An investigative filmmaker who has explored Israel and the Middle East for archaeological evidence for the biblical stories says he has found a “pattern” of physical corroboration for the stories of Scripture that has helped strengthen his faith.
Tim Mahoney released his first “Patterns of Evidence” documentary in 2015 and is scheduled to release his next one in May: Patterns of Evidence: Journey to Mt. Sinai, Part II. It will be in theaters May 15 and 17, examining the various proposals for the biblical mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
It is his sixth Patterns of Evidence film. All have explored the biblical, geographical, and archaeological evidence for the stories of the biblical Israelites. Mahoney journeyed to the Middle East to make films.
“Our kids are being told that none of this is true when they go off to college or wherever,” Mahoney told Christian Headlines.
Mahoney, though, says the physical evidence supports the biblical narrative.
“We found that whole pattern of evidence for the story of the Exodus with the Israelites coming to Egypt, Joseph, the plagues, all that -- it just basically made me more bold,” Mahoney said of his faith. “And I think that's what these films do is they give you confidence.”
He is the founder of Thinking Man Films, which gets its name from Mahoney’s goal for the church: He wants them to dig deep and “think” about their faith.
Mahoney made the films after experiencing his own crisis of faith. His first film in 2015, Patterns of Evidence: Exodus, examined the evidence for the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. His next one, Patterns of Evidence: The Moses Controversy, examined the evidence for Moses’ authorship of the first five books of the Bible (the Pentateuch). His next two films, Patterns of Evidence: The Red Sea Miracle (I and II), looked at the evidence for the desert wandering and the crossing of the sea. Journey to Mt. Sinai, Part II is a sequel to a film released last year. Another film, The Journey Home, tells the story of Mahoney’s own crisis of faith.
He says the films are for skeptics and Christians alike.
“A lot of people can't go to the Middle East, but I can take you there through these films,” he said. “And I can show you the evidence, and I can give you different options to consider. If you don't believe [the Bible] at all, just come along and just look at what we've seen. … I meet people who grew up in Christian homes and have decided that they don't believe because of the way the evidence is. And I've challenged that and I’ve said, ‘Well, wait a minute, there is a pattern here.’”
Mahoney, in his films, interviews scholars from across the ideological spectrum, including ones who are skeptical of Scripture: “What I found out is they have their stock answer. But if you ask the second and third question, you start to see that those answers aren't very good.”
He describes the films as a “good vaccination of biblical truth” to fight the “disease of unbelief.”
“That's why these films are important for your family,” he said. “That's why they're important for you.”
Journey to Mt. Sinai, Part II includes some of the most contentious footage he’s ever recorded.
“I went to Saudi Arabia -- I got permission for a group, a small group. We went to this location, which was a very, very politically hot to go into,” he said. “... [But] when we got there, we were no longer [welcome] -- it wasn't a good thing. They didn’t want us there.”
Photo Courtesy: ©Thinking Man Film
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.