[Part one of Anderson’s review can be found here.]
Paul Anderson’s second part of his The Bible review is available. In it, he incorporates the reactions from his students as well as his own reflections upon the series. The main consensus was that the film was nice but the Book (i.e., the Bible) will always be dear; interestingly, when I was out and about, I saw that there are The Bible novels—one being an abridged, young-reader version—based on the movie but more closely follow the Book (picture to the right). Anderson well concludes:
Overall, the History Channel’s series on The Bible will have made an important contribution to modern and postmodern culture—informing the biblically illiterate and challenging Bible readers to greater text-based faithfulness. It does not claim to be “history-as-such,” as each episode begins with the disclaimer that it is an “an adaptation of bible stories.” And yet, trusting viewers may fail to distinguish dramatic narration from the fact of literary presentations in the biblical text—displacing the former uncritically with the latter. Then again, such is the challenge of all historical narrative—biblical and otherwise—as later editors and writers seek to preserve reports of what had happened in the past, through the filter of their own understandings and interests, as means of addressing the needs of later audiences. In that sense, the tension between the text and the film might also help us appreciate more fully what the biblical writers themselves were also seeking to do, perhaps helping us appreciate more authentically the grand story of God’s redemptive work in human history as preserved and rendered so powerfully in the Bible.
Read part two of Anderson’s review in its entirety here.