Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The Gospel According to the History Channel, Review of Part 5

My apologies for posting this a week and a half after the show aired; we had the worst time getting the kids together for two hours to watch it.

Overall, even though it was cheesy and a little inaccurate in places, I really appreciated that the History Channel would air a show that presented Jesus miraculously resurrected, as the Bible teaches.  So overall, "The Bible" gets a thumbs up from me, in spite of its execution.

Here are my Top-10 thoughts and nitpicks for episode 5:

  1. For the last time, I don't like the actor who plays Jesus looking like he wandered off the set of that Vikings show.  Jesus should look more Jewish than Nordic.  I'm also not a fan of Jesus talking like he's delusional or or in the middle of a drug-induced vision.  I've always pictured his words with more authority and less "mystical."
    Jesus?  Nope, just another angry viking.
  2. Probably for the sake of simplicity, the show puts too much emphasis on a few characters.  The High Priest is the ultimate villain, Mary Magdalene is one of the main disciples, and "Lend-me-your-ear" Malchus, the High Priest's servant, appears in almost every scene.
  3. They changed the setting and details of Peter's denials a bit.  Okay, a lot.
  4. They got Jesus' baptism right (by immersion) but apparently they had trouble dunking anybody else for the rest of the series.
  5. There are several elements in the crucifixion scene that are not as historical as they could be.  The two thieves carry just the patibulum, or crossbar, which we think is accurate, but Jesus carries the whole cross, constructed just as we picture it in all the artwork.  Simon of Cyrene, like several other characters, wasn't Jewish (in this case he was African).  Jesus is crucified in a loin cloth (for modesty's sake, obviously), even though the scripture says the soldiers gambled for his undergarment and the Romans usually crucified victims naked.  The nails are driven into the palms here, as is traditionally pictured, but archaeology shows the the soldiers would have nailed the wrists.
  6. Someone help me here, but wasn't the Greek on the titulus missing a dash/bullet between the last two words?  I mean, obviously, right?!
  7. I liked the scene of them washing Jesus' body.  I don't remember seeing this very often.  I would have liked them to use this as a segue to the discovery of the empty tomb.  But I didn't like how they did the empty tomb at all: not the setting or the dialogue or anything.  Where were the guards or the cover-up or the other women or John getting to the tomb first?
  8. I didn't like the ascension scene either.  There needed to be a cloud and an actual ascension rather than just a disappearance. 
  9. The speaking in tongues was presented as speaking in other languages, I know at least one spoke in Latin.  But where was the conversion of the crowds on the Day of Pentecost?  They showed people hearing but not Peter's sermon or the baptisms. 
  10. Saul!  Saul of Tarsus!!!  Get it right!  He's not called Paul until later.

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