When late on Thursday night I happily wrote that I would be blogging again on Monday, I'd not realized just how overworked I'd be on my return from travelling. I am so behind at the moment with absolutely piles and piles of work and more that I do not foresee being able to blog much at all this week.
Friday's travel was work related -- filming for a forthcoming BBC / Discovery programme called Jesus' Family Tree. My interview was filmed in the lower library at Worcester College, Oxford, a lovely old-fashioned library with old tomes that were obviously rarely consulted. My interview focused particularly on things like Thomas (in legend and history), the story of the Virgin Birth, questions about Joseph's former marriage, Jesus' relationship to his brothers and sisters during his ministry and especially at the crucifixion and beyond; and the genealogies. The last time I talked about the Virgin Birth on TV I got into trouble and I couldn't help being a little conscious of that. The general experience was slightly different from others I've had. The director was conscious of exactly what she was looking for in the interview and some of the questions I was asked multiple times (e.g. in the piece on Thomas, I was asked to do it again without saying 'Judas' because that was to be introduced by the narrator before this clip). I've done a bit of work for TV and radio, and every one is different, almost always enjoyable in different ways. This programme, by the way, does not go out until next Spring in the USA (Discovery Channel) and not until 2006 on the BBC. This is not a programme that I have a consultant's role on; I'm just a participant, so have no idea at this stage how it will turn out. But it looks pretty interesting -- two episodes totalling 100 minutes are planned, and much of the location filming, in Israel and elsewhere, is already done.
I have been doing some more reading and thinking about crucifixion while travelling and can now, I think, answer my own question of a week and more ago (Ancient Narratives of Crucifixion) and would like to do explain here when I get a chance.
I have also almost finished Jesus and Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and have jotted down pages of notes, especially on John Dominic Crossan's article, "Hymn to a Savage God". I'll be adding these here when chance allows. Overall, I am impressed with the book. It reads much better than the under-edited rival, Perspectives on the Passion of the Christ, much of which I really disliked. I'll be explaining my reactions to both of these as soon as chance allows. At the moment, that is not looking like being imminent, alas.