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A Jewish Perspective on Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ

8th June 2005

Mark Goodacre notes on his NT Weblog a recent article on Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004) that examines the response to the film from a Jewish perspective. The article, “The Passion by Mel Gibson: Enthusiastic Response in the Catholic World, Restrained Criticism by the Jews,” by Sergio I. Minerbi appears in the online journal Jewish Political Studies Review 17:1-2 (Spring 2005).

The article provides a much needed Jewish perspective on The Passion, highlighting the uncritical way that Christians (including evangelicals but especially the Catholic Church, according to Minerbi) embraced the film and the lack of significant opposition from Jews.

I tried to have a variety of perspectives represented in the public lecture I organized on the film last year (14 April 2004) entitled, “Mel’s Passion: An Analysis of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ from Evangelical, Catholic, and Jewish Perspectives.” Rabbi David Kunin of Beth Shalom Synagogue, Edmonton, presented a Jewish perspective and Rev. David Norman, O.F.M., Professor of Systematic Theology at Newman Theological College, Edmonton, presented a catholic perspective, while yours truly gave an “evangelical” assessment. The three lectures (in MP3 format) are available for free download from the Public Lectures section of my website.

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