individuals or groups
with flawed heroes
(group or single activity)
Stage 1: Make up a list
some films that have flawed heroes. You can choose
recent films or classics. If this is a group activity, choose films most
2: Glance over your list
Have you chosen films that are realistic, or do you prefer films that are inspiring/uplifting?
Do your favorites have both these qualities?
What does this say about you and what you need in a story?
3: Choose your favorite
What are the central relationships in this film?
Is the relationship shown in a realistic light?
Do any of the scenes remind you of your own life or experiences?
7. Or does the film express what you would
like/not like to have in your relationships?
Power', Clint Eastwood's character is an out-and-out
criminal, yet he is the hero of the story. Like Samson,
he is an avenger.
4: Think about your choices
activity: discuss these questions, making sure everyone in the group has
a chance to talk about their ideas.
activity: sit down for a few minutes and focus your mind; make a quick
list of your favorites; read through the Stage 3 questions, and decide
on your answers; think
about them as you do other tasks in your day.
'But the hair of his head began to grow again.....' (16:22)
It was common in the ancient world for warriors to wear their hair in long plaited braids
must be one of the most ominous sentences in the Bible, heralding the
return of Samson's awesome strength.
do you think of the revenge he takes on his captors, who have
blinded and enslaved him?
When is revenge acceptable - in other words, when is it justice
rather than revenge?
Can you think of an example to illustrate your opinion?
Spin Doctor works on Samson's story
has traditionally been portrayed as a warrior betrayed by the women he
loved, ending up blinded and imprisoned through no real fault of his
But read the saga of Samson in Judges 13-16 and you will see that
his relationships with women were unfortunate, to say the least. He was extremely violent. What were the faults in his character that led
him into such trouble?
pretend you are a spin-doctor preparing a media release on Samson.
would you play up his good points, and down-play his faults?
you tell the story to make Samson look good and his enemies bad?
press release for Samson.
jewelry excavated at Nimrud; as the story reads, the motive for Delilah's betrayal of Samson seems to have been a desire for riches
Think about the following question: why does the account of Samson's
life in the Book of Judges show him 'warts and all'? If he was a great
hero to the ancient Israelites, why didn't the writer of Judges 13-16
gloss over Samson's faults? Isn't the Bible supposed to be edifying? Why
would the Bible give such a graphic account of a man's failings?
the stories in the Book of Judges are arranged so that good examples of
leadership (such as Deborah, Jephthah and Othniel) are alternated with
not-so-good examples (Ehud, Gideon and Samson).
The whole book
highlights the instability of Israel before it had a king. Read the
story of Samson (Judges 13-16) and then read the story of one of the
'good' leaders: Deborah (Judges 4 and 5), the tragic Jephthah (11) or
Othniel (Judges 3:7-11). Contrast the two.
What are the most interesting moments in Samson's story?
2. In the story, who speaks and who listens? Who acts? Who gets what they
want? If you were in the story, which person would you want to be friends with?
Which person would you want to avoid?
3. What is God's (or in Samson's case, an Angel's) interaction with the main characters? What does this tell
you about the narrator's image of God? Do you agree with this image?
4. What is happening in the Book of Judges on either side of the story? Does this help you understand what is happening?
5. The narrator/editor has chosen to tell some things and leave other
things out. What has been left out of the story that you would like to
6. Are the characteristics and actions of the people in the story still
present in the world? How is the story relevant to modern life, especially
as one of the Bible's Top Ten Warriors
Bible Top Ten
as a great Bible hero - though I don't see it myself
Bible Top Ten
as one of the Bible's Top Ten Bad Women
Top Ten Bad
be bad: Delilah's story
Bible People: Delilah
and the freedom it gave - this was what Delilah wanted