In the History Channel’s new 10-hour docu-drama “The Bible,” showing at 8 p.m. Sundays, stories from Genesis to Revelation are told through live action and computer-generated imagery.
Producer Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey, described the miniseries as a "labor of love" and, for the most part, present a literal interpretation of the Bible.
But the show does take a few creative liberties, as in these three scenes from the first episode:
- An angel helps Lot escape from Sodom by grabbing two swords, one in each hand, and stabbing and slashing the Sodomites who get in the way. There is no warrior angel in scriptural accounts of Sodom’s demise, which describes the destruction of Sodom (and Gomorrah) as being carried out by burning sulfur that rained down on the wicked cities (Genesis 19).
- When Moses ascends Mount Sinai, “The Bible” shows stone tablets engraved with the Ten Commandments emerging out of grinding, shifting rock. The Bible says God inscribed the stone tablets and gave them to Moses (Exodus 31:18 and Exodus 34:1).
- When Joshua sends spies into Jericho in the docudrama, the spies get into a swordfight with the locals before they are aided by Rahab. There is no swordplay between the spies and the men of Jericho men in the Bible (Joshua 2).
The Viewpoints question is this:
Is it OK for filmmakers to take creative liberties in telling Bible stories for TV or in movies? Or do you feel that filmmakers should follow the Bible literally? And in either case, why?