Noah the movie: fairy tale, bible story, entertainment, or truth?

Noah movieLike many history buffs, I enjoyed seeing how the producers depicted Noah’s world. On the other hand, even though I’m not a Bible scholar, I do know that God gave Noah detailed instructions for the ark, He shut the door himself, and eight people were saved aboard the vessel. These basic facts were all backwards in the movie.

 

As strange as these obvious errors were, the creepiest one was the family heirloom—a preserved snakeskin shed by the serpent in the Garden of Eden. In the movie, this heirloom would glow when Noah’s father—and later Noah—wrapped it around his arm and hand to bless his family.

 

Other recent books and movies have given us new takes on the Greek Olympians and frolicking fallen angels. If it’s okay to mix up the Greek legends for Percy copyentertainment, is it okay to play around with people in the Bible?

 

The latest Gallup poll finds that nearly 80% of Americans believe the Bible is either the literal word of God or is inspired by God. Only nineteen percent of Americans say it is a collection of myths and legends. If you hold with conspiracy theories, you might suspect that the purpose of twisting Biblical truth in small, seemingly harmless ways while delivering heart-stopping entertainment is pivotal to destabilizing America’s faith.

 

I write new moonfall coveryoung adult adventure fiction that includes historical and Biblical elements, but my intent is to take artistic license only when the absence of facts leaves room for innovation. For example, I endowed one of my characters, Rachav, with a twin sister. Does the Bible say she had a twin? No. Does it say she DID NOT? No. Will the presence or absence of this twin cripple your faith?

 

I’d like to hear from you. Do you think it’s okay for movies and literature to contradict the Bible? Do you think movies like Noah bolster faith, or undermine it?

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6 thoughts on “Noah the movie: fairy tale, bible story, entertainment, or truth?

  1. I think it depends on the intent: According to the Washington Post:
    “The producer of the movie “Noah,” a self-professed atheist, says he is proud of the fact that he’s taken a story inspired by God’s word and turned it into something so secular.
    Director Darren Aronofsky called his movie “the least biblical biblical film ever made,” The Telegraph reported.
    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/24/atheist-noah-director-brags-film-least-biblical-bi/#ixzz3038DIVOt

    There’s a difference between a pro-God movie/book that’s takes artistic license and one that sets out to take God out of a biblical story.

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    • Indeed, a controversial statement on his part. The secular portrayal can be damaging to those who don’t know the truth and have no one to explain it. It’s like the proverbial poo-brownie… it looks delicious, smells like chocolate, and tastes pretty good… if someone hadn’t told you there was a couple of teaspoons of doggie-doo in the mix, you could have enjoyed and never been the wiser. 🙂

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  2. Interesting movie for sure. I went with our pastor and during the movie, I was sure he was going to tear it apart. However, he actually liked it. He said that it stuck to the main morals and principles of the bible. The story was of course not biblical in a factual sense. (Or is it fact anyway? – another topic) It reminds me of a saying on our city bus recently – There is no God, so enjoy your life! (Yes, it actually said that on our public bus). I was horrified, however a local minister interviewed about the words on the bus calmly said that whatever gets people talking about religion and God is always a good thing. God can handle it from there. Same thing with this movie, IMHO.

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    • I, too, like the dialogue it generates! My oldest daughter sat next to me during the movie and as soon as it was over, she said, “Okay Mom, I heard you sigh like at least a dozen times … what did you think?” So yes, my husband and I, both daughters, and a daughter’s friend who accompanied us took the discussion to Braum’s and analyzed it over ice cream.

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  3. I agree about intent. I also think there a difference between stories inspired by something biblical and something that more closely claims to represent the original – in which case, treading a bit more carefully would be a good idea. Noah doesn’t pass either criteria so far as I’m concerned.

    We only just saw the second Hobbit movie two nights ago. Hubby and I discussed it afterwards and we were both disappointed in it. And while I thought it was okay as a movie, Jackson is loosing me as a fan. I always was able to ignore the deviations from the books as necessary for filming and because I though the intent was still there. But I’m not so sure any more. And I’m no longer surprised the Tolkien estate is so resistant to ever allowing The Silmarillion to be filmed.

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