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-ABC Cancels ‘Of Kings and Prophets’: When Bible Stories Are Rejected by Christians

by Dr. D ~ March 24th, 2016

abc Kings and Prophets

When are Bible stories rejected by Christians? ABC executives are probably asking that question now since their TV ‘Bible’ series “of Kings and Prophets” was such a abject failure  that the network has cancelled it after only two episodes and doesn’t even plan to air any of the remaining episodes that are completed.

When a TV series is extremely popular on TV it results in the production of many more similar projects to tap into the same large audience. Over 100 million Americans viewed “The Bible” mini series in 2013. Subsequently many TV executives started to come up with ideas for projects that used the Bible and tapped into the large Christian audience that made “The Bible” such a success.

Along the line, somebody came up with the idea to try make a series that loosely used Bible stories as the background and source for presenting extreme violence, and sexual content like HBO’s  "Game of Thrones." The plan was to reflect elements from two different successful series and potentially create an even larger audience in the process.

Obviously no one at ABC/Disney bothered to bring aboard an actual Bible believing ‘Christian’ in the developmental stages of the project to get an idea of how it might play with the supposed target audience. Finally when Christians, like Parents Television Council, were allowed to preview the series it was too late to be redeemed and the Christian reviews nailed the coffin shut and the quintessential lady was already warming up for the finish before the first episode was even aired.

What is the lesson to be learned from this failure? ‘The Bible’ series was popular with a hundred million Christians or so because it took the Bible serious and reflected Biblical values. Even when it deviated slightly from the Biblical record it still respected the over all story and religious teaching of the book. The ABC series loosely used stories and characters from the Bible but reflected an entirely different morality and world view. Unfortunately, the lesson that most TV executives will probably take from this development will be to stay away from the Bible as a source for TV since it can engender such a passionate opposition and negative response.               *Top

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4 Responses to -ABC Cancels ‘Of Kings and Prophets’: When Bible Stories Are Rejected by Christians

  1. Brian

    I am waxing nostalgic about old TV shows (see my last post). Do you remember the short lived series from 2005 called “Revelations”? Note the “s” on the end of the title to the tv series. The premise was that a Catholic nun (and priest, I think) were on a mission to stop the “end times”. The plot lines butchered the Book of Revelation, completely ignoring actual prophecy and substituting bogus Hollywood story lines.

    The series failed miserably. One of the main reasons was that, traditionally, the Catholic Church and Catholics in general have had little interest in Christian eschatology, using viewing Revelation (and other prophetic material in the New Testament) from either a preterist or a purely symbolic perspective. By casting the lead characters as Catholic, the network ignored the Evangelical audience. Second, the goal of the protagonists (preventing the Second Coming) was totally incomprehensible to an Evangelical audience- why would one want to do so, and would it not be a fool’s errand?

    Then, in 2006, there was “The Book of Daniel”, about a pill-popping Episcopal priest who has all sorts of problems (gay family members turn up), but who sees Jesus Christ, who gives him(the priest) unconventional advice – frequently the character Jesus in the TV show gives advice contrary to Jesus’ teachings

    My point is that Hollywood elites (a) have no or very little knowledge of scripture; (b) have no understanding of scripture – which is a different matter entirely; (c) have no understanding of theology, especially of Evangelicals, (d) and, because of the foregoing, they have no understanding of the world – view of Evangelicals and other conservative Christians.

    My point is that, if Hollywood ever produces a theologically sound retelling of the Bible, which is faithful to the text, it will be DESPITE their predispositions and outlook on the world.

  2. julio vega

    I found the Story interesting and I don’t agree with the so called Christians who had a part in the canceling of this show. I don’t necessarily agree with those people. I feel that much of their dislike was the fact that this show was more accurate as far as demographics. My whole life I was taught that all of the good people in the Bible were white.. As I grew up I found out the truth which made me angry.. I don’t watch Bible stories when they make the major characters white.. Its a lie and its a misleading factor..

  3. julio vega

    The main reason for Christian back lash is the main characters were played by people of color.. The bible itself describes Jesus as a person of dark skin with woolly type hair not the long hair that is taught in the American version of the bible. Too Christians can’t relate to a dark skinned prophets. My whole life I have been taught that the major Bible Characters including Jesus were white.. A big fat nasty lie.. To this day I won’t watch a bible story in which the bible characters are portrayed as white. I am still angry to this day of the lies taught to me.

  4. Dr. D

    I seriously doubt that ‘people of color’ playing the main characters had anything to do with the failure of this series. Content was the issue.

    The New Testament really doesn’t tell us anywhere what Jesus looked like. He was enough like any other Middle Eastern man of the 1st century that the authorities had a hard time finding and identifying him. Obviously he was not ‘white’ but had dark skin and probably had short or medium length hair which was the custom at the time (I Cor. 11:14). But did he have ‘woolly hair’? We really don’t know, that is a conjecture based upon Revelation 1:14-16:

    14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
    15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
    16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. (KJV)

    This passage shows what the Lord may have looked like after his resurrection and glorification but most Bible scholars do not think that this gives us any clues about how he looked as a man while living. Obviously this is figurative language since he would not have lived with a literal sword coming out of his mouth nor would his eyes be like fire and his hair color would have been dark rather than white. ‘Wool’ in the passage also obviously used more as an adjective describing the color white rather than any particular type of hair.

    Also your reference to “long hair that is taught in the American version of the Bible” is puzzling. There is no such reference in the Bible nor any ‘version’ of it that says any such thing. All current English versions of the Bible used by Americans are merely translations from the earliest manuscripts in the original languages.

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