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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” (a review)

Walk in the footsteps of Jesus without leaving your home in Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels”, a fantastic new 18-part miniseries from Drive Thru History®. The personable Dave Stotts will be your guide on this awe-inspiring adventure to the Holy Land.

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” (a review)

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” comes in an attractive set that would make a lovely gift (unless you want to keep it for yourself) and includes:



Hardcover, full-color guide book

3 DVDs with 18 episodes, each a 1/2-hour long

Full-color slipcase


Inside the guidebook, you will find for each episode:

a summary,

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” guide 1

thought-provoking discussion questions,

scripture references for further reading,

extra archaeological and historical tidbits,

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” guide 2

and beautiful, full-color pictures.

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” guide 3

I’ve been using Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” with all my kids, ages 8, 11, 13, and 17.

We’ve really been enjoying our tour of the Holy Land with Dave Stotts. The Drive Thru History® videos have high production values, and “The Gospels” is no exception. It’s an artful mix of fascinating archaeological sites, accounts from ancient historians, and accounts from scripture, interlaced with classical artwork,  humorous asides, and a catchy soundtrack. 

 Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” watching 1Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” watching 2

Episode Titles:

  1. The Historical Landscape
  2. The Announcements
  3. Jesus is Born
  4. Jesus Grows Up
  5. Jesus Starts His Ministry
  6. Jesus Returns to Galilee
  7. Jesus Begins His Miracles
  8. Jesus Teaches with Authority
  9. The Sermon on the Mount
  1. Jesus Travels the Sea of Galilee
  2. Jesus Travels North with His Apostles
  3. A Final Trip to Jerusalem
  4. Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem
  5. The Last Supper
  6. The Trial of Jesus
  7. The Crucifixion of Jesus
  8. The Resurrection of Jesus
  9. Who is Jesus?

The video and sound quality are excellent. There’s closed captioning for the hearing impaired and professional titles and graphics to denote change of location and other important information. Occasionally those titles were a bit hard to read, either because of the color or due to movement (one of my children does have vision issues, but he wears corrective lens).

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” 1


Quotes from scripture are accompanied by text on the screen.

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” 2


Live shots are interspersed with artwork…Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” 3


…and timelines

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” 4

Yes, I definitely need to clean my TV. Oh well. Rolling on the floor laughing


Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” 5


Detailed models are sometimes used to help you visualize what building would have looked like in Jesus’ day.

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” 6


Our guide, Dave Stotts, is personable and a little goofy.

One minute, he gives you serious, detailed historical background for things like: the rift between the Jews and the Samaritans, ancient Jewish marriage customs, why there were money changers in the temple, or why archaeologists think this is the pool where the blind man washed the mud off his eyes and could see…

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” 7

The next minute he cooks some barbecue in a foil packet wired to the engine of the vehicle he is driving, explains the origin of the phrase “Hail Mary Pass,” or launches us into giggles by pronouncing “domini” as “duh-MINnie. 

Dave keeps the story moving, as do the highly produced visuals. Things always seem to be in motion, even the paintings---many of them have been animated in some way so that it looks like someone or something is moving in the painting, which we found to be a little distracting.

Overall, though, we are enjoying the production very much and are learning a lot.

If you’re worried about being lost in antiquity or getting bored looking at old ruins, don’t. My 8-year-old can barely contain her excitement while watching “The Gospels” and always asks to watch “just one more”---can’t beat that.

The included guide book rounds out this set nicely.

I love how there aren’t a crazy number of discussion questions---there’s maybe a half dozen or so for each episode---and they usually require some thought.  The scriptural references make it easy to look up and study the Bible quotes used in the episode more closely.  We’ve had many good discussions with the help of this lovely guide. 

The Interconnectedness Of All Things

When the review opportunity for “The Gospels” came my way right around the beginning of Lent, it seemed like perfect timing---what better time to study the life of our Savior than while preparing for his death and resurrection?

But I could not have anticipated how this study would connect up with our other studies. It so happens that this year we are also studying the Old Testament with a resource that gets into the historical background and explains the cultural customs of the Hebrews. It also so happens that we are studying Ancient Greece this semester, the ancient civilization taken over by the Romans before Jesus was born.

As we watched episode after episode of “The Gospels”, I was thrilled to see my children making constant connections between the prophecies of the Old Testament and Christ’s fulfillment of those prophecies, to see Dave Stotts commentary reinforce the historical background we had already learned about the Old Testament, and to see that my children nod their heads in agreement as he described the influence of Greek culture on the Jews.

It’s pretty amazing how things can come together without even trying. 

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” could not have come at a better time for us. We highly recommend it.

Please visit the product page to watch the trailer!

Drive Thru History The Gospels
Drive Thru History The Gospels

Would you like to read more reviews by other Crew members? Click on the banner:

The Gospels {Drive Thru History® Reviews}
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