Biblical Archaeology Review 32:6, November/December 2006

The Volcano Explains Everything—Or Does It?

Does this crater from an ancient volcanic eruption hold the answer to the mysteries of the Exodus?

By Manfred Bietak

Canadian documentarian Simcha Jacobovici, in cooperation with James Cameron, director of Titanic, has master-minded a two-hour TV special dealing with the oft-treated—and oft-mistreated—Exodus narrative. The Biblical account provides the principal pillar of the script. Every sentence of the Biblical text is taken literally in quite a fundamentalist fashion.

Until now, Biblical scholars have not found specific archaeological evidence for the Exodus. This perspective—the archaeological evidence—is purportedly now supplied by Jacobovici and backed up, we are led to believe, with opinions of scholars working in the field. Technically the film is brilliantly produced—flashy and full of unusual special effects. The digital age has clearly arrived in this film, and no effort has been spared to find scholarly support from a whole series of experts (including the author of this review) whose research involves them in one way or another in the Exodus story.

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