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Reality TV Goliath takes up Bible miniseries challenge, hopes for better outcome
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey on the set of "The Bible," the 10-hour miniseries Burnett produced and directed.
March 2nd, 2013
11:00 PM ET

Reality TV Goliath takes up Bible miniseries challenge, hopes for better outcome

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
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(CNN) - Mark Burnett is the king of reality television. His shows and spinoffs command hours of prime-time television real estate. The seal of his production company One Three Media appears at the end of “Survivor,” “The Voice,” “The Apprentice,” “Shark Tank,” “The Job” and “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?”

He will tell you each show was No. 1 in the time slot. He will tell you he will take on all comers in his bare-knuckle, ratings-driven world and beat them. He will tell you on any given day he has 150 video-editing systems churning through edits on his dossier, which spans the three major broadcast networks.

But if you suggest he may not have the chops to take on a massive scripted dramatic presentation of the Bible as a 10-hour miniseries, his eyes will tell you he wants to throttle you.

My bad.

Burnett and wife, Roma Downey, have been barnstorming the country like roving preachers on horseback trying to evangelize the West. Their gospel is spreading the news of “The Bible” - their ambitious project that aims to tell the story of the Bible in 10 installments. It begins its weeklong premiere on the History Channel Sunday night.

We met in the lobby of the Washington Hilton the night before last month’s National Prayer Breakfast. They were in town to speak to Washington journalists and show clips from their project.

Burnett and Downey’s project tackles the narrative of the Bible, a story woven through 66 books of the Old Testament and New Testament. It’s a story revered by billions as divine revelation – and one they’ve compressed into 10 hours of television. What could possibly go wrong?

A lot.

Many have taken aim at dramatizing the stories of the Bible. Few of those productions stood the test of time. They knew all that going in 3 1/2 years ago when “the light bulb went off,” as Downey puts it.

“It’s been a great fun journey right, Roma?” Burnett said to his wife of nearly six years.

“And we’re still talking to each other,” Downey said, smiling.

Both Downey and Burnett were raised Catholic, Burnett in England and Downey in Ireland. They still regularly attend Mass in Los Angeles. Growing up, both watched the classic Biblical films that the Hollywood of yesteryear churned out, like “The Ten Commandments” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”

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“In Ireland, we used to sit up and wait for John Wayne to say, ‘Surely that man was the Son of God,’ at the end of 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' every Easter,” Downey said, with her thick Irish brogue dipping into a delightfully terrible John Wayne impersonation.

After showing their kids "The Ten Commandments" with Charlton Heston, their three teenagers had one request for the Bible project. They told their parents, “Please don’t make it lame.”

Making it work

The project is personal for Burnett and Downey, coming from a deep spiritual desire for more people to see and experience the stories of their faith. As Europeans, now naturalized U.S. citizens, they are stunned the Bible is not taught in public schools.

“It was time for an updating. Adding fresh visual life to a sacred text,” Burnett said.

“People have great hearts and great knowledge but no experience of filmmaking and no budgets,” Burnett said of past telling of the stories on film and television.

“Or the resources,” Downey chimed in. “We wanted to create something that was gritty and authentic. We certainly didn’t want everyone to look like they stepped out of the dry cleaners.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wir4fH6hUxw&list=UUt_Q-xP9pUFpalCF-e_ZhtA&index=18]

Burnett and Downey may not have been high on the list of many studios as producers and directors to put a massive scripted project like this together. "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" starring Donald Trump and Gary Busey is not exactly" Ben-Hur," and Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green spinning in chairs on the singing competition "The Voice" isn’t often (or ever) compared to the "Ten Commandments."

When I asked Burnett about this, he seemed genuinely insulted.

“Based on viewership, maybe I should be giving a few lessons to the people who are doing stories. Because we have five nights of No. 1 wins on prime-time television,” he started. “As a family we’ve made over 2,000 hours of American television and 8,000 worldwide.”

As he cooled down, ticking off a list of reasons why he and his wife were best suited for the job, he delved into how this project was made.

The production, he insisted, was a lot more like the production that goes into "Survivor" than nearly any feature film or television show in production.

"Survivor" typically includes a cast and crew of 400 people in a remote location with multiple helicopters and boats.

To film the Bible series, they set off for the southern tip of Morocco in Africa with a similar-size crew and hundreds of extras. Not to mention the chariots and horses.

“It was epic,” Downey said.

“Our experience with large-scale productions was very, very important,” Burnett said.

To help further bring the story to life, they brought in Lola, an Oscar-winning CGI team from London who created similar scenes for the film "Gladiator."

They went with an international ensemble for the cast because they didn’t want to distract the audience with recognizable celebrities.

Jesus was played by Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado. Many other actors came from the Theatre District in London.

An actor portrays an Egyptian slave driver in 'The Bible' miniseries

Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado portrays Jesus in 'The Bible' miniseries

The most recognizable face to most in North America will be Downey herself, who stepped into the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary is portrayed in the series as a young woman at the Nativity, then later in life.

“It was a privilege to play it,” Downey said. For nine seasons, Downey starred in the CBS show “Touched by an Angel,” then went on to star in a number of TV movies.

“The scripts at one point just said Young Mary, and then as the scripts progressed it said Old Mary. I said, ‘OK, we have to change that right now.’ The last thing I need to see is ‘Old Mary’ played by Roma Downey,” she said with a laugh. “So we changed it to Mother Mary.”

The budget for the 10 hours was under $22 million, Burnett said, a small price tag for a production on such a grand scale. (NBC paid $4 million per episode for the show “Smash” this season, according to an estimate by the New York Times)

“It’s not easy, even for us, to sell and get placed on prime time television, 10 hours – Genesis to Revelation,” Burnett said. “Do we wish we had 25 or 100 [hours], yes but we got 10. We got a great budget. It looks like it’s a $200 million movie. Of course it’s not. It’s just our combined experiences, our hearts and efforts that make it look like that.”

Getting it right

As they considered which parts of the Bible to shoot, they had to pare down hundreds of stories.

“The first decision was, it’s one story,” Burnett said. “It’s not a series of unconnected stories, it’s one grand narrative.”

“You could call it the meta narrative.”

The series encompasses five hours of the Old Testament and five hours of the New Testament.

They took many artistic liberties to compress the story lines while hoping to remain true to the story.

A public relations manager for the project described the liberties to me as “extra-biblical but not contra-biblical.”

For instance, in the series opener, the Book of Genesis stories of Adam and Eve and Noah unfold together. Noah and his family are already on the ark while the flood waters batter their boat. To calm his family, Noah tells them the story of creation: “In the beginning! ... ” Noah bellows as he runs around plugging leaks and comforting his family and the animals.

An actor portrays an Egyptian slave driver in 'The Bible' miniseries

An actor portrays an Egyptian slave driver in 'The Bible' miniseries

Similarly, in the story of David and Goliath, when David heads out to face the giant Philistine foe, he clutches his sling and quietly begins to recite the 23rd Psalm, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.” David is considered the author of the psalm, but nowhere in the text of the David and Goliath story does it address what he said as he walked out to battle and slay Goliath.

The dialogue in much of the story is similarly constructed along the lines of the bare-bones text. When Jesus calls Peter to be his disciple, Peter asks, “What are we going to do?” Jesus answers, “We’re going to change the world.” Those lines never appear in the Gospel accounts, but Burnett and Downey insist it is consistent with the text.

“Every step of the way we’ve had scholars and theologians working with us,” Downey said.

Burnett and Downey consulted a wide range of pastors and academics, including a major evangelical leader and a Catholic cardinal.

Their advisory panel consisted of many people from varied backgrounds familiar with sharing the stories of the Bible rather than of a "who’s who" of Biblical academics.

Joel Osteen, a popular television preacher and pastor of the 30,000-member Lakewood church in Houston, was among those consulted. Osteen and Burnett are friends and were developing a television series together that went on the back burner during the production of this series. Osteen even took his family to Morocco during some of the filming.

“[Burnett] would send scripts our way and ask doctrinal or Bible questions about it, but a lot of it was a friendship and an advisory role,” Osteen said.

CNN Belief: Five things we learned from Joel Osteen's visit

Osteen said much of his work was confirming if the extrabiblical material stayed true to the Bible.

His encouragement to Burnett was to “use your creativity to fill in between the lines.”

Another consultant was Rabbi Joshua Garroway, an assistant professor at the Hebrew Union College and an expert on early Christianity and the Second Jewish commonwealth (circa 530 B.C. to 70 A.D.) Judaism. He was a paid consultant on the project.

“One of the issues that came up frequently in the comments was the goal of the production was to remain faithful, or at least as faithful as possible, to the narrative and text of the Bible, as opposed to a historical critical approach,” he said.

“The series is not meant to be a historical feature but as a representation of the biblical narrative which is at times historical and at times not,” Garroway said.

One reason Garroway thought he was brought in was because in parts of the New Testament, “there are less than generous depictions of Jews, Jewish leaders and Jewish traditions.”

One of several Jewish scholars involved, his role as a New Testament scholar was to help the production stay faithful to the text but also “diminish as much as possible scenes or statements that could be construed as overly negative toward Jews and Jewish judgment.”

While he thinks the project has an overall Christian orientation, “I think they did well.”

“I don’t think it will run into the same problems that Mel Gibson’s movie ("The Passion of the Christ") did because the producers have been somewhat conscientious about forestalling some of the things that could produce that effect in the Jewish community,” he said, referring to perceptions of anti-Semitism from the 2004 film.

Osteen thinks the project will have a lasting impact in churches. He plans to use pieces of the project in his services to help illustrate points he’ll make in his sermons.

“I know I’m biased because I’m their friend, but I think it’ll be something that will live on for generations because it’s done with excellence, not knocking anything else, it’s just this is production 50 years past where some of the other films were made,” he said.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Burnett and Downey also think this project will be their most lasting and most viewed.

Burnett said the couple have deferred all their fees for the project. They probably don’t need the money anyway. Forbes lists Burnett as among its 100 highest-earning celebrities with an estimated income of $55 million in 2012.

While the History Channel owns the exclusive North American rights to the project, Burnett and Downey own the rights to global distribution and theatrical airings, which are in the works. There is also a book tie-in, games and apps attached to the project.

For the couple, the project was not about turning a profit, though they likely will. Instead, it was about bringing new life to the stories of their faith for a new audience.

“Will it be screened in movie theaters? Yes, for sure. "Already been approached. Arenas, churches, every way you can imagine,” Burnett said.

Burnett ticked through the shows he and Downey have put together over the years. “Over the next 25 years," he said, "more people will see this than all the others combined.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Catholic Church • Christianity • Entertainment • TV

soundoff (2,068 Responses)
  1. Reality

    Richunix,

    Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon appears to be a well-researched review of Solomon to include "his" control of angels and demons.

    Said "angelic and demonic" stupidity adds to incredulity of these mythical beings.

    March 4, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • richunix

      @Reality,

      You've been a great "online" teacher.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:19 am |
  2. A

    That first picture is not a slave driver.....ITS JESUS. COME ON CNN!

    March 4, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • Jimmy

      Kinda depends on how you view his Christian followers, doesn't it?

      March 4, 2013 at 9:43 am |
  3. richunix

    @KG

    Here are examples of these inconsistencies found in your Bible. Pick one (anyone) and please explain to the reader how this is the word of GOD and therefore extant.
    Who incited David to count the fighting men of Israel?
    (a) God did (2 Samuel 24: 1)
    (b) Satan did (I Chronicles 2 1:1)
    In that count how many fighting men were found in Israel?
    (a) Eight hundred thousand (2 Samuel 24:9)
    (b) One million, one hundred thousand (IChronicles 21:5)
    How many fighting men were found in Judah?
    (a) Five hundred thousand (2 Samuel 24:9)
    (b) Four hundred and seventy thousand (I Chronicles 21:5)
    God sent his prophet to threaten David with how many years of famine?
    (a) Seven (2 Samuel 24:13)
    (b) Three (I Chronicles 21:12)
    How old was Ahaziah when he began to rule over Jerusalem?
    (a) Twenty-two (2 Kings 8:26)
    (b) Forty-two (2 Chronicles 22:2)
    How old was Jehoiachin when he became king of Jerusalem?
    (a) Eighteen (2 Kings 24:8)
    (b) Eight (2 Chronicles 36:9)
    How long did he rule over Jerusalem?
    (a) Three months (2 Kings 24:8)
    (b) Three months and ten days (2 Chronicles 36:9)
    The chief of the mighty men of David lifted up his spear and killed how many men at one time?
    (a) Eight hundred (2 Samuel 23:8)
    (b) Three hundred (I Chronicles 11: 11)
    When did David bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem? Before defeating the Philistines or after?
    (a) After (2 Samuel 5 and 6)
    (b) Before (I Chronicles 13 and 14)
    How many pairs of clean animals did God tell Noah to take into the Ark?
    (a) Two (Genesis 6:19, 20)
    (b) Seven (Genesis 7:2). But despite this last instruction only two pairs went into the ark (Genesis 7:8-9)
    When David defeated the King of Zobah, how many horsemen did he capture?
    (a) One thousand and seven hundred (2 Samuel 8:4)
    (b) Seven thousand (I Chronicles 18:4)
    How many stalls for horses did Solomon have?
    (a) Forty thousand (I Kings 4:26)
    (b) Four thousand (2 chronicles 9:25)
    In what year of King Asa's reign did Baasha, King of Israel die?
    (a) Twenty-sixth year (I Kings 15:33 – 16:8)
    (b) Still alive in the thirty-sixth year (2 Chronicles 16:1)
    How many overseers did Solomon appoint for the work of building the temple?
    (a) Three thousand six hundred (2 Chronicles 2:2)
    (b) Three thousand three hundred (I Kings 5:16)
    Solomon built a facility containing how many baths?
    (a) Two thousand (1 Kings 7:26)
    (b) Over three thousand (2 Chronicles 4:5)
    Of the Israelites who were freed from the Babylonian captivity, how many were the children of Pahrath-Moab?
    (a) Two thousand eight hundred and twelve (Ezra 2:6)
    (b) Two thousand eight hundred and eighteen (Nehemiah 7:11)
    How many were the children of Zattu?
    (a) Nine hundred and forty-five (Ezra 2:8)
    (b) Eight hundred and forty-five (Nehemiah 7:13)
    How many were the children of Azgad?
    (a) One thousand two hundred and twenty-two (Ezra 2:12)
    (b) Two thousand three hundred and twenty-two (Nehemiah 7:17)
    How many were the children of Adin?
    (a) Four hundred and fifty-four (Ezra 2:15)
    (b) Six hundred and fifty-five (Nehemiah 7:20)
    How many were the children of Hashum?
    (a) Two hundred and twenty-three (Ezra 2:19)
    (b) Three hundred and twenty-eight (Nehemiah 7:22)
    How many were the children of Bethel and Ai?
    (a) Two hundred and twenty-three (Ezra 2:28)
    (b) One hundred and twenty-three (Nehemiah 7:32)
    Ezra 2:64 and Nehemiah 7:66 agree that the total number of the whole assembly was 42,360. Yet the numbers do not add up to anything close. The totals obtained from each book is as follows:
    (a) 29,818 (Ezra)
    (b) 31,089 (Nehemiah)
    How many singers accompanied the assembly?
    (a) Two hundred (Ezra 2:65)
    (b) Two hundred and forty-five (Nehemiah 7:67)

    March 4, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • are122

      LOL, so? They were written by different people at different times and translated many times. Proves to me everyone didn't copy what everyone else wrote. What is point?

      March 4, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • IBCSV

      Why do you get so angry at the Word of God?

      March 4, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • fintastic

      It's pretty obvious this was the "word of man"

      March 4, 2013 at 10:52 am |
  4. Nietodarwin

    Will there be "little ones" killed and battered in this movie, and the perpetrators grinning at their bloody bodies? The bible tells us we should feel "happy" about the this.
    How should you feel when you dash babies against the rocks?_
    . Happy. - Is this "pro-life"? This is one of numerous examples of god-ordained genocide. Even if you coldly feel there is justice in killing the innocent infants of people deemed "evil" by your religion, would you be happy to do it, as the bible declares? If this is not evil, then what is?
    "O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." (Psalm 137:8-9)
    LETTING CHILDREN WATCH THIS SICK DELUSIONAL TRASH IS JUST PLAIN WRONG, IT IS PSYCHOLOGICAL CHILD ABUSE.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    “I am now convinced that children should not be subjected to the frightfulness of the Christian religion [...]. If the concept of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society's admiration, what types of human behavior can be presented to them as reprehensible?”
    _ Ruth Hurmence Green, The Born Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible

    March 4, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • PJ

      You have got to be the angriest person on the planet. You are quite comical and sad at the same time.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • are122

      Yeah and...if 2000 years from now someone looks on current history what do you think their comment would be?

      March 4, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • IBCSV

      Don´t you think that the values on tv shows and tv ads you expose children to are PSYCHOLOGICAL CHILD ABUSE on a daily and even hourly basis?

      March 4, 2013 at 9:27 am |
  5. Jerome Horowitz

    My god is my god and your god is your god.
    Can't we leave it at that?

    March 4, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • Nietodarwin

      ANY "belief" in ANY "god" is just mental illness and delusion. My unicorn is my unicorn and your unicorn is your unicorn, can't we just leave it at that.?

      Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities.
      Voltaire

      If God exists, I hope he has a good excuse.
      Woody Allen

      March 4, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Anthony

      How do you know your god is real?

      March 4, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • are122

      Its amusing people that come up with "something that does not exist" but never come up with what does. Try a book by a physicist..."Mind of God" by physicist Paul Davies is pretty good.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Jerome Horowitz

      You folks prove my point.
      I believe what I believe
      You folks believe whatever you want, even if it's nothing
      It's fine with me
      If it's not fine with you
      That's fine with me too

      March 4, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • End Religion

      Jerome, you've stumbled onto something revolutionary. Now just convince the U.S. to drop all the religious claptrap from the government that has been inserted, and please talk with every religious person in the country and ask them to stop trying to weasel religion into government. Until you do, we'll not sit quietly any longer but will continue to rattle your cage and ridicule you for your childish notions.

      March 4, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  6. godspitbull1

    I am very disappointed in this series because it's so off from the Scriptures...I am not even referring to all the Hollywood hype...but I am just talking about the inconsistencies with the Word of God...I am not impressed at all...I actually still like The Ten Commandments starring Charleston Heston...

    March 4, 2013 at 9:00 am |
  7. Joe T

    Never new Noah was Scottish....my eyes started rolling from the get-go. actors accent was laughable. Too many gaps, too much left out, to superficial. Nice try, I love God and his Holy Son but the show is atrocious....

    March 4, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • Jim in AR

      So is your English.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:29 am |
  8. Nietodarwin

    The History Channel lost me years ago, even though it started out as such a cool channel. They should run a lot more episodes of Modern Marvels that actually inform people about the world we live in, instead of going for the easy money of the ignorant and vulnerable xstian crowd. SO SAD to see this xstian drivel on ANY channel, but the History channel doing this is somehow worse. It makes about as much sense as people getting a degree in "theology." Religion is the enemy of mankind. It is the trait of our species which could lead to our extinction. Just because almost all cultures have evolved with religion doesn't mean it's useful to our survival. Dodo birds were so stupid the evolved into losing their ability to fly, they no longer had the need. Humans are losing our ability to think, (our greatest survival trait) because of religion. It IS nice to see the growing number of comments from atheists on here, (kind hearted or downright mean), it gives one a little hope. If only xstians would just SHUT UP and practice their delusions behind closed doors. No, we have this garbage on the "so called" History Channel.

    March 4, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • Jay

      I have a few problems with your comments. First, we're losing our ability to think due to religion??? While I'm no "bible thumper", I think religion actually encourages thought. Thought about things that may or may not have existed/happened in the past (history?). Things that, whether you like it or not, have shaped our world and the way that we live. Things that you can't see or prove, but a large percentage of the world's population believe in very deeply (that's why it's called FAITH). Just because it's something that you don't believe or care to think about that doesn't mean that it has no place in our society. Which brings me to my second problem with your comment... you want Christians to shut up and practice their delusions behind closed doors, yet you feel it's okay for you to spit your hate and arrogance whenever and wherever you feel? The definition of hypocrisy. My advice to you...if you don't like it, don't watch it.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:25 am |
  9. Mike

    whats more crazy, ancient aliens or this

    March 4, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      Ya know when I first saw that show ( Ancient Aliens ) I really thought they had compelling evidence. NOT difinitve... but compelling.
      Unfortunately, that show totally lost me when they were do a discussion about the moon and weather or not that is a base station for aliens to observe humans.
      One of the guys on the show said " When the Apollo mission landed on the moon the moon rang like a bell showing that it is hollow ... " therefore implying that the moon is really a base station.
      They totally lost me with that statement. Why ? Uh the moon is in a vacuum !!! it cannot "ring like a bell"
      Like many xtians apolgists, I disregard ( this guy specifically ) these claims. He lost all validity with me with that one sentance.
      He is NUTS!!!

      March 4, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Pete

      The Ancient Aliens Bible episode.

      Actually, that was still more interesting than this show was. I nodded off a couple of times last night watching this dribble.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  10. Duane

    I read the book. It was much better. But still the movie had its high points...

    March 4, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • richunix

      agree, both are great fiction!

      March 4, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  11. Buck Rogers

    Hey wait a minute... I thought the fakery of science 'proved' the Bible to be false and that we all indeed 'evolved' from apes 'n monkeys. So what happened? Have folks lost faith in the monkey-to-man diagrams as well as the non-scientific heliocentric earth 'spinning' and 'wobbling' around the sun idea? Has science bit the dust? Or will Satan's Babylon soon fall exposing massive scientific fraud while proving Scripture to be accurate and true?

    March 4, 2013 at 8:52 am |
  12. warandpeace

    Looks good to me: lots of violence, a recipe for box office success.

    March 4, 2013 at 8:49 am |
  13. Pete

    This makes the Left Behind movies look like Argo.

    March 4, 2013 at 8:34 am |
  14. Kg

    I loved it, loved it , loved it!!!! My kids watched as well and loved it also. I'm so thankful to be a believer and not have to be so tangled and distraught on the inside like so many others who are making comments. If you don't believe in God......don't watch! However, I will be praying for you tonight weather you like it or not.
    Great job...and thank you History Channel.

    March 4, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • Mark

      I don't believe in superheroes but I still watched the Avengers movies.

      Besides, when Lot went to save the angels from the mob why did they not show him offering his daughters instead, and why were the angels killing everyone like they were in some low budget Kung Fu movie?

      March 4, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • jesus

      what's the weather got to do with your praying, infidel?

      March 4, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • richunix

      Please don't (pray), I have grown up and nolonger believe demon, gods or thing that go bump in the night. To put a finer point on it: No ONE (BAR NONE) has ever seen any God (outside of the occasional burring bush and always alone), parted the Red Sea or the Jewish Sea of Reeds or even a damn pond or have they ever turned anyone to stone, pillar of salt or into your favorite color. To finish, I’m very happy with my life and YES I know I’m going to die as it is very much a part of life. I’m not so vain or fearful about what will happen that I need stories to comfort my fears. I know I will live forever, I can see it every day with the next generation and I sigh with relief, that they will make the world a better place. Enjoy your life, do what you can to make it better, don’t live in fear of unknown.

      March 4, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Nietodarwin

      So sad to hear that you have kids, and are continuing the cycle of brainwashing and abuse. You believe in the ridiculous concept of a "god" without ANY evidence because you were indoctrinated that way as a child, and now you perpetuate the delusion. Even if you don't 'abuse" your kids, forcing religious hogwash onto kids is just immoral. I'm thankful to my parents for providing me with enough education to be able to throw off the horrible shackles of religion, (which they still believe in.) THE BEST PARENTS DON'T INDOCTRINATE THEIR KIDS THIS WAY, the rest are just making their kids the same victims they were as kids, and actually believe they are doing the right thing. Raising your kids to believe in your religion is not love, it's the behavior of someone brainwashed.

      it is a telling fact that, the world over, the vast majority of children follow the religion of their parents rather than any of the other available religions.
      Richard Dawkins

      March 4, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • Kg

      My my...looks like I ruffled the feathers of the haters! I love you anyway!

      March 4, 2013 at 8:46 am |
    • richunix

      No KG, just showed how ill informed you are...you must allow for the belief in unicorns...so prove us wrong?

      March 4, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • All the Gods are just Myths

      KG. If I don't believe there is a god how can you call us haters? I know you don't like to hear it but its just an out dated myth. Sorry.

      March 4, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Pete

      Kg
      Sounds like you wanted to ruffle some feathers, Kg. Why, don't you feel like a "real Christian" if you aren't provoking somebody?

      March 4, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • End Religion

      http://youtu.be/UTedvV6oZjo

      March 4, 2013 at 10:51 am |
  15. Larry

    The preview of Jesus saying "I am coming soon" with his holey hand raised up just makes him look like a stoned surfer.

    March 4, 2013 at 8:25 am |
  16. Jim

    Its nice to see that they went from making TV shows where fiction is presented as reality to making a miniseries where fiction is presented as reality

    March 4, 2013 at 8:24 am |
  17. I AM

    Saw the first installment. Would have been better if he used mid-eastern actors and cut the dramatic way of speaking 90%. British actors portraying mid-easterns is difficult to swallow now a days. I know the production company is British, but I bet there are a lot of other ethnic actors he could have used.

    March 4, 2013 at 8:21 am |
  18. Banjo Ferret

    Cute story, but where is the 10-installment series about Ferretianism? After all, it is the one true religion and Tim the Destroyer of Worlds is the creator of all things. Course, I guess Carl Sagan has already covered most of it, but still. I am outraged as someone with a different religion (the right one) that is not getting attention. Outraged I say! Repent! (banjoferret d c)

    March 4, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • yo

      make your own film and quit whining

      March 4, 2013 at 8:16 am |
  19. Believer

    When the AC and the FP meet in Jerusalem in late March will the unbelieving naysayers still be around??

    March 4, 2013 at 8:05 am |

    • AC = Anti-Christ
      FP = False Prophet

      It's a cage fight?

      March 4, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • PaulB

      Isn't March when most Christian tour groups are taken to the Holy Land by their pastors?

      March 4, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • fintastic

      Oh, another ridiculous prediction from a nutter..... big yawn.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:01 am |
  20. candycoatedapple

    I commned Burnett for taking on this challenge... I look forward to seeing it...

    March 4, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • Larry

      Be prepared to be disappointed!

      VERY disappointed!

      March 4, 2013 at 8:27 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.