“A Polite Bribe”: Orlando’s Film Premiere
Rob Orlando’s film about the Apostle Paul, “A Polite Bribe: An Apostle’s Final Bid,” has its formal premiere in New York City on 19 December. The news release is here. I’ve mentioned the film in previous postings, having seen an earlier version of it in November 2012 (at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Chicago) and more recently an updated version. The film’s web site is here.
As indicated in my previous posting here, I find the film effective in stimulating interest in Paul and potentially in generating productive discussion about him and his large project, “the Jerusalem collection” (a financial contribution for the Jerusalem church that he collected from his gentile churches). The collection is often overlooked, even by Paul specialists (who tend to focus on Paul’s ideas and often neglect the other phenomena of his apostolic mission), and certainly deserves to be highlighted, as it is in the film.
I’ve also indicated some misgivings and some disagreements with some of the claims made in the film, and in the publicity promoting it. I find it simplistic, for example, to repeat the old chestnut that Paul was the real founder of Christianity. (But I guess that the complexity of history is just too much for cinema!)
So, if you take in the film (and I would encourage it), do so recognizing that it’s one guy’s (Orlando) effort to put into film his take on Paul, which reflects scholarly input, but various points of which would also be queried by various scholars. The film’s main value (to my mind) will be that it should stimulate people to inquire further, to discuss and compare opinions, and to realize how extraordinary a figure Paul was.