Peter and Paul (1981)
Director: Robert Day.
Starring: Anthony Hopkins (Paul of Tarsus), Robert Foxworth (Peter the Fisherman), Eddie Albert (Festus), Raymond Burr (Herod Agrippa I), José Ferrer (Gamaliel), Jon Finch (Luke), David Gwillim (Mark), Herbert Lom (Barnabas), Jean Peters (Priscilla), Julian Fellowes (Nero), Shanit Keter (Daphne), Denis Lill (James I), John Rhys-Davies (Silas), Gareth Thomas (Julius), Clive Arrindell (Timothy).
Jesus said that Peter was the rock on which he would found his church. But the man who was most responsible for the spread of Christianity was Paul. Peter was too narrowly confined by his own little world of the Jews. He wanted others to come to Christianity through the rules and laws of Judaism. If it was left to Peter, Christianity would never have become more than an unorthodox sect of Judaism.
It was Paul, who in a sense "marketed" Christianity to non-Christians and thereby brought Christianity out of its restrictions of the small world of Judaism, which made it possible for Christianity to appeal to non-Jews in the larger world of the Roman empire.
The movie makes very clear the differences of approach to Christianity between Peter and Paul. Peter was the more narrow-minded, limited thinker who could not effectively go beyond Judaism. Paul was the hero of the day who saved Christianity from obscurity by appealing to the interests of non-Jews in the Roman empire. In fact, some may not like the concentration on doctrinal differences between the two men, but one must remember it was this dispute that saved a Jewish sect from obscurity.
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.
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