New Documentary on the Life of Christ
The History Channel will present a multi-episode series leading up to Easter.
Jesus: His Life will blend scripted drama and interviews with experts in an effort "to provide a rounded picture of the life and times in which Jesus lived." Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church - a non-denominational megachurch in Houston, is the executive producer of this project, as well as one of the aforementioned experts.
He will be joined in that latter capacity by a diverse group of clergy, Biblical historians and religious scholars "from across the ideological spectrum," as the History Channel's website puts it, so we shall have to wait and see how true this endeavor is to Biblical Christianity. That is not in anyway meant as a slight against pastor Osteen, but he is not the director of this documentary or even the only executive produer.
(Another team of Christian filmmakers, unaffiliated with this project, is currently putting together a multi-season TV series on the life of Christ called The Chosen, which Christian Film Blog has written about, and that will definitely be told from a solid Biblical perspective. Stay with us for details about the air-date of that one.)
As to the dramatic parts of this series, which will air in eight episodes, filmmakers have selected an interesting device to drive it. Each episode will be told from the perspective of a separate figure who plays an important role in the Gospel narrative. They include Joseph - father of Jesus, John the Baptist, Mary - mother of Jesus, Caiaphas, Judas Iscariot, Pontius Pilate, Mary Magdalene and Peter.
With that in mind, there will necessarily be dialogue and scenes that are extra-Biblical, as you will see in the trailer, where, for instance, Joseph reacts with disbelief and anger when Mary breaks the news to him about her divinely conceived pregnancy.
The cast, which includes Greg Barnett in the role of Jesus, is comprised of little-known English and Middle Eastern actors, so prepare yourself for a healthy dose of British and other foreign accents. That aside, these players may well prove a plus, as we often find it more of a distraction than an advantage to have big Hollywood stars; something about the whole superhero/action adventure-star-turned-Biblical-figure transition rarely works from Christian Film Blog's perspective.
At any rate, Mr. Barnett and his mates will bring us Jesus: His Life starting on March 25th at 8:00 PM ET/PT on the History Channel. Until then, you can take in the trailer via this link.