The bones of Jesus in fiction and film


In all the news stories and blog posts that I have seen this week on James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici‘s documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus, I don’t believe I have yet seen anyone make a reference to Jonas McCord’s The Body (2001), which starred Antonio Banderas as a priest who investigates the possibility that a recently discovered skeleton may be the bones of Christ.

Then again, considering almost nobody saw that film, and the few who did didn’t care for it, perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised.

I wonder if any other films have explored this story premise. I do know that Paul L. Maier wrote a novel several years ago called A Skeleton in God’s Closet, and I have heard that movie studios expressed interest in it, but it’s not a movie yet.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • Anonymous

    Factoids: Catholic author Piers Paul Read also wrote a book on the ‘discovery’ of the bones of Christ: On the Third Day. Read had one of his later books — ‘Alive’ — made into a movie, directed by Frank Marshall.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18198067337030235813 Chris Rosebrough

    I’ve written a comprehensive rebuttal of the films claims. Please read it and decide for yourself whether or not the film claims are solid or a hoax.

    You will find it at extremetheology.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05951601422981043400 TransatlanticGirl

    I’m not sure about films, but I do recall a novel that came when I was in my very early teens (five to seven years ago?) called Wil’s Bones. It was about a young boy with a Christian fundamentalist father who beats him (naturally). The young man swears to get his revenge by growing up to become an archaeologist, finding Jesus’ bones, and disproving Christianity. And he does just that. Only to discover that there is a vast US-Israeli conspiracy in place to cover up the bones (naturally.) Hijinks ensue.

    I read a review of it in my local newspaper and, young Christian that I was, it troubled me greatly and stayed with me a long time.

    Looked at in retrospect, though, the plot sounds more than a little silly.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08741378159534413277 Magnus

    Apparently, there was a “documentary” that ran in the UK about the Jesus and Family back in 1996. Typical sensationalist fare that did nothing to back up its claims with solid proof.
    I like the Global news clip I saw here in BC. I missed the beginning but the tail end of the piece seemed to state that the Tomb and body of Jesus were now on the record as fact.
    Everybody love hype…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02639196242308043880 meeru

    eeYour blog surely is a delight for movie buffs like me! Keep blogging. Tc.


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