Have you been watching The Bible miniseries over on the History Channel the past few weeks?
I have, and I must say, I’ve been impressed. Who knew the guy who created Survivor would decently stick to the text?
The series captures the grit of the bible. I smelled the smoke when the temple burned after the Babylonians attacked. I teared up when Isaac laid on the altar, confused and helpless. I felt the salt water spray over my face as the Red Sea was parted and a panicked people passed through on dry land.
The best stories end up being ones heard and told over and over again, yet the storyteller keeps the suspense tangible. I caught myself wondering if the unblemished lamb would show up after all. Thankfully, these stories are being told well.
As in every book-made-movie, the book is better. Still, the literary interpretations taken are just that: interpretations. Angels might be ninja-like.. I’ve never seen one, how should I know? The text isn’t clear about how God destroyed cities like Sodom, but we do know angels were fierce enough to incite fear in every single person to whom they appeared.
What about the surprises? Jon Acuff wrote this funny post last week to include some of the things we didn’t see coming.. Like those horrible Christian Mingle ads interrupting the greatest story ever told. Then Samson showed up with dreadlocks, which surely was not totally unpredictable, since he was never allowed to cut his hair. It’s not like dreadlocks were invented by the hipster generation. Nothing is new under the sun, people.
Then there was Nebachudnezzar’s unibrow. In my opinion, it was perfect. What spells evil more than a unibrow? And that man was evil. Veggie Tales watered down the evils of Babylon. The Bible does not.
The past few weeks my church has covered familiar “Children’s Stories,” which turn out not too appropriate for children after all. I’ve loved seeing the “coincidental” sermons coincide with The Bible’s weekly story. This past Sunday was the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den. Listen here.
Last week’s episode included my biblical crush, David. Saul may not have been cast handsome enough, but David? No problems there… Okay AND he was called the one “after God’s own heart.” That stuff is important guys.
I love reading the stories, but sometimes I forget these were real people. They had beards and wrinkles and children and they wore eyeliner? and they feared and loved and bled (a lot) and smiled and cried. It helps, seeing them as real people.
Some have noticed what stories were left out. Joseph, for example. Skipped. Ruth? Unmentioned. Maybe there’s something to that, or maybe there’s like a zillion stories in the Bible, and this thing is pretty long as it is. Others have complained about the excess of blood and gore, making it hard to watch with young kiddos. To that I say, um… have these people read the Bible? The entire book of Judges, for example? Weird stuff.
My social media self loves seeing #TheBible trending every Sunday night. I love the conversations the show sparks in the most unlikely places. If you’re not watching this, you should be. Feel free to watch along like me with your Bible in your lap.
The best part? The hope is real. The stories are true.