On Tue, 05 Oct 2004 09:55:43 -0400, Zeba Crook
> I had the same response, and so side with Bob on this one Loren. If the
> movie was only released for Church related purposes, fairly assuming an
> audience fully conversant with Christianity, the flashbacks would be
> distracting at worst, and unnecessary at best. That is, the audience
> would already know (ostensibly at least) the reason for the death and
> the effects of it. But the movie was released not as religious art but
> Hollywood blockbuster, therefore its handlers believed that it could
> stand alone as a movie. The claim was made by pious viewers and
> commentators that there was something here for everyone (from the sounds
> of it, is that what Mark Goodacre says in his essay?).
No, it is not. In fact, quite the contrary. I argue that the film is
so "in your face" (to use Fulco's expression) that it tends to
generate emotional responses one way of the other, often fiercely anti
and often passionately pro.
> But I disagree:
> if one did not go into the movie already packing a full understanding
> (let alone acceptance) of the Christian story, one would come away from
> the movie thinking Jesus was killed for no good reason (like for being
> nice to puppy dogs).
I don't think so. The film's claim, and whatever we think about this
historically is irrelevant here, is that Jesus was condemned to death
by the Sanhedrin for blasphemy. Watch the development in Caiaphas's
perception of Jesus during the trial scene. The key moment comes when
Jesus effectively condemns himself out of his own mouth -- this is
where Caiaphas turns against him.
> And here is where I think Crossan has a fair (if
> unfortunately overstated) point: because the flashbacks do not
> adequately explain/justify the actions of the Jewish High Priests, their
> actions appear evil in the extreme.
But again, to look for that justification in flashbacks that are
depicting the way in which Jesus is reacting to the events that are
happening to him, as well as on one occasion Mary and on another Mary
Magdalene, is like looking for that justification in the credits --
you won't expect to find it there.
Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
Dept of Theology
University of Birmingham
Elmfield House, Selly Oak tel.+44 121 414 7512
Birmingham B29 6LQ UK fax: +44 121 415 8376