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A Guide to the Passion: 100 Questions about The Passion of The Christ


Mel Gibson’s epic film The Passion of The Christ offers a unique opportunity for you to spread, strengthen, and share your Christian faith with your family and friends. Unlike any other, this movie will inspire hearts and change minds. And it will evoke questions.

A Guide to the Passion: 100 Questions about The Passion of The Christ is the definitive Catholic resource book for Mel Gibson's momentous film. A Guide to the Passion offers an insightful scene-by-scene analysis from a uniquely Catholic perspective. The answers to the 100 Questions provide a powerful catechesis that will enrich the moviegoing experience and lead seekers to deeper faith in Christ.


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A Guide to the Passion was written to help moviegoers understand the many artistic and theological aspects of the movie. Through this understanding, we not only get into the mind of the movie’s creator, but also into the mind of the Creator.   The 100 thought-provoking questions and answers help you penetrate the heart of the Gospel. The 100 questions include:

  • How do we know that Jesus really existed and that the events portrayed in the movie actually took place?
  • In the Garden of Gethsemane, did Jesus know he was going to die?
  • Who was that fifth figure in the Garden? The devil?
  • Did Jesus have to die? Why couldn’t God have simply declared humanity’s relationship with Him restored?
  • Why did God choose such an extreme and bloody means of reconciling the world to Himself?
  • In the Garden, Jesus crushes a snake under his foot. What is the symbolism here?
  • I have heard people explain that Satan is not real, but rather just a symbol of evil. Is this true?
  • What motivated the Sanhedrin to want to do away with Jesus?
  • Why does the director choose to have Peter fall at Mary’s feet and cry out, “I have denied Him, Mother!”?
  • Why do demon children surround Judas in his torment?
  • Why is Pilate’s wife, Claudia, portrayed as being so concerned about Jesus’ fate?
  • Were the Romans really that brutal or are they portrayed that way for dramatic effect?
  • The scene in which Jesus was whipped is powerful but extremely difficult to watch. Why did the director make this scene so violent?
  • Why is a contrast established between Pilate’s “washing his hands” and Jesus purifying his hands at the Last Supper?
  • As Jesus carries His cross, the director cross-cuts between the devil and Mary walking along with him on opposite sides through the crowd. At one point, their eyes meet in an amazingly powerful silent exchange. What exactly is going on here?
  • Is it a stretch to assume that Mary was an active participant in Christ’s passion?
  • Is the scene where Jesus’ bloody face is imprinted on Veronica’s veil merely an artistic device or did this really happen?
  • Is it true that Mel Gibson makes a cameo appearance in the film?
  • Why does the movie flash back to the Last Supper during the crucifixion?
  • Didn’t Jesus die more quickly than was normal for crucifixion?
  • Why did God the Father require Jesus to take upon Himself such tremendous physical and emotional suffering?
  • If He was God, why didn’t Jesus perform a miracle by coming down off the cross? Surely that would have made believers out of the Jewish leaders!
  • What is the significance of Jesus’ last words to His mother and the apostle John?
  • What happened in the Temple that so badly shocked the Jewish leaders?
  • Why does the devil do a crazy dance after Christ dies on the cross?

A Guide to the Passion: 100 Questions about the Passion of the Christ is an essential resource in your outreach to friends and family. Not only will they understand more about the epic film, they will come to know more about Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.

Additional information

Tom Allen, Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D., Matt Pinto, Mark Shea, Paul Thigpen, Ph.D.


Paperback, 96 pages


Publisher: Ascension Press/Catholic Word; English Language edition (February 2004)

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