Another Bible-themed movie is coming out of Hollywood soon (December 12). Exodus: Gods and Kings is about Moses and the flight of the Israelite slaves from Egypt. In a blog I wrote in July, I expressed my doubt that Exodus would be faithful to the biblical text, and recent statements coming from the lead actor of the film seem to further confirm my suspicions.
According to news sources, Christian Bale (of Batman fame), who is playing Moses, says, “I think the man was likely schizophrenic and was one of the most barbaric individuals that I ever read about in my life. He’s a very troubled and tumultuous man who fought greatly against God, against his calling.” Keep in mind that Scripture describes Moses as the most humble man living at that time (Numbers 12:3); God calls Moses faithful (Numbers 12:7; Hebrews 3:5) and a man of character who refused the riches and pleasures of the earth in order to identify with his kinsman and obey God (Hebrews 11:24–28). These are not the actions of a schizophrenic or barbaric man, but one who was faithfully committed to God and was concerned for the welfare of the people he led.
A description of Moses as “schizophrenic” and “barbaric” from the lead character in the film seems to suggest that the film will deviate quite a bit from the biblical account found in Exodus. In fact, Bale has already said earlier that Exodus is “a far cry from what Charlton Heston and Cecil B. DeMille delivered 60 years ago” with The Ten Commandments (which was, with some exceptions, largely faithful to the biblical text) and that Exodus has “a lot of shocking stuff about it.” That sounds much like the terrible movie about Noah starring Russell Crowe that was released in March.
In this film it is not God who parts the Red Sea, but an earthquake. Apparently the director “want[s] to treat the incident as realistically as possible” and thought that he’d “better come up with a more scientific or natural explanation.” The result is a parting of the sea caused not by God, as the Bible says multiple times (Exodus 15; Psalm 77:10–20), but by an earthquake and its resulting tsunami. Ironically, in trying to treat the Red Sea crossing “as realistically as possible,” they have completely ignored what really happened—God miraculously parted the sea to save His people!
Biblically themed movies from many years ago (such as The Ten Commandments) were reasonably true to the biblical text, even though they took a bit of artistic license and had some inaccuracies. But we’ve been noticing in recent times that movies based on biblical themes (such as Noah) are not just inaccurate but seem to totally disrespect the Bible. The directors don’t seem interested in accurately portraying the events as recorded but are using the events for a drama that puts the Bible and the characters in a bad light. This is certainly what the director of Noah did (if you haven’t seen our review of that film you can read it here). I believe such attitudes toward the Bible in these new movies reflect the secularization of the culture and the increasing anti-Christian sentiment that has permeated society.
I encourage you to share with friends and family who may go to see Exodus that the true account of God’s miraculous rescue of His people is recorded in Exodus! My wife and I will not even bother to see this film—we already know what the Noah movie was like, and we have enough red flags about Exodus. Nevertheless, because many people will be asking for our opinion of Exodus, one of our researchers will post a detailed review shortly after the movie is released.
Instead, I urge you to consider going to visit our friends at the incredible Sight and Sound Theatre in Pennsylvania (near Lancaster), as they portray the biblical Moses on the stage—and do it to honor God, honor His Word, and present the gospel.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.