Can an Atheist Make a Good Bible Movie?

| December 12, 2013

For almost as long as the movies have existed, moviemakers have turned to the Bible for inspiration. From the 1903 Pathé production of Samson and Delilah to this year's popular miniseries The Bible, the Good Book has been a fixture on the silver screen and, often, a box office boon. Cecil B. DeMille was perhaps the first filmmaker to recognize the epic scope and inherently cinematic nature of the Bible. Through films like The Ten Commandments (1923), The King of Kings (1927), and The Sign of the Cross (1932), he helped pave the way for the genre, which today includes the likes of The Prince of Egypt (1998) and The Passion of the Christ (2004).

ff_scott_580_fSoon to be added to the genre are two films slated for release in 2014: Exodus, starring Christian Bale as Moses and directed by Ridley Scott (Gladiator); and Noah, starring Russell Crowe as Noah and directed by Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain). Both films are said to be epic in scope (watch the Noah trailer here) and both feature major Hollywood talent. Christians should be excited, right?

Not so fast. Early Noah test screenings for faith-based audiences produced "…

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