Maintaining Continuity

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)

Maintaining Continuity

At the end of a cinema production is a long list of cast, directors, producers, and staff at every level involved in putting together the movie or show. Rarely noticed yet one of the most important roles in any production is the people assigned to script supervision or continuity. In the modern world of film, the task of maintaining a uniform story with scenes being done many times is a daunting job. Shooting a part of the story can take many days. If careful attention is not given to the costumes, makeup, jewelry, props, and structure of the movie, obvious contradictions will creep into the final cut. When an actor holds a glass in his right hand and the scene is repeated over a period of time, someone must make sure each scene the glass is in the same hand. The job of the script supervisor is to maintain the continuity of the project.

There is a whole discipline given to inconsistencies in movies where obvious errors were made. In the classic film The Wizard of Oz, when fighting the trees Dorothy is first wearing her Ruby slippers but in the next a pair of black shoes. The cameraman took a larger frame than expected. Andy Griffith, starring in the television series The Andy Griffith Show, is shown wearing his pants leg inside his boots but in the next scene (in an obvious hurry to put his boots on), the pants leg is outside the boot. John Wayne and Robert Mitchum made a classic movie in 1967 called El Dorado where Mitchum’s character was shot in the right leg and Mitchum used a right-handed crutch, but Mitchum switched the crutch to the left side in the scene where he drives the wagon. During the shooting of the final scene, Wayne mentions the inconsistency, and both Wayne and Mitchum walk down the road in the final scene with their crutches under the wrong arm.

Keeping continuity over months is an impossible task with small errors creeping into any production. There will always been inconsistencies because man cannot keep pace with the ticking clock and remember every detail and catch every variation that easily finds its way into production. Imagine trying to be the script director or the person in charge of continuity for a production that takes nearly 1500 years to produce? If the best script director in the business of movie-making can’t produce a film with zero mistakes, consider how universally impossible it would be for one book to come together after 1500 years and find its completeness as one unit. The Bible is that book and God is its author.

Moses lived 1400 years before Christ and penned the first five books. Over the next millennia plus years, nearly 40 men from different parts of the globe, living under extreme conditions varied by the time and place they lived, penned 61 more books. Many of these authors never knew one another. They came from all walks of life. Moses was a Hebrew raised in the palace of Pharaoh, highly educated and orator with wealth, honor, and power. He killed a man and fled the country becoming a shepherd for forty years. Called by God to lead His people, Moses became the leader of the great nation of Israel. A shepherd boy named David became the King of Israel authoring many psalms that bear his name. Amos was a herdsman, Daniel a slave to the Babylonians who served in the king’s court, Ezekiel a priest, Nehemiah a cup-bearer to a Persian king, Matthew a hated member of the Roman tax collection, Peter a fisherman, and Paul a Rabbi.

The story of the Bible comes from the wilderness of Sinai, and cities like Babylon, Jerusalem, Rome, and cities across the Roman Empire. Hebrew, Chaldean, and Greek make up the language of the Bible. The Bible deals with thousands of controversial subjects covering matters of law, history, poetry, biographies, narratives, and prophecies. There is unity in its doctrine, purity in its ethics, and confirmation in its detail. The key is the question of continuity. No man could have maintained the purity of the Bible message that began 3500 years ago. The Bible is the declaration of the mind of God preserved and maintained by divine will to be His word. There is more evidence for the validity of the Bible than any book written by man. God maintained the continuity of the Bible so that all men in every generation can know one thing: His Son, Jesus Christ.

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