I'm sure you've seen movies that were "based on a true story" - movies that were not an actual "true story" - but "based on a true story". This type of movie takes bits and pieces of the true story, and then rewrites the story. That sums up this series so far. Why in the world didn't they just stick to the true story? It's much better! Instead, apparently for the sake of drama, people and events are misrepresented, changed, taken out of context and altered - all for the sake of making a TV show "based on a true story" but not a TV show that shows the true story.
Episode 4 is another botched attempt to take the truth of the Bible and put it to video. This episode that aired last night, March 24, reminds me of the way you would use mod-podge to glue a bunch of photos together. Just take a characters and stories, paste them all together, even out of sequence, and you have a Bible mini-series. Yes, it looks good, the HD quality is excellent, the music is well done, the special effects are fantastic, but..........it's a story based on a true story. And when it comes to the Bible, we should not only know the true story, we should defend the truth when it is altered. To any serious Bible believer, altering the truth is offensive, and a show like this throws accuracy of scripture out the window.
Let's look at Episode 4. Actually not a bad start! There are some really good scenes. But as you start watching, you begin to see things that make you say, "Wait a minute, that's not how it is in the Bible!" Parables begin to be mismatched with other parables. Scenes are out of order. Characters say things they never say in scripture.
In the Bible, Nicodemus is introduced in John chapter 3. In the TV show, Nicodemus is introduced as a character early on, and is weaved in and out throughout the show for drama. But the famous scene where Nicodemus approaches Jesus in John 3, never happens in the TV show until the day before the Lord's Supper! Way out of sequence.
The Lord's Prayer
Sorry, but I actually laughed out loud on this one! In the show, Jesus is on the mountain, and says, "This is how you should pray." Then, like he's trying to demonstrate the physical stance that you must use, he pauses, puts his hands together at his waist, and bows his head. Then everyone on the mountain puts their hands together and bows their heads. It looked silly. Where do they get this? Certainly not in the Bible!
The Woman Caught In Adultery
In the show, Jesus is shown standing there hold a stone himself! Then challenges them with the idea that whoever has not sinned to throw the first stone. In the Bible, he never holds a stone, but instead writes in the sand. Why not stick with the truth in this scene? It's much better anyway!
In several scenes, there is a woman as part of the twelve chosen disciples. They would occasionally focus in on her. And at first, I would find myself asking, who is that supposed to be anyway? Apparently, this is Mary Magdalene. She's even in the boat during the scene when Jesus walks on water! What?! I guess they wanted to make sure a woman was represented as part of the twelve.
The Raising of Lazarus
The show never shows Jesus weeping. It shows Jesus and Martha going into the tomb and sitting next to Lazarus! What!? Not in the Bible. And in the TV show, Jesus never addresses Martha or says those important words to her, "Do you believe?" Unlike the Bible, in the show, Jesus does not stand outside the tomb, calling Lazarus to come out. Instead, as Martha and Jesus are together in the tomb, Lazarus is brought back to life. A lousy version. Why not just use the real story!!!!! It's much better anyway!
Parables are combined together. Events are out of order. For example, when Jesus feeds the 5000 in the TV show, he combines words like "ask and you will be given", from a parable that is much earlier in the Bible. Or when he turns over the tables in the Temple in the TV show, he says you cannot serve God and money. In the Bible, he didn't say that then, but in another teaching. In the TV show, during the arrest of Jesus, Peter punches Judas - haha. Nice effect, but not in the Bible. In the TV show, as Jesus goes into Jerusalem for his triumphal entry, he encounters Barabbas - again, not in the Bible. In the TV show, at the end of the last supper, Jesus storms out. In the Bible, they sing hymns before leaving. On and on it goes. Drama based on a true story, but not the true story.
One more thing. In this show, Jesus is portrayed as sort of a meek, sissy type. He is not portrayed as one with authority. Even when he is arrested in the TV show, he appears as one who is defeated. Not as one who is arrested only because he allowed them to arrest him.
There's much more to this episode that will drive you crazy if you are one that desires the truth of scripture to be told. But how many, who don't know the difference, will take this series as truth? That's the problem.
Next Sunday is the last episode. The only good thing is that it will be over! Stay tuned for my final review. And if it continues on it's course, it doesn't look good!