The Bible Miniseries Episodes 1&2: In the Beginning

Like many Christians, my family anxiously awaited the airing of last night’s premier of The Bible mini-series on the History Channel. We had our DVR set, dinner dishes put away and our kids bathed as the time of its airing approached. The question is: did this particular dramatic interpretation of God’s Word do its source justice?

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog post are that of the author, Lisa Strnad, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of What’s in the Bible?

Fairly, I can’t answer totally–not yet, anyway. From my perspective, I see that there is a theme which the producers are going for, which is explaining God’s plan of Redemption. This started after the fall of man and is fulfilled through Jesus’ death and Resurrection. Unlike many other Bible dramas where the stories and characters are presented in a way that rarely ties anything together, leaving the viewer convinced that the Bible is nothing more than a “collection” of nice stories, there is a purpose in the way the characters are presented in this adaptation. There is a common nature in these iconic men of the Bible which we are just starting to see unfold.

(Spoiler Alert)

In last night’s episodes we met Noah, who beautifully narrated the story of God’s creation, man’s choice to disobey God and fall from grace, and then the sinfulness which had consumed mankind since the fall. This led to God’s decision to destroy the earth and all living creatures, except those on the ark. While there was fear of the unknown, Noah was a man of faith. God was faithful in His promise to Noah.

We met Abraham, who was promised descendants more numerous than the stars. Lot, his nephew was also highlighted in last night’s episode, as was his angelic deliverance out of Sodom before the city was completely destroyed. We saw how Abraham’s faith in God and His promises grew over the years, and how God tested that faith, taking Abraham to the very brink of sacrificing his much beloved son, Isaac. We saw how God was faithful in all He said and how He provided Abraham with a sacrifice to take Isaac’s place. Such imagery. Such meaning…

We met Moses, who unlike the Charlton Heston character, was not glamorous. I think of all the iconic Bible characters who might need his own mini-series, Moses is the one! But, instead they covered The Exodus in about an hour, and while a lot of his story had to be left out, I feel they covered the most important parts of Exodus to tie into the theme of redemption. Moses trusted God, even when he couldn’t possibly understand HOW God would do what He said he’d do. God created the Law/ Covenant between He and the Israelites, and led them towards the land which He had promised. And again we see, God was faithful.

To interpret God’s Word and put it into a drama is tricky business. Adaptations of Scripture have always been met with both criticism and praise. It seems that this particular adaptation is not making it out unscathed. I’ve read comments on Facebook and Twitter saying that the story lines were Biblically inaccurate. Many picked on the angels who led Lot out of Sodom. They were truly depicted as warrior angels. I had never seen angels depicted like this before in a movie, but I do know that Michael is considered to be a warrior angel. So, why wouldn’t God send warrior angels to save Lot? I went to Genesis to read up on the angels, and right there it said, “They blinded the men” who were surrounding Lot’s home (and if you’ve forgotten what these men wanted to do with the angels, I encourage you to refresh your memory. These were not men with good intentions!) These angels also told Lot to leave the city because they were going to “destroy it”. So, yeah, these angels were probably more accurately depicted in last night’s episode than they may have been in any other.

We really enjoyed this particular adaptation of The Bible, and look forward to seeing the mini-series through to the end. I encourage you all to do the same. Follow the theme of the production, which the producers are trying to convey. The Bible, as we know, is much more than what some would call a collection of bedtime stories or fairy tales. There is a purpose for God to have breathed life into these Words. There is a reason why God inspired men to choose to include these particular books, letters and poems together, in the order and in the exclusivity that He has. This is His Love story for us all. This is His plan of redemption.

Did you watch The Bible last night? Perhaps you disagree with my perspective, please let us hear from you whatever your opinion. What did you think of The Bible?

Lisa Strnad is a weekly contributing writer/blogger to What’s in the Bible? and Jelly Telly. She has been a homeschooling mom of two, who works independently in Christian media in the areas of writing, promotions and marketing. She lives with her husband and children in Nashville,TN. Follow her personal blog posts on Talking Like A Girl.

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7 comments
Joanne Lundberg
Joanne Lundberg

I give it a thumbs up too! The way they told the Creation account was awesome! The characterizations or Noah, Moses, Abraham, Samson, Saul and David have been great!! I loved the angels being warriors and multiracial - we have far too often seen them as effeminate. After all Daniel fainted when he saw the angel Michael! Let's all pray that this does what the producers desire - drive people into the Scriptures for more and that many would gain an understanding of the Big Picture - God's power, love and justice and His plan for our Redemption. We had our Bibles out!

Bill Walsh
Bill Walsh

I am thankful that someone took this tremendous task of presenting the Bible in a format that will be watched by millions, hopefully many watching will be nonbelievers who may come to understand and know Gods love for the first time through TV, those who normally would not pick up the Bible and read it, not sure if Noah had an irish accent,appreciate the character of Moses especially those of us who have seen him portrayed by Charlton Heston, all in all thumbs up, for this effort, looking forward to the rest of the series

Virgie
Virgie

I had a lot of thoughts on last night's showing of 'The Bible'. As you pointed out, the theme is there, and that is the reason for it in the first place. But, at the risk of sounding negative, I have always had a problem with depicted Bible stories that omit dialogue as well as actions that seem appropriate to the story being told and turn around and add dialogue and unknown actions to the story. I also felt an evil feeling in the viewing from behind and at a distance, of the angels as they were depicted, coming to Abraham. My thought is, if you can't stick to the script as is, please don't add something questionable. I was also was surprised at the Noah section with the Ark being open enough to get wet and the breach in the side, strongly thinking that not biblical. Finally, GOD breathed the breath of life into man after forming him and even though they portrayed an interesting effect, didn't seem quite right.

Tim O'Neill
Tim O'Neill

Thank you for your review. I like what you said about how the mini-series is dealing with the story of redemption. I believe this is a sincerely motivated, well done take on the Scriptures. That being said, it did not grip me that much. There are dozens of dramatizations of the Bible, some well done, others not so much. I guess after seeing so many attempts to "bring the Bible to life," I wasn't overly impressed that this was something unique. I liked that the characters (like Abraham) were dirty and sweaty. I both enjoyed and shook my head at the warrior angels fighting their way out of Sodom. I wasn't bothered too much by uses of "dramatic license." But there was ultimately nothing that made me say "wow!" But then again, I may not be the target audience. Two thumbs up because it's good (really, it is), but only a smile and shrug from my own neck of the woods

beckinpa
beckinpa

We watched as a family too. The first hour was a bit bloody for my two girls ages 11 and 8 and then it was bedtime for them and they missed Moses/Exodus which was not as bloody. I know my husband and I will continue to watch it but I don't know if our girls will. Sometimes it is better to read things for yourself and let your own mind create the image than to let a Hollywood producer set the images in your mind. I told my 11 year old while tucking her in that I'm sure that one day we can all watch it together and for now she can just stick to reading the Bible herself....she was happy to comply.

Jennifer Lambert
Jennifer Lambert

Bravo on your review! I loved the warrior angels. I want me a ninja guardian angel! He was awesome! I love the theme the producers have set for the show: Trust in God. Have faith in God. All points toward Redemption. It is beautifully done. They have that disclaimer slide at the beginning that it's an adaptation and they try to "keep the spirit of the book." Brilliant! The Bible leaves lots to the imagination. Many details are left out and we wonder what might have happened. Sure, they skip over many events and it's not completely accurate, but I think it's high quality and a great missions tool. I previewed it last night, DVR'ed it, and we plan to watch it as a family tonight with Bibles and hearts open and senses ready, praying that this show will be used for the glory of God!

Li
Li

I watched it last night and I very much enjoyed it.