If you missed The Bible (Week One), the first post in this series following The Bible epic miniseries on The History Channel be sure to check it out.
The Bible epic miniseries during week two covered the Bible story from the battle of Jericho to the birth and childhood of King Solomon. The five week series will end March 31st, and will have covered stories from the Bible starting with Genesis and ending with Revelation.
Will movies and books ever get right with each other?
Many reactions came from the premier of The Bible last week. I expect some did not tune back in for the second part of the story. I expect others eagerly awaited the showing. I also believe new viewers tuned in to see what the Series is about.
As I read through comments and interactions on social media channels last week, I became discouraged and rather a little disappointed. There were those who enjoyed and appreciated the project. Then there were those who were disgusted with the dramatization of the Bible stories. They bashed the creators and producers of the show explaining how Hollywood always distorts the biblical truth. Surely there was something worthwhile in the production which could have been appreciated.
For those who can do it better, that is, make a movie on the Scriptures, please feel free to do so. Realize better means drama, better means interesting, better means emotion, better means high quality. Better does not mean monotone voices repeating exactly what the Bible text reads. Video is a different monster than text, and I see positive and deep Scriptural themes being portrayed throughout the series.
Did you read the Harry Potter books before you saw the movies? Or how about Lord of the Rings, did you read those books before watching the movies? If so, you probably felt the book was better than the movies. They usually are. What we imagine as we read a story is never exactly what the screen portrays. Our mental pictures do not align with the movie, and we feel they should. Our mental picture is the correct portrayal of the events, and when things do not match our movie we created in our minds, we feel let down, upset, disappointed.
I read some of the Chronicles of Narnia when I was younger. Carlie read them all. We were excited when the first movie came out. It opens with a five or ten minute war sequence in the beginning of the movie. Where was this in the book? In the special features of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, there is a piece which describes how the entire sequence came from the first sentence in the book. The purpose of the bombing scene was to set it in the minds of the viewer that this story takes place during war time. My reaction as I watched and listened was “huh.” It had an aha! moment, and began to look differently at film adaptations of books.
From My Reading The Bible Week One on YouVersion
Two things stood out to me as I read through the reading plan this week.
Keep Your Mouth Shut
1) I thought it was strange how the sea splitting scene was depicted. I never imagined as much argument and direct confrontation between Moses and the Israelites. I supposed Moses ignored them as he prayed for the sea to open up.
14 God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!”
15-16 God said to Moses: “Why cry out to me? Speak to the Israelites. Order them to get moving. Hold your staff high and stretch your hand out over the sea: Split the sea! The Israelites will walk through the sea on dry ground. (Exodus 14:14-16 MSG)
Verse 14 in the NIV replaces “keep your mouths shut” with “be still and wait on God.” I always had the mental picture of a calm man saying “be still.” He was serene and staring forward at the sea in daylight, waiting for God to pull back the waters.
Also, my memory failed me as I thought Moses prayed for the sea to split. However, the text is clear that Moses took action based off what God had told him. There was no prayer. Moses acted as he was commanded.
Using The Name of God
2) I discovered a translation which hits closer to home for Americans. “Do not use the Lord’s name in vain” does not really get into my psyche.
No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name. (Exodus 20:7 MSG)
No curses with God’s name, we get that. However, many of us need to work on the silly banter part. This would include the phrases “OMG / Oh My God,” “Good God,” and “Lordy, Lordy, Lordy.” Or does it?
Could those phrases be acceptable for Christians to use freely because maybe this verse is talking about God’s name in Hebrew abbreviated YHWH? To the Israelites, His name was so holy, they would not even spell it out in their writings. The names commonly given as God’s name in Christian America are Jehovah or Yahweh. Both of these stem from the YHWH abbreviation.
Or does the verse apply to Christians by meaning not using “Jesus” in any cursing, exploitative, or silly banter?
The Bible – Samson & Delilah
This challenged my interpretation of the story of Samson. I’m looking forward to re-reading the Scriptures on Samson and seeing how I may have grown in my understanding.
I will not pass or avoid it: Yes – Samson is African American in the video. I always pictured him as being tan with wavy black hair. It would have probably never entered my mind that Samson could have had dreadlocks. If you had a problem with it – get over it. Samson was a person with long hair, unmatched strength from God, and a heart for women and luxury rather than fulfilling his God ordained purpose. Nonetheless, he repented, and God used him. Learn the lessons of repentance and other character issues and move past trivial details.
The Bible – David & Bathsheba
I appreciate the dramatization of David and Bathsheba committing adultery. I liked the portrayal of David pressuring Bathsheba and initiating the wrong relations.
The character of David was portrayed in an accurate light overall. He was portrayed as someone who loved God deeply, and someone who sinned darkly. He was imperfect, human, and had dark desires which he acted upon. David remained the focal point in the episode, and his character flaws were just as apparent as King Saul’s.
Will you join me in following The Bible epic miniseries?
For the next four weeks I propose a challenge. www.YouVersion.com has partnered with The Bible epic miniseries to have reading plans available each week covering the Bible stories shown in the TV miniseries. You can create an account for online reading, or download YouVersion for your mobile device at www.bible.com/app. The reading plan for this week is called The Bible Series – Week 2.
The Challenge: Watch the TV series. Follow the reading plan on YouVersion. Share your thoughts with us each week. Are you in? Let me know in the comments by clicking here.
I’ll be posting every Monday in March about The Bible, so stick with us and engage in the conversation!
I’ll be coming back to this post all week to read and Disqus what is happening in your life as you go through the challenge this month. I’ve given my initial thoughts, so you go ahead and give us yours. I’ll see you in the comments…
Question: What did you learn this week? How did you grow as a person?
The Bible will be showing on the History Channel every Sunday in March starting at 8:00 PM EST.
You can find out more about The Bible epic miniseries by visiting http://www.bibleseries.tv/.
You can pre-order The Bible epic miniseries on DVD or Blu-Ray by clicking here.