Session 1
February 27, 2023
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 2
March 6, 2023
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 3
March 13, 2023
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 4
March 20, 2023
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 5
March 27, 2023
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 6
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 7
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 8
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 9
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 10
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 11
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 12
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 13
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 14
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 15
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 16
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 17
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 18
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 19
7.30pm - 8.30pm
Session 20
7.30pm - 8.30pm


Additional Information

Online Course Details    

Meeting ID 828 6650 1346 | Passcode 865071

From The Greatest Story Ever Told to Life of Brian; from The Passion of the Christ to Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter, filmmakers have been adapting stories from the gospels for over 125 years. This course will follow the story of Jesus on film from the early silent passion plays to the million dollar, crowd-sourced, multi-season series of today, taking in a wide variety of approaches including musicals, comedies, sci-fiction, the avant-garde and, of course, biblical epics. It will feature filmmakers from six continents and with a range of religious perspectives (including none at all) and explore how they have adapted the greatest story ever told, negotiating the tricky terrain between faith, art, commerce and entertainment.

Course Outline

Week 1 - Introduction to Jesus on Film

Introductions & overview of the course
From text to screen
Key issues

Week 2 - The Silent Saviour

Approaching silent movies
The early Passion Plays
Hollywood and the Holy Land

Week 3 - God for a Golden Age

The first talkies
Jesus in the margins: the epics
Big screen Jesus

Week 4 - Controversial Christs

Fresh innovation
Not the Messiah
Sex, violence and sacrifice

Week 5 - Multi-nation Messiah

A new millennium
New technology, new forms, new faith
The world-wide story

How this course works


In the sections below you will find a range of resources: suggestions for readings, and links to relevant video clips and papers. It’s advisable to watch the video clips that are linked to here, as some have been specially designed for this course. There will also be audio introductions from the tutor for each week (with the exception of week 1). Please try to listen to these prior to the sessions, so as to get the most out of them. Thanks!

Youtube - Playlist 1 (all the clips for the course)

Shooting Jesus: Clips - YouTube

Youtube - Playlist 2 (most of the films can be streamed (free or rented))

 Shooting Jesus: full length films - YouTube

Week 1

Book Excerpts

Introduction section of 100 Bible Films - p.1-13

Readable using Amazon's "Look inside" feature at


Online Papers

Adele Reinhartz - "Jesus in Film: Hollywood Perspectives on the Jewishness of Jesus"



History Film Club, "What are the best films about Biblical events?"
Available via iTunes, Google podcasts


Video Clips

Life of Jesus Montage


Matthew's Gospel comparison:

Week 2

Films being covered this week

1. La vie et passion du Jèsus-Christ (dir.Louis Lumière & Georges Hatot, France, 1898)

2. La Vie du Christ (dir. Alice Guy, France,1906)

3. The Life of Passion of Jesus Christ (dir.Ferdinand Zecca, France, 1907)

4. From the Manger to the Cross (dir. Sidney Olcott, USA, 1912)

5. The King of Kings (dir. Cecil B. DeMille,USA, 1927)


Book Excerpts

"100 Bible Films", Matthew Page (2022) - entries for the above (p.14-15; 18-21; 28-9; 48-9).


"Jesus at the Movies", W. Barnes Tatum (2013) -entries for From the Manger to the Cross (1912) [p.22-33] & The King of Kings (1927) [p.48-62]


Online Papers

"The Gospel according to Alice Guy: a cinematic life of Christ by the world’s first female director"

David Shepherd


"The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ (1905)"review by Steven D. Greydanus



1. Audio introduction to La vie et passion du Jèsus-Christ (1898) by Matt Page

2. Audio introduction to La Vie du Christ(1906) by Matt Page

3. Audio introduction to The Life of Passion of Jesus Christ (1907) by Matt Page

4. Audio introduction to From the Manger to the Cross (1912) by Matt Page

5. Audio introduction to The King of Kings (1927)by Matt Page



Video Clips

Montage of clips from the 5 films above




Phil Hall - "The Bootleg Files: Golgotha"



God and Moviemakers: Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

The Last Temptation of Christ & Pedagogy - Gods & Moviemakers | Acast

Gods & Moviemakers: The Last Temptation of Christ & Pedagogy on Apple Podcasts


Mark Goodacre "Do you think you're who they say you are? Reflections of Jesus Christ Superstar"

Paula Fredriksen "History, Hollywood, and the Bible: Some Thoughts on Gibson's Passion"




Peter T. Chattaway "Filmmakers Move Away From White Jesus".

Rebekah Eklund "Hot Jesus, Black Messiah, Suffering Son of God: How Jesus Films Shape Our Moral Imaginations".

Steven D. Greydanus "Must-see Easter season viewing: The Jesus movie for absolutely everyone".

Grace Emmett “'You Weakened Him' - Jesus’s Masculinity in Mary Magdalene".

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Matthew Page

Matthew Page is a UK-based film historian, writer and independent scholar who has been researching adaptations of the Bible in film for over twenty years. He has contributed to a variety of books and journals on the subject and runs the popular Bible films blog, He is the author of 100 Bible Films, published in 2022 by the British Film Institute.