I am taking the second and third installments together simply because I watched them together with one of our congregation’s CLAY (Community Learning About Yahweh) Bible study groups. Now, I certainly appreciate the impossible task of re-telling God’s entire history with humanity in 10 hours of video, yet the producers’ choices are even more curious this time. For example, I would not rank Sampson in the top 50 most significant Biblical characters, yet the time and attention to him was substantial. What about Elijah/Elisha—certainly more important to the New Testament narrative and Judeo-Christian faiths? I hardly think “good theater” explains the matter, for Elijah and Elisha out-pace Sampson in this regard, too, as does Jonah and the big fish and other phenomenal narratives.
Since the Bible is the telling of God’s history with humanity, and God’s decisive act with humanity is Jesus, then the Bible is finally about Jesus. Martin Luther called the Bible the cradle for Jesus. Now the story of Naomi and Ruth nears critical importance.
If you were to name 7 Old Testament stories and 7 New Testament stories that best communicate the Bible, what would your choices be and why?