• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


    Friday, February 24, 2006

    Last Temptation Scene Guide

    After yesterday's discussion on The Last Temptation of Christ I thought I would supplement it with a more formalised scene layout. As usual scripture quotations will be in line with my citation policy.
    Fictional Intro -(approx. 40 minutes)
    Woman Caught in Adultery - (John 8:1-11)
    Sermon on the Plain - (Luke 6:17-27)
    John the Baptist - (Mark 1:1-12)
    Temptation - (Matt 4:1-11)
    Driving out Demons - (Mark 1:34,39)
    Water into Wine - (John 2:1-11)
    Lazarus Raised - (John 11:38-44)
    Clearing the Temple - (Mark 11:12-19)
    Triumphal Entry - (Mark 11:1-11)
    Last Supper - (Mark 14:12-31)
    Gethsemane - (Mark 14:32-50)
    Pilate trial - (Mark 15:1-15)
    Beating by Guards - (Mark 15:16,19)
    Crucifixion - (Mark 15:24-32)
    Fictional Last Temptation sequence - (approx. 40 minutes)
    Jesus Dies - (John 19:30)

    A few further comments:

    Firstly, the film probably bears the most similarity to the gospel of Mark. Whilst the way I cite scripture makes the above evidence look more compelling than it is, there is certainly plenty to suggest that comparison. Firstly, like this film, Mark's gospel does not include Jesus's birth and childhood, or his early adulthood for that matter. It is also the most vague regarding the resurrection. Whilst there's some debate about what the ending of the original text was, in it's canonical form we are left with an open ending from which the reader/viewer draws their own conclusion. Furthermore, Mark's gospel has Jesus very much a man of action, moving around at a pace. Whilst parts of the film are very slow, this is mainly Jesus' personal reflections (the internal stuff). The sequences showing his active ministry move at a pace. The gospel is also the briefest, and severall segments of the film are stripped right down to the bare essentials (e.g. the trial scene).

    I think this is the only Jesus film I can think of where he clears the temple before his triumphal entry. The latter scene is shot a bit unusually, but I like the way Scorsese uses the two scenes here. In a strange way, reversing the two actions reflects a lot more of Jesus's intent to today's audiences than maintaining the scriptural order.

    Finally, the timings of the two major fictional sequences are guesses.


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