Nova – The Bible’s Buried Secrets

The well-established Egyptian chronology gives the date as 1208 B.C. Merneptah’s Stele [Mur-NEP-Tuhz STEE-Luh] is powerful evidence that a people called the Israelites are living in Canaan, in what today includes Israel and Palestine, over 3,000 years ago.

The ancient Israelites are best known through familiar stories that chronicle their history: Abraham and Isaac, Moses and the Ten Commandments, David and Goliath.

It is the ancient Israelites who write the Bible. Through writing the Hebrew Bible, the beliefs of the ancient Israelites survive to become Judaism, one of the world’s oldest continuously-practiced religions. And it is the Jews who give the world an astounding legacy, the belief in one G*d.

This belief will become the foundation of two other great monotheistic religions, Christianity and Islam.

Often called the Old Testament, to distinguish it from the New Testament, which describes the events of early Christianity, today the Hebrew Bible and a belief in one G*d are woven into the very fabric of world culture. But in ancient times, all people, from the Egyptians to the Greeks to the Babylonians, worshipped many gods, usually in the form of idols. How did the Israelites, alone among ancient peoples, discover the concept of one g*d? How did they come up with an idea that so profoundly changed the world?

Now, archaeologists and biblical scholars are arriving at a new synthesis that promises to reveal not only fresh historical insights but a deeper meaning of what the authors of the Bible wanted to convey.

They start by digging into the Earth and the Bible.