With a warning of 'viewer discretion advised' (mainly for violence), Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's new TV miniseries, The Bible
, matches what they described to me last week over the phone. This is not "grandma's Bible". The husband/wife producing team didn't want to make a "donkeys and sandals experience", but a real dramatic look at what the men and women of the Bible went through as they followed God. From the looks of the first two episodes in this 10-hour series, they haven't.
Tonight's episodes, "In the Beginning" and "Exodus", track the biblical history as recorded in the Book of Genesis. The thread that weaves through Noah and his Ark, a flashback to Adam and Eve's fall and the deliverance of the Israelites out of Egypt is God asking His people to trust in Him.
Boiled down to two hours, unfortunately, we lose the incredible story of Joseph. But, as the executive producers told me, this series is simply meant to be an introduction to the Bible, a taste of what the scriptures say. Well written, The Bible
does cover a lot of ground, and these clips of God's story set the stage for what's to come.
Episode one, "In the Beginning", includes God's judgment upon creation through a great flood. It is through Noah that Abraham, the father of many nations, comes to be. A flawed man, Abraham wills to remain faithful to God. His ultimate test comes when he's asked to sacrifice his son, a moving foreshadow of God's own sacrifice as recorded in the New Testament.
"Exodus", episode two, reminds us that God does not abandon His people. His promise to Abraham is not forgotten by Him, even 400 years later. Through a discarded and homeless man named Moses, God frees His people from bondage. Their Promised Land is within sight.
Seeing these epic stories on television is an encouraging sight. I have faith that the best is yet to come.
Till next Sunday, at 8/7c on HISTORY, when Joshua and the Israelites march around Jericho.
For video clips, photos from The Bible
, and more, visit CBN.com's Experience The Bible special section