“The Bible” sputters

By Karen Quiner

Tom and I have been watching “The Bible” on the History Channel by Mark Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey.  We looked forward to it with great anticipation and planned our Sunday nights around it.

We enjoyed the first episode or two, but last night I gave up on it before the show ended and will not be watching the final two episodes.

Ultimately, I found it unsatisfying and missing some key elements.  It  gives us far too little of David, leaves Solomon,  Isaiah, and other key figures out altogether. But primarily, I had enough of the violence. The Old Testament did have a lot of violence, but the series seems to glory in it and doesn’t balance it with what those stories are really trying to tell us. It leaves out the beauty.

The series does give you the sense of the awesome power of God, and His faithfulness in spite of the fickleness of His people. But it doesn’t emphasise the  Covenant of God with His people, which is really the main point of the Old Testament stories, along with the way so much of the Old Testament prefigures the New.

I hung in there a little longer than I might have otherwise, because I anticipated that there would be a dramatic shift in the direction at the birth of Jesus. I didn’t like the depiction of Jesus and Mary, but continued to hang in a little longer.

But when Jesus is born, and still we are assaulted with violence, I’d had enough.

We are going to start watching the mini-series “Jesus of Nazereth”, directed by directed Franco Zeffirelli in Sunday nights instead.  That not only teaches, but edifies.


  1. abcinsc on March 19, 2013 at 7:16 am

    The Book is better.

    • quinersdiner on March 19, 2013 at 9:04 am


    • Bob Vance on March 19, 2013 at 12:22 pm


  2. illero on March 19, 2013 at 7:21 am

    Congratulations for making it this far through the series. I lasted for only a portion of one episode — the one with Jericho and Samson. To their credit, the producers do bring the really ugly human meanness and suffering element into a story that largely speaks of this side of life (and death) in passing. But by doing so, they seem to miss the main point, as you say. However, my expectations are low. I instinctively distrust movie makers — that’s why I sampled the series so late.

  3. Bob Vance on March 19, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I walked out of “The Passion”. I can not believe people took their kids to see that.

    It’s been a while but I enjoyed “Jesus of Nazareth”. “Jesus Christ Superstar” is still one of my favorite CDs – I didn’t care for the movie and never saw the play.

    • Bob Vance on March 19, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      I still listen to Elvis singing gospel also 🙂

      • Karen Quiner on March 19, 2013 at 1:54 pm

        No one does Gospel music like Elvis!

    • quinersdiner on March 19, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      I didn’t care for the original Jesus Christ Superstar movie either. They did an anniversary film about ten years of a staged version of it that was fantastic. JCS is great theater and lousy theology. I love it on the stage.

  4. […] As wrote last Fall, I found “The Bible” a mixed bag. They focused too much on action and violence at the expense of message. Because of the epic topic they were tackling, by necessity some important stories were left out or short changed. […]