• I don't believe that "The Passion of the Christ" is based on anything except Mel Gibson's (controversial) personal interpretation of the New Testament. From the interviews I recall, he seems pretty open about the fact that he's presenting his personal take on the matter. Many people who were offended by the movie and considered it anti-Semitic have noted similarities to medieval Passion plays. These plays (it was a long and widespread tradition, not just one play) tended to caricature the Jews and vilify them for being the killers of Christ. Medieval literature tended towards allegory and caricature anyway. They are one example of a long and unfortunate tradition of anti-Semitism in Europe. But the anti-Semitism is a by-product, not the main agenda of the plays. The purpose of Passion plays was to commemorate the most important event in Christian history. Denouncing the Jews became a fairly constant part of the tradition, but it wasn't the main purpose. The medieval Passion plays are pretty widely regarded as anti-Semitic. Mel Gibson's movie about the same story has been labeled by many as anti-Semitic. And so people have compared the two things. But the Christian tradition includes many, many tellings of this one story, and I don't think that just because we see similarities means that Mel Gibson actually based his version on the medieval version.
  • It was based on the New Testament actual writings that exist! Then the wriitngs of a femalke Mystic which added details. There is no antiSemitism in the film because the New Testament texts show the jealousy, lies and manipulation of Jewish Temple Leaders ( clergy) and the dedicated laymen Pharisees toward Jesus. The Middle Ages kept up the antagonism toward JEWS then and many still do which is against the whole heart of the Gospel and is roundly condemned by the Roman Catholic Church in solemn assembly and by the Popes for the past decades, including Pius X11 who saved thousands of Jews but is still blamed for Hitler. Bigotry is alive and well everywhere.
  • Hey, everyone .... "The Passion" is ONLY a movie - produced and directed by Mr. Gibson. As such, he is entitled to present the material in any manner in which he chooses. I consider it a very well made film, and probably very realistic in describing the brutality of the times.

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