Noah: This time the Book really is better

All the animals go to The Ark of Noah painted by the American artist Edward Hicks (1780-1849) - Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA)

All the animals go to The Ark of Noah painted by the American artist Edward Hicks (1780-1849) – Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA)

That time when Evan Almighty might be more Biblically correct than Noah.

This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.
~ Genesis 6:9

The movie Noah, on the other hand, is not the account of Noah. At least not the Noah of Genesis. It’s a made up story based loosely, very loosely, on a guy named Noah with a boat.

There are several movies coming out that people of faith may be anticipating. I think a lot of people are going to be disappointed about Noah if they don’t read up ahead of time.

And it’s not just because of a fear that Russell Crowe might sing.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that the opening line of the Noah movie says “In the beginning there was nothing.”

Pretty much after the words “In the beginning…” Biblical similarities end.

Perhaps Morgan Freeman wasn’t available?

Actually the best comment I’ve read was on some site yesterday (I forget where), when someone said they were disappointed that Joan van Ark couldn’t play Noah’s wife, Joan of Ark.

Seems to keep with the “accuracy” of the film.

According to The Washington Times, “Director Darren Aronofsky called his movie ‘the least biblical biblical film ever made,’ The Telegraph reported. He also claimed his leading character, Noah, was the ‘first environmentalist,’ something that suggests the movie storyline doesn’t exactly follow the Bible’s.”

Calling Noah “the first environmentalist” suggests the story doesn’t follow the Bible?


I hope that the person that actually let that get into print is embarrassed over the absurdity of that statement. I fear they are not.

It seems pretty clear that the only similarities to the Biblical account are that the movie has a guy named Noah who builds an ark, and there’s a flood. Beyond that, there’s not much similarity to the true account of Noah as described in Genesis.

That’s right, I said the true account. It’s not a myth, and whether or not the Genesis account is a verbatim account or a poetic retelling is not an issue. God called Noah to build an ark. Noah built it. And it rained for forty days and forty nights.

That’s not debatable. Nor is it something that will be argued about on this blog.

And, just as an aside, before there was the Rainbow Coalition, before there was gay pride, before there was Judy Garland, the rainbow was, and is, a sign of God’s promise.

The libertarian (small “l”) in me agrees that Darren Aronofsky is free to tell whatever story he wants. My faith isn’t shaken when other people get it wrong. But, let’s just be clear that he’s not telling the story of Noah. Christians should consider whether they want to give him and Paramount Pictures their money.

The only other Aronofsky film I’ve seen is Black Swan. A film that was fascinatingly disturbing.  Not that I spend a lot of time at the ballet, but I’ll likely never be able to sit through a stage production of Black Swan. But I’m not judging Noah based on that one film.  Aronofsky may indeed be a brilliant filmmaker.

His in your face attitude about things of faith may also make him a jackass.

That’s nothing new.  Jesus told us to expect that.

It’s true that the National Association of Religious Broadcasters got Paramount to agree to post a disclaimer with the movie. And perhaps Paramount is realizing that there’s going to be some backlash over the distortion of the story. A full page ad in the New York Times this week suggested that people could read the story of Noah on the Bible App or at


If people actually do turn to the Scriptures to read the account, that’s a good thing.

I’m not judging whether or not the movie will actually be entertaining or whether it will be cinematically beautiful. It may be. Chances are, I’ll never know.

I don’t do boycotts, and I’m not recommending one for this movie.  If Christians raise too much of a stink, I fear that the media will dutifully play their part and make people of faith look like the intolerant extremists.  I’d suggest a stronger response for Christians would be to turn God’s Not Dead into a major box-office breaking blockbuster.  After all, at the end of the day for Hollywood, it’s all about the dollar signs.

Personally, I’d rather read the book.

Here’s a different take. I’ll admit that I’m still skeptical.

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