us Series, page 11 -Letters. A Hollywood Jesus visual Review
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PAGE 1 -Review and photos
PAGE 2 -Review and photos continued
PAGE 3 -Review and photos (from second part).
PAGE 4 Comments
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PAGE 11 Comments <you are here
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Differences between the CBS and International version
SPECIAL PAGE -Interview with Lorenzo Minoli

I will respond to various letters as I can over the next few weeks. -David

Subject: Another Vehicle....
Date: Thu, 18 May 2000

For all the fellow believers who comment that this movie cannot at all be used by God to lead people to Christ....I've been saved for 20 years now and was lead to the knowledge of Him through another controversial vehicle, the movie "Jesus Christ Superstar." Please don't say people will be deceived by the recent Jesus movie. The Lord took the seed planted in me from JCS and watered it. Through His grace I was able to learn the truth and to grow. Our prayers should be "Lord, please water the seed that this new movie has planted" and praise Him that the movie was allowed to be shown at all. We are aware that one day, we may be killed for even mentioning the name of Christ!
Louie N. Orlando, FL Please do not publish my email address.


Subject: Changing the Word of God Movie
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000
From: MaryAnn

I tuned in to the Jesus movie and watched until the scene with Mary of the Mary/Martha sisters, where they had Jesus in love with Mary and vice/versa. Thats when I turned it off and chalked it up to another "Hollywood Version of the Bible Movie". Much like that shameful Noah's ark where they had someone on water bikes peddle up to Noah's Ark and converse with him. Never was Jesus in love romantically. He came to do the will of the Father and was always about the work of his Father. Christians today are so use to a watered down version of the word of God. They want to bring God down to mans level. Do you realize the bible says that if anyone changes one word of God's, that all the curses in the bible will be upon him? Look out Hollywood, you have and will stir the wrath of God. The best Jesus movie was made not too long ago, without movie stars, and was taken exactly from the Book of Luke. You can purchase it in christian book stores. Tell Hollywood to stop making biblical movies until they get saved and get a clue what the bible is talking about. They make a mockery out of the truth. Christians... wise up. "My People are destroyed for a lack of knowledge" Hosea 4:6

Date: Wed, 17 May 2000
From: Peter

Hmm.. I wasn't able to catch the whole Jesus movie, but only the last hour with the trial, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. All I can say is that this film, or at least what I have seen of it, is hopelessly weak. It's as if the filmmakers wanted to present the gospel in a cinematic form, but weren't quite sure how to treat it. The whole thing is totally stilted and lifeless, and appears to be so because they couldn't bear to leave out the majestic and (over)dramatic language of the texts. For isnstance, for Jesus to say, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do" in the text of the gospel is one thing-- in that context it comes off well because it is clear that such flowery dialogue is merely a literary device. But it is completely different to have Jesus say such things on film, where it comes off soundy corny and over dramatized. If I hadn't known the whole gospel story and its historical context from my own studies, I'm not sure that this movie would have made all that much sense. It just comes across like a bunch of people dressed up like ancient near easterners spouting modern fundamenatlist dogma.

The problem is that it's difficult to deal with a legendary/mythological/mystical subject such as the incarnation of God in a medium that so easily lends itself to the most concrete literalism. The gospels themselves do not claim to be literal historical records, but modern filmmakers seem to be enamored with recreating the story as a historical period piece, going to great lengths to make lavish sets of the ancient world. It doesn't work. This kind of storytelling kills the gospel by making it too concrete. This movie is not a portrait of Jesus, but instead is rather like looking at an ancient marble statue. There is no life here. Just fundamentalist fantasies that are nailed down so secure they cannot breathe. Sort of like Jesus on the cross, eh? George Lucas had the right idea when he decided to create his mythology in a fantasy world. When you know from the outset that something happened "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away," you are immediately stripped of the tendency to literalize-- you can take the meaning of the story at face value without bogging it down in its unbelievable character. That's why the Star Wars films are an infinitely better presentation of the truth than any historical Jesus movie will ever be.

For a much better presentation of the gospels, go rent Jesus Christ Superstar. It is far more profound in its retelling of the gospels because it does not aspire to be a historical piece. Instead, it treats the gospel story as the eternal truth that it is. And that, my friends, is really the crux of the whole thing. If we, as Christians, claim to believe in a living and eternal Christ, then we have no need to go around making historical dramas in order to make the gospel more real. Such activities are merely the desperate gasps of fundamentalism in its death throe. Don't bother with this movie. It is weak and silly. Read the original gospels or see Jesus Christ Superstar. Better yet, seek out your own experience with the risen savior-- that's what the gospels are about anyway. Remember, He is with us always, until the end of the age. Or, as George Lucas so nicely said it, the Force will be with you, always.

Subject: Read between the lines
Date: Thu, 18 May 2000
From: Stasia

I loved the movie, and found it to be very motivating. I was a little disturbed at some peoples closed and literal thinking minds about the first part. Jesus never denied he was God's son. From the begining He knew who hw was, and the films portrayal of His debating on the question of "who's my father" was superbly done. Jesus was never in any doubt about who he was, but He also knew that once he started down the path God laid out for him there was no turning back, didn't He tell his mother at the wedding "My hour has not yet come"? I can understand a man wanting to wait untill God called Him to his purpose, for it was a very painfull road Jesus had to follow. Jesus WAS human, and therefore had human emotions, and I think His "conflicting emotions" between Joseph and God are very justified for a man who must have been very frightened. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Jesus really did have a difficult time dealing with the death of Joseph. After all Joseph was His earthly father and Jesus loved him as any child would love their father. Grief is a powerfull emotion. Please post this in answer to some of the less flattering comments about this portion of the film. Thank you~~Stasia

Date: Wed, 17 May 2000
From: Donald Young

I was very offended and greatly grieved by the portrayal of Jesus in the TV mini-series. Truly Jesus was 100% human but HE was also a hundred % DIVINE making him God the Son. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in compliance to the incarnation. He could not sin and therefore he was without sin, so therefore He could not have been romantically involved with Mary. He also knew His mission and purpose throughout His life. The CBS movie made Him appear to be clue less about His mission and purpose though out the entire movie. The movie also made several blasphemous remarks. Also I must note that John the baptist knew that Jesus was the Eternal Son of God and that is why He told Jesus that he needed to be baptized by Him but in the CBS movie John is telling Jesus that He must confess His sin. Like I stated before Jesus had no sins to confess. He only got baptized for a model for all who believe in Him to follow which complies with John's Message which was conveyed unto Him by God in compliance to fulfilling all righteousness. John was the prophet for Messiah in other words He was the one to preach and confirm that Jesus was the Messiah of God. He even stated that Jesus existed before Him in reference to Him always existing as the Word and Eternal Son of God.

Other blasphemous remarks like Jesus stating (which Father, God in heaven is not my Father, and so on) is insisting that He was dumbfounded about His deity in compliance to him being the eternal Son of God and Joseph was only His stepfather. You made Him appear to be ignorant of preaching the gospel Message. For example when he is getting ready to preach to the crowd he asks the disciple what should he say as if he is just along for the ride without any divine plan. It also makes one assume if He was truly full of the knowledge and grace of the Father. Jesus was full of Godly wisdom and was well aware of what he was going to preach and say, He did not need to ask His disciples, nor his mother, or anyone else. He was one who taught with authority and he needed no testimony from man for He knew what was in man being that He is God, the son. This movie just viewed Him as an average human being who was chosen to be God's son. But Jesus was more than that, He was God the son who came to earth through the immaculate conception taking on an additional nature but his human nature never once contradicted His divine nature. What Jesus went through, He went through for humanity. He was perfect and without sin. That is the very reason why he died for the sins of humanity to replace what Adam and Eve had lost. He had to be perfect and sinless to accomplish this. You also viewed Joseph as clue less as if He was competing with God the FATHER for Jesus love, acceptance, and affection. An angel appeared to Joseph to let him know about the Child in Mary's womb, and that she was pregnant by means of the Holy Spirit. He very well knew that Jesus was sent by God the Father and the Holy Spirit but this movies distorts Him also. And for this to be a family movie I thought it was very offensive for my 3 yr.. old and 1 yr. old son to have to see Mary moaning with one of her customers that was unnecessary. It did not have to be put in the movie.

I did not like the brief nudity scene of Mary behind the curtains, and Lazurus when he came out of the tomb, you could actually see his buttocks. Those type of things are unnecessary especially when you are labeling this as a family movie for the entire family at least that is what the Touched by an Angel star stated. I am deeply grieved and disappointed in this movie because it is an inaccurate and blasphemous portrayal of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God. I do not have any problem with Jesus laughing, crying, playing with the children, and dancing, but I do have a problem with the false and inadequate portrayal of him being 100% human with flaws, being in love with a woman, not knowing His mission and purpose, the misrepresentation of Scriptures, and so on. I apologize for not quoting the direct quotes from the movie but I am pretty sure that whomever view my response will know what I am talking about or referring to. My prayers are with you all that support this movie. If you want to know the real story I know four individuals by the name of MARK, LUKE, MATTHEW, AND JOHN the can give you the real and true story about Jesus. Try reading the BOOK, THE BIBLE, WHICH WILL GIVE YOU THE ACCURATE AND TRUE ACCOUNTS ABOUT JESUS AND WHAT HE WAS REALLY LIKE.
Take Care, Donald Young

Subject: Such warmth after this movie.....
Date: Thu, 18 May 2000
From: "Freebird"

Thank you for your mini-series, "Jesus." Even though there may have been many inaccuracies... my children and I had watched, and learned, again. I couldn't wait until Wednesday night to see the second half! I loved the part where Jesus was "playing tag" with the disciples. All in all... the movie was decent, and the kids and I felt the warmth you were trying to portray. It brought back many feelings in my heart, and in my children's hearts, about Jesus Christ. I am a single mother who chooses not to date. I am living my life for my children. This movie gave us all an extremely warm hug before I sent them off to bed. If anything... I am just glad that both my children have the Lord in their lives, and that this movie might just help them realize how TRUE the Bible is. I want them to remember that no matter what... Jesus is with us! I know that my kids went to bed with total love in their hearts tonight! My son and I snuggled for five minutes before bed, and he prayed with me. My daughter told me "Mom, thank you for going to work for us today!" before she fell asleep. I know I am appreciated, and this series helped me to find out just how much! ::smile:: * * * * May the Good Lord shine his glory down upon you! * * * * *

Subject: the mini series
Date: Thu, 18 May 2000
From: "barbara"

Jesus -The Mini Series is blasphemy. I do not want or need Hollywood or any of the unsaved to educate me about Jesus. All anyone needs to do to know about Him is to read the word. Jesus does not need sinful man to shed light on who He is. Jesus is The Light!! The movie had many false presentations; some I saw for my self-others from what I have read here (i chose not to watch the whole movie). It is a lie that Jesus did not know He was God. John the Baptist knew who He was, before either were even born. When Mary His mother went to see her cousin Elizabeth the Bible says that the child in Elizabeth's womb (John the Baptist) lept for joy. When Mary and Joseph found Him in the temple Jesus said He was about His Father's business.

Jesus was equally God & man, true, but sinless. The movie suggests that Jesus sinned. In Matthew 5:27 & 28 Jesus tells us that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has committed adultery in his heart. (Those who understand know that this also means any woman who does the same with a man). He was the pure sacrifice payment for the sins of mankind. This is why He came and died on the cross and rose on the third day. God does not have to prove anything!! The world (the unsaved) is always trying to make God fit into their realm. This is impossible, and also backwards. It is God who created us, not we Him. The word of God says that it is sin to try and change His Truth. His word also says: 1 Corinthians 2:14 "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 3:19 "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. JESUS CHRIST IS KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. HE IS THE ALPHA AND OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END. JESUS IS THE UNBLEMISHED LAMB OF GOD, THE SAVIOUR FOR THE WORLD!!

Subject: Finally, a portrayal of the real Jesus
Date: Thu, 18 May 2000
From: Elatia

While there were a few inaccuracies, I think they can be overlooked because over all the portrayal of Jesus was fantastic. I loved how he was finally portrayed as a real human being with real emotions, as well as the Son of God. Who's to say that He didn't struggle emotionally as a young man with what He was? The Bible says Jesus felt all our problems & struggled with the same temptations we do. Most movies never show these struggles. They always portray him as distant & unemotional. How could anyone relate to a God like that? The Bible says Jesus had many followers; they wouldn't be attracted by a man with an odious personality. The way I see it is there are undoubtedly gonna be some hard nosed fundies who are so squeamish, they can't stand the thought of Jesus drinking wine or dancing, or laughing. But if Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding, isn't it reasonble to say He drank some? It's not like the movie portrayed Him getting plastered. And as for dancing & laughing, my Bible says, "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD." I think these people need to remember that Jesus came to this planet to live as a human being before He was crucified as our Savior. I say keep up the great work. Please don't publish my email address.
My name is Elatia.

Subject: Jesus What A Joke
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000

What a joke. IF you would of read the Bible first. I think that the movie would have been better. I Just want to know if ted turner helped in making the movie. i just never knew that the devil wore three piece suits.
Brian Lott

Subject: Truth Life Way
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000
From: Brian Metz

I was impressed and disappointed with the Jesus mini-series. While they show Jesus as a really believable Messiah. I think they took away from His diety too much. It seems that throughout the first part Jesus didn't know who He was. And Mary had to convince Him. While I do believe Jesus had human issues to work out, (the Mary of Bethany and Joseph relationships), I don't think He would have argued with God about them. He knew His Father's will. Also John the Baptist knew that Jesus was the Christ, since they were children. The comment Jesus made about, "others have spoken the truth," is that refering to the prophets or other religions? I think that the over all look to the film is outstanding. The temptation sequence was excellent. The scenes of Jesus laughing and dancing are wonderful. That is Jesus, lover of my soul. Jesus the Savior. I hope that Jesus in tonights two hours says, "I am the Truth, the Life and the Way, no one comes to the Father except through me."
Thanks, Brian Metz
p.s. Please withhold my e-mail addy

Subject: Jesus Film Project vs. The CBS Mini Series
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000
From: M. Buresh, Omaha, Nebraska, please do not post email address

Jesus Film Project vs. The CBS Mini Series The Mini Series was horrible. If people are looking for a great witnessing film about Jesus Christ they can find one at I have seen this film more than 10 times and it always cheers me up to hear and see the Truth. It is biblically accurate, lively, and it shows the "Truth of the Word" John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, [1] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
From: M. Buresh, Omaha, Nebraska

Subject: Great Show
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000
From: Lester Shuping

It's Good That The GODless Ted Turner Lost Out On This Production. His Wife Jane Is "Trying To Make A Saint Out Of Him", But It Wont Happen. He Has A Low And Very Critical Opinion Of Christ And Christians. Only GOD Can Make A Christian Out Of Anyone. There Are Three Categories Of Spiritual Existence And Being: These Are: The Christian, The GODless And The Damned. ALL Christians Are Israelites. Though Not All Israelites Are Christian, [Yet]. ALL Israel SHALL Be Saved. Visit Israel, The Church, Online, And Learn The Truth. Lester Shuping

Subject: A Mixed Bag
Date: Tue, 16 May 2000
From:Jim Hoppert

It was interesting to read all of the comments about the mini series. Being a mainline Protestant clergy type in my 40's with an interest in film portrayals of Jesus, I frankly found the series episode 1 a mixed bag. Here's a thumbnail sketch of what I liked and didn't. Liked: The healing incident; Jesus as one who could laugh and have a sense of humor; the temptations scenes (although this did seem to border a bit on the "Last Temptation" stuff) Didn't Like: Jesus' angst over his future; Jesus' reaction to Joseph's death (puleease); Jesus' reaction to the Zealot raid (hey, why didn't he bring the soldiers back to life like he did the bird?); Jesus' lack of "gravitas" at times. If Jesus was the paradigm of a whole and balanced person, why not a little more seriousness when appropriate? If you're out and about in human suffering and sin, it isn't all a laugh riot. One more thing: Why must everyone in the film portrayals make Mary of Magdala a prostitute? It isn't in scripture! She was a woman that Jesus cast seven unclean spirits out of. P.S. I still like Robert Powell's Jesus best in the 1977 series, "Jesus of Nazareth."
Jim Hoppert

Date: Tue, 16 May 2000
From: Lynda

I watched the first part of the movie to form my own opinion. It was bad. I expected this much from Hollywood. Who was your biblical/historical consultant on this project. After seeing the butcher job on the NOAH movie I truly could not expect any better for portraying the SON OF GOD! As a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ I fear that people will actually believe this portrayal of our Savior as, confused...needing to repent...not knowing who He was and His purpose. I received many calls at home while watching this "so called interpretation" and I had to tell the callers to please read their bibles. When you take on a project like this you need to make sure that you read the manual! Don't you understand that Jesus was without sin. He was the spotless lamb of God! If He had sin in His life He could not have died for us. READ THE BOOK! II Timothy 2:15 tells us to Study to show ourselves approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH! You have made a New Age Movie. I will watch the second part and take notes and dispell the misinformation that you have put out there. I will write you again

Subject: Review from downunder.
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000
From: "Ken

David, The mini-series was screened in Australia over Easter - so with the benefit of having seen the full thing ....I would make the following comments.
....The film was panned by the popular secular press here - which in my books is in itself a good recommendation.
....The 2nd half is much better than the first.
....Who does not cry out as Peter does when he calls Jesus to "Save me" in the walking on water scene?
....The raising of Lazarus is spine tingling.
....The crucifixion is truly shocking (not for little eyes) - and will bring horror to many viewers - as it should.
....The Jesus Alive scenes are great.

All of these is enough to recommend viewing.

One thing that has concerned me - and none of your reviewers have mentioned it - is how Jesus looks as played out by Jeremy Sisto. We don't get any idea from the Gospels as to what Jesus looked like. Not even a vague description. All we do know is that in Isaiah we are told that there is nothing that we would find attractive. So one can presume that Jesus did not look like an all American movie star. With that comment in mind, it would seem useful to also remember that it is just a film. It is not the Gospel. It has some interesting and for me helpful insights and depictions - but it will not replace the only revelation that God has given us about His Son. If one keeps it in that perspective, I think the film has the potential to be an excellent evangelistic tool. Again being mindful of where the final authority on any issue lies.
Cheers Ken

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