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(Readers Digest version of Bible)
This Readers Digest version of the Bible, taken from The History Channel’s series, covers the Old Testament in a couple of minutes before the credits, and then settles down to give us a two hour and 20-minute New Testament Bible lesson.
Diogo Morgado is quite good as Jesus. He shows a kind and gentle persona and has a winning smile. It would be easy to see why people would follow him. At times he seems surprised by his power to have people follow him.
After the credits we get a brief Nativity screen with a very young looking Joseph, while most of the other familiar biblical characters appear close to how you would imagine them to look.
The language has been updated, using you for thou, as many of our modern hymnals now do. When Judas is coerced into betraying Jesus, he asks “What’s in it for me?”
The acting is good, as is the background music and the scenery, much of which was shot in Morocco.
Caiaphus and Pontius Pilate give us their version of the Jewish and Roman leaders, as the writers try hard not to give everybody a share of the blame in the final, overlong and bloody crucifixion scene.
The familiar Bible stories are nicely blended together, with the story being told by John the Apostle (Sebastian Knapp).
Religious leaders may think of taking their Sunday school classes to see the straightforward telling of the story of the “Son of God,” with all of its positive messages about love, forgiveness and compassion.
Pontius Pilate sure got it wrong when he proclaimed, “He’ll be forgotten in a week.”
The movie follows many familiar movies made about the life of Christ. Those who place themselves among the followers of the “Son of God” will certainly get more out of it.
Rated PG-13, with violence, especially in the crucifixion scene.