Gibson, Jesus, and the Jews


Gibson Capitulates

Mel Gibson is passionately angry at critics of his upcoming film about the death of Jesus Christ.

In remarks quoted in the New Yorker magazine, he denied "The Passion" is anti-Semitic and accused some of those leading the chorus against the film of being "anti-Christian." Gibson said he personally has been the target of "vehement anti-Christian sentiment."


As proof of his desire to avoid confrontation, Gibson cited his decision to cut a scene in which Caiaphas says "his blood be on us and on our children" soon after Pontius Pilate washes his hands of the captive Christ.

"I wanted it in," he said. "My brother said I was wimping out if I didn't include it. But, man, if I included that in there, they'd be coming after me at my house. They'd come to kill me."

WorldNetDaily, September 9, 2003

The WorldNetDaily story excerpted above is entitled "A passionate Mel Gibson strikes back against critics," but it actually details Gibson's reluctant capitulation to Jewish power. The script of The Passion, his upcoming film about Christ's Crucifixion, was initially intended to be a scrupulously faithful adaptation of the gospels; it has now been revised in an attempt to silence vociferous Jewish objections. Gibson is, as his brother suspected, "wimping out," putting his fear of Jewish anger above his professed religious beliefs.

The scene that Gibson cut itself represented a concession to Jewish sensitivities. According to the New Testament, "his blood be upon us and upon our children" was shouted by a Jewish mob ("the whole people" in the Catholic Douay-Rheims translation), not simply by Caiaphas, a high priest in the Jerusalem Temple (Matthew 27.25; cf. 1 Thessalonians 2.14-16). That major concession -- removing the verse from a Jewish mob and assigning it to a single Jewish priest -- was nevertheless unacceptable to organized Jewry, so Gibson has now excised the entire scene, fearing Jewish retaliation. "Fear of the Jews" (ton phobon tôn Ioudaiôn) is, incidentally, a New Testament phrase (e.g. John 7.13).

Conservative Christians believe that all sacred scripture is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3.16). The operative theological term is theopneustos in the Greek New Testament, divinitus inspirata in the Latin Vulgate, the preferred translation for traditionalist Catholics like Gibson. Sacred scripture is of divine origin, a longstanding Christian belief that was proclaimed as irrevocable dogma at the Council of Trent, the Church council that forms the basis for Gibson's brand of Catholicism.

In simpler terms, the events reported in the New Testament are present in the text because God wants them to be there. Not all details pertaining to Christ's Crucifixion are recorded in the various New Testament accounts, but those that were recorded express almighty God's intentions. They are historical facts that God wants mankind to know, which is why he inspired the four evangelists to write them down. If God were the director of Gibson's film, "his blood be upon us and upon our children" would appear in the script, just as it appears in the New Testament.

The orchestrated Jewish campaign against The Passion left Gibson with a choice between placating Jews and accurately dramatizing what he regards as the inspired Word of God, and he chose the former. To his credit, he stood up to Jewish pressure longer than most Christians would have, but the final result is the same as if he had capitulated on the first day. Jewish organizations have successfully asserted their right to oversee Christian depictions of the central event of the Christian religion. No film of Christ's death can be shown in American theaters without a Jewish imprimatur. The New Testament is anti-Semitic hate-speech.

For those of us who are not Christians, Gibson's capitulation confirms our suspicion of modern Christianity's weakness, despite its numerical strength in the United States. It would be impossible to envisage the fathers of the Catholic Church or the heroes of the Protestant Reformation acknowledging, as Gibson has, the right of anti-Christian Jews to act as censors of Christian sacred scripture. If you believe, as Gibson does, that the Christian God inspired the New Testament, you shouldn't listen to the exegetical opinions of Abraham Foxman, who (after all) doesn't believe in the Christian God and doesn't accept his New Testament. Pious Jews believe, on the contrary, that Jesus suffers five deaths a day in Hell, one in boiling excrement.

We should also note an historical irony. Jews oppose any faithful dramatization of the Christian account of Christ's death because it would suggest Jewish responsibility for deicide. As the ADL's Foxman complained, "the [unrevised] film unambiguously portrays Jewish authorities and the Jewish mob as the ones responsible for the decision to crucify Jesus." Yet on this subject the Christian New Testament and the Jewish Talmud are in complete agreement, a fact which the Jewish organizations attacking Gibson would never freely admit:

According to the Talmud, Jesus was executed by a proper rabbinical court for idolatry, inciting other Jews to idolatry, and contempt of rabbinical authority. All classical Jewish sources which mention his execution are quite happy to take responsibility for it; in the talmudic account the Romans are not even mentioned.

The more popular accounts -- which were nevertheless taken quite seriously -- such as the notorious Toldot Yeshu are even worse, for in addition to the above crimes they accuse him of witchcraft. The very name "Jesus" was for Jews a symbol of all that is abominable, and this popular tradition still persists.

Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion (London: Pluto Press, 1994), 97-98.

In other words, a faithful Talmudic version of Christ's Crucifixion would not, on the contentious issue of Jewish responsibility, be any different from the film that Mel Gibson planned to make, before "fear of the Jews" convinced him to revise God's inspired script.

For anyone willing to wade through the Jewish Talmud, Carol Valentine has assembled a professional presentation of the text, along with commentary, at her come-and-hear website.


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