'A.D.' Isn't Your Sunday School's Book of Acts, Say Producers

"You've got to remember that [the first Christians] didn’t know they were characters in the Bible."
'A.D.' Isn't Your Sunday School's Book of Acts, Say Producers
Image: NBC
Roma Downey and Mark Burnett

This Easter debuts the follow-up to Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s record-breaking History Channel series The Bible. Chronicling Jesus’ resurrection and the early church in Acts, A.D. The Bible Continues offers powerful lessons for today’s church, the Christian husband-wife producing team told CT in an interview.

More than 13 million viewers watched The Bible in 2013, and the movie adaptation of the series, Son of God, grossed nearly $60 million, corresponding with a wave of Bible epics at the box office.

Why did you feel like now was the right time to adapt this story?

Downey: What we hope to do with A.D. The Bible Continues is to take a deeper dive into the book of Acts so we can really explore the stories and really dig deeper into the characters. You’ve got to remember they didn’t know they were characters in the Bible, but rather were people like you and me struggling with the things that we struggle with.

…We cast an amazing international group of actors who bring racial diversity and emotional intensity so that we can present this story in a gritty and realistic way that feels authentic. We in no way wanted this to feel corny, or that you were seeing something from Sunday school, but rather that you were tuning into the emotional and exciting hour of drama. We worked with scholars and theologians to make sure that when we get Scripture into this that we do so accurately.

This first season of A.D. will take us through chapters of 1 through 10 from the book of Acts but we also draw from history and the writings of Josephus at the time, because it’s important to set a political context for the story so the audience can understand what was going on in Judea at that time. ...

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