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The Passover Plot

The Passover Plot was a controversial best-selling book (1965), by British Biblical scholar Hugh J. Schonfield, and the 1979 movie made from it.

Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers: The following paragraph reveals the thesis of the book that made it so controversial.

Schonfield hypothesized that the crucifixion and supposed resurrection of Jesus Christ (Yeshua) were a political plan that went wrong when Jesus was killed on the cross instead of merely becoming deeply unconscious, that he had not planned on being stabbed in the side to hasten his death. When he actually died of that wound, it was left for the apostles to stage the resurrection to carry out his purpose.

The movie starred Zalman King as Yeshua, and the cast included Harry Andrews, Dan Hedaya, and Donald Pleasence. It was directed by Michael Campus and nominated for an Oscar for Best Costume Design.