There aren’t that many word-for-word film adaptations of the Bible out there, but the genre — which got its start with The Genesis Project’s adaptations of Luke and the first half of Genesis in the 1970s — has grown to the point where we now have two very different films based on the same biblical text, namely the gospel of John.
How two word-for-word adaptations of The Gospel of John use bits from the other gospels (and Acts) as well
Every now and then, someone embarks on a quixotic quest to film the entire Bible, word for word. In the 1970s, the Genesis Project got as far as filming the books of Genesis and Luke, the latter of which was condensed into the Jesus film that is now distributed by Campus Crusade. More recently, there was the Visual Bible, which produced adaptations of Matthew and Acts in the 1990s and then, after a change of ownership, an adaptation of The Gospel of John in 2003.
Yesterday I came across what seems like a more modest project: an attempt to film all four gospels under the collective title the Lumo Project.
One of the recurring themes in the Gospel of John is that the people healed by Jesus faced ostracism and worse from some of their fellow Jews. You can see it in the story of the man who was born blind: after Jesus gave him sight, he was thrown out of the synagogue for refusing to deny that Jesus was the Messiah. And you can see it in the story of Lazarus: after Jesus raised him from the dead, he became such a celebrity that the chief priests plotted to have him killed.
This last detail is often forgotten in dramatic depictions of the raising of Lazarus — possibly because John’s gospel never tells us whether the plot succeeded — but a few films have acknowledged it one way or another. Three come to mind.
Alas, there was no Transfiguration in this episode. But there was quite a bit of other stuff that I found interesting, for better and for worse, so here again, as before, are my first impressions.
The pacing, redux. It says something about this show that, when it finally devotes an entire two-hour episode to a single protagonist, it still feels kind of rushed, like it’s over far too quickly and we haven’t had a chance to really get to know anyone.
IS MEL Gibson yielding to criticism over his death-of-Christ movie The Passion? In some ways, it seems he might be.
Earlier this year, Gibson told reporters Holly McClure and Raymond Arroyo in on-the-set interviews that his film made significant use of the visions of Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich, a 19th-century stigmatic nun. He even cited his seemingly accidental discovery of The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a published record of her visions, as a sign that he had been specially called to make his film.
But after Jewish and Catholic scholars expressed concern over the allegedly anti-Semitic contents of Emmerich’s visions, Paul Lauer, the director of marketing for Gibson’s production company, denied that Gibson had based his film on them.