Last year, the kids and I were privileged to go to a traveling exhibit that showed us the history of the Bible and the difficulties that were encountered as the Bible was translated and made available for the common man. So when we had the opportunity to review a video about the Bible being preserved and made available for the common man, I was very interested. We received The Forbidden Book from New Liberty Videos.
The Forbidden Book is made for a general audience. There is material covered that younger kids won’t get, and there are some things that might frighten younger kids, so I would recommend a parent preview before kids watch it. I watched the video and have not shown it to the kids yet. I do not think my younger girls- 9 and 10- will “get” some of it. And I do think it would frighten them. The video comes as a physical DVD that can be played on a standard DVD player- or in your computer- and sells for $19.95 on the site.
New Liberty Videos is a company that produces Christian films. The founder, Brian Barkley, has been in the motion picture business for over forty years. After he became a Christian, he began to produce Christian movies. The Forbidden Book is a documentary that demonstrates how the Bible was preserved over the years when superstition and intellectual darkness would have hindered it.
I wanted to preview the movie to determine (1) if the kids would understand and be able to listen and (2) if there would be anything too frightening for them.
The movie jumps right in in the introduction giving facts about the Bible through the ages. Craig Lampe, PhD is a Bible historian who narrates some of the film. He traces the history of the Bible from the very beginning when Moses received the Ten Commandments directly from God through the other physical authors of the Bible. He also talks about the ancient Jewish manuscripts of Scripture. The video then goes on to discuss some of the early church fathers and how they determined which books to put in the Bible.
Then we move into the Dark Ages and what the church was like during that time. With false doctrines- such as that of indulgences sold to cover sins- the church wasn’t exactly in line with Scripture. The video goes on to talk about some the men who stood against these doctrines of the church. In Northern Scotland a group called the Culdees began a Bible college that was maintained throughout the Dark Ages and provided a way to protect the Scriptures during these times.
The video shares the stories of John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and others who stood for making the Bible available to the common man even when it led to their death. Martin Luther and his desire to focus doctrines on Scripture alone, not on the traditions of the church, is discussed.
Information is given about how we have the books of the Bible that we now have. And there is information about the early translations of the Bible- including the popular King James Bible. The invention of the printing press and the spread of the Bible is discussed.
The video is just under an hour long. The DVD contains the film presented in a regular style and then again in closed caption with the words on the screen.
After watching the film, I haven’t shown it to the kids yet. It is likely that I will show at least the older kids at some point. I don’t think there is anything too disturbing. There are some parts about the martyrs that might be a little frightening for my younger kids- ages 9 and 10. My main reason for hesitating is just that I think it will be difficult to hold their interest.
I enjoy documentaries. I really like historical documentaries. So I was prepared to like The Forbidden Book. The presentation, however, is rather slow. And there are parts of the video that just seemed to just drag out. I was still interested in most of it because the subject matter was very interesting to me. My kids- even my older teens- probably won’t have the draw of being interested in the topic. Because of this, I think that an hour long video might be a bit much for them. If we watch it, I’ll probably split it up into segments.
I did think that the information here was very complete. There was some very good research. I really appreciated the comments from the Bible historian and the sharing of his knowledge about the history of our Bible. And if you are really looking to learn the history of our Bible, you will likely enjoy The Forbidden Book.
Company: New Liberty Videos
Product: The Forbidden Book physical DVD
Age: General ages; may want to preview for younger viewers