Update: I didn’t mention in the original version of this article that I’ll likely see the documentary again when it’s in the theater, and buy it when it’s available in stores and online. The filmmaking industry measures the success of a film by how much money it makes, particularly when it’s first released in the theaters. Please show your support for Christian films, whether they’re documentaries or dramas, by seeing them when they’re in the theaters.
In theaters on Tuesday, February 18, 2020
One night Only
Find a local theater at Fathom Events
Yesterday, my wife and I were at the Answers Conference Center at Ark Encounter, in Williamstown, KY. We’d been invited to the Primer showing of a new documentary, Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea Miracle (Part 1). This is the third documentary in the Patterns of Evidence series. The first documentary was Patterns of Evidence: Exodus, and the second documentary was Patterns of Evidence: The Moses Controversy (See my review on BibleQuestions.info: Documentary Review: Patterns of Evidence: The Moses Controversy).
After the film was over, there was a panel discussing the quality of the documentary, and the importance these films have in showing the Bible is a reliable source of information, and that it can be trusted. The emphasis of both the documentary and the panel discussion was finding truth, even when the truth hurts us personally.
Like the previous two films, Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea Miracle (Part 1) presented the a controversial Biblical story, and attempted to answer questions surrounding the story. The filmmaker, Tim Mahoney, once again brought in scholars with differing points of views and gave them time to express their opinions. Much of the documentary focuses on locating where the Exodus to place. Actually, quite a bit of time was spent on the question if the Hebrew term יָם סוּף (yam suf) should even be translated “Red Sea”, “Sea of Reeds” or something else entirely. The information is presented in an easy to understand style, and in a way that can keep the audience’s attention.
There are two ways people generally view the Exodus. The Egyptian method of understanding the Exodus, and the Red Sea Crossing in particular, is a small group of people crossing a narrow, shallow body of water called the Sea of Reeds. The Hebrew understanding of the Exodus involves perhaps 2,000,000 people escaping through the desert.
The Egyptian method tries to use natural forces to explain how a small group of people could have escaped from the mighty Egyptian army. The miracles, if they happened at all, were small. The Hebrew method explains how God performed mighty miracles, which were obvious to everyone, to allow the new nation to become united under God.
Unlike the first two films in the Patterns of Evidence series, this one didn’t spend much time looking at archaeological evidence. This film, part 1, focused on determining where the Red Sea Crossing may have happened. Part 2 will likely present the the archaeological evidence that can be found at that location.
Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea Miracle (Part 1) will be shown in theaters on February 18, 2020. You can find out if it’s showing in a theater near you using the Fathom Events web site. Part 2 will be released on May 5, 2020.
At the premier, my wife and I were sitting between the cameras and the stage. If you watch the panel discussion at the end (and it shows the audience), look for two people sitting in the middle of the last row in front of the aisle. You may see the backs of our heads.