Where's the Actual Galilean Evidence?
Reviewed in the United States on 20 December 2021
The movie, Before the Wrath caught my attention because it promised to provide "new evidence" that would clarify meaning of Scripture, with respect to the Lord's ultimate physical return, based on Galilean wedding customs. Well, who wouldn't want that?
I have spent years studying the end times (Eschatology), and have written a number of books on it as well. I tend to write more about this subject than other biblical subjects. I did my doctoral thesis on the book of Revelation. So when I see something "new" on the scene, I tend to notice it and want to find out what it's all about.
Unfortunately, the movie falls down here because to my recollection, it never actually presented physical evidence to substantiate the claims made in the movie. I guess it could've ended up on the cutting room floor, but it should not have. While stating that there is new evidence to show that the Galileans had wedding customs that were different from all other groups then, aside from discussing it, they fail to provide actual evidence to support it.
I respect JD Farag, Jan Markell, Jack Hibbs and Amir Tsarfati (what little I've read his books and articles). This is the first I've heard of Jay McCarl, "Cultural Anthropologist & Author," but if he is a cultural anthropologist, then I would certainly expect him to produce the proof that he seems to swear by and the others have also agreed with regarding the events of the Galilean wedding ceremony.
The other issue I have - after researching it - is with the producer, Brent Miller, Jr., who started Ingenuity Films, and is the credited writer of Before the Wrath. So if he wrote the script, were the people in the movie simply saying his words or were they allowed to present their own perspectives? Did they offer their opinions and he then created a script from that?
Brent Miller’s father has produced The Pure Word, a new "translation" of the New Testament he insists goes back to what the Bible actually says using a special "monadic" process (whatever that is). The problem is that TPW is really a paraphrase, not a translation at all, and by some people's reckoning, not a very good paraphrase and sadly lacking in real accuracy, much like The Message, another paraphrase often passed off and accepted as an actual translation. I tend to shy away from "translations" of the Bible where only one person is said to have translated it from Koine Greek and not a committee of scholars. Gary Shogren, Professor of New Testament, Seminario ESEPA, San José, Costa Rica, provides a great review of this "translation" at his blog Open Our Eyes Lord dot com.
The title "Before the Wrath," is a bit misleading and possibly disingenuous, I'm not sure. Obviously, it will attract people who believe the Rapture occurs before the wrath (PreWrath Rapturists), but they'll be disappointed. As someone who is a PreTribulation Rapturist (believing that the Rapture will occur prior to the start of Daniel's 70th Week (Daniel 9:24-27), I obviously to agree with the point of the talking heads in the movie (that the Rapture will occur prior to the Tribulation, though it's not a hill to die on and shouldn't be), though they did nothing to prove it. I also don't believe that the Rapture position itself (or whether or not a person believes the Bible teaches it at all), should be a reason why Christians argue (yet they do). The Orange Mailman (WP site), has a detailed review of this movie as well, and from a PreWrath perspective. He makes some cogent points, though I do not agree with his PreWrath position.
I think there is a tremendous amount of misinformation out there in the world today and people like the late Harold Camping have not helped at all. All of the dissension and argumentation has become a huge turnoff for the average non-Christian and even many Christians, who probably tend to think, "well, if there are so many different views, how can we really know?" People should study the Bible for themselves and learn what it says. I realize some of it is difficult to get through but what makes it much harder is not allowing the Bible to interpret itself. In order to do that, the person studying Scripture must be willing to learn about the cultural context and time period in which specific books of the Bible were written. What were those times like? I mean, Daniel could not even fully describe the fourth beast of Daniel 7 because it was so unlike the previous beasts, where he could compare them to a living beast he knew of, but not the fourth. He was obviously looking way ahead into the future via the vision and had no way to connect what he saw with anything he knew of then.
We need to stop going by how we feel about something and must be able to prove things to ourselves where Scripture is concerned. Misinformation continues today and people continue arguing over it. Social media has not helped either, in my opinion. Why are so few seemingly interested in getting to the core of what the Bible teaches? I think, as the folks in the movie state, that it has to do with the times in which we are living and the general (and serious), falling away from truth that the world is experiencing now and has been. JD says this will become much worse and if we take Paul's words at face value, yes, it will, with more people turning away from the truth to have their ears itched.
The other issue I have with this movie is that while people speak in general terms about Scripture and even sound as though they are quoting portions of the Bible, they tend to take things out of context, pass over certain verses and continue on with others. They never provide actual references to specific biblical passages. For instance, while in one instance, one person says "In John 14..." the specific verse or verses are not given and a careful listening will tell viewers that they are actually stating one particular verse and then finishing with a separate verse, making it sound as though it's all one continuous verse, but it's not. This isn’t good by any standard. Average readers who do not spend time in God's Word may not recognize this, unfortunately and I expect better from these people who are considered to be experts in Bible prophecy. But again, were their words written by Brent Miller, Jr. and they couldn’t really deviate?
The acting and cinematography of the movie is very well done. Kudos there. The music, the narration by Kevin Sorbo, all good. The problem is what I've noted above. I think they could have done better and for that reason, I give the movie a score of 3 and that’s pushing it.
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