Tares Among The Wheat And Bridge To Babylon

In these follow up videos to A Lamp In The Dark, the film series dives into the deep and rich history and controversy surrounding the non-Textus Receptus-based translations which all modern day translations are based upon. The second film — Tares Among The Wheat — carefully details how the two main manuscripts used for the basis of the non-TR came to be, and the mysteries surrounding them. For example, if it wasn’t bizarre enough that the primary text upon which the non-TR translations are based upon was being burned by monks in a random Catholic sanctuary (only to be saved at the last second by a random scholar over multiple visits spanning 15 years) … it’s even more bizarre to learn that a well-known and another respected ancient manuscript scholar of the time claimed the found document wasn’t old at all — but that he wrote the document in question years earlier, for royalty, as a gift!

From there a variety of people like Westcott and Hort are discussed — the two individuals largely responsible for the claimed “more accurate” Greek text that every non-KJV translation nowadays uses. The films do a wonderful and extremely detailed job explaining how these individuals thought, whose company they often kept, what their motivations were and the great lengths they went to promote whatever they were working on.

The third film goes even more in-depth with name after name from the 1800s onward, detailing just how complex and widespread the coordinated attack against the Word of God (and the KJV specifically, since the reformation) has become and how it has intensified in recent centuries. The one complaint I have with Bridge to Babylon? The large amount of screen time devoted to James White, an author of a book criticizing the KJV. While I do believe the film includes him to give balance to the narrative, so watchers are aware that the filmmakers know of other opinions, his multiple appearances are confusing if you don’t pay close attention. That’s not a guy on the side of truth.

There’s apparently another part in the series, but it won’t be released for another couple of years. But with each film clocking in at three hours, and nothing being filler, it’s worth the wait to hear what these filmmakers have to say next. Until then, be sure to watch both of these (available now for free, on Amazon Prime).

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A Lamp In The Dark – The Untold History of the Bible

Wow. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve seen a good Biblical documentary that I can’t recommend enough, but here is one that is not only lengthy, informative and well produced … but is very affordable for most people out there.

A Lamp In The Dark gives the viewer an overview of the Bible from the time of Jesus until the modern age, over the course of three hours of content. The film covers dozens of topics, a variety of notable people and events and details all the major translations and historical events that shape both Catholicism and Protestantism to this day.

It’s extremely interesting how the film expertly tackles so many ideas — some of which have overlapping and otherwise confusing timelines — in a way that gives the viewer not only access to many things they may not otherwise be aware of, but can also allows them to comprehend, for further study. For example, while discussing the events leading up to the creation of the Tyndale translation, many people (who eventually became martyrs) were talked about … when in the past I had only seen brief, vague references to them in Church history materials.

If you can only site and watch a few documentaries each year, I would say pick this one up and prepare to be amazed. It’s not only a great historical film that even unbelievers can enjoy and find educational value in, it’s an excellent tool for sharing the truth of God’s Word and His intention for it throughout history. It’s a pretty amazing find too, considering it’s free to rent on Amazon Prime — but earlier in the year I was thinking of buying the DVD for $15 … which definitely would have been worth it, for so much material in one documentary.

The Daniel Project

While browsing Amazon’s video service, I came across this free-to-watch documentary last night, and figured I’d give it a shot. A 2012 movie called “The Daniel Project” discusses about a couple dozen end-time prophecies, and presents them in a very clear, straightforward manner to the viewer.

Now, one thing that sets this documentary apart from others is that the narrator and person being focused on the most — some sort of European voice work actor — says right up front he’s not a Christian, and that he doesn’t believe, but is interested in the topic.

So, the filmmakers have given him things to read as they film him, with short summaries of events predicted and things that have already occurred. You can actually see and hear the narrator get caught off guard by how eerily accurate a book from 2,000+ years ago really is. By the end of the film, it’s pretty obvious that even though he only had a small dose of prophecy information, his brain was thinking differently, and not so immediately dismissive of Christianity’s end-time predictions. So it’s a good message and sign of hope.

The movie does have a few glaring issues though — for starters, Jesus Christ is pretty much ignored, and being saved is not even part of the discussion. Next, there are several clips of Obama speaking that hint the filmmakers were trying to say he was perhaps the Antichrist (which is absurd). Third, not all the prophecies are equally discussed or given weight — like water in the wilderness or Israel’s currency changes. Fourth, the 200 million Eastern (likely Chinese) army is quickly mentioned, but think of how no other nation on Earth has that potential size of military or 1+ billion population to draw from. Fifth, and most glaring to me — is that the Rapture isn’t mentioned at all. Not even once.

It’s not a bad documentary, but the Obama allusion and lack of Rapture parts keep me from wanting to recommend it to non-Christians.

The Torah Codes

The Torah Codes is an interesting documentary that takes a very close look at the significance of hidden messages within the first five books of the Old Testament, and how they have been discovered in recent decades — some even discussing recent events.

The concealed words and phrases are found by modern Jewish scholars using a Cray supercomputer that looks for unique words in equal letter distance sequences, within small blocks of Ancient Hebrew text. The smaller the amount of text searched and more numerous equal letter distance words and phrases found, the more unlikely it is that these are just random occurrences of words, and were very likely purposely generated, by the author.

The film itself is interesting in that it jumps between talks with Jewish scholars to a military captain serving in Israel and with people in a town nearby anti-Israeli forces (whose enemies keep trying to blow their town up with rockets). While this is an interesting approach editing-wise, it’s pretty clear why this was done — there just isn’t enough code-specific material to warrant a full documentary run-time.

That said, the code parts are interesting, and certainly thought provoking. Unfortunately you do get the sense only Jewish scholars (focusing on Jewish things) are involved though, as not one clearly labeled/named Christian seems to be involved in the project.

The biggest weakness of the film though is its paltry 60-minute run-time. While the Captain part adds to the film in the end, the other non-code material seem to act as filler, and comprises probably 1/2 to 2/3 of its length. I would definitely give this a watch if you find it for cheap or free online, but the $14.99 price most places charge is way too high for the tiny amount of actual content received.

The Coming Convergence

This documentary’s creators also made “The Final Prophecies,” which I reviewed last year, and in that review I said this:

“…and the film, despite its focus on “prophecy” — barely seems to mention Jesus Christ’s saving grace and the fact that Satan truly exists, and wants to literally damn humanity to Hell. Prophecy is a nice subject, but if there’s no reason for people to believe (God’s love and compassion), that makes it a hard sell.”

Unfortunately, their new film misses the mark yet again. About 20-25% of the film is just a random pretty girl walking aimlessly (through what looks like Detroit), while she narrates confusing and cryptic dialogue to a bewildered audience. Basically, a massive chunk of the film’s total run-time is complete nonsense, and will only turn away non-Christians if they watch it.

And does the film cover Jesus Christ or Satan? Nope, not really. Yet again, the people making these films omit these two figures almost completely (this makes you wonder if the films’ creators simply want to avoid all talk of Jesus and Satan!).

Now, a few minor things like the increasing number of earthquakes and massive volcanoes being found in the ocean are neat, but when things like “No one knows the day or hour” is brought up, the film suggests an answer I have never heard before in my life. Even more bizarrely, the film doesn’t talk about the Rapture whatsoever, barely discusses the Antichrist and avoids all talk of the Tribulation. This feels like a generic prophecy film aimed at all audiences, by saying nothing of real value.

I rented this for $4.99 from Amazon and — even if it was free — I wouldn’t watch it again, and wouldn’t recommend it to other Christians … and definitely not nonbelievers.

The Theory Of Everything – Trey Smith

Wow — I just finished up my first, full-length documentary of Trey Smith’s … and it was great! The Theory Of Everything summarizes exactly what Trey practically attempts to cover — just about everything!

This film covers so many topics via Trey’s unique “vlogging-style” film-making approach (quick cuts and bits of information thrown at the viewer) it’s actually challenging to pinpoint exact talking points at specific times … but the overall topics covered include the complexity of life, DNA, evolution, metamorphosis, dinosaurs, the flood, etc.

In short, this very lengthy documentary covers about a hundred different talking points, at the very least.

In fact, if I had one criticism of the entire film, it’s that it is a very long movie (about 2 hrs. 45 min. long!) and there are no titles or indications as to where you are in the documentary or how much content is remaining. During the segment when Trey was describing things he wouldn’t hold against evolution in a hypothetical debate (“to make things fair”), I was convinced he simply had moved on to the next topic — but nope — about 15 minutes later he was back on track.

Still, Trey is great to watch, and you can see the improvement in style and approach over the original documentary he released (“Enoch: It’s Real”). I also liked how he spent a good deal of time talking about Jesus and what He did and how important He is to everything … when a lot of filmmakers would have skimmed over that topic (assuming watchers already knew about Jesus) and focused purely on the science-related content.

Apparently this documentary is still available on YouTube, so there’s no need to buy it on DVD (but buying does support the God in a Nutshell project). If you’d like a nice overall primer to what Christians believe in regards to many scientific areas or you just enjoy Trey’s work, be sure to check this out.

Enoch: It’s Real – Trey Smith

Trey Smith is an interesting Christian documentarian  to listen to — and he got popular thanks to his many YouTube videos on topics like Enoch, Nephilim, Noah and other “fringe” topics in Christianity.

I recently ordered his complete DVD package from his site godinanutshell.com, but unfortunately his first major documentary — Enoch: It’s Real — from 2011 was never released on DVD. An updated version was, but that will be covered later on. Before delving into those newer films, I wanted to see his first major documentary from 2011 (as stated by his About Trey Smith section of his website).

This documentary says it’s approximately 90 minutes long, but that’s misleading — the first 40 minutes is about Enoch, the next 20 minutes is about Trey’s 2011 book called Thieves and the last 30 minutes is just his video’s logo (back in 2011 when YouTube used a still shot for the thumbnail preview, this was the best way to guarantee it to show up as a thumbnail option).

The Enoch part was quite interesting, and well produced for what is basically a guy having Skype and phone conversations with other Christian researchers who are knowledgeable about the Book of Enoch. The background music played, along with interesting visual cuts and Trey’s distinct voice and personality make for an entertaining watch. Trey’s editing and speaking style may not be for everyone (it’s fairly fast paced, and some people might find the music volume a bit distracting during parts from the message), but the content is good, which is what matters. He genuinely tries to boil core talking points down.

I also like how after his section on Thieves, he makes it clear he’s not the same person anymore, and has learned from his so-so past. That’s good to know.

One thing in particular that I learned from this documentary that I want to seek out more information on is the Dr. Walt Brown section that talks about the way the flood occurred — from within the Earth — and how that caused the Earth’s crust to split apart (called “Hydroplate Theory”).

If you can, check out this preview of Trey’s content — he’s an interesting documentarian to watch and listen to, and for his earliest effort, you can see hints at the editing/narrative style he would later polish. This 2011 documentary can be found here: https://youtu.be/BZGN6EKjvAo