Next to reading the Bible, what Christians like most is talking about the Bible series on the History Channel. Now that it’s officially over, I think we can safely discuss the 4 biggest problems people had with it.
1. It left out a lot.
It sure did. Do you know how long the audio version of the Bible is? 72 hours. Do you know how long the TV version is? 10 hours. That means there are 62 hours of content missing. I guess what we were trying to tell Mark Burnett, the creator of the show, is that we were really looking for a 36 week long mini-series. Do I get mad when YouTube makes me watch a 30 second commercial before they show me a video? I do. Enraged even, but I would have sat down for 36 weeks in a row. Series was too short.
2. The series wasn’t accurate.
Here’s the weird thing, in every other medium, we all agree on the accuracy of the way the Bible is represented. At this moment in the history of Christianity, when someone releases a book about the Bible we all agree on it. We cheer out loud and say, “Another accurate book about the Bible! Well done!” When someone starts a radio show about God we all agree on it. When Rob Bell releases a video trailer, we all agree on it. We never argue about accuracy, but then this Bible show comes out and we’re all pretty surprised that they didn’t represent the Bible in exactly our understanding of it. Did Burnett hire 40 scholars and theologians to make sure the text was treated with the utmost of care? Sure, but 41 would have done the trick. The series wasn’t accurate.
3. There wasn’t enough Jesus.
Someone told me that the series didn’t do a good job showing that Jesus was the Messiah. Did he answer yes when people asked him if he were the savior? Yes. Did he read the Old Testament and say that the prophecy was now fulfilled? Sure, but I could have used a little more direct Jesus in this script. I’m just saying.
4. Mark Burnett should have done things differently.
Our ability to analyze the soul of someone we’ve never met is phenomenal. Via Twitter nonetheless. But at the end of the day, Mark Burnett should have done things differently. What kind of things? I’m not the one here on trial, I do the critiquing, you do the receiving.
I personally didn’t have any issues with the show. Would I have appreciated more side hugs throughout the series? Sure, but who wouldn’t?
I am thankful for the dialog it created and the heart behind the project. I met Mark Burnett last fall and that dude loves Jesus. Not god, the quiet, distant deity rappers mention in speeches at award shows, I’m talking about Jesus. The savior, the messiah, the hope of the world.
Was the series perfect?
Nope, just like every book that’s ever been written about the bible wasn’t perfect either. But then that’s the beauty of the Bible. Recreating God’s glory is like trying to capture the might of a hurricane with crayons.
Thank you for the series Mark Burnett. I really appreciate the love and creativity you put into it.