Have you been watching the new epic miniseries on The History Channel? “The Bible” is a 10 part mini series that started on March 3rd and is playing every Sunday at 8pm EST. The History Channel explains:
The Bible comes to life in HISTORY’s epic new series. From Genesis to Revelation, these unforgettable stories unfold through live action and cutting-edge computer-generated imagery, offering new insight into famous scenes and iconic characters. Created by producer Mark Burnett and featuring an international cast that includes Roma Downey, this 10-hour docudrama explores the sacred text’s most significant episodes, including Noah’s journey in the ark, the Exodus and the life of Jesus.
As many of you know, I’m a Christian (Episcopal flavor) and although I don’t talk about it much, I try to live with faith. I’ve always read parts of the Bible, and lately I’ve been trying to read a bit every morning before the kids wake up. We attend church regularly, say grace at meals and say our prayers with the kids every night.
While I might not be a biblical scholar, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good passing knowledge of it. It’s always amazed me how we’ve managed to make the Bible so downright BORING most of the time. It’s full of all the plot elements anyone could want. Love. Betrayal. Death and destruction. Miracles. Faith. Sex. Good triumphing over evil despite horrendous odds. God.
I mean really–how can you make THAT boring? But somehow for the most part we have managed to! That’s one of the things I’ve appreciated about the episodes of this mini series that I’ve really appreciated so far–it’s made the stories really come to life so you can see the impact and drama of them. You can see the excitement and tension that somehow seems stuffy and old fashioned when you are reading the good old King James
Not only that, but it highlighted a few facts that I had either missed or forgotten. In the first episode when they tell the story of Abraham and Lot, and how Lot moves to Sodom and the results when God decides to punish that city for their sin. . . well, not only do you really feel the emotions of the characters (making it all seem so much more real) but it made me go and look up the scenes again in the Bible–I had forgotten about the “3 visitors” who had arrived suddenly and spoken with Abraham, and the way the angels had blinded those who were after Lot.
Now it’s not perfect. I’ve only watched the 1st episode so far but I’ve noticed a few things. In the first scene when Noah starts speaking with a heavy Scottish accent it kind of freaked me out and took me a minute to stop thinking about how odd the accent seemed for the circumstance. I had to mentally readjust my suspension of disbelief and then I was ok again.
The series also jumps a bit between stories. In the first episode you start with Noah, then you move on to Abraham, then suddenly you are into Moses, and then back to Abraham then finishing with Moses. For a minute I thought I had missed a section!
You can enjoy the series even if your knowledge of the Bible is limited (in fact it’s a great introduction!) but they do skim over some parts. I mean heck–even with 10 hours of film time you can’t fit the entire Bible in! For example, the just sort of glossed over the particulars of the plagues that God sent to Pharoh in Exodus–they showed shots of frogs and locus and such but didn’t really go into a blow by blow of each plague.
They don’t shy away from any of the gore–the fight scenes are fight scenes worthy of a PG13 movie–so you may want to take a look before sitting your child in front of this. They were fairly oblique about sexuality–like when Abraham’s wife Sarah told him to sleep with the slave girl in order to be able to have a child. You see him coming out of the tent fully dressed and the young woman under the sheet. They also completely cut out all of the sexual elements in the portion about Lot, the angels and Lot’s daughters in the Sodom section. (not sure what I’m talking about? Check out Genesis 19:4-8)
All in all I’ve felt it’s a great series so far and will be watching the rest of the episodes. If you’ve already missed it, or just want a copy to keep and watch again–don’t worry, it’s available through Walmart.com as a DVD or Blu-Ray! You can pre-order of this wonderful series now on Walmart.com (it started on 3/5/13) You get some really neat extras when you pre-order. There is a free digital HD copy of the Bible available only to pre-sell customers and some exclusive VUDU content – a “First Look” of all 10 episodes on Vudu!
There are also 3 companion books available at Walmart: