way to the bottom. You'll be so touched. I sure was. Kathy

Friends,
Today very possibly was the most significant day we have seen in
nearly 12 years of living in the Middle East. To everyone's shock and surprise, "The Passion" was released today here in Qatar. Just a few days ago when Natalie prayed for it to come to Qatar in our prayer meeting (we knew it was opening in the United Arab Emirates in about a week), I honestly had no faith whatsoever that her prayer would be answered. You have to realize that until now we have only been able to show the Jesus film in Arabic to a handful of Qatari’s in the secret of a home setting.


In the coming weeks, potentially 10's of thousands of Arab Muslims
will see this powerful portrayal of Christ's suffering and death.
Today at 4:30PM, our entire team went to see the film. Since all of
us have heard many different reactions and responses to the film, I
won't add very much to that discussion here. However, I don't think anybody who has seen this film saw it in a theatre which was -+ full of Gulf Arab Muslims - both men and women. In two short hours, more Qatari’s heard the Gospel than I have been able to reach in nearly 5 years of living here. The Arabic subtitles were completely accurate - they didn't water ANYTHING down or change any language that Muslims would not agree with. All of us watched the film in absolute amazement in what God had done. The Muslims sitting around us were being moved - gasping, crying and reacting with disgust to the brutality that Jesus faced.

Now - if you have heard anything about why the Arab Muslims would want to see the film, you know that it is because they 'heard' it was anti-Jewish and since they hate the Jews, they want to see it. How interesting that God is using this film to communicate the Gospel and the very opposite spirit that might be motivating them to go and see it. The message to LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, and Jesus praying for them to be forgiven while on the Cross would hit the Muslim theatre-goer in a powerful way. Just as Satan surely felt that he was winning when Christ began to suffer, ultimately it was the plundering of his house and his complete defeat. Muslims are going to see this film because of their hatred and in the end, the message they will hear is to LOVE. Is it not just like God to do something like that? They mean it for evil, and God means it for good!!

There is yet another motivation that Qatar had in releasing this film
and that was to be "the first country in the Middle East" to show the
film. Qatar is trying to change its image and portray itself as a
tolerant Muslim country. Little do they know that this film is
exposing their people to many truths that their faith categorically
denies. (The Sonship of Christ, the Fatherhood of God, the Atoning
Death of Christ for the sins of the World, and of course the
commandment to "Love your enemies").

We are all still shell-shocked by what has happened and what will
happen in the coming days. Dave and Natalie

P.S. Also mentioned in the article today: "Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat watched the Passion of the Christ at a private screening in
the West Bank city of Ramallah yesterday and said it was not
anti-Semitic. He watched the film with Palestinian Muslim and Christian leaders at his headquarters in Ramallah."
I know I sent out the report of R.T. Kendall sharing the Gospel
personally with Yasser Arafat a few months ago. May this film help
him to come to Jesus and learn to "love his enemies" too!!

More about the "Passion" in Qatar - another e-mail:

Friends,
Since the last email, so much has happened I simply do not know
where to begin. In all humility, we have to say that in just a few short
days, more Arab Muslims have been able to clearly hear (and see) the Gospel in their own language than we would be able to reach in a lifetime of ministry in the Middle East. We are just walking around
in our own version of a 'shock and awe campaign'. Let me give you the highlights and I'll try to write more of the details later. The film is so popular here in Qatar that they have been canceling the other films to show "The Passion" in all the theatres at a Cinema
complex. I took a former student the 2nd night, who now works for the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, and at the 7:30PM and 9:30PM showing the film was running in all 3 theatres. I would estimate that well over 50% of the people in the theatre were local Muslims - women completely veiled. I saw former students of mine walking out. I saw one British woman who had converted to Islam walking out (I prayed she would find her way back to the faith she abandoned). You could see how this film had impacted everyone.
After we saw the film, I looked at my former student Mohammed and
said to him in Arabic, "Don't you see that Jesus died for YOUR sins". I then really took a bit of a risk (seeing that he works for the
Ministry of Islamic Affairs" - I said, "you know, Mohammed, you think that this film is here because of 'freedom of speech' or the 'new openness of your government', but actually God Himself has sent this film to CORRECT your people's total misunderstanding about who Jesus is, and why He came to earth'. What followed was about a 2-hour discussion/debate on many of the differences between Islam and Christianity.

On the second day, several of the local newspapers had the
advertisement for the film ON THE FRONT PAGE. It appears that even Saudi Arabia is getting a chance to see the film, albeit through pirated DVD's. There are no movie theatres in Saudi Arabia anyway. God knows what He's doing.

I was just reminded what the Apostle Paul writes: "It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love...The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely...But what does it matter? THE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT IN EVERY WAY (piratated DVD’s?), whether false motives or true CHRIST is PREACHED. And because of this I rejoice". (Philippians 1:15-18)

Timing of the release. The killing of Palestinian Hamas leader,
Sheikh Ahmad Yassin happened the morning after the film was released. The Arab response has been a whole new wave of hatred for the Jews, which was illustrated in a large public demonstration/march yesterday. Again, God's timing is so amazing. At a time when the urge for Muslims to hate has been renewed, the Lord has brought THE PASSION telling
them -NO, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES! Forgive them! The contrast is
staggering. Today, after class two of my Qatari girl students came up to me and asked me, "Do you have the New Testament in Arabic"? "Me and ALL my friends want to read it"! Another asked about where to get the Arabic Bible on the Internet. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED! The film is generating so much interest in Jesus and the Scriptures. Every Christian we are talking to seems to have a story of two just like this one. May it continue to increase.
__________________________
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« Reply #77 on: April 04, 2004, 02:53:49 AM »

I have many thoughts regarding these evangelicals and the post.

Just a few:

1)  That was WAY too aggressive of him to talk to his student.
2)  How do they know that the Muslims are really getting the message to Love Your Enemies out of the film?  It wasn't mentioned THAT much (although of course we would get it).
3)  It could actually inspire Muslims to hate Jews more (hopefully not).
4)  I think they (the evangelicals) are a little too optimistic, maybe deluded.  They presume too much about God.

Anyway, carry on...
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« Reply #78 on: November 22, 2010, 12:14:31 AM »

I was looking for reviews on this film from the Orthodox faith, yet didn't find any here. Anyone want to shed their opinion?

When I first saw the movie I was a bit repulsed at how they depicted Jesus, he comes off as a false prophet in the film, just get that vibe for some reason. But that was 6 years ago, I was thinking of watching it again. Not sure if it's on Blu-Ray.
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« Reply #79 on: November 22, 2010, 12:51:43 AM »

Amazing, in the words of a Jewish friend of the ACOE "that was exactly how it happened". The trial scene, the crucifixion, temple being split in two, and in Aramaic/Assyrian everything  too.
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« Reply #80 on: November 22, 2010, 12:58:35 AM »

I was looking for reviews on this film from the Orthodox faith, yet didn't find any here. Anyone want to shed their opinion?

When I first saw the movie I was a bit repulsed at how they depicted Jesus, he comes off as a false prophet in the film, just get that vibe for some reason. But that was 6 years ago, I was thinking of watching it again. Not sure if it's on Blu-Ray.
I saw it several times, and own it. I don't see how he comes off as a false prophet.

If an Orthodox did it, there would be differences, but in the main it's quite Orthodox (and that includes the bloody scenes, btw. An Orthodox bishop complained about that, but missed the point that we have so whitewashed the Crucifixion that we don't face the reality it was).  Particularly the scene where He takes up His Cross.
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« Reply #81 on: November 22, 2010, 01:03:43 AM »

The Cross scene was one of my favorite, maybe the favorite. That Cross looked huge, "Take up your Cross", brilliant scene. One thing though...where was St. John next to the Cross? The trial scene was amazing.
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« Reply #82 on: November 22, 2010, 01:42:29 AM »

I own 2 versions, the Definitive Edition and a edition that is less graphic for children etc...

Favorite parts, the beginning with Satan and when the Blessed Mother and St. John followed Him from the scourging...

The Romans were brutal in dealings with the conquered...
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« Reply #83 on: November 22, 2010, 02:51:34 AM »

I was looking for reviews on this film from the Orthodox faith, yet didn't find any here. Anyone want to shed their opinion?

When I first saw the movie I was a bit repulsed at how they depicted Jesus, he comes off as a false prophet in the film, just get that vibe for some reason. But that was 6 years ago, I was thinking of watching it again. Not sure if it's on Blu-Ray.
I saw it several times, and own it. I don't see how he comes off as a false prophet.

If an Orthodox did it, there would be differences, but in the main it's quite Orthodox (and that includes the bloody scenes, btw. An Orthodox bishop complained about that, but missed the point that we have so whitewashed the Crucifixion that we don't face the reality it was).  Particularly the scene where He takes up His Cross.

That's an interesting point about Orthodox depictions of the crucifixion, e.g. in liturgy. I notice that traditional hagiographies of martyrs never shy away from the gruesome details. Indeed, often I can't help feeling there is a certain degree of exaggeration in those accounts, although of course it's impossible to say for sure how much in each case. But certainly it hasn't escaped my notice that the evangelical style is much more restrained than the hagiographic. Has anyone written on this before?

Also, I read that a lot of the more lurid and dramatic details in the PotC come from late medieval and Counter-Reformation-era Catholic mystics, not from the Gospels themselves.
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« Reply #84 on: November 22, 2010, 03:44:18 AM »

I was looking for reviews on this film from the Orthodox faith, yet didn't find any here. Anyone want to shed their opinion?

When I first saw the movie I was a bit repulsed at how they depicted Jesus, he comes off as a false prophet in the film, just get that vibe for some reason. But that was 6 years ago, I was thinking of watching it again. Not sure if it's on Blu-Ray.
I saw it several times, and own it. I don't see how he comes off as a false prophet.

If an Orthodox did it, there would be differences, but in the main it's quite Orthodox (and that includes the bloody scenes, btw. An Orthodox bishop complained about that, but missed the point that we have so whitewashed the Crucifixion that we don't face the reality it was).  Particularly the scene where He takes up His Cross.

That's an interesting point about Orthodox depictions of the crucifixion, e.g. in liturgy. I notice that traditional hagiographies of martyrs never shy away from the gruesome details.
Neither does the hymnography, as my priest is so quick to point out.
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« Reply #85 on: November 22, 2010, 03:46:30 AM »

I really liked the movie.  I know that sounds like an odd thing to say and I agree, but I think (as someone earlier said) that we tend to whitewash the passion Gospels.  It's true that as Orthodox Christians, our focus is wisely/correctly placed on His resurrection, but I think it does us some good to actually reflect, from time to time, on just exactly what He endured for us.  Should Orthodox Christians fully embrace and endorse this movie?  I'll let you smarter folks debate that one, but I'm grateful Mr. Gibson gave this to us.  
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« Reply #86 on: November 22, 2010, 04:22:45 AM »

I was looking for reviews on this film from the Orthodox faith, yet didn't find any here. Anyone want to shed their opinion?

When I first saw the movie I was a bit repulsed at how they depicted Jesus, he comes off as a false prophet in the film, just get that vibe for some reason. But that was 6 years ago, I was thinking of watching it again. Not sure if it's on Blu-Ray.
I saw it several times, and own it. I don't see how he comes off as a false prophet.

If an Orthodox did it, there would be differences, but in the main it's quite Orthodox (and that includes the bloody scenes, btw. An Orthodox bishop complained about that, but missed the point that we have so whitewashed the Crucifixion that we don't face the reality it was).  Particularly the scene where He takes up His Cross.

That's an interesting point about Orthodox depictions of the crucifixion, e.g. in liturgy. I notice that traditional hagiographies of martyrs never shy away from the gruesome details.
Neither does the hymnography, as my priest is so quick to point out.

Good point. I just remember that in some Christian apologetics, including I think C. S. Lewis, they emphasize how restrained the description of Christ's life and death are, and how that is not what we would expect if the Gospels were simply hagiographies designed to enhance the reputation of the subject. In other words, the fact that the Gospels are not written in a typical hagiographic style is a reason for us to give them more credence. It's an interesting argument, but for Orthodox who also believe in the hagiographies it's a double-edged sword! It probably makes more sense to a Protestant like Lewis who doesn't venerate the saints.

That being said, I think my point about the different style of the Gospels stands. Is the difference as significant as I think it is?
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« Reply #87 on: November 22, 2010, 04:30:04 AM »

And by "traditional hagiographic style", I mean lengthy descriptions of the subject's overall virtue, the piety of his upbringing, the severity of his fasts, the extremity of the tortures he endured and the courage with which he endured it, along with plentiful and fantastic miracles along the way. Of course, in the Gospels you also have virtue, piety, fasting, torture, courage and miracles, but it just seems that it's delivered in a more subdued tone overall. Unless my interpretation has been overly affected by these apologetic arguments.
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« Reply #88 on: November 22, 2010, 04:39:13 AM »

I was looking for reviews on this film from the Orthodox faith, yet didn't find any here. Anyone want to shed their opinion?

When I first saw the movie I was a bit repulsed at how they depicted Jesus, he comes off as a false prophet in the film, just get that vibe for some reason. But that was 6 years ago, I was thinking of watching it again. Not sure if it's on Blu-Ray.
I saw it several times, and own it. I don't see how he comes off as a false prophet.

If an Orthodox did it, there would be differences, but in the main it's quite Orthodox (and that includes the bloody scenes, btw. An Orthodox bishop complained about that, but missed the point that we have so whitewashed the Crucifixion that we don't face the reality it was).  Particularly the scene where He takes up His Cross.

That's an interesting point about Orthodox depictions of the crucifixion, e.g. in liturgy. I notice that traditional hagiographies of martyrs never shy away from the gruesome details.
Neither does the hymnography, as my priest is so quick to point out.

Good point. I just remember that in some Christian apologetics, including I think C. S. Lewis, they emphasize how restrained the description of Christ's life and death are, and how that is not what we would expect if the Gospels were simply hagiographies designed to enhance the reputation of the subject. In other words, the fact that the Gospels are not written in a typical hagiographic style is a reason for us to give them more credence. It's an interesting argument, but for Orthodox who also believe in the hagiographies it's a double-edged sword! It probably makes more sense to a Protestant like Lewis who doesn't venerate the saints.

That being said, I think my point about the different style of the Gospels stands. Is the difference as significant as I think it is?
I don't know. ISTM the Gospels certainly don't whitewash the agony of Christ's Passion on the Cross, but they also don't make as much of the Passion as the hagiographic texts do of the saints, either. In the end, it seems that all the Gospel writers see the Passion in connection with and in the context of its fulfillment in the Resurrection. Christ IS risen! For the saints, however, this is a promise and a foretaste of their future resurrections, so we emphasize more how much they suffered for Christ that they might rise with Him on the Last Day.
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« Reply #89 on: November 22, 2010, 06:39:09 AM »

Here is what Frederica Mathewes-Green thinks of this film:

http://www.frederica.com/writings/the-passion-of-the-christ.html

A section from this article of hers is also quoted on the Orthodoxwiki page about Mary Magdalene.
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