The Apostle Paul wrote eight of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament (and maybe more, though scholars debate that). He’s well-known for his dramatic conversion and his lengthy missionary journeys. St. Paul was a giant of faith in the early Church, and to us today, it can be easy to forget that he was also human. He faced challenges and struggles just as we do. Paul: Apostle of Christ is a dramatic look at this great man’s last days.
From the perspective of Luke, who wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, we see Rome in the time of the early Church. Paul has gone from the most infamous persecutor of Christians to Christ’s most influential apostle. Now, he’s in a dark and bleak prison cell awaiting execution by Emperor Nero, who has pinned the blame for Rome’s Great Fire on him.
Luke, his friend and physician, risks his life when he ventures into Rome to visit Paul. The Roman Christians are facing the most bloody persecutions yet, scattered and despairing, and need a word of hope. Paul’s friends Priscilla and Aquila lead a group of Christians now in hiding, trying to decide whether to stay in Rome to spread the Way or to leave for their own safety.
Paul is under the watchful eye of Mauritius, the prison’s prefect, who seeks to understand how this broken old man can pose such a threat. But before Paul’s death sentence can be enacted, Luke resolves to write another book, one that details the beginnings of “The Way” and the birth of what will come to be known as the Church.
Their faith challenged an empire. But their words changed the world.
If you liked The Nativity Story and Risen, you’ll enjoy this movie—the next installment, if you will, in the Gospel story. Paul: Apostle of Christ brings history alive, with all its dirt and blood. And it is bloody—I don’t recommend watching this movie with kids, because Nero’s gruesome persecutions are pictured (though briefly) and mentioned. My husband described it as “gritty.” Most of it takes place in a Roman prison, with a few flashbacks to Paul’s earlier days.
Paul: Apostle of Christ is written and directed by Andrew Hyatt and produced by T. J. Berden and David Zelon. It stars Jim Caviezel as Luke the Physician and James Faulkner as Paul the Apostle, as well as Olivier Martinez, Joanne Whalley and John Lynch.
If you want to learn more about the Apostle Paul, you may also enjoy Empire’s End by Jerry B. Jenkins (Biblical fiction) or In the Footsteps of Paul (nonfiction).
Have you seen Paul: Apostle of Christ?