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Mel Gibson'S The Passion


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If anything, it's probably tame in comparrison to the reality.

BTW, here's a great Mormon Easter Sermon referencing The Passion of the Christ and... Braveheart ;)

I agree that there is no way to fully comprehend the pain He went through, even watching something as graphic as The Passion.

However, by showing such graphic suffering, it tends to lead one to the idea that it was the suffering from the scourging and on the cross that paid for our sins. If the act of crucifixion was enough to pay for sin, then either one of the thieves could have paid the price. Or any one of countless thousands that were crucified or otherwise tortured over the centuries.

In order to have an Infinite Atonement, there had to be an infinite amount of suffering. And while the scourging and crucifixion were part of that, it couldn't have been enough. Often times, the LDS doctrine that the Atonement took place both in the Garden and on the cross is seen as incompatible with the traditional understanding of the Atonement taking place on the Cross. I personally think that our understanding of the infinite suffering that took place in the Garden adds to the reverence we feel for the Savior rather than detracts from it.

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I think the beating scene was most likely overdone, but I'm sure the devices used to scourge could indeed tear the skin and inflict much pain. Whether the beating was as severe as depicted... I don't know... seems excessive that anyone could willfully inflict such damage.

GG

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Especially in the scene where the Savior is whipped, is the violence superfluous, or a fair extrapolation based on the devices used, and scriptural references (Isaiah specifically)?

I found the authentic touches very satisfying (the people appeared authentic, Aramaic, Latin, etc.), but the violence meted out against Jesus was very excessive and even pointless. The soldiers would have been totally exhausted and Jesus dead long before he got started on the Via Dolorosa to Calvary. However, it may well have been Gibson's intention to create a living crucifix in extreme Roman Catholic fashion.

The tendency in some Roman Catholic communities to have self-flagellation and even partial crucifixion (annually in the Philippines, for example) may help explain the nonsensical excesses. Gibson, after all, comes from a very traditional Roman Catholic background, insistent on retention of the Latin Mass, even if he seems unable to maintain high ethical and moral principles of behavior in his own personal life.

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I found the authentic touches very satisfying (the people appeared authentic, Aramaic, Latin, etc.), but the violence meted out against Jesus was very excessive and even pointless. The soldiers would have been totally exhausted and Jesus dead long before he got started on the Via Dolorosa to Calvary. However, it may well have been Gibson's intention to create a living crucifix in extreme Roman Catholic fashion.

The tendency in some Roman Catholic communities to have self-flagellation and even partial crucifixion (annually in the Philippines, for example) may help explain the nonsensical excesses. Gibson, after all, comes from a very traditional Roman Catholic background, insistent on retention of the Latin Mass, even if he seems unable to maintain high ethical and moral principles of behavior in his own personal life.

One of the aspects of growing up Catholic was going to my local Spanish culture chapel and seeing the dying Christ bleeding and bruised on the cross surrounded by saints holding various bone relics. Therefore, when I saw the Passion I wasn't in the least surprised the goriness of the thing. Over that it was a great film.

Edited by Ron Beron
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I found the authentic touches very satisfying (the people appeared authentic, Aramaic, Latin, etc.), but the violence meted out against Jesus was very excessive and even pointless. The soldiers would have been totally exhausted and Jesus dead long before he got started on the Via Dolorosa to Calvary. However, it may well have been Gibson's intention to create a living crucifix in extreme Roman Catholic fashion.

The tendency in some Roman Catholic communities to have self-flagellation and even partial crucifixion (annually in the Philippines, for example) may help explain the nonsensical excesses. Gibson, after all, comes from a very traditional Roman Catholic background, insistent on retention of the Latin Mass, even if he seems unable to maintain high ethical and moral principles of behavior in his own personal life.

Watching the re-inactment of the crucifixion in person in the Philippines when I was young and watching each Lenten season, Mel Gibson's portrayal of the event, it simply reminds me of what Christ suffered during his 40 days in the desert and the events during Holy week. The celebration of the 50 days of the Easter season is very much appreciated after those 40 days of reflection of what Christ did for us all. Keeping the 9 day prayer novena of the time between the Ascension and Pentecost simply reminds me of the importance in asking for guidance of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. At least we can say we celebrate longer than we mourn.

While I appreciate the LDS viewpoint of the Atonement, as a non-member Easter can appear to be just one special day since not much is done in preparation for it.

My 2 cents

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Watching the re-inactment of the crucifixion in person in the Philippines when I was young and watching each Lenten season, Mel Gibson's portrayal of the event, it simply reminds me of what Christ suffered during his 40 days in the desert and the events during Holy week. The celebration of the 50 days of the Easter season is very much appreciated after those 40 days of reflection of what Christ did for us all. Keeping the 9 day prayer novena of the time between the Ascension and Pentecost simply reminds me of the importance in asking for guidance of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. At least we can say we celebrate longer than we mourn.

While I appreciate the LDS viewpoint of the Atonement, as a non-member Easter can appear to be just one special day since not much is done in preparation for it.

My 2 cents

I agree, and I know of whole evangelical and Pentacostal Protestant congregations (men, women, and children) who have gone to see Gibson's film en masse. I do worry that the children could be traumatized by the experience, and I would not recommend that most men & women even go to see the film -- just because of the excessive violence. It is rated R for a reason, and I only went due to my professional commitment to study all representations of Jesus and his life.

The season of Lent is an excellent feature of the RC and some other churches, not to be taken lightly. I recall how each year respected colleagues of mine would come to work with ash on their foreheads -- an august and meaningful tradition in which they were not ashamed to publicly confess fealty and thanks to Jesus Christ.

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I agree that there is no way to fully comprehend the pain He went through, even watching something as graphic as The Passion.

However, by showing such graphic suffering, it tends to lead one to the idea that it was the suffering from the scourging and on the cross that paid for our sins. If the act of crucifixion was enough to pay for sin, then either one of the thieves could have paid the price. Or any one of countless thousands that were crucified or otherwise tortured over the centuries.

In order to have an Infinite Atonement, there had to be an infinite amount of suffering. And while the scourging and crucifixion were part of that, it couldn't have been enough. Often times, the LDS doctrine that the Atonement took place both in the Garden and on the cross is seen as incompatible with the traditional understanding of the Atonement taking place on the Cross. I personally think that our understanding of the infinite suffering that took place in the Garden adds to the reverence we feel for the Savior rather than detracts from it.

Do not forget that the culmination of that suffering happened when God withdrew his presence and left Christ to complete the sacrfice. It was so intense that Christ called out in agony My God my God why hast thou forsaken me.

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Do not forget that the culmination of that suffering happened when God withdrew his presence and left Christ to complete the sacrfice. It was so intense that Christ called out in agony My God my God why hast thou forsaken me.

While I've always appreciated the LDS interpretation of what the intent of Jesus saying 'My God my God why hast thou forsaken me,' I've never bought that explanation. The psalms were known by the Jews and the they would definitely recognize the beginning of Psalm 22. The psalm definitely describes perfectly what Jesus was going through on that cross.

It's too bad Jesus couldn't say more of the psalm so there wouldn't be the misinterpretation that some have. Oh well. That's why apologetics is so much fun... :air_kiss:

Edited by blueadept
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It's too bad Jesus couldn't say more of the psalm so there wouldn't be the misinterpretation that some have. Oh well. That's why apologetics is so much fun... :air_kiss:

Why couldn't he? Seems like if He had wanted to say the psalm, there was nothing stopping Him. :pardon:

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Why couldn't he? Seems like if He had wanted to say the psalm, there was nothing stopping Him. :pardon:

I listened to an analysis of what Jesus was physically going through on that cross due to the Romans art of perfecting torture through crucifixion. By the description of what his physical body went through, great efforts would need to happen for him to say anything. Jesus consolidating his words would seem reasonable.

Again.....the fun part of apologetics.

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I think he said exactly what he meant to say.

If they weren't the exact beginning words of Psalm 22 and that the psalm didn't perfectly describe the crucifixion, I would probably agree with your statement.

IMO, it was a way for the Jews to recognize Him for who he was. If you take the fact that Jews typically had all the psalms memorized, the significance of what Jesus says can be understood. Sort of like if you said to a Catholic 'Our Father', or 'Hail Mary', I would say they typically could finish the whole prayer. The same could be said in regards to the psalms for the Jews of the time.

My 2 cents

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If they weren't the exact beginning words of Psalm 22 and that the psalm didn't perfectly describe the crucifixion, I would probably agree with your statement.

IMO, it was a way for the Jews to recognize Him for who he was. If you take the fact that Jews typically had all the psalms memorized, the significance of what Jesus says can be understood. Sort of like if you said to a Catholic 'Our Father', or 'Hail Mary', I would say they typically could finish the whole prayer. The same could be said in regards to the psalms for the Jews of the time.

My 2 cents

If the psalm describes the crucifixion, then wha does the first line mean? Does it mean that Father has forsaken the one being crucified?

I see no problem with believing that Christ was repeating a psalm but if that's true then isn't the next step to understand what the psalmist was saying by the words that were chosen to describe the crucifixion?

Like you said this is the fun of apologetics. :D

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Now we can just pick and choose which psalm and verse strengthens our particular interpretation of what is meant... :rolleyes:

I'm surprised threads like these end up in the social folder where we shouldn't debate. I just couldn't let the 'My God my God' comment go in regards to the LDS interpretation go unchallenged...oh well.

Edited by blueadept
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Now we can just pick and choose which psalm and verse strengthens our particular interpretation of what is meant... :rolleyes:

That's pretty much apologetics, whether your LDS, Catholic, or something else. :pardon:

I agree, sometimes it's hard to let things go unchallenged when they seem so simple to us personally. I guess the trick is to remember that what makes us roll our eyes probably makes the guy we are debating with do the same-there are no simply answers. If there were, there would be no disagreement.

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Is this movie, as a whole, more or less worthy of my time then The Lamb of God?

If you're LDS, I wasn't aware that the movie was recommended. My LDS wife was very annoyed that I purchased the movie and it did create some controversy in our household.

The wonderful issues of a dual-faith household. I'm glad I don't deal with those issues anymore. :(

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Is this movie, as a whole, more or less worthy of my time then The Lamb of God?

I've never seen it and probably never will as i'm not a fan of bloody violence, regardless of the intentions behind it. I would imagine though that it would be hard for anyone to say which movie someone else (especially someone they don't know) would be 'worth more'.

The Lamb of God is only about 30 minutes long while The Passion is full length. That means The Passion is way more intense and indepth. The Lamb of God is meant for children to watch as well as adults and The Passion is rated R. One if from the LDS perspective and the other is from a Catholic perspective. I'm guessing both Catholics and LDS can find The Passion worthy of their time and that both Catholics and LDS can find The Lamb of God worthy of their time.

It's a tough call all around.

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If you're LDS, I wasn't aware that the movie was recommended. My LDS wife was very annoyed that I purchased the movie and it did create some controversy in our household.

The wonderful issues of a dual-faith household. I'm glad I don't deal with those issues anymore. :(

I know many LDS that really liked it and would recommend it.

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I watched it about 20 times for a Religion in Movies class I took once, it was allright-I had to review it! By the way William O. Nelson is on BYUTV and reviews it for I think a BYU education week thing, also excellent commentary

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While I've always appreciated the LDS interpretation of what the intent of Jesus saying 'My God my God why hast thou forsaken me,' I've never bought that explanation. The psalms were known by the Jews and the they would definitely recognize the beginning of Psalm 22. The psalm definitely describes perfectly what Jesus was going through on that cross.

It's too bad Jesus couldn't say more of the psalm so there wouldn't be the misinterpretation that some have. Oh well. That's why apologetics is so much fun... :air_kiss:

I'd be interested in knowing what you think the LDS interpretation of Matthew 27:46 correctly is (whether official or unofficial), since I can't imagine an interpretation different from what you yourself suggest.

Of course Jesus is quoting Ps 22:1, and to say the incipit is to say the whole Psalm. However, why did he say it, and what do the words mean in context? Matt 27:47,49, show that some nearby Jews did not understand him -- even though Jesus "cried with a loud voice."

Scholars often assume that this is part of the kenosis, i.e., Jesus' "emptying" himself of all power, along with a necessary withdrawal of his Father's presence from him, leaving him alone to atone for all of us. This is based on Philippians 2:7-8 where the word is used by St. Paul to describe this very act. Jesus could not be killed. Only he could lay down is life, and he did so willingly, even though it was a very lonely act.

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