The Passion of the Christ

Corrected entry: Throughout the movie, Latin "V" is pronounced as in English "van"; for example: vocem = [v]ocem. This practice did not arise until several centuries later. First century Latin writer Quintilian wrote that the sound of V was equivalent to the Greek letter "digamma," which was pronounced [w]; thus [w]ocem would have been the pronunciation at the time.

Correction: This was a conscious choice by Mel Gibson. He also had the Romans pronounce other words in more modern Latin like the hard "c". "Ecce homo" was pronounced Eh-Chay Oh-Mo; the Latin of the time would have been Eh-Kay Oh-Mo. Mel felt that Latin speakers would be able to follow this easier as his original idea was NOT to have subtitles at all.

Corrected entry: When Jesus is thirsty on the cross, a Roman soldier puts a sponge on the end of a spear and holds it up to him. Notice when he forces the sponge on the spear it goes right through and comes out the other side. However, when it is by Jesus' mouth it is just about held on at the end, and we never saw the soldier change its position.

David Mercier

Correction: The sponge was compressed when the spear was driven through it. It decompressed when the pressure was taken off.

Corrected entry: When the soldiers flip the cross over onto its face with Jesus hanging from it, you can tell his waist is attached to the cross - if it wasn't, he would be hanging down which he obviously is not.

Sol Parker

Correction: The scene where Jesus' cross is turned over for the soldiers to bang the nails against the wood is actually a miracle. Mary Magdalene notices that the cross is suspended above the ground (so that Jesus does not touch the ground or break any bones when the cross is turned over), so she immediately recognizes the presence of God and covers her head, as if she were in the Temple. So, to be correct, Jesus would appear to be still attached to the cross, and that His body would not hang down like the poster suggests.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Mary the mother of Jesus cleans with white clothes the copious blood spread on the Pretorium is peculiarly red showing no traces of the normal biological process of coagulation and condensation in that season of the year (pesach or Jewish Easter) as shown in Lee White's hematology tests. No coagulation can be seen in the scene despite the amount of blood.

Correction: It's the blood of Christ. It's special. Especially in Catholic circles like that of the director.

Corrected entry: During this film's run, there were reports from around the world of people suffering heart attacks and dying in cinemas from the shock of viewing this film.

Correction: Being this is quite a claim to make it would be worth resubmitting with some source or link to verify the authenticity of it.

Lummie Premium member

Corrected entry: Even though the film was banned in Kuwait and Bahrain for religious reasons, it was surprisingly allowed in some other Arab countries (Egypt, Lebanon, etc.) which would have also banned it for similar religious objections. Some have speculated that these countries hypocritically permitted the film to be shown, because they can use it as propaganda to encourage more anti-Semitic/anti-Israeli sentiment among Arabs because of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Correction: Actually the movie was accepted in Lebanon due to the fact that 45% of all Lebanese are Catholics and also because they own the majority of the media in the country (LBC for example).

Corrected entry: Ruling out divine intervention, the scourging Jesus receives would not have been survivable. The beating with the roads and whips could be survived. However the whips embedded with sharp pieces of metal were used for executions, usually for soldiers who had deserted. After about 20 strokes so much skin and muscle would be torn off the back that the internal organs would be exposed. In addition, there is an enormous amount of blood left on the ground. That amount of blood loss would have been fatal. Death would follow swiftly.

Correction: Which is why, for the purposes of the movie, divine intervention is not ruled out. The scourging didn't kill Jesus because he was meant to die on the cross. It is established, within the context of the movie, that God and Satan exist and that Jesus is the son of God.

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: Condemned prisoners were crucified naked by the Romans as a final act of public humiliation. Given that it is an 18 cert movie, why would the director skip past this well known fact?

Correction: According the Gospels, Jesus was left with an undergarment. Where known historical fact and Biblical accounts diverge, the Biblical version was favored. Think of it as a movie version of the Gospels rather than a historical documentary.

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: After Pilate offers Jesus a drink, he moves to Jesus's right. Then the shot changes, and he is now moving to Jesus's left.

Correction: Self correcting entry. The shot changes. Pilate is pacing impatiently, mocking Jesus, showing him he has better things to do than talk to a common criminal like him. He reverses direction as he speaks several times.

Corrected entry: The Latin used by the Roman characters contains linguistic features that did not yet exist in AD 30 or thereabouts. For example, Pilate's pronunciation of the word VOCEM "voice" as "vochem" is improbable, given that C was pronounced as "k" at the time he lived. The so-called "softening" of C did not begin until much later.

Correction: In fact the correct pronunciation of Latin is still a matter of intense debate. The straight answer is, nobody really knows. Some scholars believe the soft 'CH' sound derived from the Germanic languages that precede Latin by hundreds of years, so in this case I think the filmmakers deserve the benefit of the doubt.

Corrected entry: Very few Roman soldiers were in Jerusalem, and rather were local conscripts who would have spoken one of the local dialects, Mishnaic Hebrew or, based on funerary evidence, Greek. Similarly Pilate and the chief priest Caiaphas would have communicated in Greek, not Latin. This is an obvious deliberate error.

Correction: It's not an error at all. First, you are wrong about the 'local conscripts'. The Romans never stationed conscripts in their own country - too great a risk of desertion or local alliances. Second, there were thousands of Romans in Jerusalem - it was a critically important trading post, the gateway to Asia. Third, the Romans imposed Latin upon their conquered peoples, whether they liked it or not. They spoke Greek to demonstrate how cultured they were, but in local matters they spoke Latin and nothing else.

Corrected entry: Two thieves are crucified with Jesus. However, thieves were never crucified because theft wasn't a capital offense. Crucifixion was reserved for enemies of the Roman Empire (e.g. rebels, spies, traitors), not for common thieves.

Correction: This is based on what the Bible says.

Corrected entry: Jesus is arrested in the garden at night and immediately brought before the Jewish high priests for a trial during the feast of Passover. However, Jewish law prohibited trials from starting at night and prohibited any trials from taking place during the feast of Passover. A trial during the sacred feast of Passover would be equivalent to an American court holding a trial on July 4. That would never happen.

Correction: This is how the Bible mentions that it happened.

Correction: Thus proving how the chief priests and elders didn't care about the law. They saw Jesus as a threat to their religious power, and therefore, had to be tried, convicted, and killed as quickly as possible.

Corrected entry: When Jesus is in prison and Mary puts her head to the floor and the camera tracks down to him, you can see that the manacles on his arms are far too big and he could easily slide his hand out. Strange considering they seem to fit for the rest of the film.

David Mercier

Correction: Jesus does not necessairly wear the same pair of manacles all the way through the film.

Corrected entry: In the scene leading up to Christ carrying his cross, you can visibly see the breath of some of the Roman soldiers and Jesus in some shots as if it was cold. Clearly, this was unintentional, since it was supposed to be warm, and their breath is not seen throughout the film.

Correction: Jesus was led to the cross before 9am, so it would not have been that warm.

Corrected entry: In the beginning of the film, some of the trees in the forest are trees that grow in colder climates than in Jerusalem. The cross Jesus was crucified on was also made from wood that could not be grown in Jerusalem.

Correction: There are many varieties of trees that can grow in many different climates. It is impossible to tell the variety of a tree from the movie. One variety may only be grown in warmer climates, whereas a different variety of the same type of tree could grow in cooler climates. Again, it is impossible to tell the type of wood used for the cross by simply watching the movie.

Corrected entry: The chosen method of Christ's death is problematic from a historical viewpoint. If Christ was convicted of blasphemy as shown in the film he would either have been stoned or thrown off a high wall. This was the Jewish punishment for blasphemy and was a fate that Jesus' brother or cousin James was to suffer some years later. Crucifixion was a Roman punishment specifically for treason. It was a highly public and particularly terrible death to demonstrate the fate of enemies of Rome.

Correction: The High Priests of the temple got the Romans to crucify Jesus by portraying him as a threat to the Roman rule. They told Pilate that Jesus was viewed as a king above Caesar by many of the people and that he was a threat to the stability of the Empire in the area.

Corrected entry: The scene at the end of the crucifixion where Jesus' body is taken from the cross and handed over to his family is, historically, very improbable. The whole point of crucifixion was that it was a public event to demonstrate the punishment for enemies of Rome. The body was left on the cross until it rotted away or was carried away by animals. Anyone caught removing a crucified body was likely to be crucified themselves. This is the reason that very few crucified bodies from Roman times have been found by archaeologists.

Correction: It is recorded in all four gospels that Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and asked for permission to take Jesus' body down from the cross for burial. Pilate agreed, and Jesus was buried in a tomb that had been prepared for Joseph.

Corrected entry: Throughout the film Roman soldiers are shown with undeveloped flabby arms. This would have been impossible at a time when the Roman military was composed of warriors who trained constantly with double weight weapons and who were worked the rest of the time to maintain discipline.

Correction: Most of the soldiers shown, including the ones scourging Jesus, are not Roman soldiers. They are Syrian soldiers stationed in Jerusalem. The Romans would station soldiers from conquered nations in other countries where the soldiers and the people under them had had long and bitter disputes. They did this to avoid the captive soldiers forming alliances with the captive people and overthrowing the Roman government. Whenever Roman soldiers are shown, their arms are not flabby.

Corrected entry: In the scene of Jesus being flayed there is a shot of the group of Pharisees watching. Satan appears and is only visible to Jesus if you look closely as Satan passes through the group one of the extras is watching as Satan passes in front of him

Correction: They could be seeing him in human form just as Judas Iscariot saw demons while others saw children.

Sol Parker

Revealing mistake: Just before the Roman soldiers pressed Simon of Cyrene to help Jesus carry the cross, Jesus has fallen and we see that the bruised and swollen-shut eye is now his left. The shot changes and when it comes back to Jesus his right eye is swollen shut again. The film must have been flipped.

More mistakes in The Passion of the Christ

Mary: Flesh of my flesh... Heart of my heart... My son, let me die with you.

More quotes from The Passion of the Christ

Trivia: During filming, Jim Caviezel was accidentally whipped in the back, and since the crew were filming, his real reactions were incorporated onscreen.


More trivia for The Passion of the Christ

Question: When speaking, why was a mixture of different languages used instead of Hebrew? Hebrew was a primary language back then so shouldn't it have been the only language used?

Answer: Hebrew would have been the main language for Jewish residents, especially in religious teachings. However, Aramaic was a common language in Judea and it's believed that Jesus and his disciples spoke Aramaic. The land of Israel also had heavy Greek influences, and the Romans spoke Latin and Greek. The New Testament says the title Pilate wrote to put on the cross was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.


More questions & answers from The Passion of the Christ

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