Dave Armstrong wrote an insightful review of this new film and some problematic theological issues. Here is his review:
I wanted to let you know about two recent posts of mine, concerning the new film, The Young Messiah. Based on what I have seen about how it presents Jesus’ knowledge (in other reviews), I’ve concluded that it has heresy in it. Briefly, it appears to present the view that young Jesus (age seven in the movie) did not yet know that He was God (or even the Messiah).
This notion of developing consciousness of His own identity was, in fact, never taught by the Church fathers or the magisterium of the Church. It first arose with various early heresies, and then was revived and developed much further by modernist theologians after 1800. It looks like it has become quite fashionable today, and has been picked up even by those who are otherwise orthodox, and seek to be orthodox and obedient to the Church.
My second one, just put up in the last hour, is an abridged presentation of a wonderful 1922 book (a dissertation) that I found last night, on the young Jesus’ consciousness. Fr. Patrick Joseph Temple, S.T.L. goes through the views of the Church fathers, the medievals, the early heretics, and then modernists after 1829, and does scriptural exposition of Luke 2:40-52, showing that orthodox Catholic tradition always taught that Jesus knew Who He was from conception (and possessed the Beatific Vision) as a result of the Hypostatic Union.
The problem is that many notable Catholics have already endorsed the movie, and now it is being extolled on Catholic radio as well. At this point, my view (which I believe to simply be that of orthodoxy and Catholic tradition) is a “minority” position. At least two bishops and a Cardinal have enthusiastically recommended it.
What can I say? It contains serious error. I have to call it as I see it, as a defender of the faith. If the magisterium teaches something (as best I can determine, through thorough research and consultation of experts), I accept it and defend it, as needs be. That’s a higher authority than statements from individual bishops.
Anyway, if this interests and/or concerns you, you may want to check out my papers and judge for yourself (read both sides of this dispute). I think this is a very serious matter and that Catholics need to come to agreement on it. Heaven knows we have enough division these days, both in the Church and in the political arena.
POPE PIUS XII:
“…But the knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the object from the first moment of His Incarnation, exceed all the human intellect can hope to grasp. For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the beatific vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming love. O marvelous condesce.sion of divine love for us! O inestimable dispensation of boundless charity. In the crib, on the Cross, in the unending glory of the Father, Christ has all the members of the Church present before Him and united to Him in a much clearer and more loving manner than that of a mother who clasps her child to her breast, or than that with which a man knows and loves himself……” – MYSTICI CORPORIS CHRISTI, Pius XII.
STEVEN GREYDANUS’ THEOLOGICAL REVIEW: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/4635/on_jesus_human_knowledge_and_the_young_messiah.aspx