Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Passion various: Caviezel meets the Pope; Flesher article

The trailer for The Passion of the Christ has arrived in UK cinemas -- I saw it yesterday.

Thanks to Helenann Hartley for this link from BBC News:

Jim Caviezel's risky sacrifice
Catholic actor Jim Caviezel, who plays Jesus in Mel Gibson's controversial film The Passion of the Christ, was blessed by the Pope at the Vatican on Monday.

Essentially this is an article about Caviezel's career to date. There's another similar article here:

Passion actor Caviezel meets Pope

And thanks to Mark Elliott at Bible and Interpretation for this one (also noted by Jim Davila in Paleojudaica):

Mel's Jesus: A "Real Man" or Just a Toon?
Paul V. M. Flesher
If you read the gospel accounts of the Passion before you view the film, it becomes immediately clear that The Passion does not consistently adhere to the biblical stories

It is an interesting and different take on the film, stressing Caviezel's portrayal of a "macho" Jesus, heroically standing up to the punishment meted out to him. The "toon" of the title relates to the problem that Jesus continues to be able to get up, to survive and carry on after the repeated torture, just like the toons of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and the like. It is something that one wonders when seeing the film -- how could a man survive that kind of scourging? But a couple of thoughts occur to me in defence of the film. First, Jesus ben Ananias is said to have been "whipped till his bones were laid bare" in Josephus' War 6.5.3 and yet he apparently survives. Further, the Gospels depict Jesus' death on the cross as relatively quick -- six hours in the Synoptics and three hours in John; and in the latter he does not need to have his legs broken unlike the other men. It is entirely possible that if these stories originate in reasonably accurate memories, Jesus' scourging was severe and his death on the cross consequently quicker.

Bible and Interpretation have set aside a page for these academic articles on The Passion of the Christ here:

Essays From Bible and Interpretation on the Passion.

More are promised; it will be interesting to see who else is lined up.

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