"The media have never been more fascinated by the Bible as an object of public interest. Hollywood, followed by television and other entertainment vehicles, has produced blockbuster films devoted to biblical subjects. Yet increasingly the subject matter of such presentations has turned from straightforward narrations of biblical texts to creative reconstructions of those texts in a generally controversial or even blasphemous direction. 'The Da Vinci Code,' 'The Fifth Element,' and 'John Q' come to mind. Iconoclasm and sensationalism sell.

Yet in almost inverse proportion to their coverage in the popular media are the number and significance of archaeological finds in the last thirty years that have enormous bearing on both the understanding of the Old Testament and that support it as a reliable historical account."

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