Archive for December, 2007

Think again as Radio 4 interprets Luke’s Gospel

by Liz Owen

From Dec 17-21, BBC Radio 4 will be broadcasting a new series of radio plays entitled ‘Witness’, these plays intend to creatively and faithfully, recount the story of Jesus according to Luke.

According to Mike Thompson, the biblical consultant for the project, “The aim is not to reproduce the exact words from Luke, but to be deliberatively imaginative in allowing some of the participants in the story to reminisce and to share some of the bits they remembered. There is no claim in the series to be strictly representing history. Although Nick made every attempt to stick only to material from the third evangelist, he has felt free not to follow a ‘strict’ Lukan chronology. We got that idea from Luke himself, who also moves things around to make his point!”

“Listeners should be prepared to hear Jesus and the rest of the cast say a number of things that are not in the bible. We are hoping that ‘Witness’ will make the story of Jesus accessible to a wide range of people, sparking interest and motivating them to read the bible to learn more. I suspect that the project may arouse some protests from those on the extremes of the spectrum of belief; having already listened to pre-release copies of the first three plays, I think people will find it provocative and moving. As one would expect of the BBC, it’s been well-produced, using fine actors. Because Galileans had discernible accents, Jesus has a northern UK accent which will take some getting used to. The important thing is that the series makes us think again.”

“The 45-minute plays are currently scheduled to be broadcast at 2.15 pm GMT. People who miss the broadcasts will be able to listen to them streamed from the Radio 4 website, but I don’t know if CDs or a DVD of the recordings will be made available from the BBC. For some details, see the BBC website, which has just announced it: They may have more information as the week draws near.”