Est. May 2008

03 March, 2013

The Bible – First Impressions ***UPDATE***

Okay, so I just got done watching the first installment of the History Channel’s The Bible. Overall, I didn’t think it was all that bad, although I did notice a few things which, well, didn’t follow the Bible itself, although that’s to be expected – it’s difficult, I’m sure, to condense as much as they did (from Noah to the beginning of the book of Joshua) into two hours.

WARNING: spoilers below the fold.

(UPDATE, too)

Admissions: I got the chills watching the opening sequence with Noah synopsizing the creation and the fall; I also teared up and choked up during the near-sacrifice of Isaac.

Now, to the ‘problems’ I noted.

In the telling of the story of Lot and Sodom (Genesis 19:1-29):

- The angels didn’t pretend to need Lot’s hospitality; in fact, they offered to stay in the public square – it was Lot who insisted they enter his home for their own safety.

- The angels just about dragged Lot and his family out of the city ‘[w]hen morning dawned’ (verse 15), and there’s no mention of the angels drawing swords and doing battle on the way to the city gate.

- Lot and his family had gone all the way to Zoar before God ‘rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. (verses 24-25); the movie indicates the destruction began while Lot and his family were still within the walls of Sodom and were just escaping.

Now, regarding Moses:

- According to Exodus 2:11, Moses wasn’t unaware of his Hebrew birth: ‘Now it came about in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his brethren and looked on their hard labors; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren.’

- When Moses turned the Nile to blood (Exodus 7:14-25) there’s no indication Moses hid on the bank across the river and secretly struck the river – from the Bible it looks as if Moses and Aaron were visible and were to speak to Pharaoh before the act.

Finally, the preview of the next episode – the spies in Jericho:

- According to Joshua 2:1-7, the spies didn’t grapnel and climb the city wall – it looks as if they entered through the city gates and ‘came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lodged there.’ They also weren’t discovered by the people of the city, since Rahab misdirected the king and his men, then ‘she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall, so that she was living on the wall’ (verse 15).

Additionally, I wish they would have included the pillar of fire and smoke by which God led the Israelites out of Egypt and protected them at the Red Sea.

Now, some folks might see this as being overly picky about a television series. As I said at the outset, I think this first installment was well done – and believe me, I could have been a whole lot pickier. But considering the rampant biblical illiteracy which is plaguing Christians today, it’s important (IMO) to bring these things up, if only to point out how the Bible can be (and is) misrepresented even with the best intentions.

It will be interesting to see what forms ‘movie-maker’s license' takes in the remaining episodes.

See?  I could have been a lot pickier.

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