Has anyone out there seen The Naked Archaeologist? It is on History International, which is one of the History Channel family of channels, but not their main “flagship” as it were–lessening the chance you have it in your cable package, I suppose.
It’s really remarkable. The host, Simcha Jacobovici first caught my eye (and the eyes of many others) with his The Exodus Decoded special which aired last August and which was co-produced by James Cameron. While I did not agree with everything he proposed, that special was remarkable to me for two big reasons:
1. We had an archaeologist taking the Bible seriously as opposed to considering it something to be ignored or, even worse, something to be refuted. (Such a pro-Bible position used to be the norm among archaeologists. Those interested in why this is the most reasonable position should consider ordering our free booklet, The Bible: Fact or Fiction?)
2. We also had an archaeologist admitting the fact–even promoting the fact–that there is secular evidence of ancient Israelite migration, such as the migration of Danites between the Exodus and Mt. Sinai. (Those interested in reading of Biblical and secular evidence of ancient Israelite migrations are encouraged to order another of our free booklets, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.)
The Naked Archaeologist series has been equally refreshing. Again, while I wouldn’t agree with every conclusion Mr. Jacobovici draws, it is like a breath of fresh air to see an archaeologist on television whose default position isn’t an anti-Bible bias! The parade of “archaeologists” and “Bible experts” on television shows whose inevitable conclusions are something to the effect of “…and so, as usual, things aren’t quite as the Bible says” is getting really old. The assumptions that are trotted out as “fact” in those shows are so grating (and obvious), that I’ve almost completely given up on gaining anything useful from such programs.
Yet, in Mr. Jacobovici’s show, the tables are often turned. For instance, in the second episode, “Who Invented the Alphabet?” he discusses the conclusion that secular archaeologists have drawn that the alphabets of the world have evolved from a first alphabet that seems to have been invented by a Semitic people who were under Egyptian rule or subjugation around three-and-a-half millennia ago. In talking with one of these archaeologists, Mr. Jacobovici confronts him with the fact that the Bible places ancient Israel (a Semitic people) as slaves in Egypt (under Egyptian rule or subjugation) around three-and-a-half millennia ago, and asks: Doesn’t this strongly suggest that the Hebrews were the inventors of this alphabet? I should perhaps be ashamed to admit that I really enjoyed seeing the archaeologist take such pains to avoid admitting the obvious. Yet, it was a bit dismaying, as well, because clearly if the Bible were treated as part of the evidence as any other ancient document would be then this avenue of possibility would not be ignored.
The Naked Archaeologist series airs at odd times (as is the wont of many cable channels with their programs) throughout November, and–as with all things scientific–its conclusions are hit and miss. But it is nice to see a show about Biblical times that hits more often than it misses (at least so far!), and it is rejuvenating to see that most trustworthy of all archaeological resources–the Bible–given a fair shake for once.