Now that the movie has come out some more scholars have weighed in with their perspective. This article will only deal with two of them as there are other subjects that need to be dealt with besides this movie. For believers we just need to release on be simple statement. It could go like this:
“This movie does not reflect the true account of Noah and his family and is solely made from the director’s and other moviemakers’ viewpoint. There is little biblical value and does a lot of reading into the biblical texts. The majority of what you see in the movie did not take place in the time of Noah. If you want the truth, come to us for an explanation.”
First up is James Tabor and you can find his complete comments at the following link:
#1. “Ken Ham, the self-styled “Creationist” of recent fame for his disastrous debate with Bill Nye on “Evolution,” tells TIME magazine that the film is an insult to Christians, with “barely a hint of biblical fidelity,” and thus “unbiblical” and “pagan.” Glenn Beck, labels the film a “100 million dollar disaster,” objecting, among other things, that it is “pro-animal” and “anti-human.” Erick Erikson, on his “Redstate” blog, concludes his scorching review with the suggestion that “we might should consider burning at the stake any Christian leader who endorses this movie…”
I think that Christian leaders trying to be political or send out sound bites just mess up the issue and make them look a bit weak and foolish. There is nothing to be afraid of about this movie for the moviemakers do not have the authority to change what the Bible says. Nor do they have the authority to say what is or isn’t historical.
The movie may be an insult to Christians but then it is only a movie reflecting the views of unbelievers not God’s or Christians. We do not have to get our knickers in a knot about this. Unbelievers have been distorting the Bible for millennia. We just have to come back with the truth.
#2. “One can only imagine the uproar had Aronofsky chosen to call the Creator “The Powers”–which would have been quite biblical. In the Noah film this nameless One is constantly referred to as “the Creator,” but used in a very personal way by all the characters in the film–good and bad. According to Exodus 6:3 God did not make Himself known by His personal name Yahweh (YHVH) or “the LORD” until the time of Moses.”
Tabor is a bit dishonest here as he leaves out the Patriarchs’ names from that passage of scripture. God was referring to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob not Noah. We do not know what name he used with him or Adam and Eve for that matter. Thus Tabor’s idea of a generic meaning doesn’t fit the biblical text and unbelievers would not know the correct definition to use when looking at the meaning of God’s name.
By that I mean, they can choose whatever definition they want but they have no idea if they got the right one. They could be simply changing the definition to fit their unbelief.
#3. “Aronofsky portrays the righteous descendants of Seth–through Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah, preserving this “peaceable kingdom” of non-violence and harmony with nature, whereas the murderous descendants of Cain had filled the earth with violence and “corrupted its ways upon the earth.”
Here Tabor misses the boat because there was no dividing of the descendants of either. The biblical text groups both lines into one category—very sinful. So sinful that God had remorse about creating them and that only 1 was found worthy. We are not given the spiritual status of Noah’s family, just his. In Genesis 4:26 we are only told that ‘men’ started to call on the name of the Lord. It is generic telling us that most likely both lines of people had members calling on God and both lines had very sinful people.
#4. “Noah’s family represents the last remnant of hope for humankind’s peaceable ideal in which violence toward humans or beasts is quelled and warfare ceases”
No. They were given the opportunity to replenish the earth because of Noah’s righteousness and they alone were saved because they did not participate in the sinful activities that brought the pre-flood world to destruction. (I will include Noah’s family here hoping they were not as bad as the others because of Noah’s influence)
There was no last hope of humankind in the account at all. The humans rejected God’s way of salvation thus they had no hope for the future. They didn’t even believe a flood was going to come so why would they have a ‘last hope for humankind’?
#5. “There could be no stronger expression of the “devaluing” of humans than we find in the Bible in the time of Noah.”
What devaluing of humans was there? The text describes them exactly as they were-very sinful. That Is not devaluing them at all but stating that their behavior was far from what God wanted his people to do. I would need more of an explanation from Tabor ion this point than he gives because setting a standard and then saying that people failed to meet that standard is not devaluing them but telling the situation as it is and that people need to do better.
#6. “The issue is whether the Creation itself has been so marred and destroyed by human behavior that it is best wiped away as a failed attempt by God to create creatures in His image–who nonetheless have free will and the “knowledge of good and evil.”
It wasn’t a “failed attempt by God to create humans in his image” God successfully did that. What Tabor fails to acknowledge is man’s freedom to choose and places the blame on God here saying God failed and humans are better than he. He ignores the fact that it is the humans who failed because they refused to follow God’s way and, like today, chose to follow evil.
We do not have any records of what those people did or how it affected creation, all records are lost of that time and maybe that is a good thing; for the example of the pre-flood world might give suggestions to the post-flood and make things on earth worse than they are now.
It was humans who failed yet Tabor is like so many other people who reject God—they refuse to take responsibility for their choices and actions and put the 100% of the blame on God.
#7. “Tubal-Cain, played by Ray Winstone, represents an ultimately opposite perspective. For him what makes a man truly a man is the complete independence from any Creator or any other moral code–forging his individual way in the earth through his power and his choices.”
We do not have any record that Tubal-Cain and Noah actually knew each other or if they even lived in the same area. These far-fetched ideas of Hollywood is what ruins their version of events. As does the depiction (read further in that paragraph at Tabor’s site) of Ham killing Tubal-Cain.
Pure fantasy and nonsensical. This is why believers do not have to worry about these type of movies—the unbeliever ruins it for themselves.
Just so you know, the Hebrew Bible is part of the Christian Bible. Tabor’s , and other scholars, attempt to separate the two fail because you cannot have the Christian Bible without the Hebrew one. The latter is the foundation for the former and the attempts to separate them means that scholars want to divorce history from the Christian Bible and faith.
Next up is Robert Cargill. His perspective can be found at:
Some Old Articles about Noah in Anticipation of the New Movie about Noah
#1. Religious conservatives always freak out whenever anyone messes with their ancient myths. Well, allow me to clarify: as long as you retell the myth as it is preserved in the Bible, you’re praised as a good and faithful servant and an excellent producer/director/actor.”
First off as you read his words you will see that Cargill is using the word ‘myth’ a lot. It gives the impression that he is trying to convince himself that the Bible and Noah’s flood is a myth and that by repeating the word over and over again his wish that it is all a myth will come true.
Second, he is attacking an idea that he himself probably uses with his students. If they do what he wants and say the things the way he wants then they get a commendation and praise. So why is he attacking Christians for doing the same thing?
Third, the Bible doesn’t belong to unbelievers thus it is not theirs to twist and change to fit their heart’s desires. Of course believers will get upset because unbelievers are tinkering with something they do not have permission to tinker with. I am sure he would cry foul if believers tinkered with his curriculum without his consent.
#2. “Remember, a worldwide flood has been disproved time and again. It’s a myth preserved in the Bible, which was based upon much earlier flood myths that were incorporated into the biblical narrative.”
Really? That is news to me. In fact no one has disproven anything about the Bible and this is more of Cargill’s wishful thinking. We have more evidence for Noah’s flood than we do for his wedding and 4th anniversary (see his previous post ).
He also ignores the fact that there has been only 1 global flood and no one knows what the evidence would look like thus they cannot present any evidence to the contrary. There was a news story recently talking about the possibility of extra water in the earth’s core (I mentioned it before). The recent discoveries keep producing evidence that shows the Bible to be fact not myth.
As for the incorporation of other myths, he is without evidence to support that claim. It is more of a myth than he claims Noah’s flood to be because we have evidence for the flood and there is no evidence for copying other flood stories by the biblical authors.
#3. “But when Darren Aronofsky retells the biblical flood myth as “Noah”, religious conservatives weep and gnash their teeth. And why are biblical myths so sacrosanct?”
Because the Bible is God’s holy word and it Is not to be changed by anyone.
“and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” Rev. 22:19
And there is a similar warning in Deut. As well, I just do not remember the exact reference. The Bible is not the unbeliever’s toy that they can do anything they want to it or its words. Just because Cargill doesn’t believe doesn’t mean unbelievers have the right or freedom to trample the Holy writings of other people.
#4. “They believe it really happened, regardless of what science says. The myth is to be believed over science, but only when the myth is preserved in the Bible. If it’s a myth of another religious tradition, then it’s OK to accept science, and even to use science to disprove the myth. But if the myth is in the Bible, science suddenly sucks.”
Cargill really sounds like a whiner here. Science is not an authority to be used to determine if something happened in history or not. Such determinations are beyond the scope and authority of science. Also, most science is conducted by unbelievers thus the information they provide is not objective, honest or unbiased, thus their words cannot be trusted to tell the truth.
People are given a choice—believe God or not and those who believe God are not doing anything wrong. They are going with the truth and using faith as God wants. They are also being obedient to God’s word where they reject false teaching and false teachers.
He is wrong about other religious writings. Believers do not take science over their words, they take God’s word over those alternatives. He misses the boat on this as well.
#5. “Look, they are myths. And this is modern motion picture art reinterpreting ancient literary art.”
Evidence please. Cargill’s word is not good enough. No scholar anywhere at any time has evidence to support this statement. His declaring that the Bible is a myth means nothing except that he doesn’t want to believe God or the Bible. He will take the lies and destruction of evil over God’s word and salvation.
It is sad to see but Cargill refuses to allow those with the truth to post on his site thus he stops up his ears whenever he is going to be shown how wrong he really is.
#6. “So relax and enjoy the movie”
You can go see the movie just do not buy into the secular ideas in it. We know it isn’t a true depiction but it may give us openings to tell unbelievers the true story and win souls for Christ. So instead of being offended by the portrayal use it for God’s advantage and plant seeds or win the souls for Christ. We believers have the truth and we have nothing to be afraid of—even this movie.
Oh and remember—it was ‘different kinds’ not all the animals Noah took on the ark thus the situation was much better on the ark than unbelievers think.
(The format may be different from normal because I wrote this first on Microsoft office then transferred it here)