The 19th and 20th centuries saw Europe and the United States gripped by Egyptomania an overwhelming obsession with the land of the Pharaohs and its historical treasures.It attracted ...
See full synopsis »
The 19th and 20th centuries saw Europe and the United States gripped by Egyptomania an overwhelming obsession with the land of the Pharaohs and its historical treasures.It attracted dedicated scholars and archaeologists involved in a race to find the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world.
In this two-part documentary, archaeologist Dr. Jeff Rose tells the remarkable stories of the Bible Hunters bold adventurers who risked life and limb to uncover the earliest bible texts, particularly the New Testament. At stake was the historical reliability and literal truth of the Bible which was under attack by sceptical scholars.
The discoveries of the Bible Hunters would shed controversial new light on the Christian origins as well as uncovering strange zodiacs, hymns to Egypts solar god, and heretical Christian texts.
The show's presenter, Jeff Rose, wears the same blue shirt and khaki trousers in every scene of the series. The director insisted on this for ease of editing. So, on the first week of the shoot, the London-based production company had to send by courier five identical shirts and trousers to central Egypt. See more »
I have watched just about every show on the history of the Bible and the Gnostic Gospels that has been on TV. There have been several good ones on the History channel and Nat Geo.
Bible Hunters is the best one I've seen.
Most of the other programs focus on the Nag Hammadi documents, commonly called the Gnostic Gospels, or the Gospel of Mary and the Gospel of Judas.
This show has all kinds of stuff in it I didn't know. It goes much farther back, beginning with the English baron Robert Curzon, who was the first to discover gospels that did not appear in the Bible in 1837, thus putting the sword to the belief common in the day in England and America that the Bible was the unchanging, revealed Word of God. The controversy this created, and its continuation due to the discoveries that it further chronicles, is the binding theme of the program.
The program then moves to Constantin von Tischendorf, who discovered the Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest version of the complete Bible, at St. Catherine's Monstery, at the foot of Mount Sinai, in 1844. This showed that the Bible as we know it had been tampered with.
We then go to an ancient midden (garbage dump) at Oxyrhynchus that yielded thousands of manuscripts, including many lost gospels.
The quirkiest characters are the Smith sisters, twin Scottish Presbyterian spinsters who made it to St. Catherine's with an entourage, silver place settings and a tea kettle. They became the first women ever to enter the monastery. There they discovered a palimpsest, a manuscript written over an older one on the same pages of parchment, that contained the four canonical Gospels.
The show finally gets to the 1945 Nag Hamadi discovery towards the end of Part 2. I would have liked there to have been a little more on this, but I'm not sure what I would have cut out to make room for it, the rest of the show is so good. My one criticism of the content is that it says the Gospel of Mary was part of the Nag Hammadi documents. While it was published in the book "The Nag Hammadi Library," it was actually discovered before 1900 as part of the Berlin Codex.
The show is in two parts, each an hour long. The host, Jeff Rose, takes us on a journey similar to the way Josh Bernstein used to do on "Digging for the Truth" (2005) on the History Channel. Jeff visits the sites where some of the oldest Bibles were found. There is wonderful footage of the monasteries of Deir el-Surian and St. Catherine's. I particularly liked the shots of the interior of the library of St. Catherine's, which I have not seen before. There is also a short interview with Father Justin of El Paso, TX, the first non-Greek to join the monastery in its 1500 year history.
The high-quality video footage of all these sites, along with the Sphinx and the pyramids, is half the fun. There is also an amusing scene where Jeff tries to rent a camel to go to St. Catherine's with the help of some native children.
I highly recommend this show for anyone interested in Bible and Gnostic Gospel history. It was first shown on BBC-2, and is now being shown on the Smithsonian Channel.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this