The Gospel of John: Visual Bible DVD (aka The Life of Jesus)

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Additional Information
  • Director: Philip Saville
  • Languages: English
  • Dove Approved: Dove Family Approved
  • Run Time: 181 minutes
  • Screen Format: FS
  • Closed Captioning: No
  • Region Code: 1
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The Gospel of John: Visual Bible DVD

The Gospel of John is a powerful Biblical film that is, in essence, a word-for-word recreation of the Biblical gospel of John. Released in 2003, this movie tells the story of Jesus Christ and his birth in Bethlehem and eventual death on the cross and resurrection. Designed to be accurate and true to its source, this is a captivating and awe-inspiring version of the most amazing story ever told. Follow the life of Jesus, hear his teachings, and witness his incredible sacrifice in this 3 hour epic. This film was designed to be taken straight from the book of John, without collaboration from other sources or gospels. What you see is a straight recreation of this poetic Biblical gospel.

Based on the American Bible Society's Good News Bible, this "Visual Bible" project is narrated by Christopher Plummer and features Henry Ian Cusick as Jesus. Other cast members include Stuart Bunce as John, Richard Lintern as the leading Pharisee, and Scott Handy as John the Baptist. It was shot in Toronto, Ontario, Almeria, Andalucia, and Spain. This Visual Bible version of the fourth gospel is a powerful and moving work that clearly demonstrates the purity and beauty of The Gospel of John.

Summary of The Gospel of John

The Gospel of John is based on the biblical account of John. This book was written by one of Jesus' disciples named John and contains a poetic and beautiful look at the Messiah. It is divided up into 21 chapters, which summarizes the entire life of Jesus. It features some of his greatest teachings and miracles and shows Jesus in a truly incredible light. But at the same time, it shows Jesus as a man as well. He was divinity brought into the form of a man. John's account provides a relatable depiction of the Messiah in a way that brings him closer to the readers of his account.

The book of John starts out with a preamble or introduction. It goes back to the beginning; not just the beginning of Jesus' life, but the beginning of time. It starts with the famous words, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." It describes Jesus and how He left his heavenly home to come down to earth. This was so we as fallen creatures could find a way back to God and have communion with Him once more. We are unworthy and unable to spend eternity with God, which is why Jesus came down to provide us a way back to God. The Gospel of John movie begins in this same way, with a powerful and poetic introduction.

The next eleven chapters of The Gospel of John are delivered verbatim with Jesus beginning His ministry. We see Him call the twelve disciples and begin his ministry. The book of John also features one of the most ubiquitous and well-known verses, John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." This has become a powerful and oft-spoken verse that has encouraged and inspired millions around the world. In Jesus' ministry, we see Him continue to deliver his incredible and groundbreaking messages, even going so far as to claim that He and God are one. He also explains that He is the only way to have eternal life.

The next 5 chapters(13-17) all take place in one day's time, describing in detail the events leading up to Jesus' death. It details the Last Supper that Jesus had with His disciples where He announced He would be arrested and executed soon. Despite their worries and quarrels, Jesus told them that this is what needed to happen, and sure enough, He was arrested that very night. Betrayed by Judas Iscariot, He is taken in and brought before Pilate. After much deliberation between Pilate, King Herod, and an angry mob, it is eventually decided that their problem only has one solution; they must kill Jesus.

And so, the rest of the book of John focuses on Jesus' death and the events that followed. Jesus was crucified after being put on trial, beaten, and tortured. After hours of suffering, Jesus gave up His spirit and his life ended. This would make for a very depressing end to a story if it weren't for what happened in the final couple chapters of John. The Gospel of John ends in a powerful way; Jesus rises from the grave 3 days later and appears to His followers for 40 days! Before he ascends into Heaven, he gives his disciples instructions about what their future holds. John's book ends with a profound statement, declaring that if everything Jesus did was documented, the whole world itself could not hold all that would be written.

Parent Review

Because this film is pulled directly from the biblical account, The Gospel of John is free from sexual themes or language. The one issue to watch out for in this movie is a bit of violence, particularly in regards to Jesus' bloody crucifixion on the cross. While it is definitely toned down, it's still a realistic depiction of a horrific event that truly happened. However, the scene is still done in a respectful way and was necessary to truly communicate what actually happened in the story of Jesus Christ.


Often considered to be overshadowed by bigger budget films, like Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, this powerful film is the definitive film version of the gospel of John as it gets its script straight from the original gospel. Without any additions or alterations, this is the pure and untouched version of the gospel of John. The filmmakers didn't skip or alter certain parts of the gospel. They took the text of the movie straight from the Bible, even narrating certain parts of the gospel, leaving nothing omitted or removed. Henry Ian Cusick performs magnificently, creating a true-to-life and incredibly powerful version of Jesus. The Gospel of John is an exciting biblical drama that is well worth adding to your collection.

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