• 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


    Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    Living Bible - Episodes 9 & 10 (UK version)

    (This post is part of a continuing series on the UK release of The Living Bible -See all posts and citation method)
    Episode 9 - Betrayal in Gethsemane
    Judas leaves the last supper - (John 13:30)
    Gethsemane - (Mark 14:32-42)
    Jesus's Arrest - (Matt 26:47-56, John 18:1-11)
    Judas Hangs himself - (Matt 27:1-10, 26:24)

    Episode 10 - Trial Before Pilate
    1st Trial before Pilate - (John 18:28-38)
    Before Herod - (Luke 23:5-11)
    2nd Trial before Pilate - (Matt 27:20-25; Luke 23:13-25; John 18:40; 19:4-16)
    Jesus Mocked and Taken to be Crucified - (Mark 15:16-20)
    As noted previously the episodes in this series are somewhat out of order, hence having just had episode 8 as Jesus Before the High Priest, the story now returns to the Garden of Gethsemane, before jumping forward to the events in front of Pilate and Herod.

    The Gethsemane episode also features one of the more unusual examinations of Judas (pictured) that I can recall. The last supper episodes are not really included, hence there is little examination of his psyche prior to his betrayal that night (although episode 3 offers a good deal on Judas's motives in the run up to the Last Supper). However, once Jesus is arrested the story switches from looking at Jesus's anguish to that of Judas as he realises what he has done. Stranger still, we do not see Judas actually take his own life. The episode ends with Judas climbing a rocky hill, with only the voiceover to explain what he is going to do.

    By including in Episode 10 two "trials" before Pilate, as well as Jesus being taken before Herod the film completes the most extensive sequence of trials in any film I can recall. Jesus is taken before Annas, the Sanhedrin at night, the Sanhedrin in the morning, Pilate, Herod, Pilate, Flogging (no direct comment), Pilate, mocking and then death. This sequence is even longer than in The Passion of the Christ. Interestingly though, whilst Jesus is taken away and returns with marks on his chest, there is no direct visual or audible reference to his flogging.

    These episodes demonstrate the harmonising style of this series taken to its extreme. In addition to the lengthy trial sequence described above, some of the common events that the gospels narrate quite differently find themselves brought together. So the synoptics record Judas as identifying Jesus with a kiss. John has Jesus identify himself with the words "I am he" which cause the soldiers to fall down. Here, Judas kisses Jesus, but before the soldiers can arrest him, Jesus asks them what they have come for, and answers that he is the one they are looking for. We also get both Jesus's speech in the synoptics ("Day after day I sat in the temple teaching,") as well as that from John ("shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?"). However, certain details are omitted entirely, such as the fleeing naked man of Mark 14:51-2.

    Likewise, the final trial before Pilate contains elements exclusive to Matthew, Luke and John. The hand washing and the line "his blood be on us and our people" is solely from Matthew. The incident with Herod and Pilate's qualms about releasing Barabbas specifically are solely from Luke, and lines such as "Behold the man!", and the veiled threats to report Pilate to Caesar are from John.

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    • At 8:23 am, December 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Very interesting detail in "Trial
      before Pilate" is that when Jesus
      is leaded to be crusified, he
      bears no cross.I wonder what's
      happening in episode "Crusifixion".
      Did he bears a cross or that is
      ommited as in "Living Christ series".It's also interesting
      that the serveant of Herod Antipas
      is the same guy who plays the
      scourdged man in Episode 1 and
      the serveant of the Nobleman in
      episode "Jesus at Nazareth and


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