Monday, December 11, 2006

The Nativity Story: What the Scholars Say

I have seen only a handful of reviews from New Testament scholars on The Nativity Story. Given the plethora of reviews they put out on The Passion of the Christ, this is a disappointment if not a surprise. It seems that these days, however much we might like to think that we are not influenced by the media frenzy on such things, it was the public thirst for comment on The Passion that was driving all that scholarly interest and which in part explains the vituperative tone of so many of the reviews.

The scholarly interest is not completely lacking, though, and so far, these are the reviews I have found from New Testament scholars:

Waiting for the Magnificat
Scot McKnight, Relevant Magazine
McKnight enjoys the film, sometimes feels he was there in the first century, falls in love with Joseph but not Mary and wishes for more of the Magnificat.
The Nativity-- The Birth of a Classic?
Ben Witherington (blog)
He thinks it's "not only not bad . . . actually pretty good". Unlike McKnight, he likes the portrait of Mary. He is not so keen on the CGI Jerusalem, or shepherds and magi at the manger at the same time, but otherwise it is thumbs up.
Witherington's review reveals that Darrell Bock was one of those consulted for the film and Bock himself has some brief reflections. (We'd love to see more!).

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