Thursday, March 7, 2013

Can Anything Good Come from THE BIBLE?

Recently, I posted a lengthy critique of THE BIBLE mini-series on The History Channel. Most of the post was dedicated to the things that were wrong with or missing from the debut episode. I had originally intended to include several of the things from THE BIBLE which I actually enjoyed and thought were positive contributions. As the writing progressed that proved too lengthy.  So, can anything good come out of THE BIBLE? The answer, in the end, is yes. Here are several things I noticed that THE BIBLE got right or did well in its first installment.  Feel free and add anything you think may have also hit the mark.

  • The manner in which the story began (not so much the entire content of it) - what with Noah telling his family about creation and the history of the world up until that point - I thought was a bold, yet effective way of opening the story of the Old Testament. No doubt it was over the course of many such story-telling episodes that the history (at least in part) was communicated, handed down and treasured throughout the generations leading up to the day when the Holy Spirit would lead Moses to write the book of Genesis. 
  • Although I would've liked to have seen Adam formed from the ground more like a clay pot by a skilled potter, the image of him rising from the dust and coming to life was quite well done. The use of visual effects in this regard was convincing and not at all hokey. I also would've loved to see what they could've done with Eve being taken from the side of man. Since TV is a visual medium, there is no doubt, lots of potential.
  • They didn't forget the rainbow and the calm waters after the flood. Not sure if the double rainbow was intentional, but it was clever.  Thankfully, unlike the NBC version of Noah's Ark many years ago, there were no pirates on this high-seas adventure. And the scale of the ark and its contents was also conveyed well, in contrast to the many children's posters and puzzles that fill church nurseries.  Finally, they actually showed the drowning pagans. This may not sound like a good thing. But it shows the reality of what the flood was even though the words of the narrative didn't really go into it that well.  Sometimes the visual aspect of TV can communicate more than the narrator was able to at this point.
  • This is also true in the scene of the sacrifice of Isaac. There was the Gospel, stuck in the thicket just like Genesis 22 records. The Lord provided the sacrifice just as He promised. And there was the lamb.
  • Although the angels were a bit too teenage-mutant-ninja-turle-ish for me - Angels in the Scriptures are a bit bad ass (pardon my French) after all - at least they weren't like girly-men as in Roma Downey's Touched by an Angel.
  • Gospel was also seen in the blood over the doorposts and the deliverance in from Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea. Thankfully they didn't take the higher-critical "sea of reeds" approach and stuck with the miraculous event of the Exodus rescue.
  • Even though some of these things appear to be only a foothold or a glimpse or even a small mustard seed of Gospel, it does provide a useful place to start, and from there, move on to the Scriptures and the power of the Gospel therein.


  1. How did Satan tempt Eve into sinning? He added to God's Word. What did Satan use to try to tempt Jesus in the wilderness? God's Word. What brought about the need for the Reformation? The twisting of God's Word by the Roman Catholics.
    Lying about what God really did or did not say is never a good thing and can only lead people to hell either through believing lies, or by rejecting Christ because of how he is incorrectly portrayed. It is the worst kind of entertainment. I reject the notion that bad religious TV can open doors to a conversation. The only people watching are people who are interested and already open to conversation anyway. It's a lot harder to undo false beliefs than to just start from scratch.

    Here are good reviews by other Lutherans:

    Also, in the Bible it was a ram, not a lamb. There was an excellent article written about the significance of this intentional "error" and how it destroys Christ in this scene. I can't find it anymore though!

  2. Too bad you can't find that article. I would like to read it. Post it here if you ever do find it. And yes, you are right. It was a ram and there is a particular significance to that and THE BIBLE bobbled that one up too. I merely wanted to point out the fact that they got the substitute part of the event - albeit far too briefly and even then messed it up. But I had already spent a lengthy article pointing out details such this; this one was supposed to be a bit more positive, although its length suggests that there wasn't much to say.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. Anonymous,

    Also, I am familiar with the reviews on Brothers of John the Steadfast. I write for them frequently and will be posting a review of the last segment either the Monday or Tuesday after Easter. They've been doing good work pointing out and trying to undo much of the false teaching out there. Which, as you rightly observe, is a lot harder to undo than it is to start.