Friday, October 24, 2014

Schoolhouse Crew Review: New Liberty Videos

For the past year or so, my 11 year olds and I been learning about Ancient history. One thing that we have been FASCINATED with is how the archaeological evidence and writings from other cultures confirm the Biblical accounts. Additionally, we use primarily "living books" to learn history and coincidentally we ended up reading at least 3 separate books that included the Essenes of Qumran. So, when New Liberty Videos gave us the opportunity to review one of their videos, I happily chose Mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

As you may know, the famous Dead Sea scrolls were found in the vicinity of Qumran and are thought to have been scrolls copied, and hidden by the Essenes. What could be more perfect for what we've been learning about?!?!

Mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls is a DVD, available from New Liberty Videos for $19.95. It contains three separate "parts".  All of these "parts" are a video recording of lectures/presentations given live at a museum.

Part 1 is titled Dead Sea Scrolls with Joel Lampe. It shows some of the fragments, and talks about the science, geography, etc surrounding this amazing archaeological discovery.

Part 2, Hebrew Word Pictures with Dr. Frank Seekins shows what a fascinating and multi-dimensional language Ancient Hebrew was.

And finally, Part 3, The Forbidden Book with Dr. Craig Lampe.  In this part, Dr. Lampe shares how God used brave men like Wycliffe, Luther and Tyndale to preserve the Bible during that dark time of history.

I wasn't sure, from the description, if this video would be age appropriate for my 11 year olds or not, so when the DVD arrived, I watched it myself after the girls had gone to bed. While I didn't see any content that I found "inappropriate" I have to admit that I questioned whether or not they would like it. The videos aren't flashy, they are simply the live lectures given at the museum. But the information presented is interesting information and lines up nicely with things we've been studying, so I figured we'd at least start watching and see what Lexie and Ashlyn thought.

They LOVED this video!!! They loved all of it! When we'd watched all three parts of it, they asked "is there more?" What better endorsement can you ask for from tweens?

Part 1, on the Dead Sea Scrolls did NOT disappoint. Even after the books we've read about the Essenes of  Qumran, this presentation still taught us more and clarified things that were unclear in the stories we'd read. Additionally, it was fascinating to see all the work that was required to turn these well known "scrolls", that were really tiny fragments of parchment, into something that helped to validate the Old Testament scriptures.

While they thoroughly enjoyed, all three parts, I think both would agree that their favorite part was part 2. They were completely fascinated and enthralled by Dr. Seekins' explainations about the Ancient Hebrew language. As we were watching it, they asked? Does he teach Hebrew? I want to learn Hebrew from HIM! It is a truly fascinating presentation! I have to admit, I also found myself wishing he taught MORE about this amazing ancient language!

I plan to re-visit part 3 in a few months, when we are learning about the Reformation in history, but even with it being "ahead" of our current studies, it was an interesting, well-done presentation.

While no specific age range is mentioned for these videos, I think, unless you have a child who has a burning interest in the topic(s), these would generally be best for teens and adults. My 11 year olds LOVED the videos but they love history and are fascinated by these topics, if they had only a passing interest, I think they would have been turned off by the simple presentation. That said, I urge you, and your teens, to look past that simplicity, because the information presented in this DVD is truly fascinating! I look forward to reading my fellow crew mates' reviews (click the banner below), to see if the other videos offered for review are as good as this one, if so, I may be adding a few to our Christmas list!

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