'Son of God' is strong on production, vulnerable on interpretation

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  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    March 5, 2014 12:47 p.m.


    Joseph Smith shouldn't have used any language he was familiar with to translate. He was translating, and according to scribes, he looked in a hat and a word would appear, and would not disappear until what was written was correct. Why then, if he was indeed translating, would he need to use the bible as reference? It doesn't add up, it never has, and it never will

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    March 5, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    I agree with many of this article's concerns. At the same time, I love and welcome this movie, because I also highly endorse the article written by Linda & Richard Eyre and their "love-hate relationship with movies".

    Seeing this movie was far and away the most touching experience I've ever had in a movie theater.

  • John T Scranton, PA
    March 4, 2014 10:25 p.m.

    Regarding the King James, or Authorized version, of the Bible: While it stands as a monument to the beauty of the English language, the epitome of prose and poetry, it does, nevertheless, have some badly translated words throughout. There is no harm in doing comparative studies in other English-language versions, let alone reading it in the original languages of Hebrew and Greek, with a smattering of Aramaic. The New King James Version has corrected most, if not all, of the faults from the original, while keeping the beauty of the phrasing and lyrics intact. Lastly, let's not get tangled up in a sense of superiority with regard to which version of the Bible is better. God's Word has been translated into hundreds, if not thousands, of languages - and it works in every one!

  • DavisMan Clearfield, UT
    March 4, 2014 8:27 p.m.

    Wow, what a silly topic to worry about. If the Holy Spirt spoke in King James english 90% of the world would have no clue what He was saying.
    As for Joe Smith using the King James wording "it was the only version in english for him to rip off" when making up his vision!

  • sharrona layton, UT
    March 4, 2014 7:36 p.m.

    RE: TruthBTold,I did seethe Movie,

    i.e…… Pilate’s wife(Procula) sent him this message: “Leave that good man alone; for I had a terrible nightmare concerning him(Jesus) last night(Mt 27:19 LB&NLT).

    Not in the Son of God movie but,Claudia *Procula becomes a Christian and is a Saint in Eastern Orthodox Church. …Claudia and all the brothers and sisters.(2 Tim 4:21 NIV).

    Claudius Caesar Augustus 1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54) was Roman emperor from 41 to 54. Claudia was his illegitimate daughter.

    @ “I too would have appreciated more depiction of the Atonement and Our Savior's suffering in the Garden.”

    Because many early and better Greek mss and diverse and widespread witnesses exclude (Luke 22:43-44). Footnote in (NIV,NKJV,ESV,)

    The Son of God in the movie said, "Today shalt thou be with me in “paradise=(paradeisos,G# 3857)”. (Luke 23:43 KJV, NIV, NET).

    Yet, Joseph Smith taught that the thief on the cross was to be with Jesus Christ "in the world of spirits" and (Jesus) did not say paradise or heaven, Wrong.

  • TruthBTold SLC, UT
    March 4, 2014 5:59 p.m.

    I wonder how many people on this Blog criticizing the film, actually went and saw it--or just watched the Trailer.

    Regardless of all this talk about language, wording, etc., the movie itself was beautiful, well-portrayed, realistic (as I would imagine it) but not over-the-top Hollywood-style, and certainly brought to mind the images one thinks of when humbly reading the New Testament.

    I too would have appreciated more depiction of the Atonement and Our Savior's suffering in the Garden, but the overall message was clear, clean, reverent and relevant. I felt my own testimony grow even more that we/I do have a Savior, that He loves all of us, that He has compassion for everyone, and that His Atonement is available to all.

    I do love a Hollywood Action Adventure as much as anyone else (as long as it fits my personal standards), but I am most thankful to the Producers of this film for bringing to the mainstream a movie that provides an alternative to adultery, hate, war-mongering and pride.

    If you have not done so, I would encourage you to see it; then post your judgement.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2014 4:56 p.m.

    Don't forget to read the book.

  • midvale guy MIDVALE, UT
    March 4, 2014 4:42 p.m.

    While I do think the King James version is a more accurate translation I think is important to make this film appealing to believers and nonbelievers. Many people are put off by the old English language in the KJV and in a way it is another barrier to overcome for some to find the word of God, the truth. I think to try to tell the story of the Bible or even the New Testament in 2 1/2 hours requires a certain amount Flexibility that does require some interpretation. I do feel this is an excellent tool for believers to invite others to view with them in order to start a meaningful dialogue which may result in leading them to Christ. I thought it was very good that Judas was portrayed with some kindness. Jesus knew what the end was and knew His part in it. Judas had his part to play as well in order for the greatest gift ever given to become real. Anything that can bring more people closer to God is a good thing and as believers we must spread the word of God to others.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 4, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    I like the poetic quality of much of the King James version of the Bible. Recently I saw Le Miserables on HBO Go. The entire dialog was sung and was quite poetic. It was beautiful, the message and the words. Not that a Bible movie shouldn't be in modern language, but if it is, that can be beautiful if done right.

    March 4, 2014 3:09 p.m.

    How sad it is to get get caught up in the use of words. They limit us so much. The use of King James terms is merely a vehicle. I am confident that whatever was said by Christ has had interpretations, subtraction, editing and revisions placed upon them. But what does not change is the spirit behind them. The message and purpose that they bring.

    It is easy to criticize the way a book is written or translated but the concepts are a different subject. Regardless of the language chosen by the author/translator/writer it is the message that matters most.

    Let other get caught up in exactitudes but I for one love the language of Moroni - no matter what style it is written - to know what is of God with a perfect knowledge is simple - that which leads us to Christ is of God - that which leads us away from him is not.

    KJ Version or Modern English - is it not better to ask what leads us to Christ, his teachings and ultimately his atonement?

  • Florwood American Fork, UT
    March 4, 2014 2:53 p.m.


    I believe "Bronze Age" when used in context with Biblical writings is a kind of code for denigrating any value that words or ideas from that era could have for us modern folk, particularly when coming from the Bible. Is that how you meant to use it?

    In any case, your identifying Jesus as a Bronze Age anything has Fail written on it. My references tell me the Bronze Age ended, and the current Iron age began, about 1200 BC.

  • Swartzy Arlington, TX
    March 4, 2014 2:51 p.m.

    I will pass on this one. I watched much of the TV series it was taken from, and feel I have seen the movie. I am not a fan of most movies where Jesus looks like a Hollywood super star, I like it to be a little more believable. Just not my movie this time. Will wait for the next one and see. I have heard that lots of people really enjoyed it and I am glad for them.

  • Ltrain St. George, UT
    March 4, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    @ hutterite

    I'd be willing to be that you don't look anything like I imagine that you look like. I don't see what difference that makes. His mother was from that area, but his Father wasn't.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 4, 2014 2:14 p.m.

    "Vulnerable on interpretation" is just about the entire premise of religion. Everyone claims absolute truth yet it seems a slippery and entirely subjective commodity. And the chap in the photo just doesn't look like I would imagine a bronze age Palestinian looked like.

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    March 4, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    @Copacetic: While I generally agree with your sentiments, I feel duty-bound to point out a couple of errors that attenuate the effect of your argument. First, "Ranch" is anything but contrite. He is cynical, snide, and maybe arrogant, but certainly not contrite. Second, the language Jesus spoke is thought to be Aramaic, a close relative of Hebrew, but not Hebrew as it is spoken today. Finally "it's importance" should be "its importance." As for most English-speaking people today having become familiar with the Bible in King James English, I'm not sure. There are many different versions these days, and the only place I consistently hear the King James version is in the LDS Church. When I have visited other Christian churches or heard their representatives speak at events, they have employed a modern translation. I love the KJV and think it's sad that it's not as popular as it once was, but it isn't.

  • Copacetic Logan, UT
    March 4, 2014 1:44 p.m.

    @ Ranch:

    I've read many of your past comments and thus seen your contrite attitude on anything related to religion. As such, I'm certain you missed the main premise of this movie review as well as the primary purpose of the film itself.

    To complain about such a trivial element of the film is to attenuate it's overall importance and seems rather juvenile. Most of us are well aware that Hebrew was spoken then and there. But most of us don't speak that language.

    The point about using King James English is that it does have a certain regal poetic pose to it. And it's the written context wherein most English speaking people have learned and become familiar with the Bible... the King James version.

    I for one would've very much enjoyed hearing that particular vernacular when seeing the film.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    March 4, 2014 1:32 p.m.

    When Heavenly Father proclaimed, "This is My Beloved Son" to the Nephites, they did not at first understand the words. Could they have been delivered in the language of heaven? The Nephites would have written them down in their current language, and they were translated by Joseph Smith using King James Version language he was familiar with.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    March 4, 2014 1:23 p.m.


    Yes, and Jesus kept that King James English "accent" when he appeared to and taught the ancient Nephites, as well as when he appeared to and instructed Joseph Smith!

    Isn't that remarkable.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 4, 2014 11:53 a.m.

    "Instead of using subtitles or having characters speak in King James English, characters in “Son of God” use a more contemporary vernacular. While this is clearly meant to make the language and teachings more accessible, a certain poetic quality is lost."

    LOL. I'm sure Jesus and his followers all spoke perfect "King James English" when they were running around doing their doings.