Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Bible Mini-Series Commentary


Did you watch the History Channel’s mini-series entitled “The Bible”?

I wasn’t able to watch while it aired, so I purchased the DVD when it became available.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t impressed. The first thing I noticed was their disclaimer to stay true to the spirit of the book, prior to each episode, meaning they would take liberties, using creative license. However, wishing to give them the benefit of the doubt, I watched.

I’m only half-way through the episodes and already the errors are too numerous to record. However, before I list the three most disturbing, I will give caution about the unnecessary and gruesome violence. Although violence is in our Bible, Scripture avoids the details and this depiction is not appropriate for children. So here goes:


#1:  The politically correct, but erroneous way the writers handled the destruction of Sodom. Never once did they imply sodomy (a word created from the name of the city) as the main reason for destruction. You saw licentious behavior and extreme violence, but nothing about male homosexuality. Then the documentary, in a complete fabrication, also had the angels using their swords to savagely pierce and slay the residents of Sodom.

The truth according to scripture is, yes, there was licentious behavior in Sodom, but Lot insisted the angels stay the night in his home, because he knew what would happen to men left to sleep in the town square. The angels did not slay the inhabitants of Sodom with swords, because they didn’t need to. They supernaturally blinded the men at Lot’s door. These very determined men then spent the night clawing for the door, seeking to sexually violate the angels.

#2:  King David’s sin with Bathsheba and Uriah, her husband:  The documentary never shows David repenting of his sin. It presents an angry, confused king, not sorrowful about his sin, but only about losing his child. This may have been man’s recording of the incident, had man written the Bible. However, our God-breathed Scripture never conceals sin. It records David’s shameful adultery with Bathsheba and his cold-blooded murder of Uriah. Nevertheless, it also records his complete and utter repentance before God. Psalm 51 is David’s prayer acknowledging his sin. In the presence of Almighty God, David humbles himself, confesses, repents, seeks God’s forgiveness and restoration. This is what made David a man after God’s own heart. Then in Psalm 32, David rejoices in God’s forgiveness.

#3:  The Bible records in the Book of Daniel, rivals coercing King Darius/Cyrus to sign a law stating, for thirty days, it is unlawful to pray to any god, but the king, under penalty of death. They did this to set a trap for Daniel, knowing he would continue his normal routine of praying to Jehovah. In portraying this scene, the documentary had Daniel praying Psalm 51, David’s prayer of repentance. Not that Daniel wouldn’t have prayed this Psalm at one time or another, because it is an incredible prayer for sinners. But, it seems the writers deliberately removed it from David’s adultery and murder scene, changing the audience reaction. The audience didn’t get to see the true king David from scripture; a flawed, sinful, broken and repentant man, who was loved, chosen, anointed and forgiven by God.

Please don’t get me wrong. I agree with Paul. I am happy about Christ being preached in every way possible. I understand the documentary was attempting to portray our entire Bible in ten, one-hour episodes, so much had to be eliminated. For the most part, The Bible mini-series is interesting, with excellent cinematography and acting. But when it comes to depicting the “spirit” of the book, I believe the writers and directors stumbled, even though their intentions were good. The word of God says it takes the Holy Spirit to interpret scripture.  Without Him, it’s only man’s interpretation.

So, what did you see in the documentary?  What questions did it raise? Can you use it as a conversation starter and witnessing tool? I pray you can and will.