New Identity Magazine - Issue 9 (Winter 2010/11)

Page 23


SCREENING THE SCRIPTURES An Interview with Matt Page of the Bible Films Blog

Photo by mark sebastian | Flickr (CC)

KEVIN C. NEECE Kevin C. Neece is a writer, speaker and filmmaker in Fort Worth, Texas, where he lives with his wife and son. He is also an adjunct professor of Fine Arts and Developing a Christian Mind at Dallas Baptist University. A specialist in the history of Jesus films, Kevin writes and speaks on a variety of topics, including media and the arts, popular culture and Christian cultural engagement. For more about Kevin’s work or for booking information, visit



the earliest days of cinema and have grown more complex and diverse with each passing decade. How can they aid our reading of the Bible? In a visual age, can they replace Bible reading altogether? I asked Bible films expert Matt Page to help me sort it all out.

Plenty of us watch Jesus of Nazareth on TV around Christmas or Easter. Untold throngs herded to the cineplex in 2004 to see The Passion of the Christ. Millions cannot think of Moses parting the Red Sea without envisioning Charleton Heston in The Ten Commandments. Bible films populate our imaginations with moving images of Scriptural stories. They give us context – both visual and dramatic – for the events that take place in the Bible. We usually seem to view them as merely Sunday School on a screen. But many see in them a deeper value. I’m one of those people. Actually, I’m something of a Jesus film geek. I’ve been studying, researching and writing about Jesus films for nearly twenty years. I have a library of over seventy-five Jesus films and even wrote my Master’s thesis on the history of the genre. One person whose help and insights have been invaluable to me in this quest is Matt Page. He lives in the UK, where he serves on the staff of Open Heaven Church and is obsessed with the whole spectrum of Bible films, not just the ones about Jesus. Since 2006, Matt has written the Bible Films Blog, which is an excellent, ongoing review and analysis of a wide variety of

Winter 2010/11

new identity magazine


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