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Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment 

Zondervan 

To Distribute DVD/VHS 

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Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ

June 11, 2004

 

Galatians 1:6-9

6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

 

With the May press release from Zondervan, announcing their agreement to be the only Christian distributor of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ" DVD's, it seems necessary to address this topic one more time. The Grand Rapids, Michigan based company announced May 10, 2004, that the controversial movie would be distributed by them to Christian organizations in DVD and VHS form. 

Icon Productions and Newmarket Films were the joint marketing and distribution companies for "The Passion of The Christ" movie, whose successful targeting of Christian leadership and their religious organizations and congregations has made the movie into a staggering monetary success.

 

From a joint announcement by Gibson's Icon Productions and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, May 10, the Passion, "makes its highly anticipated DVD and VHS debut on August 31, 2004, it was announced today by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (TCFHE) and Icon Productions.... For retailers from the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA), the DVD/VHS will be distributed through Zondervan, a leading international Christian communications company...."

 

The press release noted that the official Passion website 2 would provide  the link for promotion of the DVD or VHS, which includes a special offer to churches. From there, the offer from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment takes one to Fox's Passion page. 3 

 

That 'Church Sales and Programs' announcement by "Fox" provides pre-ordering for churches for all of June through July, and for bulk sales. The anticipated purchasing of the DVD or VHS by congregants, is being helped along with the special offer of assistance with even an opportunity to order a customized slipcase which could then have the churches name and specific message or congregational literature. Bulk orders are available in cases of 50, with specific retailers participating in that offer, including: Blockbuster, Alliance Entertainment, Ingram Entertainment Inc, Tower Record, Urban Gospel Network and several others. 4 The personalized church or organizational slipcase can be ordered from worddistribution. 5

 

For those not interested in the church promotional aspect, the pre-ordering and future sales of the DVD and VHS are available through FOXSTORE.COM, the official online store for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. It is offering the pre-order DVD deal of $19.95 instead of the August 31 price of $29.90, and the VHS pre-order price of $16.95 instead of $24.90. The official release prices appear to be slightly different, depending on source.

 

In the Zondervan May 10, press release it was announced this way, "...Through an agreement with TCFHE [Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment], considered the leading international Christian communications company Zondervan will exclusively distribute the title to Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) member stores and other Christian organizations. As part of its distribution plan Zondervan will offer special point of purchase displays and marketing materials. All other North American retail distribution activities will be handled by TCFHE..."6

 

In 1988, the Grand Rapids based Zondervan was purchased by Harper & Row, Publishers which merged with Collins and became HarperCollins Publishers. Zondervan has offices worldwide. According to their own information, Zondervan is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, and "the leading international Christian communications company in the world."

 

Zondervan produces Bibles, books, new media products, gift products from its Inspirio group, and children’s products from its Zonderkidz group. 7 

It's market for the Bibles, books, and Christian products  goes to ministries, organizations, book clubs, mass merchandisers, and retail facilities across  North America, including more than 8,000 independent and chain Christian and general bookstores in the U.S., 8 including:  Family Christian Stores, The Parable Group, Lifeway Christian Stores, Berean Christian Stores, The Logos Bookstore Association, Christian Supply, Lemstone, Munce Buying & Marketing Group, B. Dalton, WaldenBooks, Borders Bookstores and Books-A-Million. Their various products are also sold worldwide in more than 60 countries, with books translated into nearly 130 languages. 9 

 

Considered the world’s largest Bible publisher, it publishes approximately 60 Bible editions per year. 10  Zondervan holds exclusive North American publishing rights to the New International Version of the Bible with more than 170 million copies distributed worldwide. 11 It also holds exclusive North American publishing rights to the New International Reader's Version (The NIV for kids), Today's New International Version, the New American Standard Bible, Amplified, and the Good News Translation." 12 

 

HarperCollins.UK website lists links to their other divisions such as the occult focused Thorsons/Element, which deals in witchcraft, divination, magik, sex and similar material. Other divisions include: HarperCollins Children's Books, Voyager Books, Collins, Collins Education, and HarperCollins Crime. 13 

 

In the U.K., Harper-Collins' religious division also publishes the Good News Bible, which was originally called Good News for Modern Man, while, as stated, Zondervan holds the exclusive rights to that and the publication of the NIV version of the Bible, in partnership with the International Bible Society (IBS).

 

Harper-Collins publishes and distributes such books as the Satanic Bible and a 'companion book', Satanic Rituals, both by known satanist Anton La Vey. HarperCollins also publishes such controversial books as: Goddess in My Pocket (Trade PB) Simple Spells, Charms, Potions, and Chants to Get You Everything You Want; Spiral Dance, The - 20th Anniversary (Trade PB) A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess: 20th Anniversary Edition; Necronomicon, and under the Subject of BODY, MIND & SPIRIT/ Divination / Tarot such books as: The Heart of the Tarot (Trade PB) and many more.

 

What was missed in the Zondervan and Twentieth Century Fox press release information was the fact that HarperCollins Publishers, of which Zondervan is a division, is part of publisher Rupert Murdoch's Net Corp. - the owner of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. From the May 10, DVD press release, it was stated that Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming on VHS and DVD, and  a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a Fox Entertainment Group company.

 

The "distribution agreement" between Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Zondervan should astound no one, based on this information.

 

The movie track record and television schedule of Fox is obviously not of God. But then, with no surprise, neither is the movie track record of Hollywood, of people like Mel Gibson or the cast of the movie of The Passion Of The Christ, before or since that movie was released

 

The divorced and remarried Rupert Murdoch is better known as the owner of News Corporation Ltd., a media conglomerate that has globally expanded into all forms of media: television, film, print, and the Internet. 20th Century Fox, The Fox Network, FOX Broadcasting Network, TV Guide, Seventeen magazine, The New York Post, The Times and The Sunday Times in London, Harper Collins Publishers, and Zondervan are some of his businesses, which apparently number over 120.

 

Rupert Murdoch, owner of Zondervan, HarperCollins and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, made a $10 million contribution toward the construction of a Catholic cathedral in Los Angeles, in 1999. In 1998, Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony anointed Murdoch and his second wife as members of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great.

 

That knighthood, bestowed on behalf of the pope, is granted to persons who qualify as having "unblemished character", according to New Advent. More importantly perhaps, they are those who are deemed to have that character and reputation and those "who have in any way promoted the interests of society, the [Catholic] Church, and the Holy See". [Holy See is the technical term for the pope, or the central ecclesiastical government/ Vatican]. The Order's original purpose was to honor loyal and meritorious gentlemen of the Papal States. It has two divisions, civil and military, with 4 ranks each: Grand Cross Knights of the First Class; Grand Cross Knights of the Second Class; Commanders, and simple Knights. 14

 

That said, reported in The Grand Rapids Press, Thursday, May 13, 2004, Mark Rice, Zondervan vice president of corporate communications, stated the following about the Passion DVD distribution contract, "We are very excited about this, and the potential is tremendous... There are 3,000 member stores, which do $2.6 billion in sales". The article went on to say, "While the Christian retail market makes up a fraction of the overall retail industry, churchgoers and ministries are Gibson's target market for both the movie and the upcoming videos and DVDs, Fox officials said." 15

 

Mark Rice was also quoted as saying, "We are now associated with a product that has a significant impact on people's lives and that just (solidifies) what Zondervan's Christian mission and message is all about."

 

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

Apparently the true Word of God is insufficient to impact people's lives. Instead one needs to be impacted by a historically inaccurate and Biblically false rendition, ripped from the pages of divination sources and claimed to be the 'true and real story of Jesus.'

 

At least that is how Mel Gibson described the movie at Easter, when interviewed about the release of his new 'companion to the movie' book, The Passion: He Was Despised And Rejected - A Man of Sorrows, Acquainted with Bitterest Grief.  In an interview at Newsmax.com, Gibson stated why he decided to take on the Hollywood establishment "to tell the true story of Jesus' death."

 

1 John 2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

In the article, the image filled book is presented as Biblical truth, with the expanded marketing aimed at children. The graphic imagery is perhaps more mind numbing in the book, according to one person who viewed the images. The violence of the movie, which was too gory and graphic for many reviewers is viewed as positive teaching for children by some, and the book bridges the gap for others. Readers are urged to support Mel Gibson by buying the book as well as viewing the movie.

 

"Throughout the book, biblical verses and dialogue explain to the reader the story of Jesus' final 12 hours. You will share in his suffering, passion, crucifixion, death and resurrection. This book also is a great teaching book for children and may be the most powerful re-telling of the passion of Jesus of Nazareth ever produced in print form."

..."You can show your support for Mel Gibson and his new movie by getting a copy of his new book..." 16 

The NewsMax exclusive interview, called "Mel's Passion", and promotion of his book, was advanced by stating:

"...The Passion offers a special introduction from Mel Gibson. Mel reveals why he produced this movie. He details the importance of his faith and the reasons this story - of all stories - needs to be shared with the world..."Mel's Passion." In this exclusive interview Mel tells NewsMax why he decided to take on the Hollywood establishment to tell the true story of Jesus' death." [bolding underline added]

The true story of Jesus' death is not in the movie Mel Gibson made. In fact, even the Synopsis provided by Fox, is so filled with error, and Catholic doctrine, as to wonder again how people can be so blind to Scriptural truth. Mel Gibson believes, as a traditional Catholic that there is no salvation outside the Catholic faith.

In fact, some Christians are claiming that where presentation of the Biblical Jesus has been rejected by Muslims for example, Mel Gibson's Jesus has been accepted. Think carefully what that means. The Jesus that Muslims can accept from the Koran, is a human prophet---with no divinity. And that is what they see in the movie, because all divinity was stripped from the presentation, including in specific spots where Scriptures were deliberately changed or corrupted. 

Matthew 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Christians are also glorifying and applauding the alleged pirating of Gibson's movie in DVD form, as that is what is reported as being sold in places like Saudi Arabia. The claims are that many are accepting the movie Jesus. Apparently people could not wait until August or the pre-ordering of the DVD's --available June 1-July 31. Instead, people are choosing to make money from the pirated DVD's. That's illegal. Have people forgotten that theft and dishonesty goes against what God is about? Not only is the claim that the movie is Biblically accurate, with the related approval for the use of divination--abhorred by God, but, now it is also claimed that God would have people steal and be dishonest, for His glory. 

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

1 John 2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

Phil 4: 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Titus 1:1 ....and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; 2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

People who wish to believe that the movie is true and Biblically accurate need to take a closer look at the Word of God and actual historical facts versus the divination sources, imagination and false information used by Gibson. They need to look at statements he himself has made concerning the content and message in the movie.

1 John 2: 26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

Mel Gibson has done what no one else has been able to do. He has presented another gospel and another Jesus and many under the banner of "Christian", Messianic, and even Jews and Muslims and other religions, have proclaimed it to be the Jesus they know or know about. Whether it be the one found in the Koran, or the divination writings of Emmerich, Agreda or Bridget, or one claimed by evangelicals or catholics, this weak, mother dependent and so very human, Jesus, beaten and brutalized for almost the entire movie, the gore and horrific violence, is what is portrayed and focused on. 

People have been urged to support the movie, urged to support the book, urged to support Mel Gibson, urged to take others to the movie. They will be urged to rent or purchase the DVD or VHS. Many will do it voluntarily as they see this as being a true Christian undertaking. Many are urging the making of more similar movies, feeling they can take "Hollywood" or the entertainment industry for Christ. 

Have people also been urged to test the content, and many promotional interviews and articles, to the Word of God...or just believe what they are told and wish to believe as true? Many want to be entertained, rather than study to show themselves approved. 

That movie Jesus is not the Jesus we know. Nor the one found in the true Word of God.

1 John 2: 15-19

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

 

Other Articles to Consider

A Different View of Mel Gibson's  The Passion of The Christ >

[also available split into 2 parts > gibson1, gibson2]

Comments About Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ

Pro & Con Comments About Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ 

Mel Gibson, Biblical Accuracy & The Other  Passion Source:  The 15 Prayers of St. Bridget

God Can Use Anything...But Should We? Q & A About The Passion of The Christ

Q & A: More Scriptural Comparison's of The Passion of the Christ

Q & A: About the Cast & Crew of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ

NewsFlash!  Mystic Anne Emmerich to be Beatified


Footnotes

 

1.   http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/index.jsp?epi-content=GENERIC&newsId

=20040510005274&newsLang=en&beanID=928376271&viewID=news_view 

2. http://www.thepassionofthechrist.com/splash.htm

3. http://www.foxhome.com/thepassion/church_sales.html

4. http://www.foxhome.com/thepassion/bulk_case.html

5. http://www.foxhome.com/thepassion/church_slipcase.html

6. THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST COMING HOME, Through An Agreement With Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Zondervan to distribute DVD/VHS to CBA marketplace; GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., May 10, 2004; http://www.zondervan.com/desk/newsrelease.asp?Page=20040510 

7. http://www.zondervan.com/desk/about.asp?page=corpglance

8. http://www.zondervan.com/desk/about.asp?page=corpgrowth 

9. http://www.zondervan.com/desk/about.asp?page=corpstats" 

10. Ibid

11. http://www.zondervan.com/desk/about.asp?page=corpglance

12. Ibid

13. http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/

14.  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04667a.htm

15. Zondervan to distribute "Passion" by Mary Radigan; The Grand Rapids Press - Business, Section 4; Thursday, May 13, 2004

16. email, Newsmax.com, NewsMax News Alert, Thursday April 8, 2004; Mel Gibson's Easter Message 

Copyright . All articles are the sole property of SeekGod.ca and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.

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