The Noah of Scriptures











Everyone is talking about the new Noah movie, wondering if its better described as anti-Christian or pure entertainment. The movie collector of critical ratings Rotten Tomatoes has it in the mid 70 percent for critics and in the 40 percent for viewers. The box office has mixed audience result with a respectable showing of over $40 million during the opening weekend. Movies might give promise with such high earnings, but they live or die in the second and following runs. If word of mouth continues to be negative among the most interested possible viewers (Christians), then curiosity and lack of competition gave it the first boost of money. There is far from any guarantee it won’t turn out a bomb. Muslim nations have already given it the banned treatment.

What is supposed to be so bad about the Noah movie for those who don’t like it? For starters, it is considered way too off story from the Bible. Noah is in it, an ark with animals is present, and a flood happens. Besides that, according to negative critics, nothing else is close to correct or even the spirit of the account. He ends up a jumble of crazy, environmentalist, near abortionist, murdering anti-hero. Not even believers would protest an intervention to have him committed. The bad guys are morally questionable, but mostly a bunch of industrialists who like to hunt and eat meat. A critic from the science fiction blog io9 tried to make a case for its spiritual pedigree, but made things unintentionally worse for those Christians who would be the most unconvinced. They would see too much para-Biblical references over the very short Bible narrative.

This brings up the question of what the Noah story really is in the Biblical account. At first I was going to do a bunch of quotes and then solemnly explicate the text. That would be the traditional way of writing a blog argument. An equal concern is if there is enough in the Bible to make a story worthy of a two hour night at the movies. This is as much about creativity and imagination as bad exegesis. Those who support the Noah treatment point to The Ten Commandments for an example of making things up that aren’t found in the text. True enough, as I have my own criticisms about how Moses was portrayed in rather white washed fashion after his conversion. There is a difference because much of what is in the text became part of the film. Not so much, apparently, the Noah movie.

I am going to write a story outline using what can be known from the Bible, Book of Moses and other JST, Book of Jubilee, Book of Enoch, and a small amount of commentary. The end of the story will have a reference list for those who want to check sources and decide for themselves. The intended outcome should evidence that there is enough in the text to make a great film without complete distortion. Obviously it will be from what an equally controversial Mormon point of view. Those who have watched the Hollywood version can decide how close this is to what they saw on screen. Continue reading

Guest post: but will they come without purse?

This is a guest post by Michael Davidson, who describes himself as a “father, husband, lawyer and family history consultant living in southern Nevada. Being a family history consultant ties with nursery leader for third on my list of all time favorite callings.”

By Michael Davidson

As I write this, we are just a few days away from the Ordain Women action, in which they intend to get themselves turned away from the Priesthood Session of General Conference. Will they be met on the sidewalk and asked not to continue? Will they be barred from entering Temple Square? It hasn’t even happened yet and I’m already annoyed because I know that this will be a distraction against my favorite conference tradition. I’ve always come home after Priesthood Session and read my notes to my wife and discussed how we will apply that counsel to our family. Last year I found myself distracted by the OW circus, even though I wasn’t even on Temple Square.

This year, I will probably get distracted again … and I hate that, but a lot of the blame there goes on me. At least the OW crowd has indicated that they won’t be doing this again next conference, but that doesn’t mean we’ve heard the last of them. In her podcast over at FMH from March 24, 2014, Kate Kelly pulled back the curtain a bit about OW’s next big plan and they are not content with merely making a spectacle of themselves on Temple Square. Here’s what Kate had to say:

[The transcription is mine, and I take responsibility for any errors. This portion begins at about 50:12 in the MP3 I download from FMH] “One of the things we are doing directly after the action is a set of 6 discussions specifically about women’s ordination, and so we’re going to be creating discussion packets. All you’ll have to do is literally, like, print out the PDF, all of the articles and everything is going to be less than ten pages for each discussion, so there will be excerpts from articles, there will be scriptures, there will be other things that you can study. You can take this packet that you have in your hands and invite a couple of your friends over and have a discussion about it. It doesn’t have to be people who already agree with us. It can be anyone who has ideas about ordination or about the priesthood who wants to learn more. So we’re hoping that women will engage in those [There is a noticeable break here, at about 50:50 in the MP3, and it is clear that some content got missed either deliberately or accidentally.] you know leaders in the Ordain Women movement will go through the discussions as well so if you are, in Tajikistan, and don’t have anyone who is a Mormon feminist in your area you can get together with, you can join with us online.”

First, this was the most interesting part in the 2 hour podcast, and I’m disappointed that just as things were getting interesting, someone exercised a little editorial control and removed part of that discussion. I would like to ask the proprietors of FMH in the interest of transparency, what exactly got removed here, and was the removal at Kate Kelly’s request? Was there anything else removed from the podcast after the fact? I’m not holding my breath for a response.

Continue reading

April Fools Poll

Two parter here.  Respond in the comments.

1. What is the biggest April Fools prank you have played on someone, or had played on you?

2. Who do you feel qualifies as the April Fool king/queen of the year?