Can We Please Just Talk about the Bible?

Newsweek’s controversial cover story about the Bible is an opportunity to talk about what scripture really says. Read More

You may remember a meme floating around Facebook over the last few months, in which friends would ask each other to share “10 books that have stayed with you" as a status update. The lists spread across the social network, with hundreds of thousands of Facebook users around the world ranking their favorite books. Now, Facebook has tallied up the full rankings across eight countries (that had at least 20,000 take part in the meme), to see which books where most beloved around the globe.

The list in the U.S., U.K., Italy, Philippines, Brazil, India and France were all dominated by one work: J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The only country among the lists not topped by Harry Potter was Mexico (it ranked third), where One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez took the No. 1 spot.

The Bible on the other hand, didn’t fare as well. It ranked sixth for U.S. and U.K. readers, and barely cracked the top 10 in one other country, Brazil ... Discuss

4 People Who Successfully Argued With God

A few dramatic prayers with dramatic results. Read More

During their hit Biblical miniseries epic The Bible, husband-and-wife producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett were surprised that an unlikely character was receiving so much attention. Viewers noticed that in some scenes the devil closely resembled President Obama. Burnett and Downey responded that the depiction was completely unintentional, saying, they have “nothing but respect and love our president, who is a fellow Christian.” In a recent column for USA Today, Downey said that in light of the controversy, they’ve decided to “cast out” Satan from the upcoming Son of God film (which is based on the miniseries).

[F]or our movie, Son of God, I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus. I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who sees this movie, so we cast Satan out. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting room floor. This is now a movie about Jesus, the Son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time, no more distractions.

Son of God opens in theaters on Feb. 28 ... Discuss

Here’s an interesting look at ‘Biblical films' Hollywood comeback.’ In the piece, entertainment reporter Nick Allen looks at how the success of the Bible miniseries has sparked a revival of Biblical movies like Hollywood hasn’t seen since the days of The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur. As the article points out, the films are especially appealing to studios because along with having built-in mega-church audiences, unlike franchises like Harry Potter and Twilight, adapting the Bible doesn’t require any licensing fees. In addition to Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming Noah epic starring Russell Crowe, two Moses movies (The Exodus starring Christian Bale and Gods and Kings to be directed by Ang Lee), Mary Mother of Christ, a Cain and Able film starring Will Smith, the miniseries-adapted Son of God, a Pontius Pilate epic starring Brad Pitt and even a Ben Hur remake are all in various stages of development. As Allen notes, “studio executives have taken something of a leap of faith that films in which religious figures save the world will bring big box office receipts” … Discuss

Following the breakout success of The History Channel’s Bible miniseries in the spring, NBC announced it would air a New Testament follow-up to the ratings blockbuster from the husband and wife producing team of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. This week, NBC Entertainment chief Jennifer Salke, announced that the 12-episode sequel, A.D.: Beyond the Bible has been formally greenlit, and gave some details about what viewers can expect. In a statement, she said that the new miniseries picks up right where The Bible left off:

Everyone’s lives were completely altered in an instant and the immediate aftermath of Christ’s death had an impact on his disciples, his mother Mary and key political and religious leaders of the time. In the first episode alone you see the last moments of the Crucifixion, Judas taking his own life after betraying Christ, Peter denying Jesus three times and then the miracle of the Resurrection.

In a previous press release, the network said that the series will also follow the founding of the early church, show the fate of Jesus’ followers and examine the political climate of ancient Israel ... Discuss