Inspired, Not Literal, Noah Filmmakers Say
The official website for the film "Noah" prominently displays the new message that the movie takes artistic license, and that the biblical story can be found in the book of Genesis.
NRB President Jerry Johnson, past president of Criswell College in Dallas, Texas, had lobbied Paramount Pictures to inform moviegoers that the film is not a line-by-line retelling of the true biblical account.
"My intent in reaching out to Paramount with this request was to make sure everyone who sees this impactful film knows this is an imaginative interpretation of Scripture, and not literal," Johnson, a former Baptist pastor and administrator and faculty member at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said in the press release. "Because of the quality of the production and acting, viewers will enjoy watching main themes from the Noah story depicted in a powerful way on the big screen."
The official message states, "The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis."
After test screenings late last year, the film drew criticism from many Christians who expressed concern that it strays from the biblical text. Faith Driven Consumers, the group which supported Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson in the IStandWithPhil.com campaign, said Paramount's newly released message shows a respect for the film's core audience.
"While many Faith Driven Consumers will likely find valid reason to pause on some elements of the film, we are becoming more hopeful that many other areas will resonate and be compatible with the Bible's core message," Faith Driven Consumer founder Chris Stone said in a Feb. 28 press release. "We are looking forward to reviewing and further evaluating the film and sharing that information with our community using our Faith-friendly Film Review rating system."
[TBC: "Artistic license" is a euphemism for men adding to and taking away (i.e., distorting and corrupting) from God's direct, inspired, and inerrant Word. See the upcoming April TBC newsletter for more on Hollywood's handling of the Bible.]