The release of the film has engendered a spectrum of fervent responses, becoming in itself atheological event shaped by merchandising, media, and audience reception. For a long while, images from a movie will inform the lens through which many of our students and the general public read the Gospels, as well as influence the ways in which some Jews and Christians view one another. Reactions to the film will differ markedly, magnifying and possibly reifying the various theological stances of audience members. Since much of the furor revolves around issues of interpretation of Scripture, biblical scholars can provide informed and thoughtful contributions to the debate. In other words, the release of The Passion, as well as other films with religious themes, provides a valuable opportunity for raising the level of public discourse on religion, enabling us to foster careful inquiry in our classrooms, writings, churches and synagogues. From my point of view as a biblical scholar, this filmic event raises four points deserving of discussion that illuminate the divide between the conclusions of mainstream biblical scholarship and public understandings of biblical texts.
"Biblical Scholarship and the Passion Surrounding The Passion of the Christ,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 8
, Article 10.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol8/iss1/10