Saturday, March 29, 2014

Review of the Movie “Noah”

By Shelly Burke

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Spoiler alert---if you haven't seen the movie "Noah" and don't want to know how it portrays the Biblical narrative of Noah on the ark, don't read this! 

My friend Val and I went to see the movie "Noah” last night.. It sure kept us entertained...but about the only parts true to the Bible narrative are that the main character was named Noah, he had a wife and three sons and built an ark, and there was a flood that destroyed the world.

Here’s a partial list of things NOT in the Bible narrative but in the movie:
  • a step-daughter who went with the family on the ark
  • stone men (?fallen angels?) who protected Noah from the other bad guys and helped build the ark
  • illegitimate twin daughters born to the step-daughter while they were on the ark
  • Noah believing the flood was to punish humans for what they’d done to the world; God's plan, as portrayed in the movie, included destroying all the HUMANS on the earth too (in one scene Noah was going to kill the twin babies because they were girls and potentially could continue the human race)
  • a stowaway on the ark
The themes of evolution and environmentalism were also very strong. The message given was that the earth was “ruined” by the humans and the animals were the innocent ones who would live.

I think the distortion in the movie just shows how important it is for Christians to KNOW what the Bible says
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so we can KINDLY and GENTLY discuss it with people who might have seen it but are not believers, or believers who might not know what the Bible says.
If we react in anger, or criticize people who did see the movie, we close the door to questions from non-believers.

I can’t imagine that this movie will make believers question their faith…or bring people to faith. But it could definitely spark discussion about God, Noah, and the Bible. Use that discussion to gently point out the discrepancies between the Biblical account and the clearly fictional movie. Perhaps your discussion will open the way for you to invite a friend to attend church with you and come to know the Lord.  

When you hear conversations about the movie, here are a couple of ways to bring the truth into the discussion.

  •  “Weren’t those rock people interesting? They’re not in the Bible, but did you know God actually gave Noah the exact dimensions to which he was to build the ark?”
  •   "It was neat to see Noah and has family save the little girl and take her on the ark with them. But the Bible is clear that there were just eight people on the ark—Noah and his wife and Seth, Ham and Japheth and their wives. This also means that the man who was a stowaway in the movie wasn’t really on the ark.”
  •   "Wow—the drama when Noah was going to kill the twin babies was intense! Thankfully, the Bible is very clear that Noah’s family was NOT to die after the flood, they were to live…and it was GOD who said, “Be fruitful and multiply,” not Noah!”
  •    “I’ve always wondered how all of the animals were fed when they were on the ark. The idea that Noah and his wife put them in a “sleep” is really interesting! The Bible does say, however, that God instructed Noah to “Take every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.”” I’m not sure exactly how they did it, but God made a way! I wonder how the family divided up all of the chores!”

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If you go to the movie, I suggest that you read the Biblical narrative of Noah before you go. You can find it in Genesis 5-9. If you’re taking your kids, review it with them. During the movie make note of the discrepancies between the movie and the Biblical narrative—I wrote down some of them (yes, I can write in the dark), and couple of things I wasn’t sure of and wanted to check when I got home. When you get home, compare the Biblical narrative to what was portrayed in the move; discuss these things with your kids if they went along too.

As an adventure movie Noah was ok; it kept us in suspense about what was going to happen next and both of us jumped in surprise a few times! But as a retelling of a Bible narrative...well, I'll just say Val and I were laughing at the absurdity of it by the end, when the "rainbow" was some weird solar flare.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man (and woman) of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Have you seen the movie “Noah”? What did you think of it?