Stephen Andrew Missick, an Iraq War Veteran, is the author and illustrator of the "Hammer of God" a comic book series that tells the story of Judas Maccabee and the first Hanukkah. He is also the author and illustrator of "The Ennead: The Story of Osiris, Isis and Horus" from ancietn Egyptian mythology and wrote and illustrated "Christ the Man." Stephen Missick lives and grew up in the Houston area.
COMICPALOOZA will be on Memorial Day weekend.
New Teaching "King of Israel"
Jesus: The Jewish Messiah
Hidden Treasures and Intercultural Encounters: Studies on East Syriac Christianity in China and Central Asia (orientalia - patristica - oecumenica) Editors, Dietmar W. Winkler and Li Tang
East Syriac Christianity spread outside the Roman Empire as a result of the missions carried out by the "Church of the East", formerly known as "Nestorian Church". This volume contains the most recent cutting edge research on this very Church in China and Central Asia. World-renowned scholars from universities and institutions in China, India, Europe and North America contributed to the study of this fascinating chapter of the history of Christianity. They come from various disciplines such as Religious and Ecclesiastical History, Philology (Sinology, Syrology), Archeology, Theology, and Central Asiatic Studies. This volume is a collection of expanded papers presented by a variety of international and interdisciplinary scholars at the second international conference on early Christianity in Central Asia and China. The conference was held in Salzburg in 2006 and focused on the so-called "Nestorian" churches that grew up in the sixth to fourteenth centuries, and especially the Jingjiao church of China. The presenters are linguists of Syriac, Chinese, and other Central Asian languages; archaeologists from China and the West; historians, experts of Buddhism, and the like. While the papers are of varying quality, those interested in early Christianity in China will find the material here much mre reliable than in the ffew popular books that have come out in English on this subject. Those interested in this volume will also want to consult the papers from the first conference in 2003 (Roman Malek and Peter Hofrichter, "Jingjiao : the Church of the East in China and Central Asia," Monumenta Serica [Sankt Augustin: Institut Monumenta Serica], 2006).
Kirk Cameron's Comments
Comments Kirk Cameron made in March calling homosexuality "unnatural," "detrimental," and "ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization." The actor received backlash from the comments, which he made on Piers Morgan but told ABCNews.com he had also received a tremendous amount of support. "I should be able to express moral views on social issues," he said, "especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years - without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach 'tolerance' that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I'm in the public square.
Mel Gibson and the Hanukkah Movie Crisis (NOTE: There is foul language in this story-I tried to clean it up.)
TheWrap has obtained a copy of "The Maccabees" script, or as Joe Eszterhas titled it, "M.C.K.B.I." I've read it. And here's what I can tell you: it's exceedingly bloody, it's hardly mainstream – and it is in every way a Jewish "Braveheart," just as Eszterhas claimed. The question is, perhaps: Does anyone outside the Anti-Defamation League want to see a Jewish "Braveheart"? Eszterhas's script is remarkably faithful to the 2nd century B.C. biblical tale. A group of five brothers, sons of the high priest Mattathias, band together to fight the anti-Jewish occupation of Israel by the Greek-Syrian ruler, Antiochus. It is primal: white hats and black hats. Heroes and heinous villains. Good vs. evil. On the face of it, this is a script that Mel Gibson should absolutely love: A band of pious underdogs take on an evil overlord. (They don't paint their faces a la "Braveheart," but the Jewish women are physically branded as harlots.) It is full of throat-slitting and cutting off of heads. There are miles of heads on stakes. In one scene, a woman plunges a dagger into the eye of an opponent. Hearts are cut out of dead bodies. And the fighting is full of Rambo-like relish. From one scene: "Ramses turns to run, but Judah is on him...Ramses falls. Judah kills him with his bare hands - lifting him by the neck and snapping it suddenly. Judah gets up and faces the other mercenaries. He is a crazed, furious, dervish - explosive, a killing machine. The mercenaries have shields, swords, and shovel-like spears. Judah draws his knife. He is a fighting machine at full roar." Like "Passion of the Christ," "The Maccabees" assert their principles in the face of a sadistic, heathen overlord (that would be the Greek-Syrian Antiochus instead of the Roman overlord Pontius Pilate.) And like "Braveheart," it is a story of people fighting for freedom. In one scene, Judah the Maccabee vows: "We will be free! The day will come when we'll be free! We will be free to pray to our God! We will be free to educate our children! We will never have to bend our knee to anyone but our Lord! The day will come when we'll be strong and mighty, strong enough to defeat anyone - anyone! - who wants to wipe us off the face of the earth. (He puts his clenched fist up into the air and bows his head.)" Some might find it a little much, but not – as Warner Bros. production president Greg Silverman told Eszterhas – short on "feeling" and "a sense of triumph." Maccabee Movie put on hold. Warner Bros. has put on hold a controversial Mel Gibson movie project about the Jewish Maccabee revolt in the 2nd Century B.C. after reading the script by writer Joe Eszterhas, TheWrap has learned. A spokesman for the studio told TheWrap: "We are analyzing what to do with the project." Jewish groups were outraged after news broke in September that Gibson had reached a production deal with Warner's to direct the story of Judah Maccabee, whose victory over Greek and Syrian armies is celebrated at Hanukkah. One Jewish group called it "a moral lapse in judgement." Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said he was pleased that the project had been shelved. "Jewish history will be better off without Mel Gibson playing Judah Maccabee," Hier told TheWrap.
Eszterhas delivered the script in late February, and Warner's has since passed on it, according to an individual close to the project. Warner production president Greg Silverman described it as lacking in "feeling" and "a sense of triumph," according to the individual. Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas says he and his family were house guests of Mel Gibson in Costa Rica last December when the 'Mad Max' star went off on a blistering tirade, recorded on an iPhone by Eszterhas ' 15-year-old son Nick. Eszterhas, who wrote the blockbuster "Basic Instinct," was writing a screenplay for Gibson for a film called "The Maccabees." The fact that the screenplay had not been completed seems to be one of the things that set Gibson off. "Why don't I have a first draft of 'The Maccabees'? What the f**k have you been doing?" he can be heard bellowing on the recording on The Wrap's website. And it gets worse. Gibson, 56, also screams about Oksana Grigorieva, his ex-girlfriend and mother of his young daughter. "I am earning money for a filthy little c**ksucker who takes advantage of me!" Gibson rants. Gibson and Eszterhas and have been involved in a heated back and forth over the past weeks, during which Eszterhas accused Gibson of making anti-Semitic remarks and threatening Grigorieva. Eszterhas wrote a scathing, nine-page letter to Gibson in which he accused the actor of "hating Jews" and using "The Maccabees" film project – a story about Jewish heroism -- "in an attempt to deflect continuing charges of anti-Semitism which have dogged you, charges which have crippled your career." "I've come to the conclusion that the reason you won't make 'The Maccabees' is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews," Eszterhas wrote."The Maccabees" project was put on hold by Warner Bros. studio, in part due to Eszterhas' script, The Wrap reported. Gibson has called several of Eszterhas' assertions "fabrications," and may sue the writer. The actor is looking into whether Costa Rican laws were violated when he was secretly taped in his home, and if his privacy was violated by the release of the audio, TMZ reports.
Following is a transcript of a rant by Mel Gibson to screenwriter Joe Eszterhas in Costa Rica. It was recorded by Eszterhas' son Nick in December and obtained by TheWrap.
Mel – (screaming the whole time)
Why don't I have a first draft of "The "Maccabees"?
What the f**k have you been doing?
I'll type it!
— mumbling inaudible —
— mumbling inaudible —
I go to work, you're getting paid, I'm not! S**t!
I am earning money for a filthy little c***sucker who takes advantage of me!
Just like every motherf***er!
So hurry the f**k up!
(Throwing things, knocking down the totem pole)
(Coming up from the billiard room and approaching the table and screaming at the top of his lungs in the face of his guests)
Who wants to eat?! Who the fuck wants to eat?! Go have something to eat! Hurrrrraaaaayyyyyy!
F***ing c**t c***sucker whore!
(Screaming as he runs toward the driveway, gets into his car and drives away)
As another individual put it: "The script didn't pass muster." But in an explosive letter to Gibson obtained by TheWrap, Eszterhas said that the director never planned to make the movie, and was using him to deflect Gibson's anti-Semitic reputation. He wrote: "I've come to the conclusion that the reason you won't make 'The Maccabees' is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews."
Update: Gibson responded in a letter to Eszterhas: "Both Warner Brothers and I were extraordinarily disappointed with the draft. In 25 years of script development I have never seen a more substandard first draft or a more significant waste of time. The decision not to proceed with you was based on the quality of your script, not on any other factor."Gibson also apologized for using "colorful" language, but said that much of Eszterhas's observations were "utter fabrications." Eszterhas declined to comment. Warner's has a long history of collaborating with Gibson, but the star was upset after the studio rescinded his cameo in "The Hangover Part II" when the crew protested his involvement. (Thank God that he didn't appear in that movie. It was the worst movie I had ever seen. And it was basically gay porn.) The project involved one of Gibson's favored themes -- an underdog army fighting for freedom. In 165 B.C., Jewish leader Maccabee led his brothers in revolt against the Seleucid Empire, ruled by Antiochus Epiphanes who had forbidden Jewish practices. Noting his checkered history of making anti-Semitic remarks and his controversial depiction of Jews in his 2003 film "The Passion of the Christ," Jewish leaders said the choice of Gibson to direct a film about a prominent figure in their religion was insensitive.
Career Kaput: Has Mel Gibson finally used up all his Hollywood lifelines?
By Holly McKay, April 20, 2012 Fox News
This week screenwriter Joe Eszterhas released a profanity-laced recording starring Oscar-winning actor Mel Gibson. "Why don't I have a first draft of "The Maccabees?" What the f--- have you been doing?" Gibson screams, unaware that he was being recorded by Eszterhas' son. Eszterhas says his family was staying at Gibson's home in Costa Rica this past December when Gibson went off about their film project. Gibson also goes after his ex, Oksana Grigorieva, ranting: "I am earning money for a filthy little c--ksucker who takes advantage of me!" This is familiar territory when it comes to Gibson. In 2006, he was arrested for a DUI and went on an anti-Semitic diatribe against the arresting officer. In 2010, several tapes were released online of the actor/director verbally abusing Grigorieva, the mother of his two-year-old daughter, Lucia. Yet following each hate-filled meltdown, the "Braveheart" star managed to bounce back and make more movies, albeit fewer and farther between than in his career prime. But now that could all be over, experts say. "Much of Hollywood has already shunned Mel Gibson and that's why it was so shocking to many when 'The Maccabees' selected him for the project. The fact that Gibson's rant involves the film's screenwriter will almost certainly lead to a blacklisting," PR pro Glenn Selig told FOX411's Pop Tarts column. "It also is proof that despite [everything], Gibson has not changed and is still in desperate need of anger management counseling, and that hiring him for any project invites trouble, unwanted negative publicity and brings with it unpredictability." According to an industry site, Gibson has no projects in the works aside from a "rumored" role in Robert Rodriguez's "Machete" sequel entitled "Machete Kills." His only movie slated for release this year, his self-financed crime drama "Get the Gringo," will skip a theatrical run entirely and debut on DirecTV next month. Industry watcher Scott Huver says the only way Gibson can maintain a Hollywood presence is to produce and fund his own films. "As one of Hollywood's highest-grossing, highest-paid stars for decades, financing his own films won't be a problem: finding distributors, theaters that will play them and audiences to see them will be the issue," Huver said. "At this point, given the presumed frequency of these sorts of tantrums, anyone in Hollywood – even Gibson's biggest filmmaking fans and supporters – would have to give pause to the notion of working with him again, at least until he's able to show demonstrate some concrete progress in managing his volcanic outbursts." As it stands, public apologies like he has made in the past aren't likely enough. "He would be well-advised to ignore any fallout from his latest taped rant. He has already been blacklisted in Hollywood, that's why he is living in Costa Rica and producing his own movies," says crisis management expert Gene Grabowski of Levick Strategic Communications. "Because of his success 20 years ago, Gibson no longer has to seek job offers. He now creates his own opportunities, but if he invests too much time explaining his position and responding to fallout, he will only lose more fans." TMZ reported that Gibson may sue Eszterhas over possible invasion of privacy. A rep for Gibson declined to comment.
Responses and my take:
Joe Eszterhas was supposed to deliver him a decent script on time and he didn't. According to Gibson he delivered him crap ... a worthless piece of crap! (-from a post on the news)
Mel Gibson's mistake was having Joe Eszterhas write the script. The man's creativity is seen in his having a woman expose her vulva in "Basic Instinct." Eszterhas is also the author of the notorious trashy pornographic ("NC-17" rated) movie "Showgirls." I don't understand why Mel Gibson would let a pornographer write the script for his Bible movie. So, here is what is happened. Mr. Eszterhas did not write the script, Mel Gibson confronted him. Mr. Eszterhas rushed the script to completion-producing an inferior script. I don't understand why he didn't finish the script. He had plenty of time. The announcement was made in September. In late February, Mel Gibson confronted his and cussed him out. Now I avoid using obscene language. I don't think that he should use the language. I do not sympathize with his former Russian girlfriend. We don't have the complete recordings that she recorded of him-so we don't have the complete context. However, his rants when he was arrested and his rants to his former Russian girlfriend are horrible. I think that this situation was different. In the movies "Tropic Thunder" and the trashy TV show "Entourage," we have portrayals of foul mouthed producers. Apparently, Hollywood thinks that such behavior is acceptable-or at least amusing-unless it is coming from Mel Gibson.
Here is what I think happened. Mr. Eszterhas is in breach of contract. He did not produce a script in a timely manner. (Six months is plenty of time. Being generous, I could write a script in less than three months-three weeks for research and three to six weeks to write the script.) Mel Gibson confronted him on the fact that there was no script after six months. Then, Mr. Eszterhas threw a script together. It was awful. It was rejected by Mel Gibson and the studio. To save face and to "cover his butt" he released the audio of his getting a butt-chewing from Mel Gibson. Eszterhas deserved to get chewed out. Then, to get "revenge" on Mel Gibson (for his own failures) he accuses him of other statements. He makes other outlandish claims about comments Mel Gibson supposedly made. I think Mr. Eszterhas is lying. If he as recordings I will believe it-otherwise I don't. Mel Gibson shouldn't have used foul language, but this time he is in the right. The Hollywood establishment is out to get Mel Gibson. He can't afford to have angry outbursts. He has also hurt his public image by his temper tantrums. This time his anger is justifiable. Mel Gibson's mistake was to hire Mr. Eszterhas to write the Maccabee script.
My advice to Mel Gibson
If I were Mel Gibson, I would go forward with the Maccabee movie. He needs to hire a new script writer, hopefully someone who is more reliable that Mr. Eszterhas. Mel Gibson needs to direct and produce and perhaps have a cameo in the Maccabee movie. (Perhaps appearing as Mattathias, Judah Maccabee's father.) This is an unfortunate set-back. It will probably take at least four months for his project to go forward, if it goes forward at all. All of this is an unfortunate set back, based on choosing the wrong person to write the Script. Mel needs to persevere.
Pray for Sudan
The Christians of Southern Sudan won their freedom from the Islamic north at the cost of about three million dead. There was controversy over the border. An oil rich town exists in a border town with both Islamic Sudan and Southern Sudan claiming it belonged to them. Islamic Sudan threatened war. I would recommend that Southern Sudan let the north have it. Southern Sudan has only been an independent nation for one year. They need time to consolidate their power and independence. War, at this stage, is to great a risk. What if the north takes over all of Southern Sudan again? Sometimes war is necessary, but I feel that the Christians of Southern Sudan cannot afford war at this point.
Pray for Syria
I lived in Syria. I love Syria and I want regime change for Syria. France is trying to pressure the international community to intervene. America is now stating that we are looking at "tougher moves" against the slaughter of the Syrian people by the Alawite Assad regime.
Pray for Egypt
Thankfully, the radical terrorist organization "Muslim Brotherhood's," candidate for the presidency of Egypt has been disqualified. Amr Moussa is the former foreign minister of Egypt and is a front runner in the race. He is presenting himself as the last bulwark against an Islamic state and warns that is a Muslim brotherhood candidate wins-Egypt will become a one party system dominated by the Muslim brotherhood. Another front runner is Aboul Fotouh. We must pray that the government of Egypt be moderate and democratic, that it would protect the rights of the Coptic Christians and protect them from religious persecution
Dangerous Islamic Terrorist in England
Abu Qataba, a dangerous Muslim terrorist, is finally being deported from England. England allows terrorists to operate freely and openly in their country. Abu Qataba is a high level Al Qaida operative. What is worse is that he has collected millions of dollars in welfare benefits from the British public. . The British public is so paralyzed by fear of Islamic radicalism that they are afraid even to discuss it, while Islamists take advantage of the situation.
Pakistan and Afghanistan
On other news, Russia criticized NATO's plans to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014 saying that forces should stay until Afghanistan is stabilized. Around the same time, "militants" attacked a Pakistan prison and released 400 men who were arrested for terrorism. What REALLY happened was the government of Pakistan released 400 militants after a staged "terrorist" attack on a prison-so as to avoid international criticism. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan need to be labeled what they are "state sponsors of terrorism."
Chuck Colson Dead
Chuck Colson died at the age of 80 years old. Since his conversion during his imprisonment during the Watergate scandal, he has been very active in Evangelism, Apologetics and Prison Ministry. Mr. Colson did a lot for the church and his death is a serious loss.
Remember my books, such as "The Language of Jesus" and my book and comic books on the story of the Maccabees entitled "The Hammer of God." Remember this blog-www.aramaicherald.blogspot.com and the youtube site www.youtube.com/aramaic12.
Also, you can contact me at PO BOX 882, Shepherd, TX 77371