Jesus Back on the Big Screen

Sally Quinn interviews producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett about their film “Son of God.”

When actress Roma Downey (of Touched by an Angel fame) first suggested to her husband, producer Mark Burnett (Survivor,The Voice, and Shark Tank), that they do a series on the Bible, he responded: “The whole Bible?” He thought it was a tall order, but Downey convinced him. When it came to selling the film to Hollywood, many were skeptical. Eventually, the History channel came through, and the five-part series aired last spring.

The results were astounding: it was one of the highest rated shows in the history of television, watched by more than 100 million people.

Emboldened by their success, Downey and Burnett have adapted The Bible miniseries into a feature film, Son of God, to be released in theatres Feb. 28. The duo enlisted the help of pastor friends to launch a campaign to fill cinemas around the country, with prominent megachurch pastors Joel Osteen and Rick Warren buying thousands of tickets and renting out theatres for their congregations.

In an interview with Downey and Burnett, I discussed the film and their faith. If their first success with The Bible miniseries is any indication, this film promises to be a blockbuster. But more importantly, it will be an indication of the power that religion plays in people’s lives, not only in America, but around the world.

Sally Quinn
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  • Rational Conclusions

    Again, Sally Q did not do her homework before her interview. Tis the reason On Faith is no longer associated with the Washington Post.
    Now for the nitty-gritty:

    Are we not all Sons/ Daughters of the Christian god???

    What some of the experts (NT, historical Jesus scholars) have to say about the “Son of God/the Father references in the NT:

    Matt 7:21
    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”

    Not said by the historical Jesus, but more embellishment my Matthew.

    Matt 9:6 Passage notes “Son of Man” not Son of God.

    See the Faithfutures web pages for added details on the comments noted below. Specific references are not allowed on this blog.

    Matt 10:32-33, “”Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; /33/ but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven”

    “Ludemann [Jesus, 344] states ” this is a prophetic admonition from the post-Easter community. For it, Jesus and the Son of man were ‘identical in the future: Jesus will return in the near future as the Son of man with the clouds of heaven. In his earthly life he was not yet the Son of man, since he will come to judgment only with the clouds of heaven (Dan. 7.13f) at the end of days’ (Haenchen).”

    Matt 11:27 “All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

    “Lüdemann [Jesus, 330f] invokes the classic description from K. Hase of this passage as a “thunderbolt from the Johannine heavens.” He notes the typically Johannine reference to mutual knowledge between Father and Son, and the absolute use of “Son” as a designation for Jesus. In dismissing the saying’s authenticity, Luedemann also notes the similarity to ideas in the post-Easter commissioning scene at Matt 28:18, “All authority has been given to me …”

    Matt 1:20- 225 (another “pretty, wingie thingie requirement)

    20/ But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. /21/ She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” /22/ All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: /23/ “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” /24/ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, /25/ but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.”

    “Bruce Chilton

    In Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography (2000), Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a mamzer; someone whose irregular birth circ-umstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural paternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus’ life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus’ self-identi-ty, his concept of God and his spiritual quest. ”

    Mark 1: 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

    “Gerd Lüdemann

    Lüdemann [Jesus, After 2000 Years, p. 9] affirms the historicity of Jesus being baptized by John, but does not trace the theological interpretations back beyond the post-Easter community:

    … Jesus did not regard his baptism as appointment to be the son of God. The underlying concept derives from the community, which believed in Jesus as the son of God (cf. Gal. 2.16; 4.4) and located his appointment within his lifetime. In the earliest period, for example, the appointment of Jesus as son of God came only after his resurrection from the dead (cf. Rom. 1.4).

    “John P. Meier

    The second volume of A Marginal Jew devotes considerable space to a study of John as “mentor” to Jesus. The historicity of the baptism is addressed on pages 100-105, before considering the meaning of Jesus’ baptism on pages 106-116. On the basis of the criterion of embarrassment, supported by a limited proposal for multiple attestation (relying on possible echoes of a Q version in John’s Gospel and in 1 John 5:6), Meier concludes:

    We may thus take the baptism of Jesus by John as the firm historical starting point for any treatment of Jesus’ public ministry. (II,105) Having established the historicity of the baptism event, Meier is adamant that the narrative must be seen as a Christian midrash, drawing on various OT themes to assert the primacy of Jesus over John. In particular, Meier insists that the theophany must be excluded from all attempts to understand the event, since it is a later Christian invention rather than a surviving memory of some actual spiritual experience of Jesus.

    Meier’s discussion of the meaning of the baptism puts great weight on the fact that accepting baptism implied Jesus’ agreement with John’s apocalyptic message, and also engages at length with the question of Jesus’ sinlessness.”

    Bottom line: Jesus was just another human who is being recycled to eventual star dust just like the rest of us!!!!

    • saneandreasonable

      Another long post from the skeptic more like MR “CCNL” . Liberal theologian regurgitation.

      • Rational Conclusions

        For those who are reading challenged:
        Bottom line: Jesus was just another human who is being recycled to eventual star dust just like the rest of us!!!!

        • saneandreasonable

          Nope. His body and his spirit was resurrected and he sits in heaven waiting to come back. Better be ready.

          • Rational Conclusions

            Paul predicted the second coming in Paul’s life time. And we are still waiting !!!

          • saneandreasonable

            Actually not but you seem to think that, or interpret the scriptures incorrectly.

            Again wrong, but you always are.

          • Rational Conclusions

            “In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Paul wrote:

            “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

            Here, Paul seems to be referring to himself and some of the recipients of his letter as being alive when Jesus returns.

            In 1 Thessalonians 5:2-11, Paul wrote:

            “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”

            Here, Paul urges the recipients of his letter to be on guard at all times, because he expected the second coming to happen within both his and their lifetimes.”

          • saneandreasonable

            Yes, Paul did exhort the believers to expect Christ at any moment. But the letters were meant for ALL believers not just the ones alive at the time. Note that the you cut off the part above where he talks about in verse 16 he speaks as a community as the body of all believers, he even includes the future as he says the following:

            For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words

            So he is talking about the dead and the living, which means that it ALL believers including those in the future. He is holding out the fact that this will happen but he does not know when,as Christ said only the Father knows when Jesus will return,and that he himself could be in the population of the dead. He folds himself into the “we” which means that he could be the “dead” category when Christ comes.

            Again you don’t know what you are talking about, nor do you look at Christian theology to know enough what Christians will say about this. You just don’t WANT to believe, and are so intellectually and spiritually bankrupt you want to bankrupt everyone around you. I will buy what Paul said over anything you have to say. Paul also told us how to live and did this with a present day status. Live our lives everyday on the earth, but know that Christ will come, either in our lifetimes or after we die.

            You are just another lost soul that needs Jesus Christ desperately, but cannot wrap his /her mind around it- you ego gets in the way, Sir. You are on my prayer list.

          • Rational Conclusions

            Prayers are futile. Need proof? See below:

            Number of your god’s creations who died horrible, painful excruciating deaths from the following diseases:

            1. 300,000,000 approx.

            2. 200,000,000 ?

            3. 100,000,000 approx.
            Black Death

            4. 80,000,000–250,000,000

            5. 50,000,000–100,000,000
            Spanish Flu

            6. 40,000,000–100,000,000
            Plague of Justinian

            7. 40,000,000–100,000,000

            8. 30,000,000[13]
            AIDS pandemic

            9. 12,000,000 ?
            Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague

            10. 5,000,000
            Antonine Plague

            11. 4,000,000
            Asian Flu

            12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

            Nature/evolution created death if you are an atheist like me. And she can be very cruel about it.

            If you are a believer, the Abrahamic creator-god is a horrible deity.

          • saneandreasonable

            It’s the fall of man that is causing much or all of this. Spiritual death is what people need to be worried about, which Jesus solved. The “sting of death” is gone with the demise of the physical body. This is what you have not realized. Will you realize it too late when you die and then open your eyes to see Jesus judging you?

          • Rational Conclusions

            Obviously, many still suffer from the Three B Syndrome, Bred, Born and Brainwashed in their religion and in your case, Christianity.

          • Rational Conclusions

            For the new members of this blog:
            JC’s family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 “And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.”)

            Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann’s conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

            Actually, Jesus was a bit “touched”. After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today’s world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

            Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J’s gospel being mostly fiction.

            Obviously, today’s followers of Paul et al’s “magic-man” are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and “magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

            So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

          • saneandreasonable

            You just repackage the same crap and over again.

            Jesus is RISEN , He is RISEN, HE is RISEN INDEED!

            CCNL still dead in his sins , when he has the Lord of Lords to help him out but won’t give up his EGO.

          • Rational Conclusions

            Based on thorough historic review, Jesus’ body has completely decomposed in some unmarked grave outside of Jerusalem. And shouting “risen” will not change the situation.

          • saneandreasonable

            that is your point of view. You are mistaken and lost. Don’t die in your sins CCNL. Christ is waiting for you. He is knocking at the door of your soul.

          • Rational Conclusions

            I am sinning for not believing in some mythical non-sense?? Give us a break !!!