'The Bible': What's the verdict?


My Facebook feed appears to be battling to the death over last night's History Channel premiere of "The Bible." ("It was inaccurate!" "It was great!" "It was rushed!" "You're too picky!" Etc., etc., etc.) I'm starting to understand why there've been so many wars in the name of religion.

If any Pointificators were watching, what did you think?

Comments:

The problem? Writers!
(Hang in there with me, Gina; this won't end up where you might think it would.)

I didn't see this TV show, but I have seen plenty of others, and I think the problem is this: to put a show on TV, the producers must hire writers. That's a necessity, since someone has to figure out how to script the scenes - particularly how long something will take, and how to turn a book into a screenplay. It must be very difficult to do that, since it would require considerable skill and creativity to transform narration and commentary into dialogue and scenery.

So the producers hire these incredibly creative, highly skilled people. With a topic like the Bible, the producers then say "You can't change anything - just put it onscreen somehow." In fact, we expect them to do that with any much-loved story, as we've seen in our disappointment with some aspects of "Lord of the Rings" and especially with "The Chronicles of Narnia".

Therefore the writers tinker a bit, to improve the story; after all, that's what writers do with their own stories. The problem with classics in general, though, and with the Bible in particular, is that the way to improve the story is to understand it better. Tweaking it makes it worse. If Moses stands in front of Pharaoh and says "L-l-l-le-let m-m-muh-muh-my p-p-p-p..." and finally in desperation turns to Aaron, then Pharaoh's reaction is easier to grasp - and to portray. So is the later rebellion in the wilderness.

So I think the producers should use theologians to work out the details of the story, and use the screenwriters to only work out the mechanics of fitting the story into the constraints of the medium.

Or maybe the writers could go create other, new stories. The TCM channel had a Greer Garson marathon last night; she was quite the glamorous beauty, but until yesterday I only knew her as the narrator of "The Little Drummer Boy" that I watched every year as I was growing up, wishing there were more like it. If it's an original story, then the writers can do whatever they want, adding maybe a few authentic Biblical elements, and we'll all be happier.
Ooops! My bad. I meant to reference Kelly L., not Leslie V.
The Bible...
isn't. Beyond that, I'm with Leslie on why we expect Hollywood to "get it". While Cecil B. Demille did a really good job (years ago!), even his vision had a few flaws in it. I read that they were aiming the film at "older children and teens", and if they get even one convert from that age group, I'd say their effort was worth every penny. But, to be honest, I've seen better work done by junior high/middle school drama departments. There were several times I had to LOL!
I think that is the problem with cinematizing the Bible. People want to see heroics.
Why have any high expectations from the entertainment field anyway? Already their version of "history" and the reality don't mesh, why does anyone expect it to "get" the Lord's word correct? Too many people hyped this up to the Christian world, and that's plain aggravating.
Totally disappointing! The Burnetts were at my church this past weekend and Mr. Burnett told the congregation to watch for the special messages after each series... I think the most important messages were either changed or deleted altogether. The ram was depicted as a lamb; the angel of the Lord's voice was represented as 3 hooded dark figures (very 'Twilight' and 'Star Wars"); Moses shown as an outspoken and strong leader-wrong. He asked for God to get someone else to do the job-he was slow of speech and tongue; and the Sodom depiction spent more time on the ninja fight scene than the truth of what happened to Lot and his family there. Not sure I can sit through another Hollywood interpretation. They already have too much liberty with associating with our government. They need to stay out of the Bible. Praying they do more good than harm to future believers.
"The angel with the swords doing a martial arts sequence..."

You're making me glad that we don't own a TV.
The Bible on the History Channel
Cecil B. DeMille it is not, but it might have some redeeming value. They obviously spent some money on it but I felt that the storyline (very evident in the Bible) of the purpose for which God created Israel was weak. I also think it over-poored Abraham and his "tribe" who actually became very wealthy. Ditto with Sarah, whose beauty kings fought over. On the other hand, it did a very good job with the theme of the moral imperative of sacrifice, along with the foreshadowing of God giving His own son through the faith test of Abraham and the blood on the doorposts at Passover. I am hoping they tie back into that theme as we get to the New Testament.
It was pretty inaccurate, and I was sad that they felt they had to "Hollywood it up." The angel with the swords doing a martial arts sequence was just laughable. I won't be watching any more. Hopefully those who do watch and don't know the Bible will be intrigued enough to look into the real thing.
Verdict? Not sure. There was so much to take in, and knowing the actual story it was hard for me to process. It is strange to realize, even though we know it, that the Bible was about real people. So when you look at how Abraham or Moses are portrayed it's hard to get beyond did they really look like this. And you get to spend so little time with the character that it's hard to buy in that this is the guy, or gal. I'll give it an A for effort at this point.
This is one of those cases where I would have to say that the Book is much better than the movie.
To be honest it looked like just another sword and sandals.
I didn't take to it but it wasn't so bad. I was really waiting for Vikings ten minutes later, which seems to have potential but which I also didn't take to.




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