The Gospel of Luke (2015)

Movie Info

Movie Info

David Batty
Run Time
3 hours and 35 minutes
Not Rated

VP Content Ratings

Sex & Nudity
Star Rating
★★★★4.5 out of 5
Jesus enters Jerusalem. (c) Lumo

This Lumo Project film is the last of the four filmed gospels directed by the prolific director/producer David Batty. It is a wonderful addition to any pastor or educator’s video library, bringing to life the words either of the KJV or the NIV translations of the Bible—viewer’s choice. British actor Richard E. Grant reads the NIV text, Sir Derek Jacobi the KJV.

Yes, this is another film that does not add any extraneous stories to the Biblical text, unlike The Greatest Story Ever Told or King of Kings. The actors portray the various characters, but they speak in Aramaic as the celebrity reads the text. You only occasionally hear the low volume Aramaic because the English Biblical text is read over it and is under girded by Amory Leader’s soaring music.

Again, it is a well-known Brit who portrays Jesus, though he looks the part more than some of the other blue-eyed actors in other Jesus films. Costumes and sets are very good. I especially appreciate this version because all of the parables exclusive to Luke’s Gospel are included. This will be cherished by preachers and teachers during the lectionary cycle when most of the Gospel passages are from Luke.

The Lumo Project is an organization dedicated to translating the Bible into at least 1000 languages—thus far having reached the 850th language mark. Their version of all four Gospels are available as DVDs or accessible on Amazon Prime. Compared to the Visual Bible DVDs, the Lumo ones are spare in “extras,” there being no verse by verse numbers at the bottom of the screen or in the DVDs listing of “Chapters.” Therefore, I will be including a listing of major events and teachings (including parables) with this review in the August Visual Parables.

My other criticism is the decision to have the actors speak in Aramaic. I appreciate the intention to be authentic, but I much prefer the Visual Bible’s having the supposed author of the Gospel read the narrative and the actors speak the dialogue portions, the choice of the colloquial Good News Bible being especially suitable for a movie script. Having the celebrity reading the entire text over the actors’ speaking Aramaic takes away the sense of immediacy that the Visual Bible version conveys. It’s like attending a play in which the actors speak in a foreign language and your companion offers a running translation of the dialogue. Nonetheless, I will use and treasure my Luke DVD—it’s the only one available, and it is certainly useful in teaching and preaching, especially with the addition of my episode guide.

This review will be in the August issue of VP along with the video cues for finding an incident or parable. If you have found reviews on this site helpful, please consider purchasing a subscription or individual issue in The Store.

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3 Replies to “The Gospel of Luke (2015)”

  1. I can’t see having Luke himself speaking Aramaic. I don’t think Luke was an Israeli nor Jewish, but a gentile Greek speaker whom Paul met at Troas on his 2nd missionary journey.

    1. You are right. I hadn’t thought about this detail–the filmmakers should have Luke speaking in Greek.

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