Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Final Post on the The Bible on the History Channel

I know I said that I was going to wait until I saw the whole series of “The Bible” on the History channel and then make my comments. I am sorry to take so long to do that but I have been traveling and then was very busy when I returned to Guam. I was able to watch the last installments of the series at my daughter’s house in Texas and I have to say that these were the best (especially the final episode) of the series. Again, yes they got some details wrong and had some things out of order but I think they got the big picture right. The main thing was that they resisted the temptation to do cheesy re-enactments of the resurrection and/or the 2nd coming as some Bible movies have done. I thought they did it in an understated, but true to the text way, without the import of too much non-biblical material to make things more exciting. I also liked the way they portrayed the spiritual battle between Christ and Satan, sin, death and the forces of darkness in the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. They got the big picture right.

I especially liked the trial and crucifixion scenes. They managed to portray both the physical and spiritual suffering of Jesus without getting so gruesome that I had to turn away, as happened with several scenes in The Passion of the Christ. I also appreciated that they let me experience the resurrection much as the disciples did, through the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. I thought it the whole thing portrayed well the passion events. I had a tear in my eye throughout the whole episode.

I also appreciated that they continued the story beyond the resurrection into the Acts narrative. The interplay in the conversion of Paul between the direct vision of Jesus and the human witness of Ananias was done well. The special effects were well done in the coming of the Spirit in Pentecost. I could see it happening that way. Again, there were some events they got out of order and they left some out that I would have put in but I thought they got the message basically right. Jesus continuing His work through the apostles was the theme and they got that balance well.

The final scene on Patmos was a good way to end. I am really glad they didn’t try to portray the apocalyptic imagery in Revelation. The final vision of the risen Jesus saying He is with us always and the command to go brought the series to an appropriate ending.

The only negative thing I can say about the ending of the series was that I didn’t like the increased frequency of commercials and the pushing of the CD series. I know it is not a sin to make a buck, but the commercialization of the Gospel always strikes a bad chord for me. The CD’s were already in Walmart the next day. There is just something about “the Bible presented by Walmart” that doesn’t seem right to me. I would say that if one wants to study the Bible it would be best to read it, rather than watch the video series. That being said, if the video gets people into the Book it is worthwhile. So, though my thumb is not way up, I give the series overall a “thumbs up.”

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