One of year’s most controversial Hollywood movies releases on DVD Tuesday, though one noted biblical scholar is convinced the real story of Noah and the ark isn’t what you’ll see in the Darren Aronofsky-directed movie.
“It’s more entertainment than fact, with a complete distortion of the biblical story of the flood in favor of science-fiction reimaging of the ark story and a reinforcing of current political trends, such as environmentalism and climate change,” said Larry Stone, author of “Noah: The Real Story.”
The movie had a production budget of $125 million and grossed just over $100 million at the domestic box office and $258 million in foreign markets for a worldwide total of $359 million.
Stone explained, “The film ‘Noah’ 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 written by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel first appeared in a French-language graphic novel with a six-armed rock-angel giant on the cover. Noah 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. The appeasement to evangelicals is a retrofit.”
Stone explained there are three areas that people may find disturbing about “Noah.”
“First are the movie’s interpretations that are opposed to what the Bible clearly says.” Stone pointed out. “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 environmentalist.”
Second are portrayals in the movie that are actually biblical, but contrary to how we usually picture the story, 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. Dolittle, 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’ (Genesis 7:21-23, The Message).
“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 area 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,” points out Stone. “But, 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.”
“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 a Baywatch star have looked for it in vain.
“My book doesn’t deviate at all from the biblical tale,” Stone says. “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?'”
Stone, one of the leading experts on the story of Noah, believes his book is not only the perfect companion to the new Hollywood film, but the proper tool for showcasing why the disclaimer was necessary at the start of the movie.
Filled with fascinating stories, controversial details and thorough research, “Noah: The Real Story” answers your questions and more, including Noah’s secret for surviving the end of the world.
Stone is the author of “The Story of the Bible,” named “One of the 10 best Christian books of the year.” He is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and University of Iowa School of Journalism.
Media wishing to interview Larry Stone, please contact [email protected].