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Arts & Culture

NOVA: The Bible's Buried Secrets

Ron Tappy examines the Tel Zayit abecedary. This alphabet suggests the existence of a literate royal court at the time of David and Solomon, the 10th century B.C., raising the possibility that scribes could have written portions of the Hebrew Bible at that time.
Courtesy of Providence Pictures
Ron Tappy examines the Tel Zayit abecedary. This alphabet suggests the existence of a literate royal court at the time of David and Solomon, the 10th century B.C., raising the possibility that scribes could have written portions of the Hebrew Bible at that time.

Airs Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Explore the science behind the headlines in PBS’ premier science series. With compelling stories and spectacular visuals, NOVA programs demystify science and technology for viewers of all ages and spotlight people involved in scientific pursuits.

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This two-hour special breaks exciting new ground in investigating the origins of the ancient Israelites, the evolution of their belief in one God and the creation of the Bible.

For the first time, more than a century of literary detective work and decades of archeological excavation in the Holy Land will challenge viewers with provocative new insights, including that most Israelites worshiped pagan gods and many believed that God had a wife, who was venerated as an idol.

NOVA travels to several excavations of ancient cities in the Near East, filming newly discovered remains and interviewing leading archeologists and biblical scholars. These in-depth interviews—along with historic works of art, ancient artifacts, animations of biblical passages and scenes, and dramatic recreations—provide the latest account of the ancient Israelites and how they found their one God, the God not only of modern Judaism, but also of Christianity and Islam.

The film transports viewers into the world of the Old Testament through guided explorations of ancient ruins and advanced digital animation techniques, which bring sacred places, including the long-lost Temple of Solomon, to life.

As part of the project, NOVA commissioned a hand-crafted, illustrated Bible—a bound collection of artwork featuring images of ancient frescoes, illuminated medieval manuscripts, and paintings by European masters. These striking visuals evoke memorable scenes from biblical literature, such as God speaking to Moses from the burning bush and David as he slays the giant Philistine warrior, Goliath.

A story of science, history and faith, "The Bible's Buried Secrets" will leave a lasting impact on viewers and become the definitive documentary on the Bible for generations to come.

Past episodes of NOVA are available for online viewing. NOVA is on Facebook, and you can follow @novapbs on Twitter.

The Bible's Buried Secrets: Recreating the Temple
The Bible's Buried Secrets: Did God Have a Wife?
The Bible's Buried Secrets: Animating the Bible

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