The majority of modern archaeologists do not believe the Bible is historically accurate, with many arguing that substantial portions of Scripture are legend or myth. This attitude is reflected by Duke University professor Carol Meyers, who said, “most of us start out as naïve Bible readers and take it at face value, not understanding enough or anything at all about how literature was produced in the ancient world where there was no consciousness about the construction of history as such” (NOVA: The Bible’s…, 2008).
Since modern historiography did not exist in antiquity, the prevailing attitude of some is that ancient documents must be approached with a high level of skepticism and even cynicism. This is especially true for documents that are religious in nature. In looking for the “intersection between science and Scripture,” the documentary makes some surprising claims. Unlike sensationalistic documentaries of dubious value,The Bible’s Buried Secrets affirms many biblical events and persons, although it disputes others.
More BIBLICAL MYTHOLOGY
[“The”]Bible, which is primarily a theological document. He suggests that we are on firmest ground when we find intersections between science and Scripture. Unfortunately, as he and many experts stress throughout the show, such correspondences are rare, and often subject to multiple interpretations.
The documentary next turns to one of the major problems in seeking to uncover the Bible’s buried secrets, namely sources. Known as the Documentary Hypothesis, this theory proposes that the Pentateuch is a compilation of four major sources, all of which were later edited. To explain this theory to the public, the producers use graphics to visually separate two distinct versions of the biblical flood story. Biblical scholar Michael Coogan is among the many experts who explain this theory throughout the film. Like the archaeologists in this documentary, he emphasizes that the Bible is a theological anthology produced by many authors over several centuries.
The film next tackles the question of literacy in antiquity. Experts such as P. Kyle McCarter and Ron Tappy discuss the inscribed alphabet from Tel Zayit to suggest that the writing of the Hebrew Bible could have started as early as 950 B.C.E. Lawrence Stager and others explore archaic language in the Bible to argue that the earliest biblical stories, such as the Song of the Sea (Exodus 15), were transmitted in poetry. Emphasizing that there is no archaeological confirmation of the Exodus, several scholars discuss the theological importance of this story, with its emphasis on freedom from oppression, in creating Israel’s identity.