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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: April 12, 2015.

Two educational, enlightening, historical television series are covering the birth of Christianity after the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The six part television series on PBS, Ancient Roads from Christ to Constantine has begun April 9. A.D. The Bible Continues has begun on Easter with eleven more weekly episodes ahead.

Ancient Roads from Christ to Constantine is hosted by Jonathan Phillips, who is a Royal Holloway University of London historian and frequent consultant to BBC Radio and BBC Television. This series follows the path of a small Jewish group of followers of Jesus Christ as the band grows into the world’s largest religion, Christianity.

The series provides a television journey to actual New Testament places where people actually lived during world-changing, momentous events. Jonathan Phillips takes viewers on an exploration of New Testament sites with renowned archeologists, historians, and theologians to discover how “the world’s largest religion sank its roots, struggled to survive, and finally triumphed.”

Before the Easter premiere of A.D. The Bible Continues, Natalie Morales refers to God as the biggest star in Hollywood in the NBC program Bible Stories: The New Blockbusters in which she refers to the plethora of current programs on the Bible, as well as interviews Roma Downey and Mark Burnett about their personal histories, production of A.D. The Bible Continues, and their promotion of it in churches. Viewers can learn more about upcoming episodes and see them on NBC’s Web pages for A.D.

April 8, Roma Downey shares with her supporters specific, fascinating information about actors in the international cast of AD such as about Adam Levy, a regular in the UK theater world who plays Peter. She says, ” … Adam Levy plays Peter, who A.D… shows being hunted by the Romans along with other loyal disciples after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, facing many challenges on the way to helping form Christianity.

Levy is a British actor who you may recognize from many of his roles in movies and theater. The dashing Brit actor has trained at the Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London and he has been acting in both feature films and theater since 1995…. On stage, Levy acted as part of the companies of the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company in the U.K… ”

A.D. The Bible Continues

Jodhi May as Leah, Richard Coyle as Caiaphas; Photo Courtesy of NBC.

On April 8, Downey also tells her supporters, “They …cast a wide, international net to find a group of diverse actors to tell the story…The two looked to places like Africa to cast key roles: Mary Magdalene, for example, is played by Zimbabwean actress Chipo Chung, who is Afro-Asian, and Gambian Babou Cessay, who is black, plays John the Beloved. Jesus is played by Argentine Juan Pablo Di Pace. Other roles such as Simon the Zealot and the disciple James were filled by British actors of African descent…” Downey goes on to share more specific details and information about cast members.

Along with prolific programming of redemptive and Biblical content that Downey and Burnett have been producing for tv and theaters with the behind-the-scenes coverage of their work, there have many other faith-based movies and tv programs produced recently by independent and Hollywood studios. Largely facilitated by the success of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” ($630 million), The Chronicles of Narnia series ($1.6 billion) and more recently Burnett and Downey’s The Bible series, which has been seen by more than 100 million people, a growing number of faith-based movies and tv shows are coming to theaters, homes, and computers around the world.

These include the following: Mary with Ben Kingsley and Julia Ormond, Little Boy, Where Hope Grows, Woodlawn, Faith of our Fathers, War Room, Unveiled, God’s not Dead 2, Do You Believe 2, 90 Minutes in Heaven, Polycarp,  Anne Rice’s “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair, new Ben-Hur movie from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, a new Ten Commandments, another movie about King David, a movie about Paul (with Hugh Jackman) and much more. Stay tuned for ongoing personal, exclusive interviews and articles for these projects.


Written by Diane Howard, Ph.D. (Performance Studies)

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