I recently watched Tim Burton’s film Big Fish (2003) again. I must have first seen it around the time that Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004) came out. Although these films are now several years old, the issues they raise are illustrative for how we understand ways of reading the Bible, especially where claims about the historicity (what “really happened”) or the verisimilitude (the appearance of being true or real) where biblical narratives are concerned. Where The Passion tends to use its own narrative to concretize abstract theological concepts (for example, the medieval notion of the superhuman suffering of Christ) or to historicize familiar moments from the history of Christian piety or art (for example, Jesus’ encounter with Veronica), Big Fish sees the relationship between narrative and history in a much more ambivalent way. For the characters in the film, narrative is foundational for community and relationship in spite of troubling questions about truth and verifiability.Read more . . .