PORTSMOUTH, OH – The film about the life of Jesus has been recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Translated Film” in history.
Recently, a 2022 article on the Free Pressers (aka Free Press International News Service) website caught my eye. I remember donating money to the church I attended in my younger years to help send the Jesus Film Project to nations around the world.
And so I found the website and watched the 127 minute JESUS film, again. No cost to watch on the website. The story is told with straightforwardness and minimalism. Simplicity. No fancy bells and whistles. The film was shot on location is Israel, and that makes it both authentic and surreal, in my opinion.
The film, first released more than 40 years ago, reached a huge milestone in 2022, when it was translated into the Zo language. It was the 2,000th time the film has been translated into another language, as reported by Free Pressers.
Bill Bright, the late co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, an evangelistic organization, got the film rolling in 1979.
In 1979, JESUS premiered in 250 U.S. theaters.
To date: “We’ve partnered with more than 1,800 ministries, which enable us to create, translate and distribute more films believers can use in telling the story of Jesus around the world.”
Since its original release on film in 1979, JESUS has migrated to video, digital formats and online streaming such as YouTube. There’s a smartphone app people can use to not only view the film, but also share it in a multitude of languages.
These days Jesus Film Project carries more than 200 short and feature length films, most available on our website and app. That collection includes animated short films like My Last Day (in an anime style), Legion and Chosen Witness. Contextualized films like Retelling the Good Story and Do You Ever Wonder? represent the wide breath and forward-looking scope of the Jesus Film Project library.
“More than 490 million people have come to Jesus after watching these films!”
“Come to learn how the JESUS film came to be; stay to see how God is enabling us to create films, strategies and resources that help you share the love of Jesus in almost any language.”
- Explore interactive exhibits about the history and impact of the JESUS film.
- Learn how we adapt JESUS and other films into new languages and experience the dubbing and recording process for one of our films in real-time.
- Hear remarkable stories about missionaries sharing the love of Jesus around the world.
The goal of the Jesus Film Project is to share Jesus with 5 billion people by 2025.
New Animated Film:
A new Jesus Film Project video, told through the lens of Mary Magdalene and titled “Chosen Witness,” reaches hundreds of thousands globally, as noted in a 2021 article in the Christian Post.
Executive Producer Elizabeth Schenkel says it’s the story of Jesus’ ministry, betrayal, death and resurrection “through the eyes of Mary Magdalene.”
“We were careful to populate our Palestine and Jerusalem [footage] with the people one would have found there at the time of Christ,” Schenkel explained. “Particularly at Passover, Jerusalem was filled with Africans and Asians as well as Middle Easterners. We want our viewers to find themselves represented in that world so they will be encouraged, again, that everyone is welcome, everyone can have a place in God’s Kingdom,” Schenkel said.
The Great Commission:
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20, NIV)
This section of Scripture is known as the Great Commission. It was the last recorded personal directive of the Jesus to his disciples, and it holds great significance to followers of Christ.
“Make disciples of all the nations,” Jesus commanded them.
Shortly before He died on the cross, Jesus said, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world, as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
The people at the Jesus Film Project are certainly following the Great Commission.