I recently received a DVD from New Liberty Videos called the Mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls ($19.95). The age recommendation of Mysteries of the Dead SeaScrolls is for ages 12 and up.
Mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls DVD running time is 60 minutes and is broken down into three different sections. Each segment is approximately 20 minutes each.
The first section: Dead Sea Scrolls
This is presented by Joel Lampe and starts out with him explaining about a young Bedouin shepherd boy looking for one of his lost sheep in a cave by the Dead Sea known as Qumran. He threw a rock and heard some kind of pottery shatter. That was in 1949 and since then several other scrolls where found in the years after the first initial discovery in 11 different caves in the region. Most of the scrolls found are religious works or Biblical text along with non-Biblical scrolls. One find that intrigues me is the complete book of Isaiah. He further explains that every book of our Bible was found except the book of Esther. You can tell that Joel Lampe is passionate about this subject and he gets excited just presenting it in his lecture.
Joel Lampe goes on to describe the process of trying to piece together the thousands of pieces. There were a lot of issues they faced trying to piece it together due to the age and the technology at first. Thanks to modern technology such as DNA to match the scrolls together and infrared technology a lot has been re-discovered about the Dead Sea Scrolls.
This was a very interesting section and I enjoyed hearing about the technology that has gone into the Dead Sea Scrolls. Then again the science and technology is intriguing to me. When I was in Israel last spring I had an amazing opportunity to see some of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Shrine of the Book Museum in Jerusalem. We also had a chance to go to Qumran when we were down by the Dead Sea.
You will see some scenic views of the region around where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
The second section: Hebrew Word Pictures
Dr. Frank Seekins presents this lecture. He talks about some history of the Jewish people and talks about the events of Masada. This may not be something you want your younger kids to hear.
He talks how Ancient Hebrew was written so that the reader could see the language in both pictures and in words. He then goes on to explain that the Ancient Hebrew language actually has symbols that can easily be read. Or in other words those letters form symbols. The Hebrew language is read from left to right and Dr. Frank Seekins goes through some of the letters of the Aleph Bet (Hebrew alphabet).
He teaches the audience a few words by having you recognize the symbols. This was a very intriguing presentation that Dr. Frank Seekins put together. I have been learning Biblical and Modern Hebrew the last few years and I really enjoyed his insight that he brought forth in this lecture.
The last section: The Forbidden Book
Dr. Craig Lampe
This touches on the reformers. It has some of the history behind the Bible that we cherish as believers today being in a language that the common folks can read it for themselves. We so easily forget the sacrifices that John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and others did so that we can have a Bible that we so enjoy and can read without having to know Latin.
Through history the Bible has been a forbidden book and I pray that we never see a day like that again.
Dr. Craig Lampe did bring out one odd statement about a comet causing the Black Plague without any scientific facts but, other than that he did a good job explaining the Ancient Hebrew Language.
My Final Thoughts:
I watched this video in one setting. It started out with both of my kids. It was a little over their heads and they ended up wandering off on me. All the topics are fascinating. I think I would have rather had the whole presentation on one topic. From the title of the DVD I assumed that it would all center on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Not that the Mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls wasn’t interesting but, overall it wasn’t what I was expecting the DVD to be about as I was expecting this DVD to cover just the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Others from the Crew reviewed different DVDs other than what I received.