I have been vocal about my uncertainty of how well “The Bible” mini-series would do in comparison to the Bible itself. Often times, programs on the Bible on the Discovery channel or History channel have fallen far short of what is written in the Word. I had a little more hope in this series due to seeing the creators interviewed and scenes from it previewed at Catalyst leadership conference last year but still carried a leery hope.
If nothing else, as I shared with my church family yesterday, there was quite a bit of buzz around the series. With this in mind, even if the series was not Biblically correct, it was still a chance to talk to the people in our lives about what is true and not. We are the church called to take the message into the world and not the role of a mini-series to do it. It is just a tool as God moves through us to reach the world.
That said, I have been getting several people asking me what I thought of the first episode last night. Well, I didn’t watch it due to enjoying some family time. Don’t be upset though, I got caught us this morning. I love my DVR.
I decided the easiest route is the blog a little after each episode my thoughts for whatever they may be worth. I will try to be straight to the point as to not bore you too much.
First, there were some bumps when it comes to accuracy and we Christians like to call those out for whatever reason. Here’s some quick ones….
– there was not a rainbow when Noah went out on the deck, it wasn’t until after the flood dried up
– Abraham and Sarah were being called by those names in the film long before God changes their names in the Word
– Abram suggested Lot and him splitting into two different areas, not Lot
– Sarah didn’t come running up the mountain with the test of the sacrifice of Isaac
– Moses’ age was off for some of the scenes
– And worse yet, they majorly hacked the conversation between Moses and God at the burning bush
There were many others too but to be honest, when it comes to those types of things, I believe most are a little “artistic license” more than it is heresy and we can make the details more important than the message (which can just suck the passion right out of anything).
The episode started with text on the screen that said “This program is an adaption of Bible stories. It endeavors to stay true to the spirit of the book. “
I think that’s a good thing to keep in mind. While those of us that know the details matter tend to see those bumps, we need to be cautious not to try to make it all about that.
For those who don’t know the Lord watching the series, they will not notice those points we try to make. They will notice that God is moving in these testimonies to redeem His people. They will notice that when you act in great faith, that God does great things. They will notice that while humans rebelled against God causing a separation, that God is working to bring His people back and still is.
I will say this, if you want to know the Bible, read the Bible. Get a trusted friend who knows the Bible and they will go through it with you. If you want to know more about a story in the film you see that you find interesting, read it in the Word. They majorly hack out a lot of the stories due to time factors. Learn more about Moses and Joshua and all that God did on these journeys.
Also, be prepared as you get into the Word to see that while the film shows the good sides of the heroes of the faith that the Bible shows how flawed they are too. None of us are perfect and need grace including those portrayed in the series.
OK, enough rant but I want to add a couple personal things….
– I really liked how they had Noah telling his family the creation story. While Noah was not the one who wrote Genesis (Moses was), this is the way the stories were passed down for generations before Moses’ education allowed it to be written down. The Jewish nation were detail oriented when they passed down history and I liked seeing that in action.
– I liked the opening voice over talking about how these stories shape the lives of Christians and why it is so important (assuming the person who claims to be a Christian is actually reading the Word and applying it)
– I liked when Moses came back and the Israelite asked him “What makes you think Pharaoh will even see you?” And Moses turned around and said “Oh, he’ll want to see me.” with the attitude of a Biblical times Dirty Harry. Kick butt Moses!
– I liked the depiction of the warrior angels as well as the Lord coming to talk with Abram and Sarai….
What did you think?