Update on Paul the Apostle: The Final Verdict

Update on Paul the Apostle: The Final Verdict June 29, 2019

Robert Orlando made an excellent movie about the apostle Paul 5 years ago, subtitled A Polite Bribe. He has been working on a sequel, which will have the subtitle The Final Verdict. Recently, Rob sent me an update and shared the following with me:

When I first started on the Apostle Paul Sequel, The Final Verdict, I met with talk show host Ron Way for an in depth conversation on the story. He is very knowledgable on the subject and together we were able to lay out the epic tale.  I was also able to make the case for many of the curiosities, occurring at the very end of Paul’s life; unanswered questions that drive the next installment. How Paul’s mission turns from a penultimate dramatic journey from a collection to Jerusalem as portrayed in Apostle Paul: A Polite Bribe to a series of court cases and prisons.

You can listen to that conversation here:

I’m really excited about this, since I enjoyed the first movie so much, and the creative way it explored neglected aspects of the story (such as even seemingly mundane details like, if one was bringing a large sum or money as a gift from Gentile to churches to the church in Jerusalem, how did one travel with that money – one couldn’t simply find an ATM or write a check!)

Have you seen Apostle Paul: A Polite Bribe? If not, what are you waiting for? If you don’t want to run out and buy it, then ask your local library to get a copy. Indeed, in some ways that is better, since it gives not only you but others the chance to watch the movie.

And when the sequel eventually comes out, you can be sure that I’ll be interviewing Rob on my podcast, blogging about the movie, and in other ways interacting with the film. Because, if there’s one thing I can say with confidence based on watching the first movie and interacting with Rob, it is that the movie will be full of interviews and other content that reflect the perspectives of scholars working in this field. That isn’t always true of documentaries – not by a long shot. And so I’m excited to see where Rob takes this project next, since the things that emerge from the creative intersection of scholarship and filmmaking are always consistently interesting and thought-provoking.

See too the news about Rob’s most recent film, “The Divine Plan: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Dramatic End of the Cold War”, the screening for senior White House officials, and the subsequent remarks of Ambassador Gingrich. You can also read the book, also titled The Divine Plan.

I hope to resume the Paul the Apostle APB series soon. In the meantime, hopefully this post and the links in it will help pass the time…

The Enoch Seminar shared a review of Mark Nanos’ book Reading Paul Within Judaism. Nijay Gupta recommended commentaries on 1 Corinthians. Yung Suk Kim shared a blurb for his forthcoming book on Romans, while Scot McKnight shared 5 advantages to reading Romans backwards (which is also the title of a book of his) and a podcast discussion of that as well. Phil Long reviewed Frank Thielman’s Romans commentary. Mike Bird shared a video about Four Views of the Apostle Paul.

See also:

Is the New Perspective on Paul a Product of the West’s Cultural Moment

The Missing Paul


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  • Excellent! Looking forward to the new Paul documentary. I greatly enjoyed Apostle Paul: A Polite Bribe (disagreed a bit with the chronology and some things here and there, but overall a great documentary).

  • Gary M

    If Paul can see a bright light on a dark desert highway and believe that he has seen the physically resurrected Jesus then it is entirely plausible that this is what happened to Peter, James, the Twelve, and the “Five Hundred”. They all saw a strange bright light and believed it was an appearance of the physically resurrected Jesus. Paul may have believed that his bright light spoke to him, but a guy who believes that he has taken an intergalactic space voyage to a “third heaven” to hear confidential communications between space people is not dealing with a full deck.

    The Gospels were written by non-eyewitnesses, decades after the death of Jesus, writing works of evangelism. The Appearance Stories in Matthew and Luke have nothing in common. Any non-biased reader would see these two stories are fictional embellishments of the bare-bones appearance accounts in the Early Creed. And John’s Appearance Stories, written one or more decades later, look like an amalgamation of Matthew and Luke’s Appearance Stories. Fleshed-out Appearances Stories involving seeing and touching a resurrected corpse are going to convert many more souls than a dry, non-descript list of alleged eyewitnesses.

    Unlike Jesus’ disciples, Paul was a highly educated Jew. He was also a pharisee. Yet he converted to the new Christian sect due to a (talking) bright light. How much more likely then are the chances that the “unlearned” disciples converted due to even less dramatic experiences, such as vivid dreams, false sightings, or non-talking bright lights!