Acorn Media // 1988 // 363 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 17th, 2010
A global search for the roots of the Bible.
Much like the evidence shown in these documentaries, Testament, the sprawling seven-part series from 1988, has been unearthed, repackaged and put on display.
Written and directed by archaeologist John Romer, the series tackles the history of the Bible and, eventually, Christianity. Seven episodes, three discs, totaling 363 minutes:
* "Once Upon a Time"
Jumping into the excavation of Mesopotamia and Egypt, Romer peels away the nitty-gritty of the Pentateuch.
* "Chronicles and Kings"
Jericho gets the shovel-treatment, as Romer talks about the glory of Israel's heyday.
* "Mightier than the Sword"
The Babylonian exile and Alexander's conquest brought the Jews to the international stage and infused Biblical history with Greek influences.
* "Gospel Truth"
Romer hangs around the Capernaum excavation, to try and piece together the historical Jesus.
* "Thine is the Kingdom"
A look at the shockwaves felt by Christianity and the world when Constantine made it Rome's official religion.
* "Power and Glory"
Romer examines the effects of the barbarian sacking of Rome and the struggles of the cast-off priests to keep the conversion train rolling.
* "Paradise Lost"
What does the Bible's influence look like today?
Despite its dated look and the possibility that new research may offer clarifying or contradictory scholarly deductions from Romer's conclusions -- I, for one, think he's off with his assessment on when the Gospels were written -- Testament: The Complete Series still offers a massive haul of information. It is a valuable resource to anyone interested in Biblical history and Romer is fine host, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his material.
Athena's set is attractively packaged with three slim cases holding the DVDs and eye-pleasing cover art. And if you're wondering why I just wrote that sentence it's because there's not much else worthy of bringing up: a mediocre full frame transfer, stereo sound, and some text-based extras.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Acorn Media
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 363 Minutes
Release Year: 1988
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Text Features