Est. May 2008

30 March, 2013

A Passion For The Bible?

There’s lots of talk about The Bible, and most of it revolves around two things: the ‘astonishing’ popularity of the series and how accurate (or inaccurate) it is.  I’ve talked about the accuracy thing in previous posts; now I want to talk about its ‘astonishing’ popularity.

Folks like Doug Birdsall, newest president and CEO of the American Bible Society say 'the show's success is a clear indication that millions of America are thirsty for the Bible.’  But why would all these Americans, with either a brick-and-mortar book store or with Amazon within reach and with free Bibles galore on-line (as well as Bible study programs and Bible-verse search engines aplenty) be thirsty for a book which tends to outsell every other book every written?   It’s not like the book itself is unavailable.

It’s not a thirst for the Bible; it’s a thirst for the Bible on their terms.

And what are their terms? Their terms is the sound- and visual-bite, the condensed version, the ‘I-can-spare-two-hours-to-watch-but-not-two-hours-to-read’, the ‘reading is hard’ meme. 

First, look at how the Bible is presented: bits and pieces, drips and drabs, all wedged into two-hour time-slots.  Episode 1 alone covers the Great Flood (Genesis 7-8) to the end of the exodus from Egypt (Deuteronomy 34) – 178 chapters of the Bible and nearly 1600 years.  Obviously, lots of stuff is being left out, stuff that you’ll only get if you ‘read the book’.

Now look at the Internet.  How often do you search Yahoo or Bing or whichever you choose and find an article you’d like to read, only to open it and see a video?  How many websites do you visit which eschew the written word for audio-visual?  Tons of them.  It’s as if reading is too hard for people these days, and everything has to be distilled into an audio-visual chunk of, well, candy, in order for people to even take notice of it.

And I’ll only mention in passing text-speech – or should I write ‘txt-spch’?  The use of texting, Twitter, e-mail, and the like have almost forced us to reduce our once-intelligible written discourse into a parody of the written sentence.

So this raises what I think is an obvious question: if people aren’t willing to use complete words in texts and such, if people are more willing to watch a video than read a transcript, if people are somehow less-inclined to read a written story and will grab the Cliff’s Notes ™ version via actual Cliff’s Notes ™ or through a movie…what makes these folks who say The Bible will stimulate people to actually pick up the Book and read it believe their own words?

I would honestly be surprised if, after The Bible is over there’s an increase in Bible literacy here in America – or anywhere else, for that matter. 

There’s also news that another series is afoot to chronicle the life of Jesus.  It’s being bandied about due to the success of The Bible.  My hope is, since this is planned to run six hours and will be covering 3-or-fewer years that it will be more accurate and more comprehensive than The Bible has turned out to be.  If it is, perhaps it will stimulate people to actually crack open the Gospels.

At least, that’s my hope. 

1 comment:

Right Truth said...

I was pleased to see the popularity of the BIBLE mini-series. While there were errors, inconsistencies, and way too much use of 'theatrical license' taken, it did draw a lot of people. Whether they were truly interested in learning anything about the Bible I don't know.

Or maybe Christians were so thirsty for something Christian on TV that they were wiling to put up with the errors. We watched it and will watch the final episode tonight. Hubby and I know our Bible well enough that when they screw it up, we jump on it.

If there is a hunger out there, perhaps visual media is a way to get people interested.

There is such a tech-savvy crowd these days, all these shows that link their watchers with cellphone, FaceBook, Twitter, maybe this is a good opportunity to share the Word and witness?

We don't text, don't use ‘txt-spch’, and I much prefer my fingers flying across the keyboard at lightning speed, rather than trying to peck out a message on the cellphone.

Technology is a great thing. Hubby and I just got the new Droid DNA and it is magnificent. But we don't sit around with our head in the phone, missing out of the real world. But there must be a way to reach those people.

Have a Blessed Easter

Right Truth