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Switch to Forum Live View What the History Channel Is Getting Wrong About the Bible
5 years ago  ::  Mar 15, 2013 - 6:48PM #1
CoolWarrior
Posts: 10,164


Good article to debate, lots of facts to discuss. Here is a portion of the thoughtful and thought-provoking article.


www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-wil-gafney-ph...


"What Is the History Channel Getting Wrong about the Bible?

Not quite everything. Just geography, anthropology, archaeology, biblical studies, theology, race and ethnicity. Not all of them all of the time, but most of them, most of the time.

 The History Channel is engaging in a systematic whitewashing of the Bible, its characters and narratives, with a few telling exceptions.

And this matters because of the way that race functions historically in the West, in the United States and in the Church and, how the construction of race in modernity is shaped by, in and, in response to the Scriptures.


......... (see link above for entire article)


When they do cast a black actor it is to reinscribe some of the most base racialized stereotypes in the Americas: the big black man/dingo with a taste for white women.


My specific commentary of the portrayal of Samson is available here."


This is a portion of the Samson article which has a lot more detail about the author's ideas as outlined above in the few short paragraphs:


The History Channel's miniseries on the Bible is a ratings blockbuster. The Bible is an incredibly important text in the history and culture of the United States, Western world and has its roots in the Eastern world. One would think that the media outlet that entitled itself the "History Channel" would be concerned about those roots. One might even think that the History Channel would endeavor to expose and explore those roots. But last night on episode two, the ill-named History Channel offered us a modern day Mandingo fairy tale.


The choice to cast Nonso Anozie (a black man in a bad dreadlock wig) as Samson as is in no way an attempt to demonstrate the visual and ethnic diversity of the ancient Near East in which this story is set, specifically the West Asian, East and North African context of the scriptures. The absence of characters of African descent up to this point makes that clear. (Just as the use of Black and Asian actors for angels makes them wholly "other" in the cast and not legitimate human bodies.)


That Samson is a big black man with brutish strength and a predilection for white women is no accident in this casting or production. One of the hallmarks of Rona Downey's and Mark Burnett's vision of the Bible is the erasure of the Afro-Asiatic Israelite ethnic identity and its replacement with a white, American fundamentalist Christian identity. They do this in several ways. 


See link for more of the article.


Edit: property rights ROC ~ Stardove


Moderated by Beliefnet_community on Mar 16, 2013 - 12:33PM
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5 years ago  ::  Mar 15, 2013 - 7:15PM #2
teilhard
Posts: 53,304

I've watched Portions of a Couple of the Episodes ...


The Series is a Goofy TV Show that departs so significantly enough from The Text as to be essentially worthless ...

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 15, 2013 - 10:14PM #3
Do_unto_others
Posts: 11,942

CW, I think you spent 20 paragraphs worth of time too many thinking about this.


 


It was meant to be an entertainment. I seriously doubt it was ever meant to be anything more than that.


Happens nearly every Lenten season.

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 15, 2013 - 10:44PM #4
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,839
While it would seem reasonable to think that something called The History Channel is indeed presenting solid history, anyone who takes anything seen on tv or read at face value without bothering to investigate the source's authority or reliability is woefully ignorant.

When it comes to the Bible, there's not much there that can be considered history as we understand that today. That's not its intent or purpose.

So, doesn't really matter that this series is hyped to appeal to a specific audience, if that's indeed so. That's what docudrama intends--to put on a good show for a particular audience.
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5 years ago  ::  Mar 16, 2013 - 12:48AM #5
Miraj
Posts: 5,021

I'm Middle Eastern, a Semite.  I didn't watch it because I'm tired of watching Anglo types play Semites.  As far as the History Channel goes, I usually rate their shows about the Bible as very informative.  This one, what a disappointment.

Disclaimer: The opinions of this member are not primarily informed by western ethnocentric paradigms, stereotypes rooted in anti-Muslim/Islam hysteria, "Israel can do no wrong" intransigence, or the perceived need to protect the Judeo-Christian world from invading foreign religions and legal concepts.  By expressing such views, no inherent attempt is being made to derail or hijack threads, but that may be the result.  The result is not the responsibility of this member.


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5 years ago  ::  Mar 16, 2013 - 4:44AM #6
Fodaoson
Posts: 11,506

A true to word depiction of the Bible would rate and “X” rating and would be unsuitable for  “under 17” audiences.  It would  upset most  clergy  and  church attending persons. In the beginning of the story of man there would be nudity .  Blood and killing would be  rampant.   

“I seldom make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.” Edward Gibbon
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5 years ago  ::  Mar 16, 2013 - 2:30PM #7
teilhard
Posts: 53,304

Ummmm ... Sounds like a lot of Hollywood Movies, yes ... ???


Mar 16, 2013 -- 4:44AM, Fodaoson wrote:


A true to word depiction of the Bible would rate and “X” rating and would be unsuitable for  “under 17” audiences.  It would  upset most  clergy  and  church attending persons. In the beginning of the story of man there would be nudityBlood and killing would be  rampant.   





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5 years ago  ::  Mar 16, 2013 - 2:44PM #8
Ebon
Posts: 10,148

Mar 16, 2013 -- 2:30PM, teilhard wrote:

Ummmm ... Sounds like a lot of Hollywood Movies, yes ... ???



Sure but those movies are age-restricted and come with warning labels. If someone did a proper movie of the Bible, it would be a hard R at least.


However, if anyone is going to, I suggest James Earl Jones (in Mufasa mode) as the voice of God (God never seen) and Oded Fehr as Jesus.

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. ~ Proverbs 14:31

Fiat justitia, ruat caelum

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 16, 2013 - 3:12PM #9
CoolWarrior
Posts: 10,164

Mar 15, 2013 -- 10:14PM, Do_unto_others wrote:


CW, I think you spent 20 paragraphs worth of time too many thinking about this.


 


It was meant to be an entertainment. I seriously doubt it was ever meant to be anything more than that.


Happens nearly every Lenten season.





Do_unto:


My OP is a quotation from a bible scholar. I'm sorry if anything I said led you to believe otherwise.


The source and full article is linked about haolfway down and says in blue "My full article....." and that's the bible scholar talking.

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 16, 2013 - 3:16PM #10
teilhard
Posts: 53,304

My own Preference for a "Modern Adaptation" would be more along the Lines of, "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?," which VERY nicely re-presented Homer's "Odyssey" ...



Mar 15, 2013 -- 10:44PM, DotNotInOz wrote:

While it would seem reasonable to think that something called The History Channel is indeed presenting solid history, anyone who takes anything seen on tv or read at face value without bothering to investigate the source's authority or reliability is woefully ignorant. When it comes to the Bible, there's not much there that can be considered history as we understand that today. That's not its intent or purpose. So, doesn't really matter that this series is hyped to appeal to a specific audience, if that's indeed so. That's what docudrama intends--to put on a good show for a particular audience.




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