Bono makes ‘Psalms’ film with Bible translator Peterson

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U2’s lead singer, Bono, during performances sometimes quotes passages from “The Message,” a translation of the Bible known for its more casual, 21st century vernacular. In 2002, he said in an  interview that he read parts of the Psalms from “The Message” to his dying father.

The international rock star subsequently became friends with the author of “The Message,” retired Presbyterian pastor Eugene Peterson, after they met in 2010 during U2’s 360 tour. Their relationship is the focus of a new documentary to be released Tuesday.

Set in Peterson’s Montana home and in New York’s gallery for the International Arts Movement, the 20-minute film, “Bono and Eugene Peterson: The Psalms” follows a conversation about the book of Psalms as the foundation of their friendship. Peterson created his version by translating Hebrew and ancient Greek texts.

“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 and director of Brehm Texas, which is an initiative of Fuller Seminary’s Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts said Wednesday by email. “Their conversation at the Peterson’s home in April 2015 represented their second time to meet and it proved to be a very lovely afternoon together.”

Produced by Fourth Line Films, the documentary was directed by Fourth Line’s Nate Clarke. It’s the first production to be released by the Pasadena school’s new website, Fuller Studio, a resource from Fuller, a seminary founded by a 1940s preacher who reached the masses through radio broadcasts.

Although he believes that a wide variety of people will be interested in the film, Taylor, who interviews Bono and Peterson in the short, said that the producers are “supposing that it will connect with fans of U2, fans of Eugene’s writing, church and lay leaders, artists, worship leaders, and folks involved in the intersection between faith and culture.”

The goal of Fuller Studio is to “fully serve the global church by marshaling and offering a range of media resources,” according to a statement from the school. The website’s products will be available for “individual, small group, and congregational use, in multilingual formats, drawing first and foremost from our outstanding faculty, and also from a wider circle of voices from around the country and the world,” it said.

Contact Kara Bettis at [email protected] or on Twitter @karabettis.

Correction: This article previously stated that Fuller Studio was a film company, which it is not. It has been updated to reflect that Fuller Studio is instead a website resource.

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