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Jesus, Mel Gibson, & the Demon Jew (Blood Guilt) ("the Passion of the Christ")

The Humanist 2004, Sept-Oct, 64, 5

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In the spring of 2004 Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ was all the rage--hailed by Christian groups for its unsparing rendition of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and denounced by less enthusiastic viewers for implicitly blaming the Jews for Jesus' death. Gibson defended his movie by claiming the Bible as his source. Whether or not intended, however, Gibson's film does resurrect the age-old image of the Jew as Christ killer--a charge presumably put to rest by the Second Vatican Council in 1965. On that occasion church leaders repudiated the notion of Jewish guilt for the crucifixion. If we were to rely on the Christian scriptures, which is the only source we have, and take them at face value, there seem to he no compelling grounds for blaming the Jews. The synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke clearly indicate that the Jewish multitude enthusiastically endorsed the seditious sermons of "the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee." It was Jesus' maverick preaching that caused the elders to conspire against him. But given his popularity among Jewish commoners, they moved cautiously, as told in Mark 11:18 and 12:12: "And the scribes and chief priests ... sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people" (with similar passages in Matthew 21 and Luke 19).

Jesus, Mel Gibson, & the Demon Jew (Blood Guilt) ("the Passion of the Christ")
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  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Reference
  • Published: 01 September 2004
  • Publisher: American Humanist Association
  • Print Length: 10 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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