Bible Question:

Why are so many evangelical fundamental Christians so taken with Mel Gibson's movie? Nobody seems to be talking about the obvious errors in scripture. For example the movie portrays Mary Magdelene as the same person as the woman caught in adultery. It portrays the devil as neither male or female, but scripture doesn't define him this way. Also we really question whether the high priest would have risked becoming unclean at Golgotha. Wouldn't he have been busy offering the sacrifice at the temple? Is it okay to change or add to scripture for the sake of “literary license”? It seems more like a little bit of leaven in the gospel. There is a very subtle reason that all the disciples call Mary mother. There is a reason the cross is flash backed to the Last Supper. It is because Catholics continue to offer Jesus as a perpetual sacrifice during the Mass. Doesn't this concern anyone else but me? I keep thinking that we born again Christians are yoking ourselves to fundamental Catholics. Will they one day regret this alliance? I know it wasn't soon after I was born again that it became apparent that fundamental, evangelical Christians didn't even acknowledge Catholics as being Christian let alone be willing to allow them to play such a major role in evangelization. Now I am constantly hearing their prayers for this movie to bring revival. I don't get it.

Bible Answer:

Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ” is not completely true to the Bible. Mel added material to the movie that is not in the Bible. He depicts Satan as a woman. Scripture never says this. It introduces Roman Catholic theology into the movie as if it were truth. There is an over emphasis on Mary, but this is consistent with Catholic worship of Mary and his belief. You have also cited some excellent examples. Here is a great comment about the movie from an article in Christianity Today,

Mel Gibson told CHRISTIANITY TODAY: “I’ve been actually amazed at the way I would say the evangelical audience has—hands down—responded to this film more than any other Christian group.” What makes it so amazing, he says, is that “the film is so Marian.” Gibson knows that Protestants don’t regard Mary in the way Catholics do. And Gibson goes beyond many Catholics when he calls her “a tremendous co-redemptrix and mediatrix.” (David Neff. “Mel, Mary, and Mothers”,, 02/20/04)

The movie is not biblical and it clearly emphasizes Roman Catholic theology. If Mel had been preaching in a church, he would be a false teacher. The movie is not something to show to your non-Christian friends. In fact, I suspect that many non-Christians are not interested in the movie. Yet, the movie can be a blessing for a true Christian who wants to understand how much Jesus loved us. The movie helps us understand how horribly Jesus suffered. It helps us understand how greatly Jesus must have loved us to be willing to do this. I was in tears during the later part of the movie as I realized how much Jesus must have suffered during the events before and during the crucifixion. Did the movie depict Jesus’ suffering accurately? We do not know exactly. But the historical evidence suggests that the movie was fairly accurate in depicting Roman crucifixions.


I would not show the movie to others because it is not true to the Bible. But I might see it again by myself to be reminded once again how much Jesus loved me. Jesus knew what crucifixion was like. He lived during a period of time that form of torture was used. Jesus willingly suffered. He loves me. He loves you!