A cottage industry has grown up around the movie “Noah,” starring Russell Crowe, as Christians debate how closely it follows the story in the Bible and whether or not they should see it.
The leading evangelical magazine Christianity Today ran a piece in which National Religious Broadcasters president, Jerry Johnson, tried to answer the question, “Should we go see the Noah movie?”
Larry Stone, author of “Noah: The Real Story,” argues the film “was not written to cater to evangelical Christians.”
“It was written by two self-described ‘not very religious Jewish guys’ from New York City,” he said.
The story by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel first appeared in a French-language graphic novel with a six-armed rock-angel giant on the cover, Stone pointed out.
“Noah,” he said, was described by Slashfilm as a “Mad Max-style warrior.”
“The movie was written for an audience that loves graphic novels and Mad Max (a 1979 Australian action film). That may not include many people in the adult Sunday school class of most evangelical churches,” Stone said. “The appeasement to evangelicals is a retrofit.”
Stone explained there are three aspects of “Noah” that people may find disturbing.
“First are the movie’s interpretations that are opposed to what the Bible clearly says. The most obvious is the reason for God’s destruction of humans and animals. The Bible says He sent the Flood because of mankind’s wickedness: violence, sexual immorality, corruption, and widespread lawlessness. The movie says God sent the flood because of mankind’s disrespect for the world God had created.”
Aronofsky has been quoted as saying Noah “was the first environmentalist.”
Second are portrayals in the movie that are biblical but contrary to how the story usually is depicted, Stone told WND.
“The most obvious is that because of Bible stories we tell to our children, we usually think of Noah as a sort of biblical Dr. Doolittle, a gentle person who cares for the animals. The fact is the story in the Bible is terrifying. Everything not on the Ark died: ‘Birds, farm animals, wild animals, the entire teeming exuberance of life – dead. And all people – dead,’” Stone said, citing The Message version of Genesis 7:21-23.
“Frankly,” says Stone, “the movie does a better job of portraying the destruction of the Flood than most Bible story books do. But we may not want to realize that.”
The third is the myriad of details in the movie that are not in the Bible.
“Some of these are way out there and some are actually pretty good,” says Stone. “For instance, only six people in Noah’s family get on the Ark, not eight as the Bible says. However, Noah’s daughter-in-law is pregnant, has twins, and eight family members get off the Ark. That’s entirely made up.”
“But,” he continued, “if you ever wondered what it looked like when ‘all the fountains of the great deep burst forth,’ you can see it vividly in the movie.”
Stone’s conclusion concerning the question of whether to see the movie is, “If you’re asking the question, you may enjoy another movie instead.”
But he encourages those who do want to see it to first learn the background of the Noah story in “Noah: The Real Story” and then go with friends and discuss the movie afterwards, using a discussion guide he prepared, which is online at NoahTheRealStory.com under “The Movie.”
Stone’s “Noah: The Real Story” includes everything you wanted to know about Noah, the Flood, the animals, the Ark and even the search for the Ark. For centuries American monks, Russian soldiers, German scientists, an English politician, an American astronaut and even a “Baywatch” star have looked for it.
“My book doesn’t deviate at all from the biblical tale. It’s the biblical tale, covering everything and delving into the science of the matter, taking on questions such as was the flood global or local? How big was the Ark? How was it built? How did Noah gather and take care of the animals? Where can you see the Ark today?”
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