|Ancient Secrets of the Bible - Boxed Set|
Actors: William Devane, Jesse Bennett, Wayne Brennan, Douglas Caputo, James Cash
Director: Henning Schellerup
Genres: Special Interests, Documentary
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Chris M. from ROCKLIN, CA
Reviewed on 9/28/2010...
This series is 5 discs with 2 each episodes of Biblical topics that have been challenged as false in modern times.
This is an excellent resource not for its occasionally campy dramatic moments but this allows it to be taken seriously by both sides pro and con. You don't want to have the sense that you won the argument on an emotional level.
It almost makes it more powerful when you have these elements not taken seriously and then you have plenty of tough questions from opposing views.
Where it comes in to its own and if fact is unequaled in my experience is that the very strongest arguments in favor of a plausible solution for each one.
That is what makes it so great, they don't take absolute positions, so both sides feel they were fairly represented.
The very best episode is the "Shroud of Turin". Here I didn't expect to accept it, but the evidence is so powerful that you have to accept it with very little chance at this point that it could be fake.
But I did not reach that conclusion right away. The arguments truly are that nuanced so that you have to really think about it (unless you are not one to be moved by rational arguments).
That alone does not prove all of the Bible's claims, but when something that you expect is just another Catholic relic...and the only evidence against it turns out to be an error in allowing a repaired section to be analyzed.
This may seem like a spoiler, but really the specific evidence even to me as a huge skeptic, if there is any one thing in this modern era that surprises with strong rational evidence, this has to be it.
There was even a similar item that most likely was a fake. The so-called "robe" that was displayed by the church is completely different than the burial cloth. Apparently the burial cloth was not owned or possessed by the Catholic church for most of its history.
The other 9 are a good balance for a starting point to look at evidence, but there are better series for depth on a given topic.
I'm trying to think of any particular weak episodes out of the 10, probably Sampson was interesting but not compelling in terms of evidence for or against...unless you consider that there seems like for this myth would be easy to attack.
The bottom line is that for anyone who wants to know some of the most compelling arguments both attacking and supporting events of the Bible, I really think you can't have a better collection to start with, and then maybe if you have more interest in Moses for example I know there are some excellent in-depth documentaries, and I would not be surprised at all if many of them were inspired by how well this series comes across in terms of evidence.
I guess you might also factor in that the series is targeted for all ages, so that you won't be disappointed by the occasional campiness. It's probably the only way to make this accessible for the youngest members of the family and like I said, you get the impression that they are going for balance, and an overly serious effort may have implied bias.
I think with these caveats in mind, you can't go wrong with this. I watch them quite often, and those that are backed by hard archeology evidence are my favorites. Not that some are not, there just are some episode that you can't expect archeology from something like the fight between David an Goliath (in theory you could, but not realistically) and that might even be the only one out of 10 that does not have at least some physical evidence that the events at least did occur or could have occurred.
That is what shocked me the most. I really did not expect to be persuaded at all. I was able to follow up on the Internet for more in depth research to check out the various contentions, and even today in 2010, the information has remained fresh, unless I missed something.
I can't think of a better series to have at home for Christians or Jewish families who want their children to be aware that when they are mocked for their "gullible" beliefs that there are rational arguments in support of "miracles".
Neither does it interfere with that gap between facts and faith, but rather shows that the evidence that you would expect to be there, is. Miracle or not, these events can't take place in a vacuum. That is the difference between the Bible and other religious documents. As surprising as this will be to many, these events are not so implausible as their modern skeptics seem to feel.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
In Fact, A Very Good Study
jbeers78 | Toronto, Canada | 02/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While many like to heckle science if it doesn't back up a Humanistic view of the world, these DVD's will be a very helpful addition to anyone's collection. It shows good solid proofs for many of the ancient events recorded in the earliest parts of the Bible while giving detractors a voice. It's so funny that when good science is done it's called bad, but when bad science is done it's called good. Fortunetly (besides the more then 2000 years of attacks upon it) the stories of the Bible prove true.Don't bother with people who give a silly one star rating with useless and biased comments like this: "Amateurish, dubious archelogical references, this collection is poorly performed, edited, and researched. The bible stories are typically traditional. All in all, nothing new and intellectually painful viewing. I recommend Mysteries of the Bible for substance." You can tell by the rhetorical tone of their writing that their lying and are the ones with bad research. Everything in the show's are scientifically verifiable and the top scientists (who aren't Anti-Christian) in their fields confirm the findings, even if they aren't Christians."
Well done insight to Biblical study!
Magic Padre | Virginia | 12/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I find the "Ancient Secrets of the Bible" a very helpful tool in providing a very reasonable scientific expalanation to some of the stories in Scripture. My students ranging from 3rd grade to university level have been able to follow the contents of the program without difficulty. I do hope the company will continue to produce more of this kind of videos. I am a Catholic priest and a university campus ministry chaplain. I highly recommend this set to anyone studying Scripture at any educational level. It provides a good response to those seeking to reconcile both faith and reason. And for those who already believe in the Bible, it provides an added affirmation to one's faith."
Great for sunday school!
E. C. | Minneapolis | 07/25/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This was a pretty fun and entertaining series. It was great to see many stories from the bible re-enacted and, like the Veggie Tales series, provided once again a reminder of the many bible's passages. Every now and again when one wants to watch something other than cable/broadcast TV it's great to flip on.
However, if one is looking for unbiased viewpoints and for an actual academic bible study, the series title is very misleading. When the main endorsement on the box is from the campus crusades for christ international versus a professor of a theological seminary, you realize the series is for entertainment and "spiritual" purposes and not for any actual theological or academic purpose. Even my friends who are ministers saw the series more as entertaining propoganda than revealing any actual historical or scientific secrets, but hey, I thought that all in all a pretty good effort. I would have given it more stars except for that the title of the series didn't really match the real intent of it."