Book/Movie Review

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The movie Joshua, directed by John Purdy, and the book by the same name, by Joseph Girzone, both simultaneously address the Biblical figure by this name and ask what the fate of such a person would be in today’s society. The message of both the movie (which is based on Girzone’s book) and the book centers on the final exhortation in the Book of Joshua (which completes a number of the stories of the origin and history of the Jewish people that were started in the books of Genesis, Exodus, and Deuteronomy). This central message of both the Biblical book and the newer book and movie are that God can be relied upon to be present to his followers and to provide them guidance and leadership if they follow the holy law. However, once people cease to worship or once they begin to break divine law, God will abandon them and let his followers be conquered by their enemies and make them subjects of foreigners in what was once their own land.

Neither the movie nor the book attempt to present a literal retelling of the Biblical story. Rather, they both seek to convince their audiences that the story remains as relevant as ever by transporting a Joshua-like character (or perhaps even Joshua himself, it is not entirely clear) into the present. This allows the writer and director to force people (gently) into considering how members of contemporary society would react if they came into contact with someone who was as holy and as centered on the meaning of divinity and of a God-centered life as Joshua.

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