At the event, I asked Aronofsky, “Why would a man who says he is ‘not religious at all’ want to make a film about the Bible?”
Aronofsky, who was reared by Jewish parents, said, “These are stories that belong to all of us.”
“Story” is the operative word, as in fable or fairy tale. Before the movie was even released, it was generating controversy, especially among Bible-believing people who think of Noah as a sacred figure.
The controversy was so strong the head of the National Religious Broadcasters and the chief of Paramount Pictures announced a disclaimer would be added to publicity for the film warning of its “artistic license.”
"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,” read the release. “The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis."
Indeed. So as a service to moviegoers who are looking for spiritual inspiration in the movie theater, here are the Top Five reasons the movie Noah is not biblical.
No. 5 – Only Noah and his family were spared from the flood so the evil stowaway depicted in the movie is from the filmmakers’ collective imagination. (New International Version, Genesis 6:17-18) “I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.”
No. 3 – Unlike the movie, where Noah decides he and his whole family, except his youngest, wifeless son, should die along with the rest of mankind, the Bible says: “Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died.” (Genesis 9:29) As for his son and wives, they also lived. “These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the whole earth.” (Genesis 9:19)
No. 2 – Director Aronofsky appeared at CAP to confirm what moviegoers already know: Noah the movie intends to send the message that man was punished for his destruction of the earth and that if we don’t wake up and protect the animals and the environment, it will happen again.
The Bible says: (Genesis 8:20-21) “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: ‘Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.’”
And No. 1 – In the Bible there are NO giant rock people who help Noah build the arc and protect him and his family from the mass of humanity that wants to get onboard.
So if you decide to see Noah just be prepared to see a film that takes one of the most significant TRUE stories of the Old Testament -- original sin, redemption, and God’s covenant with man -- and transforms it into a biblical-style “Lord of the Rings” with a cast that has those hard-to-pronounce Old Testament names.
And big, creepy, rock people.