By Margaret Minnicks, The Examiner
The fourth episode of “The Bible” series aired on the History Channel on March 24. Many stories were packed into two hours.
Last night’s episode was jam packed with a lot of stories from the Bible; however, they were just snippets and if people didn’t know the stories already, they sure wouldn’t have recognized them by the quick flashes that were shown.
Admittedly, the series is making for good discussions about the Bible, but there are so many discrepancies. If the Bible is to be told, why not tell it as it is written?
Part 4 compacted the stories of Jesus feeding the multitude and raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey on what we have come to know as Palm Sunday. Then on the first day of Holy Week, Jesus turns on the money-changers in the temple.
By the way, in the feeding the multitude story, the fish and bread were nothing like the Bible describes. Not to be picky, but the fish were big and they looked raw. The bread was big, round, and flat. The Bible clearly said there were 2 small fish (similar to our sardines) and five small barley loaves.
The next segment was about Caiphas coaxing Judas into betraying Jesus; Jesus throwing the disciples into turmoil at the Last Supper; Jesus is arrested and condemned to death as the disciples scatter.
The biggest misconception in this episode was the fact that Mary Magdalene was popping up in scenes that she wasn’t supposed to be in. Some of the scenes could have been labeled, “What’s wrong with this picture?”
In the Bible, Mary Magdalene was definitely not in the boat when Peter walked on water; however, she was in last night’s episode. In the Bible, during the Sermon on the Mount, one of the disciples and not Mary Magdalene asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, and He responded by reciting what we know today as the “model prayer” found in Matthew 6. Mary Magdalene showed up at the feeding of the 5,000. Mary Magdalene is in the Garden of Gethsemane scene with the disciples when Jesus was praying before He was taken by the guards. She was not included in any of these story in the Bible. So, what were the producers thinking to add her to these scenes?
One of the more powerful scenes was when Jesus healed a leper by a simple touch where you could actually see the healing taking place.
Not only was the story of Nicodemus visiting Jesus by night out of the biblical sequence, but in a conversation Caiaphas asked him, “Can anything good come out of Galilee?” In the Bible that line belongs to Nathanael who asks Philip, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46)
The raising of Lazarus was nothing at all like it is depicted in the Bible. For instance, Jesus doesn’t go in the tomb and touch the top of Lazarus’ face to get him to come alive. The biblical account says Lazarus was wrapped in grave clothes and Jesus said in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” (John 11:41-46) The series didn’t have Lazarus in grave clothes at all, and Jesus did not call him forth.
No doubt, the dramatization of “The Bible” series is great. The concern is that if the producers took time to do it at all, why not do it according the written word.
People are falling in love with this series. It has been said that President Obama and the first lady have given it “thumbs up” after meeting with Roma Downey.
The reaction of “The Bible” series is like “The Emperor New Clothes.” Everybody is saying what everybody else is saying because no one wanted to admit that the emperor was wearing no clothes at all.
Bible scholars know there are discrepancies in the series; however, not many people are willing to say so.
Overall, “The Bible” series on the History Channel is not sticking to the text no matter how high the ratings are.