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‘The Bible’ Miniseries: Not For Kids?

History Channel's The Bible stirs questions

The History Channel’s The Bible is not appropriate for children, according to Lisa Suhay, today’s guest blogger for The Christian Science Monitor. Many families may have anticipated the new miniseries as a good way to learn the familiar Bible stories with their children, but Suhay wrote, “If you’re not willing to let your elementary-school child watch 300 and the Twilight series you should steer clear of this as a family viewing session.”

As Dan Evon previously reported, The Bible premiered this weekend.

If the show isn’t for children and families, who is the new 10-hour, five part miniseries meant to be for? The Hollywood Reporter’s Allison Keene had the same question. Both Christians and non-Christians alike can find something to object to.

From a mixed Jewish and Roman Catholic background, Suhay objected to the bloody and often graphic special effects, which she thinks will frighten many smaller children. Keene noted that if you’re not a Christian already familiar with the most popular Bible stories, you will probably become confused by the “mishmash of the historical, the holy and the honeyed.”

Both commentators were baffled by the weird decision to add “ninja angels” to The Bible’s plot.

Jaweed Kaleem for The Huffington Post said that the program, which premiered on Sunday night, was the creation of power couple Touched By An Angel Roma Downey and Survivor reality show producer Mark Burnett. Downey plays the role of Mary, mother of Jesus, in the show, which also relies heavily on modern special effects. They are both Christians and said that they want The Bible to help them spread “the living word of God.”

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Houston’s Lakewood Church, which boasts the nations largest congregation of over 40,000, told The Huffington Post that The Bible will touch “Christians and non-Christians alike.” Southern California pastor Rick Warren served as an advisor to the film and said he will use it in his church’s study groups.

Twitter users were happy to weigh in on the debate. From a fan:

And maybe a more tongue-in-cheek observation:

What did you think of the History Channel’s take on The Bible? Too much Hollywood special effects, or exactly what was needed to get the message across?

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8 Responses to “‘The Bible’ Miniseries: Not For Kids?”

  1. Janet Armijo-Durden

    "“If you’re not willing to let your elementary-school child watch 300 and the Twilight series you should steer clear of this as a family viewing session.”.

    But the story of Sarah and Abraham is a better love story than Twilight.

  2. Efrain Villagomez

    My opinion is that the Bible should not be presented as "the Word of God". It should be presented in stages as people grow for full understanding. How a child and a grown-up interpret the Bible is very different, specially since we know more today than hundreds and thousands of years ago. The Bible is more of an interpretation of "Man's Knowledge of God".

  3. Janet Armijo-Durden

    Well, that is why Churches of all denominations have Bible study(duh). My Church has a Bible study that is usually led by a priest or a deacon and we learn from a trained Theologian. If an adult can hand a child a cell phone and say "Show me how to set the calendar" I'm sure that same adult can tell that child "Let's learn about the Bible…together!". It's all about leading.

  4. Jennifer Poynot

    I don't know how anyone watching the previews would think this was made for kids in the first place. Plus this is the History Channel. I don't know too many 5 years that would kick and scream if their parents didn't let them watch the History Channel. There are plenty of child videos. This one wants to be more true to the events.

  5. Evelyn Danelle Weibel

    "Not for children"? It's implies the Bible is merely stories that we teach kids and then grow out of when we grow up. We should learn about them as kids, yes, but we should also grow into greater understanding as we grow older. There are Bible adaptations meant for children, and Bible adaptations meant for grownups. And if you visualized much of what is in the Bible, it would not be very kid friendly.

  6. Anonymous

    What happened to 'thou shall not kill?' The Old Testament is full of blood shed and killing. The New Testament certainly doesn't lack in violence either. Although I'm a believer in Jesus Christ, I question many things I find disgusting that are written about in the Bible as well as other things that make absolutely no sense. For example, if your child becomes unruly, take him before the elders to be stoned to death. WHAT? Sounds like Islamic crap to me. Believe what you will, but I don't believe this is something that was ever condoned by God. Maybe man, but not God.

  7. Cynthia Joanne Helms

    If rick warren had anything to do with this film watch out. He is promoting.
    chrislim. I would definately have the bible right there to back up any little changes they felt like they needed to change for God. No matter how pretty they try to package it you cannot find any agreement in chiristianity and islam. they do not worship the same god even though they use Abraham and other biblical people in the koran. Bottom line christianity is all about Christ and him crucified. The son of God. Islam rejects that. And no matter how many rick warrens or joel olsteen try to come out and mingle the two it is like trying to join oil and water together. It won't happen.

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