A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Monday, December 15, 2014

"Exodus: God's and Kings" - A Bible Scholar's Movie Review

The movie, "Exodus: God's and Kings" was recently released in movie theaters. It's based on the story of the Exodus which is so central to the biblical narrative.

Themes from the Exodus are interwoven throughout the scriptures and are vital in helping us to understand other biblical passages. For example, Jesus is seen as the new Moses who has come to rescue the world from our slavery to sin and death. The water of baptism points us back to the parting of the Red Sea when the Israelites were saved. There's much more that can be added to this discussion which just goes to show how important the Exodus story is in helping us to understand and appreciate the entire biblical narrative.

Movies that are based on events that have been recorded are a little tricky because the script will often add story lines to fill in the gaps, especially when those events occurred in ancient history. These detours from the main event are often needed for "artistic purposes." I am totally fine with that as long as it fits within the historical framework and it doesn't detract from the basic narrative of the actual event.

For example, after watching Tom Hank's movie, "Captain Phillips," I was disappointed to discover that this movie most likely offered a very different portrayal of what actually happened on that cargo ship. Sticking with the historical integrity of an event in a movie is important to me.

Dr. Ben Witherington, a United Methodist bible scholar offers a critique of "Exodus: God's and Kings" in a recent blog post. He gives the movie a B- and you can read his article here.


Barry Ballard said...

I plan to see the movie. I would never expect it to stay close to the Biblical narrative. I am sure I would get upset if I went in hoping for that. Thanks for the set-up, Robert!

Robert McDowell said...

Let me know what you think of it. I'm not sure when I'll see it myself. Blessings to you, Barry!