Before Judas commits suicide he puts his hands to his face and you can see that the makeup on his right hand is peeling away. See more...
Until October 2003, the film was originally called "The Passion" until Mel Gibson found that Miramax owns the rights to that name (from a romantic fantasy book), so he decided to add "of Christ" to it. Then a month latter, Gibson added an additional "the" between "of" and "Christ" which makes it "The Passion of the Christ," the title which was released in theaters. See more...
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The Passion of the Christ (2004) - 17 questions
The "questions" section is for any random questions that occurred to you while watching this film, or anything you didn't entirely understand, and which Google or the IMDb can't help with. Submit them as a question, and hopefully someone will answer (the bold comments in brackets) - check back regularly. If the answer is wrong, or missing information, please use the "clarify answer" option. Don't feel limited - want to know what music played in a certain scene? Whether this was the first film to use a certain effect? Here's the place to ask!
Question: I'm confused, I thought 'Christ' was one of Jesus's names, but that makes no grammatical sense in the phrase 'The Passion of the Christ'. What does 'Christ' mean?
Answer: While there is a not uncommon misconception that Christ is simply a surname, it is, in fact, a title. It's based on the Greek word "Christós", which literally translates to "The Anointed One". Via its Hebrew equivalent, "Mašíaḥ", we get the word "Messiah".
Question: In the flashback scene where Jesus stopped a group of men from throwing stones at Mary Magdalene, it reminds me of the "woman caught in adultery" scene from John 8:7 where Jesus told the crowd: "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her" (ESV). Even though most of us are familiar with Jesus' saying, but what made it to compel the woman's accusers not to stone her?
Answer: Although it's never made clear in the Bible, the obvious answer is, each of them knew that they were not without sin. Therefore, no one cast the first stone. Another suggestion is that in the midst of all this, they realized that they were using this woman and were not at all concerned about justice: else they would have brought the man to be stoned as well. And a third explanation is that this never happened: it was an addition to the original gospel of John and does not belong in the Bible. Take your pick.
Question: During the scene when Jesus is being crucified he looks towards "Heaven" and asks something like "why have you forsaken me?" What does he really say and does this mean to imply that even Jesus questions God at times?
Answer: According to the King James version of the bible, Jesus cried from the cross "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Most people believe he cried these words in desperation and anguish, others who study Aramaic believe he meant it as an understanding exclamation (i.e. he's grasping that it's his destiny).
Question: While the characters mostly spoke Latin or Aramaic, the DVD version mentions that Hebrew was also spoken. In what scenes in the film was Hebrew was spoken, as I could did not distinguish Hebrew from Aramaic?
Answer: The Hebrew was mainly spoken among the Sanhedrin (Jewish high priests) and other Jewish characters including Simon and the Jewish temple guards.
Question: Other than the prominent portrayal of Jesus' mother Mary, what Catholic influences did Mel Gibson put into the film?
Answer: There are not as many as have been rumored, but a few prominent ones include the portrayal of the devil, the stations of the cross, and the miracle of the floating cross.
Question: I am told that characters, events, objects, etc. that did not appear in the four Gospels, but from Christian tradition were incorporated into the film. What are they?
Answer: The following are things in the movie that are not mentioned in the Bible: the snake in the garden, Jesus being dropped off the wall by his chains, the woman offering him drink during his walk, the cross hovering above the ground, not all of the dialogue between Pontius Pilate and his wife is documented, Satan himself was not mentioned during the crucifiction accounts, Mary Magdalene is not confirmed to be the woman caught in adultery, only speculated. There are a few more which likely happened because of the historical documented process of crucifiction. Additionally, some are not Christian tradition but rather artistic interpretation.
Question: In the film, Jesus has several visions of Satan, beginning in Gethsemane with the snake scene. These visions are not chronicled in the Gospels. Is there another source, or should the visions be considered artistic license?
Answer: In addition to his own artistic license, Gibson actually uses several sources besides the Bible including St. Anne Catherine Emmerich's "The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ" and Mary of Agreda's "The Mystical City of God".
Question: It is known through articles and interviews that Mel Gibson is considered a traditional Catholic, one who rejects Vatican II. Since there are many traditional Catholic sects (ranging from those are affliated with the Pope to those who reject his authority), who does Gibson represent?
Answer: Gibson is a member of a small independant congregation called "The Holy Family" - total membership is about 70, and they worship in a chapel that was paid for by Gibson himself. As with pretty much all the traditionalist groups, they celebrate Mass in Latin, something abolished by the Second Vatican Council in 1964/65. They appear to be quite moderate by the standards of traditional Catholics - the more extreme elements regard the Vatican as a hotbed of heresy - Gibson previewed his film for the Pope, which implies a certain amount of acceptance. The Holy Family has, at one point, had a falling out (reasons unclear) with the Society of St Pius X, the largest traditionalist group, so it's unclear precisely where they lie within the Catholic spectrum.
Question: In the resurrection scene, the stone rolls away and Christ walks out of the tomb. According to the gospels, didn't Christ arise and leave the tomb, then an angel rolled away the stone? The gospels later say that he appeared in a room where the apostles were, even though the doors were locked. This is one basis of the constant Christian teaching that the resurrected, glorified bodies of Christ and the saved in heaven are no longer subject to the laws of physics.
Answer: The gospels don't say anything about the order in which the events happened. In each case, the stone is found rolled away and Christ already risen (as in Mark 16:3-5. http://scriptures.lds.org/mark/16/3#3).
Question: I have heard a rumor that Gibson plans to produce both a prequel and a sequel to The Passion. Does anyone know if this is true or have any information?
Answer: No idea about a sequel, though the only "prequel" idea I know about is the story of the Maccabees (the story of Haunakah (sorry for the spelling)).
Question: What does the appearance of the dove during the Pilate scene mean? Only Jesus saw the dove, does that mean "hope" is coming to him? Is it in the Bible?
Answer: The dove is a symbolic representation of the Holy Spirit. It was God reminding Jesus of His presence through the ordeal. The incident is not in the Bible, but the Bible does say that the Holy Spirit appeared as a dove when Jesus was baptized.
Question: Did anyone see the snot slowly comes out of Satan's nostrils then slowly goes back up? It is in the opening scene in the garden with Jesus where they have a close-up shot of Satan. What's up with that?
Answer: That was not snot comming out of satan's nose, that was a maggot. It was to show that this person was in fact the devil, or at least a very nasty person.
Question: Does anyone know the significance of the Romans clubbing the feet of the two thieves crucifed at Golgotha? And why they did not do this to Jesus? I know there's an explanation for this somewhere in the gospels but I can't find it.
Answer: When someone is crucified, they die from suffocation because when the arms are stretched out that far wide and you can't move your legs it is close to impossible to breathe. The platform that their feet were nailed to would serve, for a while, a way to boost your body up enough to be able to take small breaths in and out. Eventually when they were tired of waiting for you to die they would break your legs so you couldn't boost yourself up enough to breathe well and you would asphyxiate quicker. When the storm came after Jesus died, they broke the legs of the 2 thieves, but did not break Jesus's legs. The prophecy stated that the Messiah would die with no broken bones.