Like 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 entertainment, 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 young 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?