Wednesday, July 3, 2013

History Channel's "The Bible" Reviewed

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good story. I particularly savor the beauty of such a story when shown on the big screen and told by a skilled cameraman. I relish witty dialogue penned by a sharp script writer, and I find myself immersed in a story portrayed by excellent actors. My heart swells with excitement when a well-written soundtrack pulls me into every emotion.

In short, a good story told with film can move my soul like little else can.

When I started watching The Bible series I expected to enjoy the story of the Bible played out on the screen.  I expected it to be well done and worth a bit of time.

What I didn't expect was the way it would impact me on the inside. Most Americans are familiar with many of the stories of both the New and Old Testaments. I, myself, have read these stories countless times. And they inspire me.

But, like the best literature, these stories are so deep that you can go through them 100 times and still realize something new on the 101st time.
The beauty of The Bible series is that it told the stories using a visual medium. It was like when I stood in St. Peter’s Basilica a Cathedral in Rome, my eyes transfixed on Michelangelo’s statue of Mary holding Jesus' body. The Scripture describes so much with words, but that statue captures something that cannot be expressed in words.

Words cannot express the way I feel after watching a visual portrayal of the calling of Matthew the disciple and the transformation of Saul of Tarshish into the Apostle Paul. The stoning of Stephen, the transformation of Nicodemus the Pharisee, the friendship of David and Jonathan, the awesomeness of the angles in Sodom, and the power of Peter's testimony were brought to life on the screen and brought the overarching story of God's story of redemption and love to life.

I could nitpick about how I didn't like the choice to use a narrator, the smallness of the crowds during the Exodus, or the wildness of the Prophet Jeremiah. But those issues were miniscule compared to everything else. I cannot claim that this series will change your life, but I can tell you that it changed mine.

The series isn't a substitute for the Scriptures, but it rings true to the central narrative: the transforming nature of what Christ does in our lives when we follow him.

If you are interested in reading more, Daniel Noa wrote a more detailed and traditional review for Looking for Overland and you can read it here

Posted by Jeremiah Lorrig

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