All contemporary moviegoers are aware of the difficulties of adapting a book, the written word, to film, a medium that relies on visual and aural sensations to convey its meaning. How often do we hear the following comments about a film: "the book was different," or "the book was better," or, most damning of all, "they changed the book!" When the book is an ancient book, such as a gospel from the New Testament, the problem is compounded by the fact that the book is for us an alien document. It is alien because it is removed from us by time, by language, by geography, and by ensuing history. All four of the New Testament gospels were written by the end of the first century CE, over nineteen hundred years ago. They were written in Greek, in different parts of the eastern Mediterranean. And we tend to read them through the lens of history, a history in which Jews and Christians are separate religious groups, and Christians dominate the western world. So the problems involved in making an "authentic" film from the gospels should be immediately obvious.
Crawford, Sidnie White
"Romans, Greeks, and Jews: The World of Jesus and the Disciples,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 8
, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol8/iss1/6