Time for Some Fan Fiction

Sure, the Bible is pretty classic. It always sits on the top of the world’s bestselling titles. People quote from it all the time. Some people have actually read it cover to cover.

Is it wrong to say that I think the Bible is in desperate need of a reboot? They’ve pretty much taken those ancient and often anachronistic words as far as they can go. Here’s a fun Manishewitz drinking game: How many Biblical movie adaptations can you name?

Here are just a few that come to mind:

Fairly cheesy, one and all. And of course, all completely male-centric. I’m just picturing Anne Bancroft’s limited, mournfully articulated dialogue–

“But Mooooooses…”

And I’m not really sure what Russell Crowe does in Noah because I never saw that movie. But I don’t see why Noah couldn’t have spoken in some kind of Australian/Phoenician accent.

It’s painfully clear that we’re in need of some modern and fresh fan fiction–maybe concentrating this time on the lesser-served female characters. How did Mrs. Lot react to being turned into a pillar of salt? Did Sarah have trouble finding a high-risk OB/GYN who would deliver her baby at the age of 90?

In fact, most of the Bible completely fails what movie and TV critics call the Bechdel Test. For those who are unfamiliar, this set of questions serves to determine whether a story or narrative arc features female characters who pass a set of criteria:

  1. Are there at least two female characters?
  2. Do they have names?
  3. Do these characters talk to each other?
  4. Do they talk about something other than a man?

In fact, I can think of only one narrative in the entire Tanach which comes even close to passing this test. What do you think? You can leave your guess in the comment section–the winner gets a first edition of the Torah signed by the author.

Cantor Matt Axelrod has served Congregation Beth Israel of Scotch Plains, NJ since 1990. He is a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and a national officer of the Cantors Assembly. Cantor Axelrod is the author of Surviving Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah: The Ultimate Insider's Guide, and Your Guide to the Jewish Holidays: From Shofar to Seder.

2 comments on “Time for Some Fan Fiction

  1. Tali Isaacs Axelrod

    Could it be the story of Deborah and Yael?


  2. Pingback: The Great Purim Controversy Continues… – Cantor Matt Axelrod

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