Update! The giveaway is over (congratulations to the winner!), but if you are interested in the DVD, my review is below and there is a coupon at the bottom!
Patterns of Evidence, Exodus is the culmination of Filmmaker Timothy Mahoney’s twelve year journey around the world to find the truth behind the Exodus story. Was it just a myth? Was it historical fact? Was there any archaeological evidence of this central and foundational Bibilical event? Make sure to read to the bottom for a coupon for the DVD and a chance to get one free!
I confess. This is not an area of Biblical history I know much about. I know what the Bible says and I know that the world says that the evidence for it is shaky at best, but I do not know the arguments on either side. It’s ancient history. We have rags and pottery sherds to piece together into some sort of narrative of ancient events. It surprises me how much evidence we do find in the sands of the Middle East for Biblical accounts of events.
And yet it does seem odd that there is not more evidence for events as great as Joseph saving Egypt from a great famine, masses of Hebrews multiplying through the land, the wholesale enslavement of a people, the plagues and their escape from Pharoah’s might. As Mahoney searches, he discovers that the problem may not be so much a problem of how much evidence is available, but of the time period in which it is found.
The film moves a bit slow at times. The first time I tried to watch it, it was late and my husband and I both fell asleep. It definitely isn’t a film you relax to with a bowl of popcorn after the kids are in bed. My fourteen year old son enjoyed learning the information, but had trouble focusing through the whole film. That said, it is packed with excellent information to inform your faith, your worldview and your appreciation for just what the Exodus meant to the ancient Hebrews, the Jewish people today and our own Christian faith.
I appreciated the interviews with leading experts, giving alternate views of what these and other finds meant in terms of the Biblical account. It isn’t presented as rock solid evidence for every word of the book of Exodus. Maybe I’m weird, but those kinds of presentations usually raise flags with me. When we are talking about history that is thousands of years old buried in the sands of Egypt, the likelihood of uncovering anything that is definitive is too low.
But interesting things have been found. A temple, built almost as if it were for a Pharoah, and in it the remains of a statue of a foreigner? With faint remnants of paint reminiscent of a multi-colored coat? A people living within the borders of Egypt who were malnourished with a shortened life expectancy that was predominantly female? Each piece of evidence on its own is not much. A little paint, ruins of a palace, piles of bones, snippets on an ancient Papyrus. But when lined up together, it begins to look an awful lot like the story as we know it.
I plan on watching this again with the children, but we are going to break it up into shorter segments. There are sort of natural stopping points as Mahoney shifts from one topic to the next and I think this will help my children (and me!) focus more and get more out of the documentary. It will also give us time to look more deeply into each of the issues raised, both by examining the Bible and checking up on what archaeologists are discovering in Egypt and how they are interpreting these finds.
You can find out more about the movie and watch the trailer at it’s website, Patterns of Evidence.
The DVD and other related materials are available at their store. Enter MK1 for $3 off the DVD price!
And for the giveaway . . . The rules are super crazy hard so pay close attention. Leave a comment on this post that indicates you would like to be included in the giveaway and make sure your email address in the field is valid and one that you will check. That’s it!
Entries will close Sunday, September 10 at 12 midnight CST. I will then choose one winner at random (name in a hat or using random.org). The lucky winner will receive an email on Monday and have 48 hours to respond with the required details to mail the DVD out. Good luck!
Disclosure: This DVD was provided free of charge in exchange for a review. My thoughts are my own. My husband was looking to buy this DVD so he was pretty excited when I told him I could sign up to review it!