Paul, Apostle of Christ (2018)

At one Friday Light in the winter, we watched Paul, Apostle of Christ. This is a biblical film written and directed by Andrew Hyatt (2018) and is set in Paul’s last days in a Roman prison. It shows Luke bravely going to visit him in order to find the material to write Acts, along with the problems and dilemmas faced by the Roman church in light of Nero’s persecution and Paul’s incarceration. Some of us were disappointed that it only covered the end of his life, perhaps echoing Rotten Tomatoes’ critical response, lamenting that the film’s ‘flashes of potential never come close to living up to the source material’. One might offer such a statement about any Biblically-inspired production.

Nevertheless, it offered us a little gem to consider. Paul’s ‘thorn in the flesh’ was interpreted in the film as the memories of his former life in which he persecuted and killed Christians. Satan regularly reminded him of his past conduct in order to disable his current ministry. There is a final scene in which the apostle, freshly beheaded, finds himself in heaven, being greeted and hugged by the very church members and families he had once dispatched there himself.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17