Bible stories are some of the most powerful and poignant examples of life we are given. Everyone loves going to Sunday school before church because they know they will be discussing, in detail, one of those powerful and fascinating stories.
The stories of the Bible are incredibly compelling and relatable. That is why Bible stories portrayed at the box office always do so well. More than just being compelling stories of interesting and historical events, everyone knows the stories of the Bible and are excited to see how those stories will be portrayed on the big screen. Here is a list of some of the greatest Biblical movies of all time:
The Ten Commandments (1956)
Who could forget this epic tale of Moses, the son of Jewish slaves turned Egyptian prince then, turned rescuer and leader of the Jews. One certainly cannot forget the larger-than-life personalities of Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner playing Moses and Pharaoh respectively. This film set a new standard for Biblical films and became a timeless landmark for epic cinematography.
The timely release of this film was no less unforgettable. In 1956, the nations of Israel and Egypt were in a modern-day conflict called the Suez Crisis which, similar to the story portrayed in the film, concerned Egypt challenging the legitimacy of the nation of Israel by attempting to block trade access along the Suez Canal.
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ is perhaps starkly different from all other the films depicting Christ that came before it. It is less a story and prompt of Christ’s teachings and more of a reminder of His suffering. While most films recount the totality of the life of Jesus, approximately 100 minutes of this 127-minute film are dedicated to the detailed events of His suffering, humiliation, and death on a cross.
While this film’s graphic nature may be hard to swallow for many viewers, it is perhaps the best that film can do at portraying the true pain and torture Jesus endured. For Christians especially, this film, more accurately than others, conveys the what they believe in the most. That Jesus, through pain and ultimately death on a cross, loved us so much that He would endure such agony.
Starring Charlton Heston, yet again, this epic blockbuster is essential to the list of great Bible movies. While not based on a specific story in the Bible, the writer of the novel Lew Wallace, took great inspiration from many well-known Bible stories about Jesus to make this timeless gem among historical fiction films.
The film is still considered one of the quintessential epics and was redone in 2016 starring big names like Morgan Freeman – banking renewed success on the popularity of the 1959 original. While the remake may not have been as popular, do not be deterred. The original is a must see for all film lovers.
The Prince of Egypt (1998)
In this animated version of Moses rescuing Israel from the clutches of Egyptian rule, we see yet another example of epic actors and actresses portraying larger-than-life characters. With the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Patrick Stewart, Sandra Bullock, Val Kilmer, Helen Mirren, and Jeff Goldblum to name a few, this film aims to please both children and adults.
The Prince of Egypt is one of the most successful Bible-based films of all time when adjusted for ticket inflation. The film grossed $101.4 million at the box office in its first week. The film is also a must see for film goers who love musicals. The Prince of Egypt won the 1999 Academy Award for Best Original Song.
The Robe (1953)
Much like the film Ben-Hur, The Robe focuses on fringe characters from Biblical stories. Taking place primarily after the death and resurrection of Christ, The Robe chronicles the life of a Roman centurion named Marcellus who, in a game of dice during Jesus’ crucifixion, acquires the robe of Jesus.
For its day, this film was quite sobering and shows scenes from Jesus death as well as the torture of one of the main characters. This film was also one of the highest earning Biblical movies of all time – taking in $36 million in 1953, or about $531 million when adjusted today. The Robe does a fantastic job at portraying life in the Roman Empire shortly after the death of Jesus. It was perhaps one of the first films to focus on the impact Jesus had on the life of outlying characters.
Starring Russel Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, and Emma Watson, this film is guaranteed to at least be interesting. While the film makers have taken creative license in this rendition of the story of the epic flood, the film stays true to the essence of the original story found in Genesis and has some of the best scenes in a Biblical film.
High quality graphics in these modern times are a must and this movie delivers. With superb battle scenes and even the intricate detail of the Arc, this film is perfect for all the CGI nerds and Bible story lovers alike. Especially when it comes to Biblical films, good graphics can make or break experiencing what we have always imagined the flood or parting the Red Sea would have looked like.
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Whether it is David and Goliath or Moses parting the Red Sea, these movies have a Disney-like familiarity to them. And, like most movies based on a book, the book tends to be better. After all, the book offers the story in more intimate detail. Just like Disney, Bible stories have prolifically made their way onto the silver screen. Reading these stories will not only be exciting, but as with all texts in the Bible, they are sure to bring edification to our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Buy a Bible online today and become part of the timeless epic stories found in these great films.