I love that Jackson is writing on the History Channel’s The Bible, and I agree that the production is leaden and the dramatic licenses taken are neither good ideas nor particularly effective. But — by the way of very respectful discourse, not strong criticism of Jackson’s thoughtful column — I think Jackson is too tough on its producers, especially on their motives. Also,I think the word “hypocrite” to describe them is particularly too strong. I think their thinking is fuzzy, but I think there intentions were entirely laudable. I’ve read interviews with Roma Downey on this, and followed her career in general, and I have been struck by how sincere she is and how laudable her goals seem to be. She clearly is a person of deep faith and of a good heart. Just the other day, meanwhile, she and her husband had a wonderful column in the Wall Street Journal that is almost entirely on target, entitled “Why Public Schools Should Teach the Bible.” Here’s part of it:
We’re talking about knowledge. The foundations of knowledge of the ancient world—which informs the understanding of the modern world—are biblical in origin. Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th president known more as a cigar-chomping Rough Rider than a hymn-signing Bible-thumper, once said: “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”
It would be the same thing, we believe, to deny America’s sons and daughters the benefits of an education that includes a study of the Bible.
In all, The Bible seems to be a labor of love that, at least in its first installment, failed to achieve lift-off. As a piece of art, it doesn’t really succeed, and Jackson is right that the explanations offered by the producers for their choices aren’t those that a lot of us would agree with. But I think all believers should applaud their overall intentions, and hope they succeed better in future endeavors.
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://spectatorworld.com/.