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A Review of The History Channel's "Mysteries of the Bible: The Bible's Greatest Secrets
In Mysteries of the Bible: The Bible’s Greatest Secrets, produced by The History Channel, archaeologists seek to find evidence for the veracity of the Bible. Their implied thesis is that, where once we had to take the Bible on faith, now, through science, we can prove or disprove the seemingly impossible stories. They attempt to tap into Israel’s vast treasuries of preserved artifacts and find all important answers.
Beginning near Capernaum, because it is where Jesus performed most of His miracles, they seek to find answers about the end of the world at Megiddo. What could possibly provide more intrigue to the secular mind? “One of the enduring goals of archaeology is to solve the one great mystery of the Bible, namely how good is the text itself?” says one of the archaeologists. Naturally, if the world was going to end, you would want to know how accurate the prophecy of its end would be.
They also touch on the history of biblical archaeology, telling the story of Flinders Petrie, an eccentric Egyptologist who discovered “The Tel.” Petrie, apparently was allowed to measure the pyramids, something that had not been done before, because he did it while wearing a ballerina outfit. Upon his death, he had his head removed and preserved in formaldehyde so that he could defy death and live eternally. William F. Albright is also mentioned as “the founder of the discipline” of biblical archaeology. Albright believed that the Bible and archaeology are completely inextricable.
I found this film to be moderately schizophrenic in its presentation. Yes, it talked about biblical archaeology as promised. However, it bounced from topic to topic without spending much time on the actual archaeology. Perhaps this was because it was arraigned in order of those who unearthed such finds, rather than the find themselves. The program would have been truer to its purpose had it been arraigned by discovery. The finds that were mentioned neither proved nor disproved anything about the Bible. Some of the finds didn’t even have anything to do with the Bible.
Perhaps the reason they spent more time on the “how” than the “what” is because no matter how hard science tries, it simply cannot disprove the Bible. To the secular world it is much simpler to explain what they are doing, and the technology they use rather than to attack the veracity of Scripture itself. Truly, the science is fascinating and the ability of new technology to even explore DNA evidence from biblical times, it fails to prove that our Scriptures are inaccurate. They asserted that they can now explore the life of Jesus, but they did not actually attempt to explore His life at any point.
However, this program was fascinating for me, not because of its content but because of its topic. Biblical archaeology has always interested in me; something I have inherited from my mother who has read countless books on the topic. I enjoyed watching and learning about the people who are attempting to explore the biblical past. Though it is somewhat dated, and I’m sure science has progressed even further, it was amazing to see that we can explore the past. Nonetheless, the Bible remains infallible.