Peter (10) and I have been watching The Bible TV series (I bought it from Amazon). There are ten forty-five minute episodes each covering one or two of the great heroes from the Bible. It's perfect for older boys, lots of blood, guts and swordplay. When God speaks to people he sends angels that look a bit like Star Wars Jedis!
Each episode starts with a recap and ends with a preview of the next one. I found this a bit annoying to begin with but it helped Peter see the Bible as the story of the people of God rather than a series of unrelated stories.
If you're looking to spark someone's interest in the Bible the series is great, but it's not for Bible scholars. There is a bit of artistic license (e.g. Sarah tries to chase after Abraham when he goes off to sacrifice Isaac) and the words spoken are not direct from the text.
Here are a few thoughts on each episode:
1. Noah and Abraham - Peter loved the 'ninja angels' destroying Sodom.
2. Moses - The parting of the Red Sea was awesome!
3. Joshua and Jericho, Samson and Delilah - Lots of people get their throats cut in this one and Samson has his eyes crushed out. It might have been a bit much if Peter wasn't used to playing 15+ video games!
4. Saul and David - This episode was an eye opener. I heard Peter telling John "You know that guy David from the Bible, the one with the slingshot, well he had sex with someone else's wife!"
5. Jeremiah and Daniel - The fall of Jerusalem and the babylonian captivity. King Zedekiah sees his two young sons killed in front of him and then has his eyes crushed out. The scene where Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego don't burn (Daniel 3:19-27) is quite uplifting.
6. Joseph and John the Baptist - The ninja angels are back and Herod is suitably grotesque.
7. Ministry of Jesus - Mary Magdalen is featured heavily. The story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector was my favourite part of the whole series.
8. Palm Sunday to Jesus' arrest - Peter and I were both expecting this episode to finish with the crucifixion. I hate to say it, but I was disappointed when it didn't! I was hoping the series would leave two episode to cover the Acts of the Apostles.
9. Passion and resurrection - There's a strong 'blame Caiaphas not Pilate' emphasis. The crucifixion borrows from the movie The Passion of the Christ. Satan is wandering around in a black cloak and the scene where the nails are hammered through Jesus' hands is very drawn out. Thankfully the bad thief doesn't get his eyes pecked!
10. Acts of the Apostles - This is the least violent episode in the series which I found a bit of a relief. Paul speaks the words of 1 Cor 13 (love is patient, love is kind...) to convince the disciples in Jerusalem (whom he persecuted) that he is no longer a threat. That's not where it appears in the Bible, but it was a great rendition.