news from ekklesia

By staff writers
March 19, 2004

Gibson plans second biblical epic

-19/3/04

Mel Gibson has revealed he is planning another Biblical epic ó based on a Jewish revolt in 200BC, told in ancient Greek texts, the Apocrypha and mentioned in the book of Daniel.

Having conquered the US box office with "The Passion of the Christ," about the last hours in the life of Jesus, he is now turning his attention to the story of the Maccabean uprising.

Many Jews had been seduced by the virtues of Hellenism, but extreme measures adopted by Antiochus helped unite the people. When a Greek official tried to force a priest named Mattathias to make a sacrifice to a pagan god, the Jew murdered the man. Predictably, Antiochus began reprisals, but in 167 BCE the Jews rose up behind Mattathias and his five sons and fought for their liberation.

The family became known as the Maccabees, from the Hebrew word for "hammer," because they were said to strike hammer blows against their enemies.

"The story that's always fired my imagination ... is the Book of Maccabees," Gibson said. "It's about Antiochus, the king who set up his religion in the temple, and forced them all to deny the true God and worship at his feet and worship false gods.

"The Maccabee family stood up, and they made war, they stuck by their guns, and they came out winning," he said. "It's like a western."

Anti-Defamation League executive director Abe Foxman said Wednesday: "My answer would be, 'Thanks, but no thanks.' The last thing we need in Jewish history is to convert our history into a western.

"In his hands, we may wind up losing."

Gibson plans second biblical epic

-19/3/04

Mel Gibson has revealed he is planning another Biblical epic ó based on a Jewish revolt in 200BC, told in ancient Greek texts, the Apocrypha and mentioned in the book of Daniel.

Having conquered the US box office with "The Passion of the Christ," about the last hours in the life of Jesus, he is now turning his attention to the story of the Maccabean uprising.

Many Jews had been seduced by the virtues of Hellenism, but extreme measures adopted by Antiochus helped unite the people. When a Greek official tried to force a priest named Mattathias to make a sacrifice to a pagan god, the Jew murdered the man. Predictably, Antiochus began reprisals, but in 167 BCE the Jews rose up behind Mattathias and his five sons and fought for their liberation.

The family became known as the Maccabees, from the Hebrew word for "hammer," because they were said to strike hammer blows against their enemies.

"The story that's always fired my imagination ... is the Book of Maccabees," Gibson said. "It's about Antiochus, the king who set up his religion in the temple, and forced them all to deny the true God and worship at his feet and worship false gods.

"The Maccabee family stood up, and they made war, they stuck by their guns, and they came out winning," he said. "It's like a western."

Anti-Defamation League executive director Abe Foxman said Wednesday: "My answer would be, 'Thanks, but no thanks.' The last thing we need in Jewish history is to convert our history into a western.

"In his hands, we may wind up losing."

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