History Channel Mangles The Bible
Well, I’ve watched the first two parts of The Bible from the History Channel and I can honestly say I’m unimpressed.
I’m less than unimpressed.
I’m downright mortified.
Now, I understood going into this, that covering the entirety of The Bible in 10 hours of television would mean that context and depth would be minimal, at best. The richness of the mosaic that the Bible paints, from creation to new creation, isn’t something that can be easily covered in two-hour snippets.
That being said, I didn’t think it would be this bad.
Bad enough to make Veggie Tales come across as a much more serious scholarly work.
The good folks at Fuller have been keeping track of some of the inaccuracies on their Facebook page.
Some of the things seen in this train-wreck of a show are:
- A Scottish Noah
- Ninja angels that sweep through Sodom and Gomorrah
- Sarah running up the mountain after Abraham is stopped from sacrificing Isaac
- A Moses that is a confident charismatic leader
- Hebrew slaves covering for Moses killing the Egyptian (Exodus 2:11-12)
- No golden calf at all!
- No Miriam and her role in the Exodus
- No mention of “remove your sandals” during the burning bush OR to Joshua speaking to the Lord’s commander
- The spies in Jericho going all ninjitsu on the Philistines before being hidden by Rahab.
- Oh, yeah, glossing over Rahab
- Ruth? Who is this Ruth you speak of?
- Deborah, Gideon, Jephthah who?
- The Philistines (mostly white) say they must stop Samson (who is black) because they don’t want “those people taking our women”
- Just completely skipping the 20 or so years between Jawbone Hill and Samson meeting Delilah
- Depicting Samson as a Christ figure (thanks Pete Enns for catching this)
- Delilah cutting Samson’s hair with what looked like garden shears instead of her “calling a man over to cut his hair” while Samson slept in her lap (Judges 16:19)
- Skipping the bits about a young Saul and, well, missing his anointing by, oh, 30 years
- Skipping Jonathan and the armor bearer (1 Samuel 14)
- Samuel stumbling on David (yet another wholesale change to the story)
- David reciting Psalm 23 before facing Goliath…cheeeeeeeesy!
- Glossing over David and Jonathan
- Sanitizing David and Bathsheba
…Episode 2 ended with Solomon as a child.
Of all the events that the show gets most accurate are, well, where the Israelites are the conquering army.
There seems to be a very distinct theme woven in the first two episodes, and probably the entire series, one of militarism and nationalism and, as a strong undercurrent, Euro supremacy.
Some of the strongest contextual pieces of the OT stories depicted so far are completely missing, changing the entire mosaic of the scripture being presented from one of faith, repentance, and dependence on God into God’s crusaders.
If the OT pieces of this show are this bad, I fear what they’ll do to the NT