• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


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    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    Exodus Decoded

    I've only just become aware of this documentary which apparently was aired on The Discovery Channel on Easter day (16th April 2006). It was produced and directed by Simcha Jacobovici, perhaps best known for his documentary James the Brother of Jesus from 2002. The biggest name associated with the project, however, was James Cameron (Titanic) who narrated.

    Anyone familiar with the James documentary probably won't find it too difficult to contain there anticipation over this one. The James Ossuary later turned out to be a forgery. Whilst the theories that Exodus Decoded explores have not been forged the film's publicity goes a little too far when it suggests that it "solves the mystery of the events of the Biblical Exodus for the first time ever". Scientific theories about the cause of the Exodus have been around for so long that even Cecil B. DeMille tries to discredit them in The Ten Commandments (1956) by putting them on the lips of the soon-to-be-proved-wrong, arch-sceptic, Ramsees. Those are different theories from the ones explored by Exodus Decoded, which links the events of the Exodus to the mega-eruption of the Santorini volcano in Greece c.1600 BCE.

    Nevertheless they are hardly original to this documentary. The BBC documentary Moses explored similar territory in 2002. It tried to explain all the phenomenon related to the Exodus on the basis of the Santorini, including the parting of the Red Sea which happened well after the plagues. Chronologically this wouldn't work as the Red Sea parting was said to be as an almost instantaneous and direct result of the explosion, whereas the plagues would have resulted from the delayed side effects og such a blast. It's unclear from the official website whether Exodus Decoded will go to that extreme. There's a useful summary at Wikipedia which suggests it doesn't go as far as Moses, and considers a wider range of evidence. My other criticism of that Programme was that it also only interpreted the text along traditional lines. Many would consider that as the text actually only talks about Yam Suph - the sea of reeds - that some of this conjecturing is looking for answers to questions that have been proved irrelevant.

    Anyway, much of this post has been conjecture only. It's not a considered opinion based on an actual viewing of the film. Hopefully I'll see it soon and be able to give a more informed view.

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    • At 4:48 pm, March 03, 2007, Blogger Christopher Heard said…

      Just after The Exodus Decoded first aired in the USA, I blogged an extensive 15-part review and debunking of the documentary.

    • At 6:19 am, October 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Hey Matt

      What do you make of my Book of Revelations decodings?

      Here are two tasters


      Be sure to check out the fourth image down which shows the Sepy Eleventh date on the above


      KD Mains
      Aka Mrflicks TVWorlds.com


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