Review of the Movie: “The Son of God”
We went to see the first screening of “Son of God” in San Angelo. First, if you’ve seen “The Passion of the Christ,” you’ll probably be disappointed with this film. Second, if you don’t mind someone rewriting Scripture, you won’t be disappointed. This is a Jesus who is often surprised and sometimes appears fearful. He didn’t seem to know about the crucifixion until he was at the Last Supper.
Mary Magdalene is constantly with them, even in the boat when Peter tried to walk on water, and she doesn’t mind giving her opinion and even arguing with the apostles. According to this version, Jesus didn’t tell his disciples that the temple would be destroyed in private. Instead, He smiles and laughs as He makes a joke out of it with a little girl in front of the temple.
It has a pretty good beginning with the first few verses from John’s Gospel, but it doesn’t take long for it to divert from Scripture. According to this Hollywood version of the Bible, the first disciple that Jesus called was Peter. If they had continued reading in the first chapter of John, they would have discovered that it didn’t happen that way at all. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of John the Baptist’s disciples, and he brought Peter to Jesus. The Lord didn’t hunt him up and get in his boat and go fishing. In the boat, Jesus tells Peter, “I’m giving you the chance to change your life.” Really?? Was that what He wanted to do for Peter? There is certainly no attempt to put anything in chronological order. Nicodemus comes to see Jesus after the Lord raises Lazarus from the dead.
The raising of Lazarus borders on heresy as does much of the movie. There is no stone to roll away. There are only a bunch of little rocks. Jesus doesn’t stand outside and say, “Lazarus, come forth.” Instead, he goes into the tomb, gives a speech to the dead man about the resurrection and the life, cradles the dead man’s head in his hands, and kisses him on top of the head mirroring a type of a Sleeping Beauty resurrection.
They give at least three scenes to Pilate and his wife which is way more than they got in the Bible. In Matthew, we are told that she simply sent Pilate a message, but we see her at least three times warning her husband. She even tells Pilate that in her dream he killed him. The temptation of Christ is missing as is the devil. The devil is missing because many people thought that the white actor who played him looked too much like President Obama. The only scene that includes the Baptist is when Jesus has a flashback of His baptism while being told of John’s death.
Except for the denials, which by the way happened during daylight hours, Peter is a hero in this version. A rooster who must have overslept does crow after the third denial. Not only does Peter cut off someone’s ear when Jesus is betrayed, he slugs Judas Iscariot. It is made very clear at the end that Peter is their new leader, and the movie ends with the apostle John on the Isle of Patmos, which could be setting the stage for a sequel.
When Jesus was given the cross to carry, He kissed it. Really?? On the way to Golgotha, Simon of Cyrene, who carried the cross for Jesus, called Him “My Lord” which is not in Scripture. Not only did they add to Scripture, there is something that is glaringly missing. The thief on the cross does not call Jesus Lord. He just asks Jesus to remember him. I could continue to list problems with the way this film was done, but you get the idea.
If someone were to go to this movie who didn’t know anything about the Bible or who Jesus is, they would leave confused. Could it be used by God to help bring someone to Christ? It might create curiosity, but they wouldn’t learn about their greatest need by watching this movie. There is an abbreviated version of the discussion that Jesus had with Nicodemus, but just as Nicodemus didn’t understand; neither would a person who hadn’t read the Bible. This is my favorite story, and but like most Hollywood stories, it definitely departed from the book. The book they chose to disregard is the inspired, infallible Word of God. Perhaps they should have invested some time consulting with the One who inspired men to write it.