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

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Date: Tue, 23 May 2000
From: Maria

I cannot believe that they censored the last 90 seconds! I do not find anything wrong whatsoever --- when are these people going to pull their heads up out of the holes they stuck themselves into and see that we need to see Jesus in modern day just as much as in days long ago!

Date: Tue, 23 May 2000
From: Angie

Dear David, I thought the production was wonderful. I remember when I first saw the "Mathew" films with Bruce Marchiano. That was the first time they did a happy warm and loving Jesus. And that was a great series. I thought Jeremey Sisto's interepretation was excellent also. To me that's the kind of Jesus I imagine. Not a mystical one. I've been reading the reviews of people on your website and mostly it looks like more plus's than minus's. At first I thought there were some liberties taken with certain scenes, John the Baptist's treatment of Jesus regarding baptism and sin, and the tomb scene with Joseph, although I didn't think it was out of line. I'm glad they showed a Jesus who might have some doubts about his mission and as to what was expected of him. After all, he was a Man as well as the son of God. How could he understand us if he couldn' feel what man feels. That was handled very well. I loved the elevation of women in this series.

Finally, women were given a high place in this version. His relationship with his mother was so humanly touching. I really believe that she did not know how cruel a horrible death he was going to suffer. The crucifixion scene was the most graphic I ever saw shown before. Especially the physical pain he suffered. Jesus's treatment of Mary Magdalene was so kind and loving. He knew how she distrusted men and how she felt about herself as a prostitute. He approached her with love, kindness and forgiveness and made her feel that she was someone of worth and value. The first person he appeared to after his resurrection was to Mary. Not his 12 (men) apostles, but a woman. What an honor for women.

The performance of the modern day Devil was great. I thought that was handled perfectly. You could really feel for Jesus at the temptation the Devil presented to him. Especially in the Garden of Gethsemane of how all the evils in the world would be done in his "name". That was quite a scene showing the future of wars and starving children. I hope that it will be possible to obtain the Director's cut version that was shown in Europe and not the one CBS is selling. Please, if there is any chance of obtaining that copy could you let people know. Although I tape the show, it would be nicve to have the whole uncut version without the commercials. Thanks for having such a website as this David, I enjoyed reading it and especially about the reviews on the Jesus Mini series. Please keep up the good work.
Yours in Christ, Angie.

Subject: Comments
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000
From: Mike Stevens

I was really touched by the wonderful portrayal of our Lord, who is the same yesterday, today and forever. I understand why some Christian's were a bit taken back, but that is OK, as we all have our preconceived image of Jesus. I can see the Italians point - to do it justice, would take 6 hours. When I saw the uncut ending, it made me cry it was so beautiful. I think CBS blew it on this one. I look foreword to seeing the complete uncut version.
Mike Stevens Mandeville, La

Subject: unscriptural
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000
From: Bill

The Jesus film was good with the exception of those many times that strayed from the Bible. John the Baptist telling Jesus to repent for his sins? What sins? Jesus praying for Joseph to return from the dead? Jesus in love with someone and breaking up with her before going on his ministry? Where did this come from?

Subject: Where's the atonement?
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000
From: Jonathan Fletcher

Where is the grace? The atonement? The payment for our sins? The ONE thing that Christianity has that NO OTHER religion has in the world (besides having the REAL God) is the payment for and forgiveness of our sins. EVERY other religion, including all the pseudo-Christian cults, has a way to work out your salvation. Christ paid for our sins! This movie, while good in so many other ways, leaves Christian theology as no different from any other religion that follows after a good man. The filmmakers missed that one big time. I guess it wouldn't have been so bad if the rest of the movie hadn't been so good! Great discussion starter, though. -- "Am I wrong about EVERYTHING? If so, all I can say is, I'm in the right business." --Dave Barry, Tribune Media Services
Jonathan Fletcher

Subject: The mini series on Jesus on CBS
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000
From: LEA

I appreciated the fact that you put on this series, even if it wasn't completely Biblically accurate. I hope that it interested some people enough to want to learn more about our Lord and Savior. I think that it is great for our children to have this type of programming to watch. Please present more of these series of movies, because a lot of people get very tired of seeing shows that we have to ban our children from watching. This program and the "Miracle Maker" are just what we need.
Thankyou, Lea
P.S. Please do not use my E-mail address.

Subject: Theologically bold, aesthetically a disaster!
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000
From: "Jon Zuck"

Dave, This Jesus movie should have been so much better than it was. Theologically, this was great, but as an a aesthetic experience it was a disaster! The portrayal of Jesus was fantastic! Only the Jesus film project did as well. I loved the portrayal of Jesus who truly was "one of us." I think it really can help the open-minded get past the sermons and come to a more primitive understanding of Jesus really is! Bold moves? Yes. John did preach a baptism of repentance, and Jesus got it. (Only Matt's gospel shows John protesting it.) It was also interesting to develop a theme of His parents pushing him into his ministry. (Hey, he was Jewish, right?) :-) Seriously, I think probably they would've tried talking him out of it, but it was a great idea! Playing, laughing, dancing, drinking, absolutely. Go to a Jewish wedding, fun is mandatory! Even bolder was showing how Jesus' understanding of His purpose and message grew over time. I loved the scene in which he told the Samaritan woman that he was just sent to the lost sheep of Israel, but was won over by her faith, and healed her daughter. His answer to the disciples: "If I can learn, so can you!" Another bold move was showing Jesus accepting the Crucifixion to create the ultimate proof of God's love. I enjoyed the actor's portrayal--his off-handedness, warmth, and genuineness. So what's not to like? Everything else! How is it possible to create a movie on the most compelling person who ever lived, and not make a compelling portrayal? I found I was almost never able to savor a scene, or laugh or cry with Jesus. Scene followed perfunctory scene 120 seconds apart like clockwork. How can you dispose of the Crucifixion in 90 seconds? And Easter Sunday in 60? The pacing was ghastly: This is how Jesus did A, this is how Jesus said B, this is how Jesus did C, and on and on. I have the feeling that the writer wanted to produce a different movie, something more like "The Last Temptation of Christ," but for some reason restrained his creativity to the two temptation scenes (and the censored ending). The majority of scenes were rushed, artless, and disappointing. Acting was mediocre (at best), excepting the lead role. Sets were awful. The Sanhedrin scene looked like medieval Italy, and I felt I could see the guys with the buckets off-camera in the laughable "storm" scene. And why yet another DaVinci-inspired "Last Supper?" Please! Even the temptation scenes (which I loved) were conspicuously reminiscent of Scorcese's work, as was the hill of crosses in the first part. And what was the point of demonizing Pilate? And all the traditional problems with accuracy are still here too. Why do all these Jews (including Jesus) look so Nordic and English? Sure, the director didn't have Zeffirelli's budget or time allotment, So why try to tell the whole life of Christ in just about 3 hours of screen time? Why not make a slower, more personal movie that would let his followers feel his Presence in the film? Ugh. There was a little bit more feeling here than in a book report, but not much.
Please feel free to use my email: Jon Zuck

Subject: The best biblical epic ever...
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000
From: Marv

After watching the "Jesus" mini-series on CBS, I was moved and compelled to say that Jeremy Sisto's portrayal of the Lord was superb and moving. Comparing this with other Jesus movies within the last forty years, Sisto makes then look like kindergardeners.

Subject: Re: Hollywood Jesus Newsletter #10
Date: Mon, 22 May 200006:11:41 +1000
From: "The larrikin"

Dear David
> 1. CBS TV censors part of the JESUS series. -See it at HJ In Australia they show all of it. We thought the ending was a bit odd until we started to talk abut it and realized two things. 1/ the children were from different nations and 2/ We were discussing the movie. a number of our friends had done the same thing. We think that the Producers wanted this to happen.
> 2. Huge response to JESUS. Largest in HJ history. Unfortunately it did not get very good ratings out here. Australians tend to ignore Christian Movies. BTW You are doing a great job keep it up. There's a storm coming, our Storm. PROCLAIMING GOD'S LOVE TO A DYING WORLD Say to the captives, 'come out,' and those in darkness, 'Be free!' Isaiah 49:9 Love in Jesus Adrian Bonham aka Morning Light, The Larrikin
I looked to the heavens to where God dwells I looked into my life to see he lives there as well.
Outpost 49 Hawkesbury Royal Rangers Windsor, N.S.W. Australia F.C.F. 94

Subject: Oh, Derek, there is another way!
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000

Go to Rome, smother the Pope with kisses, and ask him if you can borrow his early-recieved video of JESUS (with the ending uncut) or you can wait until July for the American release (the one with the ending cut)

Subject: Jesus -- The Mini-series
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000
From: "Michael Martin"

Dear David, Today (Sunday) I finally got to watch "Jesus." I had taped both parts and wanted to be able to watch it a single sitting. However, unfortunately, due to the poor quality of the tape I was unable to enjoy the first 45 minutes. All that aside, I have visited your page to see the "European ending" and found myself also reading the various postings. I found the mini-series enjoyable. I laughed and I cried sometimes both at once. Sure there were inaccuracies as per the Bible. But, so what! I have been a student of religion since I was a teenager. I am now 47 y.o. I have lived and visited in many places in the world on my own and with thanks to the US military. I believe that the message of Jesus "To do unto others as you would have others do unto you," is the most important message in the history of the World. I truly appreciated Sisko's portrayal of Jesus as a human being who sometimes got angry, with cause, i.e.., the Temple, but who also knew love and "Love." I believe a person can follow both the teachings of Buddha, or other teachers, and the teachings in the New Testament without conflict. Boy is this going to raise some "flak". The only real Truth is to "Love one another." How, or from where, we get there is NOT important! The fact is that we GET THERE. Thanks for posting this and having this website. If anyone wishes to contact me, please have them write to

Subject: Question about Jesus miniseries
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000
From: Karen Spivey

David, I found your wonderful site through the Jesus miniseries on CBS. I ordered the videotapes from CBS, however, what I would really like to get is the original uncut European version. Do you know where I can get it? Thank you. Also, where should I go to request permission to use shots from the series on my own web sites? This is just a thought, but people should not be shocked at the censored scene where Jesus appears in modern dress. After all, he spoke modern English throughout the entire movie!!! Keep up the good work.
Karen Spivey

Subject: Jesus
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000
From: Cathy

Just want to say a word of thanks about your site. The miniseries has done what Jesus always does - stirred people up. I especially appreciate Steve Barhydt's reminder that we rejoice when Christ is preached - regardless of motive. I might add, we don't even consider shutting the doors of churches whose version of the gospel is different than ours or whose pastors make a mistake in interpreting scripture. I believe God needs no defending from me and can bring glory to himself out of a less than perfect message, be it on CBS or in the pulpit. Thanks for the forum. Let's all make sure we use this unique opportunity that hollywood has offered us to speak the truth about Jesus!

Date: Sun, 21 May 2000
From: Alissa

As usual, all the "born-again" Christian Bible-thumping know-it-alls have missed the point AGAIN. And let me tell you just what that point IS: that there are many "lost souls" out there searching for HIM but just don't know how to go about finding him. And these self-righteous, Christians who know every single word written in the Bible have totally turned me off to everything religious. This movie was the first time I could see Jesus as a human being, who loved, cried, felt pain, laughed, danced and who also showed, oh, here it comes, ANGER! But guess what, all you Bible experts who absolutely know for certain that a lot of the dialogue and events that took place in this film are erroneous since you were all actually THERE to record EVERY word that was ever spoken between Jesus and every person he encountered back then, I FINALLY GOT HIS MESSAGE!!!!!!!!!!! This movie opened up a door for this lost soul to love him, try to know him and at least, finally, have him in my life!!! And one person actually had the audacity to quote somewhere in the Bible that Jesus was "considered unattractive?" Give me a break!!!!!! Interesting how every portrait of Christ I've ever seen did not show an ugly man. AS IF!!!!! Jeremy Sisto and Jacqueline Bisset were perfectly cast as Jesus and the Virgin Mary and this is the way I will choose to believe they actually looked. You're entitled to your opinion and I'm entitled to mine!!!!!!!! But thanks to this beautifully filmed movie, there is one less lost soul in the world.....and for this, I thank everyone connected to this wonderful production!!!

Subject: Censored portion
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000
From: Nanette

I think it is extremely ridiculous that CBS did not show the last clip of the movie - when they allow profanity, vulgarity, examples of immorality, etc. to be put on the air - we live in that kind of world unfortunately - however - that is why Jesus came in the first place - it would not surprise me at all that Jesus' second coming could be as the last clip showed - the children will know first - "for of such is the kingdom of God."
Please do not post my e-m

Date: Sun, 21 May 2000
From: Xtra Kool

GOD BLESS U DAVID!!! HJ RULES!!!! hooray for jesus miniseries and all of us like u who know who the real jesus is!! amen

Subject: The CBS Jesus Miniseries
Date: Sat, 20 May 2000
From: "Mike Mansfield"

I am a United Methodist pastor in southern Kentucky. This is an area where the King James version of the Bible is favored over more readable translations. It is also an area where the theology tends to be very predestinerian and the biblical faith is literalistic. The people, for the most part are wonderful folk. The people with whom I have talked who watched the series tended to dislike it, but for reasons that amazed me. In fact the reasons they disliked it were many of the same reasons I liked it. Jesus is laughing, playing with children, falls in love with a woman, struggles over his calling, and even still in question the night when he was betrayed. All of these are biblical views of Jesus. Yet the very idea that Jesus could be fully human seems to be too much for some folk! This is a Jesus whom I believe can understand my temptations, who shows me what life "to the full" (more abundant life) is all about. I do believe the ending which CBS did not show would have made it even better. I also believe the literalists would have hated the film even more if it had shown! Thanks, David, for your wonderful site. Thanks for recommending this film. I wouldn't have gone to the trouble of watching it without your recommendation.
P.S. Don't forget to visit the Hunger Site today and every day. Every time you do you feed a few hungry people somewhere in the world.
Reverend J. Michael Mansfield,
Director Cumberland County Parish Pastor,
Burkesville United Methodist Charge
Burkesville, Kentucky USA mailto:

Subject: IS GOD A WHITE BOY ?????
Date: Sat, 20 May 2000
From: kwende

I have not seen the "Jesus" mini series nor will I ever see it. This constant barrage of images of GOD as a caucasian male burns me deeply and is indicative of the thoughtless institutionalized racism that black people battle daily. being that I personally am agnostic I should just walk away from the whole situation but the image of GOD is too powerful a weapon to be left in the hands of people who have historically hostile to the black nation. So our task is to destroy and recreate these myths and fashion something that will nurture our people in the face of their enemies. peace kwende

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: About "Jesus"
Date: Thu, 18 May 2000
From: Carolyn

Can you provide more information on the actor who played Jesus in the mini-series? Thank you.
Love, Carolyn

Subject: Sorry!
Date: Fri, 12 May 2000
From: Sandra

I am sorry that some of you were looking for a sermon instead of a movie. I thought it was a terrific movie; but, that is what it was a movie. If you want a sermon go to church. Please withold my e-mail address.

Subject: Concerned
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2000
From: Rev Wood

To Whom it may concern, My name is Rev. Robert A. Wood and I just want to say that I think that it is great and AWESOME! that movies are being made concerning the Bible (Jesus incl.) But I believe that we all need to be careful in making these movies and while I agree that making them there will always be a form of atistical licencing since we don't know everything concerning all that been said and done. But when making these movies I think that they should be made according to how the bible describes the story and work from there rather than looking to other book or things written from that time period. I do believe that there are other people of Jesus' time who kept records and accounts of Jesus' life but to the Christians and other belivers they pretty much don't know of any other writings except the bible. Your version in my opinon was ok but not all truthful I I think that in the future you should concentrate on only what in the bible and try and build a story from there. I don't agree that Jesus ever struggled about who He was and what His mission was. Someday I do plan to make a movie on Jesus taken everything only from the bible and I will use all the scriptures as I am a writer and an actor using my talents in the secular world to preach God's word. NBC NOHA's Ark really sucked and it had NO! truth what so ever it was made for profit only and who ever wote it should be flogged himself I hate when stories from the bible are taken to hollywood for money and made into a lie.
God bless, Rev. Wood

Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000
From: Melissa

I was really upset when I read the article in Jerry Falwell's National Libert Journal. I couldn't believe what a bod faced lie CBS was trying to deliver to the reason behind the banning the ad. The reason they gave was that it was too closely related to the topic of the show and it would "comercialize" the series. I just watched Survival last night and the commercial they had were: Sport shoes, Army recruiting and Triathlon ads. Along with sport-drinks commercial. Other commercials were allowed to play off the show with, you can't survive without it, comments. I just think they were making one more excuse as to why Jesus is only allowed on television, as long as Hollywood has the right to distort and reduce the inportance of His life and most importantly, His death. I agree that three and a half minutes is to short a time to express such an important, meaningful event.

Subject: "Jesus" comments
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000

I have always believed in God but I have never felt so close, such a connection with Jesus Christ as I do since I watched this movie. For those of us who are just learning the Bible and trying to understand it, I think it is very refreshing to think that Jesus would have such human qualities and emotions like He did in this movie. He danced, He laughed, He cried. I just never really felt worthy of His love until I considered what this movie dared to show - the fact that perhaps there were times when Jesus did shout or shed a tear. Jeremy Sisto is brilliant and I believe has touched a lot of lives with his portrayal of our Lord. Thank You.........Carole Lewis


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