The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Specials

Christmas TV specials, limited series and movies are bigger than ever these days from now until the New Year, you’ll be able to find some festive yule-tide programming every night of the week. From the traditional viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, the different versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to baking shows and live music specials, we’ve got them all listed on the new Christmas TV Specials page. (Since not all of the networks list their specials early, this list will be updated throughout the coming weeks, so check back often for new additions!)

'Patterns of Evidence: Exodus' Might Change How You View the Bible

Review of the documentary, "Patterns of Evidence: Exodus."
Filmmaker Timothy Mahoney (Thinking Man Films)


It is not unusual for those who are non-religious to believe in the credibility of the Bible. Unfortunately, larger groups of Christians and Jewish people are now accepting the notion that the Bible is not a history book or are at least questioning that maybe the holy book is really just a book of stories. Some of this rise of questioning has to do with the lack of scientific evidence that many of the large events in the Bible. According to the documentary, Patterns of Evidence: Exodus, these doubts began to rise in the 1950's and has grown from there. However, this movie challenges these long-held theories head on.

The award-winning documentary is a compilation of a filmmaker’s 12-year journey to challenge the notion that the Exodus accounts in the Bible are real and not a myth. Timothy Mahoney states that while some people can still find comfort in the Bible even if they don't believe that the Old Testament accounts are factual, he is one who needs some sort of proof . In the video, he meets with archaeologists, theologians and scientists and chats about some of the more recent findings and discoveries that place the events of the Exodus (if true) much earlier than commonly thought. These include interviews with Israel Finkelstein, Kent Weeks, David Rohl, Benjamin Netanyahyu and Shimon Peres. The film is narrated by Mahoney as well as actor Kevin Sorbo (TV’s Hercules).

The two disc DVD set comes with the 119 minute documentary and bonus features including cast bios and interviews, a short on the making of the music of the movie and features like, “From Film to Book.”

Review of the documentary, "Patterns of Evidence: Exodus."
If this all sounds intellectual, well, it is. However, the information given isn’t too complex to understand. History buffs will eat this stuff up and naysayers may find this new information intriguing. The film has received awards for best documentary from 2014 Pan Pacific Film Festival, CFCFF International Film Festival, Best Picture from ICYM Gold Crown Award, Best Director from 2014 Worldfest Houston International Film Festival and Best Cinematography from Reelheart International Film Festival.

While overall this is a well-made film, the downside is that as much at Mahoney tries, the material given is still a bit dry for the causual viewer. The tagline of the film, “You Never Know Where a Crisis of Faith Will Lead You” sounds a lot more intriguing than is realized in the film. The first few minutes of the film shares Mahoney’s heartbreak when he learns that (up to this point) there is very little evidence to support the theory that the accounts of Exodus actually happened. There is a lot of passion written in that tagline and the fact that this man worked on this project for a dozen years is truly amazing. But the passion he feels about the subject just isn’t felt in the viewing of the film. The mild-mannered Mahoney is sadly, a bit dull and doesn’t have the charisma to keep your attention. These findings are exciting stuff, but they are not presented as such. Still, there is much to learn from this film and is an important accomplishment.

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