The post preceding this one briefly discusses the Gospel of John from Lionsgate Films. I wanted to go into more detail as I think this is a profoundly important film. A few high-level points to consider.
Features the entire Book of John from the Bible. The great thing about this is it presents the entirety of Jesus’ ministry as presented in John. You hear all of the verses of the Book of John spoken by the narrator as Jesus is engaging with different persons in different situations. The portrayal gives a clearer, more accurate representation of Jesus compared to other televised works.
You hear the entire Book of John and after about 2 hours, you come away with a stronger understanding of the Gospel According to John. You see the situations more clearly, the intentions of the words and the production seems to contrast with many “popularized” portrayals of Jesus’ ministry. Experiencing the entire source scripture is a profoundly informative activity.
I take nothing away from other productions that are based on the Bible or emphasize aspects of Jesus’ ministry. However, they’ve always felt incomplete. True, 2 hours seems like quite a bit of time. However, these 2 hours are different. A better understanding of who Jesus really was and what he meant is present in this portrayal due to the narration of the verses in the Book of John.
The actors are Middle Eastern. While this may seem unimportant, it actually aligns the scripture narration to the sense of scene, context, reactions, and environment in which the words of Jesus was spoken. The authentic representation of the persons of the Bible in this case adds a detail that is missing from just reading the verses in the abstract. You see the people of that time actually state the words and receive (from cultural context) more understanding from the exchange among authentic representations of the persons of that time. Even the Romans are authentically portrayed.
Lionsgate seems to have 4 films, 1 for each Gospel. I’ve seen two (the other Mark). They use the same characters. Each Gospel is what a given disciple recalled of the time of Jesus. That becomes more apparent when presented in film. The ministry is the same, but it is apparent, that each disciple emphasized different things. In the Book of Mark, you see more cases of exorcism for example but the character of Jesus is the same as in the other 3 Gospels. Many events coincide among the Gospels which is why they are called Synoptic Gospels. Yet, through film, in this particular format and representation do you see the full range expressed by Jesus in his message to humanity.