Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Month 2 - Exodus

This month's Through the Bible in Five and a Half Years is looking at Exodus. The session is actually going to run twice with the first presentation Monday 30th April being repeated on Wednesday 2nd May. Both will take place at at 5 Meadow Lane and start at 7:30pm.

In addition to the book of Exodus itself and the general recommended reading (see side panel), here are a few resources you might like to check out:

There are numerous commentaries on Exodus, but one book that really challenged my thinking was Jonathan Kirsch's Moses: A Life. Tyler Williams' Codex site lots of useful information about commentaries on Exodus.

Last month I mentioned the Bible Dudes website, and it's relevant once again. Bible Dudes is a fantastic site, funny and light-hearted, whilst giving a solid introduction to certain aspects of the bible. The Biblical Studies pages will be particularly relevant for "Through the Bible in Five and a Half Years". Picture Bill and Ted doing Biblical Studies rather than basic history, and then imagine someone parodying that but making the information reliable and informative and you're about there. Easily the most interesting and readable introduction ever crafted.

In terms of film resources, there are a number on the subject that are worth getting hold of. The classic is Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 classic The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston. At least half of it is pure fiction, but, strangely, it still informs how most of us think about these stories even if we haven't seen it. There's an amusing film at YouTube which turns footage from this film into a spoof trailer for a high school drama - Ten Things I Hate About Commandments.

The story has also been revisited three times in the last decade or so. The Bible collection kicked it all off in 1996 in Moses starring Ben Kingsley. Two years later Dreamworks released the animated The Prince of Egypt, and then last year a US TV mini-series was released also called The Ten Commandments. For an alternative approach, each of Kieslowski's ten Dekalog films deals with a different one of the commandments. There are two articles about Moses in film at the Journal of Religion and Film.

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