Pulp Facts

Pulp Facts : The Ark of the Covenant

Indiana: That's it. 

[they all look at an illustration of the Hebrews devastating their enemy with the Ark

Major Eaton: Good God! 

Brody: Yes, that's just what the Hebrews thought. 

Colonel Musgrove: [pointing to a beam of light] Uh, now what's that supposed to be coming out of there? 

Indiana: Lightning. Fire. Power of God or something. 

Major Eaton: I'm beginning to understand Hitler's interest in this. 

Brody: Oh, yes. The Bible speaks of the Ark leveling mountains and laying waste to entire regions. An army which carries the Ark before it... is invincible.     - Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

While the Ark of the Covenant remains a lost artifact of biblical times, it gained fame  and became a pop icon through the blockbuster movie ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark.  While there is actually no record in the bible of it actually ‘leveling mountains’ there is some very interesting records of it written in the Holy Bible. 

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The first is when the nation of Israel was crossing the Jordan river to enter into their ‘Promised Land’. As soon as the priests who were carrying the ark touched the flooded waters edge with their feet, the water stopped flowing from upstream allowing the people of Israel (including 40,000 armed soldiers to cross over on dry land) As soon as the people had crossed and  priests who had remained with the ark in the middle of the dry river bed made it to the other side, the river water flooded back in. 

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Once they had crossed into the land of Canaan, they came to the city of Jericho. 

The leader Joshua received his God given instructions which was to take the city by marching around  with the ark of the covenant every day for six days, and on the seventh day march around seven times with priests blowing trumpets. 

This is exactly what they did, with the result of the city walls falling down on the final blast of the trumpets and as the Israelites raise a war cry. The city of Jericho was stormed by the Israelites who then destroyed every living thing in the city (men, women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys) except for the prostitute Rahab, and her household who had helped protect two Israelite spies, and therefore  their lives were spared. 


Pulp Facts : Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana: The Ark of the Covenant, the chest that the Hebrews used to carry around the Ten Commandments. 

Major Eaton: What, you mean THE Ten Commandments? 

Indiana: Yes, the actual Ten Commandments, the original stone tablets that Moses brought down from Mt. Horeb and smashed, if you believe in that sort of thing... 

[the officers stare at him blankly

Indiana: Didn't any of you guys ever go to Sunday school?  - Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

I remember as a 9 year old boy I was watching a daytime TV show, where they showed a short clip to promote a new film about to be released called ‘Raiders of the lost ark’.   The clip showed a rugged looking man who I recognised as the actor who played Han Solo in Star Wars. Here he was, Indiana Jones,  in a worn leather jacket and a hat standing in front of a golden idol, picking it up and putting a bag of sand in its place. As he turns away, the bag of sand starts to push down the stand that it is on, triggering the collapse of the surrounding cave. The walls start crumbling in, and Indy runs across with hundreds of darts shooting at him. He gets to a pit and called out to the man across a pit, ‘Give me the whip’. Indy replied, ‘Throw me the idol.’ A stone barrier starts to descend from the roof. ‘No time to argue! Throw me idol, I’ll throw you the whip’ so he threw a gold idol to the man across the pit saying ‘Give me the whip!’, but the man across the pit drops the whip on the ground and says ‘Adios, senor.‘   Indy is left to try and jump across the pit, instead of swinging across on the whip. He falls short, grabbing onto the ledge with his hands. He grabs onto a vine, smiling momentarily until the vine starts to break away from the ground it is in. The scrambles and manages to roll under the descending stone wall, putting his hand back to grab the whip just before the wall comes down. 

 

I thought ‘Wow’, this is the best action sequence I have ever seen. I just had to see this movie.  As a nine year old, I love to read Biggles adventure stories, and loved watching the old Tarzan movies, and westerns.    

Indiana Jones was actually nothing new, he was the sum of all the adventure/action stars of the B grade movies and pulp fiction novels, put into a one guy, which I think is why it  struck such a chord with me and millions of others who fell in love with the character of Indiana Jones. 

The character of ‘Indy’, was an archeologist who searched the world for ancient relics. In the film ‘Raiders’, he is recruited to find the Ark of the Covenant. 

The history of the subject matter of ‘Raiders’, one of the greatest pulp action films of all time, is actually found in the Bible. In the book of Exodus, the ark was built according to the instructions given to Moses, during his encounter with God. 

It was upon the Ark of the Covenant that the very presence of God would manifest, bringing a power that was revealed and written about in many other parts of the Bible. This Ark has become a part of Western Pop culture through Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it is more than a legend if you take the writings of Moses as a valid historical document. 

Pulp Facts : Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Ronnie Neary: All right, everybody to bed! 

Toby Neary: No, wait! Dad said we could watch The Ten Commandments! 

Ronnie Neary: Roy, that movie is four hours long. 

Roy Neary: I said they could watch the five commandments.  

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

What if the most powerful being in not only the entire universe, but also every dimension of time and space, were to have an encounter on planet earth with people or a person. What would this look like? What message would this being bring? Throughout our history of pop culture we people have fantasied about close encounters with aliens and beings from across space. 

 It is within the pages of the Holy Bible, that we can find a large scale encounter with a being from another dimension, that scared the living daylights out of the people who  witnessed it. 

It took place on Mount Sinai, when the creator of the universe ‘LORD’, descended in fire, covering the mountain in smoke. The mountain shook, and the sound of a trumpet grew louder and louder. Moses was the man who spoke, and the voice of God answered him. 

This is when a moral code, commonly known as ‘The 10 commandments’ was given to humanity during this unprecedented close encounter. 

 

 

 

 

Pulp Facts : Fantastic Stories

Only time can teach us what is truth and what is legend. Some truths do not survive the ages...10,00 B.C. (2008)

The hero of the story has freed hundreds of thousands of slaves, in fact, a whole nation of people; freed from their lives of forced labour making pyramids and the other wonders of Egypt. They flee across the desert and as they approach the Red Sea, they realise they are trapped. On one side is the Egyption army pursuing them on chariots. The other side is the ocean.  It is a 'cliff hanger' of a tale........will they die under the hand of the Egyptians? How will they escape their predicament?
Then, in one of the most unbelievable twists, the hero of the story raise his shepherds staff and the waters of the Red sea are blown apart, creating a dry path to cross the sea. The Egyptians who follow them are then swept away, as the waters come flooding back. 

This sounds like something that belongs in an old ‘fantastic story’ pulp fiction magazine, but it is actually found in the Holy Bible. 

The fact is, that millions of people around the world believe this to be a true story. Are people really so gullible? Do people really have that much trouble distinguishing fact from fiction?  Or are they on to something? Is it possible that God Almighty revealed his power in a way that would be remembered and talked about throughout history?  If it is a myth at what point in history did it start getting propagated and by whom? 

What do you think? Send me your thoughts by twitter or comment below. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pulp Facts : Amazing Stories

Your ancestors called it magic....but you call it science. I come from a land where they are one and the same. Thor 2011

There is a story of a man who had powers that had never before been demonstrated in the history of humanity. Supernatural powers, that enabled him to turn a wooden staff into a snake, and the power to turn the largest river in Africa into blood. This story is not out of an old pulp ‘Amazing Stories’ magazine, but it is from the ‘Holy Bible’. In my opinion, it is where the bible takes weird to a whole new level.

 The man is Moses, and for  40 years Moses had  led a fairly uneventful life, as a shepherd watching over sheep in  desert regions.  Then one day he is sent on a mission from God, after God had appeared to him in the form of a burning bush. 

To help him on his mission he is given some signs to prove he has been sent from God. His mission :  to lead the nation of Israel out of their slavery in Egypt.  Firstly, a supernatural sign was that he could throw his staff on the ground, and it turned into a snake.  Then by picking the snake up by the tale, it turned back into a staff.  Another bizzare sign that he could perform was placing his hand inside his cloak and it would turn leprous, and then putting it back in his cloak and it is restored to normal. 

 

God also gave Moses a number of other tricks up his sleeve, in order to convince Pharaoh to let the slave nation of Israel be freed. Things escalated to the point of all the first born of the Egyptions and their livestock were killed. The list of amazing signs and wonders Moses performed are as follows: 

  1. Turning the Nile River into Blood
  2. Sending a plague of Frogs 
  3. Sending a plague of Gnats 
  4. Sending a plague of Flies 
  5. Sending a plague on livestock 
  6. Sending a plague of boils 
  7. Sending a plague of hail
  8. Sending a plague of locusts
  9. Sending darkeness over the land
  10. Death to the firstborn. 

So that is how the story goes. Get hold of a bible and read the full story for yourself.   Then you can to decide for yourself whether it is pulp fiction or pulp fact.  Is it a myth or is it truth. 

 If it is fact, then it means that God is one powerful and awesome God, and maybe it is time to give him some more time. 

 

 

Pulp Facts : Weird Tales

And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend; legend became myth. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) 

Many people avoid reading the Bible. They see it as a ‘holy book’, that is too high and lofty for them to read, and they would rather read something like a pulp fiction novel. Surprisingly though, the Bible sometimes reads like a pulp fiction novel! 

 If you take the second book in the Bible called Exodus, the first page has a violent murder by the hand of Moses, and the following page has a weird story, like something out of an old fantasy magazine, the story of the burning bush.  

What happened after murdering an Egyptian, Moses had fled in fear to the Deserts of Midian, where he married a girl there, and became a shepherd of sheep for 40 years. 

 For most people, this would be game over. Watching sheep day after day, and dying as an insignificant person. 

But something happened to moses, that changed not only the course of his life, but the course of history.  Moses the  forgotten shepherd, would become a great leader of a nation. His fame would spread throughout the world. In 1956 the top grossing film of that year was centered on his life story. After inflation, it would be the 5th highest grossing film in America of all time! 

The story starts off quite normal, with moses watching his sheep. But then it gets really more than a little weird.  A bush was on fire, but did not burn up. Within the flames was the angel of the LORD. Then the LORD started talking to him from the bush, and telling him to go back to Egypt and to set his people free from their slavery. 

What can explain this phenomenon?

 Did the creator of the universe penetrate through time and space to somewhere on Mount Horeb and appear as a ghostly flame on a bush, that defied physics as did not consume the bush?  Did the creator of the universe actually speak to Moses from this flame and send him on a mission to lead a nation out of slavery? 

You may dismiss this as a legend, or a myth, but  literally hundreds of millions of people around the world believe this to be a fact!  Could it have really happened?  This moment which was the turning point of Moses life. He needed something to wake him up from his acceptance of mediocrity, and to fulfill his true calling. 

 Maybe one day, a ‘turning point’ will appear before you in your life. A ‘burning bush’, maybe not literally, but metaphorically something will wake you up to a different reality and point you towards your true calling. 

Maybe your already have your own burning bush? A fire in your heart that never quenches, that is calling you to a higher purpose?  If so, it is time to step out in faith today!