Moviegoers who see The Passion of the Christ may go home confident they know who killed Jesus and why. If only the experts could feel so sure.
This much biblical scholars know: Jesus died on the cross at the hands of Roman prefect Pontius Pilate. But what led Romans to crucify an unarmed wanderer with a nonviolent following? The role of Jewish authorities continues to stir disagreement in scholarly circles, as does the question of how much to trust the four biblical versions that give filmmakers storytelling options.