The Bible Miniseries: Hollywood Heresy
Posted 7 Dec 2013
First Published March 17, 2013
Unfortunately the producers of the miniseries did not follow The Bible closely.
With much critical acclaim and fanfare, History Channel’s “The Bible” miniseries debuted as the highest rated program in the network’s history. A 10-hour mini-series that covers popular Bible stories from Genesis to Revelation, has been a commercial success. The Christian Post online news site proclaimed: “This Time, Hollywood Got It Right.”
Christiancinema.com wrote in its review: “This 10 part mini-series is a must-see epic of Biblical proportion. It is a wonderful testament to the enduring power of the Holy Bible, and the importance it plays in the history and eternal destiny of mankind.”
Yet watching the mini-series with a Bible-based perspective, it becomes obvious that this mini-series is full of unbiblical heresies, changes a great deal of the Bible’s details and ignores the message of salvation and forgiveness of sin in Jesus Christ that is the main purpose of the entire Bible itself.
And yet many churches have adopted this series for teaching and sharing the Word of God in their services, continuing the fall of many Christian churches into spiritual apostasy.
Here is a trailer for the Mini-series:
The Spiritual Advisors Behind The Bible
Joel Osteen, was one of the main “spiritual advisors” to Miniseries co-creators Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, right.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. – Matt 17:15
“We weren’t qualified to teach the Bible, but we knew plenty of people who were,” – The Bible mini-series co-creator Mark Burnett, speaking of the panel of spiritual advisors who helped make the mini-series.
A quick look at the Board of Advisors on The Bible Miniseries and it becomes quite obvious that it was bound to contain heretical portrayals of the Scriptures. Prosperity Gospel preacher T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church, the largest church in the United States are the three most prominent names.
T.D. Jakes in addition to preaching the money-focused prosperity Gospel, he also has yoked with New Age promoter Oprah Winfrey. Joel Osteen preaches a message of New Age mysticism, while Rick Warren has been a major promoter of a one-world religion that merges other faiths with Christianity.
Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv, which is famous for its rendition of “Gangsta’s Paradise” during Sunday service is also on the board in addition to a number of Catholic advisors as well. What all these people have in common is teaching doctrines that are not found in the Bible and often contradict the Word of God. As The Lord Jesus Christ explained in the passage above, if the spiritual foundation of a mini-series is filled with heretical, New Age pastors, the “fruit” of the mini-series will be questionable.
Numerous Biblical Errors
The writers of The Bible Miniseries should have consulted an actual Bible.
“The Bible miniseries is not a documentary, it is a scripted, acted docu-drama filmed on location in the Middle East and Morocco.” – The Bible Miniseries website.
“[Miniseries Co-Creator Mark Burnett] would send scripts our way and ask doctrinal or Bible questions about it, but a lot of it was a friendship and an advisory role,”[Pastor Joel] Osteen said. Osteen said much of his work was confirming if the extra biblical material stayed true to the Bible. (source).
In this day and age of spiritual confusion and heresies, it is very important that a Christian message is based on sound, Biblical doctrine. Obviously in a theatrical presentation, there is a certain creative license, because not every detail of every story is included in Scripture.
Noah And The Ark
Noah leaves out an important detail in telling the story of Adam and Eve.
The Bible opens with Noah on the ark with his family, struggling to plus leaking holes and keep the ark afloat (Huh … it seems the design for the ship, provided by God in great detail, was having issues). He then tells his children the story of Adam and Eve from Genesis.
Here are some of the errors:
- Noah’s sons are small children. In the Bible they are actually grown, married men and they and their wives come on to the ark.
- As Noah tells the story of Adam and Eve, there is no mention of the promised Redeemer, who would one day be born and redeem Adam, Eve and all of humanity:
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. – Genesis 3:14-15.
This is one of the most important verses in the Bible as it marks the first prophecy of the Messiah, Jesus Christ who would be born of a woman and one day conquer Satan. This was done on the cross, when Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity, allowing forgiveness for those who put their faith in Him. The Bible Miniseries has left the most important aspect of the Bible, out.
It was sin that cursed humanity and the Earth, invoking God’s wrath. Scripture tells us: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:11).
Rather than make this very important point to his children, Noah says that humanity has made “bad choices! Bad decisions?”
This sounds like a script from the pen of Joel Osteen, with a little help from Rick Warren.
In ignoring sin (the word is not even uttered in the first 2 episodes) and neglecting to mention God’s forgiveness and plan for redemption of humanity through the Savior, Jesus Christ, the main message of the Bible is lost.
Even after receiving the punishment, the Lord once again showed His mercy to them:
And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. – Genesis 3:20-21.
Adam names his wife Eve, meaning mother of all living, expressing hope in the promise that their “seed” or child, would crush the serpent and redeem them. And God showed another sign of His grace and willingness to forgive by making clothing for them out of animal skins.
Abraham and Lot
Abram is portrayed as a ruddy, nomad scraping to survive. The Bible says: “And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” (Genesis 13:2).
- When the workers of Abram and his nephew Lot begin to quarrel, it was Abraham’s decision to divide their land as a way to work out a peaceful resolution:. In The Bible Miniseries, it is Lot who tells Abram that they must divide the land so he can move on to a new area for himself and his wife.
The angels sent to Sodom never get beat up in the actual Bible.
- When God pronounces his judgment upon the wicked city of Sodom, he sends angels to rescue Lot before the city is destroyed for its rampant sexual immorality and rebellion:
Cf – Genesis 19:1-7.
The Bible Miniseries runs wild changing the story. Instead of finding Lot as told in the Bible, it is Lot who discovers and rescues the wounded and beat up angels, who beg him for safe haven in his home (which again contradicts Scripture). At no time in the Biblical account were the angels ever harmed or even scared of the Sodomites.
Burnett and Downey also left out the homosexual sin of the people of Sodom. As detailed in the verses above, Sodom’s entire male population was engaging in homosexual sin as shown by the fact that every man, even the young men and the elderly, came to Lot’s door, demanding the angels be brought into the street for forced public fornication. This is how far gone into sexual depravity this city and its neighboring city, Gomorrah, had descended to.
The Bible Miniseries omits this very important detail from the story, instead portraying the men of the city as promiscuous, heterosexual men who were just angry with the angels of God and seeking to fight them.
Thus the message of the Bible changes to suit the preferences and tastes of today, even if it is in rebellion against God. Galatians 1:9-10 addresses this:
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:9-10.
But with a multi-million dollar big budget production, the desire to please the public is quite strong and won out over believing Scripture in the case of The Bible Miniseries. This may also explain the same angels protecting Lot engaging in martial arts fighting with the men of Sodom during Lot’s exit from the city. With a series of high-flying moves and swordplay, they battle the men of the city – something never seen in Scripture.
Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac
Abraham believed that even if Isaac died, God would raise him from the dead.
When the command came from God to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, Isaac did not have any children. Therefore if Isaac had died and never been heard from again, he would not have any children and the promise that God made to Abram in the passage above would have failed.
Notice in Abraham there is no doubting. Even when Isaac questioned Abraham, his answer reflected his faith in God’s Word: Rather than doubting Abraham and God, Sarah had faith in The Lord.
Hebrews 11 tells us that Sarah had faith that she would conceive a child at age 90. She believed God with true faith that He would bless them with the seed that would continue to lead to the Promised Messiah..
Does the version from The Bible Miniseries capture any of the important doctrinal elements of the Biblical account? Does Abraham’s faith, based on knowing God, believing God and trusting in His word, come through in this? Would a viewer know from this miniseries portrayal that Sarah was actually a faithful believer in God as well and not trying to stop her husband? The scene leaves Abraham looking like a mindless believer, God looking cruel and irrational and Sarah completely disagreeing with her husband and having no faith in God’s promises.
So what spirit is leading a film that would take such a dramatic departure from the text? What spirit would lead the film to ignore the beautiful type and foreshadow of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, on the exact same spot where Abraham offered up Isaac and the message of eternal life? Beloved, it is the same spirit that operates in the sermons of Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes and Rick Warren – one that does not have a concern for Biblical accuracy and will teach any doctrine that excites the flesh and puts the focus on self. Do not be deceived.
– Luke 5:1-11.
Peter’s reaction to the miracle that Jess had performed. He and his men were fishing all night and caught nothing. There was seemingly, no way to catch any. Yet Peter believed Jesus’ words and obeyed him. And after the miracle, Peter dropped to a position of worship and said “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Recognizing one’s own sin before the morally perfect God and Lord that is Jesus Christ, is key to going to Heaven.
Does The Bible Miniseries illustrate these powerful points? Not at all. Instead of being astonished and worshiping at the feet of Jesus, Peter asks him “How did this happen? What did you do?” as if he had no idea what was going on. The Jesus character (who looked like the renaissance era/Catholic depictions of Jesus) responds: “I am giving you the chance to change your life..giving up catching fish and I will make you a fisher of men.” Peter answers “What are we going to do?” showing he still does not really understand if Jesus is divine or why it would be necessary for people to know Jesus. And the Jesus character’s answer is “Change the world.” No mention of sin, acknowledging of Jesus as God in the flesh or a real salvation message. Instead it is almost a social justice message. Jesus Christ did not come to change the world, He came to save it from its sin.
Roma Downey: Yoked With The New Age Movement?
The Bible Miniseries Co-creator Roma Downey on the cover of the New Age OM Magazine.
Roma Downey has been celebrated for her co-creation of The Bible Miniseries and being an outspoken “Hollywood Christian.” Known for her role in the 90s drama “Touched By An Angel”, her name on The Bible Miniseries lent a great deal of Christian credibility. But looking a little closer at the testimony of Downey and it becomes apparent she is more involved with New Age mysticism than Biblical Christianity.
In 2010 Downey graduated from The University of Santa Monica with a Degree in Spiritual Psychology (the entire school is dedicated to the study of Spiritual Psychology and “Soul-centered Education.
Put another way, Spiritual Psychology is a technology that empowers students to convert their everyday life experience into rungs on the ladder of Spiritual Evolution…” (source).
Downey also said in an interview:
‘My kids go to school about a 40-minute drive away. I’m open to the group’s opinion about what we listen to on the way there. On the way back, I get my own selections — books on tape by Eckhart Tolle, Tony Robbins…My husband says I’m so self-realized I’m practically levitating.’ (source).
“Self-realization” is a term in New Age and Eastern mysticism for achieving godhood, or releasing one’s true “inner divine self” through spiritual practices. Eckhart Tolle, a New Age guru and author of the book, A New Earth, promoted many doctrines that are contrary to Biblical Christianity. Among them:
“…heaven is not a location but refers to the inner realm of consciousness…. Earth, on the other hand, is the outer manifestation in form, which is always a reflection of the inner…. ‘A new heaven’ is the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness, and ‘a new earth’ is its reflection in the physical realm.”[1,p.23]
“Recognize the ego for what it is: a collective dysfunction, the insanity of the human mind…. Nobody is wrong. It is the ego in someone, that’s all.” (p. 76).
“You realize your true identity as consciousness…. That’s the peace of God. The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I Am.” (p. 56-57).
Oprah Winfrey, one of the biggest promoters of New Age spirituality in history, was a major force behind launching Tolle’s career. These doctrines of contrary to Scripture, but even the female fan, who is a Christian notices this and points it out to Oprah:
Contacting The Dead
Downey also has been featured on television trying to contact the dead:
ACTRESS Roma Downey has talked to her mother through a psychic on live TV. The Derry-born Touched By An Angel star was a guest on a celebrity version of the US psychic show Crossing Over, hosted by medium John Edward. (source).
The Bible makes it clear that dabbling in the occult is a forbidden, sinful practice:
Necromancy, the practice of speaking to the dead, is rebellion against God. Mediums like John Edward are able to relay facts and messages from the “dead” through the use of demons. When a person is alive, a demon can follow that person around and observe the things they do. So when the person dies, if a relative tries to use a psychic or a medium, the medium is contacting the demon to then retrieve the information about “Uncle Jack, who loved the Pittsburgh Pirates and always ate chocolate ice cream.”
Roma Downey collaborated on the book that teaches prayers to Mary.
The Rosary is what is called “Marian worship”, the treatment of Mary as a God. Catholicism teaches that Mary is not only to be “venerated and prayed to but that she is also a “co-redeemer” of humanity, alongside Jesus Christ:
Mary is the Co-Mediator to whom we can entrust all our cares and petitions. (Roman Catholic Catechism 968-970, 2677).
This is from the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia under the listing for Mary:
She is conceived without the stain of original sin; she shows the greatest humility and patience in her daily life.. When there is question of sin, Mary must always be excepted. 
Mary’s complete exemption from actual sin is confirmed by the Council of Trent (Session VI, Canon 23): “If anyone say that man once justified can during his whole life avoid all sins, even venial ones, as the Church holds that the Blessed Virgin did by special privilege of God, let him be anathema.” (source).
(B&E: In The Bible Miniseries, Downey herself plays the role of Mary).
Churches Are Using The Bible Miniseries To Preach The Bible
The Bible Miniseries is being used as church doctrine all over the world.
More than just entertainment, The Bible Miniseries website has a large number of items on sale for pastors and churches to use to make The Bible Miniseries a part of their church services, sermons and Bible studies.
As one secular newspaper described:
…Imagine thousands of preachers, delivering sermons custom-made around your TV series, with clips they can show before the altar, the very day of each episode’s broadcast. P.T. Barnum could not have drawn a more inescapable net around his target audience. (source).
The miniseries has also received a number of strong endorsements from Pastors:
“I’ve probably seen most, if not all, of the films about the Bible produced in the past 50 years. This one stands alone, in a class by itself, as the best I’ve ever seen. .. The key to its effectiveness is that it lets the Bible speak for itself, without commentary, excuse or qualification, which makes it unique. This is living history at its best!” – Dr. Rick Warren.
“Unlike any other film or miniseries I’ve ever encountered, The Bible brings the Word of God to life in the full richness of its scope, diversity, power, and magnificence. History and mystery collide as Mark Burnett and Roma Downey infuse every scene with their divinely inspired vision for sharing the poetic beauty and timeless wisdom of Scripture. – Bishop T.D. Jakes.
“I’m convinced that The Bible represents a unique opportunity to convey God’s redemptive message to a broad audience-many of whom may be unfamiliar with the narrative of Scripture. My prayer is that many lives will be impacted not only by the beauty and quality of the production, but by the Truth that lies at the center of the story.” – Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family
“It’s impossible to put into words the awe-inspiring emotions I felt watching the Bible stories come to life on the screen. The attention to detail is impeccable.” – Craig Groeschel, Pastor, Lifechurch.tv.
“We have read all the scripts, spent time on the set and viewed some remarkable footage. The World Evangelical Alliance stands fully behind this incredible Bible project.” – r. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Chief Executive Officer/Secretary General, World Evangelical Alliance.