Bulletin Article
March 7, 2004

The Gospel of John

By Doug Long

The movie The Gospel of John is beautiful and unique. I was blown away by what they did. They simply took the scripture word for word and made a movie about it. They started it with the opening words, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God”, and continued to follow the scripture word for word through the entire movie not adding or taking away from the scripture. I know this intimately because I thought that they made some errors in the movie. I went home and opened my bible and started looking up the various passages that I thought they got wrong, and found out to my horror that they were right. These were passages in the bible that I obviously glossed over and didn’t remember. The movie if it is supposed to be a teaching tool did its job because it got me to open my bible, and my guess is that countless others who have seen it have done likewise. If the movie was supposed to be entertaining it also did its job, because I never lost interest through its almost 3 hour run.

There are areas that could be criticized, but they are minor. For instance the role of Jesus is played by a European man with an English accent. His robes are a little whiter than the rest of the apostles, and he is down right pretty. The bible states clearly that Jesus was not special looking in any way (Isaiah 53:2-5).

Isaiah 53:2-3
2For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

This is the only criticism that I could find in the movie. It was a beautiful experience to see the gospel of Jesus Christ come to life in this way. I have never seen a movie based on the bible whether Old Testament or New that didn’t take liberties with the scriptures to supposedly make the movie “better”. This time they got it right.