The gospel of John in the Bible is a favorite of mine. It is different from the other three gospels. I find it a more personal telling of the story of Jesus that focuses on the spiritual theme more than on the historical account.
The DVD, ďThe Gospel of JohnĒ is a faithful dramatization of the gospel and is effectively narrated by Christopher Plummer. This rendition is word for word from the American Bible Societyís Good News Bible Ė a common language translation.
Henry Ian Cusick plays the person of Jesus. If you were a fan of the TV series, Lost, you may remember him as Desmond. Cusick plays a very human Jesus but I think he fell short of portraying the Word that became flesh, the glory of the One and Only, full of grace and truth. The human Jesus is important but in Johnís gospel, the true Light that gives light to every man is all important.
The other characters of the story were believable.
John the Baptist, played by Scott Handy, was fittingly weird and a little scary, looking as if he had lived in the wilderness.
The disciples looked like the fisherman and common people they were. As they followed Jesus, they looked understandably worried while he was making rash statements in front of Pharisees and then seemed to be happily basking in the glory of Jesus entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey as the people waved palm branches.
My only reservation is the portrayal of Mary Magdalene, played by Lynsey Baxter. The Bible speaks of the women who traveled with Jesus although Johnís gospel is silent in this area. The only woman in the movie that is shown almost continually with Jesus and His disciples is Mary Magdalene. I believe that she followed Jesus but Iím inclined to think that she was in the company of other women. I think the presentation infers a different relationship between Mary and Jesus than what the Bible tells us.
Listening to the gospel being read from beginning to end is moving. Hearing Godís word is a very powerful experience. Adding the visual and watching it was intriguing. Although at over two hours long, I think if one isnít careful, much of the spiritual teaching can be missed. My favorite feature of the DVD is the ability to go to specific chapters and verses to focus on individual happenings. In this way I will use the DVD over and over in the years to come.