If you’re tired of the controversy surrounding Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, don’t worry, it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. Earlier this week, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show humorously targeted some of the inconstancies of the Noah backlash in a segment he dubbed, “Haters of the Lost Ark.”
While some will find his humor offensive, Stewart’s satire makes at least one valid point: not everyone who professes Christianity—or works for Fox News—knows the Bible as well as they think they do.
Over the last few weeks, many Noah proponents have pointed out that the Sunday school version of scripture isn’t always the scripture version of scripture. The Bible takes place in the real world. It’s gritty, violent, and often has more in common with an episode of Game of Thrones than the Brady Bunch. If one is looking for a clean cut story, especially from the Old Testament, they probably won’t find it.
And yet, that’s the beauty of the Bible. It doesn’t record events that took place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. The Bible oozes genuine emotion. It doesn’t squirm from the reality of a dark world and humanity’s journey through it.
The Noah controversy is a probing example of how difficult it is to craft a compelling biblical epic. Because of our culture’s prior exposure to many of the Bible’s most popular narratives, producers are left to balance telling a cohesive, tense story, while at the same time managing any prior presuppositions. Plus, we all know the book is usually better than the movie anyway.
Stewart goes on to quip: “I think the problem is, they made an Old Testament Bible movie. The Old Testament has stuff in it you don’t necessarily want filmmakers to talk about. Just stick to Jesus and you can’t go wrong.”
Stewart follows up this statement with a short clip highlighting the “Sexy Jesus” controversy surrounding Son of God.
And to think, we still have Ridley Scott’s Exodus to look forward to later this year.
If you haven’t already, make sure to read our review of Noah.