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Jewish Journal

Why Russell Crowe Should Play a Mormon Noah

by Mark Paredes

March 31, 2014 | 11:16 pm

Both my wife and I have a great desire to see Russell Crowe take a stab at the Noah role, but having a lively 6-month-old daughter to attend to makes it more likely that we’ll wait for the DVD to come on the market. For Mormons, Noah was one of the most important men who have ever lived, and I would like to see how contemporary Hollywood depicts him. Come to think of it, I think that a Hollywood depiction of the Mormon Noah would be much more interesting.

According to LDS theology, Noah was also known as the Angel Gabriel, who is mentioned in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. Indeed, Gabriel is one of only two angels in the Protestant Bible who is mentioned by name: the other, Michael, is believed by Mormons to have been Adam. Coincidentally (or not), Mormon prophet Joseph Smith taught that Noah stands next to Adam in authority and in holding the “keys of salvation.” Since Mormons believe that the flood was universal and represented the baptism of the earth, many of us regard Noah as a “second Adam” tasked with repopulating the planet. In addition, Mormons who live in this part of the world like to note the Book of Mormon teaching that the American continent became a choice land after the flood waters receded (Ether 13:2).

In the LDS scriptural canon, Noah was rather precocious, having been ordained to the priesthood by his grandfather Methuselah at the ripe old age of ten (Doctrine and Covenants 107:52). Methuselah’s father, Enoch, was so righteous that he and his city were taken to heaven. We are taught that Methuselah was spared this heavenly journey so that the covenants made by God with his father could be renewed with Noah.

A belief about Noah that is unique to Mormons is that he was a Christian. We read in a modern book of scripture (the Pearl of Great Price) that Noah went about preaching faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and baptism to his contemporaries. Wicked men tried to take his life, but God’s power saved him. He is described as “a just man, and perfect in his generation; and he walked with God.” 

In addition to my lovely wife, I would like to see the movie with a Jew who believes in the concept of Bnei Noach and the Noahide laws. Non-Jews who observe the seven Noahide laws are considered righteous Gentiles, and are assured of a place of honor in the next life. Observant Mormons certainly fall into the category of Bnei Noach, and can relate in a religious way to the respect and reverence that observant Jews have for this great prophet.

I applaud most efforts by Hollywood to tackle scriptural stories, so – sight unseen -- here’s to a successful run by Russell Crowe & Co.

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