Source: Sherman Publications

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SLUMC:Moving ‘The Bible’ off the coffee table

by Susan Bromley

April 17, 2013

Brandon Twp.- Members of a local church will examine a new television series, as well as the centuries-old book that inspired it, during the next several weeks.

Seymour Lake United Methodist Church, 3050 Sashabaw Road, will host a Sunday School program on the History Channel's "The Bible," beginning at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Sunday, April 21. The series will be led by Charlie Britton, a member of the SLUMC congregation, and will continue indefinitely. The public is welcome and can join at any time.

The History Channel has billed the docudrama miniseries "The Bible" as exploring "the sacred text's most significant episodes" from Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament to Revelation, the last book in the New Testament.

Britton said that the History Channel program has stirred up a lot of interest in the Bible, and the series has drawn both accolades and criticism of the portrayal of the Scriptures.

"There are things you have to do when you turn any work into a movie," he noted. "(The producers) have to do things for continuity and visualization and some people liked it and some didn't. We're going to look at the show on dvd and then look at what the Bible actually says about the event and period of time. We'll look at things that were added because it's a movie and the differences between what is presented and what is actually said."

The History Channel premiered the series on March 3 with the episode, "Beginnings" and the 2-hour Sunday evening episodes that followed, concluding on Easter, were "Homeland," "Hope," "Mission," and "Passion."

Episodes covered the famed stories of Noah and the Ark; creation; the enslavement of the Israelites in Egypt and Moses leading them to the promised land; the 10 Commandments; Samson and Delilah; the Battle of Jericho; Abraham and Isaac; David and Goliath; and Daniel and the lion's den.

"There is no expert discussion on the show, it's primarily the dramatization of Bible stories and it moves on to the New Testament and Jesus and Joseph and Mary, his ministries, the crucifixion and resurrection, Last Supper and they move beyond Jesus to Apostle Paul and Peter and what they did to spread the faith and at the very end, they have discussion about Revelation," said Britton. "They went from front to back, but I can see where they had a real challenge to get from beginning to end in basically 7 hours (minus commercials)."

Because of the time limit for the show, the producers omitted many stories in the Bible, but Britton said in the church's Sunday school program, participants will talk about those. The classes are free, and it is not necessary to have already viewed the series, as it will be shown. Individuals are welcome to drop into the class at any time. There is no homework and no book to buy. Each Sunday class is 45 minutes and is intended for ages teen and up.

"The class is good, no matter your level of knowledge about the Bible," said Britton. "My personal belief is that among people who have a relationship with the Lord, he hasn't endowed any one of us with total wisdom about the Bible. What we find is that it does communicate to individuals and when we share what we know and think and what our interpretations are, we are all better off for it. I guess what I am hoping comes out of this series is that people who became interested in the Bible because of the History Channel, will be interested to turn the pages and find a lot of good things in the Bible to read. We are hoping to move the Bible off the coffee table and get the pages a little dog-eared from people reading it."

Details: Call Charlie Britton at 248-625-7977.