Wednesday, March 06, 2013

I watched The Bible on the History Channel on Sunday, and I didn't totally hate it. However, I think I have more complaints than I have praises for the show due to the fact that the things it got wrong were so vital to the story. It bothered me that they never mentioned that the angels in Sodom were running away from men who wanted to sexually violate them. And they didn't mention that Lot didn't just take in the angels to protect them from the mob - he also offered his own daughters in their place. I'm not sure why he would do that anyway, but that's how the story goes. Although entertaining on screen, there's nothing in the Bible about the angels going ninja on the Sodomites.

But the biggest complaint I have about the show was the part about Abraham's almost-sacrifice of Isaac. I really though the Abraham actor played the part well, but the writing of the scene was a little off. They get up there on the mountain, and Isaac notices that they don't have an animal for the sacrifice. When he asks his father about it, Abraham says, "My son, God will provide the sheep for the burnt offering." (NAB) or "God will provide himself a victim for an holocaust, my son." (Douay-Rheims) or "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering" (NKJV). The translation I've always heard, however, was that "God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." (RSV) Based on that translation, folks have said that Abraham was speaking prophetically about God providing Himself as the sacrifice when He sent his son, Jesus. In any case, we know that the whole event points to Christ and his sacrificial death. The TV version didn't use any of those translations, and it just seemed a little loose to me.

Then comes the part where God does provide the animal for sacrifice. Another thing I'd been taught about this is that Abraham mentioned a lamb, but God provided a ram. The text specifically says that a ram was caught by its horns in a thicket. In the TV version, it was a lamb caught by it's hind leg. Why does this matter? Well, God did not provide a lamb at that time. He provided a ram. He didn't provide a lamb until He gave his Son for the sacrifice. He promised a lamb, and He didn't give a lamb on that particular day. Words matter.

So, anyway, I'm sure I'm just being too finicky, and I'll prolly watch some more of The Bible series. Wish they hadn't skipped over the rest of Isaac's life and the entire lives of Jacob and Joseph....

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