Though movies based on the Gospels might be entertaining and even deeply affective as movies, the medium of film must alter the form and function of the Gospels so much that they disappear into the film. The rhetoric and style of the Gospels do not translate into film, in contrast to other literary forms. Two films appearing within several years of each other—The Gospel of John and The Passion of the Christ—show how nearly impossible it is for Gospel narratives to be filmed. It would seem that only when the character of Jesus is portrayed in an iconic form within brief scenes do the Gospels make credible film material. Three movies helpfully show how this works: Andrei Rublev, Barabbas, and Bad Lieutenant.
"Jesus Christ, Superstar? Why the Gospels Don’t Make Good Movies,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 12
, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol12/iss2/3