the-bible-historyMark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey produced the History Channel’s Miniseries blockbuster, The Bible. Millions of viewers have watched the series, perhaps including you, providing it with epic ratings. This dramatic presentation attempted to condense the Bible’s message from Genesis to Revelation into five two-hour segments. It has received acclaim from viewers and critics alike.

Many religious leaders have given it unequivocal support. These include Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, and other notable members of the professing evangelical community. Their enthusiasm and endorsement for the project no doubt increased its viewership and acceptance. The Christian community has likewise welcomed the series. Many Christians believe that it authenticates and legitimizes the Bible and Christianity.

Despite such glowing acceptance, The Bible TV Miniseries presents many problems. The portrayals in the series present a politically correct version of the Bible. In their misguided attempts to make the Bible attractive and appealing, they applied artistic license to their production. Their “cool” version, culturally acceptable, propagates a false version of God the Father, Jesus Christ God’s son, and the Holy Spirit.

These examples of erroneous content come quickly to mind:

  • the failure to identify homosexuality as the cause for God’s judgment of Sodom and Gomorra;
  • the omission of declaring Jesus Christ as the Son of God at his baptism;
  • the incorrect assertion regarding the mission of Christ.

These examples, by no means the only ones in the series, reveal the readiness of the postmodern society to reject the actual words of the Bible in the vain attempt to formulate a production that fits the culture’s demands . Even professing evangelicals have lost the perspicuity of the Bible.

Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey failed to achieve their stated aim for their series: stick to the Scriptures. They failed to do precisely that, even though they had copies of the Bible available to them during production. One cannot deviate from the factual components of the meta-story of the Bible, no matter how noble the reasons and no matter how seemingly insignificant the digressions, without compromising the veracity of the whole story. The results inaccurately portray the Bible’s meta-story. Production features do not trump Biblical accuracy.

Stated simply, the message of the Bible presents the self-revelation of God to sinners and declares their need for reconciliation to God. In the Bible, God explains what he has done about mankind’s need.

The authority of the Bible and its message, like a three-legged stool, relies upon three truths. Unlike human writings, God inspired the books of the Bible.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

Those whom God inspired to compile his messages wrote the words as God’s spirit directed them. The Bible declares God’s message to humanity, which he delivered through those whom he chose to author it.

God’s inspiration of the Bible establishes its inerrancy. No human can improve nor correct it. So-called non-doctrinal, immaterial changes to the Biblical text undermine its inerrancy. Those who promote these changes slander the legitimacy of the Bible as a witness and of the writer(s) whose writings they reject. Actually, it reveals their unbelief in God.

God’s inspiration of the Bible and its inerrancy prove its infallibility. The one behind the Bible, God, insures its accuracy. The Bible contains no errors. Neither does it need alteration to fit the changes in society. Societies change, but God’s word remains as steadfast as God: infallible for all times and cultures.

Neither unbelievers nor even born again believers possess the right or ability to alter the biblical record. An inability to understand all of it does not negate its truthfulness or application. The Bible includes God’s warnings about altering it. God has promised to rebuke, and in some cases, to send plagues upon those who change even the slightest punctuation of the Bible.

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6)

How should one respond to the Bible and its message? Because of the uniqueness of its inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility, and because of the distinctive message of the Bible that reveals God and his plan of redemption for sinners, you and I must adapt ourselves to the Bible. We must read it, asking God by his Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds to understand it. As he confirms the truth of his word to us, we must trust its message of revelation and redemption.

As people like you and I conform our lives to its teachings, ultimately trusting God’s provision for sinners like us in Jesus Christ the savior of sinners, we will experience God’s life indwelling us and changing us into the image of Christ.

10 comments
  1. There is a reason it’s called faith – not fact. You can disagree with the interpretation but to claim with certainty that you know the truth is a bit arrogant, don’t you think?

    Do you believe in a 4000 year old earth? Do you believe a man could live inside a fish? Do you believe we as well all other animals that exist today are descandants of Noah from 500BC?

    1. So you are arguing with the Bible because man imposed dates (human assumption and interpretation) completely separate from the scriptural text don’t align with your logic?

      Romans 3:3b-4
      Will [your] unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written:
      “That You may be justified in Your words,
      And may overcome when You are judged.”
      Psalm 51:4

      1. I don’t believe in a literal Bible. I believe as most that the stories are to teach us morality – not to be taken literally. Science backs me up.

        If you believe a man was swallowed by a fish and lived to tell the tale or all living land creatures descended from Noah’s Ark, then I see no reason to discuss this topic any further.

      2. Your either a liberal Christian agnostic or an atheist looking at your post.If I believe there is a God who has never had a beginning who by His Word brought the Universe into being then your queries above are easily brought about by Him. If a non believer then your obviously going to query Gods Word which wouldn’t be that surprising for an unbeliever.

      3. My religious views are over forty years in the making. I don’t believe in a literal Bible. I believe in a God-inspired book that gives us what we need to evolve as a people and evolve as individuals; but not all of us move forward. God is time-less. People are not. It’s the journey that matters and each of us has our own path and our own understanding. Jesus came to help us on that path. Treat others as you would want them to treat you.

        If you believe in a literal Bible, then you must believe in magic. If you believe God is some great magician, then everything is just an illusion. What we see as good today God could just as well make us see it as evil tomorrow. What would be the point of anything?

      4. 1. We don’t know how long a “day” is to God. We do know that a “day”
        is a completely different standard of time on Jupiter compared to earth.
        So how long is a day if there were no planets at all? Is it as long
        as it takes the sun to travel around the core of the galaxy? Only God
        knows.
        2. It’s interesting that no-one has any problem with Angels
        taking Christ up into heaven, or Elijah for that matter. But Jonah says
        he was “swallowed by a whale on God’s orders and taken beneath the sea
        to his destination” and no-one can put 2 and 2 together and figure out
        that this time the angels traveled beneath the sea? And we call
        ourselves “logical” and “believers?” Bottom line – from Jonah’s
        perspective something swallowed him up and took him where God wanted
        him. End of story.
        3. It’s funny how we can save every living
        creature on the planet today with the space of a room with science and
        that’s okay. But an ark just “can’t possibly be big enough for God.”
        HOW CAN YOU SAVE EVERY LIVING CREATURE WITHIN THE SPACE OF A ROOM???
        Easy. DNA on glass slides. They you clone them. Science. If WE with
        our puny intellects can manage that – what more can the creator God of
        all that is, was and will be do? Answer: Anything he chooses to.

        People
        CHOOSE not to beleive because to beleive means to obey God. Mat 7:21:
        “Not all those who say “Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven,
        but only those who do the will of my father who IS in heaven.”

        The
        Great Commandment given to us by Christ is: Love the Lord your God
        with all your heart, all your mind and all your soul. But people
        prefer to only remember the 2nd most important commandment. Why is
        that? Because the first and greatest commandment means you must OBEY
        THE LORD and put your trust and faith in Him alone.

        Also – If you don’t beleive in the miracles performed
        by Christ and that He is risen and lives still at the right hand of the
        Father – then you are simply NOT a Christian. Christ showed us that
        through the power of God – ANYTHING is possible. Yet He also showed us
        that your last statement is completely false – for God is unchanging –
        as he was at the beginning so too he is and forever will be.

        You can keep your science – i’ll keep my faith.

        Peace.

  2. The miniseries strayed far from the literal accounts given in the Bible in many instances. It was difficult for me to watch without great annoyance for this reason. Why not stick to the account as given in the text? Why invent things not actually in the sacred Book? I was very disappointed in the series.

  3. Actually, you are WRONG. The book of Ezekiel gives several reasons why Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed. Why do people ALWAYS leave that out?

  4. FACT* Enough people have believed, otherwise, time would not be divided: (BC) before Christ/after His death {in the year of our LORD…(AD) }…*even if you use BCE/???*

  5. It does not surprise me in the least that Joel Osteen, and Rick Warren would give their support to bathtub religion. After all, it’s what they do best.

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