Good Example Of The Passion Of Christ Vs. The Gospel Of John Research Paper

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Jesus Christ, Cinema, Film, Books, Love, Passion, Bible, Literature

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2021/01/16


Various films have been produced in regard to the life history of Jesus and precisely his passion. These films are based on the biblical accounts as documented in the four gospels of the bible, Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. These films aimed at demonstrating the passion of Christ to the Christians hence boosting their understanding of some of the scriptures (Stone 50). A good example of these films is The Passion of Christ. This paper therefore purpose to compare and the film Passion of Christ with the biblical accounts according to the gospel of John.


The passion of Christ is an American biblical drama epic film that was produced and directed by Mel Gibson with Jim Caviezel casting as Jesus Christ. The movie demonstrates the passion of Christ mainly according to the gospel of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John (Lyden 110). It also includes the accounts like the Friday of Sorrows together with other devotional writings for example the much attributed to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich. The film basically covers the final twelve hours of Jesus’ life, starting from the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, the grievances and the insomnia of the Virgin Mary. It ends with a demonstration of his resurrection. The film also shows flashbacks of Jesus’ childhood with her mother Mary, his teachings to the twelve disciples and the last supper. Nonetheless the film has over the years received a lot of criticism, with Catholic sources questioning the authenticity of the non-biblical aspects the film drew on. The Gospel of John is one of the Gospels in the new testaments that give an account of the life of Jesus Christ right from his birth. John starts his gospel with the Affirmation of John the Baptist and finishes it with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ(Williamson 11). Further at its conclusion he shows post-resurrection appearances of Jesus.

Comparison and Contrast

The Passion of Christ kicks off at the Gethsemane at night some few hours after the last Supper. Jesus is praying as he is tempted by Satan while his disciples who had accompanied him were sleeping. Judas at this time was receiving the silver coins to betray Jesus, after which he directed the soldiers attached to him to where Jesus was (Fredriksen 84). Similarly the Gospel of John demonstrates this account. In the book of John it is shown that Judas betrayed Jesus and accompanied the chief priest’s servants to the location of Jesus. During this time as the servants of the Chief priest engaged Jesus, peter withdrew his sword and chopped off the ear of one of the servants. In the book of John contrary to the Film passion of Christ we are not told that Jesus healed the ear of the servant (John, 18; 10-11), while in the film we are shown Jesus healing the servant magically. In both the film and the Gospel Jesus is arrested at this point.
In the Gospel of John we are given three accounts in which Peter in spite of following Jesus closely he denies him. Peter denied Jesus at the door way at Annas, at the fire place and when priest asked by one of the servants of the Chief. He there after wept in disguise over his cowardice. This is the exact fall out of events demonstrated in the film. On the other hand the film shows peter Judas trying to return the money to have Jesus released, but when it is rejected he flees away to hang himself in the city (Fredriksen 85). This is an account that is not written in the book of John, rather it does not give an account of what happened to Judas after betraying Jesus. At the head priest trial, the films show that Jesus was judged and found guilty of Blasphemy by Caiaphas the head Priest. According to John, he doesn’t depict that Jesus was found guilty of the same but just shows the conversation between the two in regard to his disciples and doctrine (John, 18: 19-24).
According to the film and the Gospel of John, Jesus was later taken to Pilate the Roman Governor of Judea for his judgment (Williamson 25). According to the film Caiaphas bring Jesus to Pilate to be condemned to death. While the same is written by john that Jesus was led from Caiaphas to the hall of Judgment. The only difference that is seen here is; In the film Caiaphas himself takes Jesus to Pilate but it is not clear in the bible since it says “Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment” (John, 18:28). Again according to both accounts Jesus was found not guilty by Pilate, hence he wanted him to be released but6 the people pressured him to crucify Jesus and release Barabbas who was a thief. Also in the film it is shown that Pilate did send Jesus to King Herod since he was from the town of Nazareth his town after her wife Claudia reveals to him a bad dream in regard to condemning Jesus. In the Gospel of John this parts is not shown rather it directly goes to the place where Pilate is pressured by the people to sentence Jesus to death.
Jesus is set to be crucified in both the film and the Gospel of John. Nevertheless the film demonstrates the torture Jesus underwent on his way to Golgotha where he was to be crucified. It shows Simon of Cyrene helping Jesus carry his cross. It also depicts where a woman Veronica wipe blood out Jesus’ face. All this accounts were not written by John rather John only talked of Jesus carrying his cross to Golgotha he says “.and they took Jesus and led him away bearing his cross went forth into Golgotha” (John, 19:16-17).
According to the film passion of Christ, Jesus did pray for the forgiveness of those who had crucified him. He said father forgive them for they do not know what they were doing. Also the film shows that one of the criminals asked Jesus not to forsake him while the other criminal sarcastically, asked Jesus to save himself and them if indeed I was the Messiah. In the film Jesus redeemed the criminal crucified next to him (Philips 261). Contrary to this the Gospel of John does show Jesus talking to the disciple who was standing next to her mother Mary. “.He said unto his mother, behold, your son! Then said he to the disciple, behold your mother! And from that hour the disciple took her unto his home” (John, 19: 26-27). In the book of John, it does not show the conversation between Jesus and the criminals neither does it talk of his prayer for forgiveness. The same is replicated in the film; it does not capture the conversation between Jesus, her mother and the disciple.
Both the film and the Gospel also demonstrate that Jesus gave up his spirits before he died and also the breaking of the two robbers’ legs. Also the two concur in regard to piercing a spear into Jesus’ chest to make sure that he is dead. On this scene there is some difference in the two. After the death of Jesus the film shows that there was a single drop of rain from the sky accompanied by earthquakes which destroyed the temple and ripped the cloth that covered the Holy of Holies into two, to the terror of Caiaphas and the other priests. In addition Satan is revealed screaming in defeat. This is not written by John, who summarized his part with stating the fulfillment of the scriptures (John, 19:31-37).
At the end of the film, Jesus is buried by Joseph of Arimathaea, who had requested from a permission by Pilate to take the body of Jesus; this demonstrates what John had written in his gospel (Phillips 251). Further Jesus rose from death and went out of the tomb in which he had been buried. This is first witnessed by Mary Magdalene who had visited the tomb. In addition it shows Jesus appearing before Mary Magdalene. In comparison this exactly depicts the writings of John. Also in this scene there were differences in how Jesus appeared before Mary Magdalene; According to the John’s account, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene while she was weeping outside the tomb, while in the film it shows that Jesus appeared before Magdalene after he had resurrected and went out of the Tomb (Phillips 337).


In conclusion it is clear from the explanations above that there are many similarities between the film and the Gospel of John. Indeed it should be noted that the film captured the entire writings by John in his Gospel, hence this are the similarities that we have seen all through the discussions. Nevertheless there are scenes within the film that have not been documented in the book of John. This differences can be attributed to the fact that the film was produced in line with all the four Gospel books of the Bible that is; the books of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Again as noted from the controversies the film created, the differences also had to occur from the other accounts that the film producers considered for instance those questioned by the Catholic Church. Lastly, it is my view that as much as there are slight differences in each scene the beginning and conclusion of the film concur with the writings of John in his Gospel.

Works Cited

Fredriksen, Paula. On the Passion of the Christ: Exploring the Issues Raised by the
Controversial Movie. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006. Internet resource.
Lyden, John, Ed. The Rutledge companion to religion and film. Rutledge, 2009. Print
NIV Study Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2011. Print
Phillips, John. The John Phillips Commentary Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications,
2005. Online Source
Stone, Bryan P. Faith and Film. Chalice Press, 2000. Print
Williamson, Lamar. Preaching the Gospel of John: Proclaiming the Living Word. Louisville,
KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004. Print.

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