Monday, March 25, 2013

The Gospel According to the HIstory Channel, Review of Part 4

Today my family and I watched the fourth episode of the History Channel's miniseries "The Bible."  Now that the show is focused on Jesus, I'm vacillating between being moved and being put off.  It's so difficult to portray Jesus dramatically to the satisfaction of the faithful.  At the same time, there's no story more dear to our hearts.

So here are my Top-10 thoughts and nitpicks for episode 4:

  1. Best healing of a leper on film that I've seen.
  2. I thought they did a good job showing the threat Jesus represented to the authority of both the Romans and the Pharisees.
  3. The Disciple John = Admiral Ackbar
  4. Are there twelve disciples or just six or seven?  And apparently Mary Magdalene was a full-fledged member who had several crucial lines.
  5. Movies can't resist the story of the woman caught in adultery from John 8; it's so dramatic.  Though this event may have happened, it almost certainly wasn't part of the Gospel of John.  In fact, I don't teach that passage in church (though I gladly explain the reason why).
  6. Poor Thomas.  In this show he gets every doubting line in the script.  Thomas doesn't have many lines recorded in scripture but the few he has are not always filled with doubt (John 11:16).
  7. Poor Nicodemus, one of the only "good" Pharisees, gets several bad lines that are not actually his.  And when the High Priest challenges him on whether Jesus had fulfilled any scriptures, an expert like Nicodemus should have been able to answer.
  8. I wish they had developed the pharisees and the priests a little more.  I'm guessing that many viewers didn't grasp the difference between Nicodemus and Caiaphas, and the groups they represented.
  9. I just don't care for how the actor portrays Jesus, as if he's having a never-ending epiphany, surprised, confused-looking, and a little melodramatic.  I've liked much better examples where Jesus (and C.S. Lewis' Aslan) is knowing, patient and strong.  I think the all-knowing God in the flesh should be lovingly condescending not confused.
  10. Context is important.  Because the narrative here is so condensed, Jesus keeps giving partial quotes to the wrong people at the wrong places.  It's not getting it completely wrong but it's not really right either.

1 comment:

Mike Kirby said...

Jesus wakes Lazarus with a kiss? Who is he, Prince Charming?