Part one of the mini-series “The Bible" aired on the History Channel on Sunday, March 3. The 10-hour series will air with two-hour parts every Sunday night with the final airing on Easter Sunday, March 31.
The series will cover Genesis to Revelation with each airing containing two or three biblical stories told through live action and computer generated imagery.
Roma Downey, 52, used to play Monica on "Touched by an Angel" and her third husband Mark Burnett, 52, producer of "Survivor" are the creators and producers of “The Bible" series. Downey also stars in the role as Mary, the mother of Jesus.
A Review of Part One
With the first two-hours of "The Bible" series completed, this writer who is an ordained minister of Christian education and who has been a Bible teacher for the past five decades admits that if she didn't know the Bible before watching the first part, she wouldn't have been able to understand it from what she saw.
Let's give credit where credit is due. What is portrayed is good for television, and so far the series serves its dramatic purpose; however, from the first episode these are this writer's concerns.
The stories are incomplete. They are just snippets. People cannot learn the Bible by seeing this series. Too much is left out, and understandably so. Thousands of years cannot possibly be compacted into 10 hours without leaving out major portions.
Viewers are left hanging without knowing what happened. For example. when Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael out into the desert, it is not shown what happened to them. What happened to them is such a beautiful story that's not shown in the series.
Another concern is that when Abraham takes Isaac to Mount Moriah, the Bible says nothing about Sarah running behind them. In the movie she is seen running up the hill and hugging Isaac after the near sacrifice, and it appears that she is rolling her eyes at Abraham. Admittedly, it is a chilling scene seeing Isaac on the altar with the knife coming down, but that was between God and Abraham, not Sarah. It was Abraham's ultimate test.
This writer's biggest concern about the first part of the series is that there is a big gap from the Mount Moriah scene to the next scene where the Israelites are in Egypt. The series shows no evidence of how they got there.
The generations of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph were omitted altogether. Joseph is the link to Egypt. That's how the Israelites got to Egypt in the first place. The Bible devotes 14 chapters to Joseph (Genesis 37-50) explaining what happened before he sent for his relatives to join him in Egypt. You wouldn't know that from "The Bible" series. All that was omitted.
This article is not to bring criticism to the efforts of Mark Brunett and Roma Downey. However, as a Bible teacher, this writer can say that the series might be just enough to get people to dig deeper into the Bible on their own because there are definitely some major parts that could have been included and some minor parts that could have been left out.
The greatest hope of this writer is that by seeing "The Bible" series, people will be provoked to study the scriptures on their own. That's the only way they will be able to get the full measure of God's word.
Watch "The Bible" series on the History Channel on Sunday nights and on Lifetime on Monday nights.
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