New Bono short film urges people to read the Bible

by Jim Long
Posted 4/26/16, 12:20 pm

U2 frontman, Paul David Hewson, better known as “Bono,” has joined forces with Bible translator Eugene Peterson to produce a short film encouraging people to read the Bible. The Psalms, a 20-minute documentary released today, debuts on Fuller Theological Seminary’s new website, Fuller Studio.

Bono is a professing Christian who became friends with Peterson, the retired Presbyterian minister who authored The Message translation of the Bible, after they met during U2’s “360” tour in 2010. A teaser video for the film showed Bono greeting Peterson and his wife at their Montana house on Flathead Lake—one of two settings for the short. The other is the gallery for the Christian-based International Arts Movement in New York City.

The film focuses on the book of Psalms as the foundation for Bono and Peterson’s friendship. In a 2002 interview, Bono said he read portions of Peterson’s paraphrasing of Psalms to his dying father. The Irish rocker routinely quoted lines from Peterson’s interpretation of Psalm 116 before launching into “Where the Streets Have No Name” during U2’s “Elevation” tour in 2001.

The 55-year old Dubliner has been drawn to this biblical collection of poetry since childhood. In 1998, Bono wrote an introduction to a King James Version of Psalms for the Pocket Canons series produced by Canongate Books. In his preface, Bono claims a kinship with King David that began at the age of 12, identifies with psalmists as a musician, and likens some Psalms to the blues.

“Our hope is that as a result of watching the film, people will be curious or inspired to read the Psalms themselves and to discover this remarkable book of poetry in Holy Scripture that has captured Bono and Eugene’s imaginations,” David Taylor, the film’s producer, told New Boston Post.

Jim Long

Jim is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute's mid-career course.

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  •  William Peck 1958's picture
    William Peck 1958
    Posted: Tue, 05/10/2016 02:56 pm

    very good ! @jrmbasso - I'd say this qualifies as "pre-evangelism"

  •  jrmbasso's picture
    Posted: Tue, 05/10/2016 02:56 pm

    Thank you Jim Long. I don't quite know what to think of this. The film is overproduced and runs off the edge of my ipad. Trivia aside Peterson and Bono are important. They look at the Bible on a very personal level. It's a useful perspective but not complete.

  • Go Yankees's picture
    Go Yankees
    Posted: Tue, 05/10/2016 02:56 pm

    2 very real believers talking honestly about how they came to love the Word of God.