“The Red Tent”- No Thanks, Not For Me

“The Red Tent”- No Thanks, Not For Me

When I saw the ads for the movie, “The Red Tent” on Lifetime, I wondered if it would be a good, Biblically-sound movie. The movie is based on a book of the same title by Anita Diamant. I have not read the book, so I decided to do some research. As I scoured the Internet for book reviews, I found many singing the praises of author Anita Diamant and her version of the story of Dinah. The number of negative reviews paled in comparison to the positive ones, but as I read through them, I got a not so great feeling about “The Red Tent”.

Here are a few of the negative reviews from readers on Amazon-

-Some of the subject matter ruined it for me —Biblical characters frequently acting like perverts, engaging in whatever self-indulgent sick behavior they have the urge to.

-Rebecca is reduced to a sharp tongued, selfish fortune-telling oracle with nothing but disdain for her husband. This is an unimaginable description of her when one knows the story of her generous, loving and giving nature based on why she was chosen as the wife of Issac.

-Diamant’s book would be fine, I suppose, if you read it without knowing or caring about the Bible story.

-These are not “God’s women” at all. They are portrayed as having a kind of Moon Goddess. And the men–almost all portrayed in a very derogatory light–are variously involved in bestiality, incest, self-pleasuring in public view, and so forth.

Several of the comments stated that, in the book, Mrs. Diamant portrays Dinah, not as a victim of rape, but as a young girl that simply gave into the seductive ways of Shechem.

The Bible says otherwise.

When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, a prince of the region, saw her, he took her and raped her. Genesis 34:2

I also ran across a few interviews of Mrs. Diamant talking about her novel. I believe her own words say all I need to know about “The Red Tent”.

From The Boston Globe-
“I was taken to task for not being faithful to the Bible,” she pointed out. “I can’t complain about them not being faithful to my book.”

From Haaretz, a news organization in Israel-
Even if people were not happy with the liberties she took in the story, “I don’t take the Bible as history,” she says.

From the Jerusalem Post-
“I feel I have permission to do whatever I want with the Bible.” In researching the book, she said, she didn’t do rabbinic research or even look at the Bible.

From Christianity Today-
“It’s a novel,” she replied later in response to questioning. “When it came out, there was lots of comparison to the Bible, and concerns about my corrupting the text. But I have freedom as a novelist . . . My responsibility is to tell a good story.”

The Jewish Advocate-
“I don’t write novels to teach people, I write novels to entertain people,” said Diamant.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I’m sure there are many Christian folks out there that read this book and liked it. All I’m saying is this, do some research before you dive into this book or movie. Not everything that calls itself from the Bible, actually is.

Many blessings to you,

6 thoughts on ““The Red Tent”- No Thanks, Not For Me

  1. Thank you Robin for the information. I started to watch the movie and immediately saw that it did not follow the truth of the Word and shut it off. It is so sad that the beauty of the Word can be so corrupted.

  2. I picked up this book a few years ago in our church library. I was appalled that such a book so far removed from the biblical portrayal of the patriarchs would be included in a church library. I was further confused as to why so many women absolutely fawned over it! Why? Of course, the patriarchs were not perfect but perverted? Corrupt? Incidents of bestiality engaged by the sons of Jacob? Sexual immorality by none other than Joseph? Abortion was practiced by the clever use of herbal concoctions, done without any knowledge of the fathers. Women were tedious, gossipy, silly … All this is portrayed in so many books but this has no place in the library of a Christian church. Is it because it’s about old testament patriarchs that is so attractive to these fawning devotees? It’s a distortion of scripture. It does absolutely nothing to encourage Christians and more importantly it does absolutely nothing to encourage a non-believer to embrace Jesus Christ. I volunteer for the local detention center(jail). My ministry is delivering the Christian book cart. The Red Tent occasionally will appear as a donation. The last thing female inmates need is a male bashing book on perverted patriarchs! You are one wise woman for seeing this. I was actually called names by women who are shocked at my negative review and the have excommunicated me from the “sisterhood” sarcasm on Goodreads..

  3. Dear Robin., So glad to find your blog. I read only two chapters in The Red Tent and was convicted that this is not biblical, the names and relations were all true but the way this author has read between the lines appears to be blasphemy. A friend at church said this book was so good and a must read. How do I share with her this is not something to be handing out to anyone!? I want to do it in love of course. I know this friend is liberal in her beliefs and seeking. Wonder if you have any thoughts?

    1. Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. As for your friend at church, just be honest with her. It may not change her mind about the book, but she may think twice before she recommends it again. 🙂

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