THE film Noah, which goes on general release today, has
been praised by theologians and evangelists as an engaging take on
the story of Noah and the Flood.
The $130-million epic, directed and co-written by Darren
Aronofsky, was shown to a group of Christian thinkers and writers
last week by the Damaris Trust. The trust has collaborated with
Paramount Studios to create discussion resources around the
Dr David Instone-Brewer, a senior research fellow in rabbinics
and the New Testament at the Tyndale House research institute, said
that the film was a powerful version of the famous story. "It's an
imaginative retelling, and there are certain details which aren't
right according to the Bible, but it's a telling of the story. The
message of the story certainly comes across."
Mr Aronofsky has said that he also drew on Jewish and Islamic
myths and traditions in writing the script. The film was described
by the founder of Damaris, Nick Pollard, as a "wonderful gift for
At the screening last week he said: "The Bible tells of
creation, Fall, judgement, and grace, and what [Aronofsky] has done
is draw into - and out of - the story the whole grand narrative of
the Bible story."
Tom Price, an apologist and tutor at the Oxford Centre for
Christian Apologetics, said that Noah asked perceptive
questions: "'Is there a God? Has God spoken? What is it with human
nature - are we good deep down, or is there something broken about
He also said: "Ten years ago, most Christians' reaction to
cinema was generally much more negative and cynical. They were
either asking for censorship, or judging the film project for
having too much sex. Now I'm seeing audiences all over the UK
wanting to engage with the story, the characters, and the
Dr Instone-Brewer said that he believed Noah would
encourage even non-Christians to investigate the Genesis tale. "I
think it will take some people back to the text of Genesis to say
'I want to check the facts'; but some of them will be saying:
'That's a great story; I want to find out what's behind it.' That
will be a great win," he said.
Mr Price said: "In the past 100 years, we circled the wagons and
went into 'battle-protect' mode. As Justin Welby is starting to
say, we have lost some confidence in our faith because we
disengaged. This film encourages us to be thinking people, to take
some time out and consider these big questions."
On Tuesday, the star of Noah, Russell Crowe, visited
Lambeth Palace and spoke with the Archbishop of Canterbury, who did
not comment on the film, but said on Twitter that Mr Crowe
Their meeting was organised by Damaris, whose materials and
resources can now be accessed on its website: www.damaris.org
Ark proved seaworthy. Students at the
University of Leicester have suggested that an ark built to the
dimensions in Genesis could have floated, even with two of every
land animal inside it.
They calculated the ark would be around 144m long and that it
would have to hold approximately 35,000 species.
The students - from the university's Department of Physics and
Astronomy - then worked out the weight of the animals and that
amount of wood, and concluded the ark would have floated, according
to Archimedes' principle of buoyancy.
One student, 22 year-old Thomas Morris, said: "You don't think
of the Bible as a scientifically accurate source of information so
I guess we were quite surprised when we discovered it would