Bible, Movies, Television

Six Thoughts on History’s “The Bible” ~ Part 2

This is the second of a three part series on The History Channel’s The Bible miniseries*. You can find Part 1 here and Part 3 here.

4. Does it really matter if “The Bible” is factually inaccurate and skips a lot of important stuff? It’s artistic license after all! 

Yes, it matters. And it matters on a lot of levels.

First, I’ve noticed a lot of details that this movie has gotten wrong when it would have been just as easy/inexpensive/practical to get it right. A few small examples:

0bc90ac98e8e3d20a24be1f335b5966aIn Scripture, when the Philistines wanted to bribe Delilah to betray Samson, they went to her (Judges 16:5). In the movie, the Philistines summoned Delilah to come to them.

In Scripture, Daniel was cast into a pit or cave with lions, and a stone was rolled over the opening (Daniel 6:17). In the movie, Daniel was put into a dungeon with lions and a door was closed and locked behind him.

In Scripture, it is clear that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed primarily for the sin of homosexuality (Jude 7). In the movie, homosexuality in Sodom and Gomorrah is not even hinted at.

Now, if the movie makers can’t even get these simple details correct, can they be trusted to get the much more complex details of Jesus’ life, teachings, and propitiatory death and resurrection correct? As I said before, a lot of people won’t pick up their Bibles or have a Christian share the gospel with them after seeing the movie. What about them and the real Jesus they need for salvation?

Second, the Bible isn’t just an anthology of short stories which are unrelated to one another. The Bible is one unified story—the story of God’s redemption of sinful man in the person of Jesus Christ. Every story, every incident, every jot and tittle of the Old Testament shows man’s need for redemption and points to the Redeemer to come: Christ. The gospels tell the story of Christ’s redemptive mission. Acts through Revelation point us back to the first coming of Christ and ahead to His second coming. When you omit or mangle any of the links in that chain, the story of redemption –the entire point of the Bible—breaks down, gets tarnished, gets lost in the shuffle. Why is that important? Because the Bible shows us our need of redemption from our sin. Our eternity depends on it.

Finally, and most importantly, God’s word is high and holy, and it must be treated as such rather than playing fast and loose with it. He has preserved it through thousands of years and at the cost of many lives. God takes His word seriously, and so should we.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Matthew 24:35

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
Revelation 22:18-19

To be continued…

*Just a note for future readers: This article was written during the week between episodes 3 and 4 of the miniseries. Episode 3 wrapped up the Old Testament and introduced the New Testament, covering Jesus’ birth through the calling of Peter. As I write, I have not seen episode 4 or 5.

Bible, Entertainment, Television

Six Thoughts on History’s “The Bible” ~ Part 1

If you’ve been keeping up with the History Channel’s The Bible miniseries, you’ve probably noticed that everybody seems to have an opinion about it. I’ve been watching the series, live chatting it on my Facebook page, and reading reviews and comments about it from viewers, bloggers, and Christian leaders. At the risk of over-saturating the blogosphere, here are a few of my thoughts on what people are saying about The Bible*. (You can find Part 2 of this series here, and Part 3 here.)

0bc90ac98e8e3d20a24be1f335b5966a1. “The Bible” will get people to read their Bibles.

I hope so. I really do, but I’m concerned.

Have you ever watched the movie Braveheart? The Patriot? Gone with the Wind? (Ha. You thought I had a little Mel Gibson thing going there, didn’t you?) Upon finishing any of those movies, did you pick up a thick tome on William Wallace, the Revolutionary War, or the Civil War and give it a thorough reading from beginning to end? Or did you just take for granted that those movies accurately portrayed the way things transpired? I’ve seen all of those movies several times, and I’ll admit none of them have inspired me to read up on the historical events on which they’re based.

I’m guessing that while there may be some who will be inspired by The Bible to pick up the Bible and read it, those numbers will be far more minuscule than we might hope.

2. “The Bible” will lead people to a saving knowledge of Christ.

Nothing would make me happier. Really! However, consider the Christ this movie is presenting. If The Bible doesn’t present the true Christ of God’s word, then people will not be saved. They will be putting their faith (if it is even made clear to them from the movie that they must repent and put their faith in Christ and His payment for their sin) in a false Christ—an idol that is powerless to save anyone. Worse, for a person who puts his faith in a false Christ, it may inoculate him against hearing and accepting the truth of the gospel in the future.

3. “The Bible” can be used by Christians as a “conversation starter” for presenting the gospel to their unsaved friends.

This is the best impact The Bible could possibly have. I truly hope it gets many lost people thinking about God and that God will put a Christian in their lives to tell them about Jesus. I would love to see Christians use this movie as an open door for sharing the gospel with the lost. May many who need Jesus come to Him for salvation as a result of seeing The Bible.

To be continued…

*Just a note for future readers: This article was written during the week between episodes 3 and 4 of the miniseries. Episode 3 wrapped up the Old Testament and introduced the New Testament, covering Jesus’ birth through the calling of Peter. As I write, I have not seen episode 4 or 5.