Monday, 4 March 2013

The Bible Series: First thoughts (1)

Please forgive me, just giving my thoughts, randomly as I watch this new show. Perhaps some time in the next 100 years this will gain coherence.

1. History Channel Original Story? Wow, this is a first.

2. Ignores creation, begins with the Ark, this is unusual. I'm sure the ad showed Eve eating the fruit. Ah there we are, a Scottish Noah is going to read Genesis.

3. Already dislike this, Wouldn't it have been better to portray God with a booming voice? Instead of some Scottish dude reading it? Noah says "Let there be light" But its pants in comparison to how it could have been if Noah had said "God said" and then a supreme boom "LET THERE BE LIGHT". Thats what God deserves.

4.Then we have Noah repairing the damage to the ship, the going straight back to reading genesis, this sort of idiocy has to be seen to be believed. its not really a story to calm the kids down. Also lets not forget that The Ark is gigantic (far too much for 8 people to look after if it was damaged), I seriously doubt God would have allowed so much as a crack in the bow let alone holes. Once again History Channel forgets divine providence. What an awful way to start the series.

5.Okay, way to quickly gloss over the whole sin thing, apparently man lived in paradise until eve sinned. Oh okay..carry on.. Eve is utterly gorgeous by the way. I would have preferred her as Noah lol

6. Satan is some pale-skinned zombie looking fellow. When the bible clearly states that Satan is beautiful and an "angel of light". I can accept him looking ugly because thats how he is often envisioned these days. But its not biblically accurate.

7. a. Apparently God has seen too much evil in human hearts.I thought that the God regretted having made mankind because our thoughts CONTINUALLY were wicked. Its not a balance of scales here, prior to the flood man was in complete rebellion against God.

7. b. Wrong choices, wrong decisions, thats why this [the flood] is happening. Again this is answered by (a.) but even more so, what kind of theology is this? It makes it seem a bit like "oh poor humanity making all these mistakes", no. Sin is pure rebellion against God, lawlessness. It is often done in ignorance, but its said in the NT that times of ignorance are over. In the OT, sin in ignorance is rewarded with a prophet who God uses to bring to repentance. The flood is not caused by sin done in ignorance, but by rebellion, wickedness. So, this flood narrative is heretical, its false doctrine. Man is not in any way ignorant. In fact, this narrative makes God look cruel and uncaring for punishing poor naive humanity who made wrong decisions, why didn't God just say "oh, humanity, stop what you're doing"? It would be much easier wouldn't it. This is NOT genesis 6.

8. "Our creator decided to cleanse the Earth", no our creator decided to wipe out humanity, save Noah and his family, Genesis s6 ays that God decided to wipe out humanity - completely - then Noah came to his attention.

"And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."

Cleansing implies renewal, this was utter destruction. I'm perhaps nitpicking, but I am 3:42 into this show and already have more than my usual blog posts.

9. An aside, looking at the ark, it tends to imply that this was done quickly, theres no beds, it looks uncomfortable - as if done quickly. But thats not the case - it took 100 years or more to build the ark, in that time its quite possible that Noah preached to others to warn them. It kind of implies that God decided to smite the heathens and was like "Noah build an ark", Noah built the ark, and God smited, but the story is far more complex than that.

10. From the outside the CGI ark looks amazing. After all it is the history channel. Don't know about the rainbow though, wrong place wrong time.

11. Here we go, its finally started, we have Abraham. It seems a bit better now. They're using the guy who plays Jesus (a portuguese model of all people) as the voice of the OT God. Very good, by the time we get to the gospel we will be familiar with that voice. I agree with this decision. Although I think they could have gotten someone a little less pretty (Isaiah 53 says Jesus wasn't exactly attractive) and a little more deeper voice and better English accent - Silly as it sounds, David Tennant using his Doctor Who voice would have been better. Or even the guy who actually plays Abraham. The sort of New Age Jesus of the catholics is NOT historically accurate.

12. Abraham comes from Ur, the first question anyone from Ur would have asked is, which god has called him? Monotheism would have been alien to these people. It would have been to them as "a god has called Abraham, he would have to explain that there is one God greater than all other Gods". It seems a little to blaze for my liking. Also how would these people know that Sarah could never have children? Did they have maternity doctors to do ultrasounds? The bible doesn't say that Sarah can never have children. But that she never had children - barren is not a diagnosis but a description. Thats why Sarah laughs that she will have children at 80, because she is so old! Not because she is medically incapable.

13. I like the characterization of Lot's wife as the one who says no. Although it isn't biblical its a good guess that she would be skeptical of moving away. Ur would have been similar to Sodom. Although not as voracious in its appetite for sin. As the precursor to Babylon (Ur of the Chaledeans - Chaldea being Babylon) it is obviously polytheistic, sharing many traits to Sodom and Gomorrah.

14. Now Lot's wife annoys me. Nowhere does the bible say that Lot's wife was domineering. Its also historically inaccurate. Woman did not speak to their husbands like this in them times - just look at the middle east today for some idea of what women were treated like back then. Obviously the feminists had a hand in this. It's still a good precursor to what is to come. Divine providence perhaps? Strong females get turned to salt? haha 

15. Now Lot's wife speaks to Abraham like that? Wow, better get the cat and nine tails out.

16. Abraham and Lot both agreed to move, it was a move out of wisdom, not out of necessity. Abraham was not against the move. Bad characterization. -I'm still only 10 minutes in here. This is what happens when you have scholars like Joel Osteen as a production consultant. Let me break the logic of these scenes down here:

Lots wife looks back at Sodom (biblical)
therefore lots wife is bad (not necessarily, she was killed for looking back not for anything else)
therefore lots wife was against the move from the start ( no evidence, she was mentioned once)
therefore Lot's wife hates God (not evidenced by looking back, at most she did it out of sentimentality)
Therefore Lot's wife was domineering and  yet no one smacked her for insolence (which they would have in those days)


Therefore Abraham doesn't want to split up from Lot, yet Lot's wife does. Even though the bible says Abraham and Lot wanted to do this to stop the men from fighting.

17. Abraham asks Lot where he wants to go? The bible says Abraham said where to go:


Genesis 13:8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.



18. Lets not forget all thats been cut out, Abraham (actually Abram) meets Kings, tells them that Sarah is his sister etc

19.Sodom is a dangerous land, yet as 17. shows Abraham let him go wherever he wanted, he told him to seperate in reality.

10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. 

No warnings from Abraham that Sodom is dangerous. What is this - the bible for dummies? Why are they being so blatantly inaccurate? Who wrote this? Oh yeah - a "Hollywood power couple"

Apparently Abraham is not pleased with God, again something never mentioned in the Bible - why is that? Cos it never happened. Here is what History channel says about Abraham "Having no children of his own, Lot is the closest thing that Abraham has to a son" - then it quotes Abraham as saying to God "How can I lead a people, when I can't even lead my own family". Hilarity of course ensues when we realise that in the actual Bible Abraham DID lead his own family! Fake drama, meant of course to give us faith in God - yeah right.

20. Abraham now apparently has "some trained men", he blames himself for bringing Lot and his family with them, and for telling them to have faith in God. From the bible's Abraham who has ABSOLUTE faith in God, we have this 21st century caricature who has absolutely no faith in God, has only heard God once - has no direction in life. This just makes no sense - this is about as biblically accurate (in fact is less accurate) than the Prince of Egypt is about Moses. For reference I am 12 minutes 23 seconds in.

21. Abraham is attempting to convince his wife that he must help Lot against the raiders (Kings from various kingdoms - can't remember which but I know Sodom is on the good side, this is just prior to Melchizedek and the blessing which Hebrews mentions). In all honestly, Abraham would have said something like "We are to rescue my nephew Lot, assemble the trained men", His wife would have dutifully made bread, water and provisions, and off they would have gone - THAT is biblically accurate.

22. Valley of Siddim looks very nice, it is filled with trees. Whether or not that is accurate is up to producers. It is part trees part desert from what I can find on google images.

23. love the use of slow motion violence. Not gratuitous and glorifying at all. For anyone who says the bible glorifies violence, this is proof that the TV does it far more. Its one thing being told that violence occurred, but being shown it in slow motion is far worse.

24. Are these actually Christians writing this? take a look at around 15 minutes, they make Abraham look like a psychopath - even the look in his eyes when he says "So few of us against so many, truly God is with us". He looks evil. How can anyone view him sympathetically when he has blood on his face and is revelling in all this violence. this is despicable.


25. what is this fake drama about Abraham and Lot, Abraham never asked Lot to stay, its not Abrahams mission! He was there to populate and spread his faith. God never said Lot had anything to do with this! Abraham saved Lot because he was his nephew, but this is not the Bible's Abraham. "Please Lot we have to stay together", erm no? The liberties taken by the writers are actually saying the opposite to what the Bible says.

26. Abraham the madman having psychotic episodes whilst looking at the stars. You look at this and say -does the bible actually say anything about God? "the stars, the stars count them". If a single christian watched this and thought it was good and biblically accurate, I despair at the state of the church today. Abraham here looks more possessed than blessed. He looks like a guy broken in despair at his nephew leaving him. Even the Cambridge bible commentary which looks from a 'more modern' perspective, didn't resort to this. At least it tried to be theologically and biblically accurate, but this is more like the work of the devil than of christians - yes i went there. The blessings God said to Abraham, Abraham is now saying to Sarah, whilst Sarah goes "shhh" thinking hes lost the plot.

27. Apparently Sarah never heard a word God said. So instead of supporting Abraham's faith she mocks it. Again - this is not the Sarah of the Bible, but a fake one made by Hollywood.

28. Apparently Abraham didn't like Hagar - He was a one woman man. Again refuting the bible which never says anything about it. Abraham here is indecisive, weak and a little crazy. Whilst I would contend that Abraham loved Sarah more than he loved Hagar, I don't think that He refused her.
In fact Sarah says "Perhaps through Hagar I can have a child", for both Abraham and Sarah this could be seen as what God means when he says that Abraham will have descendants as large as the sands of the sea. But this is just gratuitous.


29. Making out that Hagar is some sort of adulteress who felt guilty. She was a legitimate wife of Abraham, Sarah was jealous, but this is not treated as if that was right. God blessed Hagar by saving her son Ishmael, and giving him his own kingdom and descendants. Hagar had faith in him "the God who sees". So the way these heretics treat this subject is completely wrong. As you can see I am getting more and more unhappy with what I am seeing here.


30. I like the way they did Sarah's announcement of a baby coming in 1 year. It was done very well. About the only thing they have done with any sort of reverence. Of course in reality it didn't happen like this. But its a good approximation. We cannot be sure that Jesus was there in the camp, or whether or not it was an Angel of the Lord (often referred to as The Lord - because they were proxies and spoke with God's authority). The only disappointment is that they didn't show Abraham literally convince them to stay. I haven't yet seen Abraham bargain with God. But maybe this will come shortly.

31. "Sodom has become corrupt" yes this is true (thankfully they didn't become so gratuitous as to show man on man action, although some implication may have been more biblically accurate). Apparently fire-breathing is sinful. I like that they have mentioned sin first time in 23 minutes. From mistakes in the pre-flood world, to actual sin in Sodom. Which is worse? You decide.

32. "But my nephew Lot lives there!" - erm, Abraham never said that.
You see, Downey and Burnett have turned Abraham into a 21st century self centred boy-girl.
Instead of Abraham being a friend of God, hes one of Osteen's church attendees. He actually stands there in front of Christ (as is implied) himself and says "YOU'RE GOING TO DESTROY IT? THE WHOLE CITY". Not as a faithful servant, but as someone in righteous indignation at the creator of the universe. Would you dare to speak to God like that? I wouldn't. The real Abraham, faithfully plead for the righteous, he knew what sin was. His bargaining wasn't for the sinners, but for the saved. The difference here is astounding. He's like a B movie actor and God is an invading alien. Notice also how Abraham calls the righteous - 'good' and the wicked 'evil'. Remember that "There is no one good, no not one", Jesus said "only God is good". righteous does not mean good.

33. The bible never declares anyone good. Only righteous. Abraham here is not speaking as he would have. Our Abraham would be on his knees, not daring to look into the eyes of God (no one has ever seen God) let alone stand there before him as an equal. 

34. The angels with Lot completely rewritten. When the angels arrive at the city in the bible, the city is calm, Lot comes accross to meet them and offers them shelter. 

They are here to JUDGE the city.

In this travesty, the angels have been attacked and have blood on their faces and ask Lot for help.
They even said in this that they were here to decide the fate of Sodom.

This is evidently for dramatic effect, and to cut out Lot offering his daughters to help his guests. 

Abraham continues to impose his opinion on Jesus, who doesn't answer (because God is evil in this adaptation), Abraham is righteous, whilst the bible is testing Abraham, and testing Lot, and God is being proven right in his decision to choose Abraham as the father of all nations. The History Channel decides to make Abraham appear more righteous than God, who is simply vengeful and needs Abraham to talk him round.

35. Lots wife is screaming at Lot "What are you doing who are these people?" indeed she would in this adaptation, because right now the city is under siege, who is so biblically illiterate to write this rubbish?





36. Why are Lot and his wife hiding? What are they hiding from? There was no threat until Lot convinced the angels to stay with him and eat. The angels would have simply destroyed the crowd, and judgment would have been passed. But the crowd wanted to have them, and now Lot had proved himself righteous, so the angels made a way him and his family to escape. The threat didnt arise until the angels entered the house. So why are they hiding?



37. Apart from the PC not mentioning the daughters thing (which i guess is why they rewrote that story) and no explanation of why those men wanted to break into Lot's house. The bit where the angels blind the crowd, is quite good. I don't know why the Angels are dressed as Roman soldiers, but I'll let that slide.




38. Gratuitous Angels with swords rubbish. Surprised that one of the angels didn't scream out loud "VENGEANCE IS MINE SAITH THE LORD" as he chopped one of the Sodomites in half. I suppose one of the writers was sitting there chuckling thinking "well, we've got to have a bit of fun with it haven't we teehee".

39.All this violence, when the angels had already blinded these folks, Lot and all them just walked out, As far as I am aware, the bargain happened long before the smiting, and Abraham saw none of it.

Also, Lots wife looked back at her family, not at the city. This makes no sense, she was far away when she looked back, and was safe.

40. I'm quite worried about how the bible docu will present Abraham and Isaac sacrifice. 40 points of contention at only 30 minutes in. These aren't even extravagant dislikes, its simple biblical literacy I'm asking for here.

41.  Why is Sarah annoyed? She looks at Hagar and Ishmael talking with Abraham and is jealous? They've always been there, shes always been jealous. This is not the reason she had them cast out, but because they were mocking Isaac. Honestly from the portrayal here, Hagar would be the more righteous choice, Sarah seems like a selfish old crone. Hagar the young, beautiful and dutiful mother.
Again however, half the story is missing. Hagar being told by God that Ishmael would marry and survive, no talk of Abraham's dealing with kings. very disappointed.

 42. Okay here we are at 35 minutes. This is a prime example of how Abraham is portrayed, sitting in a field all alone when woosh, a gust of wind comes, and he hears God, but we don't. If someone reacted like that today, he'd be in a straitjacket. Look at how disobedient he is, look at how God is protrayed as being less moral than Abraham. The bible never says that Abraham refused and was forced into it by God. This folks, this isn't the bible, this is very much a liberal, post-modernist interpretation of the bible, with psychology tacked on (This is how people 'would' act in reality). Abraham here is not the father of the nations, but a middle class dad who works 9-5 and goes to the big game every sunday with his kids, cut and paste from 2013 AD into 2000 BC. Don't fall for it. The way we act today is a lot different to how people then acted - this is the truth! We live in an artificial system engineered by media today.

-I'm going to now move onto a new page, otherwise this will take forever for you to read.

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