This topic contains reviews and outlines for the four "word for word" Gospel DVDs produced by the LUMO Project:
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
For links to the Rotation.org Outlines of these DVDs, scroll down to the next post.
About the LUMO Gospel DVDs
These four Gospel DVDs function like "illustrated scripture" rather than a traditional movie about Jesus. They feature the entire text of each Gospel "Word for word," which is spoken by a narrator. The DVD narration can be toggled between two English versions: NIV and KJV, plus a Spanish language version.
These videos do not feature actors acting out every single verse or story. In other words, these are not filmed like Jesus of Nazareth or Son of God. Instead, the producers filmed each Gospel like they were following Jesus as an observer. We hear him speaking in Aramaic (in the background) and see him interacting with people, but all the action is narrated by a single narrator reading from the Good News translation. You can get a flavor of this documentary style by watching the YouTube preview above.
Thus, while these videos don't fill the traditional lesson plan role of "a 15 or 25-minute video about today's story," they instead should be thought of as a VIDEO VERSION OF SCRIPTURE which could be used during your lessons "introduction to the passage" or coupled with a reading of the passage.
In these videos, we see Jesus going through his ministry, traveling, meeting people, teaching at various locations, healing --all the while listening to the narration of scripture. This "you are there and looking around while you hear the passage" style comes in handy when Jesus has long stretches of things to say, such as he does in John. Instead, LUMO has edited together scenes of Jesus interacting, and shots of the beautiful scenery, to play against the narration.
Here's an excerpt from Jesus' Baptism in the Gospel of John we created for the copyright-exempt purpose of commentary.
The actor portraying Jesus is of Middle Eastern descent (though he's from England). As the producer mentions in one of the featurettes, they wanted to present an "authentic looking Jesus" to an international audience. He generally does a good job of demonstrating the resolve of Jesus, but this is not a meek and mild portrayal. We only hear him speak in the background and in Aramaic.
These four videos are often fascinating, sometimes boring, and at times inspiring.
Some of the stories in the DVDs are fleshed out enough and visually interesting enough to present as an extended video in a Sunday School lesson. Our outline marks those of that particular persuasion.
But most of the scenes are better used as a "video" version of today's scripture reading, rather than an "entertaining" movie about Jesus.
Use these Gospel DVDs to introduce the scripture just before diving into Bible study and a follow-up activity.
A teacher looking for "a lengthy video clip of a certain story," will at times be disappointed --as not every Gospel story in these movies is given the full cinematic treatment, and some are quickly glossed over. With a project this big, they simply couldn't do every scene full-out.
But if you are simply looking for another way to present and hear the scripture in your lesson, and not expecting a longer video re-enacting the story (but seeing Jesus speak about it), then these videos are very useful!
Age Range: Depends on the part of the video you are using. In general, 3rd Grade on up. Certainly appropriate for youth and adults.
Availability: Amazon.com carries the four DVDs. LUMO seems to be distributing clips via various church video-on-demand services as well.
LUMO appears to be a U.K. production consortium with various partners and funding sources, including, the American Bible Society and the Museum of the Bible, and the International Bible Society. There's nothing in them that appears to have an agenda other than telling the story.