Realizing that the prevailing attitude here is that the Bible is just a collection of bronze/iron age myths and fabrications, I still think there is value and relevance in many of the stories that are found there, not to mention entertainment. In the Old Testament, the story of Joseph and his brothers, the story of Ruth, the story of Esther, and even the stories of Joshua’s conquest of Canaan and Nehemiah’s reconstruction of Jerusalem’s walls are really good reading. Irrespective of whether you think they are true or historically accurate or not, the tales themselves have elements of irony and surprise, good plot and character development, and some decent morals and symbolism.
In the New Testament, some of the parables of Jesus are great short stories, such as the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, and the story about Zacchaeus. Luke’s account in Acts of Paul’s sea voyage to Rome is a pretty good description of 1st Century travel.
As far as relevance goes, the story of Esther could inspire any young woman or girl to see that, no matter what her circumstances, her life matters and she can accomplish something significant. And in this age of xenophobia, racism, and suspicion of anyone different, who wouldn’t benefit from learning the lessons of the Good Samaritan?
My point here is that even if you are not inclined to respect the Bible because of it’s more suspect parts, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. There’s some good reading in there. Maybe even a movie idea or two - like the 10 Command ... oh wait, that’s already taken!
I agree there are some good stories in the bible, some of which are interesting to read, even some which could possibly be used to teach ethics or morality, or along the lines of Esther which you mentioned could be inspiring, though maybe not entirely a moral story, after all doesn't Haman get killed at the end?
Another thing I alway's found interesting about the book of Esther is that the name of God is never directly mentioned in the book, nor miracles if I remember correctly?
For all of the good stories in the bible, and by good perhaps you mean moral or teachable there are so many horrible stories, like what happened to Korah and his followers, who were swallowed up and murdered by the Lord, all 250 of them simply because they dared question Moses, but even far horrible is what happened to the 14,700 Israelites, including children, babies who were killed by the plague brought down by the Lord for being upset about the death or Korah and his followers.
Wouldn't and couldn't the same be said about other holy or revered books of scriptures from other religions? Do you feel the same about the Quran or the Bhagavad Gita?
There are good stories in the Quran as well, stories and passages which teach patience, respect, even tolerance. Do we throw this out with the bathwater because of the suspect parts, same with the Bhagavad Gita?
I find inspirational stories in all types of books or stories which exist outside the bible, most of what I quote or use in my life such as teaching tools for my children when they were young were fictional. I guess I would refrain from using the bible in that regard because their is alway's the element of the supernatural, some miracle's saving grace which we all know do not occur in regular life.
I would like to see a good moving of Jonah and the Fish, that would be interesting indeed, especially with what they can accomplish now with special effects.