Review: The Holy Family (dir. Raffaele Mertes, 2006)

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The Young Messiah, which came out on DVD yesterday, isn’t the first movie to spend more than a scene or two on Jesus when he was a boy. It isn’t even the second. A few months ago I reviewed A Child Called Jesus, a 1987 film that has some striking parallels to The Young Messiah. Now I’d like to take a brief look at The Holy Family, a two-part TV-movie that has fewer parallels but is still interesting in its own way.

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The Young Messiah: a scene guide (w/ clips and references to the scriptures, the apocryphal texts, and the novel)

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Last month I wrote up a scene guide for Risen, noting which scriptures different parts of the movie were based on. Now it’s The Young Messiah’s turn — and this time, matters are complicated by the fact that the film is based not directly on the Bible, but on Anne Rice’s novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, which in turn makes use of Old and New Testament apocrypha in addition to the scriptures.

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Review: The Young Messiah (dir. Cyrus Nowrasteh, 2016)

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There have been many movies about Jesus, and even a few that have spent some time on his childhood, but there have been none, to my knowledge, that dwell on what it would have been like for Jesus to grow up with brothers and sisters his own age. Indeed, there are very few films that acknowledge the presence of brothers and sisters in Jesus’ adult life, even though the gospels mention his siblings on several occasions. Thus, one of the best things about The Young Messiah — Cyrus Nowrasteh’s long-awaited adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt — is the way it focuses on Jesus’ relatives right from its opening scene.

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The young Jesus bringing birds to life: three films that have depicted this tale from one of the apocryphal gospels

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The Infancy Gospel of Thomas — an apocryphal gospel that probably dates to the 2nd century AD — tells a story in which Jesus, at the age of five, makes twelve sparrows out of clay and then claps his hands and tells them to fly away. Although this story appears nowhere in the New Testament, some variation on it has appeared in at least three different films about Jesus, one of which is coming out later this week.

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A.D. The Bible Continues — season one, episode twelve

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Season 1, Episode 12 — ‘The Abomination’
Acts 10-11

Editing Acts, redux. The final episode of A.D. The Bible Continues kicks off with the conversion of Cornelius as described in Acts 10, but changes some of the details.

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A.D. The Bible Continues — season one, episode eleven

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Season 1, Episode 11 — ‘Rise Up’
Acts 8-9

Editing Acts, redux. The eleventh episode of A.D. The Bible Continues covers two stories from the book of Acts, including one that would have been covered three episodes ago if the series had followed the narrative sequence in Acts.

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