The Voice of Jerusalem

An Historical Fiction Radio Evening News Broadcast 
from 1st century Jerusalem Covering the Trial, Crucifixion, and Alleged Resurrection of
Jesus of Galilee
4 CDs - 3hr, 34min total time

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The Voice of Jerusalem 

Wouldn’t it be amazing to actually be present for the trial of Jesus of Nazareth? To be among the crowd of disciples who followed Him and His mother on the way to Calvary? And, although terribly disheartening and perhaps considerably disturbing, who among us would not want to lend our meager moral support to Him as He gives up His amazing life on the cross? Finally, if it ever were possible to step back into history, what Christian among us would not absolutely cherish the chance to be present at that glorious moment of His resurrection?

The Voice of Jerusalem may be the closest we might ever come to these history-changing events.  

Try this sample compilation clip!

What Is The Voice of Jerusalem?

It is an historical fiction evening radio news broadcast from Jerusalem on that first Easter Sunday, and, based on the stories in the historical fiction newspaper from that same morning, The Jerusalem Star, it has various reporters covering these events and reporting them to us live as they themselves experienced them. The addition of numerous musical soundtracks and meticulous special effects helps to bring the entire experience of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection about as alive to us listeners as might be possible, now some 2,000 years after they occurred.  

What Is the Intent of The Voice of Jerusalem?

It is hoped that The Voice of Jerusalem might be used as just one more means to help religious education students and Christian congregations to reflect on the events that took place during the days of the passion, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Its tone is strictly that of the storyteller; and the tool is historical fiction, offering a conjectured account of these events. No attempt is made to offer or emphasize any particular theology. Rather, an attempt is being made simply to help bring alive, as much as may be possible, a sense of the times and the people who lived them, and perhaps how these historical events may have been perceived by those who either witnessed them, or perhaps even participated somehow.

We hope you might find this performance suitable for helping to bring to life a classroom storytelling session, or maybe a public reflection on the story of, and on the events surrounding, the passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord. Although some of the events were probably actually rather gruesome, an attempt is made nonetheless to depict these events accurately, and yet with discretion in choice of words, so that all of the stories will be considered suitable for even fairly young readers.

It must be added that, because this is presented as a radio broadcast, ostensibly from objective reporters and commentators, it includes as well various light-hearted “commercials,” a “weather report,” some “letters to the editor,” two tongue-in-cheek sports stories about gladiators and chariot races, and even a somewhat cynical, and yet historically educational interview with Pontius Pilate. It is our hope that these additions will cushion the fairly onerous nature of the serious passion and death stories, even as they offer an appeal especially to our younger audiences.

What Are the Sources of Its Content?

The basic historical content for the various stories is taken from the four gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—and a mountain of effort has been expended in an attempt to ensure that nothing of what is contained in them has been violated or contradicted. Of course, this is an historical fiction rather than a theological treatise.  Therefore, to try to capture as much of the period as might be possible with as much accuracy as possible, it has been necessary to consult a great variety of experts over the years in the fields of Biblical Theology, Biblical History, and Biblical Archeology as well.

The fictional embellishments are added only after first establishing with certainty that they do not contradict what is known as fact. They are merely there as an attempt to make this already powerful story a little more lifelike and down-to-earth human to our 21st century Christian students and congregations. They are there to help bring the story alive as much as possible; and to help us to take a closer look perhaps at what these events may have been like for those who were so much closer to them than we are, for those who may have actually witnessed them, or who maybe even had some participation in them.

John Dzwonkowski, M.A., the author and narrator for The Voice of Jerusalem, and the founder of Scripture on Stage, holds a Master’s Degree in Theology from the Maryknoll School of Theology, of the University of the State of New York. Having long ago, while a graduate seminarian student of Maryknoll, performed as John the Baptist and Judas in an off-off Broadway production of Godspell, John now performs a one-man, two-act full theatrical presentation of An Evening with Simon Peter, usually during Lent and Eastertime, for various local parishes in his home of southeast Michigan; and is currently preparing to offer An Evening with Mary and Joseph as a complementary theatrical performance for parishes at Christmastime. This theological education and theatrical training has caused him to try to be very respectful and careful in any embellishment so as not to contradict what is known as fact, or to offend a hopeful reader or listener with stern opinions or nuances to the far left or right of what is generally accepted to be true.

Here are the Major Relevant Stories Contained in The Voice of Jerusalem:

The Jewish “reporters” covering these stories are trying to report as objectively as possible the events that they have witnessed. Usually, being Jewish, they are rather sympathetic to this Jesus of Galilee, respecting what he was trying to do or teach as a dynamic man of peace. Some of the writers, however, as may be expected, did not have such an uncritical eye of his activities, and they write from that point of view as well. His activities were, of course, a bit of a disturbance to the status quo and the lives of those under the rule of Rome and the High Priests at the time, and were likely fairly controversial in the minds of many of his day.

The lead stories look at these various events:

Jesus of Galilee Trial a Mockery of Justice! by Enok ben Kaddesh

•Empty Tomb Reported by Disciples—Heads Roll as Palace Guard Summoned to Pilate! by Josef Habakuk, the Scribe’s Son

•Earthquake Rocks Sabbath Prayer! by Benjamin of Jericho, Son of Rabbi Mirth of Hebron

•Point/Counterpoint ~ Was This Yeshua the Messiah? The differing opinions from within our own Sanhedrin: Habakuk bar Nathan vs. Nicodemus

•Suicide Note Attributed to Judas Iscariot, One of “The Twelve.” by Simhah ben Basheva

•Resurrection Hoax? Or Messianic Miracle? The Debate Begins! By Malachi the Scribe, Son of Eleazar

•An Interview with Our Procurator Pontius Pilatus.

•In Sports ~ Equus Magnus in Death Match in Honor of Procurator Pilate!

•In Sports ~ Marius Andrettus Crowd Favorite in Jerusalem D Chariotmania Death Match!

•Death Trek to Calvary Demonstrates Impact of Galilean! by Freelance Reporter Moshe Hurtl of the Tribe of Zabulon

Special Broadcast Exclusive: A Crucifixion Like None Other This Reporter Has Ever Witnessed. By Joachim of Sepphoris, Son of Judas the Candlemaker

•The Legacy of a Man of Our God:  A Tribute to the Life and Teachings of Jesus of Galilee. by Rabbi Simon bar Mattheus, Director of the Rabbinical Schools of Galilee.

Thank you so very much for considering a purchase of The Voice of Jerusalem for the support of the ministry of Scripture on Stage.