The Passion of the Christ

 

My name is  Guy Mitts webmaster of The Tribulation Network  and I watched the movie "Passion of the Christ" and here is my review of it.

 

Guy Mitts

 

 

 

May 5, 2004

 

The following is a list of inaccuracies and extra-biblical things in The Passion of Christ that are gathered from published reviews on the web, e-mails I have received, and having personally seen the movie myself just a few days ago. I cannot take credit for all of this information, however it does present the beliefs I hold in regards to this movie. Is it complete? No. If I had lots more time I probably could expand this review to many many more pages. I also wanted to point out that there will be some repetition in this review.  For example, displaying Jesus as a weak character that simply can’t drag a heavy cross all by himself until he gets strength from seeing his mother is an extra biblical teaching (simeon carried the cross, not Jesus) and Heresy (that of portraying Jesus as weak), and roman Catholicism (in that Mary was involved).  But will be described from different points of view in their respective section of this review.

The primary reason for writing this review is that many people can see this movie for what it is and are spiritually mature, and solidly grounded in the Word of God enough to simply filter out what isn’t scriptural, and then again there are many out there who can not and will be deceived by this movie and plunged into a world of Sin and Idolatry. It is the latter group that I am concerned about.


I find myself sadden by all the flaws that I found in the movie. I really expected something that more accurately reflected the story out of the Bible.  Contrary to Mel Gibson’s Catholic movie, the Bible does not focus on the violence of the crucifixion. The following is how the Bible describes the crucifixion:

“... and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him; they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, they gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him...” (Matt. 27:26-35).

Thus we see that the Bible does not linger on the details of Christ’s suffering. The Bible’s description is not R-rated. The Bible makes it very clear that we are not to go beyond scripture and we are not to change anything in the scripture. Because there is so much I want to say, I will categorize my thoughts into the following sub-categories...

Entertainment
Things that were added to the Bible’s account of what happen.
Things that are contrary to the Bible’s account of what happen.
Things that are left out of the Bible’s account of what happen.
Heretical teachings
Mary worship and Roman Catholicism
Idolatry
Visions of the Catholic mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich

 

 

 

Entertainment or Fiction

 

First, I must admit that in light of the acting, costumes, special effects, and its ability to grab your attention and not let go, it is a very excellent movie for its entertainment value. However, this movie has stepped over the line by using mankind’s deceived imagination to portray our Lord Jesus Christ in his final hours. Considering the powerful role that movies play in modern society (most people are far more influenced by movies than by the Bible), there is no doubt that multitudes of people will walk away from this film with a wrong impression of Jesus Christ and the gospel, but that is to be expected from Hollywood.  But it doesn’t stop there.

 

I have heard that both Evangelical Christians and Roman Catholics alike can embrace this film as a powerful tool for getting the message of Jesus' suffering, death and resurrection to the masses. Well, the very fact that Evangelicals and Roman Catholics are using this movie as “a tool” for anything is a loud warning with red flags waving to those who have ears to hear. It is true that God can use anything to His glory, but we as Christians shouldn't be praising a movie that takes such liberties with adding to Scripture, altering Scripture, and giving an unbelievable view of the punishment endured.

 

I have no doubt that people are deeply stirred by this Hollywood drama, but they are being emotionally moved by a false depiction of what happen. They are being stirred by a lie. The Bible calls this Leaven. The man you saw was nothing like Jesus Christ and the things you saw depicted were not what happened that day. At best it is a vague and distorted image of what happened. Too much has been changed. Too much has been added. Too much has been left out.

 

There is no biblical evidence in the Bible that Mary followed Christ all along the way during his suffering. There is no biblical evidence that Mary has omniscient powers as displayed in the movie. There is no biblical evidence that Jesus was beaten after the fashion of this movie. There is no biblical evidence that Satan is a woman. All of this is a mere figment of a Hollywood director's imagination and the dreams of Catholic mystics.

 

I’d like you to ponder a few questions for me:

 

·        Why does the Bible say that faith comes NOT BY SIGHT and that HOPE THAT IS SEEN IS NOT HOPE (2 Cor. 5:7; Rom. 8:24)?

·        Why does the Bible not describe Jesus' suffering in graphic terms?

·        Why does the Bible not describe Jesus' appearance?


 The Roman Catholic Church has always been image-oriented rather than faith-oriented. It is not founded strictly upon the Word of God, but upon man-made traditions. It has no fear whatsoever of adding its traditions to the Word of God.  It is oriented toward religious sight and smell and emotion rather than the apostolic faith-only orientation. The New Testament plainly states that the true Christian life is one of faith based on God's Word and NOT SIGHT.  Roman Catholicism is not content with that. It is not enough. It needs images to assist faith. Now we see evangelicals and fundamentalists boldly supporting this idolatrous approach to Christianity.

 

The movie is not based solely on the Bible, but also on the visions of Roman Catholic nun-mystics St. Anne Catherine Emmerich and Mary of Agreda.  There will be more information on her at the end of this review.

 

This movie has crossed the fine line of idolatry, heresy, blasphemy, using porn stars, and all of it very much buried in Catholicism.  My official stand on this movie is that you should not go see it. It is a very dangerous movie that carries with it some residual effects that may have an affect on your eternity. Consider the following very carefully:

1) Its Origins: Even though Evangelicals are promoting The Passion of the Christ, it is not an Evangelical movie at all. As Mel Gibson, a devout Roman Catholic put it so well, “It reflects my beliefs.” The Passion of the Christ is a Roman Catholic movie, made by a Roman Catholic director, starring a devout Roman Catholic actor James Caviezel, and with Roman Catholic theological advisers, this movie has gained the endorsement of Pope John Paul II.

2) Its Script: Although it is widely thought that the script for the movie is based entirely on the gospel according to John, this is NOT the case. The script for The Passion of the Christ contains an enormous amount of extra biblical material, and is based in part on a mystical Roman Catholic devotional work by an 18th century German Nun (Anne Emmerich) entitled The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Gibson stated on EWTN that reading Emmerich’s book was his primary inspiration for making the movie.

 

3) Its Theology: Gibson’s comment about the sacrifice of the altar and the sacrifice of the cross shows the indispensable link in this movie between the Catholic view of Christ’s sacrifice and the portrayal of the Crucifixion in The Passion of the Christ. The fact that Evangelicals have uncritically endorsed it speaks volumes about how far the Evangelical Protestant understandings of Christ’s death have slipped since the Reformation. In Roman Catholic theology, the intense physical suffering of Christ’s Crucifixion is the focus along with the emphasis on physical sacrifice. This is one of the reasons why in Roman Catholic iconography we have so much imagery related to Christ’s physical pain and that crucifixes show him still suffering on the cross. This emphasis on Christ’s physical agony is repeated in Roman Catholic devotional material, prayers, and, of course, in The Passion of the Christ. The theology of the Bible, however, points out to us that the grand importance of Christ’s crucifixion lay not in His physical suffering, but in His once for all propitiation of God’s wrath (1 John 4:10). Lest we forget, the greatest torment that Christ experienced on the cross was not caused by the nails driven into His flesh, but in His being made “sin for us” and vicariously suffering the righteous punishment of the Father in our place. Even the worst physical torments inflicted by the Sanhedrin and the Romans upon Jesus were nothing by comparison to the anguish of having the sins of the world laid upon Him and Him making full satisfaction for them. Satisfying the justice of the Romans on a cross was comparatively easy; thousands of condemned men and women, including Spartacus and several of the Apostles, did that, but only Christ could satisfy the justice of God.

There is a problem with all visual representations of Jesus. Every visual representation of Jesus is inevitably a lie.  The reason why all visual representations of Jesus are lies is because the only wise God went to great lengths not to leave us with any description of the physical appearance of His Son, lest we fall into the sin of image making. Therefore, all of our representations of Jesus are inevitably speculations, usually based upon our own desires. We create an image of Jesus that says more about the Jesus we want than the Jesus whom God sent.   Although we may intend for them, being the visual representations, only to have a role in teaching, they inevitably become part of our worship and adoration. As a result of seeing this film, James Caviezel, the “Jesus” of The Passion of the Christ, will become the figure countless thousands of people think of when they worship Jesus Christ. To do this is to fall into the trap of changing “the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man” (Romans 1:23) and to violate the Second Commandment. This IS Idolatry. God condemns it.

 

This not the Jesus the Bible tells us about. This is not the crucifixion that Jesus went through. This not the Mary depicted in the Bible. That is not how the Roman soldiers treated Jesus. This IS pure Roman Catholicism, Fiction at best –  fiction that is a slap in the face of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


 

 Things that were added to the Bible’s account of what happen.

 

While it is true that the Bible does not tell us everything that happened that day, it does tell us everything God wants us to know that happen that day! You are unwittingly taking the Roman Catholic approach to the Bible and Christianity by allowing uninspired, man-made additions to be added.

 

Everything about the Bible is an important part of God’s message, not only what it says but also what it does not say, the smallest details, even the repetition.

Unsaved men are not afraid of adding to and modifying the Bible. They think that they can make it better. They do not realize the eternal consequence it will have on many people including themselves. While it is obvious that God did not want to focus on the details of Christ’s suffering, the makers of this movie imagined that they could better amplify the message by doing exactly what God did not do. This is the sin of presumption. Let’s look at 27 of the additions I found in this movie.

 

·        In the garden of Gethsemane, while the female devil is tempting Jesus, he prays to the Father things such as, “Father defend me; save me from my attackers; shelter me from Satan.”  This goes contrary to the character of The Lord Jesus. Jesus knew why he came to Earth; he knew this because he taught it to his disciples. He would never make this prayer.

·        The soldiers begin beating Jesus even in the garden of Gethsemane. There is absolutely no account of this, in fact the context of the bible shows that he went peaceably. (Matthew 26)

·        As they are escorting Jesus after his arrest, the soldiers throw Jesus off of a bridge by massive chains; he falls onto the rocky ground below and is then brutally yanked back up again. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        Jesus confronts Judas after his arrest when he is hung off of the bridge. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        Jesus is imprisoned in a room under the temple.

·        Herod calls Jesus a fool and demands that he be given the homage of a fool. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        The Roman soldiers call Jesus “King of worms” and “wormy king.”

·        The soldiers hammer the crown down on Jesus’ head, it had such long spikes, it would have pierced his brain. The Bible doesn’t say anything about this. Read Matt 27:29 and tell me where they did this.

·        A young woman tries to give Jesus a drink of water or wine on the way to the cross, but a Roman soldier stops her. Before she tries to give him a drink, she wipes his face with her cloth and the image of his bloody face is imprinted on the cloth. She is shown cherishing the cloth close to her body as she watches Jesus continue his way toward the cross. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        After Jesus’ first hand is nailed to the cross, his other arm is stretched out violently to reach the hole that had been drilled for the second nail. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        After Jesus is nailed to the cross, it is raised, turned over and dropped face down. In order to bend the nails over.  Then they turn it over and drop it back down again. This would have likely broken the back of a healthy man, let alone one who had been scourged half to death.

·        The thief on the cross who was mean to Jesus had the fortunate experience of having a crow poke out his eye; where is this in scripture. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        Blood gushes out of Jesus’ side like a waterfall after the soldier thrusts in his spear. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        The names of the thieves on the cross are said to be Gesmes and Dismas.

·        In the Garden of Gethsemane, after Jesus is tempted by the devil, a snake slithers from underneath the female “devil’s” robe. And Jesus crushes its head beneath his foot. This is a reference to the prophecy of Genesis 3:15, but the Bible does not say that any of these things actually occurred. In fact, the Bible says that Jesus destroyed the devil by His death, not in the Garden (Heb. 2:14). This falls in the category of Heresy

·        Mary is near Jesus all during His suffering, co-mingling her sorrow with his pain.

·        Mary interacts with Pilate’s wife and appeals to her to protect Jesus from the angry crowd. There is not a hint of this in Scripture. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        Pontius Pilate’s wife gives some cloths to Mary. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        Mary and Mary Magdalene wipe up Jesus’ blood after He is whipped. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        Once Mary runs up to Jesus when he falls and there is a flashback showing the child Jesus falling and hurting himself and being comforted by Mary, thus directly associating Mary’s aid with Jesus’ sufferings.

·        While Jesus is on the cross, Mary comes up and kisses his foot. The blood runs down into her mouth, and she backs away “almost licking her lips with blood all over her face.”

·        As she is looking up at the cross, Mary asks Jesus if she can die with him. She says, “Flesh of my flesh and heart of my heart, let me die with you.” See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        After Judas betrays Jesus, he goes out into the streets of Jerusalem. As he is sitting alone, two children come to ask him if he is okay. He tells them to go away. They start mocking him, and their faces turn into hideous demon-like faces. They start tormenting and biting him. One of them actually tears flesh from Judas' hand with his teeth! For the real account see Matt 29:3-8

·        The Satan woman is horrible. At one point she is standing there looking at Jesus suffer holding a baby. She is supposed to be an evil parody of the Madonna & Child. The baby turns its head and reveals a demonic face.

·        Then they have him drag a cross that is so heavy it takes two able-bodied soldiers to lift.

·        All the while he is dragging a cross he is being beaten and falls often. When he falls, the cross hits him in the head, falls on him and both times probably would have killed someone in that condition, and would at least give a head injury

·        Behold I make all things new, out of place.

 

 

Many argue, “While these things are not in the Bible, they also are not contrary to the Bible.” Who is to say, though, that these things do not somehow change the message of Scripture? The scene of the crow picking out the eye of the unrepentant thief, for example -- who can say that this extra-scriptural scene might not leave in the heart of a viewer some type of lasting but wrong impression about God and the Bible? The same is true for every type of addition or alteration that is made to the Bible narrative. We simply have no authority for such additions

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things that are contrary to the Bible’s account of what happen.

 

If we are to accept that the Bible is the infallible and complete Revelation of God, then anything contrary to that is a LIE. The Bible calls this “Leaven”

 

A couple verses before we begin:

“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that A LITTLE leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (1 Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9). Why did Paul warn the Corinthians and the Galatians that even a small amount of error is dangerous, that the little, in fact, leavens the whole? Why didn’t he tell them, rather, to weigh the good against the bad and if the good is preponderant, they should not worry so much about the little leaven?

 

Why did Paul instruct the believers at Thessalonica as follows? “Prove ALL things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from ALL appearance of evil” (1 Thess. 5:21-22). Why didn’t he tell them to prove only some things and to abstain only from some evil while making certain that they granted plenty of “artistic licenses” for the rest?

 

The only thing the Bible tells us about Christ’s earthly appearance is the following statement from Isaiah: “he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). Further, we know that Jesus Christ was a Jewish man. Thus, whatever Jesus looked like, he certainly DID NOT look like the tall, blond, and handsome Caucasian Hollywood movie star, James Caviezel, that plays the part in Gibson’s film!

 

 

Now for the errors:

·        In Gibson’s movie the characters speak Aramaic and Latin. The descriptions of these things in the New Testament, on the other hand, are written in Greek.

·        Jesus is depicted as a tall, handsome Caucasian man, whereas the Bible says that he did not have any beauty and he was a Jewish man (Isaiah 53:2). . The actor Jim Caviezel fits the exact description of Jesus as described by Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review.

·        Jesus is depicted as wearing long hair, which is contrary to His own standards for men in 1 Corinthians 11:14. The only men of God in the Bible who wore long hair were the Nazarites, such as Samson. The Lord Jesus was not a Nazarite; He was a Nazarene, meaning that He grew up in the town of Nazareth. In The Passion of the Christ most of the men, such as the Disciples of Christ, the soldiers, and Pilate, have short hair, which is historically accurate. Yet there is “Jesus” with the long, stringy, hippyish hair!

·        Mary Magdalene is depicted as the woman caught in adultery in Jn. 7:53 - 8:11, whereas there is no biblical evidence for that.

·        Satan is depicted as a woman with a man’s voice.

·        Satan tempts Jesus in Gethsemane. The devil offers many temptations. In one of those the devil asks Jesus, “Do you really believe one man can carry this burden? ...Saving their souls is too costly?” According to the Bible, the only time that Jesus was tempted by the devil was at the beginning of his ministry. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        In the garden Jesus prays, “Father, if it be possible let this chalice pass from me.” The chalice is the cup used for the Catholic mass. The Bible uses the word “cup.” See Matt 26:39-44

·        In the garden, when Peter asks Jesus to “get the others,” Jesus replies to the effect, “No, I don’t want them to see me like this.”  This portrays a weak character, somewhat of a fake facade that they were applying to Jesus.

·        Satan appears to Jesus at various times during His suffering.

·        Jesus and the disciples are seated at the Last Supper instead of reclining. (Actually John leaned on Jesus’ breast -- Jn. 13:23)

·        Peter is depicted as seated beside Jesus at the Last Supper, but actually he had to motion to John to have him ask Jesus a question (see Jn. 13:24-25).

·        After Judas betrays Jesus, he goes out into the streets of Jerusalem. As he is sitting alone, two children come to ask him if he is okay. He tells them to go away. They start mocking him, and their faces turn into hideous demon-like faces. They start tormenting and biting him. One of them tears flesh from Judas’ hand with his teeth! They chase him out into the desert when he eventually hangs himself. Thus demonic children pursue Judas to his death! See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        When Jesus is arrested, the movie depicts several disciples fighting, but the Bible mentions only Peter. Matt 26:51

·        At one point, as the female Satan is watching Jesus suffer, she is holding a baby, which is supposed to be an evil parody of the Madonna and Child. The baby turns its head and reveals a demonic face.

·        The whipping depicted in the movie is contrary to the Bible. In the movie Jesus is beaten two separate times with 39 lashes each, first on the back, and then on the front, and the soldiers continue to beat him as they walk to the cross. The Bible says only that he was scourged one time. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        Roman soldiers are depicted as being extremely vindictive toward Christ and sadistic to the extreme; they refuse even to stop whipping him until forced to do so by their commander, and they continue to beat him along the way to the cross. The Roman government had no qualms with Christ. Pilate said so. The soldiers thought it was a big joke, and they mocked him and put the crown of thorns upon His head. They dressed Him in a purple robe and mocked Him, but there is no indication that they had any vindictive spirit toward Him that would lead to beating Him along the way. Further, the Bible tells us about many Roman soldiers, including centurions, who were merciful and just. One asked Jesus to heal his servant (Matt. 8:5-8). Another one testified that Jesus was the Son of God (Matt. 27:54). Some Roman centurions protected Paul at various points in his ministry and treated him kindly (Acts 21:32; 23:10; 23:27; 27:43; 28:16). In fact, of the 24 times that Roman centurions are mentioned in Scripture, there is not one instance of sadistic brutality or injustice. This is not to say that the Roman soldiers were never brutal, but the Bible depicts them in a much more positive light than what we find in Gibson’s movie. He has demonized both the Jews and the Romans.

·        In the movie both Jesus and Simon carry the cross, but the Bible says Simon carried it all of the way. “And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus” (Lk. 23:26). Matthew 27:31-32 tells us that Simon began carrying the cross right from the first when Jesus was led away to be crucified. If Jesus did carry the cross at all it was only the first few feet.

·        A frenzied riot breaks out around Jesus as he is proceeding to the cross, with Romans and Jews fighting wildly. This is contrary to the description given in the Bible: “And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children” (Lk. 23:27-28). There was no riot and Jesus was able to speak easily to the people who were around him.

·        During an earthquake the floor of the temple’s Holy of Holies is cracked and the temple otherwise damaged and “a flimsy veil-like thing falls down in front of the altar. The Bible and history tell us that the temple was not damaged in the earthquake; rather the heavy veil between the holy place and the holy of holies was rent in two, thus showing that Christ has opened the way to God through His death and blood. This happened when Jesus cried, “It is finished” (Matt. 27:50-51; Jn. 19:30), NOT when he died. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        Jesus says, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” before the cross is lifted up. The Bible account places this statement when he is already on the cross. See Luke 23:33-35

·        Jesus is taken down off of the cross by soldiers and by the two Mary’s and John, whereas the Bible says Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus took down his body, with no mention of soldiers or of the Mary’s and John (John 19:38-40).

·        In the resurrection scene the angel rolled away the stone before Jesus comes out. Contrariwise, in Scripture the stone was rolled away so that the disciples could see that Christ was not there; He had arisen and left the tomb before that (Matt. 28:1-6).

·        In the resurrection scene, when Jesus starts to walk out, there is a shot of actor Jim Cavemen’s naked buttocks!  The last impression you get of the movie is this thought of a naked 'Jesus' walking around.

·        Jesus falls six times on the way to the cross, whereas the Bible mentions no falls. Further, Simeon had to repeatedly help Jesus up when he fell, saying things like, “You are almost there,” helping Jesus to the cross. I believe this shows a weakness in Christ during His suffering that is not only contrary to what the Scriptures teach but is heretical in regard to His person. See Matt 27:32 and tell me where Jesus had to carry his own cross.

·        On the way to the cross, Jesus tells Mary, “Behold, I make all things new.” Actually, that is not spoken until about 50 years later when John wrote the book of Revelation. Rev 21:5

·        The movie portrays Jesus as somewhat bewildered at times as he is being beaten and as he hangs on the cross. There is evidence in the Bible that Jesus was in control at all times and such a concept of Jesus is heretical

·        Why is Jesus the only one to carry the whole cross while the others only carry a crossbeam?

·        Way too much blood/water from the spear wound -- the soldier is showering in it!

·        While on the cross, Jesus said, "Today you will be with me in Paradise." He spoke these words to one of the two thieves who were being crucified next to him. The way it is presented in the movie makes Jesus out to be a liar. Jesus died that day, he was not in paradise. The true original text reads... “Truly, truly, I say to you today, you shall be with me in Paradise” What a big difference a comma makes. Other translations use the word “Soon” in-place of today.

·        The law of God forbids man to make any likeness of God. The Jesus in Mel Gibson’s movie is depicted in the typical fashion with long hair, whereas the Bible is clear that Jesus would not have worn long hair (1 Cor. 11:14). Gibson got his inspiration for the longhaired Jesus from the Shroud of Turin. He attempted to re-create the face depicted on the Shroud

 

 

Things that are left out of the Bible’s account of what happen.

 

·        In the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus said, "I am he" they didn't fall back and to the ground as Scripture says; this is a very important point to demonstrate who he was!
(Contrast John 18:6).

·        On the 'Via Dolorosa'  Jesus never tells the mourners to stop weeping for Him and weep for themselves. You really get the impression that Jesus just couldn't have done it had Mary not been there

·        Where were the garments that were bartered for? Where was the one-piece garment? Wasn't this an important scene that fulfilled prophecy? See matt 27:35

·        Where were the guys in the crowd who thought Jesus called for Elijah? See Matt 27:47

·        Where are the people who walked by wagging their heads? See Matt 27:39

 

Mel Gibson responded to the attack by the modern-day Jewish Pharisees by cutting the English sub-titles to the scene in which the Jews cried out, "His blood be on us, and on our children" (Matt. 27:25). And those fearful words were not spoken merely by the Jewish leaders but by "all the people."

The script for The Passion of the Christ not only adds things that didn’t occur in the Bible, it cuts out other things that did. The most widely known example of this is the important declaration, “His blood be on us and on our children.” (Matthew 27:25) [This was removed from the film after considerable pressure from the Jewish Anti-Defamation League.]

 

Heretical teachings

Heresy can only be committed by someone who considers him or herself a Christian.   The term is often used by laymen to indicate any belief that rejects the teachings of what has become the orthodox Christian church.

Only a belief that has been explicitly rejected by the Church is labeled as actual "heresy". A belief that the church has not directly rejected, or that is at variance with less important church teachings, is given the label,

·        At the end of the movie Lucifer appears in “a desolate wasteland reminiscent of Hell,” but the Bible is clear that Satan will not be banished anywhere until after the return of Christ and will not be cast into the lake of fire until after the final rebellion at the end of the Millennium.

·        There is also heresy in what is left out of the movie. The Passion of the Christ focuses on Christ’s physical suffering, but the Bible focuses on His spiritual suffering. The greatest suffering that Jesus endured that day was being made sin, was being abandoned by the Father because of sin. The darkness covered the earth for three hours and in that impenetrable darkness the mysteries of redemption were acted out between God the Father and God the Son. This is the focus of the prophecies such as Isaiah 53, but a movie that focuses on Jesus’ physical sufferings misses the main point of the whole affair.

·        Mel Gibson believes that Mary is “a tremendous co-redemptrix and mediatrix”  This means that Mary suffered with Christ and became the Mother of all believers, the Queen of Heaven, an intercessor for the saints.

·        The Jesus of this film is a superman to endure all this, yet the Bible depicts him as a normal human in this regard

·        Jesus destroyed Satan’s power by his death on the cross, not by crushing him as he slithers like a snake in the garden.

 

 

Mary worship and Roman Catholicism

 

This movie takes the Roman Catholic approach to the Bible and Christianity by allowing the addition of uninspired, man-made tradition. The concept of “artistic license” in regard to biblical things is a Roman Catholic concept. I tell you now; this movie does portray Mary in an unbiblical way.

 

Upon what biblical authority does Mel Gibson add all sorts of things about Mary to the account of Christ's suffering? Of course we know from his own testimony that he based his account of Christ's sufferings not only on the Bible but also on the dreams of Catholic mystics.

 

Gibson belongs to a Traditionalist Catholic group that performs the mass in Latin, abstains from meat on Fridays, eschews ecumenism, and other such things that were changed at the Vatican II Council in the 1960s. Gibson built his own Catholic chapel, called Holy Family, near his California home. During the filming, Gibson attended a Catholic mass every morning with the misguided desire “to be squeaky clean.” Jesuit priest William Fulco translated the script into Aramaic and Latin. Originally, Gibson did not plan to include even subtitles in English, but he was convinced of the necessity of this by “evangelicals” who reviewed the film.

 

Note the following warning about depictions of Christ from former Catholic priest Richard Bennett:

“Creating a visual representation of the Lord Jesus, by definition, is to portray ‘another Jesus.’ The Lord Jesus in His Person, character, and work is divine and perfect. No Savior other than the One proclaimed in Scripture is permissible. Those who claim they are only depicting the humanity of Jesus Christ fall into the grievous heresy of Nestorius, as they wrongly attempt to divide the humanity from the deity of Christ, ending up with idols produced by the imaginations of their own hearts. The Lord God gave believers a Wordbook, not a picture book. ... The visual works of a man’s devising, for all their emotional power, are too dull a tool to bring to the individual conviction of sin and the explicit Gospel of grace that the Written Word and the truth preached bring.”

“But this fact notwithstanding, a three-dimensional image of Christ is not only allowed by official Catholic teaching, but it is also to be venerated. The Vatican states, ‘Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate Word, the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787) justified … the veneration of icons — of Christ, but also of the Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints.’ The temptation to replace the biblical Lord with a visible Christ dominates Catholic nations across of the world. Men calling themselves Christian are now beginning to accept it. A figure one can touch, see, wear on jewelry, and is visible in statues and on a crucifix, is identified as an object through which one can approach God and learn of Him. Yet the Scripture clearly states that ‘there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.’ The Lord God is approachable only through the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. But as the bleeding Savior of Gibson’s passion is presented to the world, this fact seems thrown aside. We ask, then, what worse blasphemy could there be than depicting with an image the Lord God who condemns images? Evangelical leaders, by endorsing this Catholic film, further solidify the image of the counterfeit Christ upon the minds of many” (Richard Bennett and J. Virgil Dunbar, “”).

 

Those supporting this movie are supporting a Roman Catholic producer who preaches a false gospel, and a movie that is based not only on the Bible, but also on the Mary-centered visions of deluded Catholic mystics. Faith does not come by seeing; faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17).

 

Jim Caviezel, who plays Jesus in the Gibson film, is also a staunch Roman Catholic.

·        Gibson has testified that this movie represents his faith, and there is no doubt of that for those who view the film without prejudice.

·        Peter and John call Mary “Mother” and the word “Mother” is capitalized in the subtitles.

·        As Jesus is tormented by the devil in the Garden of Gethsemane, Mary wakes up and senses Jesus’ agony. I don't think this is right. It would give her omniscience, a la Romanism. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        Jesus prays to God, “I am your servant and the son of your handmaid.” The Bible never tells us that Jesus prayed in this manner. It is another unscriptural Catholic exaltation of Mary.

·        After Peter denies Jesus, he is leaving the courtyard and sees Mary, Mary Magdalene, and John. He gets on his knees before Mary, calls her “Mother,” and confesses his denial to her. She holds out her hand to him (as if she is going to forgive him), and he runs away saying that he isn't worthy. Peter twice tells Mary not to touch him after he denied Jesus. This is rank heresy. It was Jesus against whom Peter sinned that night, not Mary! For the real account see Matt 26:75 Also See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        Mary is near Jesus all during His suffering, co-mingling her sorrow with his pain.

·        Mary is the only person other than Jesus who can see Satan. This gives her supernatural abilities akin to those of Christ.

·        Gibson conveyed Mary as having special divine powers and knowledge. Mary goes to a specific place in the temple and kneels down, lays her face on the stone because she sensed the presence of Jesus chained underneath the floor. She knew where he was. The camera pans through the floor and shows Jesus hanging from shackles right below her, he is looking up into the stone ceiling toward Mary like they have a spiritual connection of some sort. While I'm sure the Lord may have known her whereabouts, Mary would have had no way of knowing where "Jesus" was. . See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review.

·        Once when Jesus falls down, he is depicted as not having the strength to rise until he looks at Mary and gains strength from her. He is depicted as receiving strength from her at other times as well.

·        Once Mary runs up to Jesus when he falls and there is a flashback showing the child Jesus falling and hurting himself and being comforted by Mary, thus directly associating Mary’s aid with Jesus’ sufferings.

 

 

·        As she is looking up at the cross, Mary asks Jesus if she can die with him. She says, “Flesh of my flesh and heart of my heart, let me die with you.” The Bible says that Jesus Christ BY HIMSELF bore our sins (Heb. 1:3), and the reason why the Bible has none of these depictions is because Mary had nothing to do with Christ’s suffering for our sins. The way that Mary is placed everywhere with Jesus in His suffering is blasphemous. See Catholic Mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich at the end of this review

·        What was portrayed was a weak 'Jesus' and a strong Mary

 

 

Idolatry

·        I do hope that people realize that this is what Mel Gibson's movie is, a magicians trick. It looks like Jesus, "acts" like Jesus, and sometimes he even says the same words as Jesus, but it isn't Jesus.

·        By viewing this movie, I experienced the image of the actor portraying Christ jumping into my prayers and sometimes I see him on the cross whereas before I never had any image of who Jesus was, he was seen by faith in my heart without form that I know one day will become sight. Now I have to fight off the residual effects of this movie

·        For one, idolaters do not worship images themselves; they worship the god that the image represents. By pretending to be Jesus Christ, the actor in Gibson's movie (or any other such movie) is playing the part of an idol and those who support and defend it are idolaters. Beware. This is not a light matter. 1 John 5:21 exhorts believers to avoid idolatry, and the Bible would not say that if we were not capable of idolatry.

Billy Graham said that after seeing this movie he would see the actor from The Passion every time he read the Gospels. That is idolatry.

The Bible plainly forbids us to have any sort of image of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ is God.

The Jesus of this movie is simply nothing like the Jesus Christ of the Bible. At the very best the "Jesus" of Mel Gibson's movie is a false Christ.

·        All I am pointing out is the blasphemy of a sinful man playing the part of the holy Son of God. And if you think of an image of Jesus as a result of watching this movie, then you are committing idolatry. God forbid.

·        In his warning about this movie Andrew Webb gives two reasons why all depictions of Christ are lies. "The first reason why all visual representations of Jesus are lies is because the only wise God went to great lengths not to leave us with any description of the physical appearance of His Son lest we fall into the sin of image making. Therefore all of our representations of Jesus are inevitably speculations usually based upon our own desires. We create an image of Jesus that says more about the Jesus we want than the Jesus whom God sent. ...

 

 

Visions of the Catholic mystic Anne-Catherine Emmerich

·        Anne Catherine Emmerich's The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the key sources that inspired Mel Gibson's film, "The Passion of Christ." The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the record of the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824), a German nun who displayed the stigmata. Her narrative of the crucifixion is both more violent and detailed than the version recorded in the Gospels.

 

 

·        2) Of the visions of Emmerich, Gibson said, “She supplied me with stuff I never would have thought of” (The New Yorker, 9/15/03).  Emmerich supposedly “had the use of reason from her birth and could understand liturgical Latin from her first time at Mass.” During the last 12 years of her life, she allegedly ate no food except the wafer of the Catholic mass. Her visions on the life of Christ were published in 1824 under the title The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They are still in print and were consulted by Gibson. An advertisement for Emmerich’s Life of the Virgin Mary says, “This book is filled with unusual, saintly descriptions that are not recorded in the Gospel story—descriptions that supplement and illustrate the Biblical narrative in a way that makes the actual Scripture passages truly come alive.” Thus, these alleged visions go beyond the Bible. According to Emmerich’s visions, Protestants also go to purgatory, but they suffer more than Catholics because no one prays for them or offers masses for them. She taught that it is more holy to pray for souls in purgatory than for sinners who are still alive. Her deceptive visions on the suffering of Christ describe His scourging and crucifixion in great detail, giving many “facts” which do not appear in Scripture. For example, she claimed that Christ “quivered and writhed like a poor worm” and that He “cried in a suppressed voice, and a clear, sweet-sounding wailing” as He was being beaten. She even claimed that Christ “glanced at His torturers, and sued for mercy.” She also claimed that Jesus suffered from a wound on his shoulder more than any other.

 

·        3) Mary of Agreda (1602-1665) was also a Catholic nun and visionary mystic. Her entire family entered monasteries and convents in 1618, which means that her mother and father disobeyed 1 Corinthians 7 and separated for the sake of the Catholic Church. She was given to trances and even claimed that she could leave her body and teach people in foreign lands. Her book The Mystical City of God is about Mary. Like the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich, those of Mary of Agreda go far beyond the Bible. For example, she claimed that though Joseph ate meat, Jesus and Mary seldom did.

 

 

This use of extra-biblical material, emphasis on physical suffering, exaggeration of the role of Mary, and explicitly Roman Catholic theology should not surprise us, as these are all hallmarks of the primary inspiration for this movie: The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Two examples can illustrate this, particularly concerning the emphasis on the replacement of physical pain for the far greater agony of sin bearing:

 

·        “I saw our Lord fall twice before he reached the bridge, and these falls were caused entirely by the barbarous manner in which the soldiers dragged him; but when they were half over the bridge they gave full vent to their brutal inclinations, and struck Jesus with such violence that they threw him off the bridge into the water.”

·        “When the executioners had nailed the right hand of our Lord, they perceived that his left hand did not reach the hole they had bored to receive the nail, therefore they tied ropes to his left arm, and having steadied their feet against the cross, pulled the left hand violently until it reached the place prepared for it. This dreadful process caused our Lord indescribable agony, his breast heaved, and his legs were quite contracted.”

·        “When Cassius drew his lance out of the wound a quantity of blood and water rushed from it, and flowed over his face and body.”

·        “The complexion of our Lord was fair, like that of Mary, and slightly tinted with red; but his exposure to the weather during the last three years had tanned him considerably. His chest was wide, but not hairy like that of St. John Baptist; his shoulders broad, and his arms and thighs sinewy; his knees were strong and hardened, as is usually the case with those who have either walked or knelt much, and his legs long, with very strong muscles; his feet were well formed, and his hands beautiful, the fingers being long and tapering, and although not delicate like those of a woman, still not resembling those of a man who had labored hard. His neck was rather long, with a well-set and finely proportioned head; his forehead large and high; his face oval; his hair, which was far from thick, was of a golden brown color, parted in the middle and falling over his shoulders; his beard was not any great length, but pointed and divided under the chin.”

·        “I beheld the traitor, Judas Iscariot, wandering about, alone, and a prey to the tortures of his guilty conscience; he feared even his own shadow, and was followed by many devils, who endeavored to turn his feelings of remorse into black despair.”

·        “Two fresh executioners took the places of the last mentioned, who were beginning to flag; their scourges were composed of small chains, or straps covered with iron hooks, which penetrated to the bone, and tore off large pieces of flesh at every blow. What word, alas! Could describe this terrible--this heartrending scene! The cruelty of these barbarians was nevertheless not yet satiated; they untied Jesus, and again fastened him up with his back turned towards the pillar. ... The body of our Lord was perfectly torn to shreds.”

·        “The ark was broken. The ground was heaved up, and many other columns were thrown down in other parts of the Temple.”

·        “During this agony of Jesus, I saw the Blessed Virgin also overwhelmed with sorrow and anguish of soul, in the house of Mary, the mother of Mark. She was with Magdalene and Mary in the garden belonging to the house, and almost prostrate from grief, with her whole body bowed down as she knelt. She fainted several times, for she beheld in spirit different portions of the agony of Jesus.”

·        “Mary was with Jesus in spirit, and Jesus was with her; but this loving Mother wished to hear with her own ears the voice of her Divine Son.”

·        “I saw Claudia Procles, the wife of Pilate, send some large pieces of linen to the Mother of God.”

·        “Then it was that the Mother of Jesus, accompanied by the holy women, approached the pillar and wiped up the blood with which it and the ground around were saturated.”

·        “The Blessed Virgin, filled with intense feelings of motherly love, entreated her Son to permit her to die with him.”