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Biblical Mysteries: Sodom and Gomorrah

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44 minutes (2001)
by Goldhil Video, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360.

Biblical Mysteries: Sodom and Gomorrah documents the fascinating search for the sin cities. Could they be buried at the bottom of the Dead Sea? This compelling NBC prime-time special, featuring scholar Mike Sanders, leads us on an exploration to the depths of the salty Dead Sea in the same Delta mini-submarine used to explore the wreck of the liner Lusitania. The viewer almost becomes part of the team in energetic search for evidence of the location of the ancient Biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
To some skeptics the Biblical tale of the two "sin cities" is metaphorical, but Sanders' belief - possibly supported by new evidence derived from NASA satellite photography showing anomalies on the floor of the Dead Sea - is that the cities not only existed, but their location might be found today. It took years of negotiations for Sanders to obtain clearance from the Israel army, the Jordanians and the Palestinians to search for the ruins at one of the most tension-packed places on earth. However, limited access was permitted, and we join the dive to the sea floor to uncover some compelling evidence buried in the salt. The search is still not over, but the initial evidence that the program presents could mark a critical step forward.

And Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah....Genesis 13:10

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Review

This video documents Mike Sanders' search for the locations of Sodom and Gomorrah beneath the Dead Sea.

People have long wondered about the locations of Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities of Genesis 19 that were destroyed because of their immorality. These should serve as an object lesson to those who would flaunt God's standards, and would give emphasis to the biblical account if their locations could be verified.

Three main areas for the locations of the five cities of the plain [1] (Genesis 14:2) have been proposed: north of the Dead Sea, under the Dead Sea, and south of the Dead Sea. Maps from 1650 AD show the cities underneath the Sea. In 1994 the Space Shuttle Endeavor used radar to map the bottom of the Dead Sea. The radar returns showed some anomalies toward the center of the Sea, which some have speculated might be the remains of the ancient cities. Mike Sanders used a mini-submarine, the Delta, to try to identify the anomalies. There were two main areas of interest. They found nothing at the first one; the second one lies on the border between Israel and Jordan, and he was unable to get permission from the Jordanian military to cross over to their side. However he was able to investigate it briefly. There were some sort of structures there, mounds on an otherwise flat sea bottom. But they are so encrusted with salt it was impossible to tell whether they are natural or manmade.

So the investigation was inconclusive.

Personally, I think a more likely area for the cities is on the south side of the Dead Sea. Dr. Steven Austin of Institute for Creation Research, in a joint investigation with the Associates for Biblical Research investigated this region in their "Cities of the Plain Project." They based their conclusion that the cities are south of the Dead Sea on the Madaba Map, a sixth century mosaic located in a church in Madaba, Jordan. They also did on-site investigation and found evidences of burned cities. I don't believe These results have been published to date.

Bruceb 18:55, 7 Apr 2005 (GMT)

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