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Crosswalk Headlinesposted a blog, Thu, 25 Apr, 2024

The No. 1 TV Show on Netflix Is a Series about Moses

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A three-part docuseries about one of the Bible’s most well-known characters has soared to No. 1 on Netflix.  

Testament: The Story of Moses (TV-14) launched on Netflix March 27 and quickly reached the top spot for TV shows, crowding out other titles that are filled with edgy content and are significantly less family-friendly. The docuseries tells the story of Moses through reenactments and includes interviews with pastors, rabbis and other experts. Although it includes different viewpoints -- Christian, Jewish and Muslim -- the viewpoint of historic Christianity is well-represented.  

It was the No. 1 TV series on Netflix for the week of March 25, according to Netflix data.  

The Jewish website Forward noted that Netflix’s Top 10 list often is loaded with “soapy dramas, crime series and a rash of reality TV shows — Love is Blind, The Ultimatum, Too Hot to Handle — that each compete to be trashier than the one before.”  

“Testament, on the other hand, is neither splashy nor trashy. There’s no sex appeal.”

Moses in the Netflix series Testament

Forward noted that “the way the show’s experts speak about the Exodus story often feels deeply Jewish.”

“They reference midrash extensively. They do grammatical analysis and break down Hebrew word roots,” Forward said. “At one point, commentators discuss the fact that the word for the basket Moses floats down the Nile in is the same as the word for Noah’s ark.”

The Christian perspective also is discussed. During the series’ depiction of Israelite families covering their doorposts with blood, viewers learn that for Christians, “This is a foreshadowing of the New Testament and Jesus Christ -- the blood of the lamb, the sacrifice of lamb -- and it's only by His blood that you're going to be saved.” When the Hebrews cross the Red Sea, an on-screen expert says the Bible presents the event as a miracle of God, and not as a natural occurrence.    

Kelly McPherson, a creator and executive producer, previously told ChristianHeadlines he wanted the series to be respectful of different traditions.  

“If you come to this story, knowing it well [and] growing up with it, I hope it feels different, it feels like you may learn something you didn't know [and] it still moves you in the same way,” he said. “If you don't come to it with any real knowledge of it, [I hope] that you're like, ‘This is just a great, inspiring story.’”

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