"’The Passion of the Christ’ is a thoroughly Satanic production . . . Satanists, who despise Jesus Christ, and their Dark Lord, who has fond memories of the Crucifixion, will no doubt love [the movie]. Everyone else, including Christians, should stay at home . . ." ~ from a review written by a fundamentalist Christian 
"I tell you, I may be playing Jesus, but I felt like Satan at that moment . . . a couple of expletives came out of my mouth." ~ James Caviezel 
There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Emmanuel’s veins ~ William Cowper, 1772 
As the orthodox Jews did not enthusiastically receive the new Gospel, or “glad tidings,” the responsibility for the death of the promised Redeemer began to be cast upon them, and withdrawn as much as possible from the Roman governor. Prophecies of the destruction of Jerusalem, and parables prefiguring the rejection of the unbelieving Jews from the promised kingdom, were put in the mouth of Jesus. The new sect turned more and more to the Gentiles. The feast is for all except those men who were first invited . . . .Supposedly, Christ came to reveal himself as the “King of the Jews,” but the Jews responded with proper skepticism and doubt. Thus, the writer of the gospel attributed to John had ample political and theological motivation to portray the Jews as a villainous, murderous people, a portrayal that again is largely absent from the other three canonical books. A strong case can therefore be made that John approached his gospel-writing project with a very specific and heavily propagandistic perspective on the events he describes. That is, the author seems to have had a vested interest in providing his readers a reason not to consider the Jews to be credible in their well-founded refutations of Christianity: they were responsible for Jesus’ death, and were henceforth a fallen people. Thus, by consciously focusing on the Gospel of John, Mel Gibson definitely committed himself to the direction in which his story was to come from. Still, several of Gibson’s defenders have argued that Gibson is not blaming “the Jews” specifically for Christ’s torment and death in this film, but rather pointing the finger at evil, nasty bureaucrats, i.e., people who are in charge or in positions of great political power, regardless of his status as a Jew or Roman or anything else. But the problem with this defense is that the movie clearly does soft pedal the extent of Pontius Pilate’s participation in Jesus’ death, as do the Gospels. Additionally, we can point to the Caiaphas character as a counter-argument to Gibson’s defenders. Caiaphas serves as something of a composite figure, representative of the group of Jewish elders in the Temple as a whole. And they are all unambiguously and unmistakably depicted as the main villains in Gibson’s movie. Moreover, the movie’s script borrowed heavily from the writings of the nineteenth century stigmatic and mystic Anne Catherine Emmerich, who wrote a lengthy account of her visions of Jesus’ suffering and death in a work posthumously titled The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout this book, Emmerich often refers to the Jews using epithets that are not flattering, to say the least. Very early in the planning and pre-production stages of the movie, many of the reports that began circulating claiming that The Passion was going to be a horribly anti-Semitic film were driven by concern that the early script drafts were drawing from Emmerich’s writings, not just standard traditional texts like the Gospel of John, which is anti-Semitic enough on its own. Abraham N. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, described Emmerich’s work as “an anti-Jewish account [which] distorts New Testament interpretation by selectively citing passages to weave a narrative that oversimplifies history, and is hostile to Jews and Judaism” . (By the way, Emmerich’s influence largely accounts for the presence of several scenes in the final film which are not found anywhere in the Gospels, or anywhere else in Scripture. In one interview, Gibson said of Emmerich, “She supplied me with stuff I never would have thought of” . A case in point is what is in my opinion by far the most off-the-wall and strange scene of the entire film, that being the sequence in which Judas is hounded by little demonic children who torment him all night and in the morning drive him out physically into the countryside ). People interested in defending the movie from charges of anti-Semitism will want to point out the few Jewish characters that are presented in a positive way, isolated instances though they are. For example, Gibson’s apologists are quick to draw attention to the very poignant scene in which a Jewish bystander on the Via Dolorosa is ordered by the Roman soldiers to help Jesus carry his cross. This he does against his will at first, but then feels an unspoken bond to Jesus by the time they near the crucifixion site. But I cannot help but suspect, cynical as the suspicion may be, that the underlying message in this scene is this: Jews who are actually involved with promoting the Jewish religion are evil and villainous at heart. The “little people” – the Jewish peasantry who simply go about their daily lives and mind their own business – are certainly not evil. Not so with the people who are actively and diligently involved in spreading the Jewish faith. They of course are a very evil bunch! Finally, it is highly significant that the self-directed curse uttered by the Jewish mob in Matthew 27:25 (“His blood be on us, and on our children”) is actually a line that is retained in the movie, although not in subtitles. Gibson had claimed that he removed the line out of the movie, but in reality the only thing he removed were the subtitles for the line. All viewers who understood Aramaic quickly caught on to this little tidbit of trivia, and Gibson’s disingenuousness could not be hidden for long. Of course, it very well may be the case that Gibson was not being intentionally and overtly anti-Semitic in making his film the way he did. After all, as Gibson revealed in a 2004 interview with People magazine, the hands that are seen nailing Jesus to the cross during the crucifixion scene are Gibson’s own hands:
It's the director's left hand nailing Jesus to the cross. The cameo is more than a Hitchcockian gimmick. Gibson feels his telling of the Passion holds all humanity responsible for the death of Jesus. And, he has said, “I'm first on line for culpability. I did it” .So perhaps the anti-Semitic overtones that do appear are due only to the fact that Gibson’s film takes many cues from the Gospel of John, which is at the very least latently anti-Semitic. In any event, those who are not anti-Semitic going in will most likely not end up becoming anti-Semitic going out. On the other hand, people who already harbor anti-Semitic feelings will certainly be able to garner a great deal of ammunition for their already-existing anti-Semitism by watching this film, which can easily be interpreted by them as an opportunity for another “see-I-told-you-so” moment. In fact, Lovingway United Pentecostal Church in Denver, Colorado made headlines back in 2004 for a large outdoor marquee they displayed the day the movie was released which declared, “’Jews Killed the Lord Jesus’ 1 Thess. 2:14,15 ¡ Settled !” If nothing else, Mel Gibson's new movie emboldened this church to make this public pronouncement . The pastor of the church, Maurice Gordon, was completely unapologetic about the sign, saying “The word of God is the final word.” The Bible passage referenced on the sign, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15, reads, “For ye, brethren, became followers of the Churches of God, which in Judea are in Christ Jesus; for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews; who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own Prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men.” Thus, anyone who wants to throw charges of anti-Semitism at Gibson should first realize that the anti-Semitism they are reacting to does not start with him. There is plenty of fuel for anti-Semitic sentiment in the pages of Scripture. The problem is that people who do not hold repugnant anti-Semitic views have nevertheless unthinkingly committed themselves to saying they believe every word of the Bible to be true. This they do not knowing that the Bible contains many ideas and viewpoints that most people in civilized society today would never want to associate with . Most, if not all, of the people say they believe the whole Bible to be true are people who simply have not read the entire book. They have just heard from their preachers that they are supposed to accept the whole book as truth in order to avoid hellfire, so they say they do. V. HISTORICAL ERRORS AND THEOLOGICAL EXTRAS Pontius Pilate As mentioned above, The Passion of the Christ closely follows the Gospels’ accounts as far as the anti-Semitism is concerned. But this also means that The Passion, like the Gospels, is not merely historically inaccurate , but is overtly and pointedly ahistorical. This is especially the case in the movie’s characterization of Pontius Pilate. Extra-biblical historical sources inform us that the Pilate of history was a bloodthirsty tyrant who was actually recalled from his post in Judea for being too forceful in putting down religious dissent and keeping the Judean populace under the yoke, and also for ordering the crucifixion of too many people. Pilate even managed to offend and alienate the Emperor Tiberius with his extreme ruthlessness. This is significant, because Tiberius himself had a reputation for overseeing mass murder, and he is infamous to this day for his statement, “Let them hate me, so long as they support my government” . Barabbas Most people are familiar with the passages in the Gospels that refer to the politically-conciliatory tradition, allegedly maintained by the Roman government, of releasing one prisoner every year at Passover as a way of keeping those “uppity Jews” from completely transforming their drunken religious revelry into an all-out uprising and insurrection. The Romans never did any such thing. This is a Gospel fiction (as is the part of the story in which Pilate “washes his hands” of Jesus’ crucifixion; this he never did, and certainly would never have either occasion or motivation to do even if a historical personage named Jesus was executed on his watch). In fact, Bible scholars and historians have not been able to make any sense of the Barabbas story. For one thing, the name does not even make any sense. “Barabbas ultimately derives from the Aramaic Bar-abbâ (בר-אבא), literally meaning “son of the father.” This appears to be just another of many Gospel contrivances. The Barabbas story, it should be mentioned, was the one and only bit of comic relief to be found in the entire Passion of the Christ movie – it is actually quite hilarious to see Barabbas (played by Pietro Sarubbi) strutting around the crowd upon being released and gloating in wild excitement over being let off the hook. Claudia Procles Gibson threw in a number of other miscellaneous bits of ahistorical embellishment in The Passion. At one point, Pilate’s wife Claudia Procles (played by Claudia Gerini) personally brings a handful of large linens to Jesus’ mother Mary and Mary Magdalene and joins the two of them in mopping up Jesus’ blood from the ground after his scourging. This particular scenario was invented by the stigmatic nun and mystic Anne Catherine Emmerich, whom we have mentioned above already, in the nineteenth century . “That Old Serpent, Called the Devil and Satan…” The appearance of Satan as a character in the movie is another very interesting spin that confirms the ahistorical and pro-mythological nature of the movie. Satan is here played by a woman (Rosalinda Celentano), who looks to the uninitiated viewer to be either a very effeminate man or a very butch woman. The physical appearance of Celentano’s Satan is indeed very gender-ambiguous, an effect that was enhanced by altering the actress’s voice (which she consciously made an effort to deepen) with a harmonizer to render the voice more metallic . This gender-ambiguity applied to the Satan character holds underlying ideological significance; Catholic doctrine has traditionally taken an especially strict stance on gender roles, such that failure to fit into a well-defined gender category is condemned by the Catholic worldview as evil . In fact, presenting Satan as an androgynous figure, whose closest approximation to any predefined gender is one of either effeminate male or butch female, may even have been a very subtle anti-homosexual commentary on particular gay marriage controversies current in the early 2000’s. But subtle underlying politics aside, it was actually fascinating to visually experience the Devil as a presence throughout the movie, especially the scene near the end which has Satan screaming in rage from the pits of hell as a representation of the spiritual defeat he suffered when Jesus completed his self-sacrifice (on that note, the movie actually is worth seeing for the quality of its visual representations, if for nothing else). Herod Antipas I want here to point toward the movie’s portrayal of the Jewish King Herod Antipas (played by Luca De Dominicis) as a data point further supporting my thesis that The Passion has an underlying anti-gay message. Gibson has been accused of blatant homophobia ever since his 1995 movie Braveheart, which controversially depicted the Prince of Wales (who became King Edward II) as an effeminate homosexual whose male lover is thrown out of a high window by the prince’s father Edward I. This trend, if understated, continues in The Passion of the Christ, which clearly did not make any strides toward making the homophobia charges against Gibson go away. In The Passion, Herod is made up in a terrible wig and is depicted as one hell of a flamer. This characterization of Herod is taken from Anne Catherine Emmerich’s book of Passion visions, which describes him as a “luxuriant and effeminate prince” . The Appearance of Jesus Speaking of effeminate-looking characters, it is interesting to note that in Hollywood, Jesus is generally depicted as a fairly effeminate man. Very rarely is he butch, big or beefy (Willem Dafoe’s Jesus in The Last Temptation of Christ is one of these rare exceptions, perhaps the only one). However, Jesus does have a beard in most every movie about him, probably to offset any unwanted impressions or interpretations from the viewing public. But it appears I digress for the sake of segueing smoothly. My main point in commenting on the physical appearance of Jesus in a section about “Historical Errors and Theological Extras” is really to make the observation that the very fact that the Jesus Christ character actually does appear on screen as a physical person in the movie necessarily renders it a historically-embellished dramatization. This is because no record exists of what Jesus’ physical appearance might have been, whether he was a real historical figure or not. This seemingly straightforward observation is one I need to “flesh out” carefully (no pun intended): Throughout history, it has been quite typical for passion plays to represent the Christ figure as being very European and even Anglo-Saxon in appearance. The “European Christ” is the most traditional rendering that originated, of course, with the Roman Catholic Church. It has remained a staple feature of most all passion plays for many centuries, and all the Hollywood portrayals of Jesus owe much to the Roman Catholic Church in this regard. There is hardly anything new about it. The Passion of the Christ is certainly no exception and breaks no new ground in this area. There are indeed many white people in the movie. While actor Jim Caviezel in his role as Jesus looks somewhat Semitic, he does so only in the modern sense. In contrast, Jews in first century Palestine probably looked a specific way that was not achieved by the movie’s make-up artists. If Jesus existed historically, he would most likely appear to all eyes as a very typical Jewish peasant living in the Middle East at the time. Any attempt by dramatists to make the Jesus character stand out from the crowd or appear distinctive is thus highly inaccurate. A common tactic that has often been used in passion plays throughout history (at least the plays that had some anti-Semitic bent) was to make Christ look almost Aryan, complete with blue eyes and beautifully-groomed blonde hair, as a point of contrast to the villainous and very Semitic-looking Jews. Such depictions belied either ignorance or apathy toward the fact that Jesus, assuming he existed, was himself a practicing Jew. This prejudicial typecasting has a long history; even in paintings from a thousand years ago which depict crucifixion and other passion scenes show, we see a very Aryan Christ surrounded by people who are clearly made to appear very Jewish. And while some people will make more of it than others, there are indeed a lot of “hooked noses” so to speak among the shouting mobs in Passion of the Christ. As a counterpoint, it is only fair that I come full circle and make certain concessions. As I pointed out already, Jesus’ physical appearance is not described anywhere in the Bible, and there is not even much detail to be found anywhere concerning his heritage. It is therefore not impossible that Jesus could have been white (Christians do believe that half of his genes came from God, which I presume can operate and manifest themselves however they want). But the fact of the matter is that even if we had good, solid rock-hard evidence that a man named Jesus Christ existed and that all the things claimed of him actually happened historically, no one knows what his appearance would have been. No one knows anything about Jesus Christ’s appearance, regardless of whether he is mythical or historical – and this includes the Nazarenes who believe they have special knowledge of Jesus’ hairdo. The fact remains that virtually all visual representations of Jesus made throughout history were intended to serve the purposes of dramatic effect, not historical accuracy, and this is demonstrably true of Gibson’s movie (again, the entire 20-minute scourging scene in the movie is based on a single sentence in the Bible). Judas Iscariot Bible nerds who are bothered by the two opposing accounts we find in the New Testament of the manner in which Judas Iscariot dies may want very much to see The Passion of the Christ. The answer they are seeking, according to Gibson’s Gospel, is that Judas hangs himself, as related in Matthew 27:5: “And he [Judas] cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.” Gibson does not even attempt to harmonize this with the conflicting version found in Acts 1:16-19, which informs us that Judas threw himself off a cliff with the result that he “burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out” . So thanks to Mel Gibson, we now know that the Acts passage is the one that is not divinely inspired. However, given the over-the-top nature of the rest of the movie, I was actually a bit disappointed that the filmmakers opted for just a plain hanging, instead of the “human landmine” version where special effects would treat us the viewers to the spectacle of actor Luca Lionello literally exploding and spraying the screen. In fact, if it were up to me, I would definitely have chosen to use the variant version of Judas’s death preserved by the early church father Papias: “Judas walked about in this world a sad [literally translated ‘great’] example of impiety; for his body having swollen to such an extent that he could not pass where a chariot could pass easily, he was crushed by the chariot, so that his bowels gushed out [literally translated ‘were emptied out’]” . Indeed, Gibson had a great many folkloric elements to choose from in portraying the character of Judas Iscariot. In fact, scholars are not even agreed on just how many legendary and mythical elements have found their way into the Judas cycles. A majority of scholars interpret the whole character of Judas, including the name itself, to be a metaphorical figure designed to symbolize the Jews as a whole . The name “Iscariot” is thought by some scholars to be a Hellenized epithet identifying Judas as a member of the Sicarii (the plural form of the Latin word meaning “contract-killer” or “assassin”). The Sicarii, a band of Jewish Zealots, were one of many extremist rebel groups that existed at the time . VI. CONCLUSION Due to the copious amount of publicity and pre-release hype, The Passion of the Christ made $26.6 million on opening day. It pulled in $117.5 million in its first five days of release, making it the second-biggest five-day opening of all time (coming in behind 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, which made a record $124 million in its first five days). Mel Gibson enjoyed a release screening before an audience of 3,000 for a movie that would have suffered an early death in art houses had it not been a movie about Jesus Christ. Not only is The Passion a foreign language film, it is a dead language film with subtitles, making it a movie accessible only to the literate. On top of this, the movie is hyper-violent and received an R-rating from the Motion Picture Association of America when it should have been given an NC-17 rating for its level of violence if the MPAA rating board had treated it impartially. Domestically, the film topped off at close to $371 million, half of which went directly into Gibson’s pocket. All this goes to show that there is no better publicity for a movie than when great controversy surrounds it. But this is not necessarily an unfortunate fact when it comes to The Passion. In writing this lengthy negative review, my purpose is not to dissuade or prevent others from seeing this movie if they have not already. The movie is very interesting and culturally relevant, and every atheist should watch it. On top of this, I believe it actually works well as a potent antidote against conversion to Christianity for fence-sitting nonbelievers . After all, the quote from the fundamentalist Christian reviewer in the epigraph at the opening of this essay must be indicative of something positive. In the interest of being generous and balanced, I want to end on a conciliatory note. I wish to stress that I fully and completely support the efforts of any filmmaker in making any film they see fit to make. As a strong atheist as well as a strong supporter of freedom of speech and of expression, I will always come out foursquare against any movement that attempts either to inhibit a filmmaker from making a religiously-themed movie or to inhibit the release of a religious movie. I am passionate about artistic freedom, and I say more power to Gibson for managing to make off like a bandit with his Christploitation flick. NOTES 1. Barbara Aho, “Mel Gibson’s ‘Passion of the Christ’: An International Hoax,” Watch Unto Prayer n.d. (last updated April 25, 2008), http://watch.pair.com/passion.html (accessed 13 June 2012). 2. Associated Press, “Role of Christ Lands Caviezel in Lion’s Den,” The Gadsden Times February 19, 2004, C1-C2. 3. William Cowper (1772), “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood,” in A Collection of Psalms and Hymns, from Various Authors: For the Use of Serious and Devout Christians of Every Denomination Eleventh Edition, ed. Richard Conyers (York: Thomas Wilson and Sons, High-Ousegate, 1824), p. 120-121. 4. KAKE News, “Woman Collapses During Showing of ‘The Passion of the Christ,’” KAKEland online Feb. 25, 2004, http://www.kake.com/home/headlines/653662.html (accessed 13 June 2012). 5. Elisha A. Hoffman and J.H. Tenney, eds., Spiritual Songs for Gospel Meetings and the Sunday School (Cleveland, OH: Barker & Smellie, 1878), Hymn # 15. 6. For my critical analysis of the violent and gory aesthetics of Christian hymnody, see Nathan Dickey, “Songs of Human Sacrifice: An Exploration of the Theme of Redemption in Christian Hymns,” The Journeyman Heretic (blog) 14 May 2010, http://journeymanheretic.blogspot.com/2010/05/songs-of-human-sacrifice-exploration-of.html (accessed 13 June 2012). 7. While Pontius Pilate himself did not control an appreciably large garrison of Roman soldiers, there was a very substantial garrison of Romans was maintained in Caesarea. This larger garrison had an established practice of bringing in reinforcements to Jerusalem every Passover, because that was a time when the Jewish populace tended to become particularly “uppity.” Thus, while Pilate’s political forces were sufficiently small enough that he sometimes had to placate others in charge with conflicting interests, the presence of this large Caesarean garrison of Roman soldiers completely invalidates any apologetic defense of Pilate’s actions, whether in reference to The Passion or to the Gospels. 8. Thomas Whittaker, The Origins of Christianity: with An Outline of Van Manen’s Analysis of the Pauline Literature Fourth Edition (London: Watts & Co., 1933), pp. 38-39. 9. Anti-Defamation League, “ADL Concerned Mel Gibson’s ‘Passion’ Could Fuel Anti-Semitism if Released in Present Form,” (ADL Press Release, August 11, 2003) http://www.adl.org/PresRele/ASUS_12/4291_12.htm (accessed 13 June 2012). 10. Peter J. Boyer, “The Jesus War: Mel Gibson’s Obsession,” The New Yorker September 15, 2003, 71. 11. However, it is an open question whether the movie’s demon-children sequence was drawn from Emmerich’s visions or just from Gibson’s own imagination. I quote from Emmerich’s narrative to show my point: “Then, but too late, anguish, despair, and remorse took possession of the mind of Judas. Satan instantly prompted him to fly. He fled as if a thousand furies were at his heel, and the bag which was hanging at his side struck him as he ran, and propelled him as a spur from hell; but he took it into his hand to prevent its blows . . . I again beheld him rushing to and fro like a madman in the valley of Hinnom: Satan was by his side in a hideous form, whispering in his ear, to endeavour to drive him to despair, all the curses which the prophets had hurled upon this valley, where the Jews formerly sacrificed their children to idols” (Anne Catherine Emmerich, The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ [New York, NY: Cosimo Books, 1923], pp. 174, 175). 12. Allison Adato, “The Gospel of Mel,” People Vol. 61, No. 9 (March 8, 2004). 13. TheDenverChannel.com, "’Jews Killed Jesus’ Sign Causing Controversy," Denver News February 25, 2004, http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/2873395/detail.html (accessed 13 June 2012). 14. See Nathan Dickey, “The Unholy Bible: A Case Study in Obscene and Perverse Literature,” The Journeyman Heretic (blog) 25 March 2011, http://journeymanheretic.blogspot.com/2011/03/unholy-bible-case-study-in-obscene-and.html (accessed 13 June 2012). 15. Numerous minor historical inaccuracies find their way into the movie that many historians were quick to pick up on. To take just one example, the movie has Roman soldiers speaking a colloquial street Latin when (to be historically accurate) they should have been speaking Greek, the official language for administrative communication. See Dr. Andrea Berlin and Dr. Jodi Magness, “Two Archaeologists Comment on The Passion of the Christ," AIA Publications (March 2004). Posted at http://www.archaeological.org/pdfs/papers/Comments_on_The_Passion.pdf (accessed 13 June 2012). 16. W. Francis H. King, ed., Classical and Foreign Quotations: A Polyglot Manual of Historical and Literary Sayings, Noted Passages in Poetry and Prose Phrases, Proverbs, and Bons Mots Third Edition (London: J. Whitaker & Sons, Limited, 1904), p. 238. 17. Emmerich, The Dolorous Passion, p. 211. 18. Angela Baldassarre, “A Very Passionate Celentano,” Newswire March 21, 2004. Available from TandemNews.com online, http://www.tandemnews.com/printer.php?storyid=3772 (accessed 13 June 2012). 19. See, for example, Ronald L. Conte, Jr., “A Conservative Catholic Point of View,” Catholic Planet n.d. (last updated January 7, 2012), http://www.catholicplanet.com/articles/conservative1.htm (accessed 13 June 2012). Of course, this narrow view of gender roles has not been restricted only to Catholic Christians of late. 20. Emmerich, The Dolorous Passion, p. 195. 21. The fact that Gibson does not choose to harmonize the two different accounts of Judas’s death is quite surprising, since Emmerich, the stigmatic mystic upon whose passion visions the movie is based, did present an imaginative resolution to the discrepancy: “Overcome by despair Judas tore off his girdle, and hung himself on a tree which grew in a crevice of the rock, and after death his body burst asunder, and his bowels were scattered around” (Emmerich, The Dolorous Passion, p. 176). 22. Fragments of Papias, Fragment III, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of The Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325, Volume I – The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenæus (American Reprint of the  Edinburgh Edition), eds. Rev. Alexander Roberts, Sir James Donaldson and Arthur Cleveland Coxe (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1950-), p. 153. 23. Christianity’s depiction of Judas as a treacherous betrayer stems primarily from a deeply-rooted anti-Semitism. The English word “Jew” is derived from the Latin word Iudaeus. This root word in turn is very similar to the Greek Ιουδαίος (Ioudaios), usually translated to mean “Judaean.” In the Gospel of John, it is very possible and even highly probable that either the original writer or a later redactor/editor attempted to go out of his way to construct a parallel between Judas, Judaea, and the Judaeans (or Jews) in 6:70-71. This would strongly suggest that the similarity between the name “Judas” and the word for “Jew” in the various European languages has been instrumental in facilitating and encouraging anti-Semitism among the orthodox branches of Christianity. See Hyam Maccoby, Antisemitism and Modernity: Innovation and Continuity (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 14. 24. Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls (New York: Penguin Books, 1997), p. 179. 25. I argued that a very similar “conversion antidote” case can be made for the massively popular Christian end-times fiction series Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. See Nathan Dickey, “The Subcultural Apocalypse: A Critical Analysis of the ‘Left Behind' Series,’” The Journeyman Heretic (blog) 14 June 2011, http://journeymanheretic.blogspot.com/2011/06/subcultural-apocalypse-critical.html (accessed 13 June 2012).