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Jesus of Hollywood$
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Adele Reinhartz

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195146967

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195146967.001.0001

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The Pharisees

The Pharisees

Chapter:
(p.197) 10 The Pharisees
Source:
Jesus of Hollywood
Author(s):

Adele Reinhartz (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195146967.003.0010

The biopic genre requires that the hero confront hostility and opposition. The Gospels point to a bewildering array of Jewish groups who are hostile to Jesus: scribes, elders, chief priests, Herodians (Mark 3:6), Pharisees, and Sadducees. But during Jesus' ministry, it is the Pharisees who constitute Jesus' most implacable opposition. Were the Pharisees merely another long-gone 1st-century Jewish sect, their portrayal would pose no problem for filmmakers. While the Pharisees are no longer in existence as such, they are nevertheless considered within the Jewish tradition to be the forerunners of the rabbis who shaped Jewish belief and practice as they are still known today. The filmmaker's dilemma arises from this contradiction between the Pharisees' hateful role as Jesus' enemies within the Christian scriptures and their heroic place in Jewish tradition. The danger is that in portraying the Pharisees as Jesus' harsh enemies, filmmakers become vulnerable to the charge of anti-Semitism.

Keywords:   anti-Semitism, Jerusalem Temple, Jewish law, Torah

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