Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Bible (a Mini-series) #2

Just finished viewing the second of five, two-hour episodes of The Bible on The History Channel.

It looks like this is going to be a long ride for me.  I knew that the writers would "skip a bit".  But I feel like the viewers are being cheated.  See last week's post for more details on that.

Here is what they skipped last week: (a partial list)
  1. The Code of Hamurabi
  2. The Tower of Babylon
  3. The Life of Isaac
  4. The Life of Jacob
  5. The Life of Joseph
  6. The meaning of the 10 Plagues of Egypt (in the Book of Exodus)
  7. The entire books of Leviticus, Numbers, & Deuteronomy (although these books can be condensed to a large degree.
Here's what they skipped this week.
  1. All of the Book of Joshua except for the Battle of Jericho.  This means that at least one act of disobedience was omitted as well as the occupation of the Land of Canaan and the negotiation of land distribution among the tribes of Isreal.
  2. All of the Book of Judges except for Sampson - and that was glossed over.  By omitting the vast amount of the Book of Judges, you miss out on several recurring themes in human and Isreali history.  By glossing over the story of Sampson, you missout on how ... um ... intelectually challenged the man was.  Besides, you coudn't squeeze in Gideon?
  3. The Book of Ruth -- although this book does not drive the story line, it can be culturally revealing if it is properly presented.
It seems like the Book of 1 Samuel is where the mini-series begins to get a little more serious.  However, the writers condensed Samuel and Eli into one character, omitted the story-line of Samuel and his close relationship with God, and avoided David's puzzling tenure as the leader of a gentile army that attacked Israel -- repeatedly.

In addition to that, they completely deleted Bathsheeba's famous bathing scene.  Really, you're going to have battle scenes and show people having their throats slashed, but you can't get a long-distance shot of a woman in a bathtub?  Finally, they omitted the decline and death of King David which resulted in a civil war between his sons..

They covered Solomon's birth and ended with building the Temple.  But mysteriously skipped everything that demonstrated Solomon's wisdom, wealth, and fame.

Update (3/11/13):  I reviewed the last 45 minutes of this episode and need to correct a few of my comments.  First, they did have a bathing scene with Bathsheeba.  But it was in a secluded garden instead of the top of her house.  This certainly added to the exotic nature of her beauty but also stunts her character development.  Second, the death of King David will likely be in next weeks episode.  And finally, since Solomon was just a child at the end of Episode 2, I assume his life will be better explained in Episode 3.

Signing off (but that should be Sighning off)

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