The marketing around A.D. The Bible Continues has taken an interesting turn over the last few weeks. The series itself is a hybrid of sorts, part Bible adaptation and part political thriller, and lately the people behind the series have been releasing clips from upcoming episodes in a way that reflects the show’s dual nature.
Typically, the day after an episode airs, the series’ official YouTube channel posts one or two clips that highlight the more political aspects of next week’s episode. Then, a few days later, other clips come out, through other channels, which highlight the more biblical aspects of the upcoming episode.
And so it is this week. Yesterday I posted a clip of Pilate and Caiaphas fretting over the imminent arrival of the Roman emperor, and today I am posting a clip in which Philip, one of the early Christians who has fled Saul’s persecution of the Church in Jerusalem, meets Simon, a magician living in Samaria.
You can read the biblical details here, and you can watch the clip below:
I have to say, I have always been intrigued by the stories about Philip. The author of the book of Acts actually knew Philip and spent some time with his family, years after these stories took place — he mentions staying with Philip’s family in Acts 21 — so presumably he got these stories directly from Philip himself.
Very few films have explored these stories, though — and even those that do tell some of Philip’s stories, such as Roberto Rossellini’s Acts of the Apostles, don’t always mention his interactions with Simon the magician. The only films I can think of that have included some version of this story are The Visual Bible’s word-for-word adaptation of Acts, obviously, and the 1985 miniseries A.D. Anno Domini.
Here is how Philip and Simon appeared in The Visual Bible’s Acts:
And here is how they appeared in A.D. Anno Domini:
May 18 update: Reader Glen Cram reminds me that Jack Palance played Simon the magician in the 1954 film The Silver Chalice — though that film did not depict Philip:
May 20 update: I have replaced the original network clip, which is no longer online, with the longer clip that was posted at YouTube after the episode aired.
You can also watch a shorter excerpt from this scene here:
Check out earlier trailers and other videos here (though be warned: it appears that the network has taken some of the trailers and clips offline already):
- The first trailer (November 26, 2014)
- The ‘By Our Love’ music video (December 19, 2014)
- The ‘The Next Chapter of the Greatest Story Ever Told’ TV spot (January 12, 2015)
- The second trailer (January 17, 2015)
- The Super Bowl spot (February 1, 2015)
- The Newsboys’ ‘We Believe’ music video (February 10, 2015)
- The ‘First Look’ video (February 18, 2015)
- The ‘Special Preview’ video (February 24, 2015)
- The ‘Miracles’ clip, the ‘Igniting a Rebellion’, ‘He’s a Dangerous Man’ and ‘Power, Passion, Sacrifice and Glory’ previews, the Spanish trailer, the ‘33 Days’ video and the WNDU and KPRC interviews (March 10, 2015)
- The ‘On Location’ featurette and the WWLP and Entertainment Tonight interviews (March 16, 2015)
- The ‘Mother Mary’, ‘Peter’, ‘John’ and ‘Mary Magdalene’ sneak peeks, the EPK materials, the ‘The Next Chapter of the Greatest Story Ever Told’ and ‘Beyond A.D. with Jason Kennedy’ previews, and the Tony Evans, Geoff Tunnicliffe, O.S. Hawkins and Joel C. Hunter endorsements (March 20, 2015)
- The half-hour making-of special, the ‘Caiaphas’ and ‘Pilate’ sneak peeks, the Today show set visit, the Zap2it interview, the Roma Downey video on prayer for Guideposts, the Jefferson Bethke and ‘Faith Raves’ videos, and the Sam Rodriguez, Pat Robertson, Ronnie Floyd and Jim Daly endorsements (March 25, 2015)
- The extended and ‘Stay with Me’ trailers, two previews, the Tonight Show interview, the ‘Peter’, ‘John’, ‘Mary Magdalene’, ‘Mother Mary’, ‘Caiaphas’ and ‘Pilate’ character profiles, and the Bishop T.D. Jakes, Robby Dawkins, Matthew Barnett, Danilo Montero, Mark Jobe, Ron Luce, Mark Batterson, Gabriel Salguero, Rick Warren, Cardinal Wuerl and Joel Osteen endorsements (April 4, 2015)
- The Episode 1 recap, the ‘Condemned and Crucified’, ‘Escaping Jerusalem’ and ‘Jesus Reunites with His Apostles’ clips, the ‘The Resurrection of Jesus’ preview, and the ‘Jesus’ character profile (April 6, 2015)
- Two Beyond A.D. previews, the ‘Episode 2’ preview, the ‘Watch Sunday’s Number One Show!’ preview, and the Juan Pablo Di Pace, Greta Scacchi, Adam Levy, Chipo Chung, Babou Ceesay, Denver Isaac, Pedro Lloyd Gardiner, Fraser Ayres, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Richard Coyle, Vincent Regan, Mark Burnett & Roma Downey and Luciano Capozzi interviews (April 10, 2015)
- The first episode of Beyond A.D. (April 12, 2015)
- The Episode 2 recap, the ‘The Ascension of Jesus’, ‘Who Does Jerusalem Belong to’ and ‘Tensions Flare at the Temple’ clips, and the ‘The Strength of Belief’ preview (April 13, 2015)
- The ‘The Holy Spirit’ clip, three Episode 3 previews, the James Callis, Claire Cooper, Jim Sturgeon, Farzana Dua Elahe, Marama Corlett and Jodhi May interviews, and a Beyond A.D. preview (April 17, 2015)
- The second episode of Beyond A.D. (April 19, 2015)
- The Episode 3 recap, the ‘A Miracle of Healing Begets Arrest’ clip, and the ‘The Romans Crack Down’ preview (April 20, 2015)
- The ‘Mother Mary Comforts Peter’ and ‘Peter Motivates the New Followers’ clips, and a Beyond A.D. preview (April 24, 2015)
- The third episode of Beyond A.D. (April 26, 2015)
- The Episode 4 recap, the ‘The Consequences of Showing No Mercy’, ‘Caiaphas Seeks an Assassin’ and ‘Cornelius Metes the Assassin’s Fate’ clips, and the ‘The Great Change Is Coming’ preview (April 27, 2015)
- The angelic jailbreak clip (April 28, 2015)
- The ‘Mother Mary Preaches the Faith’, ‘Gamaliel Stands Up for the Apostles’ and ‘Stephen Stands Up for God’ clips, and a Beyond A.D. preview (May 1, 2015)
- The fourth episode of Beyond A.D. (May 3, 2015)
- The Episode 5 recap, the ‘The Unjust Punishment of Righteous Men’ clip, and the ‘Power vs. Faith’ preview (May 4, 2015)
- The ‘Saul Confronts Peter’, ‘Battle of the Preachers’, ‘We Must Build the Church’, ‘Holiday Tension’ and ‘Caiaphas Confronts the Rumor Mill’ clips, a Beyond A.D. preview and the ‘Happy Mother’s Day – Call Your Mom!’ video (May 8, 2015)
- The fifth episode of Beyond A.D. (May 10, 2015)
- The ‘Saul’s Plot to Undermine the Faithful’, ‘Saul’s Message for Maya’ and ‘The True Power of Tiberius, Emperor of Rome’ clips, and the ‘The Emperor Is Coming!’ preview (May 11, 2015)