TCU Daily Skiff Tuesday, January 27, 2004
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Modern film helps aid students in Bible study
The Bible meets Hollywood as University Ministries presents a series about the Gospel of John.
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By Elizabeth Bassett
Staff Reporter

University Ministries is using clips from the recent film “The Gospel of John” to present a Bible study focused on the Gospel today.

Carolyn Osiek, a New Testament professor in Brite Divinity School, was on the advisory committee of the film. The international committee worked closely with the film’s producers, director and screenwriter to ensure the film was true to the text.

“We tried to be as authentic as possible,” Osiek said. “It’s very direct.”

She said the buildings, clothes and music in the film are true to the time period.

Each session of the series is split into two parts, starting with a lecture from Osiek and then moving to small group discussions. Each session focuses on a particular passage of John’s Gospel.

The first session was Jan. 20. A gleaming sun rising over the sea was the first image of the film students saw. The music, played on traditional instruments, provided background for a narrator reading the opening verses of the Gospel.

“The movie helped evoke emotions I don’t get from just reading the word,” said Melissa O’Dell, a sophomore nursing major. “It’s a good supplement to the text.”

The Rev. Brian Young, of the Wesley Foundation, said the film incorporates images with faith experiences.

“I hope students will get a new appreciation for the Gospel of John and that this study will be a faith experience to change their lives,” said Charles Calabrese, a father in TCU’s Catholic Community.

The Gospel of John is unique from the other three Gospels because it immediately jumps into the story of Jesus as an adult.

“Of all the books, it seems to be the one that captures people,” Calabrese said.
Lauren Gump, a sophomore early childhood education major, said she came to the sessions because she wants a more general knowledge of the Gospel of John.

Young said University Ministries would consider using other films in Bible studies if this series is successful.

“We try to let students come up with ideas to focus on,” Young said.

The Gospel of John contains many focus topics, and each week’s Gospel passage will concentrate on a significant event in the life of Jesus. Examples of such events are: the multiplication of loaves and fishes, the raising of Lazarus, the Last Supper and the resurrection of Jesus.
Carolyn Osiek
Sarah Chacko/ Photo Editor
Brite professor Carolyn Osiek explains how studying “The Gospel of John” will enhance Biblical understanding. University Ministries will present a bible study on the Gospel at 7 p.m. today.
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