Why “The Bible” Mini-Series Is So Popular

[dc]T[/dc]his past Sunday night, I watched the first installment of “The Bible” on the History Channel. As a Christian, I was very interested in how the stories would be portrayed.

I couldn’t watch the series live, because I was in church when it began. I really didn’t plan to watch it that night. Then, I checked Facebook and Twitter.

People were going crazy over it — in a good way. They were tagging @bibleseries on Twitter and posting play-by-play commentary on Facebook. As a result, I was compelled to start the playback on the DVR. Immediately, I was hooked.

Since then, we have learned the first installment of this mini-series was the most-wacthed show in its time slot. There are three reasons why I believe this series is so popular.

It’s not for wimps. Some people have called the minis-series, “The Bible: 300 Version.” The action and adventure depicted thus far took many by surprise. Those who read the Bible know it to be an adventure — but rarely is it depicted that way on the big or small screen — with few exceptions.

Some may think the amount of violence in the film is excessive, but history tells us that biblical times were quite violent and barbaric. To ignore that aspect would water down the story, and ultimately, the message.

The Bible is a quality film. People rarely seen a high level of production quality in “Christian” films these days. Hollywood just doesn’t jump on board with their money on such endeavors. I can remember Mel Gibson had to finance “The Passion.”

This film, however, is not only believable, it is respectable. Moses’ parting of the Red Sea was a quality special effects effort, as was the burning bush.

People like a winner. Ultimately, people want to see the hero win in film. Biblical heroes like Abraham, Noah and Moses were not shown as weak underachievers. In fact, @JonAcuff tweeted, “Abraham is about to go all ‘Liam Neeson’ to rescue Lot.” Even the angels were depicted as tough warriors and not feathery cherubs.

The Bible has intrigued both believers and non-believers. Whether they are watching to enjoy the entertainment, to critique its accuracy or debunk its premise, they are watching. As they do, I can’t help but think of the scripture:

so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. — Isaiah 55:11 (NIV)

I look forward to this Sunday’s episode, and I suspect it will once again top the ratings. People are watching, and the Word is going forth. That’s a good thing.

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