Noah — It’s biblical


I listen to Glenn Beck once in a while to find out what the “Christian right” is upset about these days. I did not hear this particular comment, but according the New York Times, GB recently said that the movie “Noah” is not biblical.

I haven’t seen the movie, but I can guess at what’s bothering him…  For better or worse, the Paramount Pictures version fills in the blanks of the bare-bones biblical account in ways that GB finds objectionable.

That creative process of “filling in the blanks” is the kind of engagement with Bible stories that Christians have not always done very well, sadly. I think it is the way we are meant to engage with the stories: creatively, imaginatively, exploring the pros and cons of the possibilities which we offer out of our own experiences of catastrophe and survival, promise and betrayal, anger and forgiveness and trust. Maybe even the experience of making a mistake. God knows, we can’t be creative if we are not willing to make mistakes.

Wikipedia has a page, “Noah in Rabbinic Literature”  that captures some of the ways the rabbis wondered about the story and filled in the blanks in order to hear what the story had to say to God’s people.

I think the Bible stories are intended to be enlarged by our experiences of life, faith and God. Once I see the movie, I may find that I don’t agree with Paramount Picture’s take, but that doesn’t mean that the story they tell isn’t biblical.