I must admit that I really enjoyed part one of The Bible miniseries. However, I have heard some less than favorable comments from individuals with a background in the Bible.
Before I begin with any of the accounts to retell biblical passages, you must know that producers use what is called, “Creative license” when creating any film.
This is used to promote dramatization and to engage the viewers into the scenes.
Why is this important to understand? Because the average person says that reading the Bible is boring and irrelevant to today’s culture.
Retelling biblical stories in an animated and creative way may spark interest and motivate the nominal Christian, as well as, the UN-Churched to pick up the Bible and read It for themselves.
Here are some top criticisms/observations I heard:
- The Angels that approached Abraham and Sarah were NOT Black, Asian or White.
- The Angels that went to Sodom and Gomorrah were not beaten and did not BEG Lot for help; nor were they ninjas.
- Isaac was not a boy (age 10) when Abraham offered him up as a sacrifice.
- Incomplete and they skipped the life of the major patriarchs: Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.
- They didn’t show Moses’ staff turning into a snake.
- Hebrew people crossed the Red Sea on DRY GROUND not a wet ground with water spraying on them.
I thought the use of a multicultural team was most creative. Our God is a God to all people. If we were to really trace the ethnic background of all the characters of the Bible, there are those who would have said that the entire cast should have been Black – as in dark skinned people.
Angels took a lickin, but kept on tickin
I enjoy suspense movies especially fighting scenes where the good guy is fighting the bad guy. Characters like Bruce Willis, Steven Segal. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are some of my favorites not because they can fight, but that they can also take a beat down.
I’m gonna take a stab at why I think they wrote it this way. The angels stated that they were going to spend the night in the square. Lot was desperate to protect them from the evils of the street. The creative license was to show just how evil and perverse the people of Sodom were.
Come on, No Ninjas!
When I saw the Angels break out in a fighting scene I was reminded of Michael, the arch angel and his military team engaged in battle with the devil and his imps when trying to answer Daniel’s prayer.
I am comforted by this passage of scripture because Hollywood has depicted angels as soft, cute, harmless and even powerLESS beings.
The Bible is clear in depicting the different roles angels play, especially those protective fighting angels. I’m glad they were not portrayed as wimps and weaklings, but powerful beings that do what needs to be done to protect us everyday!
The ninja or Jackie Chan affects made for better entertainment for the viewer. I can only guess that God’s military warrior angels could master those swords just as well.
Just how old was Isaac?
It wasn’t until about 15 years ago that I found out that Isaac may not have been a child when his dad offered him up as a sacrifice. Scholars debate this fact and have Isaac’s age anywhere from 5 to 36.
Some facts that brought about this dispute include: the age of both Abraham and Sarah, Ishmael, the cultural age of weaning children, the age of Sarah’s death, along with some other historical events.
Most classic biblical movies have Isaac depicted as a young boy. The point here was to demonstrate Abraham’s faith in God as well as God’s promise to provide.
Why did they skip events?
Yes it did appear as if the producers did skip some crucial scenes such as the life of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, even Aaron’s staff turning into a snake.
Two points, there are still four more shows and perhaps we may be given a glance back and secondly the goal of the producers is to highlight the entire Bible in 10 hours. Certainly, they will use their creative license in determining what things to air and what things to skip.
Red Sea wet or dry?
The Bible does tell us that they walked across on dry ground and the water stood up like a wall on both sides. I can see why some would have trouble with this as it seems to minimize God’s intervention. Clearly the producers used a creative privilege here too. Perhaps it would have cost them too much time to truly unpack this scene.
The important thing is that The Bible is being brought into many homes around the world. It gets us all talking and gives us the opportunity to fill in the gaps in order to complete the story. We can only pray that this experience will result in people being interested in learning more and reading the Bible for themselves.