Friday, April 4, 2014

Re-Mything Noah
After seeing the new movie Noah, I was most struck by the minor, yet significant, alterations from the Biblical story of Noah.

Foremost, this is not intended as a critique of the movie itself. It was the epic tale itself that caught me up.

I've read the Biblical story of Noah more than once. I've heard it read in church and I've seen various movie segments that have encompassed that version of the story.

What the new movie Noah brought clearly to light were the details that were not in the other versions. As I watched, I was reminded of the enormity of the task of building a craft to house two of every creature on the face of the earth. The myth in my head was the Playskool boat with the two giraffes, two elephants, two gorillas, and whatever other animals were on it, that was often found in Sunday school classrooms. The myth played out had two of every kind of snake and bird and insect as well. I had not considered the lion needing to be beside the zebra. Predator and prey. All were included.

The other significant, yet rarely mentioned and often overlooked, factor was that all of those who were on the ark heard the cries of those not on it who were drowning. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights ~ not an unusual amount for the Pacific Northwest or Hawaii or a rain forest. For a land that consisted of significant desert? Different story. [Something else: 40 is a number of completion in Biblical mythological terms.]

What would it do to you to hear the wails of people dying? How would you handle that kind of choice? What myths/stories from your childhood do you see in a different light as an adult?

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