My 2 cents at the bottm of this thread...

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Posted by JoshDobbin at on August 23, 2003 at 01:41:41:

In Reply to: Re: For what it's worth... posted by Kevin on August 22, 2003 at 19:03:49:

I'm generally of the opinion of holding off any and all opinions on any given work until such a time as I see said work. All discussion, at this point, about how the film does or doesn't portray jews is kinda silly, and reminiscent of the hullabaloo of the people who boycotted LAST TEMPTATION, sight unseen.

(Tangential semi-funny side story: When I was a kid, I worked part time in a video store where the owner refused to carry LAST TEMPTATION. He did, however, find no moral problem with a fully stocked backroom of hardcore porn with titles like SPLENDOR IN THE ASS that provided him with a full 1/3 of his rental revenues. End tangent.)

As a kid who grew up Jewish in an all-christian town, and had a full dance card of near daily fistfights for a time with kids throwing pennies, I'm actually NOT quick to throw around the "anti-semetic" moniker, especially for stuff I haven't seen yet, since I feel it cheapens the ACTUAL, real and tangible claims when they are staring you in the face. Or punching you in it.

As to the whole historical or not go-round, that point has been and continues to be hotly debated in all kinds of academic circles. I think it little to the point in THIS case, because Gibson claims to have tried to make the most BIBLICALLY accurate filmed version. Whether anyone wants to decide that is a synonym for "historically" or not is largely, I think, a matter of where you go on Sunday, or Saturday, and comes down to semantics. You can get into endless, angels-dancing-on-a-pin debate about the variances of the different gospels, and all that, and how that speaks to "historical accuracy," but all of these debate points exist with or without Gibson's film... which none of us has seen yet. By the by, one of the only real relevant, contemporary historians who mentions Jesus was Flavius Josephus, who wrote roughly around the time of Christ. See ***

Personally, I am very interested to see this thing.

Two other things before I go:

1) I do think it is dirty pool that Pappa Gibson's wackiness is being brought up as any sort of issue. See, UNLIKE that "God" character, I don't think the inequity of the father should be visited upon the son.

(for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me-- That's from the 10 commandments!)

2)Kevin: Isis' name is Kate, and she's a big supporter of you and respects the heck out of you, and has for years. She is smart, and kind and funny and nice (You've had years to figure this out; can it ALL be dispelled in one go-round?), and exasperated as you may feel (I don't see the point, my own self. Cabbages and kings and sealing wax, and all that), understand that your footfall on her ground carries a whole lot more weight than most, and consider how your dismissal of HER, not her argument or points, might make her feel.

That's it. Peace, as they say.

I like you BOTH a lot, so whatever.

Josh "Formerly known as Darth" Dobbin


From the writings of Flavius Josephus
About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.
- Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 63
(Based on the translation of Louis H. Feldman, The Loeb Classical Library.)

Yet this account has been embroiled in controversy since the 17th century. It could not have been written by a Jewish man, say the critics, because it sounds too Christian: it even claims that Jesus was the Messiah (ho christos, the Christ)!
The critics say: this paragraph is not authentic. It was inserted into Josephus' book by a later Christian copyist, probably in the Third or Fourth Century.

The opinion was controversial. A vast literature was produced over the centuries debating the authenticity of the "Testimonium Flavianum", the Testimony of Flavius Josephus.

A view that has been prominent among American scholars was summarized in John Meier's 1991 book, A Marginal Jew.

This opinion held that the paragraph was formed by a mixture of writers. It parsed the text into two categories: nything that seemed too Christian was added by a later Christian writer, while anything else was originally written by Josephus.

By this view, the paragraph was taken as essentially authentic, and so supported the objective historicity of Jesus.

Unfortunately, the evidence for this was meager and self-contradictory. But it was an attractive hypothesis.

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