For generations which begat generations, the Bible has been translated into the languages of the people. Soon to follow were commentaries to aid in interpretation. Since the "language" of our day—the medium of communication—is visual, the popularity of biblical resources on video cassettes is not surprising.
What may surprise us is the quality. Excellent at setting the context and naming the basic principles of scripture, the following two video series should be viewed by clergy and lay alike.
Bill Moyers and Public Affairs Television are offering a gem, a pearl of great price if you will, this fall. Genesis: A Living Conversation is a tremendous social contribution to biblical studies, both in substance and in style.
Each one-hour segment of the 10-part series opens with a relevant introduction by Moyers and a retelling of the Genesis story discussed in the section—Cain killing Abel, Sarah mistreating Hagar, Jacob stealing from Esau, Adam blaming Eve—by expert storytellers (and actors) Mandy Patinkin and Alfre Woodard. The discussions—with Sojourners' contributing editors Roberta Hestenes, Eugene Rivers, and Walter Brueggemann featured prominently—are driven by their diversity. Difference of opinion, and even civil conflict, are viewed as a positive, and so open the possibility for creativity to emerge. In several instances the participation of people of different faith traditions brings new clarity for all involved. For instance, the Muslim view of Potiphar's wife in the Joseph narrative allows the discussion to take a step further for all those of Christian or Jewish background.