Unless this new series actually depicts the Bible, I’m rolling my eyes. We don’t need another visual piece of Sunday School literature purporting to represent what is written. According to ChristianCinema.com, executive producer Mark Burnett, known for Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice and The Voice has created a new Bible miniseries to air on the History channel . Pretty good marketing there for Christianity–who couldn’t believe in a Bible validated by a channel specializing in history?
The project will be called “The Bible” (wow, how did they ever come up with that original title?). The series will be 10 hours long and starring in it will be Roma Downey, Mark’s wife and partner on the project. Roma is known for starring in Touched by an Angel and in this series she will play Mother Mary (how come no one wants to be a Mary Magdalene? Too whorish?)
Mark mentions that he’s not out to wave a flag about his faith and wants to do the project “seriously.” The series will focus on key moments in the Bible from Abraham and Isaac to Moses and on to Jesus. It will be told with action and a gritty realism. …Doubtful on the gritty realism. In other words, the project will avoid those key moments in the Bible that are actually quite sickening and offensive (as well as fascinatingly morbid, if we’re to be honest) and do the usual spin to make God and his followers look good. How can I predict this? The article says, “Burnett said the project made their faith stronger.” He’s not going to show God as anything less than perfect. We can expect a Christan bias not a historical bias as well as a softening of tragic Biblical events like Noah’s Flood (God’s genocide on earth) and the Joshua Campaigns (more genocide–they apparently deserved to be slaughtered including the women, children and beasts).
The History channel will get a lot of mileage out of a series like this (think of the DVD sales at Christian book stores and Christian online retailers) and win over more Christian viewers. Hopefully, these same viewers will spend some time watching the other History channel documentaries on Christianity which aren’t as complimentary and do not support the view that everything written in the good book is history. If only we had a Mythology channel to run this series on–then I would have no complaint.
SIDENOTE: I’ve yet to see a movie about King David that I liked. I’m not talking about history, just the overall story. It should be entertaining to watch if done right and maybe Burnett will present a good version.
SIDENOTE 2: Mark Burnett’s credits are mainly reality TV (which we all know is not as real as we think). One of his latest productions is School Spirits for the SyFy channel, a reality show about ghosts. I’m not sure how that meshes with his Christian faith, but it really just tells me he’s either superstitious or likes to exploit the superstitions of others.