But, especially when it comes to the Bible, changes are not always good. The creators of the movie took quite a bit of "artistic license" with the account. I just have to wonder, why would you want or need to take license with the Scripture? I can see why they had to leave many stories out, and even part of particular stories. But, doesn't adding parts that weren't really there defeat that? They took away and added. I won't go into what the Bible promises to those who add to or take away from the Word of God. I will leave that for you to ponder. But, it does start with "c" and end with "urse" and rhymes with "worse." Ok, so I can't resist giving you the Scripture reference. Revelation 22:18-19 Despite the changes that were made throughout in the accuracy of the telling, I really did enjoy watching the scenes acted out. The script was just truth-challenged. I felt the cast choices were perfect for almost every character. The only 2 disappointments in actors were in the Prophet Samuel & Apostle Paul.
I felt Samuel was made out to be too much of a whiner, and/or an arrogant windbag. Seriously, the man in the Bible was a preacher with attitude! I never read once where he whined. I don't really know what to say about the way they changed his use of a sword to a simple stabbing, except that seemed to be par for the changes in the movie. By that I mean, for the most part the changes seemed to be whitewashing the flaws of the Bible characters. They made the scenes a little more PC and were perhaps understating some of the mistakes/ sins these people committed. (They were human after all!) Yet, they did not quite leave out the gruesome gory details of violence. So, it must have been a hesitation to paint a hero in a negative light. Not to mention those "ninja-angels" thy embellished on. Larry had a problem accepting that version. He said it was too much 'Hollywood' and destroyed the accuracy. After all, they didn't have to show Judas hanging himself. That was quite graphic in my opinion, and I would have rather not seen that part acted out!
The other disappointment was in the Apostle Paul character. I have mixed feelings about that.I felt the changes disrupted the story of his life. The resulting character they created was no longer true to the person of Saul/Paul. For example, Saul was an educated man, having sat at the feet of Gamaliel in Jerusalem. He was most probably a junior officer of the court, and would have been acting under the authority and commission of the high priest... in an official role. He was merely portrayed as a rebel-rouser from the street. But, the actor redeemed himself with his rage. I could see his rage. It was so Paul! They could have put more effort into the stoning of Steven scene, as far as the mob goes, but Steven, and Paul himself, were so realistic. Their actions brought home the story, despite the changes.
Then, the converted Paul, for that is what he is.... merely converted... portrays exactly sentiments of guilt and shame. And, the actors hearing him preach, accurately portray the doubt the other followers had over Saul's reputation. What's more, you take away a big sense of how Jesus can take a life of anger, violence, and shame; and transform it into a work of Grace. This, after all, is most likely the only real message in the series. No where else is the message of the Gospel shared in the telling of God's Word. And, that is the biggest ommission of the miniseries.
One aspect of the series I enjoyed noticing was the scenes that were chosen, as well as those which were omitted. They included some that were great and I would have been certain they might have left those out. But, others I would have loved to see were omitted. Sadly, that is the nature of any work that attempts to portray the whole Bible. You just can't get it all. One I missed: Joseph, whose story was not only integral, but who was himself a type of Jesus Christ who was to come later. On the other hand, they included Samson, who was not what I would call essential, but as Larry said, the themes of adultry and the long-haired strong man provided more of a Hollywood model figure than the goodness of a Joseph figure. And then, they left out all of Paul's missionary journeys. They jumped from the ascension to Peter's martyrdom, and claimed it was merely a 20 year jump. There were basically 40 years overlooked there. That part of the New Testament could have been a couple of episodes by itself.
And, that leads us to the character who portrayed Jesus. What were they thinking? Not only was he a "mini-Jesus" but he had no power to speak of, did he? He spent most of his time trying to convince the disciples to become disciples. I mean, seriously, he spent how long trying to talk an insolent, pouty Peter into following him? And, he never offered to make him a fisher of men, saving mankind from the wreckage of sin; but instead offered him the excuse that he would help Jesus "change the world." And, that my friend, is the great commission of error. Jesus did not die on the cross to change the world! He died so that "whoever believes" will not die in sin, but will have everlasting life. John 3;16 You won't find that in a miniseries. If you watched the miniseries, please do yourself the favor of picking up a Bible and reading the story for yourself. And, if you didn't watch it, do yourself a favor and read the Bible anyways. What we need is more of the Word of God to save mankind. And, that is the story of the ages.