Reviewing The Gospel of Matthew (Lionsgate)

Over the past few years, I’ve enjoyed watching the Gospel of John occasionally with my family for devotions. We purchased the dvd and would play about ten minutes and then discuss it. What I loved about this version is that it is John’s gospel, word for word,. It helps readers of the gospel visualize how the scenes played out. For people curious about Christianity or believers struggling to get into the Gospels, watching them is a great approach to better understanding the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Lionsgate launched a fantastic project to produce all four gospels using the same cast. The Gospel of Matthew (available on Netflix or dvd purchase/rental on Amazon) is the first gospel I want to review for you here. Here’s a short clip to give you a feel for the format.

Bottom line – it’s fantastic. British actor Selva Rasalingam (who has Indian ancestry) plays the role of Jesus with excellence. According to Charisma News, the creators of the series didn’t have the time or resources to teach the cast Aramaic. Consequently, they created their own language using Aramaic words and Aramaic- sounding made up words. Watching the films (I’ve seen all four of them now), I kept trying to figure out the language they were speaking. Words sounded similar to Arabic, which I had grown familiar to hearing while I was deployed to Iraq. Then I would hear words that sounded more Italian. I was completely flummoxed until I read how the language was developed and implemented.

The films are products of the LUMO project. According to LUMO’s YouTube page, LUMO is a visual translation of the four Gospels produced to engage people with scripture in a new way. Taking each of the New Testament Gospels unedited and unabridged as the script, LUMO offers four feature-length films with breathtaking visuals to paint an authentic portrait of the life of Christ. These stunningly innovative films, currently available in dozens of languages, are easily adapted for a global audience. The LUMO films are designed to be utilized by churches, ministries and individuals to create compelling scripture engagement programs that bring the Gospels to life. Non-commercial use of the films is available at no charge. Contact the LUMO team to discuss ministry opportunities.

Please watch these films and spread the word. They are terrific and will strengthen your faith.

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