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Why the History Channel Got it Wrong About Jesus and Satan

Why the History Channel Got it Wrong About Jesus and Satan


The creators of The History Channel‘s miniseries, “The Bible,” Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, made the news today after comparisons were made between the actor depicting Satan to President Barack Obama.  I am not touching that and think those who have are just trying to stir the pot unnecessarily, but a wrinkled black man in a hoodie as Satan?  And Jesus looks like he walked right out of Beverly Hills 90210, the Portuguese edition?  The message, even if accidental, is disappointing.

It just doesn’t sit right with me.  I endeavored to write a blog with some degree of historical interpretation, but decided it was too tough, too controversial and nothing I wanted to touch.  Then I decided to post it anyway.

But the point I want you to take away is this and only this- Beauty, in God’s eyes, comes from within (1 Samuel 16:7b, 1 Peter 3:3-4).

Jesus is timeless and faceless.  He is beautiful no matter what his flesh ever was.  So, why do we need to “over-do” Jesus’ physical appearance?  It is clearly not history.  And then there is the unsettling dichotomy of those who portray beauty and those who portray evil throughout the series.  It’s unsettling.


As cast by the makers of “The Bible,” Jesus was lily white with flawless, unwrinkled skin.  The tests of time or tireless sacrifice and labor did not phase him and his teeth were perfect. Is that what the Bible tell us?

jesus2Jesus, with some reliability and consensus was of Semitic stock- a Jewish carpenter or stonemason.  Stories in the Bible depict Him as physically ordinary and sometimes confused for others, such as Peter or John.  He did hard outside physical labor until the age of thirty. Jesus walked wherever He went, so His skin would have been darkened by the sun, weathered even- not as dark as that of a sub-Saharan African but not as light as a northern European. Many scholars indicate something of an olive tone.

jesus3And the long hair?  Many Scholars think ancient Semites had generally dark colored hair that was thick and often wiry or curly, but short.  Supporting this, St. Paul said,  “Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him?” (1 Cor 11:14).

And the beard? Jesus would not have had a neat, trimmed beard, because Leviticus 19:27 required Jewish males to “not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.”

Don’t blame the messenger, but Isaiah almost insinuates that Jesus was ordinary to unattractive:

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

(Isaiah 53:2, KJV)

Given the circles He traveled in and the hard life he lived, he undoubtedly deserved to be immortalized with an exterior to match his interior- radiantly beautiful.  So, I am not protesting, but the dichotomy is vast between the depiction of Him and…

And… Satan…

Satan-in-History-Channel-s-The-Bible-Resembles-Barack-Obama-PhotoBy contrast, evil incarnate is portrayed as older, more wrinkled, dark and hooded.  He looks as if he has labored his whole life.

Satan’s fall (or push) from Heaven is symbolically described in Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:12-18. Satan was likely the highest of all angels, the most beautiful of all of God’s creations, but he was not content in his position. Instead, Satan desired to be God, to essentially “kick God off His throne” and take over the rule of the universe. Read more »


This Weekend’s NASCAR Crash, Injuries: A Legal Breakdown

By John M. Phillips

It has been reported that anywhere from 28 to 30-plus fans were injured when a violent crash shattered a race car, slinging parts from the track at the Daytona International Speedway through and over the fence and into the grandstands. No fatalities were reported. This entry looks at injury liability, contract law and “assumption of risk” and copyright law.

What happened?

The Saturday race was known as the NASCAR Drive 4 COPD 300 and is a part of the Nationwide Series. With two laps left, Tony Stewart took the lead, pushed by Sam Hornish. This pair couldn’t get more than a couple of lengths ahead of the pack, as racing has been made to be highly competitive over the years so finishes come down to an exciting ending. Hornish had to drop back to cool his engine. Stewart, without a partner, dropped to fifth. Brad Keselowski pushed Regan Smith into the lead.  Hornish got back behind Stewart with just under a lap to go and pushed him through the traffic to challenge Smith for the lead on the outside. Coming out of the final turn, Smith moved high to block Keselowski, who was trying to slingshot past to take the lead. The two cars touched, turning Smith sideways, and setting off a chain of collisions in the following pack. Kyle Larson’s , several places back, was hit from behind, sending it into the car ahead. The nose of Larson’s car dug in, the tail rose, and the car lifted off, spinning into the catch fencing four feet in the air, above the SAFER barrier. The fencing stopped the car from entering the stands, but some parts including the engine and a front wheel, went through or over the fence and into the crowd. His car was desiccated in the crash.


As a result, two huge holes were ripped in the catch fencing, and a steel standard was bent by the force of a 3600-lb. racecar hitting it at 180 mph. Thankfully, the strength of the safety barrier was sufficient to keep most of the wreckage out of the stands. Had the fence been even slightly less strong, massive fatalities almost certainly would have occurred.

History of fan injury:

The worst motor racing spectator tragedy in history was at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1955. Pierre Levegh’s Mercedes shot into the main grandstands, immediately killing 81 spectators and Levegh. Officials at Le Mans decided not to stop the race, fearing that if they did, the ensuing bedlam would further jam the small roads from Circuit de la Sarthe back into the town of Le Mans, blocking the paths of ambulances carrying dozens of badly injured. Some French journalists believed the death toll eventually exceeded 100.

Flying tires have been a race promoter’s nightmare for decades. Most recently, tires and shrapnel flying over fences caused two tragedies in less than a year in Indy car racing in 1998 and ’99.  Three spectators were killed during a CART race at Michigan International Speedway in ’98, by shrapnel that flew over the fence and into the stands.  Less than a year later, at Charlotte Motor Speedway, three more fans were killed by one flying tire during an Indy Racing League event.

Those two tragedies prompted heightening and strengthening of catch fences, and widening of their overhangs, at tracks nationwide. NASCAR was proactive at that time, mandating tethers for wheels and hoods on its cars, so they’d be “tied down” essentially.  But no tethers are totally invulnerable to shearing in crashes as violent as Saturday’s.

What went wrong:

NASCAR officials said the tether system designed to keep the tires attached to the car “for the most part held up” even though two tires went into the stands. “The tethers did hold on, but the challenge is that piece obviously got away when it hit the fence,” NASCAR Senior VP Steve O’Donnell said of the front of Larson’s car that was sheared off. “That’s something, again, we can learn [from]. “The tethers came from an incident where we learned with a tire going and escaping from the cars. We implemented tethers. Now we’ve got to take another look and say, ‘Hey, is that the best practice or is there more that we can do?’ ”  O’Donnell did not speculate on whether the crossover gate in the fence at the major point of impact played a role in making the accident worse. The remaining front stretch crossover gates were not removed for the 500.

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