Hollywood has often attempted to portray Biblical, historical narratives with less than satisfactory results. Often the majesty and accuracy of the scriptures are diluted with creative license or an attempt to avoid the controversy that the Bible often presents by its very nature.
This time, they got it right.
I took my family to see the new release, “The Nativity Story”, last night. I really didn’t know what to expect, having only seen the trailer and read a fairly comprehensive review of the screening by Dr. Al Mohler.
The movie tells the story of Mary and Joseph in the two years leading up to the birth of Christ. As much as is possible, it stayed with the narrative that is provided by the Gospel writers with only minor variations. A good deal of background is inserted to make the story fluid, but the material is consistent with what we know of the events of that era.
The scriptwriters did a very good job of presenting the characters of Mary and Joseph. I had been a little concerned that perhaps Mary would be given a status that she did not deserve, but I was very happy to see that this was not the case. She was clearly presented as a virgin with child by the Holy Spirit, but in no way was she idolized or deified. I particularly liked the presentation of Joseph based on what little we know about him.
The only deviations from the biblical account in no way took away from the key doctrines of the virgin birth, the deity of Christ or His purpose of redemption.
I recommend this movie for family viewing with this caveat, it may not be suitable for younger children. While there is nothing objectionable in the movie, there is some subject matter (childbearing, circumcision) to which some parents may not be ready to expose their children. In addition, there are fairly significant parts of the dialogue which would probably be over the heads of most small children.
I left the theater feeling very inspired and with a deeper appreciation of the Incarnation of Christ than ever.