Having worked my way through all of Visual Bible's Matthew and half of the Genesis Project / New Media Bible's Luke the group I lead is now on to John and so I'm going to work through the Visual Bible's Gospel of John in a similar fashion.
The first thing I notice is that John is very much a step up in terms of quality. Christopher Plummer is a better narrator than Richard Kiley, widescreen is better than 4:3 and just the quality of the filmstock and sets makes this a better viewing experience. The script is less adaptable however, and I suspect that will start to grate sooner or later.
A couple of observations on the first couple of chapters. Firstly, John is the only gospel where Jesus isn't baptised (or at least John doesn't tell us about it), but the film puts in in anyway, as a flashback as John the Baptist is speaking.
Secondly, the clearing of the temple scene is really good here. Whilst I'm not particularly comfortable with the idea of a Jesus quite as angry as this one (particularly as it's not really clear why) this is pretty much the only film to depict this scene plausibly in my opinion.
Lastly, it always seems strange to me that Jesus doesn't get to deliver the immortal :) words of John 3:16. Plummer gets these, but I'd always thought (perhaps wrongly given some modern translations) that these are words spoken by Jesus rather than the author. I might have to look into that one.
Labels: Gospel of John