"The Word" starring David Janssen

Um, has anyone who is part of this forum ever seen the 1978 TV miniseries The Word? David Janssen from that '60s TV show The Fugitive is in it. I can’t say that I’ve ever caught The Word, but I know for a fact that Mother Angelica was very upset about the existence of this miniseries. If you don’t believe me, check out the following links:



I can’t be certain if Mother Angelica ever actually saw The Word for herself. However, I know for a fact that actress Lynda Day George (Mission: Impossible, Roots) admired it. (I am part of a Yahoo! Group that concerns her.) A heavily-edited version of the miniseries was released on VHS. I would like to know if The Word is really all that anti-Christian.

I haven’t seen either video version but I remember the book by Irving Wallace. I can understand Mother Angelica being upset but it is hardly blasphemous.

The plot is that a man unjustly convicted of murder swears vengeance on God/Christianity, forges a “Gospel of James” and arranges for it to be “found”; a World Council of Churches-type org buys the whole thing and rushes to get the new “gospel” translated & published, giving Chrisitanity a much-needed shot in the arm, meanwhile the forger is waiting to expose his work as a hoax. David Janssen, the PR guy for the project goes digging for the truth (tho why a PR guy woud isn’t explained); the forger gets run over by a bus, the PR guy gets thrown in jail temporarily while the publication goes forward.

A couple things I liked; the Church came off fairly well – the obligatory worldly cardinal was attached to the project as an observer and it was made clear it would take awhile (try never) before the Church signed on.
Also, the only other real enemy of the project was a Protestant Dutch lberation theology type but he signed on to it at the last minute in return for the presidency of the WCC.

Actually, I think of this book whenever I read one of those “new gospel found” “amazing Biblical discoveries” that usually show up around Easter – most recently the lead plates.

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