Letters from the Lunar Outpost

world-egg...
- Book of Dzyan, Claimed Antediluvian Manuscript in Sen-Zar (B.C. 3000?)

the bible

Jesus as Portrayed in The History Channel production of "The Bible"

 

It’s my 400th post here at the blog, and what better way to celebrate it than by giving a plug to the best thing on television in years.

The History Channel’s five episode, ten-hour epic production of “The Bible” has been absolutely fantastic through the first three episodes. It’s hard to imagine trying to distill the Old Testament and the New Testament into a mere ten-hours of move making, but the husband and wife team of producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey (who also plays Mother Mary) do an unbelievable job with it and it’s well worth watching.

Episode four is premiering this coming Palm Sunday, March 24. If you missed any of the previous three episodes, take heart because you can set your DVR rolling and catch all four episodes to watch at your own convenience or if you’re really hardcore, you can make it a true marathon and try to sit through all eight hours. The Palm Sunday airings are in bold.

 


Ep.1: Beginnings

Premiere Date: March 03, 2013 – 08:00-10:00PM
Noah endures God’s wrath; Abraham reaches the Promised Land but still must prove his faith in God; Moses leads the Israelites out of Egypt, and his faith in God is rewarded when the Red Sea parts to allow the Israelites to escape Pharaoh’s chariots; Moses delivers his final message from God–the Ten Commandments.
Upcoming Airings:
March 24, 2013 – 02:00-04:00PM
March 31, 2013 – 12:00-02:00PM

Ep.2: Homeland

Premiere Date: March 10, 2013 – 08:00-10:00PM
Joshua conquers Jericho; Delilah betrays Samson as the Israelites battle the Philistines; Samuel anoints David king, a move that could throw the nation into civil war; Saul is consumed with jealousy when David defeats Goliath; King David ushers in a golden age for Israel, but is soon seduced by power and lust for Bathsheba; God forgives David, and his son, Solomon, builds God’s temple in Jerusalem.
Upcoming Airings:
March 24, 2013 – 04:00-06:00PM
March 31, 2013 – 02:00-04:00PM

Ep.3: Hope

Premiere Date: March 17, 2013 – 08:00-10:00PM
The Jews are enslaved in Babylon; Daniel is thrown into the lions’ den, but when his faith endures and God spares him, the Jews are allowed to return to Jerusalem; the Angel Gabriel tells Mary she will bear a child; Joseph takes Mary to Bethlehem for the census, where Jesus is born; the Holy family escapes Herod’s order to kill Bethlehem’s male babies; Judea comes under the ruthless rule of Pilate; John baptizes Jesus, who is now ready to take on his mission–and his revolution.
Upcoming Airings:
March 21, 2013 – 01:01-03:03AM
March 24, 2013 – 06:00-08:00PM
March 30, 2013 – 08:00-10:00PM
March 31, 2013 – 12:01-02:01AM
March 31, 2013 – 04:00-06:00PM

Ep.4: Mission

Premiere Date: March 24, 2013 – 08:00-10:00PM
Jesus feeds the crowds in Galilee and brings a dead man, Lazarus, back to life; Jesus enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey–a declaration that he is the Messiah; Jesus turns on the money-changers in the Temple; Caiphas coaxes Judas into betraying Jesus; Jesus throws the disciples into turmoil at the Last Supper; Jesus is arrested and condemned to death as the disciples scatter.
Upcoming Airings:
March 25, 2013 – 12:01-02:01AM
March 27, 2013 – 09:00-11:02PM
March 28, 2013 – 01:01-03:03AM
March 30, 2013 – 10:00-12:02AM
March 31, 2013 – 02:01-04:03AM
March 31, 2013 – 06:00-08:00PM

Ep.5: Passion

Premiere Date: March 31, 2013 – 08:00-10:00PM
Peter denies Jesus and Judas hangs himself; the crowd clamors for Jesus’s death; Jesus is crucified, but when Mary Magdalene goes to his tomb, a figure walks towards her–he is back; Jesus commissions the disciples to “go and preach to all creation,” but their godly mission meets with hatred and even death; Paul has a vision and experiences a miraculous change of faith on a journey to Damascus; John receives a revelation–Jesus is coming back, and all who keep the faith will be rewarded.
Upcoming Airings:
rebroadcasts to be announced

Important note: these times are for the standard-definition version of the History Channel across all time zones. If you want to record from the high-def History Channel (at least for me on Cox Cable out on the West Coast) all start times are three hours earlier, so my high-def History Channel version of “Episode One: Beginnings”, actually starts at 11am PST instead of 2pm. You’ll have to check your listings to see if all your high-def airings are rooted to a 2pm EST broadcast plan according to your respective time zones.


More good reads on the series: The Bible Beat American Idol in ratings? Yes indeed, an epic miniseries airing on a cable channel pulled in a higher rating than all programs in it’s Sunday time slot and even managed to beat the former kind of ratings, American Idol in it’s Wednesday broadcast later that week.

Episode three caused a firestorm of controversy when Satan made his first appearance in trying to tempt Christ at the end of his forty days wondering the desert. For the very first moment you saw him, the resemblence was so uncanny, you would have thought it was Obama himself cast in the role. Of course, the producers say they believe Obama is a good Christian and that any resemblance is purely coincidental, but take a look at the split screen and tell me if you think Satan and Obama are dead ringers.

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bible-beats-idol

The premier of the History Channel’s The Bible attracted 13.1 million viewers, topping American Idol’s 12.8 million viewers on Wednesday of the same week. The ratings have confounded Hollywood’s biggest decision-makers.

source: Daily Mail

The article goes on to say how bewildered the critics must be in seeing the results after giving this epic miniseries a collective review of “mediocre”. (Maybe it’s because no one cares what you smug and faithless critics think?)

For the critics who panned this great production as anything other than brilliant, I hope you are all recoiling in horror at the ratings that are coming in.

The Bible beats American Idol!

How beautiful is that? Maybe there is hope for America after all.

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There is no way this is a coincidence. Move the mole from the chin up to the nose and they are dead ringers:

Obama Cast as Satan

source: in2eastafrica.net

Now don’t blame me for reporting this or making the comparison, because judging by the twitter hashtag #TheBible while the show was airing on History Channel last night, at the end of Christ’s forty days in the desert, I was only one among millions who had the exact same thought the moment Satan first appeared – OMG, they cast Barack Obama as Satan!

Now before my liberal friends get to hysterical about any mentions of Satan and Obama, it would be well to remember that there were far more people calling Bush the Antichrist during his presidency than there have been people claiming that Obama’s the Antichrist (despite the fact that Obama’s opposition has a much deeper evangelical base.) Regardless, both comparisons are equally loony.

While Obama may have more of the charisma The Bible describes in the Antichrist, neither president comes anywhere near to being the supremely intelligent and diabolical genius that Satan is in The Bible. The media may have been successful in convincing many Americans that Obama would be the great intellectual president of our times, but reality is, there’s a reason Obama’s kept his college transcripts under lock and key and when you take the man away from his teleprompter and all the softball questions lobbed at him by his adoring media, I would argue Obama’s not even as smart as Bush. You could see this during the debates, both in the Democrat primaries and in the presidential debates, any time Obama was forced away from his scripted answers, he was completely outclassed by his debate opponents in both parties.

So no, while I won’t subscribe to any theory of Obama being the Antichrist, I can tell you this – the Devil does exist, he tries to tempt each and every one of us every day in our lives, and in working through his minions in the American media, the Devil was able to get his candidate into the White House.

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The Bible on History Channel

Believability MeterWhenever it comes to works of faith, I always try to read with an open mind, but there’s always a logical part of my brain that I can never silence that has this “believability meter” running. It’s interesting how that logical part of my brain responds differently between reading The Bible on the printed page and watching the story told through this outstanding television production.

Watching the very first episode of the ten-part miniseries, “The Bible” last night, the program begins with some awe-inspiring imagery of Noah’s Ark careening through the massive waves of the global flood, and then we’re taken inside the Ark, as Noah recounts the story of creation to his children, so the show starts out with a visual bang and it also manages to tightly condense the story of creation along with the story of the ark into a single scene.

As the seas begin to calm, a single shot shows Noah walking out onto the top deck of the ark and then we’re ascending high and higher and higher above to show just how dwarfed this human figure is by the massive size of the ark. If seeing is believing, seeing the incredible imagery of the ark on this production makes the whole concept of the ark rate just a bit higher on my believability meter than it ever did when I’ve read the story and tried to imagine the gathering of two of all living creatures onto a single vessel.

Somehow though, on the believability meter, when God commands Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, I found in this case, reading the story in The Bible was a little easier for me to swallow than it was watching Abraham in this production. To read it, well, it sounds pretty official when God commands Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. To see it, however, with Abraham listening to a voice only he hears, it’s less of an abstract concept and I found myself thinking how demented any father would look to see him taking his child up to the top of a mountain to offer his own son as a sacrifice, because God commanded him to do it. Watching it, from my modern perspective, sacrificing children is something only lunatics do. Of course, that’s where faith comes in, but in this case, for me it was a little easier to believe Abraham’s faith when I read it as opposed to seeing it.

There’s no shying away from blood spatter and gore in this production (Alex of A Clockwork Orange would approve of the ultraviolence) but as often happens with American television, there’s a double standard here where violence and killing is seemingly okay for all audiences, but matters of a sexual nature are often avoided at great cost. When it came to the story of Lot and the angels in Sodom, the real reason the mob wants to get their hands on the angels Lot’s protecting in his home is not even hinted at.

In a show targeted for a conservative and family-orientated audience, it might be understandable that producers wanted to help parents avoid answering some uncomfortable questions like, “Dad, why are they trying to get to the angels?” or “What do those people mean when they say, ‘Bring them out to us, that we may know them . . . ‘” but it was still a bit disappointing to me when one of the most perplexing parts of the entire Bible was skipped over as well, with no mention of Lot offering up his virgin daughters to the mob in exchange for the safety of the strangers.

By the time both of those parts of Lot’s story were skipped over, it was no real surprise when there was also no mention of how Lot’s daughters succeeded in getting him drunk and managed to get impregnated by him without his ever knowing it on two successive nights.

The casting is well done, where most previous Biblical adaptations contained too many Caucasian actors in makeup and Middle Eastern garb, here, the ethnicity of the characters of The Bible is much more on the mark.

The visuals and special effects were top notch, the scene with Moses and the burning bush is the best visual interpretation I’ve seen, the parting of the Red Sea would have made Charlton Heston proud and the presenting of the Fifteen – er . . . I mean, Ten Commandments was also powerful in this production.

(Just in slight chance you’ve seen neither one, no that last link was not to the History Channel production, it’s Mel Brooks’ History of the World: Part I.)

The Bible on History Channel is definitely worth the watch and do not worry if you missed the first episode last night, because it is in heavy rotation right now.

Here are additional showtimes and synopses of the first two of the 10-part series.

 

*** Episode 1: Beginnings ***

Premiere Date: March 03, 2013 – 08:00-10:00PM
Noah endures God’s wrath; Abraham reaches the Promised Land but still must prove his faith in God; Moses leads the Israelites out of Egypt, and his faith in God is rewarded when the Red Sea parts to allow the Israelites to escape Pharaoh’s chariots; Moses delivers his final message from God – the Ten Commandments.

Upcoming Airings:
March 04, 2013 – 12:01-02:01AM
March 06, 2013 – 09:00-11:02PM
March 07, 2013 – 01:01-03:03AM
March 10, 2013 – 06:00-08:00PM

 

*** Episode 2: Homeland ***

Premiere Date: March 10, 2013 – 08:00-10:00PM
Joshua conquers Jericho; Delilah betrays Samson as the Israelites battle the Philistines; Samuel anoints David king, a move that could throw the nation into civil war; Saul is consumed with jealousy when David defeats Goliath; King David ushers in a golden age for Israel, but is soon seduced by power and lust for Bathsheba; God forgives David, and his son, Solomon, builds God’s temple in Jerusalem.

Upcoming Airings:
March 11, 2013 – 12:01-02:01AM
March 13, 2013 – 09:00-11:02PM
March 14, 2013 – 01:01-03:03AM
March 17, 2013 – 06:00-08:00PM

 

Visit The Bible on History Channel for more info about the series including video, pictures and an episode guide.

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This is the fourth in a series of what I like to call my ghost posts, a series of posts I wrote in a frenetic outburst the day before going into rehab. I’m timing this ghost post to go live a week from my going into the program, so for this post, what I’d like to do is channel all my psychic powers and visit myself, a week into the future and see how I’m doing today when this post goes live.

  • They feed you really good here, the breakfasts are the best, but do we really have to watch The 700 Club every single morning here???  (Just a guess, but I can imagine there might be TBN on the tube 24/7 over there.)
  • It’s pretty mellow folding the incoming donations of clothes all day long, although sometimes you get a batch of clothes, and just by the style and the smell and the feel of them, you can just tell some widow just cleaned out the closet of her recently deceased husband . . . and it’s kinda sad.
  • I’ve been in here a week now, which means not only am I ten days free of alcohol, but I’m also seven days free of cigarettes and Internet porn.
  • When you only have $5 a week for spending money, you have to really prioritize, but when I saw that bowling shirt with the hot rod flames come in the store, I knew I’d have no problem spending half my paycheck on it.
  • My friends warned me about drinking the “holy water kool-aid” while I’m in here.  Can’t say I’m a true believer just yet, but I do love Jesus and I have a feeling I’ll be a Certified Bible Expert by the time I’m out of here.

It will be interesting to see how reality stacks up when I’m a week in and comparing notes . . .

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Currently Listening To:

Team of Rivals
by
Doris Kearns Goodwin