The Bible was a live-action miniseries presented in 2013 by The History Channel. It's a dramatization of some key stories from, well, The Bible. It doesn't try to cover everything, just aiming for the broad sweep and a few key stories.The series had five episodes:
"Beginnings": Opens with a brief sequence of Noah and his family on the Ark (with Noah telling his family about the creation of the universe). The main stories are:
Abraham's call, his two children, and the sacrifice of Isaac
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
Moses bringing the Jews out of Egypt
"Homeland": Israel's conquest of the Holy Land. The main stories are:
The destruction of Jericho
Samson and Delilah
Saul's rise and fall, and David's rise
David's affair with Bathsheba and the consequences
"Hope": Bridges the Old and New Testaments. The main stories are:
Judea's fall to Babylon, and events in exile (Daniel in the lions' den, the three Israelites in the "fiery furnace")
Jesus's conception and birth
The beginnings of Jesus's ministry, and John the Baptist's arrest and execution
"Mission": The life and ministry of Jesus. Covers:
Jesus's preaching and miracles
The Last Supper, Judas's betrayal, Jesus's arrest
Jesus tried and condemned to death
"Passion": Wraps it all up in a bow. Covers:
Jesus's suffering, death, and resurrection
The early church, and Paul's conversion and mission
The Revelation to the Apostle John of the end of the world
This show provides examples of:
A God Am I: Pharoah fancies himself as such. Moses thinks otherwise.
Moses: You are no God. You are just a man.
Actor Allusion: Shakesperian actor Greg Hicks, who plays Pontius Pilate, has played both Brutus and Julius Caesar in separate productions of Julius Caesar.
Paul Freeman, who plays the prophet Samuel, also played Rev. Phillip Shooter in Hot Fuzz.
Aharon Ipale, who plays the Pharoah of Exodus, is Seti I in The Mummy.
Sebastian Knapp, who plays the Apostle John, played the Apostle Matthew in the 1999 miniseries Jesus.
Conan Stevens, who plays Goliath, is best known as Gregor 'The Mountain' Cleagne in Game of Thrones.
The Narrator is Keith David which makes the last half of the second episode all the more memorable, hearing him mention Goliath.
Adaptation Distillation: The Bible is long. The show is done in ten hours, with commercials. They had to make choices.
Adipose Rex: Herod the Great is hugely fat and beardless, not the way he's usually shown. It makes him come across as something like a eunuch.
Dies Wide Open: When Stephen died from being stoned, he died with his eyes open.
Dreadlock Rasta: John the Baptist has dreads, appropriate as he is a wild mystic who lives off in the desert.
Samson, unusually, combines this with Dreadlock Warrior. As a Nazirite, he has untrimmed, matted hair as a symbol of devotion to God. But he also kicks Philistine butt. When he loses the dreads, he can't fight.
Evil Is Hammy: While Paul is still a bad guy, he leaves no scenery unchewed.
Ironic Name: Acknowledged when Babylon sends its army to sack and burn Jerusalem.
Nebuchadnezzar:(to his charioteer) You know what "Jerusalem" means? "City of peace!" (both laugh)
I Warned You: The kings of Israel tend not to listen to the warnings of God's prophets and boy, does it cost them.
Jeremiah tells Zedekiah that surrendering to the Babylonians is the best course of action, as it would spare his life and those of his children and of Jerusalem. Of course, Zedekiah does not listen and Jerusalem is burned to the ground, its people enslaved, and Zedekiah is blinded in both eyes, the last thing he sees is his children being executed.
Prior to that, King Saul disobeys God by not following His orders as given to him by Samuel, thus paving the way for David to take over as king.
Know When to Fold 'Em: Once the Babylonians find out that Cyrus and the Persians are at their doorstep, they do the smart thing and surrender without a fight.
The Last Thing You Ever See: Played straight with both Samson (the last thing he sees is a bribe dumped into Delilah's lap) and King Zedekiah (the last thing he sees is his sons' throats being cut). Then, in both cases, the man who says it puts out the prisoner's eyes with his thumbs. (The blinding comes from The Bible. The taunt, and doing it with thumbs, comes straight from this show.)
One Steve Limit: Some names were very popular among first-century Jews (and, thus, in the New Testament). The show avoids this as much as possible:
Of the twelve Apostles, there were two named Judas, two James, and two Simon. (In each case, one was much more famous than the other.) The show never mentions the less-famous ones by name.
Besides his mother, Jesus had several friends or disciples named Mary: Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany (possibly the same as the Magdalene), Mary the mother of James. Only Mary Magdalene is named (she also functions as a Composite Character for all of Jesus's female disciples).
Joseph of Arimathea is rarely referred to by name, perhaps to avoid confusion with Joseph the husband of Mary.
Several different Herods played roles in the life of Jesus; the show depicts only two, non-overlapping ones (Herod the Great at Jesus's birth, Herod Antipas ordering the death of John the Baptist).
PietÓ Plagiarism: When Jesus is brought down from the cross, the scene is staged to match the classic depictions.
Race Lift: While most Israelites look stereotypically middle-eastern (brown hair, olive skin), Samson and his mother are black.
Angels are presented in a variety of races. Justified in that angels don't really have bodies, and they look however they want to look for the job at hand.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: Most of the kings (Israelite and otherwise) lead their nations in battle. In many cases this comes straight from the source material (Saul, David, Pharaoh, Agag of the Amalekites), but sometimes the show plays it up (Nebuchadnezzar riding a chariot at the head of his army to attack Jerusalem).