This press release was sent to me by Beth Read of the Bible Society:
NEW DVD UNCOVERS THE FINGERPRINTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT AUTHORS
Bible Society has followed up its enormously successful partnership with Welsh TV channel S4C on the film The Miracle Maker, with the DVD release of a new co-produced documentary. Who Wrote the New Testament? follows a fascinating trail across Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Italy and Greece to explore the composition of the New Testament. Whose fingerprints does it bear? How did it come together and why were other documents related to the origins of the faith, which is today followed by two billion people, left out?
A Welsh version of Who Wrote the New Testament? has already been screened on S4C and the series has been sold for transmission to six other international broadcasters. Next year, it is expected to be screened on The History Channel.
Filmed on location, the programme transports viewers from an ancient monastery at the foot of Mt Sinai – the source of Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest manuscript of the Old and New Testament in existence – to other sites associated with the New Testament and other related writings. With contributions from many biblical scholars, including Bible Society President Rt Revd Tom Wright, it asks key questions about the New Testament’s authors and the shaping of the Bible. It turns out that the process was far less straightforward than the production of most modern day blockbusters!
In looking at which compositions the Church accepted into the Bible and which it rejected, the programme is intentionally open-ended and sometimes controversial.
Philip Poole, Bible Society’s Deputy Chief Executive, explained that the S4C-commissioned programme invited Bible Society comment but was ultimately an independent production. “It highlights many of the questions and debates at the heart of modern biblical studies,” he said. “Bible Society isn’t afraid of that. We have every confidence in the Bible’s ability to withstand scrutiny and so we are very keen to stimulate debate whether that is the questioning of the mass media or the interrogations of the scholarly community.”
Suited as much to individuals with an interest in biblical history as to church groups and theological students, Who Wrote the New Testament? also has a free online study guide to each episode specially commissioned by Bible Society.
Who Wrote the New Testament? (ISBN 0564 03536X) is priced £20 and available from Bible Society’s distributor Marston Books on 01235 465612 or visit www.biblesociety.org.uk/resources.
Bible Society is the DVD and video distributor of The Miracle Maker to the Christian marketplace. The film is a production of S4C Films with the participation of British Screen and Icon Entertainment International in association with BBC Cymru/Wales.