The Bible, as seen on TV
April 30, 2013
Filed under Opinion Columns
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Many claim it is the greatest story ever told, taking over 1,600 years to write and becoming the best selling book of all time. Its stories have been told and retold, through word of mouth, movies, television specials, singing vegetables, and as allusions in most of our favorite contemporary literature.
The Bible is not only a part of many a religious person’s life; it is also a part of everyday life for many nonreligious people. There are actions taken each year to bring the holy book to a wider audience, and this year is no different in that aspect.
One way that 2013 differs from years past, however, is the fervor with which this year’s interpretation has been met. The History Channel’s mini-series, “The Bible,” was a huge hit, garnering more than 100 million viewers.
For weeks, all I heard about was how great “The Bible” was and how people couldn’t wait for the next episode. I kept saying to myself, “Oh, it’s just another Passion of the Christ,” and refrained from watching it.
However, I’m a sucker for a good book. Over the years, I’ve read thousands of them including the Bible several times. I attended Catholic school for the first five years of my education where we not only attended Mass daily, but also had designated time to learn the stories in the Bible.
After starting public school, I continued my religious education through night classes devoted to the Bible and even studied the Bible in high school for its literary importance.
Long story short, I was very interested in the idea of the Bible novelized. Roma Downey and Mark Burnett made that a reality when they published A Story of God and All of Us.
According to the author’s note, while working on the script for The Bible miniseries, Downey and Burnett heard many people comment on the scripts’ ability to help them visualize the holy book in a whole new way.
“We are not retelling the story of the Bible, it has already been told in the richest, fullest possible way, from the mouth of God and through His chosen prophets, students, and apostles,” Burnett and Downey wrote. “Instead, we are dramatizing some of these beautiful stories from our scripts.”
They have done a good job doing just that. Reading “A Story of God and All of Us” has opened my eyes to a different way of seeing stories that can be difficult to get through. For many people, reading the Bible is like reading Shakespeare or even a different language. This novelized version makes it a little more manageable for readers.
While the book is a very condensed version of the Bible, it is great for those who would like a basic understanding of what is contained within those hallowed pages. It may also be a good catalyst for people wishing to reconnect with their faith without reading a massive collection of tales.
There is even a young readers edition of the book and The Bible’s television success continues to grow through its DVD sales. Next, Burnett and Downey plan to bring The Bible to the big screen and are currently in the process of cutting the mini series into a feature length film.