'Back to the Beginning': Moses and the Burning Bush

Part 1: Christiane Amanpour's journey takes her a monastery said to house the real biblical bush.
9:06 | 12/28/12

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Transcript for 'Back to the Beginning': Moses and the Burning Bush
christiane amanpour. We're thrilled to have you join us on a great adventure a trip across the ancient world as he plot the secrets and the mysteries of the stories of the bible. Hello, I'm christiane amanpour. And the stories from genesis to ju sus still today have the power to comfort us, to guide us, to cause us to go to war and also to make peace. Today, jews, christians and muslims revere the same tortured, often brave, fallible heros that stride across the pages of this book. As our journey continues, we headed east into the sinai desert, following the trail of yet another complicated biblical hero, moses. Wanted for murdering a slave driver who was beating up a worker. The bible says he fled this way to flea the death senn sense. We are heading to the red sea. People waited for the results of their recent presidential elections. Authorities were losing control of this remote region. They are around here, they have been attacking vehicles as they go through the sinai a part of political confusion in egypt. Our guide has put on a head scarf to blend in more and he is also carrying a gun. Wait, you have a gun? Yeah. When was the last time someone was kidnapped? Last night. Okay, you nervous, kids? Why are we stopping? Suddenly, our driver pulled over in the middle of nowhere to have a chat with a local bedwin. Seems everyone knows one another and gossip travels far. What he did say? He said that we are going to be okay. Okay, we're safe? Yeah, yeah, we are safe. With our peace of mind restored, we avooifed at st. Catherine's monastery, tucked in the region where the bible says moses finally stopped running. A place called midian. People come here and they are astonished how stark everything is. We are welcomed by a texan, by birth. You mous v must have had so many pilgrims here. What do you think they take away? You have to be away from the distractions and the routines of modern life to really become aware of god's presence. According to the bible and the koran, who names him the prophet musa, this is where moses met a girl and became a shepherd, a man who would go on to lead the exodus. But as the bible tells us, his time as a shepherd was a perfect preparation for what was to come. Being a shepherd preparing him for being a shepherd of a community, not only of cattle. Meanwhile, far away on the banks on the river nile, the bible saps the israelites were still enslaved by the pair row, building his grand pal lances and temples. After awhile, the baseball says they were fed up and began to grow to the gods nchth jews had been at the forefront of almost every social justice movement of the 20th centry. You look at the civil rights marches, there were often jews in the first row and second row. And I think there was a straight line in exodus to that. The idea that we speak up. It seems god heard their cries. The bible says that moses, who was living in peace and quiet, then got the surprise of his life. And everything is peachy keen until one day he notices a bush that seems to be on fire, and yet, it's not consumed. And from that bush comes the voice of god. And according to tro tra decision, that miraculous bush is still right here today. There'urning bush. What is the structure around it? It had to be enclosed when the area was engulfed with pilgrims. And people tried to take it away, like a relic? It's hard to reach. The father tells us that st. Catherine, one of the oldest monasteries in the world, been protecting the bush for 15 centuries dmoch you believe it's the burning bush? We believe that christians picked up the tradition that this is the place where god revealed himself in such an extraordinary way. It was in that moment that god revealed his name, yawea. This is where he said, go down moses and let me people go. God signals to him he has to be the leader of the jews. And his first response is, effectively, I don't want to be. Or it would behind good at it. He's an unsure leader. Don't pick me, god. How many of us would say, no, not me, not me. But it turns out, there was another figure in ancient egypt who didn't hesitate to give everything up who follow the path of what he believes was the true god. Far away from the ancient royal capitals of luxor, archaeologists have discovered the lost city of amarna. Akhenaten was the pharaoh who built the city, and his thought of one god shook ancient egypt to his core. Rawya. What is a nice name, rawya. Thank you. Rawya says that when akhenaten gave up the comfort of his palaces along the fertile fweat and moved to this place, it was an act of devotion to his one god. Why did he come here? What kind of outliar was he? The idea was to find a place that was never used by another other god to be a virgin, heaz called it. At first glance, we couldn't see much. But then a caretaker arrived to open a padlocked door and led us into one of the most beautiful tombs we have seen so far. Even thousands of years later, the walls are covered with akhenaten's message of mono theoism. The influence is one god. Yeah, the main idea, one god is responsible for everything. He looks after us under beneath and in the resurrection. No another tomb of the sight, rawya shows us on inscription of the famous hymn to the god aten. It's similar to psalm 104 from the old testament of the bible. A psalm that is often attributed to king david. Connections lead to you believe certain things about moses. As an archaeologist, maybe not. I believe that he is from the koran, because these type of words believe, no matter what you call the power. Whatever. It's one at the end. And in all these religious traditions, judaism, christianity and islam, moses finally answered god's call and headed home to face down the pharaoh.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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