“There are the kind of thoughts which in combination create the impression that Christianity is something weak and diseased. First, for instance, that Jesus was a gentle creature, sheepish and unworldly, a mere ineffectual appeal to the world….[But in the New Testament] I found an account, not in the least of a person with his hair parted in the middle or his hands clasped in appeal, but of an extraordinary being with lips of thunder and acts of lurid decision, flinging down tables, casting out devils, passing from the wild secrecy of the wind from mountain isolation to a sort of dreadful demagogy; a being who often acted like an angry god—and always like a god.”-G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
I have high expectations for Jesus. Of course, it’s not fair to give The Bible’s producers a break because of the intense levels of scrutiny—they knew they had to get Jesus just right, if they got anything right. So most of my criticism is focused on Diogo Morgado’s portrayal of the Son of Man. To be fair, nobody will ever be able to play Jesus correctly (whether they should even try is another subject), but regardless, there are some things one should remember if you want to do things by the Book:
- Jesus was fully man – this means that, even if there were times that he was otherworldly, there were other moments that he was just an ordinary guy. Ordinary does not mean “sinner”, ordinary means “has a sense of humor” or rather: “doesn’t treat himself—and everything—with deadly seriousness.”
- Jesus was fully God – this means that, despite his ordinariness, he had a few raging-holy-God-of-wrath-and-judgment moments. Usually he used this rage against the self-righteous, and his deep, reckless love, for the poor.
- Jesus was not, in fact, an enlightened hippie – he was from a Podunk country town (almost certainly with an accent.)
- We have no reliable information that Jesus was drop-dead gorgeous or had cute hair or a perfect nose. It’s rather possible he looked, y’know, like someone from Fiddler on the Roof, an ordinary, albeit Jewish-looking everyday guy.