I went ahead and watched the Son of God movie despite the fact that I was well aware of what it was going to be: really bad. Not in terms of cinematography, not in terms of cgi (which was really bad), but in terms of the fact that it did nothing to present the Biblical Jesus.
There are several main areas that I take issue with that I believe firmly overthrow any semblance of the Gospel Message. I don’t hold any room for an “entertainment” version of the message of Jesus, even if it is bringing the name “Jesus” to a million dollar box office presentation.
1). No adherence to Biblical accuracy
Sure, they had some sayings that we can conclude for the most part are accurate, however, the movie had the sayings either being said by the wrong person or to the wrong person. At one point it displayed Jesus talking to a little girl about the fact that the temple would be destroyed and said it while laughing and tickling the girl. Jesus also points out the buildings to the girl, while the real account (Matthew 24:1, 2) the disciples are pointing the buildings out to Jesus (without a jovial tickle) and Jesus says the stones will be thrown down to His disciples not a by standing girl. At this point you have to wonder, “what am I watching?”
2). Roma Downey as Mary
No, she’s not a bad actress, per se but this was a really expensive reason (of course not for her) to play “the Blessed Mother”. Veneration of Mary was forced down the viewers throats and there wasn’t even an attempt at subtlety. There’s absolutely something inherently wrong with portraying Mary as helping Jesus with His cross. I mean, even repeat that to yourself, “Mary helped Jesus with the cross”. I don’t really blink that Simon helped Christ since he’s not considered co-redemptrix. She also is very prominent in “suffering” with Jesus as He suffers. I recognize, “what mother wouldn’t” had they seen their son die, but again, there is a whole theology (heresy) surrounding that issue that can’t be ignored.
Judas betrays Jesus in the movie due to an internal conflict about his desire to follow Jesus and him recognizing that Jesus is “going too far”. He then reluctantly betrays Jesus after not coming good on his original deal with the high priest and being arrested himself by the temple guard. The high priest then demands that Judas show him where Jesus is and then subsequently forces him to go along with it. Judas is then forced to betray Jesus by the temple guard and actually Jesus Himself. I understand Jesus said, “Do what you came to do”, but this seemed to make reluctant Judas more inclined to betray him than he was before. I only mention this because Judas in the Matthew 26:50 account seems ready, willing and eager to do his dirty deed.
Come to think of it, the movie starts off with John’s record, even with John narrating it himself and then follows more closely (if I can actually say that) Luke and Matthew’s account. Anyway.
Judas throws the money at the temple guard only after he figures out that they’re going to kill Jesus.
Poor Judas. I fear for the unchurched person who reads the Biblical text after watching this movies and actually thinks the Bible is portraying him as a bad guy instead of a guy with a serious internal conflict. At no point was Satan portrayed as possessing Judas. But I guess when your Satan looks like the President of the U.S. and you’re just regurgitation the TV series, it’s probably easier to cut him out altogether.
4). The calling of the disciples
Or should I say the calling of Peter plus Matthew a little later on where Jesus is showed as referring to Matthew as the tax collector who prayed rightly (Luke 18:10), even though Matthew was already a disciple when Jesus said this parable. Even if Jesus intended (which requires a huge leap of conjectural emendation) to communicate this parable about Matthew (which He never indicated that it was) He certainly didn’t do it when He called Matthew.
Jesus basically begs Peter to follow Him. Peter is also alone even though the Biblical text clearly indicates that Andrew was with him (John 1:37-42).
5). Speaking of Peter
Peter denies Christ not by a fire in the courtyard, and not in front of the high priest’s house, he is then confronted by John for abandoning Christ. During this confrontation he exclaims that Peter was supposed to be Christ’s rock. The reality is that none of the disciples in isolation constitute the rock nor does any one of them solely possess the “keys”. Ephesians 2:20 has the apostles and the prophets as the foundation of the church with Christ as the most important and emphasized piece.
Further emphasis that this movie believes Peter to be the pope is given by the fact that after Jesus resurrects from the dead, Peter performs an unrecorded “Lord’s Support” by which he apparently “summons” the resurrected Jesus who is now “physically present” at the table. I know this isn’t exactly the “real presence” theory but how are we not supposed to take it that Peter as the ability to call Christ to communion through performing communion? Or how should we not take this as unBiblical and a huge stretch to think anyone had the ability to “summon” Christ? This confirms the movie’s belief in Peter as pope as well as transubstantiation all in one shot. Speaking of which, prior to this Judas takes the bread at the “Last Supper” and is subsequently “ill” from it and actually spits it out. Thereby also confirming the movie’s belief in the transubstantiation nature of communion that the holy body of Christ couldn’t dwell in sinful (or really just internally conflicted) Judas.
Peter is then explicitly called the leader of the Apostles as if you didn’t get the hint that the movie wants you to believe he’s the pope.
6). Mary Magdalene is an Apostle
No explanation needed here.
As you can see there is far too much for the viewer to ignore before anyone can even remotely recognize this as the Biblical Son of God. There is far more harm done in this picture than any amount of “good” that can be received.
This post was written by Jeremy Menicucci