A.D. The Bible Continues (Mini Series)

Network Premier: April 5, 2015
DVD Release: November 3, 2015
A.D. The Bible Continues (Mini Series)
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Synopsis

“A.D.” picks up where the smash hit “The Bible” left off, continuing the greatest story ever told and exploring the exciting and inspiring events that followed the Crucifixion of Christ. As most of the world knows, the Crucifixion was only the beginning of the story. The immediate aftermath of Christ’s death had a massive impact on his disciples, his mother Mary, and key political and religious leaders of the era, completely altering the entire world in an instant. Watch as the disciples struggle to survive and share their beliefs, guiding us from the sorrow of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice to the awe-inspiring wonder of the Resurrection and beyond. From executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett comes an uplifting spiritual journey through the later chapters of biblical history.

Dove Review

“A.D. The Bible Continues” begins with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This gripping first episode in the miniseries, titled “The Tomb is Open,” packs a powerful punch and is the first of 12 episodes, which aired on NBC on consecutive Sunday evenings. It is a dependable and compelling dramatic telling of the unjust trial of Jesus, his crucifixion, and concludes with a splendid resurrection scene as the Roman and Jewish temple guards stand nearby. This episode was perfectly timed for the Easter holiday. Now the entire collection is available.

The acting is spot on, the music is wonderful, and the telling of the story is superb. This powerful first episode leads into the events following Jesus’ ascension to Heaven in subsequent episodes. The series continues with the lives and times of Jesus’ disciples as they spread the Good News and lay the foundation of the first-century church. This first episode is titled “The Tomb is Open.” Jesus, after his savage crucifixion, is raised from the dead.

Episode two is titled, “The Body is Gone.” This episode features Jesus appearing to the disciples, once with Thomas present and once when he is not, and telling them to cast their nets on the “right side” of the ship, which results in a great catch once again.

This series has the epic look of a feature film. Episode three is titled “The Spirit Arrives” and chronicles the infilling of the Holy Spirit in the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. Episode four is titled “The Wrath,” and Peter and John are persecuted, but they are released from their trial because the crowd believes the lame man’s healing under Peter’s touch to be miraculous.

Episode five, “The First Martyr,” features the wise Gamaliel of the Sanhedrin, who speaks about being cautious in how Peter and John are treated, for if they truly belong to God, the counsel would find itself fighting against God. However, a bold Christian named Stephen does not receive such mercy. Episode six, “The Persecution,” focuses on Saul’s persecution of the church and his accusations against “the false prophet” Jesus. Episode seven, “The Visit,” continues the story of the persecution of the church underneath Saul and how he targets Peter. It also presents Simon the Sorceror’s story and his interest in the Holy Spirit.

Episode eight, “The Road to Damascus,” focuses on Saul’s dramatic conversion and how some of the disciples are skeptical at first. It includes the scene in which Ananias prays for him, and his temporary blindness is restored. Pilate is supposed to get a promotion to Rome, but will it really happen? A lot of plotting secretly occurs, including that of murder. In the midst of all of this, a woman is cleansed from leprosy and Saul is baptized. Episode nine is titled “Saul’s Return” and features the surprise people have when the former persecutor of Christians now claims he is one, too! Peter and Paul share a private conversation. Episode 10, “Brothers in Arms,” features James the Just and Caiaphas attempting a truce and Paul being placed in jail. This episode also includes a conversation about law and grace and whether the temple is important to a believer’s relationship with God.

The final episodes in this series, 11 and 12, are titled “Rise Up” and “The Abomination.” In “Rise Up,” James the Just steps into a position of leadership, and Pilate’s wife, Claudia, visits Joanna, a Christian, whom Pilate imprisoned. In the final episode, “The Abomination,” the Jews are up in arms over a statue of the Emperor, which is brought to them to place in their temple. Some of them are determined to lay down their lives before allowing the statue to be placed there.

Certainly, the series features some brutal and violent scenes with blood. At the same time, the production value is high and features great costumes and sets and excellent performances. Therefore, we award the series our “Faith-Based” Seal, since it has objectionable content (the violence). The stories of Acts, portrayed with some creative license, will entertain many viewers.

Content Description

Sex: Couples kiss; married woman shows interest in married man, but he is not interested.
Language: Jesus cries out, "My God, My God" in a prayer from the cross; "Fool"-1; several "D" words are used throughout the series, including "D Nazarene"; the word "whore" is used a few times; "That stupid Jesus follower" comment.
Violence: Some bloody crucifixion scenes, including blood flowing on Jesus' face and body; the pain of Jesus is shown and heard as the nails are driven into his hands and feet; blood is shown dripping to the ground; the legs of one thief on the cross are broken to hasten his death; blood is shown in heavy amounts on the ground and on a wall as lambs are sacrificed during the Passover; man holds a knife to another man's throat; Judas hangs himself and he is shown hanging, though from a distance; man throws a cup in anger; graphic bloody scene of man's throat cut; woman's bloody, slit throat is visible; men are strangled, other violent scenes with blood; bloody violence throughout the series, including men's throats slit and stabbings; death by sword; graphic scenes with lots of blood, including pools of blood on floor; several other people crucified; fires are started; man kills himself with a sword to show his loyalty to the Emperor, and the slashing sound is audible; husband and wife slap each other; characters are beaten with clubs, tortured, stoned, flogged, shot with arrows, etc.
Drugs: Wine is consumed in several scenes.
Nudity: Mild cleavage; shirtless men and a few men in loin cloths; bare midriffs of female dancers; cleavage.
Other: Tension between characters; the unjust trial of Jesus; betrayal; guard spits; man spits; ashes of body shown onscreen and are heaped into a pile to form a small body and then are shoved in a man's mouth; man cleans body of corpse; the mention of a goddess named Minerva and "Divine Livia"; a man declares he worships the Emperor; man commits suicide for the Emperor.

Info

Company: NBC Television
Genre: Religion
Runtime: 520 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Starring: Adam Levy, Richard Coyle, Vincent Regan Joanne Whalley
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter