Review of An Official’s Faith from the Witnesses Series, Available Now

An Official’s Faith , the third installment from the Witnesses series , is a retelling of the story of the healing of nobleman’s son in Joh...

An Official’s Faith, the third installment from the Witnesses series, is a retelling of the story of the healing of nobleman’s son in John 4:46-54 and is one of my favorite types of audio drama. Those stories that expand on the written Word of God to enhance our understanding of characters that receive little attention or development in the Bible but were real, living human beings. 

From the outset of this 25-minute drama, the story develops on the small number of details found in these verses, and paints a vivid picture of the humanity of each character that is sometimes lost to us in our reading of the Bible. It is often easy to read the words of the Bible and focus so much on looking for the lesson being taught that we miss the reality of the lives being lived and, in this case, the simple desperation of a father for the survival of his son. An Official's Faith gives us the view of this miracle of Jesus from the mind and eyes of the father in need. We feel the concern in his heart and very intense desire to see his son healed. We experience his nervous anticipation and hope at meeting this man called Jesus who has been said to have the power to heal.

While this drama fleshes out the character of the father, it does not neglect the important lesson that Jesus was attempting to teach the Jewish people. The writer, Tracy Van Dolder, does an exemplary job of balancing the artistic license of what could have been with what the Bible says actually was. There is a fine line between artistic license and changing a Bible story outright, and this drama maintains a plausibility that is indispensable if writing is to stay on the right side of the line.

Tracy Van Dolder
creator, writer, director of Witnesses
Especially important in this expanded-view type of story is excellent acting. Many of us, having read the Bible over and over, have forged voices in our heads for the people about which we read. If the voices are glaringly miscast or poorly acted, it can have a detrimental effect on the purpose of audio drama which is to draw the audience into the story and evoke the feeling that they are actually there. An Official’s Faith pools the talents of several actors who, though amateurs, bring real skill, and perform excellently in their roles. ATC's own JD Sutter as Jason, the official who is in need of the help of Jesus brings much pathos to this part which is difficult to portray. There is no doubting the father’s climb up the hill of faith from the valley of desperation to the summit of calm assurance at Jesus' word. Jesus, portrayed by Mark Henry Cooney, convinces the audience that he has much compassion and love for this man and his son, but is also operating on a much higher level and greater scale than expected.

Tracy Van Dolder, who plays the maidservant, Kevin McCreary, Micah Touchet, and Christopher Green who play voices in the crowd also add much to the story in their roles. In some audio dramas “the crowd” is an unimportant factor and is only needed for ambiance, but in this story, “the crowd” is a central figure. The music, composed by Micah Touchet, and sound design by Van Dolder with foley by Christopher Green find their proper place as mood assistant and scene builder, striking the right emotional chord at the right times, and helping the mind orient itself into the story.

Overall, this audio drama is an excellently produced, well-executed expansion on a seemingly small story found in the Gospel of John. I would certainly recommend it in general to any audio drama fan, and especially to those who enjoy a story focused on seemingly minor extras in the greatest story of them all.

You can download this audio drama for free at the project website. Tracy, the creator of the series, has launched a Patreon campaign to help fund future episodes of the program. We encourage you to support quality audio drama like Witnesses.

Andrew Jones is a co-host of the Audio Theatre Central podcast and life-long fan of the audio drama medium. He is a husband and father and he spends his days teaching Science at a private school. He's also filled the role of host for two of Porchlight Family Media's audio drama productions.


Witnesses 2155683900138417150

Check out our radio station!

Sentry Password Protection Member Login
Member Login
Forgot? Show
Stay Logged In
My Profile
Javascript Required

Subscribe To The Show

Apple Podcasts



Subscribe via Email

RSS Feed

Top Posts

Recent Comments

Shop Our Affiliates