Watch: Seventeen new videos for A.D. The Bible Continues, including cast interviews, episode previews and a sneak peek of the digital-series spin-off Beyond A.D.

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One episode down, eleven to go! With A.D. The Bible Continues now airing on Sunday nights, the producers and the network are continuing to put out new videos to promote the series, ranging from a 30-second TV spot to a weekly half-hour talk show — Beyond A.D. — that will begin streaming on the NBC website this Sunday.

You can check out the most recent batch of videos below the jump.

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Over three dozen new character profiles, and a few new videos, for A.D.: The Bible Continues

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The official website for A.D.: The Bible Continues released over three dozen photos today to introduce us to the show’s main characters. A few new videos to promote the series have also surfaced since my last round-up. Check it all out below the jump.

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Watch: A new “first look” at A.D.: The Bible Continues

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Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent on the western church calendar, which apparently means today is the day to release new videos promoting TV shows about Jesus that will air at the end of Lent. First we had the trailer for Killing Jesus, which airs on Palm Sunday, and now we have a new video for A.D.: The Bible Continues, which premieres Easter Sunday. Check it out below the jump.

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The Prodigal Son: three filmed interpretations (and more)

Today was the Sunday of the Prodigal Son in Eastern Orthodox churches, and once again, I found myself thinking about how our gospel reading for the day had been handled in different films.

The parable of the prodigal son appears just once in the Bible, in Luke 15, so of course it is featured in the word-for-word adaptation of that gospel produced by the Genesis Project in the 1970s. And just as the Genesis Project dramatizes some of the other parables while Jesus recites them, so too it dramatizes this one. You can watch the relevant sequence by clicking here.

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The Publican and the Pharisee: four filmed interpretations

Today, in Orthodox churches, was the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee. It’s the day when we read the parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector who went to the Temple to pray; while the Pharisee spent his prayer bragging that he was a great and righteous man, the tax collector begged for God’s forgiveness — and it was the tax collector, rather than the Pharisee, who “went home justified before God.” And so the parable reminds us that we need to pray in humility, and that it is not our place to judge our fellow human beings.

We read this parable on this day to remind ourselves that Lent is only a few weeks away, and that we should approach the season of fasting and prayer humbly, without judging our fellow churchgoers (or, indeed, anyone else). And, naturally, as I pondered this parable, I began to think about how it has been handled in film.

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The Bible / What works and what doesn’t in the ambitious mini-series

It’s common these days for each new episode of a TV series to begin with a montage that sums up all the relevant plot points from previous episodes. So it was only natural that, when the History Channel aired its five-part mini-series The Bible over the month of March, all but one of the episodes began with narrator Keith David intoning, in his deep baritone voice, “Previously, on The Bible…”

All of the show’s strengths and weaknesses are captured in that one phrase. Produced by Mark Burnett (a TV mogul best known for unscripted “reality” shows like Survivor and The Apprentice) and his wife Roma Downey (who once starred in Touched by an Angel), the mini-series rushes through the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, in ten hours — though it’s more like seven, once you bracket off the commercial breaks — and it zips through the stories so quickly that you barely notice when they are compressed even further in those opening sequences. But the mini-series also makes a point of emphasizing the continuity between Bible stories in a way that is quite rare among Bible films, and in a way that sometimes allows individual stories to shed light profitably on others.

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