Here is a review of Patterns of Evidence: Exodus by my friend Ted Wright who specializes in archaeology. This is from the Cross Examined site.
By Ted Wright
Overall, I very much liked the film and my impression is that it was very well produced and thought out. In short, it was a very high quality production and has great potential to be effective for those on the fence about the historical account of the Exodus in the Bible.
I offer the following thoughts to those who watched it on the night of its release, and for those who plan to watch it in the future, perhaps on the History Channel or on DVD.
First I would like to state what I liked about the film and offer some positive comments. Secondly, I will point out where I think Mahoney missed a couple of valuable opportunities apologetically, historically and archaeologically.
Yesterday I posted an article titled Navigating “Patterns of Evidence for the Biblical Exodus which essentially outlined where the film would focus most of its attention. That focus was on the dating of the Exodus or the chronology (or when it happened), and that was correct. More on this in a moment, but first some positive observations of the film.
One of the first things that impressed me about the film was its very high production quality. It had the feel of a National Geographic special. Throughout the film there was extensive use of computer graphics and 3D animation which was very helpful. In addition, Mahoney traveled to some amazing places in Egypt (Luxor), Israel and Europe to shoot the interviews. The shots were well crafted and well edited. The cinematography was top rate.
The next thing might seem like a rather silly thing to comment on, but I think that it is also an important part of any film – was the music. The film score was epic, adventurous, mysterious (in places), and just well done. The music was performed by the Budapest Film Orchestra, and the Budapest Film Choir.
The Question of the Historical Exodus: Back on the Table
The film does an excellent job of putting the question of the historical exodus back on the table and in the thoughts among those in the general public, and perhaps even some scholars who are open minded. Most liberal leaning scholars and archaeologists are highly dismissive of a historical exodus (including scholars such as William Dever, Israel Finkelstein, et. al.).
Evangelical Scholars Front & Center
It was very good to see such conservative Christian scholars, such as James K. Hoffmeier, Charles Ailing, Bryant Wood & John Bimson given some air time to make the case for a historical exodus. Rarely does the general public hear a conservative give a scholarly response on a historical documentary, and some of the evidence they presented was formidable and compelling.
Historical/Archaeological Evidence for the Biblical Exodus
There was some great archeological evidence that WAS presented. Much of it was amazing!
- The Ipuwer Papyrus
- The Berlin Fragment
- The Joseph Statue & Tomb
- The Semitic Ruler’s Palace with Twelve Pillars in Avaris
- The Walls of Jericho & the Burnt Grain of Jericho
- The Merneptah Stele
- The Amarna Letters
THE NOT SO GOOD (or, the not so clear)
The Argument: Which date/time? Which Pharaoh?