3 Reasons Why 'Jesus: His Life' Stands Out From Other Biblical Biopics

Ileane Rudolph
Preview History Channel

Though Jesus Christ is arguably the most chronicled person in history, there seems to be a never-ending hunger for new portrayals of Christianity's seminal figure.

The History Channel fills that need with Jesus: His Life, an eight-part series that uses scripted drama and commentary by scholars and clergy for a more complete portrait of the man (portrayed here by Greg Barnett). Take a look at why it stands out from other biblical biopics.

The story is told from multiple perspectives

Each episode shows Jesus from the point of view of someone pivotal to his life, such as Judas, the disciple who betrayed him, or female follower Mary Magdalene (Cassie Bradley). "This is an illumination of Jesus through different lenses, some of which are conflicting, but the consistent theme is that this is the same person with a message of redemption," explains series adviser Joshua DuBois, former head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

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It appeals to non-religious folks

Though the show has a "largely Christian perspective," DuBois says, "the stories are not theological but about love, betrayal, life and death, then life again." Another key point: "Because our advisers come from diverse traditions, we avoid the unfortunate tropes about [Jewish leaders of that time] that have been part of past projects," he adds.

It questions some Bible verses

"There are parts of Jesus's life that are widely accepted, but there's also a ton of debate here," says DuBois. For example, one featured historian suggests the Roman census that supposedly sent Joseph and a pregnant Mary to Bethlehem from Nazareth occurred 10 years after Jesus's birth. "Viewers," says DuBois, "will be able to make up their own minds."

Jesus: His Life, Series Premiere, Monday, March 25, 8/7c, History