The people of the United States have some unusual practices. Their local sports competitions are called “world” series, their military invasions are termed “defence”, and their dramas about the Bible appear on the “History” Channel.
The History Channel is currently screening a mini-series in the United States called The Bible. By that term they, of course, mean the Protestant Christian Bible. And the mini-series zooms over the narratives in the books of Genesis to Revelation at lightning speed.
Episode 2, which screened last Sunday, includes a segment on David and Goliath. It’s about as cliched as anything you’d see in a Cecil B. DeMille:
The series has used biblical scholars and Christian spokespersons as advisors, and for the David and Goliath scene, Jim Wallis and Geoff Tunnicliffe offered advice. Here are a couple of videos in which they offer their less-than-critical comments:
“Here is the classic story of the giant and the shepherd. Big and small; powerful and weak. And it turns the tables on history, because the big and strong and powerful always win and those small and weak always lose. Not in David and Goliath.”
– Jim Wallis, blurring a fictional story about a boy defeating a giant with history
“One of the most famous stories in the Bible is the story of David and Goliath. Here we have a story of the Israelis facing off with the Philistines.”
– Geoff Tunnicliffe – because there’s no difference between Israelis and Israelites, eh
Wil Gafney, “Black Samson & White Women on the History Channel”
Peter Enns, “The Bible” on the History Channel: Not the Absolute Train Wreck I Thought it Would Be”
Tom Verenna, “‘The Bible’ Series and the History Channel”
Mark Goodacre, “The Bible Series: The Consultants’ Role”
Dusty Smith, “History Channel’s “The Bible” – In Under 10 Minutes – Parts 1 & 2″