Monday, March 11, 2013

The Bible on history channel

My wife told me to just relax and not be critical, but I couldn't help it. I'm probably the only Christian in America who is not a fan of the blockbuster "The Bible" production on History channel. It's not that I really don't love the fact that much of America is tuning in to potentially see the Bible in action, it's just that I'd like it to be a little better representation. Again, I'm glad that the Bible is getting headlines..it is the greatest book in the history of the world and my favorite...but a few observations about "The Bible" miniseries verses the actual Bible. 1. The mini-series is not very bibically accurate. Last night I watched both episodes back to back and was absolutely dismayed at how they shoved many Scriptural realities into the same scene thereby changing the facts of the Bible. I don't mind "artistic license", but something simple like David being annointed by the prophet Samuel alone with the sheep is just not the story of the Bible - in fact it was before his father, brothers and all of the elders in Bethlehem. A serious miss and this is only one of them. In another, it was Samson's mother who influenced him to turn himself in to the Philistines when in fact the tribe of Judah bound him and turned him in before he broke the ropes and killed a thousand Philistines. I don't understand how the producers could decide to alter the facts of the Bible in order to tell a more interesting story. 2. The mini-series is not very historically accurate. I know we live in a "politcally correct" climate where every race needs to be represented, but Samson was Jewish, he was not African and Saul was not a white dude with an English accent. I actually appreciate the different races represented in the angelic messengers throughout because we are never really told what the angels look like (skin color) and we can assume that God has the same variety of angelic beings as he has in human beings. But if anything, the producers should pick one race for all Israelite people represented in this series and let them all look alike - they were all descendants of Abraham. 3. The mini-series is not as exciting as the actual Bible. The Bible does not need anyone's help in being intriguing, interesting, filled with action, etc... I felt that if this series just told the Bible story as accurately as possible the action would be so much better. For instance, Samson's first wife getting her father's house burned down only makes sense with him outwitting the attendants at his wedding. Well, there you have it...don't be too mad at me. I'm just ultra-protective of the Word of God and this doesn't cut it for me. But I'll watch the rest of them.

15 comments:

Barb and Charlie Meade said...

Well, HOORAY! We thought we were the only ones who felt that way. My initial reaction was that the movie was going from one "big" story to the next. I am not by any means as educated as you are especially with all the time lines, but the whole racial thing was real obvious. Thanks for this post.

Anonymous said...

We may not agree on Jacob, but take heart you are not alone in not being a fan of the "Bible" miniseries.....disappointed in the inaccuracies.....agree that the Bible doesn't need to have details manipulated or added to it to make it dramatic or intriguing.
Kris:)

Tara said...

I agree with you Mike. I feel like they are just racing through the Old Testament. I wished they would have developed the characters and storylines a little better. I guess when you only have 4-5 weeks, you get in what you can, but I was hoping for a little bit more depth of each major story in the Old Testament. I guess the good news is to see how many people are tuning in each week.

Anonymous said...

my little japanese boys thought the "asian ninja angel" (that's what they are calling him) totally rocked!!

i agree with you on the series itself- i am definitely not the Bible scholar you are, so a lot of the details (big and small) you mentioned may have drifted past me - but we definitely want the Word to represented correctly.

i saw an interview with the producers and supposedly they had a trillion theologians on set. but honestly, how do you represent the greatest story ever told in a mini-series?!? obviously things are going to get left out and hollywood is going to add some artistic embellishments.

i appreciate the effort to make the Bible come alive for someone who perhaps have never experienced it. let's pray there are more than just Christians watching. :-)

another thing - i was impressed with one of my kids imparticular - the one who i always think is in another land somewhere - he was naming the plagues in order before they happened, explaining things to his younger brother (told me i was responsible for explaining ishmael, however), and confirming plot details and characters. i have Kidsview to thank for partnering with me in teaching my kids the Truth. :-)

Steve H said...

Talk about inaccuracy... how come Noah and his family weren't holding their noses below decks? You know that had to smell...

Anonymous said...

i need to add to my previous comment after our dinner discussion: J says a lot of the knowledge he attained came from the EDGE - b/c of the Genesis series. need to give a shout out to my fave EDGE staff as well as the KV staff! :-)

Donna said...

So many things wrong with the series so far. Age of Isaac at sacrifice, Overdone on Samson, and trying to change the order of events. To the un-read, I suppose the "stories" can be impressive, but without some reasoning for the violence in the series so far without saying the people being killed were ungodly and worshipped idols and strange gods, etc. just leaves some wrong impressions when we need TRUTH presented. I ordered a pre-ordered DVD, now I'm wondering if I will ever watch it..

Laura said...

I agree. So many little details that were skewed. I tried to attribute some of it to having to tell God's big story within a budget, but it was very frustrating. I kept wanting to correct them so everyone who doesn't know Scripture would understand. I pray this will be a great opportunity for believers to have conversations with nonbelievers as we feel a passion for TRUTH.

Bob Watkins said...

Mike,
I have also been a bit disappointed since the producers were so adamant that they were true to the Word. Right off the bat, I thought, "Noah had a Scottish accent?!" Also, as one twitterer pointed out, the real Bible doesn't have Red Lobster commericials! Still, it is better than 98% of the junk on TV!

Lisa Huston said...

On the bright side....as I've been watching and something comes up that I'm not quite sure about...I pick up my bible and check. I figure anytime I pick up my bible when I already wasn't is a good thing. Agree with everyone's comments but hopefully even with the inaccuracies there will be non-Christians that are watching along and learning.

Johnmark Hatfield said...

I dislike almost all TV put together, so boom. There's at least 2.

Anonymous said...

I understand how some inaccuracies can bother us Christians. After all, we want the mini-series to depict God's word truthfully. It does bother me that they chose to depict inaccuracies when it would have been just as easy to relay truth.

However, I'll offer a different view. I'm watching and taking the stance that the purpose of the show is not for us believers (we have higher expectations). Instead, I have to assume that out of the 13 million viewers, some are maybe tuning in to see what the Bible is all about (kicking the tires). If not for the series, I doubt many would read the real deal- even though we all know the book is always better than the movie :).

Instead, I'm using it as conversation starter with neighbors/co-workers - "Hey, what do you think of the Bible movie on History Channel?" If the publicity from the show is getting people to read the Bible, ask questions, think about God, perhaps go to church, and maybe accept Christ, does it really matter that Samson was depicted as African American instead of Jewish?

Creech said...

At first, I was very excited that they were making a series on the Bible and supposedly sticking to the facts, but the more I watched the more I too, was frustrated with the many "liberties" and inaccuracies that were depicted. It did however make me have my Bible handy when watching for those instances when I was uncertain of their "interpretations". I was excited to hear though that over 13 million viewers tune in to watch it. That says to me that there are a lot of people open and seeking truth and hopefully we can use this as an open door to lead them to the source of all TRUTH-JESUS! =)

Anonymous said...

Amen anonymous!! The show is out there- we can use it as a tool for God's glory instead of nit picking the show to death. Instead of seeing the negative (the smaller details are not the issues that bring others to Christ) use the show as a positive. It's amazing to me how Satan works. He has taken a show called "The Bible" and let a bunch of Christians to see the negative in the show. He was successful according to this blog entry and the comments. I wonder if Jesus would have taken the show and talked with His gym friends about it or His neighbors about it? All the while, opening doors to bring those friends to become believers. I would rather follow what I believe Jesus would do than to let Satan influence me to focus on smaller details.

Mike Baker said...

to the last anonymous...glad you are using this show as a witness to non-Christian friends, but be sure of this...Jesus would have preferred the story told as the word was written. At one time, he said not one dotted "i" or one crossed "t" will be omitted from the law. My only point is there is no license to change the actual story of God's word...and no need to.