The long-awaited first episode of The Bible premiered on the History Channel on March 3 from 8:00-10:00 p.m. The first episode of the 5-part mini-series was titled "Beginnings." It opened with a storm-tossed ark riding above a flooded world with Noah giving the account of creation to his family. One of Noah's daughters-in-law asked if they would ever see land again. While this isn't something recorded in the Bible, it is a tool used by the producers to create a compelling drama that makes connections through dialogue, scenes and narrative in an effort to appeal to modern viewers. At the start of this first episode, the producers announced that, "It endeavors to stay true to the spirit of the book," something they accomplished.
"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." – History Channel
Within the first five minutes, the two hour series premier covered the creation of man, the fall of man in the garden, and the murder of Abel all through Noah's narration. This technique tied how all those stories in effect led to the flood and salvation for Noah and his family.
The graphics and special effects were well done, and the ark presented a historically accurate representation. Powerful narration helped move the timeline along without depicting every aspect of the biblical account. The account jumped from Noah to Abraham with a short verbal transition. "Before billions can believe in him, one person had to believe in him and leave his home. God promised all the people of the earth would be blessed through Abraham," who was played by Gary Oliver.
The entire first episode in this mini-series was driven by stories of faith. Noah built the ark by faith. Abraham left his home by faith. He believed he would be a father by faith, and when asked to sacrifice his son, he obeyed by faith knowing God had promised descendants through his son Isaac. Moses returned to Egypt by faith, met face to face with Pharaoh by faith, and led the Israelites through the Red Sea by faith. The first episode ended with Joshua leading the Israelites into the Promise Land.
The Bible did an excellent job bringing the pages of Scripture to life, breathing energy, excitement, and soul into biblical accounts for a modern viewership. A few liberties like angels dressed like solders and equipped with weapons who slash their way through the city streets of Sodom as they rescue Abraham's nephew Lot and his family, were a bit of a stretch, but overall, the special effects and the adaptation worked well.
The first episode concluded with another quick overview. Moses led the Israelites to Mount Sinai where he first met God in the burning bush. He's given the 10 Commandments, and then forty years later, Joshua prays for God to help him lead the Israelites into the Promise Land.
With so much history to cover, The Bible did an accurate job of condensing the story. This series is one worth watching.