Monday, April 28, 2014

Bible Hunters – A Smithsonian Documentary – Many Gaps

Dick B.

© 2014 Anonymous. All rights reserved

This evening, while browsing TV channels, I stumbled upon a documentary that engaged my attention for two hours. The Smithsonian Library presented the film called “Bible Hunters.” And I was intent on hearing the documentary. For the Bible has played a large part in my life, with my son Ken. We have traveled many thousands of miles; visited many museums and libraries, universities and seminaries, churches and monasteries; and collected a host of Bible versions. In a trip to the Holy Land in 1979 and to Europe in 1986, and frequently since, I viewed a wide array of biblical manuscripts in the British Museum in London, in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin; the John S. Rylands Library in Manchester, England; the St. Catherina Monastery in the mid-east; the ancient biblical manuscript center at Claremont University in California, as well as manuscripts in Tel Aviv and one Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit in Selma, Alabama. This has been coupled with extensive reading, lessons, conferences, and Bible fellowships.

I thought the Smithsonian program was well presented. But, like so many of the current A.A. plays, videos, movies, and books, it told only part of the story. Many aspects of the Bible manuscript trail, travel, and account were subjective in that the narrator was not a Christian; the film deftly left out a whole segment on early manuscripts and attacked the Bible as “the Word of God, and many versions and translations that abound today. Regrettably, it was clearly aimed at making Bible readers doubtful, unsettled, and concerned about reliability. And that’s about where many believers who cherish A.A. find themselves in today’s secularization of their Society.

It was a pleasure seeing this rendering of such an important subject omitting so much that it would foster religious controversy instead of inviting biblical research, information, and learning. The parallel with the “rest of the story” about A.A. history is remarkable. And, on the eve of our starting the filming of our videos and guidebook on “Bill W., Dr. Bob, and the Cure of Alcoholism: The Rest of the Story,” the program on “Bible Hunters” offers the same challenge that our program on the “rest of the A.A. story” will be doing shortly. It won’t be telling what has already been told. It will be highlighting what has never been told or accurately reported.

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