– Ben Martens

History Channel’s “The Bible”

The second episode of the History Channel mini-series “The Bible” has now aired. Tyla and I watched the first one and are about halfway through the second. I heard quite a few discussions leading up to it wondering how accurate it would be, and expectations were pretty low. But after 3 hours of the show, I’ll say that I’m fairly impressed.

Sure it’s not 100% accurate. There are some small embellishments here and there and they do expand some short sentences in the Bible to multi-minute scenes, but overall I’m impressed. I’ve had quite a few thoughts as I watched it:

  • The show has raised countless questions in my head as I empathize a bit more with the participants or think in a different way about stories I’ve heard hundreds of times before. What did it feel like for Noah as all the people he knew were clamoring to get into the ark after the door shut? How willing was Lot to help the angels or Rahab to help the spies? These types of questions have sparked some good conversations on our couch.
  • The Bible is violent. Too often I pull up the Sunday school version of a story when I hear it, but in reality it was much more gruesome and intense.
  • There’s so much that is left out of the show, but they’re trying to cover the entire Bible in 10 hours (including commercials.)

When you read the Bible, there’s a strong theme throughout the Old Testament showing how God was directing it all to send Jesus to die and save us. That theme hasn’t come through very well in the show. That’s probably the biggest negative. They’re shooting the mini-series using the Bible as pure history book with very little religion. While it’s true that the Bible is an excellent historical record, it’s so much more than that.

So far, I’d call this an easy win. For believers, I’d say most of us are enjoying watching the director’s take on the Bible. And surely there are at least a couple people out there that are going to think twice after seeing this and dig into the Bible a bit deeper. They’ll come up with more questions and hopefully they’ll head to a church for some answers.