Concise Lexicon of Christianity

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The Passion of the Christ, a Movie Review

Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ is basically a dramatization of the 14 traditional Stations of the Cross. Throughout the movie, the characters have flashbacks that tell the story of Jesus’ ministry. That is an excellent technique, because the New Testament doesn’t give us enough narrative detail about anything other than the Passion to write a movie script.

The traditional 14 Stations of the Cross include events that are not in Scripture, but may very well have occurred. For example, the woman who wiped Jesus’ face with a cloth is known as St. Veronica. The incident is preserved in Christian legend but not in scripture.

No movie is perfect—and as it turns out, neither is Mel Gibson—but this movie does do a good job of making you feel that you somehow got to witness the actual event.

The movie does include the Resurrection, by the way.

Inaccuracies in the Movie

None of these inaccuracies were serious. Most of them were caused by the need to follow well-entrenched artistic conventions to avoid disconcerting the audience at critical points.

Accurate Parts That People Can Misunderstand

The movie showed the story, it did not tell it. There was no explanation in the dialog, so some things that were accurate can be misunderstood.

My Impression

I thought the movie was awesome. The inaccuracies in no way detracted from the overall impact of the movie; some of them were actually necessary to avoid disconcerting the audience.

Someone quoted a reviewer as saying that it isn’t the sort of movie that makes you want to go out for pizza afterwards. I agree. It makes you want to go out for Holy Eucharist afterwards. On the Sunday after the film was released, a man came to my church specifically because he needed Communion after seeing the movie. He knew we have it every Sunday; his church does not.

More Interesting Stuff!
10 Facts You Didn’t Know about the Passion of the Christ