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From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians


4 episodes, 60 minutes each
Source: PBS Video

This collection tells the epic story of the rise of Christianity. Through interviews with twelve scholars—New Testament theologians, archaeologists, and historians—the series explores the lives of Jesus and the early Christians.

  1. The Life of Jesus:
    The first segment traces the life of Jesus, exploring the message that helped his ministry grow and the events that led to his crucifixion. Born in the reign of Emperor Augustus in the Pax Romana--the Roman Peace--Jesus was a subject of the Roman Empire. This first hour looks at how scholars and archaeologists have pieced together a new portrait of where Jesus was born, how he lived, and who he was.

  2. The Beginnings of the Jesus Movement:
    The second segment turns from the life of Jesus to the period that followed his death, examining the rise of Christianity and concluding with the First Revolt, the bloody and violent siege of Jerusalem and the beginning of a rift between Christianity and Judaism. The film explores the views of Jesus' followers who interpreted Jesus and his teachings in different ways because of their diversity and the differences in their cultures and languages.

  3. The Development of the Gospels:
    The third segment examines the period after the First Revolt, tracing the development and impact of the Gospels, looking at the increasingly hostile relationship between the Christians and the Jews. The hour concludes with the Bar Kochbah revolt, in 132 C.E.

  4. The Christian Movement in the Second and Third Centuries:
    The final segment documents the events of the second and third centuries, when Christianity grew from a small Jewish sect to an official religion of the Roman Empire.

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