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This section is not for movies or TV. shows.  Sorry to disappoint you but it is for those videos and DVDs which seek to present an academic viewpoint on theology, archaeology or even science.  Some will be lecture series that are produced for the public and found at such places as Biblical Archaeology Society.

These views are solely the opinion of dakotascba.com and presented as we are led by God so that you can get the most honest perspective of what is being reviewed.  To form your own opinion it is suggested that you buy/borrow the selected materials and view it for yourselves, what we provide here is only a guideline. 

The first DVD to be reviewed is The Biblical Collector's Series; so far it has 4 volumes of about 3 DVDs each and with a different topic on each disc. The volume looked at today contains the topics: 1. Biblical Prophecies, 2.Biblical O.T. Mysteries and 3. Biblical Women.

 The producers of this series have gone to great expense to provide a very slick product and the professionalism shows.  However after watching this set of DVDs we got the impression that this is how production should NOT be done. 

It is full of great information but its presentation seemed scripted to ensure only one viewpoint was seen, the interviews felt cold, and heavily edited to make sure the experts appeared to be agreeing with the point of view presented by the producers of this series.

Very little honest examination of the discoveries, the records or differing opinions took place and this is its weakest point.  Yes it had some very good scholars and Christian leaders interviewed but it also had many obscure ones as well.  In fact more time was given to those who are unheard of than those who are respected in their fields.

All in all, one can get some food for thought here or tidbits of insight or information which will help the believer but in reality most of the theories are outdated, disproved or lacking in updated material.  In one, the late Ron Wyatt was referenced and used as a credible source, unfortunately for the producers; Mr. Wyatt has been discredited quite thoroughly and pushed to the fanatical side of the field of archaeology.

This is what brings this series down as it looks to the extremes and not the truth and promotes ideas which really do not mesh with the Biblical record or its message.  We were sorry that we spent the money on this volume as we had high hopes for it, especially the segment on Sodom and Gomorrah.  We had hoped it would shed new light on the topic and debates but no it didn't.  It just rehashed the same old arguments without coming to any new conclusions or possibilities.

Uninformed Christians may like this set as it looks really good to those who have not studied Biblical archaeology and do not know all of all that has been discovered.  Sometimes a person puts too much trust in a DVD, movie or book, etc., just because the words Bible, Christian, Biblical appear in the title, on the cover somewhere or in an ad. 

Be forewarned, not everything that proclaims to be Christian is right or even good. A Christian needs to be discerning and not blindly accepting whatever is shown them even though it seems to prove the Bible true.  There are many different Christian perspectives out there and false teachers love to hide their errors and avoid the truth.

This series is probably well meaning, not false, but it does error in many places and tends to give the wrong impression of what has been discovered or accepted by scholars or Christian leaders. It would be a good starting point for those serious about learning more in the field of Biblical archaeology but it is not definitive nor is it the standard, at best it is the bottom of the field and one needs to not use it as the defining work, but as a stepping stone to more wise study.

 
 
Biblical Archaeological Society

This is a society dedicated to biblical archaeology; it was founded by Herschel Shanks who goes to great lengths to provide quality lectures, both on video cassettes and now DVDs. The first thing any believer needs to be aware of is that just because the word 'biblical' is in the name of the organization does it mean that it is Christian.  Mr. Shanks is a Jew not a Christian and his product reflects this as he has scholars and archaeologists of all persuasion participate in his lecture series and seminars.

One just has to look at the list of lecturers and their bios to get an idea where they are coming from and what they believe.  Generally, depending on what you believe, the lectures are quite good, filled with information garnered from years of experience.  The following is a brief list lectures with limit comments to give you an idea what they are about.

1. Just Dug Up - 3 disks- Quite good especially the historical lecture by Dr. William Dever. 

2. Jesus & His first followers- 3 disks- the best lecture in this series is by Dr. Craig Evans, well thought out and thorough.  You cannot lose when you read on of his books or listen to one of his lectures.

3. The Bible in Context- 3 disks- Michael Coogan, Peter Flint & James Sanders are the best lectures in this series with the latter two better than the former one Dr. Flint deals with the accuracy of the translations which will be of a lot of help to some people.

4.  Dead Sea Scrolls Bible & Cov.- 10 disks-- this is a recorded seminar given by BAS with Drs. Reitz and Charlesworth.  The problem that i found is that Dr. Reitz talked down to everyone in a manner that was treating people more like freshman undergraduates and Dr. Charlesworth lets his own experiences influence his interpretation of the Bible in the wrong direction.  His arrogance shows when he talks about John the Baptist growing up in the desert and overshadowed & undermined everything he said in other lectures.  These are but two of the faults in these series.

5. Locating the Herodian Temple- 1 disk- Dr. James Tabor took a big credibility hit with his involvement in the Jesus Tomb documentary by Mr. Jacobovici that it is hard to concentrate on what he is saying.  He may have a few good points but they are all lost because he is known to back the wrong horse and his work suffers from that reputation.

6. The VCR Lecture Series- too many too count- these are done by various scholars & archaeologists, in the late 1990's, on a variety of Biblical topics.  They all contain valuable information whether you agree with their beliefs or points or not.  One thing about listening to non-believers, they will present evidence that you may not get by limiting yourself to Christian only lectures.  If you can trust God to lead you past the wrong teaching and focus on the evidence and things you need to learn then these lectures will help you immensely.  If not then it is best to just find the Christian lectures and stick with those.  Drs. Kitchen, Hoffmeier, Monroe are three such Christians along with Evans and Sanders and their work is not inferior or lacking in information  to the non-believers but they do not cover the same areas of study thus listening to the secular scholars will give one food for thought or a kernel or two that God wants them to learn.

7. Where Jesus Walked- 1 disk- This is both a video series of 5 volumes and a 1 volume DVD edition. It explores the locations where Jesus walked 2,000 years ago and is filled with interviews with various archaeologists who share their knowledge of the ancient world of Jesus' time.  A little expensive but if you can get it on sale then it is worth it as the information is valuable and helps one understand the Biblical times a bit better.

8. Digging Deeper- 2 disks- Unfortunately there are only 2 good lectures out of the 4 available in this set. The other two deal with archaeology but do not pertain to the Bible or Israel nor sheds any light upon their development or the Bible.

9. Text Detectives- 2 disks- Again about 2 of the lectures are worth anything and Dr. Charlesworth's is not one of them.  Though his contains interesting information, it is evident that he does not grasp the usage of symbolism in the Bible or the ancient world.  Nor does he understand the many options people have in choosing a symbol to use. Michael Homan's lecture is a waste of time and not worth listening to while Shalom Paul's was excellent and informative, very worthwhile to listen to.

10. Illuminating the Word- 2 disks- This set has convinced me that non-believers cannot expound on the Bible or spiritual matters for they come from a position of unbelief and they cannot hope to understand what the Bible or God is saying.  Anything done by Tabor or Ehrman can be put aside and not read or listened to, as their work misses the mark, is not of God and has nothing of value to contribute to a believer's life. They rely on zero evidence, silence and mistranslated or misunderstood passages of scripture to base their points and they fall flat every time. It is easy to see how far away from the truth they really are and that their words carry nothing from God at all.

11. Sifting History- 4 disks-- For the most part there are good lectures in this set and it includes a great lecture by Craig Evans on the extra- gospels which have been discovered recently.  Usually anything by Craig Evans is really good and worth reading or listening to.  He makes clear points, backs his words up with credible evidence and analysis. Michael Coogan is a good speaker, makes good points but he is not a believer and one cannot take what he says as gospel truth.  He would be a good source in learning what unbelievers think and what their weaknesses are in order to refute their position.  The women lecturers you can take or leave.  Not impressive at all.

12. How Archaeology Illuminates the Bible with William Dever- 2 disks-- Dr. Dever is a good lecturer but his position on the Bible is in the wrong side of the tracks crowd. He may attack minimalists and others who divert from the Biblical accounts but then he does the same thing just not as far as the minimalist school.  This is a very good lecture series, unfortunately, Dever takes positions without providing proof for his decisions, possibly because he has done so in other forms of the media but it is disconcerting to the believer for he does not treat the Bible well and disagrees with many of its accounts.  It is an expensive set for 8 lectures but if you want to hear what the other side thinks, then buy it.
 
13. I recently bought BAS's lecture series New Answers to Old Questions, a 3 disc set, and of the 5 lecturers, Drs. Rainey, Evans,and Maeir were the best. Quite informative, well laid out and good information presented. These lectures are not for beginners.
 
14. BAS offers the Dr. James Tabor lecture series called Biblical Controversies and Enigmas but it is a very disappointing lecture series. Not only was I waiting fo the controversies and enigmas to be discussed I was appalled by the lack of respect given to the listeners by Dr. Tabor. Dressed in a t-shirt throughout was bad enough but when Mr. Shanks let the periodical appearance of pit stains on those t-shirts remain throughout the video. I did file a complaint about this travesty but received no response.
 
**I have not listened to all the lectures available and that is mostly due to the price of the DVDs and VCR cassettes.  They are expensive and it is best to buy them when they go on sale, and I mean a real sale.  This is the one drawback from this organization which you will have to decide if you will spend the money or wait till the sale arrives.
 
 

Answers in Genesis

I have not listened or watched very many of the DVDs available through this organization but that will be rectified soon.  Though not a supporter of some of their actions they do support the Biblical accounts of creation

1. The Code of Life- 1 disk- Dr. Purdom has a lot of knowledge and i am not sure if it was her presentation that put me off or if it was her inability to go deeper into the subject and dismantle the secular opposition.

I was looking forward to hearing what she had to say and she said a lot of good things but in the end I was left disappointed.  I just felt she did not go far enough in pointing out the difference between the secular position and the Christian one. Also it seemed she was lacking in showing why the secular position was wrong.

This is a good starter lecture in genetics and should spur watchers on to better lectures where they can get all the information and tools they need to combat those who deny the Bible and promote evolution.

2. The Intelligent Design Movement- 1 disk- Dr. Purdom does a lot better in this lecture and makes a great case for dismantling the I.D. movement and for convincing Christians to drop their support of  this effort. Not being a fan of I.D. myself, this lecture not only confirms my criticisms but explains in an easy to understand way how it is wrong and why Christians need to avoid it and return to the simple creation story.

3. The Creation Mini Pack (Lynchburg edition) - 6 disks- These were an interesting series and a lot can be learned from it. I was surprised at how much i agreed with Ken Ham as he made good point after good point and discussed his subject well.  One drawback was he kept making the same points throughout all the DVDs which got a bit tiresome after a while.  The one disappointing DVD was titled 'where did God come from' as he did not deal with that topic at all but talked more about dinosaurs than God.  Other than that this series is a good one to buy as it helps center the believer and aids them to know where to put their faith. I got my set through www.Christianbook.com at a discount price & cheaper shipping.  Well worth the time & money to view.

4. I recently bought the Georgia Purdom pack which contained 4 DVDs entitled i). Wonder of the Cell; ii) All Creatures Great and Small; Genetics, Evolution & Creation; & iv)Hope Amid despair. The first 3 are quite good and very informative unfortunately, Dr. Purdom has not cured her speed talking problem. If you want to take notes you need to pause the DVD write then go back to rapid listenign mode to keep up with what she is talking about. The 4th DVD demonstrates why scientists should not delve into theological matters. They are not theologians and their speciality given to them by God is to figure out the truth of what God did so that all believers have the correct information to combat the secular world.
 
5. I also bought 3 other DVDs entitled, i) In the Beginning was Information by Dr. Werner Gitt; ii). Creation & Cosmology by Dr. Danny Faulkner; & iii) The Mammoth & the Ice Age by Michael Oard. While providing good information I was often frustrated by the method the speakers used to present their material and felt that they did not clarify or present enough information as Dr. Purdom did in her lectures.
 
Misc.

This page will be for all those videos or DVDs which do not have an organization or series behind it.  Some will be TV. documentaries as they come on time for time and are made by those who do not grasp all the complexities of the biblical record.

1. Digging Up the Past- 1 disk- Dr. David Down, this is a lecture on ancient Egypt and it is okay.  It is not the best, it is not the worst.  Filled with good insight, the lecturer helps the watcher through the different stories from that nation.  This disk came as a bonus when you bought the book 'Unearthing the Pharaohs" a book on the revising the traditional Egyptian chronology.

2. Naked Archaeologist- depends on how you buy it- This is a 2 season 30 minute show on archaeology or we should say , the exploits of an amateur as he interferes with archaeology.  If you can get past the shenanigans, the filler footage and actually listen to the archaeologists then this series can be of some value.  It does make one think from time to time but that is inconsistent as Jacobovici is a distraction. That is the downfall of these shows, that and the filler footage which takes too much time away from the subject of each show and robs each episode of any quality it could have had.

3. The Ark, Noah, Jesus- 1 disk each-  These are taped documentaries on different biblical events and are good examples of what i said above about the secular world unable to grasp the complexities that are involved with the Biblical record.  The unbelief is quite clear and evident as none of these shows even attempt to look at both sides of the issue.  They just approach the topics from a secular viewpoint and ignore all that would be considered God's side.  Such works you find on TV. are usually like these shows, not all but the majority and the reason for this is that the unbeliever does not have a regenerated mind  from God and so much escapes them.

4. Logos Bible Software- various products all on disk.  I have a couple of their works but i am not happy with their Libronix system.  Too me it is too limited, too inconvenient and very frustrating to use.  Others may not have this feeling and their experience may be better than mine but I prefer the Ages system to the Logos one.  This company has great products and if you cannot afford the price or the space books require, then this company may be the way to go. Their customer service has been good as they try to look after disappointed customers quite well

5. Discount Bible- This company is basically a warehouse of many different companies’ products, including the one above, but sold a discount.  I have received good customer service from these people and their products have worked well for me.  If you need to save money then this is the company for you, its selection is wide and their prices will make more product available to those who cannot afford to spare a lot of money.

6. Associates for Biblical Research- A. Right now they only have 1 DVD and it is called 'the second battle for Jericho'.  It is not a slick production, nor is the archaeologists gifted speakers but they put their views and arguments, along with the evidence, simply in an easy to understand format.  It is quite informative and worth the time and money ($14.95) to view.  The expose the errors made by Kathleen Kenyon and show the other side of the story which any believer needs to see.

B. The ABR crowd has come out with 4 new DVDs and they are basically very good.  The best two are the ones with Dr. Bryant Wood as the lecturer, as he always brings in the right amount of information and evidence to show how the Bible is true.  There are 5 lectures on 4 DVDs and you will find their website in the discussion forum in the resource thread. For $5 a DVD you cannot go wrong.

C. This organization has just released another 5 volume DVD set, which basically deal with answering the critics of the Bible. As always Dr. Bryant Wood's session is the best but the others present compelling arguments for their segments. You cannot go wrong with ordering the DVDs from this organization and the price is still right, far cheaper than you will pay over at BAS.
 
D. I picked up ABR's 'The Fall of Jericho and though better produced, it really did not present any new information that isn't included in Dr. Bryant's lectures, papers and other work on  the subject. it is okay and it is a good place to start when researching the evidence for the Israeli conquest but it is not for intermediate or higher level researchers.
 
E. Jericho Unearthed. This is the most recent addition to the Jericho DVDs at ABR and it is not the best. There was no new information added that would make it a must buy or stand out over the other 2 Jericho videos that are offered by this organization. Beginners may like it but that is the only level of researcher who would. One cannot stop at watching this video and think they have everything they need to know about Jericho and the COnquest. it is very disappointing.
 
7. Arood Awakening- I bought this under the impression it was done by a real rabbi who had real insights into the two topics covered by this DVD.  He isn't and he didn't.  This DVD (and book) is not worth the time or the money as he avoids providing anything to back up his claims and basically the DVD and the book are just his unsubstantiated opinion. He does point to some basic evidence and a few Bible verse to form his thesis but it is just a surface idea and not a conclusive investigated topic.

8. Sodom & Gomorrah-(Biblical Mysteries) This is quite an interesting DVD and allows one to see the bottom of the Dead Sea as the researchers saw it.  It presents some interesting points but comes to No real conclusions as the evidence they uncovered cannot be dug up or examined.  It does present the tense political situation surrounding the area which helps one understand the difficulties of finding the answers some people seek.

9. Exploring Biblical Jordon- This DVD is good for beginners and those who do not want to go into all the technical and professional points of view. Easy to listen to, and it exposes to Biblical sites still in existence today, so one can see that their faith is not in vain.

10. The Biological Evidence of Creation- Another simple short DVD which helps the novice understand that creation was the only way that all things originated. It provides some evidence to help the novice when they encounter those who believe evolution over creation and helps them be knowledgeable on the topic.

11. Lost Gospels or False Gospels- This DVD is for all those who feel overwhelmed by the claims of those who think the gnostic writings deserve to be placed on par with the Bible or that they shed light on Christianity itself. Thoroughly repudiating such claims, this disk presents interviews with credible scholars who set the record straight and demonstrate how false these recently discovered writings are. It is well worth the time and money as a believer needs to hear the truth and see why the biblical canon is the way it is.

12. The First Merchants- A very well done and well researched historical piece.  It provides enough evidence to re-think the world travels of ancient societies as it expands their territory greatly. It shows how trade was very active among ancient civilizations much like it is today but then for those of us who do not view the ancient world as different from the modern one this comes as no surprise.

13. Evidence for God- This is a DVD for teenagers or children basically as the author tries to be funny or inject humor into a series topic.  It has its good moments and its bad but does provide some points that point to the existence of God.  The producer did interview credible people who tried to be objective but then objectivity is an ideal not a fact.

14. How Shall We Then Live- if you remember the book or saw the movie version 20 years ago then this DVD will bring back memories.  The late Dr. Francis Schaffer provides 10 25 minute lectures concerning historical periods and how they should be viewed.  It is insightful and has lost nothing over the years though at times it may seem dated.  Well worth the time and money.

15. The Bible & Christian Life- By John Stott. This is a very good series of lectures done by Dr. Stott dealing with topics like culture, interpretation and so on.  It is for the serious Christian as it does not mince words and talks very candidly about faith and other important aspects of the Christian life. I do not agree with everything he says but that doesn't mean he didn't say anything good at all. The majority of this DVD is well worth the time and strengthens a believer.
 
16. B.A.S.E. Institute: Owned by Robert Cornuke, this institute searches for lost items of the Bible. Their 'The Bible Explorer Series covers the  Mt. Sinai,  Noah's Ark, &  The Ark of the covenant and each are slickly produced and filmed but they lack solid evidence for their point, leap to too many conclusions that cannot be corroborated  and ignore to many mitigating factors in their haste to say they 'discovered' these lost items. In the modern world there are many people who make claims but can't back them up and even though they sound like they have the evidence and found the actual sites but they do not have anything. These people are more show than substantiated.