How Eyewitness Bible Series Came About

We are often asked about the origin of the Eyewitness Bible Series. Phil Smith, the creator of the series had been reading and studying about the use of storytelling in teaching the Bible (called the Orality Movement). Over two years ago, the teacher of Phil’s Bible class announced they would be doing a verse-by-verse study of Acts, he asked if the teacher would consider another alternative. The teacher gave Phil a couple of weeks to propose a different way to teach it.

Over the next two weeks, Phil was led to write the narratives that became the first several episodes in the Acts Series. Class members portrayed the different narrators while wearing simple robes and scarves during Sunday school. Eventually the entire Series was given to the class, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. The preacher’s wife even said, “For the first time, I think I understand the book of Acts.” Phil and his Bible class saw first-hand what an impactful teaching method this was.

A friend of Phil’s saw a video recording of one class and recommended that the series should be done professionally and shared with a broad audience. Over the next few months, that idea was pursued, and God placed all of the people and resources in place to accomplish that. What started out as a simple idea for a Sunday School lesson grew into a multi-year project using more than a hundred professional actors and production personnel. It is our prayer that millions of people learn the Bible better through the use of the videos, study guides, and references.