This is “Biblical Epic Week” at the blog. Check out the prior entries from Ben Alpers and Andrew Hartman. More will follow from Andy Seal, Ray Haberski, and LD Burnett. And if Biblical Epics aren’t your thing, read the fantastic first posts from our new writers, Robin Marie and Eran Zelnik!
I.In February of 2004, during the icy depths of a cold Chicago-land winter, I journeyed with some friends to Evanston to see Mel Gibson’s biblical epic, The Passion of the Christ. The film is about many things, but covers, in essence, the last twelve hours of Jesus’ life—with the main points of the film drawn from the four gospels (the first four books of the Bible’s New Testament). I’m pretty sure we saw it during opening weekend. I won’t out my attending friends by name, but let’s just say they were a smart, mix-gendered bunch—familiar with history and Christianity. There were at least six of us—two being Catholic (including me), and 2-4 others were Evangelicals. We knew the buzz, and wanted to see the event first hand. Plus, at the time, the film’s opening was an EVENT.
A very Catholic day, Ash Wednesday (Feb. 25, 2004) was selected as the release date. During the prior year, however, Gibson had screened the film for Evangelical audiences. Continue reading