Tuesday, April 18, 2017

This is "The Bible"?!?

*Originally written in 2014

I just finished watching the miniseries, "The Bible", which ended its run of showings on Easter Sunday evening. To be frank, I don't know how I got through it. My wife didn't understand why I was still watching it (she gave up after one night, preferring to watch our growing list of DVR recordings). I guess it's like the proverbial "watching a train wreck": even though the results should be too hideous to stomach, you just can't pull your eyes away from it.

And I know my wife was aware of how off-target and inaccurate the miniseries was with the Word of God by the way I turned in my seat, shook my head in disgust or disbelief, or did what numbers of African-Americans are known to do while watching a movie: talk back to the screen.

Now...I'm extremely aware of how Hollywood takes extreme creative license with Biblical accounts...and don't get me started on "Prince of Egypt". (The one possible exception to this might be "The Passion of the Christ", without making a blanket endorsement of this movie.) It's one thing to add an artistic expression of a Biblical account to add dialogue and context to the story. It's entirely another to completely miss the mark on obvious points and occurrences that are actually found in the Biblical record. And this after being advised on the project by such notables in the religious world as Rick Warren, Erwin McManus, Andrew Benton (president of Pepperdine University), and Paul Eshleman (Campus Crusade for Christ).


The executive producers, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, displayed the disclaimer before each program that they "endeavor(ed) to stay 'true to the spirit of the book.'" One has to define his/her terms of what is meant by "spirit". (I wonder if the Holy One Himself was consulted.) Nevertheless, how can a person appreciate the spirit of the book when the actual book itself is either misrepresented or inaccurately portrayed?

I'm not going to take time to list every single erroneous reference in the program; Wikipedia already gave a good selection of them. But there were some notable ones that I think are worth mentioning, and I'll add the actual scriptural passage(s) so you can check these things out for yourself to see if they add up.

1.  How many people were there actually in the ark with Noah? I mean...I saw...kids... (Gen 6.18, 22; 7:.)

2. Delilah didn't really shave off Samson's hair. She just gave him a little off the top. (Judges 16.18-22)

3. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (better known by their Babylonian names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego)...thrown into a "fiery" furnace? Looks like Nebuchadnezzar forgot to preheat the thing before they were..."walked" inside? (Dan 1.6-7; 3.19-23)

4. Mary...Magdalene... She was just about in every scene where you saw the twelve disciples and Jesus. She was with them when Jesus fed the 5,000. She was with them at the Last Supper and in the garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26.20). She even got her piece of the action in the upper room on Pentecost...speaking a different language under the influence of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1.26-2:11)

5. Not the most convincing Judas Iscariot in movie history. Appeared kind of conflicted as if he didn't want to leave Jesus at the last supper (John 13.30); looked like he was being led instead of doing the leading when Jesus was arrested (Mark 14.43-45); and basically just handed back the 30 pieces of silver and hung himself because...well, just because. (Matt 27.3-5)

6. The 12 apostles in the upper room at Pentecost? No. The 120 disciples? Guess again. The 12 apostles, Mary Magdalene (we covered that), and...Stephen??? (Acts 1.26-2.1)

7. The most cataclysmic, transcendent beginning of a transformative movement ever in the history of the world...the establishment of Jesus' church as He Himself stated in the program (Matthew 16.18)...was not shown at all! Skipped right over THAT to the lame man at the Beautiful Gate, who, after he was healed, stood up and walked around a little slow if you ask me. (Acts 3.8)

8.  I never thought I would say this...but I have my problems with Jesus! I mean, why is he smiling while telling his mother, Mary, "All things are possible with God"...while he is on the Via Dolorosa...while repeatedly falling...while carrying His cross...while being flogged...while being kicked...while wearing the crown of thorns...you get the picture? And that's just for starters.

At least it looks like they may have gotten the fruit that Adam and Eve ate correct.