When it comes to the newest Hollywood blockbuster ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings,’ which was released this past weekend, it is safe to quote the popular saying that “the book is always better than the movie.”
I must admit that while I don’t profess to be a film critic by any stretch, the Hollywood conflict between science and the bible has always been of interest to me and led me to my own research of the legendary Ark of the Covenant which culminated in my book “The A.R.K. Report.”
Whatever you may think of ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’, the blockbuster starring Christian Bale cost approximately $140 million to create, quite a bit more than DeMill’s 1956 ‘Ten Commandments’ version. It took more than 1,500 visual effects shots to digitally bolster the ranks of the Hebrews and to help authentically render plagues of hail, locusts and frogs, although some 400 actual amphibians were actually brought to set at one point.
In the case of ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’, director Ridley Scott, who by the way is a self-proclaimed agnostic, offers us amazing visuals while at the same time making darn sure that the audience is aware that all the plagues are not so miraculous after all, but happened due to what most would call ‘natural causes.’
The massive volcanic eruption that was in and around the same time (although that in and of itself is disputed) that occurred on the Greek Island of Santorini was apparently the cause for the majority of the plagues. By synching geological and historical events, Scott is hoping to make a case for the scientific approach.
I deal with this topic in “The A.R.K. Report” whereby I make the case that the recent onslaught of Armageddon-type movies like “2012” and “The Day After Tomorrow” introduce into popular culture the concept that at the end of the day there is a final agenda that is quite likely Divinely ordained, whether it comes about through heavy weather or not.
In the case of the Ark for instance, some of its uncanny and highly powerful energy properties can be attributed in part to its being constructed like a giant conductor and super-capacitor. In fact, there are newspaper articles put out in recent history by engineering professors theorizing that the construction of the Ark provides for generating a current of static electricity of up to 10,000 volts!
From my perspective and experience in analyzing the biblical narrative, I take the traditional approach in the sense that science, and archaeology as well for that matter, should ideally provide a PROOF for the bible, and not the opposite. Theoretically, there should be no conflict whatsoever. I certainly found that this was the case while researching the Ark of the Covenant.
Could it be that the Santorini volcanic eruption DID actually affect the ancient Israelites in Egypt? Perhaps. It’s not impossible. But to imply that there was no Divine involvement at all is stretching the Hollywood take (no pun intended) just too far.