Tuesday, 25 March 2008

BBC's The Passion and Pope B16's Jesus of Nazareth

I haven't bothered with the BBC's passion, but I have enjoyed the coverage of it over on James Mawdlsey's blog. I liked this passage;

...the Telegraph gives away the key point about the inspiration of The Passion: "If the characters emerge differently from how they come across in the Gospels, it is because scriptwriter Frank Deasy..and his cast...have been at pains to anchor the story in historical realism." Deasy says, "the way we've tried to do it is to really explore what was going on."

There you have it. Deasy knows better than SS Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Gospels cannot be relied upon to tell us what was really going on, and nor can the interpretation of the Church Fathers be trusted, but now that man has come of age, and is truly modern and enlightened, not to mention scientific, we can get to the truth!

Also here and here.

Mawdsley also mentions Pope Ratzinger's book, Jesus of Nazareth. I got hold of it over the Easter weekend, and am really enjoying it. It is very clearly written, and aims to construct a picture of the historical Jesus, rather than the Jesus we would like to construct for ourselves. This, for me, is the importance of being a Christian in the Roman Catholic church, which is very hard-line when it comes to determining God's will and truth. We can't just make it up as we go along, and God does not just 'affirm us in our okayness' (as Mark Shea puts it).

I have particularly enjoyed B16's writing on the Sermon on the Mount, which engages with the Jewish tradition to show the blasphemous nature of what Jesus is claiming (unless, of course, his claims are true). The book has clarified more than ever that the sermon cannot be taken seriously unless the person giving it is God himself. More on this book later...

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