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.