Well, I watched the last two episodes of “The Bible,” but I got caught up in doing homework and other things that prevented me from spending the time to write down the things they got wrong. Suffice it to say they were legion.
They got the basic idea correct: Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and He rose from the grave. Most of the details however, they got wrong. And I don’t understand why. This is like if someone decided they were going to do a play, but instead of following the script, they decided to let the actors say whatever they wanted. It wouldn’t be the same play. If you take the Bible (the supposed source for the material in this miniseries) and change key facts, you don’t have “the Bible” anymore. I don’t know what it is, but it’s not the Bible.
I was going to go through the videos and list the errors one by one, but the History Channel took the full episodes down, so I can’t. All that’s left are the short recaps of each hour of the show, and I will detail what I can, for those of you who still care.
- Lazarus: John 11 gives the record of this event. Jesus never entered the tomb. They removed the stone, and He called for Lazarus to come out. Lazarus did.
- Walking on water: Jesus didn’t call Peter out of the boat until Peter asked to come out.
- The adulterous woman: Where does the Bible say that Jesus picked up a stone?
- Why is Mary Magdelene present in every scene? She did travel with the disciples, but IIRC, she was at the Last Supper, an event which the Bible says in Mark 14:17 that it was just Jesus and “the twelve.” Mary was not an apostle.
- Matthew describes the audience of people listening to the “sermon on the mount” as a “multitude.” It looked like about fifty people in this video.
- The feeding of the five thousand: a boy gave his lunch, Jesus broke the bread and fish with His hands, and it multiplied. The video has people simply lifting up baskets above their heads, and then lowering them to find bread and fish that had not been in them.
- Cleansing the temple: John chapter 2 records that Jesus saw the moneychangers, made a scourge, and drove them all out of the temple. The video shows him merely upending the tables of money and then whining at the moneychangers. Not what happened at all.
- In the movie, at the last supper, Jesus has a “vision” of Judas betraying him. The movie seems to imply that this was news to Jesus. Jesus, as God, is omniscient. He knows all things. Nothing surprises Him.
- The movie also seems to indicate that, at the last supper, it was very clear to all the apostles that Judas was the betrayer. The Bible says in Matthew 26:22, “And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?”
- Pilate acts like the Jews had free reign to kill whoever they wanted of their own people. This was not the case. John 18:31 records that it was illegal for the Jewish religious leaders to condemn someone to death. That’s why they had to convince Pilate to execute Him.
- The video portrays Peter’s denial of Christ differently than the Bible does. Just read Matthew 25:69-75 for the actual event. The actual event happened at night, for one.
- Of course since the producers of this movie are Roman Catholic, they had to include the stations of the cross. Just a note: Six of the 14 “stations” are not in the Bible.
- The crucifixion was accompanied by miraculous signs, which the movie ignores. There was darkness from noon to 3pm when Jesus died (Matt 27:45-50). There was an earthquake. The veil of the temple was ripped in two. There were multiple resurrections.
- The angels were conspicuously absent at the resurrection and at the ascension. I would have thought the producers would have taken these final opportunities to have angels removing their hoods.
- They show the apostles being martyred in various places. Only one of the apostles’ deaths is recorded in the Bible: James the brother of John. \
So that’s pretty much every error I can gather from the summary clips the History Channel provides. I’m sure there were others, but I can’t remember them. If these final two episodes ever become available to view for free, I may watch again and detail the errors I missed, but really, does it matter in the end? I believe I’ve made my point, that the producers decided to make a movie called “The Bible,” the contents of which only bear a passing resemblance to the actual Bible.
If you want to find out what is in the Bible, just read it.
My husband wished for me to not watch this mini-series, so I did not. He knew that, being the History channel, they would intentionally get little details wrong. It is completely intentional. If they can mislead people with “little details” (which I don’t truly believe are little), then they can mislead people with other facts recorded in Scripture, too.
Mari: It’s an ok series, but they got so many details wrong, it’s frustrating. It would be good for someone that had absolutely zero exposure to the Bible so that they could watch it and get interested about what the Bible really says, but as far as the accuracy: way off.
It’s way better than most of the “biblical” stuff on The History Channel (like “how the ten plagues were just natural disasters” kind of stuff).