“The Bible” History Channel Style

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.” John 5:39,40)

Tonight marks the airing of the first episode of the History Channel’s “The Bible,” and it seems as if a lot of folks are awfully excited about it. Me, I don’t know. I’m not in the loop as they say, and while “faith celebrities” like Warren and Osteen were privy to a sneak preview, like you; I’ll have to watch it like normal folks. As I have not seen the series, it would be foolish and presumptuous for me to comment on it; however, I will venture some preliminary thoughts.

I do frequently watch the History Channel, that is, when they actually air something reputed to be of historical relevance and not the so called “reality- TV” they seem to be promoting these days ( by the way, “The Bible” is produced by the reality-TV heavyweight Mark Burnett and his wife, the actress Roma Downey). On a number of occasions, when the History Channel has televised programs which utilize the Bible, I have observed gross mishandling of the scriptural texts. So, I suggest that if you watch this mini-series,  check out your Bible as to accuracy. The problem is, we live in a biblically illiterate culture. Many (even Christians) will accept the History Channel’s version of the Bible as “reality,” without having read the Bible themselves.

Most importantly, when the series moves into the New Testament, be discerning as to the way in which Jesus is portrayed. Watch to see if the History Channel’s Jesus is depicted as God. The Bible says that although Jesus is indeed fully man, he is also God the Son, the logos who is life itself. The Bible teaches that no one can “understand” God, come to him, or have any relationship with him, accept through Jesus. Jesus himself said in the book of John, “All who hear from the Father come to me.” I think the most important thing to watch for in this mini-series will be the way in which Jesus is depicted.

Regardless, of how it turns out, at least the series may prove to be a means by which the believer can enter into conversation with others about the Bible, in particular the Jesus of the Bible. So, if you watch “The Bible,” watch it with your Bible in your lap, be discerning as to how Jesus is portrayed, and be prepared to discuss it with those God brings across your path.