Friday, April 28, 2017

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” (A video series review)

This spring we were able to review a product from a company that I have heard about for years, Drive Thru History®. We were sent their latest product, Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels”.  This special edition package comes in a nifty book-like package that incorporates holders for the three DVD's as well as a full color study guide. The three DVD's contain 18 episodes (perfect for a half-year of weekly Bible Study for a youth group or homeschool co-op!) filmed on the ground in Israel, covering the territory where Jesus lived, walked, and taught. 

The episodes are hosted by Dave Stotts, who reminded both of my teens of a typical "good" youth pastor in manner and speech ("solid" with just a little goofiness thrown in). The videography is extremely well done, and really brought to life the locales we read about in the Bible. 

Sprinkled throughout the live portion of each episode are computer graphics (sometimes portraying what cities and structures may have looked like before they were ruins, timelines, and text over video to name a few), as well as various works of art that relate to the topic at hand. You can view a trailer below to get a feel for the series. 

This walking ( or driving) through the Gospels includes Historical information, Biblical Geography, and a sharing of the Good News directly from the Word. David Stotts also incorporates word studies, going back to the original Greek and Hebrew to shed light on some of the language choices. Throughout each episode there are many Bible passages included for recommended reading, as viewers are encouraged to pick up their own Bibles to read for themselves. The Study Guide includes Discussion Questions, Scripture readings, and Side Roads that offer some background information on personalities, customs, and historical archaeological finds.

The Episodes are as follows:
Disc 1
The Historical Landscape
The Announcements
Jesus is Born
Jesus Grows Up
Jesus Starts His Ministry
Jesus Returns to Galilee

Disc 2
Jesus Begins His Miracles
Jesus Teaches with Authority
The Sermon on the Mount
Jesus Travels the Sea of Galilee
Jesus Travels North with His Apostles
A Final Trip to Jerusalem

Disc 3
Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem
The Last Supper
The Trial of Jesus
The Crucifixion of Jesus
The Resurrection of Jesus
Who is Jesus?

Because of the presentation of the Gospel, this series could be a great introduction to youth who aren't familiar with the Good News of the Bible, in addition to being very interesting for those who are more familiar with the Scriptures.


Just a note about the artwork~ be forewarned that the very first episode deals with Adam and Eve in the Garden, and there are some Medieval/Renaissance works of art with semi-naked figures shown. This may not be an issue for you, but it could be for others, so I felt the need to mention it (as my 9 year old was watching with us...). Other episodes were not quite as startling... :)  In general, I do recommend keeping with the recommended age range~ 5th grade at a minimum, but focusing on 7-12th grade.

If you have students who have highly sensitive visual personalities, they may wish to avert their eyes through some of the later episodes that include snippets of video and artwork that are a little more graphic (yes, we are that family that doesn't watch a lot of the newer movies/TV shows, as they are much too graphic for me/us). There is a disclaimer on the video itself about the graphic nature of the episode that covers the crucifixion, suggesting parental guidance. Given that I did not watch Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," I will admit that I did not watch this particular episode either. However, I also recognize that my sensitivities are not the norm. ;) 

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
To sum up, I believe that Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” is an excellent production that is a great fit for Jr. High and High School viewing, and is well suited to a Sunday School or Youth Group setting. It is also appropriate for a homeschool Bible class.
Visit Drive Thru History® on their social media pages:
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