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The Bible Unearthed (2005)

Israel Finkelstein , Neil Asher Silberman , Thierry Ragobert  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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The Bible Unearthed + NOVA: The Bible's Buried Secrets
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Product Details

  • Actors: Israel Finkelstein, Neil Asher Silberman
  • Directors: Thierry Ragobert
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • DVD Release Date: June 23, 2009
  • Run Time: 208 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,451 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Bible is both a religious and historical work, but how much is myth and how much is history? When and why was the Old Testament written, and by whom? What do contemporary archaeologists know about the Patriarchs? The Exodus? The Conquest of Canaan? Kings David and Solomon? Where do the people of Israel originally come from? Why were the historical accounts of the Bible written down?

A masterful archaeological and biblical investigation, THE BIBLE UNEARTHED visits digs in Egypt, Jordan and Israel-- including Megiddo, the cradle of biblical archaeology, where 7,000 years of history have been excavated. This far-ranging exploration of biblical history also makes use of archival footage of previous archaeological excavations, maps, biblical illustrations and computer animation, revealing ancient architecture, cuneiform tablets and other rare artifacts.

Based on the best-selling book of the same name, this enthralling documentary features interviews with archaeological specialists and biblical scholars from all over the world, including experts from the Louvre, the Museum of Cairo, the Museum of Jerusalem, and the British Museum. THE BIBLE UNEARTHED does something which has never been done before: it reveals a still-unraveling revolution of what we know of the society, the history, and the men who wrote the Bible.


It takes great skill to convey complex ideas in an exciting way. THE BIBLE UNEARTHED is an honest look at how archaeological evidence is used to replace old theories with new ones about when and why the Bible was written. Excellent. --Tristan J. Barako, Near Eastern Archaeology

A genuine work of scholarship as well as film art. It is the best done of all its genre that I have yet seen. --Dr. Jim West, Biblical Studies Resources

This exciting exploration is a fascinating work of scholarship and has great value in the understanding of the geography of the Bible. --Dr. William Dando, Chairperson, Geography of the Bible

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove of archeological information September 3, 2009
Have just watched "The Bible Unearthed " for the second time and know that I will watch it again and again. This DVD (and book) is a treasure trove of new research and scholarship in the field of Biblical archeology. Fascinating viewing for anyone interested in history and especially in the history of Egypt, the Levant, Syria, Mesopotamia, etc. B.C.E. A real eye-opener and brain-opener.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By Isara
This documentary is based on the works of archeologist Israel Finkelstein and historian Neil Silberman (that had previously published a book): they confront biblical events of the Old Testament with what history and archeology tell us. The documentary is divided into 4 parts: the Patriarchs (about Abraham), the Exodus (about Moses), the Kings (about David and Solomon), the Book (about the first Israelites, the part I actually prefered). Finkelstein and Silberman comment on their discoveries throughout the documentary, along with other interventions like the very useful one of Thomas Romer, eminent theologian. In the US, many people believe that all of the Bible is historically true, but it's impossible, just like 1+1 will never be equal to 3. Here I'm talking about facts, not interpretations. It's a fact, for instance, that some elements mentioned as happening at the time of Abraham (around -1800 if you follow the Bible) can't have happened before -700. This shows the text was written around that time. It's fact. It doesn't mean Abraham didn't exist, but it means the text we have is not a trustworthy representation of the period it refers to (-1800) but on the contrary is full of elements refering to the period and context in which it was written (or edited if we suppose there were texts mentioning Abraham earlier but they were lost). So, you have various interpretations and hypotheses of those facts, and the documentary presents those of Finkelstein and Silberman, which are quite logical and not eccentric at all. However, they do not talk much about the oral tradition, and if you're interested on that point you should see Nova's documentary The Bible's Buried Secrets. I wish everyone thinking the Bible historically true could see this documentary and... well, let's say could broaden their minds! The purpose of this doc isn't to attack faith (it even brings proof of the existence of David), but to study the Bible for what it is: an ancient text.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Based on the book "The Bible Unearthed" by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: The Making of a Religion is a captivating examination of the origins of the Bible, offering firsthand visits to archaeological digs in Egypt, Jordan, and Israel (including Megiddo, one of the most fundamental sites of Biblical archaeology known). Computer simulations and rare archival footage bring to life the wisdom of world-renowned archaeologists and biblical scholars, including experts from the Louvre, the British Museum, and the museums of Cairo and Jerusalem. Our body of knowledge today about the society and history of the men who wrote the Bible continues to evolve with new discoveries; The Bible Unearthed: The Making of a Religion is sure to fascinate casual viewers and religious scholars alike. Highly recommended, especially for public library DVD collections. Four episodes, 208 minutes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little secular history August 7, 2013
By Gary N
Verified Purchase
This is a pretty awesome little video which is divided into four parts! Yes, in deference to previous negative reviews, there is some repetition, but it is pretty minor. The presentation is interesting and presented in a methodical and logical order. It is a great secular chronology!
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New research November 2, 2010
Included in a range of topics, the DVD presents the view that the kingdoms of David and Solomon are portrayed in the Bible in an exaggerated format. The most recent scientific data and archaeological research seems to be leading away from the authors' viewpoint, though the issue is not yet definitively settled. Areas of recent research supporting the biblical portrayal are:

1. Thomas Levy of UC San Diego has apparently verified the existence of industrial level copper production in Edom during the era in question thereby indicating the probability of a large & well organized Solomonic state (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Oct, 2008).

2. The discovery of large walls and early Hebrew writing at Khirbet Qeiyafa from the 10th century BCE indicating a substantial, literate Jewish state (BAR March/April 2010).

3. The unearthing by Eilat Mazar of large fortifications in Jerusalem purportedly from the early years of the Davidic dynasty. If her dating proves correct, Mazar will have provided noteworthy support for extensive Davidic/Solomonic empires (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 23, 2010).

Though the data is leading away from the Finkelstein/Silberman viewpoint, the issue is not yet finally settled (e.g. Mazar's dating). Further UPDATES will be added as things develop either way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brainey, but entertaining April 30, 2013
Verified Purchase
Watching this documentary, which at times seemed a college course in applied theology, for me, at least was very interesting, intellectually challenging and also entertaining. If you like this type of subject I'm sure it will fascinate you (If you are an open minded individual seeking alternative knowledge beyond traditional teachings). I fully recommend this video.
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