Paul, Apostle of Christ

Paul, Apostle of Christ

DVD - 2018
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Paul, who goes from the most infamous persecutor of Christians to Christ's most influential apostle, is spending his last days in a dark and bleak prison cell awaiting execution by Emperor Nero. Luke, his friend and physician, risks his life when he ventures into Rome to visit him. Paul is under the watchful eye of Mauritius, the prison's prefect, who seeks to understand how this broken old man can pose such a threat. But before Paul's death sentence can be enacted, Luke resolves to write another book, one that details the beginnings of "The Way" and the birth of what will come to be known as The Church. Their faith challenged an empire. But their words changed the world.
Publisher: Culver City, CA : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, [2018]
Edition: DVD.
Copyright Date: ©2018
Branch Call Number: RELIGIOUS 791.4368 PAUL
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (107 minutes) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.

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j
jimg2000
Sep 14, 2018

I only see what it's become. Nero's Rome. Nero's madness.
-It'll pass. He can't be emperor forever.
===
There is a darkness over this city now that was not present when Paul and I were here last. Nero's cruelties have worsened. He holds his circus games with more regularity. Men, women, children torn apart by wild beasts to the laughter of the crowd.
-Oh, my God.
Nero says the reason is to show the Roman people that these followers of Christ were responsible for burning half the city to the ground.
===
We were asked to build a community in this city, to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, to love this city, but I can no longer see a clear answer for a way forward. What does Paul say?
-That this is something that falls to each man and woman in their thoughts and prayers. Some of you have families, have children. I understand you want to protect them or feel called to stay.

j
jimg2000
Sep 14, 2018

You know you will die here in Rome. Yet you are certain of the truth.
-I know the one in whom I believe. And I am certain of the joy of where I go.
Yes, but I don't see the same conviction in the others, Paul.
-These men, these women, these children. I cannot fix their faith.
You can inspire their faith, just as your... Your letters always have.
-You want me to write another letter?
It's time to get the blood flowing. The Way is growing. There are men, women, children now that have never met you, that will never meet you, so there must be a handwritten account of these Acts. It is for the same reason that I undertook an account of our Lord Jesus Christ for Theophilus. So that he would know the story of Christ, and now the people must know your story.

j
jimg2000
Sep 14, 2018

We were Romans before we were Christian. This is our home.
-I do not take this decision lightly. But I believe that there is more good to be done outside of Rome.
--Aquila's right. But I think there's also some good in staying. It's true, we've never seen Rome darker. But if we abandon it, will it not be cast into total darkness?
===
You know what happens to orphans in this city. They're left on the streets to die. Or they're forced into prostitution at the temples. There are widows on the street corners begging for coins to feed their children. If we abandon them, who will feed them? Who will care?
-Nero is responsible for the deaths in my family, not Rome.

j
jimg2000
Sep 14, 2018

My life did not begin with hate. I don't recall the feeling as a child. I always felt myself to be more a sheep in the midst of wolves. Innocent as a dove. I was in the temple keeping true to my fasts, my prayers. Stephen was out in the streets, bringing charity to widows and orphans, preaching truth to drunks and the crippled. I was blameless in the ancient law of Israel, while Stephen was blaspheming on the very holy ground of God.
-So what did you do?
We spread lies, created an uproar that had him brought to trial.
-What did he argue?
That Jesus was the Messiah. And the temple of God was no longer the only place where God could be worshiped.
===
What do you really know about these Christians?
-I rarely find them in the establishments that I frequent. But I do know they have a strange affection for poor widows and ugly orphans.

j
jimg2000
Sep 14, 2018

This is a world in the grip of evil. This is Nero's circus. It's passionate hate. Blood washing down the street, widows, orphans starving to death. Babies born with the slightest defect are disposed, dispatched, discarded. This world doesn't know a thing about love.
-And so you would give up on the world when Christ did not give up on us?
Why not?
-No!
Why not?
-Love is the only way. Love that suffers long. Love that is kind, that does not envy, that is not proud. Love that does not dishonor, that does not seek for itself. Love that is not easily angered. Love that rejoices in truth. Love that never delights in evil. Love that protects, trusts, hopes, endures all things. That kind of love. Give me your hand. Do you understand? Then write it down. I once wanted vengeance, like Cassius and these young men. I know this path of destruction more than anyone.

j
jimg2000
Sep 14, 2018

Why do you blame yourselves and not the ones who have murdered him?
===
None of us here have walked with Christ. But Paul has followed him longer than us all. I have watched him be beaten, I have watched him be stoned and flogged, and never once did he raise his finger against his oppressors. Let peace be with you, for we live in the world, but we do not wage war as the world does. Peace begins with you, Cassius. Love is the only way.

===
You are much more of a soldier than a preacher. A man with a great deal of blood on his hands.
-Sins of a past life, by God's grace washed away.
Sin, grace, mercy. Your philosophical scribblings tell me nothing about why the Christians look to you as their leader and why Nero singled you out as the chief enemy of Rome.

j
jimg2000
Sep 14, 2018

I went to the temple to the chief priests, to obtain authority to go to Damascus and arrest all those that followed the Way. I was determined to be God's hand of justice. His wrath.
-You believed what you were doing was out of a love for God.
A blind love. I only knew the law. If water flows down a mountain, what besides a miracle could cause it to flow back?
-The road to Damascus was your miracle.
Yes.
===
Perhaps you're not only plotting an escape, but an uprising.
-For what purpose?
Vengeance. Followers of your cult are being beaten, raped and killed for sport.
-It is for the Lord's sake that we face death all day, that we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
Even the sheep will revolt if whipped hard enough.

j
jimg2000
Sep 14, 2018

Mauritius... I have heard outrageous rumors about this man. A sorcerer of the dark arts, a charmer of snakes and demons, a man capable of healing the crippled with just a touch of his cloak.
-A healer?
No, my point, you don't make a man your leader just because he trips and falls in the road and then travels around a bit and says a few things. There must be more to the story. You need to get him to confess something.
-What else would he say that he hasn't already spoken at his trial?
A man on trial will say whatever he can to save his hide.
-But he has been convicted. He will be executed.
No man wants to leave this life without a legacy, without boasting of his own glorious deeds so the world can remember him forever. Appeal to his arrogance. Perhaps.

j
jimg2000
Sep 14, 2018

You used to pray to the gods of Greece, just as he does the gods of Rome. In your account of the Lord, why did you write so often of the poor and the outcasts and foreigners?
-I guess I wanted others to understand God's kingdom is open to us all, that his mercy is for everyone.
===
Where sin abounds, grace abounds more.

===
Paul, the servant of God, P1 of 2:
Rumors abound in the streets about your powers. Perhaps it is these supernatural things that are seen as such a threat by Nero.
-I have no powers.
Then the stories are not true?
-They are all true.
So why do your people boast about your powers?
-I've never said these things in my life to boast. I boast only of my weaknesses, so that God's power may rest on me.
Very few men admit weakness. Certainly none boast of it.
-I boast of it gladly, for this power is sown in weakness.

j
jimg2000
Sep 14, 2018

Paul, the servant of God, P2 of 2:
I assume you have earned riches. Land. Influence amongst your people. Maybe it is what has roused Nero's jealousy.
-I've never taken a single coin for my work for Christ.
Really?
-The good news of salvation is free. It was given to me freely, and I give it away for free.
So you have certain powers, but claim to have no authority to use them. You've done miraculous things, yet do not boast for glory. You make no wages for your work. You're sounding less like a leader and more like a slave.
-A slave that has been set free.
We're Romans. We're already free men.
-All men are a slave to something.
That Greek, he is risking his life for you. Why?
-He believes people should know the certainties of my life.

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g
gloogai
Oct 19, 2018

I found it boring. Made me think that cinema may not be the easiest or the best medium for bringing Biblical stories to life.

n
NikiBP
Sep 28, 2018

No doubt an excellent movie, but some scenes, eg, being burned to death, were too graphic for me. Also, Paul & Luke whispered at beginning... difficult to pick up their dialogue.

j
jimg2000
Sep 14, 2018

This is not an entertaining but inspirational film without any CGI dramatics. Would like to hear/see more about the past of Saul of Tarsus and Luke the evangelist/physician. None provided in deleted scenes in Special features, perhaps because of limited written records. Excellent script and teachings of the Church in dire times, valid then and now. Other recent faith films worth a watch are:

The Song (2014)
War Room (2015)**
Priceless (2016)
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
Miracles from Heaven (2016)**
The Shack (2017)
The Case for Christ (2017)
I Can Only Imagine (2018)
** Also from "Affirm Films"

n
NobilM
Sep 04, 2018

Loved the movie! Was also expecting the whole story of St Paul, but was shown the last days of his life. Good to have a glimpse of the difficulties they had during that terrible period of persecution. Not surprisingly the answer is still Love. Beautiful messages whether you are Christian or not.

a
anonymouswe
Sep 03, 2018

I enjoyed this movie. I thought it was slow in a few places - I was honestly expecting a sweeping tale of Paul's life and that is not what this movie was. I like that showed a tried and true (and abused) man of faith like Paul resolved, and others in varying stages of the strength of their resolve in the face of great evil. A very profound story about love triumphing not just over evil, but also over a person's self-focused view of what justice means. Finally regardless of what janice wrote, the singular authorship of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles is not in question by both faith-based and not-faith based scholars. There is some debate over who this "Luke" actually was, but there is very little debate among serious scholars that both books had the same author.

s
samjenks
Aug 21, 2018

Great Movie!

j
Janice21383
Aug 17, 2018

Good actors and Jim Caviezel in a dull story of early Christians. Should they stay in town and be persecuted, or leave? Leave or stay? Will Godot ever arrive? It's the kind of film where you can do a load of laundry, make a sandwich, check your emails, come back, and literally nothing important has happed. Historical note: the Luke (Jim C.'s character) who visits Paul in prison is Luke the Evangelist, the person who might possibly have written The Acts of the Apostles. The person who wrote the Gospel of Luke lived long after both Jesus and Paul.

d
dennismmiller
Jul 27, 2018

Paul, Apostle of Christ seems to be trying to be two movies at once. One is an intimate portrait of the Apostle to the Gentiles in his last days, looking back on his life, haunted by his own past sins and the reality of present persecution but transfigured by faith, hope, and love. The other is a fairly conventional story of courage and faith in a time of persecution, with a subplot condemning revolutionary violence. The first is dark, claustrophobic, and personal, the latter sunlit, melodramatic, and detached. The two are obviously related, both narratively and thematically, yet they seem strangely disconnected. While Paul's sufferings are given depth by his own memories of himself as a persecutor, what ought to be wrenching emotional experiences in the second storyline fizzle because the audience never really gets a chance to know these characters prior to their tragedies. The most moving portrait of the persecuted, when Luke prays with a group of Christians who have just learned they are soon to die, includes no recognizable faces. The movie would have been stronger if it was entirely focused on Paul and Luke, with the larger Christian community remaining largely anonymous, as it is, the viewer is likely to spend all the time Paul (or Luke, or the jailer Mauritius) is not on screen idly awaiting his return.

w
wildct2003
Jul 26, 2018

I kept falling asleep. Needed more emotional drive and excitement.

f
fvrlfellow
Jul 25, 2018

Well acted and directed and you'd like it if you want to feel the religious undertones and ponder many scenes and points. Unfortunately, I was not in that mood so this was not for me.

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