Biblical anthropologist reviews the History Channel’s production of “The Bible”

March 8, 2013

Christian apologist, former Episcopal presbyter, and biblical anthropologist Alice C. Linsley has posted an excellent review of the History Channel’s production of “The Bible” on her Just Genesis blog.  She gives it a “C.” Part two airs Sunday evening. Here is what Linsley said and a link to the full article.

Dramatic and conventional in its portrayal… that’s how I characterize the History Channel’s presentation of Genesis and Exodus. Did it present Abraham’s Horite people faithfully? Not at all. This was a rehash of old interpretations that fail to tell the whole story. In other words, a missed opportunity.

The program clearly stirred interest because after it aired this blog had over 300 reads in less than 30 minutes. The higher traffic continued the following day. People arrived from different search engines with questions like “Who was Abraham’s firstborn son?” and “What color was Abraham?”

If you watched the program, try to imagine theses changes:

Cain establishes a city and so does his brother Seth. These are great rulers over fertile lands in what is today the Sudan and central Nile Valley.

Noah’s ark has a wooden frame and is covered with bundles of reeds. No Siberian tigers on the ark. The ark floated in the area of Lake Chad and came to rest on a mountain in East Africa.

Abraham, the youngest of Terah’s three sons does not look like a European Jew, but instead has a reddish brown to black skin tone because he is of Kushite ancestry. Lot, Abraham’s nephew, would have a similar look.

Lot’s choice to move to the plain was motivated by greener pastures for his flocks, but it was regarded as a bad decision because it broke with the pattern of his Horite ancestors who inhabited the higher terrain. This was not a conflict between rural and urban dwellers, as presented in the dialogue.  Horites also lived in the shrine cities which were on hills or mounds (tells).

Abraham and Sarah are much richer than portrayed. He is recognized as a “prince” among the Canaanites (Gen. 23:6). They are of the ruling class.  Hagar and Masek, though concubines, are royal handmaids.

Read it all here.

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2 Responses to “Biblical anthropologist reviews the History Channel’s production of “The Bible””


  1. Thanks, Pat, for posting this about my research. I appreciate it very much. Your readers may be interested in my review of episode 2 which will appear at Just Genesis tomorrow.


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