‘Killing Jesus’ the TV series to be released in Spring 2015
The newest Hollywood attempt at presenting a Christian-based TV series, which will portray the life of Jesus Christ, not from the viewpoint of Jesus the man, or the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, but from his contemporaries, will be released in the Spring of this year. The book written by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard has taken the position of looking at the life of Jesus strictly from a historical viewpoint and not at all religious. This aspect alone has already riled up the Christian segment, especially those who take the Scriptures in a literal sense. Biblical Scholars such as Dr. Darrell Bock have applauded the book as far as the historical insights are concerned and he discusses O’Reilly’s book as readable.
The writers, Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard have written the book from the viewpoint of Jesus’ contemporaries according to Jessika Walsten writing for B&C who states:
Green explained that the point of view in ‘Killing Jesus’ is from Jesus’ contemporaries as opposed to Jesus himself. ”This is like the behind-the-scenes story of the life and death of Jesus Christ,” added Green.
Walon Green who wrote the screenplay for the TV series also remarked that even non-Christians would like this series, as reported by Lisa de Moraes, writing for MSN:
A non Christian viewer will really like this film because they can immerse themselves in the human story of this phenomenal guy Jesus and what he is, and what he comes from — his roots,” Green responded patiently. The “dynamics of the period” also are interesting, he suggested: “The Romans are occupying [the land]. it. They are a threat. They will not tolerate disorder. The Jews have had other messianic figures, and as a result the Romans have slaughtered people and decimated villages. They don’t want this to happen again” and so on.
It would seem that O’Reilly’s book and now the TV series will have mixed reviews, even some that may be vitriolic, especially by the Christian community, with some giving credence to the historical aspects while others are deploring the idea that someone like Bill O’Reilly has even dared to write about the life of Jesus Christ outside of the context of Jesus’ Messianic purpose; for which His entire life was given over to for the completion of man’s salvation and the restored relationship between God and man. It is to be hoped that the non-Christian community, who may watch the series, will be affected not only by the historical aim of the series, but perhaps might want to learn more about this ‘Jesus-guy,’ as Walon Green refers to Him, perhaps even coming to a moment of acceptance and faith.
The series has cast a Muslim, Haaz Sleiman, in the leading role of Jesus which has also caused some controversy, since the religion of Islam does not believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God. According to the religion of Islam, they believe that Jesus is a prophet and honor Him. According to Haaz Sleiman:
…he’s honored to play Jesus. “In Islam, we believe Jesus is a prophet and respect him and follow his teachings and put him beside the Prophet Muhammad – a lot of people don’t know that,” he said. “As a person who was raised Muslim, it’s an honor to play that…Personally, I’ve been heavily shaped by his teachings” (Ace Showbiz.com).
The TV series is scheduled to air sometime this Spring on the National Geographic Channel; with this being the third in the ‘killing’ series; the first two being, ‘Killing Lincoln’ and ‘Killing Kennedy.’ The cast includes: Emmanuelle Chriqui; John Rhys-Davies; Kelsey Grammer; Rufus Sewell; Stephen Moyer; Eoin Macken; Haaz Sleiman; Klára Issová; Aneurin Barnard; Dimitri Leonidas and a host of other actors and actresses.