Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Unrelated to this image (more fun with filters in Photoshop), check out Rob Salkowitz's entry "O Jesus" at Emphasis Added. Sadly, I can't currently link directly to the entry in question, but it was entered on Sunday, February 22. Rob offers a rather cogent discussion in response to the question "Are the Christian gospels inherently anti-Semitic?"

Part of his response echoes something I heard on NBC's Dateline this past Friday: there is little anti-Jewish sentiment in the earliest gospel written (probably Mark), and more in the last gospel recorded (certainly John).

Once again, this is in response to Mel Gibson's little cinematic Passion play. Mel has made some ill-advised comments that might lead one to believe the movie will be antisemitic. I suspect there is an element of promotion in Mr. Gibson's comments, as the controversy insures free publicity.

The bottom line is that if one goes into the movie expecting to see antisemitism, they are likely to find it. If one goes in hoping to have their "sacrificial lamb" Christology re-affirmed, they are likely to receive that.

I have heard the torture scenes go on for 45 minutes, which seems extreme. The infamous D-Day sequence in Private Ryan lasted 30 minutes, and that was plenty intense.

I did see a few scenes in a "Making of" special which aired on the Pax network Sunday night (it will run again this evening). I especially remember the Garden sequence, in which Jesus speaks lines that I don't recall from any of the Gospels. It's possible these lines came from some other portion of scripture, but I'm fairly certain they weren't from the gospels.

So, I will carry a degree of prejudice with me as I go into the movie.

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