Based Upon A True Story
Ever watch a movie or television show and see these words flash across the screen? One reason to insert this is to impart an air of authenticity to the production. Of course, one wonders to what extent the writer or director needs to remain faithful to the original story to justify the inclusion of this phrase? Some screenwriters or directors take extreme liberties with the original story. After watching some of these shows, I wonder if a more accurate phrase might be, “Loosely Based Upon A True Story” or “Based Upon An Idea Taken From A True Story”?
There have been several recent television series and movies featuring Jesus Christ and other Biblical characters. Unfortunately, many of these shows have not been completely faithful to the original text. It is also interesting that for none of these shows did the words, “Based Upon A True Story” appear, but it should have, if the show remained true to the source. But unlike other works of literature, there can be no deviations or artistic license taken by screenwriters, directors, or actors when the Bible is used as the source. Why not?
...knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 1:20-21 (NKJV)
The Bible is rightly regarded by many as a great work of literature, on par with Shakespeare or Homer. Others, however, dismiss the Bible as a collection of myths and folktales. The Bible is a great work of literature but much more. It is an eyewitness account of God’s plan for His Creation and for mankind. It was written by men, moved and guided by the Holy Spirit. It is the absolute Truth of God. Think of a great novel, that was written by one individual over ten years. Undoubtedly the plot would be refined and tightened and all potential inconsistencies would be eliminated. But now, take that same novel and add an additional thirty authors and spread the work out over several thousand years. At the least, there will be some internal inconsistencies and who would be charged with editing the story over several millennia? Certainly each new editor would add their personal biases and add or subtract items from the original story. Now, let’s add another wrinkle. Let’s embed over three hundred prophecies predicting a Messiah, a Savior for the world, in the first part of the story. And then, thousands of years later, the second part of the story, will have one Man, Jesus Christ, fulfilling every prophecy. One statistician calculated that for one person to fulfill only eight prophecies, the odds against this would be 1 x 1021. What about for one person fulfilling three hundred prophecies? The staggering answer, given by author Lee Strobel, is one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion. That number is actually greater than the known molecules in the universe! This gives one a very small glimpse into the authenticity and reliability of the Bible.
Beware! Based upon a true story, may not be the same story! The only true story with eternal significance for everyone’s life is the Bible. Read it, believe it, and learn of God’s plan for your life to confess and repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.