This year, however, we are doing something entirely new. We are spending the week leading up to Easter binging! No, we are not binge-watching some “here-today, gone-tomorrow” television show episode by episode. Actually, we are fasting from regular television altogether. Instead, we have decided to spend each night of Holy Week in the lead up to Easter watching a different classic Hollywood Biblical Epic.
Throughout the years, I have amassed a small collection of these on DVD. While several dozen exist to choose from, we have selected only seven. These, and the order we are watching them, are as follows:
Monday: The Ten Commandments (1956, starring Charlton Heston).
Tuesday: Ben Hur (1959, starring Charlton Heston).
Wednesday: Jesus of Nazareth (1977, starring Robert Powell).
Thursday: The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965, starring Max von Sydow).
Friday: King of Kings (1961, starring Jeffrey Hunter).
Saturday: Barabbas (1961, starring Anthony Quinn).
Sunday: The Robe (1953, starring Victor Mature).
Granted, one would be hard pressed to prove it now; but there was a day and age when Hollywood once produced impressive, big budget epics that were fairly faithful to the Biblical narrative surrounding the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you have never seen these classics, I encourage you to check them out.
Of course, having viewed them, I then urge you to go a step further and read the actual Biblical passages they are based upon. Be advised, however. As is always the case, the book will most assuredly be far better than the movie!
NOTE: As you plan your own television viewing, I recommend you consider doing so with the following proviso. Several years ago, my wife hand-wrote a cardboard note and affixed it to the top of our living room television. It was a quote from Psalm 101:3 that read: “I will set no unclean thing before my eyes!” (Cf.: https://biblehub.com/psalms/101-3.htm.)
NOTE ALSO: In Acts 17:11, we are told that the Bereans were more noble than the Thessalonians in that they listened to the Apostle Paul, and then checked the Scriptures to see if what he told them was accurate. (Cf.: https://biblehub.com/acts/17-11.htm.)
In light of this Biblical principle, surely it behooves us to make certain that any secular interpretation and/or presentation of Biblical narratives we behold remains true to the core Biblical message. Novels, short stories, plays, motion pictures, etc. are all works of fiction. As such, of necessity, they incorporate poetic licence. But it is entirely possible to do this and still remain faithful to the Biblical narrative. It is also entirely possible to do this and NOT remain faithful to the biblical narrative.
A wise reader/viewer will therefore follow the example of the Bereans and check all such literary and/or film interpretations and presentations against the original Scriptural narratives themselves.
SEE ALSO: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Week.