Newsbites: The Jesus movies past and future edition!

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A few quick items about three recent and upcoming movies about Jesus.

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Watch: The trailer for Season 2 of CNN’s Finding Jesus

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I must confess, I kind of missed the first season of Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery when it aired on CNN two years ago. At the time, I was writing quite extensively about National Geographic’s Killing Jesus and NBC’s A.D. The Bible Continues, and there just wasn’t time to follow a third program as well, as intriguing as it seemed.

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Newsbites: The religious TV shows in development issue!

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Three quick items about TV shows with a religious hook that are now in development.

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Win a DVD copy of Hillsong: Let Hope Rise!

hillsonglethoperiseLast Friday, the Aussie worship band Hillsong United released a new music video for a song of theirs that will appear on the soundtrack for The Shack. As it happens, Hillsong had a movie of their own last year, and I have a DVD copy to give away. The disc includes the entire 103-minute documentary, called Hillsong: Let Hope Rise, as well as four bonus songs and almost 20 minutes of extra behind-the-scenes footage — and if you’d like to have it, you can send your name and mailing address to filmchatgiveaways@gmail.com by this Sunday, February 19. I’ll pick a winner at random next week. (The disc is coded for Region 1, so it will work on DVD players in the U.S. and Canada.)

Watch: Hillsong United’s new music video for The Shack

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The powers that be have released another song from the soundtrack to The Shack, and with it another music video containing new bits of footage from the film. The studio has also released three new TV spots. Check ’em all out below the jump.

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The Passion of the Christ is back — and dubbed in English?

passionofthechrist-dubbedblurayThe Passion of the Christ broke a few records when it came out thirteen years ago: to this day, it is the top-grossing “faith-based” film of all time, the top-grossing R-rated film in North America, and — because Mel Gibson insisted on keeping all the dialogue in Aramaic or Latin — it is also the top-grossing film in which all of the dialogue is spoken in a language other than English.

At the time, it was widely reported that Gibson was so committed to these ancient languages — and to keeping us focused on the visual and visceral experience of Christ’s suffering — that he thought about releasing the film without subtitles.

But in the end he relented — with one significant exception, namely the scene in which the Jewish leaders say that the blood of Jesus will be on their heads and on the heads of their children, a la Matthew 27:25. Because that verse has often been cited to justify anti-Semitism, and because many people were accusing Gibson and his film of anti-Semitism, Gibson decided to let that line go untranslated.

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