Monday, February 25, 2013

Video Review: What's in the Bible? Vol. 9 - God Speaks!


Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Covers a lot of ground very well while holding attention
Cons: More data means less entertainment
The Bottom Line:
Finishing OT
With all seventeen prophets
In logical way




17 Books and a Recap? This is a Packed Edition of What's in the Bible?

After the first few volumes of Phil Vischer's What's in the Bible? series, I wasn't convinced he'd manage to finish his introduction to the Bible in 13 volumes.  But after watching him finish the Old Testament in Volume 9: God Speaks!, I think he might just do it.

This one hour entry in the series tackles the 17 books of the prophets.  As always, there are two, roughly 25 minutes each.  The first part is more an introduction to these books.  Phil and his band of puppets explain such things as what a prophet is (and how it is different from a profit), when and where they lived in the history we've already learned, and what kind of oracles they gave.

Yes, that means that all 17 books are covered in the second part, which is actually closer to 30 minutes.  A few of the more familiar books are given more time, like Daniel and Jonah.  But we do get a brief introduction to the contents of all 17 of these books and what their main themes are.

But wait - we aren't done yet.  After a summary of the prophets (with Sunday School Lady leading us on rap), we get a summary of everything we've learn through the Old Testament.  Okay, so it's only a couple minutes and more focused on history than lessons, but it is a good reminder of where we are and what has happened.  Moments from the previous DVD's popped into my mind as I watched.  And I would rather they focused on new content than extensive summary in every disc (that was actually something I was complaining about early on).

Normally, at this point, I'd talk about how entertaining the video is.  That would be the one point where this one falls flat.  There is so much ground to cover that the jokes and banter between the characters is kept to a minimum.  There is more of it in the first half, but the second half is down to business as we learn about the prophets and what they said.  It's the driest of the DVD's so far, but that's the hazard of having to cover so much ground at once.  And, honestly, I think this is the best approach to covering the material.  Breaking it up over two discs would require almost as much work since they'd have to remind us of the groundwork.

Now this isn't to say there aren't some chuckles and a few laughs along the way.  Between all the puppets, we get a few grins and chuckles even when the pedal is to the medal.  Plus we see the return of a puppet we haven't seen for a while and learn who is a Trekkie.  Yep, they go there.

And I can't really fault the disc for this since they handled so much ground so well.  The prophets are not an area that gets covered on a regular basis, so most of it isn't super familiar to anyone.  Thanks to some of their graphics and the summaries, I felt I had a better handle on these books than I've had in a while.  The information is presented clearly and that's saying something when you are covering so much ground.

So What's in the Bible? God Speaks! isn't the most entertaining entry in the series, but it does still keep your attention as it covers a lot of ground.

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