In The Book of Eli (2010), tacit acknowledgement that the KJV Bible is the preserved word of God

The Book of Eli (2010) is a post-apocalyptic story of the journey of a man named Eli, across a ruined, desolate and dried-out North America, to deliver a special book, the last remaining copy of the King James Version Bible in America, to a remnant and an oasis somewhere in the west so that America as a nation might renew and return.

The Book of Eli (2010) trailer

First of all, the suggestion that the United States of America, the current superpower that reigns over the kings of the earth, can recover after the day and hour of judgment means this story was inspired by an evil spirit, an angel that is in rebellion against God.

The Bible is clear that because of the wrath of God, Babylon the great, otherwise known as Mystery Babylon, shall be made completely desolate, even a dry land, and it shall never be inhabited again.

… behold, the hindermost of the nations [the 8th kingdom of Satan, Mystery Babylon under the False Prophet] shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert. Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate…

Jeremiah 50:12-13

There will be no comeback.

Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth [think her spiritual fornication, her many wars and even her bio-weapons]: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain. And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD.

Jeremiah 51:25-26

In the story, as the character Eli himself put it: “The war tore a hole in the sky, the sun came down, burnt everything, everyone”. The sun coming down to earth to burn parts of the world is a poetic allusion to the Second Coming of the Son of God.

In Isaiah 13, the Bible says the LORD himself along with his angels, and together with his earthly armies and the weapons of his indignation, will come to destroy the whole land of Mystery Babylon.

… the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country [an earthly army], from the end of heaven [angels of God], even the LORD [Jesus Christ in spirit], and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty [namely Jesus Christ, the Son of God, ref. Revelation 1:8].

Isaiah 13:4-6

In the opening scene, we see a radioactive North America, complete with nuclear fallout, and then Eli trying to hunt for food to survive.

The Book of Eli (2010) opening scene

The story goes on to say, after the war that made America desolate and dry, the surviving Americans gathered all the Bibles, especially copies of the King James Version of the Bible, and burnt it all out of anger. The villain in the story, a tyrant of a town that has survived, a town with access to water from an underground spring, water now being scarce, wants the last remaining KJV in the land, Eli’s book, because before the war he grew up with the Bible and he has seen how the Bible can be used to motivate and thereby control people, as he puts it.

The Book of Eli (2010) scene about the value of the book

The same villain further describes the Bible as being not merely a book but also a weapon.

For the word of God [the Bible] is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12
The Book of Eli (2010) scene about the Bible as a weapon

However, the villain does not understand what is meant by the Bible being a weapon, sharper than any two-edged sword.

The Bible is a weapon in two ways.

First, the Bible, which explains the gospel of Jesus Christ, can be used by a Christian to defend against the wiles of the Devil.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil… And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword [weapon] of the Spirit, which is the word of God [the Bible]”

Ephesians 6:11-17

Indeed, it is through the lens of the Bible that one can see the sleight that is the story of The Book of Eli (2010), specifically, its reimagining of the apocalypse: that is to say, its rewriting of the book of Revelation.

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Revelation 22:18-20

Second, the Bible is a weapon in the sense that it is to be used to perfect the saints, the forthcoming soldiers of Christ that will fight the angels of the host of heaven that have rebelled against God, and against the humans that serve those angels.

One Lord, one faith, one baptism… But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ… For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God… That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive

Ephesians 4:6-14

After the day of the LORD when Christians are born again, the saints will also wield the same two-edged sword, the weapon that is the word of God.

Let the saints be joyful in glory… Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people

Psalms 149:5-7

And out of his [Jesus] mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations…

Revelation 19:15

And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his [Jesus] mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Revelation 1:16

Now, it is very interesting that by choosing to focus The Book of Eli (2010) on the King James Version of the Bible, as opposed to some other version such as the Douay Rheims or the New International Version or the New American Standard Bible, and so on, in effect, the story is tacitly acknowledging that in the English language, the KJV translation is the word of God.

Of course, it matters that a translation is accurate, faithful to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. For if a translation is mistaken or deliberately misleading, then Christians in general and the saints in particular who rely on that translation will be misled.

Consider, for instance, the New American Standard Bible 1995. In that translation, Ezekiel 38:3 reads “Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal”. The problem is that God never said that. In the KJV, the same passage reads, “And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal”. This is because the Hebrew word “rosh” means “chief”. In the latest version of the New American Standard Bible, the 2020 one, the translators realised their error and so Ezekiel 38:3 now reads, “And say, This is what the Lord GOD says: Behold, I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal”.

Speaking of the accuracy of translations of the Bible, at the end of the movie The Book of Eli (2010), the protagonist Eli, having been wounded by a gunshot, and so probably in pain, and having had his book, the KJV Bible in braille, taken from him by the villain, recites the entire Bible from memory. His recitation, or better yet his version of the KJV, is then printed and given the title “Holy Bible: New King James Version: Alcatraz Press”. After that, this new printed book of Eli is put on the shelf next to a Quran. The Quran, Islamists will tell you, is a newer and the final testament of God revealed entirely by an angel to their prophet Muhammad. More to it, the Quran came to be written down through the spoken words of Muhammad. So Eli’s version is meant to be evocative of Muhammad’s Quran. Plus, it is left to the audience to imagine whether Eli remembered and recited the text correctly or not.

Next, the choice of the name “Eli” for the protagonist is also interesting, because in Aramaic, a language that the Son of man spoke in addition to Hebrew when he was here on earth, “Eli” literally means “my God”.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias [Elijah]

Matthew 27:46-47

So, the title “The Book of Eli”, describing the KJV in braille of the character named Eli, fully expressed is aptly “The Book of my God”.

In Hebrew, “El” means God. Thus, the Hebrew name “Elijah” is likewise “The LORD is my God”.

By the way, it is Bible prophecy that the False Prophet of Babylon will be a kind of Elijah because he will bring fire down from heaven.

And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do…

Revelation 13:13-14

Fire from heaven is something Elijah did long ago against the prophets of Baal (ref. 1 Kings 18), and against the captain and his fifty that were sent to arrest Elijah.

And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.

2 Kings 1:10

More on the name Eli, Eli also happens to be the priest of Israel long ago that trained the son of Hannah, the young Samuel, who would go on to become a leader of Israel (ref. 1 Samuel 1).

In 1 Samuel 2:1-10, Hannah prays aloud a remarkable and revealing end times prayer, a prophecy that even speaks to the saints. That prophecy means the Holy Spirit was with Hannah, and so her child Samuel was indeed holy. Samuel would go on to anoint Saul as king of Israel, and later David.

And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD… The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

1 Samuel 2:1-10

Eli’s own two sons, however, fell spiritually to the enemy.

Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.

1 Samuel 2:12

In the story, it is not obvious whether Eli’s protege Solara is to be, as it were, Samuel or one of the sons of Belial.

In addition to all that, the Bible’s Eli, towards the end of his life, was sort of blind.

And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see

1 Samuel 3:2

In the movie The Book of Eli (2010), it is implied that the protagonist Eli is partially blind or had been blinded for a while to some extent because of the flashes of the bombs of the war. This blindness led him to learn braille, and eventually also the KJV in braille. This blindness is also an allusion to Paul’s temporary blindness on the way to Damascus due to the light – Paul was blind in more ways than one and then he could see.

So, the allusions to Christianity in The Book of Eli (2010) are many and deep.

Eli’s prayer before his fights the gang of hijackers in the bar, his reference to “thorns and thistles”, and “to the dust we shall return”, is a further effort to make the character and the story appear Christian.

The Book of Eli (2010) bar fight scene

Even his prayer at the end of the movie, when he completes the task given to him by a voice he had heard, is meant to convince the audience that he Eli is a holy man, even a “saint”, along the lines of the apostle Paul.

Unto me [Paul], who am less than the least of the saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ

Ephesians 3:8-9

This final prayer of Eli is thankful to God for keeping him resolute when all around seemed lost, and thankful to God for protecting him and for giving him “many signs along the way”. It is a prayer that also evokes Paul’s remark at the end of his own good fight.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith

2 Timothy 4:7
The Book of Eli (2010) end scene

Despite all that, the story of The Book of Eli (2010) is from the other side for the simple reason that it reimagines Revelation concerning Mystery Babylon.

Fictive licence is no excuse. If any fiction involves the word of God, especially matters of prophecy, and if the story is not 100% accurate about what is to come, ultimately it is misdirection, an attempt to deceive.

Yet for all that, there is an own goal. I am referring to the tacit acknowledgement in the story that the KJV Bible is the most accurate English translation of the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek: the truth that the KJV Bible is essentially the preserved word of God.

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Matthew 24:35