us Series, page 14-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
PAGE 5 Comments
PAGE 6 Comments
PAGE 7 Comments
PAGE 8 Comments
PAGE 9 Comments
PAGE 10 Comments
PAGE 11 Comments
PAGE 12 Comments
PAGE 13 Comments
PAGE 14 Comments <you are here

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: talk to the producer and Sisto
Date: Tue, 2 May 2000
From: Alfred

Dear David, I really enjoyed the 2 part series Jesus. The idea of Satan dressing in modern suit and that Jesus walked in modern clothing is spot on. I would like to know who the producer is. What message(s) does the producer trying to convey . Is it just a money making production? Are the producers, directors and actors ( especially Sisto ) Roman Catholic or Protestant ? I would like to thank these folks about this innovative breakthrough of presenting Jesus. I would also like to talk to them about their faith. Could you provide information such as their address, e-mail address ?
Thank you Alfred

Response: Does it matter about religious background? I can not give out anyone's e-mail, but they will read your comments here. Thank you for your kind thoughts -David

Date: Tue, 02 May 2000
From: Ken

The Jesus miniseries was screened in Australia over the Easter weekend. The press gave it the thumbs down (but what do you expect). I thought it was fantastic and I think the US will be bowled over by it.

Date: Tue, 09 May 2000
From: Kenn

We have just seen the series here in Australia. Comment... It's a shame the writers didn't read the book!

Response: They did. -David

Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000
From: Tom Poulter

This movie has been the most moving portrayal of Christ's life for me. It is a daring yet convicting portrayal of the human, divine and eternal love of Christ that is rarely presented so un-piously. Great work from everyone involved.
Thank you!
P.S. Where can I get a copy?
Regards, Tom Poulter

Subject: Gripping Television...
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000
From: Nicky Parsons

Hi there, well this mini series has just aired in Australia and I have to tell you it is compelling viewing. The liberty, spoken of or otherwise, that the producers have taken to slightly deviate from the gospel (Satans second temptation) by no means take away from the intent of the Gospels....infact, it enforces them. It was a stroke of artistry to keep the story of Jesus in his time, so we visually saw the gospels come to life, but to also give the impression that Jesus lives with us now. Kudos to the filmmakers behind this. I wait with baited breath at their next project.
Nicky Parsons
N.B. Please put as my email address

Subject: JESUS Mini Series on DVD or VHS???
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 00:20:17 -0400
From: "Alberto Camacho"

Hi, My name is Alberto C. and I live in Venezuela, where I recently watched the Jesus Mini Series... IT WAS GREAT!!!, It really impacted me in a way that no other Jesus Film has impacted me before. The scene in Gethsemane really made me think, and the scene where Jesus appears in the present, simply made me realize how close HE is right now. I wanted to thank the team that made this movie possible, and find out when are they planning to release the DVD or VHS version. Thanks!!!!

Response: Wait -David

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000
From: Wim Houtman

The Jesus mini series airs with CBS from May 14th, so their website. As a journalist with a Christian daily newspaper in Holland I just watched the Jesus mini series which is to be broadcast in this country over the Easter weekend. I was a bit disappointed with the first half hour which deals with the early years of Jesus, a period which doesn't play any role in the Bible. It shows Jesus hesitating about His mission - it isn't until his earthly father, Joseph, dies that He feels ready to embark on it. Apparently Jesus was found lacking psychological depth necessary for a movie character. After these first twenty-seven minutes, however, the series is back in the strong form we have grown accustomed to from the Bible series. I found the second temptation by the Devil, in Gethsemane, although not mentioned in the Bible, very effective.
Wim Houtman, Nederlands Dagblad

Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000
From: Clayton Slaughter

I have read with interest your articles on the various Bible movies, particularly those that aired on TNT and their "cousins" that American audiences have not yet been able to see. However, there was one Biblical movie made by the same producers that I have not yet found mentioned on your site - Joseph Of Nazareth. I would love to find out how I could view this movie. Thanks in advance for your help. Clayton Slaughter

Response: I have not heard of this film. And it is not listed in the producers credits.

: My Interpretation Of Your Trouble. Jesus Mini Series
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000

My dear troubled child, I know your problem. My idea is that the World War II scenes were to show that Jesus is still with us and to convey the fact that the devil is still with us, too. I also theorize that Jesus appearing in a small Native American village brings forth an old Mormon doctrine. The original script probably had Jesus saying, " Here we go again."

Response: So make up your mind, are you Melissa or Jesus? Why the jab at Mormons? -David

Subject: Inspirational Favorites
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2000

Ben Hur (Charleton Heston), The Ten Commandments (C H) and Jesus of Nazareth. Why? All deep and meaningful to the true believer such as myself. I look forward to the mini-series as a fresh production. Simply casting my vote today as I believe these movies lead the pack in inspiration to date!
Yvonne Farah

Subject: Jesus on commercial TV
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000
From: Jim McElfish

This is the chance that we have been waiting for, to use the media to spread the Gospel instead of having it used spreading Satan's messages. I applaude CBS for taking the bold step in making this possible. I am looking forward to seeing this miniseries this season. Keep up the good work!
Jim McElfish
Response: Yes I am very happy about this too. -David.

Subject: Jesus series
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000
From: "M&J Brady"

Has the Jesus film already been aired? Im thankful for David work in t.v. and movies. I'm so SICK of the of going to the movies store and not finding anything that is worth even watching.Most is insulting. I'd like to know where to buy David's films when they are availiable. Jean Brady
Response: Only over seas. as of this date it has not shown in the U.S.A. -David.

Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000
From: george ioannides

Warm greetings from Cyprus! My name is Georgios Ioannides and I work as a doctor in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus. I have already seen on the national tv channel (CyBC) the previous episodes of the magnificent "Bible" series and I must admit that I consider this project to be revealing and inspiring. Unfortunately the latest production "Jesus" hasn't been broadcast in my country yet but I have already read some articles and comments on it that really aroused my curiosity.Since I'm trying to obtain as many information in detail as I can , I would be grateful if you had the time and patience to answer to a few clarifying questions of mine:
1) First of all, I've read that this film emphasizes the humanity of Jesus presenting Him as a friendly person Who enjoys life but Who also suffers in agony nailed on the cross. What are your comments on that?
2) Is it accurate that in this film Maria Magdalene openly expresses her devotion and love for Jesus but He politely rejects her?
Response:Yes, I called and they assured me this is so. -David.
3) For what reason does Judas betray his master according to the film? Judas' behaviour has remained a mystery over centuries and I'm curious to know about the approach of this film on the matter.
Response: I do not know, As soon as I see the film I will tell you. -David.
4) Is the representation of Jesus' passion (especially the scenes of Jesus being scourged and crucified) realistic enough to disturb viewers of small age?
Response: I hope so. -David.
5) Are there any trailers of this production on the net? I hope that the "Jesus" miniseries will have been broadcast in my country by the end of his year. Looking forward to your replying.
Response: I do not have release dates for your country. I will try to find out however. -David.
George Ioannides e-mail:

Date: Mon, 06 Mar 2000
From: Michael Gibbs

What's the latest word on Jesus the Miniseries ...I saw an ad for it a few weeks ago on CBS, but it looked to be coming out this spring/summer....Any news on that?
Michael Gibbs University of Arkansas
Response: Read tinterview I did with the producer. I think it will answer all your questions. -David.

Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000
From: Hans-Juergen Carter

I saw Jesus The Mini Series on Germany's Channel 1 (ARD) on satellite TV (I live in the UK) on Christmas Day (12/25/99) and Boxing Day (12/26/99). I thought it was great, however, I am not sure why Satan was dressed in a 1990's suit and why various sequences of WWII were added, not to mention at the end of the program when "Jesus" left the house to ascend to heaven and turned into a 20th Century young man in some Italian (or possibly Israeli) small seaside town. Any interpretations please?

Me being bilingual (English and German) I had no problem understanding the German synchronised version of the series, although I am looking forward to seeing it BSkyB, which will probably not be for another six months or so. Germany's Channel 1 always seems to show the Bible series before UK television.

On the whole I love watching the Bible series and identify more with the Old Testament, rather than the new one.
Hans-Juergen Carter

Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999
From: James

On the mini series Jesus (2000)
If you could update me with the info about the premier and the nextupdate on this page.

Thank You
My response: Except the series to run near Easter time 2000

May 26, 1999. The story I heard a year or two ago was that Lux Vide had the Jesus screenplay ready & gave TNT first option. TNT was going thru a business re-organization, and didn't want to commit to such a costly project at the time. Thus, Lux Vide could market it around, when it was then picked up by ABC. When the dust settled at TNT, the new head was furious that they had passed on JESUS. This was from TV GUIDE at the time. I don't know how CBS got hold of it from NBC.
     I'm also wondering when we in the US will get the chance
to see Lux Vide's SOLOMON and JEREMIAH.

Subject: just finished part 1
Date: Sun, 14 May 2000
From: lwalker

As a Catholic priest, and one who has lived in the Holy Land, I appreciated this version over any I have ever seen before. There are still some details not so historically correct, such as the home in Nazareth (it is a cave), but the scenes with the temple is the best I've ever seen in any movie. The development of Jesus' character is most in keeping with mainline Christian churchs rather than the more literalists forms of fundamentalism. Great work. Thanks for the site.

Date: Mon, 15 May 2000
From: RLCthe3rd

What about John the Baptist requiring Jesus to Repent of His sins before baptizing Him? That is totally blasphemous. Jesus was without sin, and John was much more humble in His presense. John felt unworthy of performing such a task, as he was baptizing in water for the repentence of sin, where the one to follow him would be baptizing in the Holy Spirit, and John felt unworthy to even wash His feet. John expressed that sentiment, and specifically resisted baptizing Jesus ... for it was He who should be baptizing John. Jesus reminded John that he must baptize Him in order that all righteousness be fulfilled.

Also, thus far, I feel that Jesus is protrayed as very unsure of Himself or who He is in His Father. His reaction to Josheph's death was also very inappropriate. He knew who He was, and yet His apparent resentment about the death of Joseph was not in line with the respect I believe that Jesus had for His Heavenly Father. Personally, I do not care if Jesus is portrayed as loving, caring, and human ... very human. At least, not at the expense of His divine nature. He was very Divine in nature, and understood that to be of equal balance in His life.

I am a writer and an actor, a musician ... a performer. I fully understand the need to take artistic liberties, as I have done so in my own material. Still, when it comes to fundamental aspects of the God-man Jesus, I feel that lines must not only be drawn, but respect for the biblical accuracy of Jesus' Divinity adhered to. Honestly, John requiring Jesus to repent of His sins prior to baptizm was very unsettling and crossed way over those boundries of artistic liberties. It was, quite frankly ... and biblically, heresy. I am extremely disappointed that our Christian community buys into this kind of Psuedo-truth. I have not had the liberty of seeing the second part of this movie, yet, but why can't we just put our resources into producing the highest quality multi-media shows rather than settling for biblically questionable material.

We in America ... we are spineless and cowards. Miniseries like "Jesus" are entertainment that manipulates fundamental aspects of truth. To say the least, I have been very disappointed in the presentation of Jesus as unsure of Himself, and the subtle misrepresentation of some biblical truths that are paramount to the very nature and purpose of Jesus' life. We, as the Christian community, should not settle for this kind of manipulation. Rather, let us stop putting our money and efforts into getting our Chrisian musicians on the soundtrack of the world's interpretation of truth and put out higher quality and more accurate presentations of what the truth really is. We certainly have the resources, but unfortunately ... not the courage. Respectfully, Louis Costley

Mon, 15 May 2000
From: Jonathan

David, I just saw Jesus on CBS and loved it. At times it was not very realistic but I loved the temptations. The interpretations of the individual temptations were very good. I have only very rarely heard them interpreted that way and they make great sense that way. Aside from getting some of the details of life in those times and some of the details of the scriptural account of Jesus' life wrong, I thought it did a good job. I also loved (!) all the various accents that reflected the melting pot of actors used in the film. At times I found it hard to concentrate on the movie while thinking about all the things they overlooked in their creative decisions. Still, I found the portrayal of Jesus's humanity quite convincing and refreshing. We often forget that He HAD to be human also for His life, and death, to mean anything. Can't wait for the conclusion.

Date: Sun, 14 May 2000
From: Jim David

David, I watched part 1 of the Jesus miniseries tonight, and I loved it! Your comments were right on target, and I can't understand why some people have a problem with Jesus running, laughing, playing with children, dancing, splashing water on His friends, etc. The program has a very down-to-earth quality about it, and yet manages to be very spiritual at the same time. I can't wait to see part 2! Jim David Peoria, IL

Subject: First night of Jesus
Date: Sun, 14 May 2000
From: BramsVan

I must say, I was very impressed with this film, as impressed by it as I wasn't by the claymation thing on Easter. Ironically, the latter is the one that gets the seal of approval by the religious establishment, and tonight's film gets marked as sacreligious. I do not see it as such. I LOVED the "scenes we never see" - things that one could certainly assume must have happened, but were not recorded as events in the Bible. (how innovative to pose a simple question: what was dinner at Levi's house LIKE?) I liked them because they were interesting, helped to continue the action and conflict of the film, and developed the characters.

This Jesus is how I envisioned him without knowing it: I've been so programmed by the previous interpretations, that I couldn't have predicted that this is who I would wish to see. It did seem odd to me though that a film as faithful as it was to historical accuracy would choose to place the wise men at the manger. It didn't really bother me, but I thought it odd. Is there a disagreement theologically that I'm unaware of? I was moved to tears several times during this two hours, and I look forward to the next two hours very much. eric bramlett creative arts director, community christian church, naperville illinois

Date: Sun, 14 May 2000
From: Jeff

Howdy! I just saw the first part and it was disappointing. Jesus was not bad but the whole thing with him in love was really stupid and was never in the bible. It is not a family film and for real Christians, how can we enjoy a movie that is not even on-line with the bible. There was a good idea, but a silly film. Could have been much better. I wish it was. Why did you put in so much sin in the movie as to glorify it? In Christ and Have Fun, Jeff

Subject: the first and second commandment. Jesus Mini Series
Date: Mon, 8 May 2000
From: OGallegos

I am amazed there is no more fallout from the Orthodox Reformed Protestant believers who see the portrait of Jesus in movies as a violation of the Commandments of G-D which forbids us to look unto a likeness of a Deity. In Genesis 20, and in Deuteronamy 5 where Moses reveals to us the Great 10 commandments of G-D; The First and second Commandment forbid the making of a likeness and the looking upon that likeness as an abomination, and as a Jealous G-d those who do so will not go unpunished.

The removal of all idols and art forms of the Christ and Mary the mother of Jesus and the Saints was one of the main emphasis of the Reformed period ( 1521 to 1645). I am aware most of that great art was destroyed and I realize at great loss, because It was created in Ignorance. However, once the Knowledge of the sin was revealed the creations of the likeness of Jesus should have stopped.

However, to this day and lately with much fanfare from the Protestants as well as the traditional idol worshippers the Roman Catholic and Greek and Russian Orthodox, the making of images of a deity, Though beit of Jesus, are increasingly more blatant. I cannot believe this topic is not being address in any media forum unless the media has determined to sensor this topic in the interest of preserving its' own agenda.

Response: It is Exodus 20, not Genesis 20! It reads: "You shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth." An actor playing Jesus is not a carved idol. Also, the commandment has to do with the worship of an idol (graven image) as a god, and does NOT mean we can not fashion something that REPRESENTS God. For example, in communion the bread a visual object/ image that prepresents the body of Christ. In Luke 15:8-10, Jesus uses a woman as an image of God. In Luke 15:1-9 Jesus uses the image of a shepherd to represent God. Believe me, the film is not a "carved idol/image of some "other god." -David

Subject: Accuracy
Date: Mon, 8 May 2000
From: "Lisa McDaniel"

Dear David, My husband and I are wondering just how Biblically accurate this movie will be. There was such an uproar over Noah's Ark and as soon as it got to the part in the movie that was inaccurate; we turned the channel without hesitation. As Christians we are strongly in favor of any movie that is supposedly "christian" or about the Bible. In a world and time when there are so many false religions, cults, and denial of the Savior Jesus Christ, the Truth is so needed in its complete and holy Biblical accuracy. So, is this movie based on thorough and complete accuracy according to the Bible? Many thanks and love through Jesus,
Lisa McDaniel

Response: It is more the meaning of Jesus than a literal retelling.

Subject: Jesus miniseries
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000
From: David Buckna

Hi David Are you planning to provide a link on your website to my "Jesus" miniseries webpage? CBS to broadcast "Jesus" miniseries (May 14 & 17)
David Buckna

Response: I alway appreciaete your hard work. -David

Subject: CBS airing of Jesus Mini-series
Date: Tue, 2 May 2000
From: Denise Thompson

I wanted to watch the Jesus mini-series, but sad to say CBS is airing it on Sunday evening May 14, and Wednesday evening May 17, when most Christians will be attending church. Maybe they hope no one will see it, so they can say the American people just don't want to watch this kind of television?
Denise Thompson

Response: Believe me CBS wants good ratings! Set your VCR if you will be at church. -David

Subject: movie reviews
Date: Tue, 2 May 2000

Thanks for the great reviews in the newsletter I just got from you. It is so encouraging to know there are folks out there who approach the entertainment industry like I do. I was especially encouraged with your early take on the Jesus movie. I am already bracing for the fundy backlash. "A Jesus who drank wine and danced? That's not Christian!" Who would want to be a Christian the way the fundies make it look? Not me! (although I am one.just not THEIR brand) We got this same crap from them before and after the Mary movie, which I thought was a beautiful retelling of the story. Sure, the filmmakers took a few liberties, but so did the writers of the Bible. I even remember trying to defend the movie to a fundy by putting out (stupidly, in retrospect) that the Kennedys, devout Catholics (aka Christians), produced the film. The response I got: "Oh, no wonder it was so ungodly." Excuuuuse me?!?
Thanks again, Christy

Response: Thank you for welcoming all movies that retell the story of Jesus. -David