by Tom Brennan
Hollywood has had a serious effect on how we visualize the Bible. Ben Hur has been remade and in the current trend of CGI effects overwhelming any attempt at a story line, some changes seem to have been made to ‘A Tale of the Christ”. General Lew Wallace a reasonably competent General with the Union in the American Civil War, went on to become a governor and author of two Victorian period novels, Ben Hur being the best known. Cecil B deMille made a silent version in the 1920’s and in 1960 a color and sound extravaganza with an all-star cast (back when actors really acted) was included. Charlton Heston portrayed a masculine Ben Hur and his imagery was fixed in the mind. Prior to this he played Moses in The Ten Commandments; aging before our eyes into a prophet you would follow anywhere. Multiple remakes of Moses wanna-be’s have followed and the most recent is a General Moses on horseback confronting Pharaoh at the Red Sea. Somehow Ridley Scott’s well-deserved reputation for changing history seems to continue. Perhaps this Moses can teach us the most about how the real versus the reel (Ridley Scott’s) Moses is the closest to Biblical facts.
The 1956 Moses was an eighty year old shepherd, dressed as a he would be clothed. Multi-striped cloth, sandals and bearing a staff, not a sword. The Egyptians were clean shaven and shorn of head hair, they hated shepherds, especially the “Asian” type with beards, long locks and cloaks and tunics of multicolor. God uses the humble to upset the plans and connivance of the mighty. An elderly shepherd confronts a god-King with shorn locks linen kilt and stares him down. The pursuit by chariots is ended by ocean waves; the Egyptians did seem to be a seagoing group but stayed close to shoreline on their voyages. Once again, the irony of the story is seen. The Egyptians hate deep water, and that is where they meet their fate.
Passover is the ordained feast that brought the Hebrews to Jerusalem to commemorate the giving of the Torah and birth of a nation. It was the time when the Messiah “set His face” towards Jerusalem to fulfill the prophecies and settle the debt that separated God from man. Our calendars for Christian Easter and Jewish Pesach do not coincide. Changes in how months and days are calculated, church calendars for holy days and the substitution of formerly pagan celebrations for Christian ones have had their effects. In fact, we don’t even know what year it really is. Solar versus Lunar calendars don’t correlate well.
There is a conversation going on to coordinate the Easter celebration with Pesach. As more come to appreciate and understand the roots of Christianity in the Hebrew Scriptures the sons and fathers will once again embrace and put their differences aside. We look to Israel as The Land where the covenants of Moses and the New meet and the necessity of standing with Israel becomes more and more important every day.
We need to stand with the “real” Bible and not the “reel” one and be one with Israel.Share this page with your friends
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