New History Channel “Bible” series premieres
On Sunday, March 3, the History Channel premiered the 10-part miniseries, “The Bible,” which goes through the historical events of both the Old and New Testaments. Five parts will cover the O.T., and five will cover the N.T. The premiere on Sunday, which included the first two parts of the series, dealt with familiar events and characters from Genesis and Exodus — the Flood and Noah’s ark (flashing back to creation and Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden), Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Lot, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Moses, the Exodus and the Ten Commandments.
Notably missing from the episodes were Jacob, Esau and Joseph, although understandably, as it is a hard task to cover the entirety of the Bible — more than 4,000 years of history — in 10 hours of film.
But overall, the series did a good job of staying close to the biblical narrative. It is refreshing to see something edifying come out of Hollywood that does not attempt to mock, twist, or distort the sacred scriptures.
History Channel’s “The Bible” presents the historical events from the Bible as real history, not allegory or fables. On the ark, Noah tells his children about the historical reality of the creation of the universe in six days, and the Fall from the Garden of Eden when sin entered the world through Adam and Eve’s transgression of God’s command to them.
The Bible is often treated by secular society and academia as if it were a mere collection of myths and fables. And the historical events of the Bible are often treated by Christians as allegorical or metaphorical, even though Jesus himself attests to the historicity of all the Old Testament events (Matt. 12:39-40; 19:4-5; 23:35; 24:37-39; Mark 12:26; Luke 17:28, 32).
These events really did happen — these are not mere tales or stale stories from Sunday school, but rather, true and miraculous historical events that were “written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Rom. 15:4, NASB). These are stories that testify to the astonishing work of God throughout history, and how he has remained faithful and true, and at work in the history of the world. The biblical narratives are powerful chronicles which encourage, strengthen, and edify us as Christians.
Although it is no substitute for the good book itself, History Channel’s “The Bible” does a fine job of bringing the biblical narrative to film, much like “The Ten Commandments” and “The Passion of the Christ.” While the History Channel rendition does not exhibit the same stellar cinematography and authenticity of “The Passion” (in which the actors spoke Latin, Aramaic and Hebrew), it is still a noble effort to bring the Bible to film.
I am excited to see how the rest of the series will pan out, and I hope it stays faithful to the biblical accounts. I recommend “The Bible” series, and encourage you to watch the remaining eight parts, which will conclude on Easter Sunday with Revelation.