Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Watch the Bible


The Big Idea: Get to know the Bible better watching videos of the Bible as quoted word-for-word.  

See the Gospels Not Just Read Them

In our media driven world we are privileged to have several videos available to us with the Bible read and re-enacted for us word-for word. Here's what it does for us:

  • It lets us view the Bible in a fresh way.
  • We observe customs, the ancient lifestyle, weather, topography of the land and so on.
  • We see the nuance of a glance or a smile, proximity people with Jesus, Jesus’ human emotions.
  • We can visual the story of real people in a real place. Perhaps we identify with a character.
  • We can insert ourselves in the story like a fly on the wall and see what Jesus does.

The current best word-for-word video series

LUMO PROJECT  provides each gospel in full. It is made using Middle Eastern actors with a Bible lands setting. Because of the Middle Eastern actors and direct reading of the Bible, it is easily viewed and translated into many languages. You will find many other languages represented on the YouTube channel. Languages like Bengali, Farsi, and Malagasy. If you have international students in your life, or neighbors or relatives who speak another primary language, this is definitely a resource!

On YouVersion Bible App for free here.

The Lumo Project video channel free here. Search for book and chapter such as "Matthew 5"

Occasionally it is available for free on streaming services, such as Amazon Prime or Netflix. Just check on it.

Here is a sample of Mark 6: 1-29

Other Word-for-Word Videos

The Gospel of John (2003) Distributed by Lions Gate. I enjoy the playful light in the eyes of the one who plays Jesus.


The series, "The Visual Bible" in cooperation with International Bible Society, has produced several excellent productions that are very useful.

The Visual Bible: Matthew (1993)

The Visual Bible: The Acts of the Apostles (1994) I love seeing the book of Acts come to life!

The Gospel According to Luke (1979) is the King James Version being read. It is from New Media Bible. It was released as The Jesus Film Project. This also has been dubbed into many languages and is still widely available. When I was a missionary in Guinea, West Africa, this film was shown widely. It was often the first time for many to hear about Jesus. The website "Blue Letter Bible" has it broken down into chapter by chapter of Luke here.

Biblical Movies Adapted

It is important to be aware of a couple factors concerning adaptive text Biblical movies compared to the word-for-word Biblical movies. These movies create dialogue because a lot of the Bible is narration. The Scriptures are not written like a screenplay. These movies take creative license in their desire to create an engaging story creating conversations that might or might not have happened.

These conversations inserted to the story in addition to the Biblical text are man's interpretation. It might even unknowingly reflect bias.  It is harder to translate these into other languages because of idioms and other modern Western influence though unintentional.

On the other hand, sometimes the woven story gives a very good picture of what might have plausibly happened. The accuracy to Biblical truth depends on the seriousness of the writers and producers. Do they make efforts be true to the scriptures and with good, faithful Biblical background to the original text, cultural context and customs of the day?  Done well, these films can help us have a much better picture and understanding of the context in which the Bible was written.

Before you watch an adapted movie double check who backs the production.  Ask spiritually mature Christians what they think of the adaptation. Opinions may vary but it is valuable to discuss it. You may find these trustworthy opinions online on a Christian website such as through Plugged in: Focus on the Family or Christianity Today, for instance. Usually if a Bible publishing house backs a movie that is a very good sign.

While watching, consider what you know what the whole Bible says and (Scripture interprets Scripture) what you know to be true of God. Create discussion with pastors, teachers and good Christian friends on the portrayal. Ask yourself what you think is the intent of the film for a take away.

I recently read an article from a movie review site ( that stated that Christians prefer accuracy the most when it comes to films about the Bible. I agree. God's character and our understanding of God is at stake!

An Excellent Referral

The Chosen is a current crowd-sourced TV series about the life of Christ. This is not at all a word-for-word rendition. There are back stories and storylines developed to create understanding. Some of this is conjecture. However, the producer of this series truly wants to get it right, prays Christ is portrayed correctly and humbly seeks good counsel for accuracy. I am encouraged with it’s faithfulness. I am blown away by it and often moved to tears. Please feel free to check it out and consider supporting its production.  

We could go one by one through some of the many films of recent years giving a grade. There are a couple that surface as best. Sometimes a movie will provide good background information of the Bible to us in a sort of back story of the times. However if it steers us in the wrong direction about the Bible or tries to present a half truth about God, we are in trouble.

Perhaps this is a good subject for another day!

Up Next: Why Read the Bible?

Previous Post: 10 YouVersion Tips



1. Have you ever tried watching a chapter or two of a passage instead of reading it? How did it impact you differently than just reading it on paper? With YouTube and YouVersion it is very accessible now.

2. How would YOU proceed to check the accuracy of a film related to the Bible? Who might you ask or what site might you check out?

3. Is there a Bible based movie or an episode of "The Chosen" that you absolutely love? What truth touched you in the story? What did it show you about God?


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