History Channel's The Bible stirs questions

‘The Bible’ Miniseries: Not For Kids?

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?