A short review of the History Channel’s week two of “The Bible”

March 11, 2013

This is not going to be easy. The show is an interesting mix of scenes from the biblical narrative and it is correctly centered on God’s covenant of land and grace with Abraham. The depiction of Samson is really interesting and it did seem to capture his overruling passions. We spend some time with Samuel and Saul, but the back story is absent.. Moving right along to David, the script avoids an apparent biblical conflict in the story of how David met Saul. Was it the court musician, or the victor over a giant? This, again, gets us down to the real problem of the program. The biblical narrative is just that, it is a written story meant to be read. Yes, the production misses Nathan’s speech to David, and the explicit curses included, it cannot deliver the subtleties of the inspired written word. I have the nagging feeling that David’s evolution into a warrior is not properly developed. This is important because God forbids David to build the temple because of the blood on his hands.

All of the rich and very human characters seem to be disembodied. Devout Christians may have some fun looking for errors and retelling their favorite stories, but the real end should be to relate the real biblical stories to people who have no idea.

Alice Linsley has already posted her lengthy and rich review of episode 2 on her “Just Genesis” blog. I am feeling like a real slacker. Where does she find the time? It is very interesting stuff!

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