I am not the first person to write a blog about the History Channel’s “The Bible”, and I will likely not be the last. I will start with this confession: I only watched the first episode. I didn’t need to see any more after the blonde Noah spoke with something between a Welsh and Scottish accent. That was enough because watching that first installment was like witnessing a reckless April Fool’s Day joke. You know the kind: not funny.
Roma Downey, who has rode her Touched by an Angel persona (complete with soft-hushed voice) past the finish line and into impending old age, obviously wanted to play Mary. There would be no one playing Jesus that didn’t look like her baby apparently, so he had to be White—Portuguese White. From the get-go, there was absolutely no intention to try to be truthful. The History Channel does not have to tell the truth when it tells history.
Apparently Christians are starved for films about Jesus since the advice I heard was to, “try to look past“ the lies and enjoy the story. Well, sorry! I don’t need TV or Hollywood to help me feel close to either “the story” or my most Beloved. Prayer and study of scripture, meditation and walking by faith do the trick for me.
I don’t need to watch special effects mimic the wonders of God. I don’t need to watch White producers and actors stretch an old lie into the future.
And, I don’t buy the line: Oh, but if one person were saved from watching it. I am not writing about what God can do. I am writing about what we must not do. We are not supposed to lie. Besides, anyone that cares so desperately about souls needs to be busy witnessing through their own lives; one can start by learning what is true and clinging to that.
Jesus was not White. Noah was not White. Adam was not White. No one in ancient biblical times was White. And there were only a few “Gentiles” in the New Testament and they were not Northern European Gentiles. Wake up!
The mini-series “The Bible” retold one of the most heinous lies and it told the lies in a time of cutting racial tensions on one hand and racial reconciliation on the other. Between these two sides—be honest now—on which side would the History Channel’s mini-series “The Bible” fall?
If only this had been an April fool’s joke.
Inez Torres Davis is director for justice and supports the organization’s racial justice network, Today’s Dream, Tomorrow’s Reality.