Culture Current

Hey there Delilah

The real face of Delilah?
The real face of Delilah?

A woman’s naked back flashes across the screen. A servant massages her with oil, then starts applying an ancient form of make-up upon her face. In a room lit only by a few candles, Middle Eastern guitar music plays in the background while the narrator talks about the power of her seduction.

Who knew the Bible could be so sexy?

Biblical Forensics: Real Faces of the Bible is a four-part series that premiered on Vision TV on April 8. In the program, ancient skulls are reconstructed into sculptural and digital representations of what the owner of the skull actually looked like.

The first episode features the skull of a Philistine woman who is around the same age and lived at the same time as Delilah, the Bible’s infamous femme fatale.

You might recognize the host of the show, David Berman, as the actor who plays the head researcher on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. I didn’t, but Biblical Forensics likes to remind the audience of his celebrity every so often. I found myself being amused yet annoyed by him; his constant awe of the archeologists, historians and artists he’s interviewing gets a bit tedious. But I must admit, his khaki pants and aviator Ray Ban sunglasses are slightly endearing.

Not that Berman isn’t justified in his appreciation for science. Science is cool. And the machine they used to create a replica of the skull, and the digital design work that goes into reconstructing a virtual face is pretty awesome.

Biblical Forensics also mixes in dramatizations about Samson’s demise, bringing to life the Bible story we’ve all heard in Sunday school. The vignettes keep me interested, and teach me new things about Philistine and Jewish culture.

It takes me about half-way through the program to get me hooked. During the first half, I am only marginally interested; I keep wondering why Berman continues to refer to the skull as being Delilah’s, when everyone knows it’s probably not her. But whether it was the head of the notorious temptress or not, Biblical Forensics makes me want to find out what that mystery woman looks like. It does a good job of capturing the viewer’s attention and creating suspense, and makes me want to watch until the end.

Would I watch this show again? Maybe.

But my dad sure would like it. I think I’ll call him and tell him about it.



Monday, April 8 at 9:00 PM ET


Monday, April 15 at 9:00 PM ET


Monday April 22 at 9:00 p.m. ET


Monday, April 29 @ 9:00 p.m. ET