“Is the Book Better than the Movie?”: Hollywood and the Bible

Photo: History Channel

Rising in popularity is the show “The Bible,” where different episodes are different stories from the Christian text. I’m finding this phenomenon of Hollywood recreating the Bible to be very interesting, and am reminded of the controversy surrounding the film “The Passion of the Christ” when it was released. It seems that film adaptions of the Bible are becoming more and more popular as time goes on. What does this mean for religions in general?

Watch the video on ABC News here!

Religions around the world have sacred texts, believed by the followers to be divinely inspired and crucial to following the religious doctrine. Christianity is one of these religions, and we see the Bible being used to condemn movements and groups of people in our country as well as inspire people to do incredible good. Although we are a country who prides itself on separation of church and state, it is obvious that Christian ideals are woven into our society.

That being said, I find it interesting that the show “The Bible” has been getting so many views and (according to the ABC clip) positive attention. My instinct would tell me that there would be a lot of resistance and a lot of negative press for it. Is our society having a change of heart?

In the clip, someone was describing how great it was to be able to watch the show and then look it up in the Bible. Let’s be honest though, how many times have students watched the movie instead of reading the book for class? I know I personally just saw the movie “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” and so I don’t really feel the need to go and compare it to the book. Could this be a new way that people could start to treat the Bible, just watching the movie?

Now is the Hollywood takeover of the Bible something that could happen to other religions? I have a feeling that a film adaptation of the Quran is not in our future, but what about film adaptations of Hindu texts? The story of the Buddha? Maybe one will be the next History Channel miniseries…

One positive thing about the show is that it brings the content and spirit of the Bible to non-Christian viewers. Someone who isn’t Christian would probably be more apt to watch a television show than sit down and read the whole Bible. Could this promote more interfaith cooperation? I guess time will tell.

Since the show is so new, I think all we can do right now is speculate. But I’m really curious as to whether the age old statement will ring true: “The book is always better than the movie.”