Well, the book was bad enough, but the made-for-TV movie of the book, as seen on the National Geographic Channel this evening, is about as close to heresy as one can get. Now the Old Ruminator is not calling for old Billy to be burned at the stake and I wouldn’t even want him to suffer indigestion over all this, but the poor old guy has got it all wrong. I have to believe he’s losing sleep over the film version of his book “Killing Jesus”. I somehow can imagine him squirming at 4 AM every morning wondering “Why did I allow those damn TV bastards the right’s to my book?” He must get a bit nausiated every time he thinks about the way his book has been translated to the big (OK not-so-big TV size) screen.
Suffice to say the entire show is filled with make believe scenarios that cannot, in the most liberal interpretation of the Gospels, be found anywhere. Old Bill has got the make believe “brother” of Jesus, James, meeting with Jesus and Mary the Virgin, at least two times and discussing casually all the fuss that Jesus is creating for “the family”. What a joke! Good old Bill has fallen into the latest fad…make “James” the so-called brother of Jesus, who of course was a cousin, a major player in Jesus’ life. Watching this sorry excuse for a story of Jesus’ life, one would conclude that Jesus was some sort of nut-case, who never performed a single miracle. No miracle at Cana, no curing of leprosy (the movie shows Jesus wiping the brow of a leprous women only) no raising Lasarus from the dead, or any of the many other miracles testifyed to by the eye witness accounts of those who were ther at the time. Meanwhile, Jesus’ life reads like some sort of dull account of a kook wandering the backroads of Israel who somehow, miraculously and unexplainably gains a following that scares the hell out of the Pontius Pilot the Roman Governor, Herod the Tetrarch, and pretty well the entire Jewish Sanhedron.
I kept telling myself that surely, the movie is saving the reality bits to show with some authenticy, the crucifixion, but the only bit that bore any resemblance to reality was the scourging ordered by Pilot….a detail that every Catholic is well aquainted with…but that caused great consternation among the world’s anti-Christian movie critics who gave Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” an “R” rating in an attempt to discourage viewership. (Editor’s Note: “The Passion of the Christ”, is to this day, one of the most successful box-office movies of all time)
It is bewildering the “Killing Jesus” version of Christ’s life could have ignored 90 percent of the Gospels. Did anyboy associated with the movie actually bother to pick up a bible and read it? It is puzzling how so many imaginary conversations between non-existant characters could take up so much a part of this production. Fun to consider, I guess, but at the expense of the Gospels and the true story? No way. I kept imagining the poor, innocent kid or Muslim, or Hindu, who might happen to stumble upon this movie and think “Oh, here’s the story of Jesus” and what a convoluted, warped, disgraceful display of heresy they would end up watching. Thanks for the effort, Bill, but your not doing Christianity any favour by displaying ridiculous nonsense such as this masquerading as history.
All I can say is; Bill, give your head a shake and ask God’s forgiveness for endorsing such a horrible mess. Your book was good, but had many faults and that’s OK. But this movie is ridiculous and you must really take a long hard look at whether your individual pride is getting the better of you to allow such nonsense to be broadcast in your name.