Six cinematic interpretations of the Jewish elder Gamaliel


Yesterday was the day when Eastern Orthodox Christians remember Gamaliel, the Jewish leader who defended the apostles before the Sanhedrin in Acts 5. So I thought it might be fun to take a quick look at how Gamaliel has been portrayed in film.

[Read more...]

A.D. The Bible Continues — season one, episode six


Season 1, Episode 6 — ‘The Persecution’
Acts 8:1-3

Editing Acts, redux. The first five episodes of A.D. The Bible Continues zipped through the gospels and the book of Acts at a brisk pace, covering multiple chapters at a time. But the sixth episode slows things down in a big way and covers just three verses in Acts: it begins with the burial of Stephen (8:2) and then goes on to show how Saul persecuted the church (8:3) and scattered the followers of Jesus (8:1).

[Read more...]

A.D. The Bible Continues — season one, episode five


Season 1, Episode 5 — ‘The First Martyr’
Acts 5-8

Editing Acts, redux. Last week’s episode of A.D. The Bible Continues took time to develop a few simple stories from Acts. No such luck this week. Instead, this episode skips over some pretty major developments, all so that it can focus on the capture, torture and death of a fictitious Zealot, while also cramming in the brutal death of the first Christian martyr — a character that we had only just begun to get to know.

[Read more...]

Watch: Mary, Gamaliel, and Stephen have things to say in three new clips from A.D. The Bible Continues


The next episode of A.D. The Bible Continues airs this Sunday, and we have three new clips to whet our appetites. You can check them all out below the jump.

[Read more...]

Bible movie of the week: Jesus, the Spirit of God (2007)

Christians aren’t the only ones who hold Jesus in high esteem. Muslims do too, though they have radically different beliefs about him — and at least one movie has actually tried to dramatize those beliefs the same way other Bible movies have dramatized their own filmmakers’ beliefs.

But wait… is it right to call Jesus, the Spirit of God, an Iranian film produced in 2007, a “Bible movie”? Is not much of the film based on the Koran and other post-biblical sources, such as the late-medieval document known as the Gospel of Barnabas, rather than on the Bible itself?

Well, yes, the film is based on those other documents, but I’d still say it counts as a “Bible movie” on some level, inasmuch as many of its narrative elements can be traced back through those sources to the Bible itself. If we can accept Ben-Hur, which was based on a novel, or The Passion of the Christ, which was based on the visions of a 19th-century nun, as “Bible movies” because they contain elements that go back to the scriptures, then we can certainly put this film under the same broad umbrella.

[Read more...]

The Bible: final episode, first impressions

And so it ends. Here are my first impressions of the final episode of The Bible, which aired last night.

Continuity between Bible stories, redux. Once again, I am impressed by the fact that this adaptation-of-the-whole-Bible approach — whatever its limitations — has allowed the filmmakers to emphasize the continuity between Bible stories in a way that you rarely see in other films.

[Read more...]