Reviews: What the Critics Say about The Bible Mini-Series

What the critics are saying about The Bible series that premiered 3/3/13 on The History Channel:

Geoff Tunnicliffe , Guest Contributor for The Christian Post, wrote in Review: ‘The Bible’ – This Time, Hollywood Got It Right

 I guess I must have seen most of the Hollywood-made movies and TV shows about the Bible or characters from the Bible. While many of them have a nostalgic feel for me, I must admit that the majority was pretty high on my “cringe factor” scale.

… For someone that has read and taught the Bible for most of his life, I had a remarkable spiritual and emotional experience. The theme of God’s love and hope for all humanity is the thread that holds the entire series together. I received a fresh new perspective on many of the famous Bible stories…

Neil Genzlinger in The New York Times, “God’s Word, the Greatly Abridged Version” (3/1) —

Mr. Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, gave themselves a chance to tackle the ultimate make-me-believe-it challenge when they decided to produce “The Bible,” a 10-hour dramatization that begins on Sunday on History. Instead of embracing this challenge, they ducked it, serving up a rickety, often cheesy spectacle that is calculated to play well to a certain segment of the already enlisted choir but risks being ignored or scorned in other quarters.

… The mini-series certainly seems unlikely to be much of a recruitment tool for Christianity, putting the emphasis on moments of suffering rather than messages of joy, and not just when it comes time for the Crucifixion.

… The result is a mini-series full of emoting that does not register emotionally, a tableau of great biblical moments that doesn’t convey why they’re great. Those looking for something that makes them feel the power of the Bible would do better to find a good production of “Godspell” or “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Guest blogger Lisa Suhay at Christian Science Monitor’s Modern Parenthood section, raises parental caution in The Bible miniseries: History Channel’s take on the Bible not for kids —

The Bible miniseries produced by the History Channel is a disappointment for any family hoping for a new way to share the Bible’s stories with their children. The Bible miniseries, not altogether surprising given the History Channel’s relentless ratings focus, sensationalizes the Bible’s stories. Angel ninjas? Really?

…  if you’re looking for lessons and emotional content this is a wash. It’s more of a highlights reel of the Bible. It covers the same shopworn scenes traditionally seen on television, adding nothing to the mix but more blood on the sands of time.

Allison Keene wrote in The Hollywood Reporter, The Bible: TV Review —

 … Although an intertitle before things kick off informs views that this adaptation means to be faithful to the “spirit” of the book, what actually follows is a confusing — and very abridged — mishmash of the historical, the holy and the honeyed.

… Perhaps the strangest thing about this adaptation of The Bible is how slow and tedious it can be. The miniseries does its best work when it gets away from the most familiar stories — Moses, the exodus, Jesus’ crucifixion — and focuses on the kings (David, Saul, Solomon) and Daniel, whose stories are less well chronicled.

… The Bible never seems to figure out how to present itself. It spends a lot of time in the New Testament (at least, in the Gospels), which is already very well-worn territory on TV and in film. Sometimes it stays true to scripture but then does things like adds angels with ninja skills to spice things up.

… Unfortunately, The Bible is fractious and overwrought. Others are sure to pick apart the deviations from the sacred text, but that’s just the beginning of the miniseries’ issues. In the end, this is the most well-known and popular book in the history of humanity for a reason: It’s exciting and interesting and full of hope. The Bible is unfortunately none of these.

Glenn Garvin wrote for The Miami Herald, Reviews of ‘The Bible,’ ‘Red Widow’ and ‘Vikings’ —

The Bible, on the other hand, doesn’t amount to much more than a further piece of evidence that drama and reverence don’t mix well.

… With the pace of a music video, the characterizations of a comic book and the political-correctness quotient of a Berkeley vegetarian commune — laughably, the destruction of Sodom is depicted without the faintest hint of the sexual peccadillo that takes its name from the city — this production makes Cecil B. DeMille look like a sober theologian.

Jane Kellogg does a good round of critics’ reviews for Hollywood Reporter in History’s ‘The Bible’: What The Critics Are Saying.

Alan Rudnick noted: Best part of ‘The Bible’ was on social media

“The Bible” was good. I enjoyed it. I had low expectations. … For “The Bible” didn’t do, it did achieve something notable. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook were afire with comments.


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