This feature length movie is an interpretive film. That is, it is an attempt to explain the meaning of the 15th chapter of St. Luke's Gospel using the media of film rather than the traditional media of print. The film was professionally produced in Cairo using well-known stars in the Arab film industry.
In this movie, Dr. Kenneth E. Bailey weaves three of Jesus' parables together. The father owns 100 sheep. His shepherd loses one of them. The shepherd's wife loses a coin. Thus, all three parables of Luke 15 happen to people living on a single landed estate.
These stories were set in the Middle East and that culture is taken seriously throughout the film. In order to express the inner tensions of the film it was necessary to create additional characters. The two brothers have a sister Salma. The prodigal in the far country joins a Greek pig herder and his daughter. In the film the interaction between characters provides opportunity to make the theological content of the parables clear.
This is not a "Hollywood version composed by a script writer with a good imagination". After 35 years of study and two books on Luke 15, Dr. Bailey has recorded his exegesis in the script of this film.
the Lost.......................Series #76202
Dr. Bailey spent 47
years living and teaching in the Middle East as a New Testament scholar.
His specialty is the Parables of Jesus from a Middle Eastern cultural
perspective. Bailey's intimate knowledge of the land and people of the
Middle East contributes to the authenticity of this film. Growing up in
that part of the world, he absorbed the village culture, which has changed
little since New Testament days. He retired recently from his position
as research professor of Middle Eastern New Testament Studies at Tantur
Ecumenical Institute for Theological Research in Jerusalem and now lives
in Western Pennsylvania.