A Story of God and all of us  –  Roma Downey and Mark Burnett  (Hodder and Stoughton )

In a day when biblical ignorance is high, isn’t it good that we have products that entice people into considering biblical material? Well, to a point.

This novel, based on the 10 part mini-series, The Bible, broadcast recently on Channel 5, expands the internal and relational lives of the Bible’s heroes in a way which helps you enter into their struggle as they play out the biblical drama. If the job is to make the Bible read like a novel, it is done quite well.

But it’s also a game of ‘spot the difference’ with many changes made for no apparent artistic reason: such as Moses confronting Pharoah, Daniel in the lions’ den, Nicodemus meeting Jesus. The ‘divine’ Jesus and the ‘human’ Jesus have different feelings and views about his impending death and the deaths of Peter and Paul, and the martyrdom of all the apostles bar John, are recounted as if fact, when historians are not certain.

If this was your story, but basic details were changed, wouldn’t you be annoyed? Hopefully this book (and the TV series) will encourage people to read the Bible. But when they do, they may wonder why the authors would still leave them in such  ignorance about what the actually Bible says.