Bible mysteries

We’ve been watching a BBC/Discovery Channel co-pro series called Bible Mysteries, available on YouTube, and getting both stimulated and frustrated. I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was young, and it’s been a treat to see the variety of archaeological disciplines (an Egyptologist who specializes in sleep and dreams!). Always, though, when I see the hard work of bending down to the ground in the hot sun to chip, and scrape and brush away at dirt I realize I would never have been happy there.

Different teams work on each episode and some are more satisfying than others. I find myself perched on an edge between action and inaction. I’m often interested and challenged enough to want to read the source documents myself and with the internet, it’s not hard to find, say, an English translation of the Nag Hammadi texts. But actually reading them, I find myself quickly bored, unable to spot the details or discrepancies that were so intriguing in the documentary.

I think part of that effect is lack of knowledge. I remember really studying one moment in Canadian political history in 1926 – the King-Byng affair. I plotted out events almost hour by hour and was so fascinated that every time I found out something new, it made me want to time travel to experience it myself. It was the depth of understanding, I think, that led to my mini-obsession.

Nowadays, zillions of things vie for my attention span, and I’m not as willing to devote time to passing fancies when my main interests like music, or beading, demand time.

I’ve enjoyed the skill of the producers making these events understandable and exciting enough for me to want to follow up. And I would dearly love to know more about the 7 women disciples of Jesus. Hopefully, they’ll make another documentary.

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