10 inaccuracies in The Bible . . . the miniseries, not the book

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A scene from episode one of the "The Bible" miniseries depicts Noah telling the creation narrative as recorded in Genesis. But the passage wasn’t penned until centuries later.

A scene from episode one of the “The Bible” miniseries depicts Noah telling the creation narrative as recorded in Genesis. But the passage wasn’t penned until centuries later.

If you listened to the critics’ reviews, History Channel’s The Bible was destined to become an underwhelming miniseries not worth viewers’ time. The Los Angeles Times dismissed it as “flat and often tedious,” Entertainment Weekly called it a “cheesefest,” and the Philadelphia Enquirer labeled it “cardboard characters surrounded by CGI.” Apparently, viewers weren’t listening. The premier pulled in 13.1 million viewers and each additional episode has garnered over 10 million. About 4 in 10 Americans have watched at least one episode of the show.

But some Christians questioned the historicity of some of the finer details of the show’s portrayals. The creators seem to have anticipated such controversy, which is why every episode begins with the following disclaimer: “This program is an adaptation of Bible stories. It endeavors to stay true to the spirit of the book.”

Inaccuracies are inevitable when one moves a work of art from one medium to another (in this case, from literature to film). Such deviations are acceptable depending on the kind and scale of liberties taken. In The Bible’s case, the inaccuracies are often significant but do not seem to compromise the Biblical meta-story itself. Even still, viewers should be aware of which flourishes deviate from the Biblical text. Here are the 10 that stick out in my mind. They are listed in chronological order:

1. Noah’s creation story. In the opening scene of episode one, Noah and his family are bouncing around inside the ark, tossed by the tumultuous waves outside. Noah recounts the creation narrative as it appears in Genesis, but there’s one problem: the story was not written until later. Conservative Christian scholars believe this story was drafted by Moses many centuries after Noah’s flood; more liberal scholars claim it was penned even later.

2. Angels know martial arts? When God’s messengers rescue Lot and his family from Sodom prior to the city’s destruction, the television show depicts them defending the fugitives with swords and Jet-Li-style martial arts. The Bible, however, makes no mention of such a battle or any kind of weapons used by the angels. Instead, the text claims Sodom’s residents were struck with blindness (Genesis 19), which would have made their escape a lot less exciting… and less bloody.

3. Abraham’s lamb. When the Jewish patriarch, Abraham, is about to sacrifice Isaac, the television show portrays a lamb showing up just in time to take Isaac’s place. In the Bible, however, it was a ram (Genesis 22:13). The lamb is more aesthetically pleasing and sweet, but it is not which the animal the Bible says appeared.

4. Saul – he’s #1. In the biblical account, King Saul goes into a cave to “relieve himself” when David cuts off a piece of his robe and spares his life. The Hebrew word here is clear that the Israelite king was defecating (1 Samuel 24), but the television show portrays Saul urinating. The latter act is more viewer-appropriate, but technically inaccurate.

5. Jeremiah, the escape artist. When the Babylonians destroy Jerusalem, a wild-eyed Jeremiah escapes undetected by the invading army. According to the scriptures, however, Jeremiah was captured, bound in chains, and later released (Jeremiah 40:1). Additionally, the television show tells of Daniel and his three compatriots being captured during the siege, when in fact, they were deported more than a decade after Jerusalem’s destruction (Daniel 1; 1 Kings 24:10-16).

6. Cyrus and the lion’s den. The Bible says the prophet Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den during the reign of Darius (Daniel 6). In the television show, however, Cyrus is still in power.

7. Jesus’ birth…how romantic. The birth of Jesus has been romanticized in Western accounts, many added details have no root in scripture. The television show riffs on the popular version with the pregnant Mary riding to Bethlehem on a donkey pulled by Joseph. The Bible never mentions a donkey, and it almost certain that they would have travelled there in a caravan with their family and friends in tow (Luke 2).

8. Wise men, yes. But punctual, no.  Consistent with the romanticized but fictional tale of Jesus’ birth, the television show depicts three wise men riding camels to visit the newborn babe. But the Bible never says how many magi there were. And though the wise men arrive at the same time the shepherds do in the series, they visit the infant Jesus later in the Biblical account (Matthew 2:1-12).

9. John the Baptist’s girl problem.  In the show, John is arrested and executed because he is stirring up trouble preaching about a Messiah that would deliver the Jews from Roman oppression. In the Bible, Herod was actually a fan of John’s preaching (Mark 6:20). He arrests John because he is preaching about Herod stealing his brother’s wife. But even then he is not executed. That is, until Herod’s wife and step-daughter get revenge by requesting his head on a platter (Mark 6:21-15).

10. Jump, Jesus, jump. The desert temptation is one of the most dramatic stories in The Bible–both the series and the scriptures. But the television show has Satan taking Jesus to a cliff where he tempts Jesus to jump off. The Biblical account says Jesus was taken to the pinnacle of the temple (Matthew 4:5-7).

**UPDATE: Jonathan notes seven significant errors in the series’ finale.**

  • Mary Keomuongchanh

    Hi Jonathan! How about the whole scene with the burning bush? Some of the most famous words in Scripture – “I AM THAT I AM” were left out. I quit watching after that episode. And, I thought I was the only one that noticed the lamb instead of the ram. So disappointing. So much potential left untouched.

  • I noticed that too, Mary. In addition to inaccuracies, I’ve noticed a lot of critical omissions. One of the biggest is leaving out the promised Messiah we find alongside the fall of Adam and Eve. Huge omission in my book.

  • Given how unkind the History Channel has been to the Bible in the last 30 or so years, and favoring liberal theologians like Borg and Sprong over evangelicals, I am surprised “The Bible” is not riddled with inaccuracies and heretical representations. In my opinion, oral transmission of the creation account is not beyond the realm of possibilities. Likewise, showing the Nativity story through Western eyes was probably done to stop hundred of thousands of emails accusing them of “getting it wrong”. I am willing to give a little leeway on non-doctrinal matters.

    It would be interesting to see how they handled Revelation. Does their failure to include it mean they are supporting an amillennial approach?

  • Susan Hanna

    I think they’ve done a pretty good job, although we have noted the same inaccuracies…the one I think we had the hardest time with was the Abraham/Isaac thing. It bothered me not just that it was a lamb instead of a ram, but rather more by not showing the ram with its horns caught in the thorn bush, it misses one of the most beautiful foreshadowing events of Christ in the OT.

  • calvin cloud

    I actually am very happy to have it being shown for 10 hours through the history channel and being available for discussion at the water coolers all over America each week. While it would be desirable to have the series be as accurate as possible, it is also true in my opinion, that there are so many areas in any presentation of those events where certain license has to be taken. After all there are no remaining eye witness survivors from that period.

  • Paul

    the first ‘inaccuracy’ is not an inaccuracy, Noah probably DID recount the creation story to his family, because that was how stories were passed back then, before a written language. and also they spent a year inside that boat, so they had to do something to pass the time, besides feeding the animals.

  • Joel M.

    I have only seen portions of the “The Bible.” And for the few small segments I saw, it was filled with inaccuracies. For instance: The Babylonians did not let Cyrus the great walk into Babylon. They piously thought their city was impregnable and could not be breached by Cyrus forces. Cyrus diverted the river Euphrates and was going to come up into the city through the river bed. But the Babylonians in their drunken partying that evening accidentally left the main door open as prophesied in Isaiah 45 and Daniel 5. Of course this wasn’t shown. The plot against Daniel the prophet when he was thrown into a pit, was pitched to Darius the Mede not Cyrus the Great. Another example, King David’s sin with Bathsheba was not covered accurately. Bathsheba was also partially guilty in the sin because Mosaic law required a woman to scream if she was being raped, which she did not do. In the Bible Nathan started out with a powerful illustration to reach David’s heart, not an argument. David then repented of his great sin when he saw the illustration was about him. He never disrespected God’s prophet, which would have been a lack of true repentance.

    I was too difficult to watch the accounts of Jesus who is always depicted as a long haired dude with dirty clothes who looks like he came back more from Woodstock than as the perfect man that he was, God’s greatest prophet and Son.

    My advice, never allow Christendom or Hollywood interpret the Bible for you. JUST read the Bible!!

  • Robbie Millner

    For me, the actual accounts from biblical text are far more interesting and appealing then anything concocted in folklore. One of my favorite accounts is the relationship of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel which is dramatic, touching, and kind of funny all at the same time. Somehow adding all the props and convenient staging masks the awesomeness of what we are shown about prophecy and fulfillment; about the depths of God’s love; and the incomprehensible thread of God’s will that runs from the beginning until the end. The events of the Bible all come together in a sort of linear evolution of man and mankind’s relational development with God, but from a kind of self induced devastation to chosen restoration. I just don’t see how a donkey could make it any better. =)

  • Paul

    Joel M., Jesus probably looked very similar to what Hollywood depicts it, most likely even worse, because very few people recognized Jesus as the Son of God, even his own disciples sometimes misunderstood what he said. do you know why that is? because the man part of Jesus looked like the common man that was not militant, which is what the Israelites were, and are, expecting.

  • Dalton

    Yes many inaccuracies in the miniseries…my prayer has been for those who don’t know the written Bible that the Lord let them hear and see what was omitted or not told at all…God is a mighty God and will turn what was meant for evil into something good and use it for His glory!!

  • Peter

    Folks – it’s a tv show. It’s a dramatic retelling of a written narrative. Movies and plays are not books on the screen. They are a different medium. How many angels can fit on the head of a pin? About as important as all this folderol. I can imagine one person who wouldn’t give a rams horn about what was a disappointment to anyone…

    And # 4…really?

  • Jeremy

    Peter, you would be right IF it was just a hollywood movie. The producers said that they did this movie because they believed that there was too much Bible illitericy in the world. They then has Rick Warren, Joel Osteen and TD Jakes on their board, that is a BIG problem right there. There was more than just these 10 that were missing. The Holy Spirit during Jesus’ baptism is missing, the Holy Spirit during Saul’s transfermation to be Paul. Jesus tell Peter they are going to “change the world”. Sounds like seeker driven, purpose driven theology, NOT Biblical theology.

  • Jeremy,

    Interesting point on the advisory board. I hadn’t thought of that. But when Jesus used that phrase, I must admit that I was a little thrown off.


  • Jesus is 100% human, you know.

  • kenice

    The heading “10 inaccuracies in the bible” threw me off balance. Use a better title.
    Some people may not have the time to look at the summary.
    Secondly, you guys over there should speak out strongly against this because: a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Gradually, they will creep in and circulate strong falsehood that watchers will accept. Forget the calibre of people on the board. You know the power of the Tv.

  • JB13

    Look! Someone from Hollywood just made a high-quality miniseries that dramatizes the Bible, allowing millions of people who otherwise would never darken the door of a church or pick up the actual Holy Book to be exposed to the Gospel in some semblance of context! So what should the response be from us Christians? Why, TEAR THEM DOWN, OF COURSE. And we wonder why the world doesn’t really care what we have to say about, well, just about anything. Don’t mind us. We don’t really have anything interesting to say. We’ll just instead shoot our allies over our own notions of doctrinal purity. Come on, people. This is ridiculous. The producers should be given PROPS for having the courage to do this in a society that is rapidly becoming downright hostile to any message of biblical truth. Any pharisaical Christian criticizing them should be ashamed of themselves – or at the least, try to do better.

  • JB13: As I said in the preface, this was not a criticism of the miniseries. Rather, it was a simple discussion of those parts of the series that deviate from the text. But, on a deeper level, what you’re saying doesn’t resonate with me at all. You’re arguing basically that because their motives were pure, then we should refrain from any critical analysis of their product. But scripture tells us to test all things and to be “as wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” We need to have discussions like this one, even as we applaud their effort (and I do!).


  • JSC

    The biggist falsehood with the “The Bible” is that the actors are white and not like the rest of the persons depicted that would have lived at that time and place, for example, Mary and Joseph. If they were as shown in “The Bible”, the persons at that time would have said “who are you and where did you come from?”.

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  • cken

    I remember once being very upset about someone’s interpretation of a certain Bible passage. I prayed about it fervently. One night God came to me in a dream and said, ” It is better they try and get it wrong than not to try at all.”
    The TV Bible series is reaching people who would never otherwise open the Bible, and the essence of the message is correct.

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  • jim

    The two problems I have had with the series (while, btw, being quite impressed with the production values in general and the NOT sugar-coating how bloody the OT is) are that the characters who see/hear God look like fools (esp. Noah/Abraham/Moses) and how Samson gives up his secret so easily. They spun the whole romantic tale so long that they make him look like someone interested in nothing more than sex, when in fact he successfully tricked her several times before being overcome.

  • Josh

    I’m not suggesting Noah retold the story like that but surely Noah who walked w Yahweh would have known the creation story. I don’t find that stretch half as inaccurate since they were story tellers who passed history on as such. That was one I am willing to shut up and enjoy. Now some of the others, not so much. Great article.

  • Mel

    A lot of people ask about the verse in Isaiah 45:7

  • Nicky

    I did not know Joel Osteen was on the advisory board – he is the LAST person I would want to have interfering with doctrine since he makes his up as he goes along and it appears that it depends on who his audience is. This would explain why so much has been ‘tailored’ to suit his preaching which I do not listen to. He is a teacher of false doctrine – may as well had Madonna or Nicki Minaj their “advice”…..very disappointing.

  • Nicky

    I totally disagree with you.

    2 Peter 2:1-3 (NKJV) But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies.

    Truth is not truth if it is warped otherwise I may as well follow Kabala or whatever other false religions there are.

    Can I direct you to Revelation 22:19
    “..and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.”


    Proverbs 30:6
    “Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.”

  • Nicky

    Joel Osteen? And he’s an expert in what? Bogusbeliefus for whatevereth fitteth thy owneth man-madeth theology and Oprah’s 10 best churches to make richer?

    He is not a preacher of the gospel, the truth or sound theology.

  • Nicky

    Your statement sounds lovely but totally inaccurate.

    2 Peter 2:1-3 (NKJV) But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies.

    Truth is not truth if it is warped otherwise I may as well follow Kabala or whatever other false religions there are.

    Can I direct you to Revelation 22:19
    “..and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.”


    Proverbs 30:6
    “Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.”

  • Nicky, which part of Dalton’s statement was inaccurate? The part where he said that God was mighty, or the near direct quote from Gen 50:20, or the implication that God is powerful enough to use anything for His glory, or the fact that the statement in its entirety is little more than a paraphrase of Isaiah 55:11?

    You cite several Scriptures but do not in any way tie them to Dalton’s point, which is all about God’s power, not man’s failure. Or are you saying that the latter is greater than the former?

  • Jonathan, perhaps it’s just due to time, but you have not (to my knowledge) addressed the issue that multiple folks have raised that Noah’s account of creation was *not* an “inaccuracy” or, as you later described these items, “a deviat[ion] from the text.” As has been noted, the oral tradition was HUGE in OT Hebrew life — there are several Scriptural passages and even commands that tie into this. It is quite likely that *whomever* God used to actually commit the account to paper had already heard it aurally.

    Even if we discount that theory, nowhere in Scripture are we told when the creation account was penned. So to say that *anything* regarding its timing is inaccurate or a deviation from the text is fallacious. The idea of Noah recounting it is, at most, extra-biblical. If we assign it to the pile of the non-biblical or anti-biblical, then we look silly and lose all credibility when we start citing things that truly *are* non- or anti-. It’s the boy who cried “wolf” all over again.

  • Nate

    Don’t forget the inaccuracies with regard to Samson’s story. IMO, they made Samson out to be a much nicer and more Godly man than he actually was. But God STILL used him.

  • Rich

    So many look at the Bible and see rules, all the while missing the message of hope. Are we doing that with this series too? God is speaking to millions of people thru this despite the flaws, kind of like he uses the weak and sinful to further His Kindgom. I pray for the strengths of this series to touch the lives of millions, to show those who see Christians as judgmental, political believing in mythology a different Jesus than they had assumed. May many seek and find Him as a result of seeing The Story they probably would not have gone to the theater to see. God bless all those involved

  • Suzy

    As always the book was better. Why couldn’t they use the words the people actually said in the Bible. Too much poetic license taken. Read the book it’s much better.

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  • CeeCee

    Deviating from the text is rampant in our society, and while there is license to glamorize and embellish the Word, there is little pleasure God has for anyone in changing His eternal Scripture for the passing entertainment of the world.

  • Imani

    Adam was alive until around the time of Noah’s father Lamech, and Methusela died just before the flood, and he knew Adam, so Noah definitely would have known the creation story. Remember that was still the time that people lived for hundreds of years.

  • Imani

    Adam was alive until around the time of Noah’s father Lamech, and Methusela died just before the flood, and he knew Adam, so Noah definitely would have known the creation story. Remember that was still the time that people lived for hundreds of years.

  • Imani

    Adam was alive until around the time of Noah’s father Lamech, and Methusela died just before the flood, and he knew Adam, so Noah definitely would have known the creation story. Remember that was still the time that people lived for hundreds of years.

  • Brent

    Another inaccuracy in “The Bible” was when Moses came to the Pharohto request that he let his people free, he turned his staff into a snake but the show doesn’t depict that. Also the show doesn’t mention Moses wife and child.

  • Jody

    The singular most egregious inaccuracy (and it absolutely HAD to be intentional) was the very politically-correct omission of the fact that the group of men attacking the home in Sodom were homosexuals wanting to have sex with the two “visitors.” NO mention of that whatsoever. Completely sanitized.
    I. Wonder. Why.

  • Jody

    And it was a very odd choice to spend 15 minutes or more on Samson’s story (interesting, but not really all that big a deal in the grander scheme) and completely omit the amazing story of Joseph, Prince of Egypt!

    Also sad to see the backstory of David ignored. He WAS a man after God’s heart… incredible psalmist, harpist, and incredible warrior who killed a lion and a bear with his own hands before he ever heard of Goliath. He was pretty meek and mild… they didn’t even include the powerful and explosive verbal challenge to Goliath (who also would have been MUCH more huge), “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”… and that he only picked up one stone… not four to kill all Goliath’s brothers too.

    Could have been, SHOULD have been much more power-filled.

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  • Thomas

    “The biggist falsehood with the “The Bible” is that the actors are white…”

    ^^This is the typical, anti-white Racism that is drilled into the soft heads of today’s illiterati. Never mind Sampson. These are the same Useful Idiots that claim Cleopatra was “black”. Why? A misunderstood Shakespeare reference. We live in a so-called “Information Age” where people know less now than the average 5 year old in Noah’s time.

  • Lesley

    Pretty sure the comments – and the article – are an example of the Pharisees Jesus called out in the Bible.

  • Mike Harlow

    I’m disappointed that people would, IMHO, nit-pick this well done mini-series. I hope the critics have actually read the Bible before being so critical. Only God does miracles, and that is what it would take to make a mini-series into a perfect re-creation of the Bible, there is just too much there! I think this production did a good job, and I would hope it encourages more people to read the Bible, and understand what it is and what it means, and most importantly, a guide to dealing with modern day issues. Though written long, it is timeless in its teachings. I also feel the same about our US Constitution, the founding fathers and their writings in the Federalist papers. We don’t encourage such “depth of thought” in the “modern” world, and I think society suffers accordingly.

  • ED

    Another inaccuracy: Jesus never walked into Lazarus’ tomb to raise him from the dead. According to John 11, Jesus first lifted up his eyes to heaven and prayed. Then in a loud voice he called Lazarus to come out. The mini series shows Jesus walking into the tomb and breathing on Lazarus. But the biggest omission was his “I AM” statement about being the resurrection and the life.

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  • Angela

    I was so glad you wrote this article…so appreciate that the show was made, but there were times that the distortions took no more time in the show than the actual true Biblical story would have taken. Many times it was awesome, which made me even more unhappy about the discrepancies…Seemed so unnecessary. Sometimes the “how” artistic licensing were ok in my opinion… like the angels in Sodom or the filling out of the part of Lot’s wife to give believability to her were fine, but there were these things that you mentioned and at least that many more. Felt sad about that…the parts that were right were really right and I loved those.

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  • Sean Emslie

    I agree, it is reasonable to believe that Noah had heard the creation story passed down orally which would be written down later by Moses.

  • Jeffrey P. Rush

    And the point of all this is? I mean it’s Hollywood’s version, a pretty good one, but a version nonetheless.

    If it brings people to the Source, then it has done it’s job.

  • Sharinlite

    And, your point? For surely, the number of inaccuracies in the telling of history in general and the meanings by secular progressives secular is multiplied by power of 10 and above….I have not heard of you complaining….it is a miniseries for goodness sake…grow up and live with it!

  • Sharinlite

    I have to ask, how do we know, truly know, what the distortions where? We were not there and we don’t have authors most of the time…so? Your point?

  • Dave

    actually the Noah scene makes sense, he was a prophet, and the oral tradition about Creation had to start somewhere.
    My biggest discrepancies are.
    1)At no point in the biblical account of Samson is he larger than anyone else. Hollywood always makes Samson huge, which discounts the fact that his strength comes from obedience to God.
    2)Is anyone ever going to present Jesus in the way that Isaiah described him? Why is he always the most handsome guy they can find? Isaiah said clearly that he would not be attractive, but that his spirit and his teachings would be the attraction, not his looks.
    3)WHERE THE >>>> WAS AARON? Moses didnt confront Pharoah on his own, he stuttered horribly, Aaron was his spokesman, and either I had short span narcolepsy or they completely omitted Aaron’s staff devouring the magician’s snakes.

  • Robert Naumann

    I also agree 100%. Having the creation story verbally recounted makes complete sense since it was not written down until later. I wonder how Moses would have come to know the story he wrote down otherwise?

  • Dave

    or that Lot offered up his daughters in exchange for the visitors?

  • Norma Butler

    Dear John . . . it seems that out of 10 hours of the condensed version of the Bible that you could have found many MANY more items with which you disagree! Why did you stop with a mere 10???? Were you too tired to continue after watching 10 hours of perhaps the most moving Christian presentation to take place in many, many years?

    Perhaps what you really should have done is stepped up, promoted and created something of value on your own in which the Christian message would have been more accurately portrayed . . . according to YOUR version!!! Are you promoting yourself to be the one true expert having the only ture insight to interpret what the INTENT of the Bible is???? For the rest of us long lost souls, you deemed yourself worthy to punch holes and create doubt in a very otherwise credible presentation of hundreds of written pages of the Bible! You complain about the Creation being related via Moses . . . were you looking for the one true version from the serpent by any chance???

    I find it interesting that instead of listing all of the things you liked about “The Bible,” you chose instead to question its intent and what the message is supposed to be to Christians around the world. In a time of persecution of Christians all around the world, and the extensive erosion in the Christian community in this country, perhaps you would have done well to assist in re-enforcing a message of hope that the Director and his wife desired to create! After all, united we stand, divided we fall!

    Your input certainly leaves much to be desired! You, my friend, are knit-picking, and your criticisms furnish aethists with to cling to and promote. You should indeed be proud of what YOU personally have done to increase the belief in God and his forgiveness . . . of which you may now need some!

  • Robert Naumann

    So, you think God is not capable of using this to teach his word? I think you need to reconsider your perspective of how big and capable God really is. Think of the potential of millions of people who otherwise may not hear any of God’s word that are being reached by this film! What an opportunity to reach out to them! Stop being so negative!

  • Gail Marie

    I would say in these ungodly times where everyone does what they when they want with really no regard tward God. I say Bravo to this Series and their writers. At least they are doing something to get the message of salvation out to the lost world. Shame on you all to rip it apart. none of the changes will effect the Salvation story and for only 10 hours give me a break. I saw a few other small mistakes regarding the age here or there.. that is not the issue.. The Story told lights a fire and an awareness in the young hearts and minds… Any day we talk of Jesus and God is a good day.. Please look for the good in the message. share that.

  • Norma Butler

    Thank you Rick. It seems to me that instead of seeing the Christian cup half full we are seeing many looking at it as half empty . . . where is there room for hope with that kind of perspective?

  • Thea

    One quick historical thing about Noah. By all historical accounts, similar creation stories to the one found in the Bible have been found in cuneiform tablets all throughout the middle east. And,seeing as how the Jews passed much of their history orally before it was written down. If we want to stick strictly to the historical facts, facts that are also in the Bible, then Adam passed the word of God to his descendents. Wouldn’t they pass it down and so on? Therefore, couldn’t Noah know about the creation.

    Add to that, Noah being a man that spoke with God, a man who received visions, a prophet, and given that God is “The same yesterday, today and forever” then couldn’t God give Noah the exact same story he told Moses when Moses wrote it down?

  • Robert Naumann

    Jeffrey – you are 100% correct! All of these legalistic critiques miss the point of the Bible entirely! The main point of Christ being our savior is THE POINT! None of these minor details make any difference in that nor are they key to bringing people to a saving knowledge of Christ. I’m so thankful for this series as it may cause people to ask questions and give the Holy Spirit an opportunity to do his work.

  • JB13:

    I couldn’t agree with you more…..I’m delighted to have the Bible portrayed in a way that anyone…believer, skeptic, agnostic or atheist could sit back and watch.
    We won’t know whose eyes were opened or whose heart softened to our Savior but that’s not important. What’s phenomenal is that it was viewed and the rest is up to God. Humility and an uncritical heart is difficult but not impossible; I wish it could be the norm for all Christians

  • worshipbabe

    Thank you!! Out of all the mistakes, this was the one that stuck out to me the most. So politically correct about the homosexuality & rape account. Totally distorted. It’s great an entertaining movie was made, but way twist the truth of God’s Word? PEOPLE NEED TO HEAR THE TRUTH OR HOW CAN CONVICTION COME? The power of God is not in just another nice story.

  • Anthony Barca

    Regarding inaccuracies, was it possible that Samson was a black person? Also, the licentiousness portrayed in Sodom was heterosexual (and not homosexual as described in the Bible).

  • worshipbabe

    I would have preferred that they left out some of the accounts rather than alter them. They totally twisted the account of Sodom & Gomorrah. Yes, God can certainly use any medium, or none, but when we witness to people, do we tell the truth, in order for Holy Spirit to bring conviction to the person’s heart, or do we change the accounts in order to sound more politically correct? They could have avoided the accounts of God’s judgement rather than water them down. God’s truth is God’s truth.

  • worshipbabe

    Well, Jesus only spoke the truth & the Pharisees hated Him for it. They didn’t recognize Him as the Son of God, and thought they knew better about what to tell the people than He did.

  • Smitty

    Isaiah 53:3 describes Jesus Christ best, but people are not followers of Jesus when they make ‘attractive’ emulations of Him.

    The writers of the History Channel’s Bible should take heed: As Peter and the Apostles said it best, “…we must obey God rather than men…” and in Galatians 1:10 Paul says, “If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

    These writers have done more harm to themselves and those who believe in their heresies than they intended. We must pray that people STUDY THE BIBLE and accept our Father’s guidance thru Christ to repent of our sins and live for Him.

  • Smitty

    The writers of the History Channel’s Bible should take heed: As Peter and the Apostles said it best, “…we must obey God rather than men…” and in Galatians 1:10 Paul says, “If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

    These writers have done more harm to themselves and those who believe in their heresies than they intended. We must pray that people STUDY THE BIBLE and accept our Father’s guidance thru Christ to repent of our sins and live for Him.

  • Sylvia49

    “Ten” inaccuracies? Many, many more….
    And I agree with the comment that said the heroes were made to look stupid. Moses had been a prince of Egypt, and was now son-in-law to a sheik – no mean position(s). Pharaoh would not have even bothered to go after the “escaping” slaves when the panning overhead shot showed maybe 100 (Scripture has a much bigger number than that). Joshua is portrayed praying to God in front of the Ark of the Covenant in a miserable tent – not! There was a beautiful sanctuary built for it by that time…and he was not the High Priest, who could only behold it once a year. Oh boy; starting from Noah…. I just hope and pray that someone will investigate the TRUE story as related in Scripture, and be changed by it.

  • Beth

    I too was extremely put off by all the inaccuracies. Some were small, but critical; others blatantly wrong, and still others just omitted. I got the feeling that the producers felt as if God’s only response to humanity was violent wrath. The Sodom and Gomorrah episode was probably the worst. Also, the angel appearing to Mary to tell her about her giving birth to Jesus was way off. Then, rather than the angel appearing to Joseph in a dream, he appears to put Joseph in a “trance” in the middle of the day in public. Joseph then defends Mary against a public uprising against Mary. While I guess it could be plausible, it’s not mentioned in scripture that way. It also says that Mary and Joseph were married; not betrothed; or engaged as is clearly stated in scripture and of course vital to the virgin birth. I had high hopes, but am mostly glad it’s over.

  • Ron

    Well said,,and truth in words. It was a hollywood stye version of the Bible , not a word for word, scripture for scripture qoute. It would have take 50 hours to produce if that had been the case. I thought the series was well done, and very moving. It gave the gist of what the Holy Bible has to affer the lost. J.M.,,you may need to search your soul, and repent.

  • Bill Lewis

    Mark, I was hoping for Revelation to be included also. Acts to Revelation were essentially glossed over or ignored. As others have posited here and elsewhere, it would take far longer than 10 hours to cover God’s Word. I would like to see them to make another series covering those.

    I certainly do agree with you about what the History Channel has done to the Bible in the last 30 years. I’m thankful for this series and hopeful that it gets more people to read the Bible or go to church.

  • Bill Lewis

    Robert, I agree with your statement. God Almighty can use this series to reach as many as He wills. As with anything humans do, the series is not perfect or complete, but I bet that millions of folks who had never read God’s Word are reading it now!

  • Maximus

    I saw all of the episodes. Even though there were inaccuracies, I thought that the program was a great addition to the History Channel. Before known as the “doomsday channel”, it was refreshing to see the channel finally air a Christian based mini-series. And even with the inaccuracies, I really thought that it was a good program for anyone who did not know the stories. My husband is a brand new Christian and it was a great foundation for him to learn the stories. I was there to point out what the bible really said vs. what the mini-series told. GOOD FOR YOU HISTORY CHANNEL! FINALLY!!

  • Thomas Riley

    Everyone is completely overlooking the fact that God spoke with Moses face-to-face; a fact important enough to be stated more than once in scripture. Exodus 33:11 “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend….” Numbers 12:8 “With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” Why, then, if you are going to believe the validity of the scriptures, would one overlook the possibility that God gave him all he needed to record for our instruction?

  • Thomas B

    A breath of fresh air! I’m plagiarizing your last sentence, too, though I will give credit to “Joel M”.

  • Jill

    Your analysis is spot-on, Nicki. Thank you. Rather than being classified as “innaccuracies,” the subject of this commentary needs to identify and spell out the TRUTHS, and further separate them from the movie’s fictions. — This mini series is a fun production but should have been titled as such from the beginning, to better convey that this film represents Bible stories/yarns, which serve only to wet one’s appetite for learning and studying the true word of God. — Opening scenes depicting the fabled “apple” warned me of the dishonesties to come, as there are no apple trees described anywhere in the gardens in Genesis, and the true sin of Satan, Adam and Eve was omitted completely! I pray new Bible students are not horribly misled, that God turns them to find pure understanding firsthand, word by word, verse by verse by reading His letter to us cover to cover!

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  • Pam Spencer

    Why not be thankful the movie was so popular and may prompt seekers to read for themselves. It’s people like you, with your ‘pharisee’ attitude that keep people away from looking into things of God. ‘Churchy’ people make me sick.

  • Keith

    I concur, though it was great to watch & I could actually enjoy a tv program w/out worrying if I’ll have to turn it off because I have to see so much FLESH, I still stopped in some parts of The Bible because this Word is my life & when someone takes the time to tell the story & they lie or twist the TRUTH, I can’t help but feel bad for those who don’t know their bible & know that Samson’s locks grew back b4 he destroyed the temple or who in the world baptizes In the Father, Son, Holy Ghost & the narrator says in Jesus’ name.. WELL WHICH ONE IS IT?! Frustrating!!! Daniel wasn’t scared either, he was a man of FAITH. David was humble. It is BEST to know the Word..@ the end of the day it is our responsibility to RIGHTFULLY Divide the Word, I just hope this peaked EVERYONE to read the Word of Truth (this will be the closest for MANY) & those creators will answer for such a heavy responsibility. Mark my words..HOLLYWOOD IS ABOUT TO TAKE OFF W/THIS (a can of worms hv been opened, be ready saints of God)

  • Keith

    ps I’m really over seeing a White Jesus w/long brown STRAIGHT hair, in dirty clothes like he’s a vagabond.. really? & angels don’t SLASH humans they as well as we know we wrestle NOT against flesh & blood & of course the angel was Asian doing karate.. I’ll stop there, overall it was good but half truths are still full lies.

  • Keith

    WOW Jeremy!!!! I wish I cld tweet that, u hit the nail on the head.. Holy Spirit was missing.. a discussion was being held abt why cldnt they show the book of Acts??????

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  • ET

    there are 3 other shows on the Bible far more accurate and under 10 hours, The book of Acts and the book of Matthew and The Gospel of John all very wonderful,can be bought i believe on Amazon. I just typed in the names on google and they poped up . Try them they go verse by verse. You will not be disappointed.
    I read and study the Bible all the time,and i was very confused by this new Bible movie.

  • Suzanne Hanlin

    I thought it was wonderful that it was so popular, you can pick apart anything but isn’t the bigger picture that people are actually talking about The Bible?

  • Gary Gustafson

    Noah was the keeper of antiquity.
    Genesis was NOT written by Moses but rather transcribed from tablets written by original authors including Adam. Look through Genesis for the Codifahs. They were probably carried out of Egypt with Joseph’s bones.
    Look at the cross over of life. Noah was still alive when Abram was born. Noah is a very close descendent of Adam.

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  • Herb

    Yes, as He is the Son of a human mother. However, He is also the Son of God which makes Him 100% God just as if your parents are Smiths and Joneses. You would be 100% Smith and 100% Jones not 50-50. As we now know, each cell in our body is made up of DNA from our parents united into one.

  • Jesus was immersed when baptized. Why weren’t the others. Especially the scenes near the end of the series of the “ducking” of heads in water. Not real, although most of it was very good and they should be commended for getting so many people involved in the Bible.

  • Chuck

    As an associate pastor of a small church, I experience people coming into the church for no other reason at first other than to appease their own souls, but they continue to come because they experience something they cannot understand, some of these people take months to even begin to understand anything that is going on but they appreciate the fellowship and to them gestures of good will. they usually do not read their bible but over time they begin to catch on, that is the hardest part, keeping them there until they begin to hunger for the truth. Many of these people even after months just walk away because to get an over view of the bible and the thread of eternity is just to much work, they cannot accept the historical value of the truth, some catch fire and begin to delve into the word and grow. although there are misconceptions in the series, if just one heart is won to Christ the angels sing. Its the churches job to teach and educate in the pureness of the spirit, and I know that there are a lot more people thinking about eternity now than before this series. and I pray that the will of the Lord be done through it. besides to put 5000 years of history into 10 hours would take a miracle.

  • Brendt Wayne Waters

    Hmmm — guess it’s just not that important in the grand scheme of things. Interesting microcosm of this whole post.

  • Darryn

    I have read through all the comments and some things have been glaring to me. First and foremost is the judgment laid upon the producers in regards to omissions/inaccuracies. Nobody here can read the hearts of Downey and Burnett. God knows their intention and will judge them as He sees fit. It is my belief that this series has brought families together, opened the eyes of some who have never read the Bible, brought those who have drifted away back to God and His message and most of all, had America at large discussing the “taboo” subject openly. Christians are continually portrayed as a close-minded, judgmental lot (which in itself is contradictory to Christ’s teaching) in the MSM. Continuing this by bashing the miniseries simply perpetuates this stereotype. Yes, there were omissions, yes there were inaccuracies, yes it was incomplete, but these two people did EXACTLY what Christ asks of all of us, to spread His Word. An average of 10 million people watched each episode, if only 10% pick up a Bible to learn, or reacquaint themselves, with God’s word I’d say that’s a success, regardless of its shortcomings.

  • mon

    I have to be honest, even though I know this is a hot-button issue. One of my biggest grievances of the series was in the casting. The producers spoke proudly of involved theologians and scholars to deliver accuracy, yet they failed in the simplest issue of casting characters that ethnically looked like Jesus, Mary, Joseph, etc. For those that say, “Well, it was an American production”… there were still a number of “brown” extras in the background. To me that’s almost a little more pandering because clearly the producers knew there was some importance in presenting some ethnic casting for a narrative set in the Middle East. In that case it’s almost as if non-European, ethnic looking actors just weren’t important enough to play the leads.

    I hear the argument from casting directors that they don’t object to hiring minority actors, there just aren’t “enough” of them in the competition pool. But if that’s the case, how come there isn’t a problem finding minority actors with other ethnic or geographic-specific productions? Case in point: Last year’s critically acclaimed ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’. Not only did the director find “enough” actors to fill the African-American slots, but he found an eventual Academy Award nominated black actress out of the casting call. (I could say the same for the film ‘Precious’, and I’m sure several others).

    Some might say, “is it really that ‘critical’ to place so much weight on ethnic semblance of characters in geographical-specific stories?” Well, if it wasn’t, why go out of the way to find African-American characters for – once again – a movie like ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ or find Asian actors for a film like ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’? For the latter one might say, “That’s silly, of course you need Asian actors for ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’… it takes place in Japan!” …And where does The Bible take place?

    Yes, I will concede that a in production made in America – where 63% of the population is “White, non-Hispanic” – the casting will generally follow the racial demographic landscape. But my point is that there are productions who “manage” to come up with some great actors of the ethnic variety when the role calls for it. I find it hard to believe in the case of the ‘The Bible’ – where they were able to find those of the darker complexion for background or secondary roles – that they couldn’t come up with any talented non-Anglo/European looking actors for the leads.

    One last point to counter any claims that I’m making too big a deal of this: How would you predict a general reaction if multi-Academy Award nominated actor Benicio Del Toro was cast to play Benjamin Franklin?

  • Martin Simmons

    I am thankful for the miniseries, it did so much good. My question is why were there so many inaccuracies that could have so easily been correct according the the very scriptures they were using to write the script? I am not talking about telling The Bible in less than 10 hours, but so many very simple facts were wrong. In no particular order – 1- “Paul” of Tarsus, really? Not Saul then Paul? They knew about the name change yet ignored it. 2- I thought it was King Darius during Daniel & the lions den. 3- In the movie they had maybe 12 folks in the crowd at the ascension of Jesus. This could be true, but is it likely? 4- Why did Jesus not weep because of Laz death, & not say “Laz come forth”? 5- Why did no blood & water come out of the side of Jesus when the spear pierced? 6- Why was there no resurrection scene at all? I guess they did not think that it was as important as Samson. 7- Why no dove nor Gods voice when Jesus was baptized? 8- Why no flaming tongues of fire at Pentecost? OK, I know I am pointing out things that were left out, BUT, consider the importance of these very short scenes, compared to what they did include, and what they spent several valuable minutes on! And there were many more simple inaccurate statements and facts. But here is always my big one… why do so many of these movies about The Bible have the actors speaking with a British accent?

  • Darryn

    “why do so many of these movies about The Bible have the actors speaking with a British accent?”

    Because the majority of the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) would go apoplectic with American actors playing in a serious biblical movie

  • Jack Owens

    No one seems to note that The Bible series presents the people as actual people in events that actually happened. It is not myth or allegory or suppositions. These are present as historical accounts, what actually happened.

  • Carol Earl

    I thank Mark & Roma for producing this awesome protrayal of the Bible. How it could even come close to completing this in 10 hours is beyond me. Though I also saw inacuracies and things I would have thought to be included.. It was actually protrayed in super speed because of its little time in much to cover subject. Maybe as Darryn suggests, it will help people to now dive into the word and read for theirselves. As Roma said, she hoped it caused people to talk about Jesus not Satan.. Bless them, and may we all try to protray our lives as close to accuracy as they did in their miniseries…Let us take from it what is good and fruitful & Hope to see more and more series..

  • When you say the BIGGEST falsehood about this series is that the actors are WHITE, are you kidding or being serious? What color should they have been? Black? They are closer to the complexion of middle easterners than a black actor would be. Why did they use a black actor to portray Samson who CLEARLY is not black.

  • You need to rethink who came to you in a dream bud. God would NEVER EVER say this. I am so thankful that God didn’t feel this way or what we read in HIS word would all be wrong by now.

  • Did Moses really need a written or ORAL resource to relate the events in Genesis? Moses was given the Ten Commandments directly from God (Exodus ). Doesn’t it also make sense that if God gave Moses the Ten Commandments He also gave Moses the divine inspiration to record the events in Genesis?

    Jesus and Paul both confirm Moses authored the book (Jn. 7:19 and Romans 10:19). The Old Testament claims he wrote it as seen in Exodus (17:14, 24:4, and 34:27). Other Old Testament validations occur at Numbers (33:2) and Deut (31:19). New Testament claims are made at Luke (24:44) and 1 Corinthians (9:9)

    Believe what you want BWW. I choose to believe that God directly spoke with Moses and gave him this account of history while Moses was on the mount.

  • Actually David did have 5 stones with him.(1Sam 17 40-49) David was prepared in case he needed all 5 stones. I doubt he had these to get Goliath’s brothers. He didn’t know who Goliath was until this moment let alone that he had 4 other brothers.

    Samson’s story is very telling for us today. It is a terrific story that should be covered well. It could be a feature length movie all to itself. Just please do not use a black actor as Samson was not African or Ethiopian. Samson is a type of many of us today who receive gifts and talents from God yet squander it on the flesh.

  • DC

    I believe you meant to say that Daniel was captured over a decade “before” Jerusalem’s destruction (he obviously wasn’t living in Jerusalem a decade “after” it was destroyed). And in that paragraph, 1 Kings 24:10-16 is cited (which doesn’t exist), whereas Jerusalem’s destruction is described at 2 Kings 24:10-16. Can you please correct this in the article?

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  • Brandon

    Hello Norma. When people romanticize, add, or take away from the bible, we as Christians should be thoroughly offended. Deuteronomy 4:2, 1 Corinthians 4:6, and Revelations 22:18-19 all tell us to be careful what we do with God’s word.

    Not only are they hurting themselves and their chance at salvation, they are also causing rifts and arguments, which only hurt the people who hear and read them. (2 Timothy 2:14)

  • Julia

    A most glaring inaccuracy for me is the fact that they had a black man play Samson.

  • Jonathon

    DNA… that sounds blasphemous.

  • Jonathon

    Christains… they complain when there are no Bible representations on TV; then complain when they are not “accurate” enough. You can’t win with fanatics.

  • Josh Haack

    I was upset about the omission on how God’s people came to Egypt. They kind of stopped after Abraham and Isaac, and never covered Jacob and his sons. Joseph ruling in Egypt after being sold there as a slave is very important.

  • I’m impressed, I need to say. Honestly rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you’ve got hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the problem is something that not sufficient men and women are speaking intelligently about. I’m rather pleased that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.

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  • Other countries censor content and not just rogue regimes such as the Iranian mullocracy. Poor people! http://www.baidu.com

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  • Scott Smith

    Just because God is sovereign and therefore able to use error for good, does not mean we are free to condone or teach error ourselves.

  • travis

    Just a couple of inaccuracies I observed in just the first and second episode of the miniseries were that in the beginning as Noah is giving the narrative (which to me does seem probable) he is speaking to a granddaughter which is a presumption since only Noah’s wife, his sons and their wives are mentioned as being on board the ark. The fact that it wasn’t written ’til later doesn’t mean he couldn’t be sharing the story, but the fact that he was sharing it with a made up character was totally off. Also when the red sea collapsed on Pharaoh’s army he is just standing there with his chariot watching at a safe distance, which is not what happened at all if you read David’s account in Psalm 136:15-15 “But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.” These inaccuracies and some others were enough to make me quit watching. There were other little things too. I know Sarah was old, but they really downplayed her beauty even though the real Bible account says that she was so beautiful Abraham lied and told people she was his sister. Anyway, some people think this stuff is knit picky, but I agree with those who quoted scripture about not adding or taking away from the word of God. And all God’s children should be concerned when such things happen, because however subtle it may be, doesn’t make it right or okay. Satan is very subtle, which is how he deceives us so easily.

  • Jason Smith

    I only watch a couple of the episodes but I was more disappointed in the words or better yet lack if words. Like when Jesus was getting baptized. “This is my Son for who I’m well pleased” was skipped. The temptation scene after Jesus was tempted didn’t mention the angels that attended to Him. But my biggest disappointment was the last supper scene where Jesus said ” I Am the way truth and the life.” I feel like they left a major quote from that verse out. You know the one where He says ” No one come to the Father except through Me.”
    anyway thanks for the post and God bless.

  • Joe D

    It is highly unlikely that Jesus did look like the Euro-centric image so often presented in Western art. It is much more likely that the historical Jesus had darker skin (olive?) and curly dark hair as is often seen now days in middle eastern people. He probably looked very much like those folks that so many of us Caucasians love to hate. This is only my opinion as the Bible contains absolutely no physical description of the living (before crucifixion) Jesus.
    In Revelation there is some description of the son of man (the risen Christ) have hair like wool and feet like bronze. I believe the Bible is purposely vague or silent about Jesus appearance and race because Jesus came to all people.
    As for the comments concerning Noah’s retelling of the creation story being inaccurate because Genesis was not yet written. Prior to this being “written the accounts were passed down from generation to generation by oral tradition.

  • Charles Sawyer

    Daniel was taken to Babylon in 609 BC as a “hostage” during Nebuchadnezzar’s first siege of Jerusalem. The final destruction of Jerusalem was in 587 BC.
    Daniel DID NOT warn his friends that if they didn’t bow down to the kings image “he will kill you” by being put into the fiery furnace. The Bible does not mention Daniel in the narrative, for some reason he was not there! The movie version makes him out like he had no spiritual backbone and he finally came to realize God’s power. The Bible, the book is completely opposite – he was God’s man from the first chapter. In fact he was God’s representative to the Babylonian court for the 70 year captivity.

  • Charles Sawyer

    A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. Galatians 5:9

  • The Son of GOD, Yahushua, was 100% Divine Who came to Earth clothed in the Flesh-and-Blood Body as a Man, to be the Living Blood Sacrifice. He came to live out GOD’s Word and to die as the Lamb of GOD.

  • Joel

    – Lot was already living in Sodom when Abraham rescued him.

    – God showed His rainbow when Noah and his family where landed.

    – Moses is the author of Genesis, not Noah.

  • Brad

    Methuselah wouldve been alive to talk to Adam and Noah so couldve very well passed words along.

  • Brad

    hard to fit everything into a 10 hour movie. I enjoyed it. To me we should never rely 100% on anything but the Bible(the actual book itself) just as the Bereans did searching the scriptures daily.It definately sparks curiousity on parts that makes one want to research more fully into.

  • Brad

    Rev.22:18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book:If anyone adds or takes away from this book God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city…

  • Brad


  • Brad

    Keith what does it matter of color.. sounds racist.. Jesus was a Jew so what ever color Jews are that is most likely what color he was.Dirty clothes, well Im sure alot of people had dirty clothes back then,not like they had modern day washing machines,and the was in the deserts at times,and on the road or on the run.Im sure if someone got in the way of an angel trying to do Gods’ work Im sure there would be consequences.Maybe not ninja moves but most likely death.And again with racism.. Asian .. what does it matter what color of skin the angel was …Hebrews 13:2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

  • Brad

    Agree …..Nicky you dont know what your talking about just using verses to back whatever your trying to prove wrong which there isnt nothing to prove wrong from Daltons statements

  • Brad

    noticed few inaccurates myself…. just sparked my curiousity and made me search the scriptures…. 3 hebrew children that got captured and put into fire Shadrech Meshek and Abendego… never heard those names in this series…. and Paul of Taursus… It was Saul of Taursus…. later name was changed to Paul after Jesus told him his new name was Paul. And Abram later Abraham… Sarai … later Sarah…. just little things not nothing to throw fit over

  • Jesus didn’t change Saul to Paul. That’s common belief but not in the Bible.

  • Phoebe


  • Bob Dobolina

    I appreciate what you wrote here about the inaccuracies of that series. As a Christian, I don’t appreciate mis-information about the Bible…the ENTIRE bible. In my humble opinion, Christians love the romanticize that book. We pick the “pretty” parts and talk about how much God loves us and how wonderful the blood and the power of Jesus are. But most of us are unwilling to admit the ridiculously ugly portions of that book that condone slavery and oppression. The parts that don’t show any type of punishment or accountability for powerful men having many wives and concubines. I could go on and on. But as it relates to your article, I think it’s extremely irresponsible to make a television series that selectively romanticizes the bible while leaving out key facts. The story of Soddom and Gamorrah, the UGLY TRUTH is that Lott offered his daughters (who were at least engaged) sexually to an angry mob and was still considered “a good man.” After the destruction of those cities, Lott’s daughters get him drunk and have sex with him, one after the other, for the purpose of reproduction. Now, I know this doesn’t line up with “the spirit” of the bible as was stated in the disclaimer but the creators of this series know that MOST people will never actually read the bible for themselves. They will rely on cheap, inaccurate mini-series like this one to confirm what they’ve already been told. The few people who actually READ the bible will mis-interpret it and take it completely out of context. Very few people can take an objective view of the bible and media which supports the bible, yet retain their faith in The Creator. It IS our Christian responsibility to speak against ill-doing, mistreatment, inequality, and flat out inaccuracy, even if it comes from our own text. Jonathan, THANK YOU for your objectivity.

  • Bob Dobolina

    ^^^^Agree. Stereo-typical inaccuracy. The same way they appeared to have made the devil look like a black male. The imagery means much and the creators of this series know that. Yet they still chose to air it. Completely irresponsible and not God or Christ-like.

  • Bob Dobolina

    Very good point. I find it deplorable that this bible we all believe whole-heartedly as Christians, gives us a clear depiction of what Jesus looked like, yet we have not seen ONE, NOT ONE re-enactment, drama, series, drawing, painting in the public eye that depicts him as the bible describes him. Again, the imagery means everything. How do you not cast people of color for a story based in the Middle-Eastern/African region? And this is why I took this series about as seriously as I took Charlton Heston’s version of the story.

  • Bob Dobolina

    I wish your synopsis was true that “it will help people to now dive into the word and read for themselves.” History shows us that it will not. People will keep passing along these “video” and “fable” versions of the bible and NOT read for themselves. It’s sad but true.

  • Bob Dobolina

    Darryn, the same 10 million people who watched will keep spreading the inaccuracies that were reinforced in this series. As Christians, we cannot just erase or ignore history. We HAVE been judgmental and closed-minded in our teachings and our learnings as Christians. Our religion, HISTORICALLY, has created an environment of hate, racism, bigotry, and elitism. And truthfully, most of us are only trying to protect and prove that the bible is “God’s spoken word” instead of treating people like Christ would treat people. To say that these two people did “exactly what Christ asked of them” is being wholly naive. Remember, when you HIDE the truth by standing by idly and doing or saying nothing, you are no better than the liar.

  • Randall Sawyer

    Nice! I Agree 100 Percent! could Not Say It Better Myself. Ahhhh My Phone Is Capatizing Everything Anyway, Thank You Man.

  • The most blaring inaccuracy of all; everyone is White!

  • Becky Muller

    I am SO glad that you stated this because I have been feeling the same way. Sadly, I’m not surprised that this is the case since the most common portrayal of the Christ in Hollywood has been of a handsome, attractive, Anglo male. It’s almost as if to “sell” Yahushua to the masses he must appear that way and that is sickening to me. I also find it very disturbing that the majority of white people have no problem with this deception but I’ve read on these comments more than once how Sampson should not have been casted black. To be clear that is ONE black actor that was misrepresented out of how many white actors? I just feel like Americans are so brainwashed and used to this certain portrayal of Christ that they don’t even think of it as an inaccuracy…this is sad!

    I am eagerly waiting for the day when FAITH in one heavenly Father, our Yahweh, the creator of all things, will come before RACE/ETHNICITY because we as a people are not even close…

  • Jeff

    I don’t know what scholars the producers asked advice from, but they either didn’t get good advice or they chose to ignore it? This mini series is historically very inaccurate to the point of being somewhat of a satire. I cannot believe it was even allowed to air on TV?

    Here is just a few I saw in a couple of episodes, but I will try to skip stuff already mentioned:
    -Moses returns to Egypt and many know him and he is quickly ushered into the the house of the elders. In the Bible, Moses left Egypt as a 40 year old man and did not return until he was 80. All who knew of him were probably dead. Also the Pharaoh was not a childhood rival of Moses as portrayed by Cecil De Mills. The Bible states that there was a new administration that did not know of Moses and that is why they did not execute him for killing the Egyptian at 40.
    – Moses is supposed to do his first miracle before Pharaoh in court with the staff turning into a serpent according to Bible. Instead, Pharaoh goes into a tirade about being God and beats Moses and throws him out of the court.
    -When Egyptian Army pursues Moses into the wilderness, they are supposed to be detained by a pillar of fire coming down, but this is missing too?
    -Jesus comes ashore and feeds multitude, but as soon as they get their food, they start hailing him as Messiah and it turns into somewhat of a mob scene. Bible says they ate and were happy and the disciples left peacefully with more than enough food.

  • Jeff

    White with blonde hair and all of them have British Accents playing Jewish Characters?

  • Jeff

    Here is another big historical inaccuracy!

    When Jesus was crucified on the cross, the soldiers did not pierce the nails threw the hands, but rather the wrists as the bone frame will hold the victim’s weight much better. Later they portrayed the resurrected Christ with the same nail holes through His hands and they should have been in the wrists.

  • Jeff

    I suppose the producers were too busy show boating with celebrities and writing their own scripts for the Bible scenes that they forgot to crack open a dusty Bible that may have been laying around the set and to see what it actually says happened?

  • Brent

    @ Suzy Too right! That was my main gripe with the series :/ Key scriptures and phrases that were omitted entirely, or substituted with nothing even resembling a paraphrase! Why?! Why go through all the effort to make this fantastic production, but omit key scriptures and be biblically/historically inaccurate (at points)?! I’ve always thought that anything worth doing, is worth doing right…obviously the producers of this series don’t think so :/

  • heirloomsify

    Well I recommend that you watch the movie with someone who has read and understood what is written in the bible (maybe a bible teacher, pastor, etc.). Through this, you can clarify inconsistencies and some parts that are unfamiliar.

  • Matthew

    According to the Biblie, I mean Rev. 22:18, changing the stories a bit but saving the whole message of what The Scriptures meant to say is not so bad. What is REALLY bad, or I would call it a HUGE SIN, UNFORGIVEABLE one is what the religions of the world are doing, they’re REMOVING, EARASING, DELETING the mighty name of GOD from the Bible and replacing it with just mere titles like Lord, Adonai. “God” is the position not a NAME!!! People don’t even know that. Poor ones, LEARN it and Remember it. And that is “taking away from the book” and these are wicked deeds, SINS when people erase the name of God and don’t use it.

  • Zed

    In the The Bible movie, did anyone noticed there were something wrong when Jesus asked Peter to let down his net? Please correct me if I am wrong. Aren’t the net supposed be breaking because of too many fishes caught? Aren’t they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them? Didn’t Peter fell down at Jesus’ knees asking Jesus to leave him?

  • Yana

    Hello all. I was very excited when this series aired. I did enjoy watching it, but the inaccurate representation of certain stories really made my spirit fall. For example; Samson turning himself in instead of the real story of the betrayal of his wife and the cutting of his hair.. I also cannot believe they just skipped over Joseph. I believe that should have been included instead of them focusing on things that are not so relaxant. Example; the prostitute in Jericho and that she made it out alive after all.
    The special effects were done well though, even though that cannot cover up the facts that they omitted many very
    Important lessons and stories.

  • Cole Olsen

    I would like to say that the series isnt just for those who read the scriptures or for those who deem themselves worthy, but also to those who have had trouble understanding the scriptures, which it was intended to be. And for that I felt they did they did the best they could to make it watchable for all generations.

  • Chris

    Paul (Παύλος) is simply his Greek name, rather than his Semitic name. Makes sense for the apostle to the Gentiles to use his Greek name…

  • Chris

    Unlikely…since it is based on the epic at Gilgamesh & written down quite late (in the exhilic period if memory of Wellhausen serves me correct)…then again I don’t subscribe to the historicity of Gen 1-11

  • Chris

    Noah would have walked with Elohim rather than YHWH if we’re talking chronology. The revelation of his name isn’t until the burning bush incident.

  • Chris

    Pretty impressive…Moses even wrote posthumously too no doubt?!

  • Chris

    In the biblical account the David story contains two clearly separate redactions. Where the story of him as an unknown (to Saul) appears twice. Once as an unknown harpist and once as an unknown shepherd boy…surely Saul would have known him at one or the other points of the story?! I quite liked the way they spliced the two together…

  • dierk rice

    Ok, this was an amazing series it got the message out there and stoies were told more than good. Many details were left out yes. But you cant perfectly get everything into one movie or mini series. I loved this series and many lives will be changed when people see this. That is the whole point of this is to spread thr gospel of the lord. Im just amazed anyone was able to do this well on a series about the bible ot is a very complicated book. Good job to who ever made this. I am very pleased!

  • Marie

    Well said Norma, well said.

  • ks

    Norma Butler,

    I believe, if we are going to portray scenes from the Holy Bible, we must do it with the most accuracy according to the words that have been given unto us in the holy scriptures; therefore, we must not speculate its occurrences. Some folks that watched this series and is not versed in scripture may have taken these differences for truth. That is why as Christians we have to study to show ourselves approved unto God, so that we can rightly divide God’s word and convey to others its truths. As I watched this series, I also pointed out many of the discrepancies in the movie and I believe the reason for that is my commitment to rightly dividing God’s word and not watering it down or hyping it up for secular entertainment, though I know the producers hearts were in the right place and their intent was probably genuine.

    You criticized John for noting the discrepancies rather than promoting its intent to Christians around the world. I believe that every Christian that watched this movie should have had some foundation of the word of God so that they could reject or debate the parts that are not accurate. The idea is that we should know what we believe and when we are confronted with views that are contrary to holy scripture we should reject it as truth.

    Without a doubt, the Bible story has always been and will always be the greatest story ever told; however, as believers we must do our part to defend the integrity of God’s word.

  • ks

    Norma Butler, I believe, if we are going to portray scenes from the Holy Bible, we must do it with the most accuracy according to the words that have been given unto us in the holy scriptures; therefore, we must not speculate its occurrences. Some folks that watched this series and is not versed in scripture may have taken these differences for truth. That is why as Christians we have to study to show ourselves approved unto God, so that we can rightly divide God’s word and convey to others its truths. As I watched this series, I also pointed out many of the discrepancies in the movie and I believe the reason for that is my commitment to rightly dividing God’s word and not watering it down or hyping it up for secular entertainment, though I know the producers hearts were in the right place and their intent was probably genuine. You criticized John for noting the discrepancies rather than promoting its intent to Christians around the world. I believe that every Christian that watched this movie should have had some foundation of the word of God so that they could reject or debate the parts that are not accurate. The idea is that we should know what we believe and when we are confronted with views that are contrary to holy scripture we should reject it as truth. Without a doubt, the Bible story has always been and will always be the greatest story ever told; however, as believers we must do our part to defend the integrity of God’s word. – See more at: http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2013/03/25/10-inaccuracies-in-the-bible-the-miniseries-not-the-book/#comment-142250

  • Arun

    I was also suprised the depiction of the resurrection of Lazarus.

  • paulette McDaniels

    I sort of ignored this series when it first came out having experienced the History Channel’s previous presentations of Christianity. But I saw it today from the Passion onward.
    Yes,.there are more then a few inaccuracies but be that as it may, it’s television after all.
    It’s just I can’t seem to find an answer as to why verses from the book of James (brother of Jesus, leader of the Jewish Christian Church in Jerusalem ) seems to be contributed to Paul/Saul
    It couldn’t be because they wanted to concentrate on the Apostles, as James was one (Gal 1:19, 2:9) so what gives?

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  • Mark

    Brad, I think you’re jumping the gun playing the race card. Keith was pointing out that it was pretty stereo typical to have an Asian angel doing karate (which I can see someone like yourself crying racism about that too). Also, a comment about someone’s race does not make that person a racist. There is a difference between a racial comment in a racist comment. As far as his comment about Jesus, he was simply pointing out that he is tired of seeing the Western made up image of Jesus. Again… nothing racist there.

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  • Jesus did not change Saul ‘ s name to Paul. In Acts 9, Jesus always calls him Saul. Acts 13 says he was “also called Paul” insinuating that he always had both names. When the spirit sets him apart as a missionary in that chapter, the Holy Spirit once again calls him Saul.

  • Stacyjane

    I am extremely Happy and mostly Grateful to have watched The Bible on the History Channel Easter weekend, 2014. It simply got my attention and sparked my interest in getting to know the real deal. I realized that it was a “Hollywood production” and it would be embellished somewhat but as far as I’m concerned it served a miraculous purpose for me. It made me Thirst for the Truth which I will be Forever Grateful for because I have been reading and studying The Bible ever since I watched the series on Easter Sunday, 2014.

  • Marlon Thomas

    Hi Jonathan,
    There was a scene from the Bible mini series where I am sure I heard Daniel telling King Cyrus that “there is a prophet here in Babylon – Isaiah”. However acdording to Jewish tradition wasn’t Isaiah killed by the wicked King Manasseh, the son of King Hezekiah long before the Babyonians even invaded and destroyed the southern kingdom of Judah? Does this make sense to you or am I missing someting?

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  • mike85

    There was no Jesus… Only Yeshua ..
    There was no god. Only Yahweh.
    Translation is ok but not when its some ones name. You only change the characters name in a fictional book not a factual book.
    Didn’t I profess your name. no depart from me that works iniquity. ASk anything in my name Yahweh ,yeshua….. not translated name . wake up people don’t worship a false name.

  • A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. Galatians 5:9

  • Adam

    couldn’t have said it better myself!!

  • Adam

    “”As I said in the preface, this was not a criticism of the miniseries. Rather, it was a simple discussion of those parts of the series that deviate from the text.””

    you’re an idiot. look up the definition to criticism, or to critique something…. your second sentence IS the definition of critique.

  • Alan

    “millions of people that are being reached by this film! What an opportunity to reach out to them! Stop being so negative!”
    So bother Robert, rather reach these million of people with a false/inaccurate Gospel as portrayed in the film?

  • Alan

    I was a bit surprised to see a black Samson as well.Don’t worry I’m black, so no need to shout “an other racist comment”

  • Alan

    JM, thank you so much for this blog, may the LORD keep on blessing you

  • Bret

    The original epic of Gilgamesh tablets don’t even contain a flood narrative, it was added in later AFTER the Bible was written.

    Gilgmesh’s flood narrative is lifted from the Bible, not vice versa.

  • SETH D

    Charles and Jonathan,

    I’ve been in a deep personal study reading Daniel, really digging into the story, then i watched the Bible series to see my story unfold on screen. It was neat! i loved the image of gold!

    However, the darius and cyrus thing, that was just dumb. Why didn’t they do it right? It was Darius who was king, not Cyrus.

    Also, ol’ Nebby Neb Cunezzar was not recorded as “chained up like a mad man – walking dead zombie”. he did lose his mind, and lived in the wilderness, but he wasn’t zombie chained up in the basement.

    Could have easily put him in the wilderness, added some claws, long hair and beard, etc.

  • Shaun

    In the show’s defense, since the source material (the Bible) is rife with contradictions and confusing allegory how would you expect a TV show not to be.