Studying the Bible: What’s in John?(+Hollywood’s Interpretation)

After completing the Bible study on Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study, my group took what we learned and now we are going through the book of John, verse by verse. It’s been a wonderful experience.

John is the fourth and final book of the Gospels, which also includes Matthew, Mark, and Luke. These book’s primary focus is on Jesus. Starting with Matthew, or diving into any one of the Gospels is a great place to start reading the Bible if you’re new at it. You will learn about who Jesus was, what he did, and why we need him to redeem ourselves.

In my post on Bible Study Tips, I shared a bit of information on John, one of Jesus’ favorite disciples. In fact, throughout his book he simply refers to himself as “the disciple Jesus loved” many times.

John has 21 chapters, and its outline is as follows:

Part 1: Birth and Preparation of Jesus

This section includes the story of the angel of God coming to Mary to tell her about the son she will have. Also, you will learn about John the Baptist, the one who was called by God to tell of the coming Messiah (Jesus). He also baptized Jesus (what a job!). Cool dude.

Part 2: Message and Ministry

Diving further into John you will read about the life of Jesus. In order to not get confused, it’s important to recognize when each section is taking place, Jesus’ miracles and teachings as written here are not necessarily in chronological order. Prepare to have your mind blown.

Part 3: Death and Resurrection

The last part of John includes the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus. His death on the cross and burial in the tomb is included, followed by his raising from the dead. It was just recently that I learned that Jesus walked to earth for 40 days after his death and before ascending into Heaven. Accounts of people who saw him during those 40 days are within John.

The life of Jesus Christ is one in which all Christians, and those seeking God should know. To truly understand what God did for us by coming down to earth and living a sinless life so that we could be with him when we die is so evident through the story of Jesus. I encourage anyone to read any of the four Gospels. I’m starting with John, and plan to read the other three soon.

Hollywood’s Interpretation

Have you been watching The Bible Series on the History Channel? The excitement I felt when I heard that Hollywood was going to have a show about God is indescribable. Let’s be honest here, if there are any Christians in Hollywood, well, we don’t often hear about them.

Having seen most of the episodes myself, my feelings are torn. On the one hand, I am so thrilled the Bible is being played out in living color for people to see. It’s my hope that this show will spark an interest in unbelievers everywhere, getting them interested in what Christianity actually entails, and ultimately knowing God. Also, for believers I hope it paints a picture of the importance of knowing Jesus and reading the Word.

On the other hand, there is a part of me that’s deeply disappointed. Over the course of the show, episodes have covered stories that our pastor is currently teaching and that I am reading verse by verse. I understand that with television you cannot portray everything that is written, but having experienced these stories very recently, there are times in which I feel this show paints a completely false picture of Jesus and Christianity.

It was after last night’s airing, that I was disappointed in the portrayal of Jesus as someone who never got angry. I just read about when Jesus went to the Temple and it was being used as a marketplace. In the show, Jesus was on the verge of tears, as if he were surprised that people would do this (but he’s God, he already knew!). He simply overturned a couple tables and that was that.

If you read about this story in the Bible (John 2:13-25), you will get a much different picture. I did anyway. Jesus saw what was happening in God’s house, people were being financially taken advantage of. People had traveled 2-3 days (by foot) for this celebration, many were poor and their sacrificial animals had died along the way so they were being forced to buy another animal with the little money they had (if any at all). The one place they were told that they could come and worship God freely was overtaken by salesmen. Jesus was irate when he saw this. Instead of acting out of anger, he sat down, made a whip (Yes, Jesus made a whip!), and herded the moneychangers and livestock out of the temple. He overturned their tables and scattered their money in such a way that they couldn’t be sure whose money was whose. After all, God’s Temple was not a place to make money, it was a place for all people to worship God.

Righteous anger. This passage showed me that it is okay to get angry. Righteous anger can be described as being angry at what makes God angry, but without selfishness or hate. I think God would have been angry that his people were focusing more on making money than being examples for nonbelievers. I think God would have been angry that people had traveled so far so hear his message, but were kept from it because of the greed of men.

So, am I glad that The Bible Series has consistently high ratings? You bet. Do I think you should watch it? Absolutely. Would I recommend that you take notes and look up the stories that this show has decided to include? Definitely. Just like I don’t think we should rely on commercials to tell us what kind of yogurt is healthy, I also don’t think it would be wise for any of us to base our beliefs or feelings solely on Hollywood’s interpretation of the Bible.

Passion for your house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.

Psalms 69:9

 
Whatever your belief, what do you think of the show? Did you crack open your Bible during the commercials to see how accurate it was portrayed like I did?
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2 responses to “Studying the Bible: What’s in John?(+Hollywood’s Interpretation)

  1. I got to watch most of them. They are pretty good. As a Believer, a few scenes choked me up. Some of the stories you've only read and imagined are pretty incredible to see.

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