Bible Stories,The: Jesus

DVD Release: March 2, 2010
Bible Stories,The: Jesus
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Synopsis

Nominated for two Emmy Awards®, including Outstanding Miniseries, The Bible Stories: Jesus traces the life and death of Jesus through his resurrection with an all-star cast featuring Jeremy Sisto (TV’s “Law & Order”) in the title role, six-time Emmy nominee Debra Messing (TV’s “Will & Grace,” “The Starter Wife”) as Mary Magdalene, Academy Award® nominee Armin Mueller-Stahl (Shine) as Joseph, Jacqueline Bisset (The Deep, Latter Days) as Mary, and Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight, Harry Potter) as Pontius Pilate.

This inspirational movie traces the life and death of Jesus through his resurrection. Jesus not only reinforces the ideals of the New Testament but shows Jesus as a complex individual, conflicted over his feelings for Lazarus’s sister, Mary, and tempted by Satan to stray from his path.

Dove Review

This nearly three-hour movie unfortunately misses the mark when it comes to scriptural accuracy. In this movie, Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus is in love with Jesus, although the Bible suggests no such thing. In fact, in this film Lazarus kicks Jesus out of his home when Jesus spurns Mary! Never mind that they were very close according to scripture and Jesus later raises Lazarus from the dead. In addition Pontius Pilate helps plot against Jesus before Jesus is even brought before him! Jesus demands that God bring Joseph back from the dead when his earthly father passes on. Also, in one of the film’s most glaring errors, John the Baptist tells Jesus he will baptize Jesus if Jesus will confess his sins! In fact, the Bible is clear that John told Jesus he needed Jesus to baptize him (John) and he wasn’t worthy to unlatch his shoes. He recognized Jesus as the lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. When Jesus loses Joseph to the grave, Mary reminds him he has a heavenly Father to which Jesus replies, “Joseph was my father.”

Other errors abound but there is also a problem with brief nudity as the side of Mary Magdalene’s breast is seen in addition to a brief glimpse of her nude behind as she is dressing after being with one of her “johns”. The film also contains bloody violence, partly from sword fights by the Romans fighting the Jews and also with Jesus’ crucifixion. A nail is graphically driven in with blood spurting out and Jesus crying out in pain. A scene showing Judas hanging himself is graphic and disturbing. As for the film’s shortfalls in accuracy, I can only assume the filmmakers intended to “humanize” Jesus in the movie. In fact there are a few scenes which include him chasing his disciples in a game and skipping stones on the water.

Due to the aforementioned inaccurate portrayal of the scriptures and the bloody violence, we are unable to award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to this film.

Content Description

Sex: Mary Magdalene is portrayed as a prostitute and is seen dressing as one of her "johns" is about to leave; Mary the sister of Martha loves Jesus in this story and wants to be with him.
Language: Butt (as in "butt of all jokes")-1; Peter calls Jesus a jackal; A "kiss up" comment; A (referring to a donkey)-1; Fool-3; H (as a place)-1
Violence: Roman's fight with swords and there are people stabbed and blood is seen; one man's army is extremely bloody; a pool of blood is seen on the ground; men are seen being crucified including Jesus and it is violent and bloody; Jesus is seen with blood all over his body; blood seen on hands; a character is struck several times; crown of thorns seen on Jesus; Jesus overturns money changers' tables and takes a whip to them; scenes from world war; woman burned at stake and we see fires consumer her; Jesus is flogged; Judas hangs himself and it is graphic.
Drugs: Wine is consumed.
Nudity: The side of a woman's breast is briefly seen as is her rear; cleavage; shirtless men and men in loin cloths.
Other: Scriptures recreated inaccurately; Jesus often portrayed as lighthearted; a man who is losing his land asks, "Where is God"?; death and grief are dealt with; Jesus demands God bring Joseph back from the dead after he dies; Jesus tells Mary that Joseph was his father when she reminds him he has a heavenly Father; Joseph mocks Mary being pregnant; Lazarus kicks Jesus out of his home!; John tells Jesus he will baptize him if Jesus will confess his sins; the devil is seen as a man in a suit and also as a woman in red; it is said Jesus creates the temple and people; Satan says Jesus has never been number one; Jesus dances and has water fight with his disciples; flatulence; Jesus and a disciple argue; Jesus tells the devil he forgives him although the Bible makes it clear he is a murderer and liar and will never repent; Jesus appears to Thomas on the first day of his resurrection and not eight days later as the Bible records.

Info

Company: Artisan Entertainment
Genre: Religion
Runtime: 176 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter