Many people say that you should read the book first before you see the movie. This is because the book has more details and you can enjoy the wonderful, rich writing. (My Aunt Emily thought Reader’s Digest Condensed books were a travesty.) By reading the book before you see the movie it makes it easier to follow what is happening during the show.
So because of this advice I have not seen these movies. I’m not done reading and understanding the Bible yet:
- Mel Gibson’s 2004 movie “Passion of the Christ”
- Roma Downey and Mark Burnett’s 2013 mini series called “The Bible”
- The 2014 Downey and Burnett’s “Son Of God”
- Their “A.D. The Bible Continues” episodes
- Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing Jesus” movie
(It is interesting to me that Gibson, Downey, Burnett, and O'Reilly are Catholic. Does this cause the movies to be slanted?)
Mostly I skipped these productions because we don’t have cable. But maybe the most important reason I didn’t watch these movies was because I feared that I would be disappointed.
Back in the day, I watched “The Ten Commandments.” The acting was great, the photography brilliant, and the production spectacular. But do I remember it? No. What I do remember are the Sunday school songs we learned and the Bible stories we were told in Sunday school when I was a child. And now, as an adult, through studying the Bible in groups, I’m learning more and more about who God is and what He is like. I would really have trouble learning these things by watching a movie.
Movies about the Bible are good though. Maybe they will spark an interest, and cause some, who are not studying the Bible, to pick it up and read it, or sign up for a Bible study. There are many non-denominational studies like Bible Study Fellowship, Precepts Bible study, and Community Bible study to attend. Even better some people may go to a Bible teaching church and get involved in a Bible study there. However, God can use anything to teach us about Himself, even movies.