NBC picked up the sequel to Mark Burnett’s The Bible miniseries on Tuesday, July 2. A.D.: Beyond the Bible has no delivery date, but it does bring back the original staff, including Burnett as the executive producer.
The network fleshed out the series’ starting point in a statement:
A.D.: Beyond the Bible (a working title) starts “in the dark days after Jesus’ betrayal and death. A perfect storm brews in the Holy Land, fueled by social injustice, Roman military oppression and religious unrest. … And in the face of terrible odds and brutal persecution, the small band of Jesus’ disciples stand against the combined might of Rome and their own local authorities. In a generation of rebellion, war, famine, and carnage, who can they trust?”
It sounds interesting; it really does. However, as a Christian, I had too many issues with the accuracy of the original series to believe that A.D.: Beyond the Bible will do the story justice. At first, I was willing to overlook some missing stories and some missing points, but after watching The Bible misrepresent the apostle Paul in the finale, I changed my mind about the series.
Overall, The Bible willingly overlooked some of the more controversial and important parts of the book I believe to be God’s word. The series didn’t even tackle those issues in a secular way. Instead, it ignored some of Jesus’s most important statements, and in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, it significantly altered the Bible’s depiction of it.
It’s hard for me to believe that Burnett will improve on that under the tutelage of NBC. Put it this way, if Burnett couldn’t accurately depict the Bible on the History Channel, why should I believe that he’ll do it with a channel even less devoted to historical accuracy?
I know there will be some Christians who believe that my criticism of this news as a bit over the top, but isn’t accuracy important when any written work is brought to television? Why should the Bible be any different? Therefore, while many people are excited about this opportunity to advance the gospel of Jesus, I look at NBC’s partnership with Burnett and his wife Roma Downey with a wary eye. I can only hope that I’m wrong.