Problems With “The Bible’s Buried Secrets” (and PBS in general)

I have little to do with PBS; I reviewed a program of theirs here. Here I outline problems with the NOVA program The Bible’s Buried Secrets.

1. Too much talk, too little information. Largely, it treats the public like it should 4th Graders (this is not a surprise, the government school system currently treats seventh graders as it should second graders; at least, in the matter of history).

2. Bullshit and Stupidity. P. Kyle McCarter makes a statement so unimaginably stupid, I seriously doubt his knowledge about South Palestinian topography and archeology in any significant respect. The statement, of course, is about Tell Zayit which: 1. Was far more probably within the Philistine Kingdom of Gath than in the Kingdom of Judah and 2. Was in the wealthiest part of Judah (if it is to be counted in Judah): the Shephelah. As one goes from the Shephelah unto Jerusalem, one finds a decrease, not an increase, in settlement activity. Of course, we all know that I also have enormous doubts whether most historians of religion who know little of Palestinian topography or archaeology can be educators to any but the most ignorant. Also blatantly incorrect is the statement Gezer was part of Judah (it wasn’t) Stupidity is also present in editing (way too much scenery porn and suspense) and in historical reconstructions (there was definitely no wall in the City of David during the 10th-9th Cs BC).

1. MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Music is the curse of all non-fiction audio. Its only purposes are to stir emotion or torture the public, sometimes, both. Emotion does not belong in science. In this particular example, the music is used explicitly to stir our emotions to more conservative notions about the U. M. (which are, to say the least, contradicted by archaeology).


Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

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