Christian entertainment is a booming business. Don’t believe me? Ask the History Channel. Still rolling around in the dough generated by the hit mini-series “The Bible,” the cable network is set to air a mini-series based on the life of Jesus. The first episode is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. ET on March 25.
Even though the show is titled “Jesus: His Life,” the eight-part mini-series will focus more on the viewpoints of individuals whom Jesus interacted with. A press release from the A+E Networks, the parent company of the History Channel, reveals:
HISTORY’s eight-part event “Jesus: His Life” explores the story of Jesus Christ through a unique lens: the people in his life who were closest to him. Each of the eight chapters is told from the perspective of different biblical figures, all of whom played a pivotal role in Jesus’ life including Joseph, John the Baptist, Mary Mother of Jesus, Caiaphas, Judas Iscariot, Pontius Pilate, Mary Magdalene and Peter.
Each figure takes a turn guiding viewers through the emotional and epic story of the most famous man in history, through his birth, death and resurrection, all conveyed through a combination of scripted drama and interviews with prominent religious and historical experts.
I’m trying hard to withhold passing judgment until I watch it, but that’s really hard to do considering the History Channel’s past history. As popular as it was with viewers, the aforementioned “The Bible” is artistically a mess and, worse, it plays fast and loose with its source material (for more on that, see here). It’s hard not to assume we’ll see more of the same about “Jesus: His Life.” Making it even harder not to pre-judge the show is the unfortunate fact that Joel Osteen is listed as an executive producer and one of the theologians consulted during the production of the series.
Joel Osteen a “theologian”? Ha! Unless the series has a segment focusing on the money changers that Jesus drove out of the temple, I don’t see how Osteen has anything of value to add to a conversation about the life of Christ. Having one of the most dangerous wolves that preys on Christians connected to this project is a bad sign.
There is already a mini-series about the life of Christ being produced. If you’re interested in learning more about that show, see here. I, for one, am going to tentatively watch the first episode of “Jesus: His Life” knowing that there’s most likely a better option already in the works.