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205: Monty Python’s Life of Brian with Adele Reinhartz

Not all movies try to be historically accurate, and yet they still depict moments in history. To help us extract history from the satirical comedy, we’ll be chatting with professor, scholar, and author of Jesus of Hollywood and Bible and Cinema, Adele Reinhartz.

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Note: This transcript is automatically generated. There will be mistakes, so please don’t use them for quotes. It is provided for reference use to find things better in the audio.

Dan LeFebvre  01:43

The movie opens with a spoof on the birth of baby Jesus, three wise men show up at two o’clock in the morning to worship the baby. They explain to Mandy, the baby’s mother, that they were led there by a star. She’s about to shoo them away when one of the wise men says we must see him. We have presence, gold, frankincense, myrrh, and Mandy’s replies like, oh, well, why didn’t you say so? He’s right over here. And then we find out the baby’s name is Brian. But what did you think of that opening sequence? In the movie? Looking at it from a historical perspective?

Adele Reinhartz  02:16

Well, first of all, it’s 100% hilarious. And it shows us the character of Mandy right away. And then of course, at the end of this season, they realize they see another another major, who lit up, and they realize they’ve been at the wrong place, and they take their gifts back. So that’s kind of funny. From a historical point of view, it’s it’s very difficult to assess this is based on the account in the Gospel of Matthew in the infancy narrative about the Magi coming to visit. And we don’t know the historicity of that, but the scene itself and in the movie, is really a take off on how that scene is presented in Christmas cards, in Christmas pageants and in other Jesus movies. So you’ve got the star making its way slowly across the sky. And then, you know, this atmosphere of reverence with the sacred music, and then you’ve got Mandy. So it really sets up that record the still is going to be about or at the film is going to do, which is essentially take some of the building blocks both of the Gospels, but also of Jesus movies, and Jesus and popular culture, and make fun of them.

Dan LeFebvre  03:40

Now, one of the overarching themes throughout the movie, of course, is the idea that Brian gets misidentified as Jesus was that a common thing misidentification back then?

Adele Reinhartz  03:50

I think that that’s really a part of the film’s comic premise. And it allows them to be free and how they portray Brian. The film is interesting the film was, they had a hard time getting it released commercially. And in the end, I think it was triggered through the intervention of George Harrison, it finally did get released. And the reason was that people were worried that it was blasphemous or that it portray Jesus in a negative light. If you actually see the film Jesus is in the brief moments when Jesus is there on the screen is completely reverential. The fun is with Brian, and I think that’s really why they did it not so much because misunder mis identification was a common theme. But because it allowed them a certain freedom to portray Brian without the constraints that filmmakers face when they try to portray Jesus.

Dan LeFebvre  04:53

That’s that’s a good point. I didn’t I didn’t think about that. That would free them up a lot. Yep.

Adele Reinhartz  04:58

I mean, you know, Jesus has to be in the Jesus movies, Jesus has to be presented as this kind of pure, asexual, perfect character, you know, film character, which makes him uninteresting. Because the characters that we enjoy watching on film are those who change who make mistakes to, you know, allow themselves to get emotionally involved, and so on and so forth. And so the only way really to have fun with this whole theme is by finding somebody else as a as a standard.

Dan LeFebvre  05:38

That makes sense. You mentioned blasphemy there. And that is something that comes up in the movie as well. I love movies do this all the time with the the the texts to set up the time and place and I love how that how they did that in here, you know, saying it’s Judea 33 ad Saturday afternoon, but tea time. And then we see the the blasphemy you know, there’s a man being stoned because he said the name Jehovah and that leads to a lot of other people being stoned. Is there any historical truth to that sort of punishment for blasphemy in that time?

Adele Reinhartz  06:12

Again, it’s hard to know, you know, historical truth when we’re talking about this period, is very hard to establish because the sources that are at our disposal, certainly don’t provide a full picture. According to Leviticus, Leviticus 2416, if anyone wants to look it up, and I’ll just quote here, one who blessed schemes, the name of the Lord shall be put to death. The whole congregation shall stone the blessed schemer, aliens of Willis citizens when they blaspheme the name they shall be put to death. So the idea of stoning as a punishment for blasphemy is there in Leviticus in the Bible, however, we don’t know whether this was applied to people? Their honor, and I mean, there’s a passage in the Gospel of John and chapter 10, that talks about Jews picking up stones to stone Jesus, I mean, they don’t in the end. So perhaps, you know, there is some hint that this did take place on occasion. But I think that the main will, again, when the main, the main objective of any Monty Python film, entertain it to be funny. And that certainly is a hilarious scene, although, you know, of course, he does die at the end, the guy who’s being stoned for Boston, so but I think it is based on this passage and with this idea of

Dan LeFebvre  07:42

speaking of punishment, another hilarious one, of course, with Monty Python, we’re getting a lot of that. There’s the scene where the Roman soldiers are correcting the the Latin grammar of the graffiti that’s going on, it just reminded me of days, you know, where teachers would make a student write the same sentence over and over on a blackboard, you know, as a form of punishment. Do we know if that was also a form of punishment that they had,

Adele Reinhartz  08:10

we actually don’t know. This singing when my kids were did studied Latin in high school, the teacher would show this scene played really well in Latin class, and studied primarily for comic effect, their graffiti was very well known, we have a lot of graffiti from the Roman period, what we don’t know is whether people were punished for it. If they, you know, it would be punished. If it was punished at all, it would be under the laws of vandalism. And there are probably one could imagine, although I, you know, I don’t have the sources here in front of me that painting graffiti on a temple or some other sacred site would be problematic. Whether that would apply to public buildings, as we see in in the film, I don’t really know. But I think it probably was not a major punishment, and it would not have been punished by that it was covered the entire. So the main point of the scene really, it’s a it’s a spoof, on the English public school system, that is their private school system, where Latin and other classical languages were taught. And there were very sort of traditional forms of rote learning, and of punishment, the writing out of line. So I think that’s the context. And in fact, a stoning scene that we talked about earlier also has elements of that, you know, where people who are disturbing in the front gets sent to the back of the, of the class of the mob, and so on, but there is that thread as well. And I’ll just say two things. Parenthetically. The one of the aspects of Monty Python’s genius is really This ability to be humorous on several different levels. So there’s the humor involved in the reenactment, or the ancient setting of the scene is just so incongruous with the mode of punishment, you know, reading out lines on a so called Blackboard. But then it also refers to the English public school system, which is a major source of some of the class divisions in British society. And so that’s part of their genius. The other thing I would say is that Roman Italian cities have graffiti all over them. So we’re living right now in Rome. And there’s neighborhoods in Rome that are entirely covered with graffiti. And the other day, we visited Naples, and I don’t, it doesn’t seem like there’s a single surface on any building an impulse that isn’t covered with graffiti is kind of jarring to the I need to get used to it. But I think this is a very ancient, and perhaps somewhat respected form of public expression. Here

Dan LeFebvre  11:01

is so much history that, you know, it kind of makes sense that over time it would happen. I mean, I know it happens here in the US

Adele Reinhartz  11:10

to see it. I think in North America as more anomalous, you know that there’s graffiti and it’s a violation of public space. And it might not be punished in any way. But they’re often efforts to remove it. But here in Italy, you don’t really see that you don’t see the efforts to remove it. It’s just there. How do you Well,

Dan LeFebvre  11:34

do you think the movie did just portraying Romans occupying Judea doesn’t really give a lot of explanation as to why we’re just kind of thrown into that. Can you fill in some more historical context around that? Yeah,

Adele Reinhartz  11:46

well, the Judea came under Roman occupation, I think in the first century before the Common Era. And it continued for some centuries after that, with punctuated by by revolts. So in that sense, you know, so during the time of Jesus, we know that Judea was under Roman occupation, under the leadership of a governor, in this case, pilot, conscious pilot. And, you know, there are there are descriptions of this and your sources and in the writings of Josephus, but again, here, I think that the primary inspiration for how the film depicts this is other Jesus movies. Do you have movies, like the greatest story ever told from the mid 60s and the king, king of kings, also the epic for the mid 60s, and other films that and films like Ben Hur, you know, that portray this in a particular way? And I think the Monty Python still lives with Brian takes its cues from that portrayal.

Dan LeFebvre  13:04

Okay, so yeah. And that makes sense that they would spoof a lot of the movies that people expect to see, you know, those visuals, those visuals are kind of expecting

Adele Reinhartz  13:15

at the speed of visuals. And so in some cases, I’m not sure in this case, whether Life of Brian is spoofing back for trail is taking over that portrayal, although, although scenes of them chasing each other around, chasing the goose rebels around or vice versa, you know, in the depths of the, of the palace. You know, there’s certainly humor, humor in that.

Dan LeFebvre  13:41

In The Life of Brian, we do see him joining a group called the People’s Front of Judea. They’re trying to fight back against the Romans. Was there actually resistance against the Roman occupation?

Adele Reinhartz  13:53

Yes, there was resistance against the Roman occupation. And so we know about this from the writings of Josephus, who was a first century Jewish historian wrote a set of books called the Jewish War, which talks about the lead up to the first revolt against Rome, which took place between 66 and 73. And he also also wrote a wrote a set of treatises called the Jewish antiquities, where he added in the later books of that he also talks about the various social movements that led to the revolt. So he refers there to a group called the Sicarii. This was a Jewish group of really rebels against Rome, kind of guerrilla fighters, we, we might see them as are from a Roman perspective, they would have been terrorists. And the term Sicarii refers to this kind of very sharp knife that they carry in their robes. You know, as far as we know, wouldn’t we see this in the film and we have kind of statuary evidence of this, as well. The dress was robes with lots of fun Also things like that. And there will be pockets and so on easy to hide things. And so Josephus talks about these rebels as hiding their knights in their robes. And then, you know, stabbing people sort of randomly. And so they were among those who spearheaded the revolt against Rome.

Dan LeFebvre  15:20

So it sounds like there was more organization to it that well known Peoples Front that we see in the film, perhaps, but more than just randomness. It sounds like there was some organization to it.

Adele Reinhartz  15:32

Yes, there were groups, there were definitely groups. And there may have been more than what Josephus tells us about as well. There was a matter of controversy among the different groups that we know about or that Josephus tells us about from this period for the first century, there was controversy around whether it was a good idea to revolt against Rome or not in Rome was this mega power. Judea, you know, was a tiny sliver of land occupied, you know, populated by people who didn’t have armies and legions and so on. So how could they actually revolt against this big power, and there was, you know, quite a lot of controversy as to whether this was a good idea or not, I mean, in the end, people did revolt, I’m sure there were those who disagreed with that. And what’s interesting is that, you know, the revolt began around 66. But it wasn’t fully quashed until 73. That’s a long time. So that’s kind of interesting in the course of that, that the Herod’s Temple was destroyed. So this is the destruction of the temple. That’s a real watershed point. In Jewish history, the way that Jewish history is talked about is the destruction of the of the Second Temple. So that happened in approximately 70.

Dan LeFebvre  16:53

So you said it started in year 66. So it would have happened, at least at the timeline of the movie, it would have happened after all of that.

Adele Reinhartz  17:01

Yes, that would have happened after you want to at least still, I think we can speculate that even during the time that Jesus, which was about three or four decades earlier than that there was unrest, I think there’s no question that there was a certain amount of unrest, and there might have been an organized kind of attempts at resisting or at, at revolting. In a wintry we might see the passion story, as some evidence of that as well. Where the other person, the Barabas, who was ended up being released is described as a kind of a robber. But the term in Greek that is used there, refers more to we might call it a brigand, you know, somebody that is kind of engaged in, let’s say, terrorist activities against the ruling power. So that gives us a bit of a hint that perhaps there were resistance movements already at the time of Jesus, we don’t know. Exactly.

Dan LeFebvre  18:06

We do see that sort of happened in the movie with the releasing of the prisoner. In the scene in the movie, of course, they you know, they turned it into a joke and go through the list of names. You know, there’s Roger Roderick, all of these are not actual prisoners. They’re just trying to get pilots to say ours. But, but it sounds like it would have been something that actually happened that he would have asked the crowd to release a prisoner.

Adele Reinhartz  18:35

Well, it says so in the gospels in the Gospel versions of the passion story, in all four versions, I believe, pilot does ask the crowd, whether they want ease, he says, you know, it’s the customer at Passover, to release a prisoner. Do you want Jesus to be released? Or do you want Barabas to be released in the crowd chooses Baraka us. So that’s a poignant moment and effect. I think the Brian movie captures that very beautifully, because in the end, they want to release Brian, but everybody’s claiming to be Brian, the real Brian is being released. Do I really like this guy? Well, I couldn’t have gotten off, you know, gotten off the hook on this one. But we don’t know. As far as I know, there’s no historical evidence outside of the Gospels for that practice. So we don’t know whether this was an invention of the gospel tradition. It’s there at all for them. So it’s not an invention of any of the individual writers. But it is, you know, we don’t really know a lot and to my knowledge, we don’t have any external corroboration for that practice. The

Dan LeFebvre  19:47

impression I would I would get from that would be almost appeasing the crowds, which would kind of go back to there are some uprisings or you know, unhappiness going on. Why else would you ask the crowd What prisoner they want to release?

Adele Reinhartz  20:01

Oh, that’s right. And in, in the Gospel of Matthew, it’s very clear that Pilate was worried about a right. You know, again, you know, there are different versions of this story. And I tend to be historical skeptic. So I hesitate to ascribe historicity based on the gospel stories alone, but when you imagine it, and so in that context, it one could also imagine that in order to appease the crowd, or to keep a riot from happening, that he would offer the release of a prisoner. But again, we don’t know whether that was historical, the portraits that we get a conscious pilot in the Gospels is very different from what you learned about Pilate from other sources. In the Gospels, it seems like he’s really concerned to avoid trouble. And he actually sort of worried about condemning an innocent man. And he feels that he’s been his arm has been twisted into ordering his execution. But in other sources, he comes across as ruthless. That’s really, you know, it’s hard to make these two pictures mesh with each other. In other sources, he doesn’t hesitate to do any of this. And so we don’t know how much of this portrait was sort of massaged by the tradition, you know, by the fall followers of Jesus, who ended up writing down these stories.

Dan LeFebvre  21:35

If we go back to the movie, there’s another funny sequence. They’re all funny sequences. But this is when we see Brian starting to get his followers and the way the movie portrays this, you’re just, there’s Roman soldiers trying to find him. And so he’s just coming up with random sayings. And people start following him, they start worshiping the gourd that he just happened to have, or his shoe falls off. And they all it’s a sign we must do the same. Of course, the impression I got was it super easy to get people to believe whatever it is, you’re saying? I think there’s outside of Brian, we in the movie we see there’s there are other people there that are also just saying things and have their own little followers. Is there anything to suggest that Jesus got followers as quickly as we see Brian doing in the movie, it’s really

Adele Reinhartz  22:23

hard to say mean, the Gospels stories portray him portray Jesus as wandering around in the Galilee, for the most part, or the Gospel of John, he goes back and forth between the gallery and Jerusalem. And he does miracles. And he makes speeches. And at each point, the Gospels refer to the crowds that are legion him or the crowds that followed him. So again, we don’t know whether that’s, you know, it’s all written down after the fact. So we don’t know how quickly this would have happened. Was it within the space of a few days? Which is what it seems like in the in the film, or did this take place over a period of months? Or are the gospel writers exaggerating the impact that he had? So it’s very hard to know. But again, these scenes like especially the scene in the movie, where Brian, I guess he falls out a window, right? He’s escaping, try to stay for the Romans and he falls out or will grow. And he ends up standing on this kind of a stage or a platform, along with a bunch of other people and everybody’s making a speech and everybody, you know, pontificating and he just stands there and says this nonsense, and the crowd gather. So, again, there’s a two fold sort of comic element to that. On the one hand, it does reflect what we know from Roman sources as to how people disseminated their beliefs and how people disseminated the things that they wrote. They stood in a public place, usually in a market, often on a platform like that, maybe not quite so crowded together. And they would read their stuff out or they would proclaim their stuff. And as people walk by, they would stop and listen kind of like buskers today, right, if a busker in the subway station or busker out in a here in Italy in a piazza. And people walk by and they stop and listen, and maybe they stay for a long time. And maybe they just walk on by so this is from what we know about ancient Rome. This was taking place through the Roman Empire, as well. But it also takes place in London in Hyde Park. If you ever go to Hyde Park, you will see that same thing that people stand on their soapboxes and Proclaim Care their ideas or their writings. And so you have that double edge, kind of contemporary and ancient reference point.

Dan LeFebvre  24:54

I guess I’d never heard of that. Just like saying their own beliefs. I know I’ve heard stories, you know, like reading newspapers or telling the news and things like that, you know, town criers, and that sort of sort of thing is a similar concept.

Adele Reinhartz  25:08

Right? It’s a similar concept. I mean, we’re talking about, you know, we’re talking about tiny town criers, it’s more, I suppose, the medieval period that we think about with that, but these are all a kind of societies with low levels of literacy societies where people didn’t really absorb their information by reading it, as you would have. Let’s say somebody wrote a treatise or a book, well, how would they get their work known. We don’t have printing presses, we don’t have easy ways, you know, agents and publishers, and so on that get our, you know, get our work out there. And they would stand in the marketplace and read up their materials. And that’s how work kind of got, you know, published or they would have reading circles where somebody who could read, you know, would read stuff out loud. So that’s how ideas got circulated. I think that’s probably how the Gospels themselves originally circulated and smell and some sort of oral kind of public proclamation

Dan LeFebvre  26:07

is something that we see in the movie is when the Jews want to be separate from the Samaritans, when they’re crucified, like separating them there at the end, where they’re really separations

Adele Reinhartz  26:18

like that. Yeah, I don’t know what but on the crucifixion field, kind of how that would have worked. But yes, there is a lot of evidence for tensions between Jews and Samaritans. So Samaritans are a different group. They’re not Jewish, they are Samaritan, but it’s likely that they originated from some similar Millia, as did the ancient Israelites. So they have a Samaritan Bible, which is similar to the Bible that we know Hebrew Bible or Jewish Scriptures, Old Testament, you know, whatever, however you refer to it, but not identical. And they maintain certain practices, for example, sacrifices of Passover and so on. But the ancient sources do agree that there were social divisions between Jews and Christians, you probably wouldn’t have marriage be Jews and Samaritan story, you wouldn’t have marriage to my knowledge between Jews and Samaritans. The Gospel of John refers to says it’s very strange that Jesus asks the Samaritan woman for a drink of water because Jews and Samaritans wouldn’t share drinking vessels. The Treatises of Josephus also referred to tensions between Jews and Samaritans. So the movie is accurate in at least, signaling that tension, the white signal is really, again, a spoof on the British class system, or even in crucifixion, you wouldn’t want to be beside somebody who wasn’t your social status.

Dan LeFebvre  27:59

Yeah, I guess I could see how it’d be there being crucified at that point, that would be up to the Romans, and I have a feeling that they wouldn’t have much choice.

Adele Reinhartz  28:07

No, they wouldn’t have much choice. No, one doesn’t imagine so.

Dan LeFebvre  28:14

Well, speaking of being crucified, at the end of the movie, we see there’s like 140 people that are being crucified at the same time, where they’re such large numbers crucified like that, at the same time.

Adele Reinhartz  28:27

There’s no Yes or mask crucifixions are the one that seems to be the most famous took place during the Spartacus revolt, the revolt instigated by Spartacus and 71. Before the Common Era slave revolt, where according to sources, it says 6000 People were crucified at once again, whether that’s historical, it’s hard to say. But there are other references as well to mass crucifixions of three, four or 500 people, or more at a time. And the Gospels also give us this indication that other people were crucified at the same time, it refers to the people on either side of Jesus. But it’s quite likely that there was a large group that was crucified at that time. It was very common. I mean, this is the Romans did this kind of they didn’t need much. It was a way a good way of solving problems if your problems were caused by other people.

Dan LeFebvre  29:29

Yeah, I guess that you said goes back to if it’s if crucifixion is that common, then that’s only going to make people want to revolt even more.

Adele Reinhartz  29:37

Yeah. I mean, it’s an example of the kind of oppression that Rome was capable of exerting on people.

Dan LeFebvre  29:45

I know in the gospels, obviously, of focusing on that particular area, but Rome owned a lot. A lot of land. Did they do that pretty universally across their entire empire?

Adele Reinhartz  29:55

As far as I know they did. Yeah. The Roman Empire was vast. You know, we had Roman. I mean, it extended up to Great Britain. Well and further east from Rome, and, you know, it was, it was huge was absolutely huge. Whether it was this was done everywhere or uniformly I don’t know. But it’s likely that it wasn’t only in Judea. I mean, we know that it wasn’t only in Judea that the system was something about

Dan LeFebvre  30:27

the movie that it got right about history that probably surprise people.

Adele Reinhartz  30:33

So there’s one particular moment where the, the sell of the copy was the Popular Front. People’s Front of Judea. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s probably six or seven people. So there’s one really hilarious thing. What have the Romans ever done for us? This is when the leader of this group is trying to foment their rebellious nature against foment rebellion against Rome. They’ve bled a swipe the bastards they’ve taken everything we had, and not just from us, from our fathers, and from our fathers, fathers. And then others go on from our father’s father’s father’s father’s and, and then he asks, Reg asks, and what have they ever given us in return? And it turns out, they all pipe up is a long list of benefits that the Romans bestowed on Judea, the aqueducts, sanitation, roads, irrigation, medicine, education, wine, public baths, public safety. And then finally, the leader says, all right, but apart from sanitation, the medicine, the education and so on, What have the Romans ever done for us? And one person says, broad peace, and Rich says, Oh, shut up. So this is funny. It’s very, very funny. That actually, as far as I know, it’s based on a passage in the Babylonian Talmud. Now, I should say, I don’t know that they read that passage in the Babylonian Talmud. All I will say for sure is that there is a similar passage in the Babylonian Talmud, which is the Babylonian Babylonian Talmud, is a sixth century, massive compilation of legal sources, stories, all kinds of material. And they’re in the tractate, called Shabbat or Sabbath. There’s this exchange between the number of rabbis and when the rabbi says how pleasant are the actions of this nation, the Romans, they established marketplaces, they built bridges, they established bath houses, and then you know, other things. So what’s surprising about it is that idea of appreciation, the idea that Roman occupation didn’t bring only high taxation and misery, which I think it probably did, surely did. But also certain benefits. They the Romans were quite advanced in terms of some of their public sanitation, their their understanding of hygiene and sanitation. And you can see that in archaeological remains in Judea, by the way, as well as in Rome, and Pompeii and other other sites, it Roman sites in Italy, where they had, for example, bathhouses that would have a cold room, a tepid room and a hot, like hot steam bathroom, with the piping going underneath, and ways of draining the water out and all these different things. When I first encountered this in the film, you know, I was surprised then to realize the that there are ancient sources as well that corroborate that. On the whole, in my view, The Life of Brian is probably the best researched of the movies that base themselves on the life of Jesus. And although a lot of it is a spoof, and it’s a brilliant comedy, but it gets more things right, than most other films do. So, I respected for that, and the amount of research that went into it. A few years ago, there was a conference in London University College London, on the Life of Brian and history that brought a whole bunch of people together, myself included, to talk about the historical aspects of the Life of Brian. And we were really privileged to have John Cleese with us for the whole time, as well as the editor, the person who had edited the film and had a couple of other people who had been involved with their part time. And what we learned from them was really the amount of research that went into this. They really studied. They studied scholarship, they went back to the primary sources. And they incorporated the things that suited their purpose. And so, and I think one of the reasons that they

Adele Reinhartz  35:27

did this, well, first of all, they were just really interested in it. This is what John Cleese really emphasized that if he just found it fascinating, so he was studying this out of his fascination, but also because they weren’t trying to make a Christian film. So they were less constrained. As we talked about earlier, they were less constrained by what they themselves might have learned in Sunday school as as children or what it is that might appeal to somebody who’s coming at this from the perspective of Christian piety. And so they just went back to the historical sources and, and made use of them, I think, to that effect.

Dan LeFebvre  36:16

Yeah, that’s, that’s fascinating that I guess I wouldn’t have expected life of Brian to be one of the most well researched

Adele Reinhartz  36:25

I made just by naming him Brian. So I mean, again, I think this is part of the brilliance of the film, that it takes some of the historical materials but then also, you know, it’s referencing other Jesus movies, it’s referencing the, the Christmas industry, it’s referencing aspects of British education in British society, and weaves all that together. And that’s, that’s really why it’s just so hilarious. And it’s fun to watch. I’ve watched I don’t even know how many times I’ve watched it. It’s fun every single time.

Dan LeFebvre  37:05

Oh, it was a blast. It had been a little bit since I’ve seen it but about preparing for this. There’s a lot of little things in there that that like the little details, you know you because you do see Jesus here every so often, you know, in there, like at the very beginning, you know, as as he’s preaching little things like that, that they that I completely forgotten. Were in there you watch it again. It was little, the little details in there. Yeah, for sure. But thank you so much for coming on to chat about Life of Brian, I know you’ve written extensively about Jesus and film. So for someone listening to this, who wants to learn more, which of your books would you recommend they start with to start digging deeper beyond the movie?

Adele Reinhartz  37:46

Well, I’ve written a book on Jesus movies that’s called Jesus of Hollywood. That’s published by Oxford, and you can get it from their website and Amazon, of course, that came out about 15 years ago now. More recently, I’ve published an introduction to Bible and film that has a chapter on the Jesus movies but chapters on other kinds of movies as well as well as on the use of the Bible, in just regular fictional feature films, not in Bible movies as such, but the ways in which the Bible is used in other kinds of other kinds of movies. That’s called Bible in cinema. An introduction. The second edition just came out at the end of March. That’s published by Rutledge. I’ve done other things on Bible and film, but those are the two that have the most information about the Jesus movies.

Dan LeFebvre  38:46

Awesome. Yeah, I’ll make sure to add links to those in the show notes for this episode. Thanks again so much for your time.

Adele Reinhartz  38:51

Thank you. It was a lot of fun.



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