Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

ABC's Judas movie

lilithchilde, i watched the ABC Judas movie. Since you don’t have LJ-comments e-mailed to you, i’m responding to your post here.

Okay, it’s really mostly my reactions, but clearly i watch this stuff with you in mind, and i do respond to various things in your post.

[All Biblical quotations are from my mom’s The New Oxford Annotated Bible, because that’s what i had handy. Movie quotes are from lilithchilde’s entry.]

Ew, white Jesus. Better than usually gets done, but still, very Caucasian, fairest of them all.

The entire movie, watching Jesus, i felt like he was a MAN, which disturbed me at the time, but on reflection it made sense, since that’s how Judas saw him, and this is Judas’s movie.

I really need to reread the Gospels for (among other things) the way Jesus talks about himself and read the scholarship about those statements. I keep thinking “Maybe the whole Jesus-said-he-was-God thing is just a misinterpretation” but then there’s stuff like “Your sins are forgiven,” and hello, that’s blasphemy. Catholic doctrine to the contrary, only God can forgive sin. (And yes, to be fair, the idea is that priests are acting in the service of God or whatever. I have serious idolatry issues with a lot of Catholicism; i understand the rationale behind things, i just think they’re wrong.)

Given that it was a movie about Judas, i am totally okay with them not including the Resurrection. (I think for the same reason it is fully understandable that they didn’t include Peter’s denials, because what are the chances that Judas would be there?)

They included almost all the classic stories/speeches (the guy coming in through the roof on his cot is one i remember from childhood Sunday School and haven’t seen in other adaptations; no anointing of the feet with expensive oils, though, which made me sad, though in the gospel accounts it is all the disciples who rebuke Jesus for this, not just Judas as JCS does it, and that wouldn’t mesh with this movie’s portrayal of Judas as something of a black sheep in an otherwise united front; and the placement of “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and render unto God what is God’s” seemed contrived -- in the Gospels, he is responding to a question meant to trick him -- but i did like the bit with Jesus’ generosity; and dude, Lazarus died and there was no “Jesus wept,” which upset me as it’s one of the most poignant verses in the entire Bible, though i suppose they nod to it when Jesus is so distraught about the death of his cousin John the Baptist) though there were times when the meshing felt wrong (Judas tells Jesus to give them all power and he does? Obviously Jesus does all things in his own time and throughout he rejects Judas’ advice, ‘cause Judas is wrong, so the implication that Jesus gives in to Judas’ demand at this moment rubs me the wrong way on a number of levels. Also, was that supposed to be the Pentecost, with the speaking in tongues and all? Okay, clearly not. In the Gospel accounts, Jesus basically just tells the disciples they have the power to do what he can, without much fanfare. And the Lord’s Prayer is not an incantation to heal people; it is personal prayer.). Interesting that Jesus says he lost his temper in the temple. I can see lilithchilde really getting behind that, particularly because he’s right that you’re far more likely to get people to come around to your side when you don’t royally piss them off. (Though as i was pointing out to someone recently, Jesus was very clear that he was coming to fuck shit up. Hmm, i think i need to write an essay on that -- or just find one someone else who has already done the work for me.) I get very squeamish around the idea of the fallibility of Jesus, though. I am far more interested in Jesus as Divine than in Jesus as man and a lot of what appeals to people as the human struggle in Jesus veers far too close to Jesus-as-fallible for my tastes. (More thoughtful discussion of this whole dichotomy an my thoughts thereon deserves an entry of its own, and will get discussed in some detail in my entry on Beyond Belief as well as in that mythical entry on the Trinity i’m writing thanks to sk8eeyore.)

Love Flavius (seconded by Andrew) and the story of the centurion is now one of my favorite stories (watch me acknowledging the value of dramatizations of textual canon, faint from the shock).

I loved that the smartest politician in the movie was a woman. I don’t know how historical Claudia was, but Matthew 27:19 tells us While he [Pilate] was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.” so the filmmakers weren’t working from scratch. (Though i knew while watching the film that the head of John the Baptist gets put on a silver platter due to a young woman [Herodias, i found out looking it up later -- Mark 6:17-29] tricking Herod into granting her any request she wished.)

I enjoyed the whole ‘passing the buck’ game of hot potato everyone played with Jesus, more than i did in JCS.

The repetition of Jesus telling people “Your words, not mine” is something that comes up in movies a lot, as does Judas trying to return the money to the Pharisees and throwing it down when they won’t take it, but i remember neither. (I always remember Jesus saying that one of the 12 will betray him and then “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me” [Matthew 26:23; also John 13:25 “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish” which is followed by “Do quickly what you are going to do” which is in the movies but which i hadn’t remembered from the gospels] which never gets included.) Okay, in Matthew 26:25 Judas says “Surely not I” and Jesus says “You have said so” and then in Matthew 27:11 (and Mark15:2 and Luke 23:3) Pilate asks Jesus “Are you the King of the Jews” and he replies “You say so.” And in Luke 22:70 the chief priests ask Jesus if he is the Son of God and he says “You say that I am.” And in John 18:37 Pilate says “So you are a king?” and Jesus replies “You say that I am.” And it is Biblical that Judas repents and gives back the money, throwing it down when they would not take it (Matthew 27:3-5).

Ooh, accurate historicity of crucifixion! (Something i have been learning about recently as i have been interested in people’s writings about Gibson’s movie.) Nails through the wrist, vertical pole already erected.

I actually didn’t think it was that slashy (and i was looking for it) though the whole bandit wrestling scene was totally gratuitous slash.

The whole “I love you” bit was slashy, particularly in the pre-death flashback.
Jesus: "I want you to spend eternal life with me. With my Father. [. . .] It's not too late. It's never too late."
Do we have a date to watch Godspell and The Last Temptation of Christ after school gets out? I wanna see this Judas documentary you spoke of, as well.
Tags: judas, movies: watched

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