How Jesus became a God: A Four Hour PBS Documentary

Epigraph:

“The Originator of the heavens and the earth! How can He have a son when He has no consort, and when He has created everything and has knowledge of all things?” (Al Quran 6:102)

Source: PBS

“From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians” tells the epic story of the rise of Christianity. Explore the life and death of Jesus, and the men and women whose belief, conviction, and martyrdom created the religion we now know as Christianity.
Drawing upon historical evidence, the series challenges familiar assumptions and conventional notions about Christian origins. Archaeological finds have yielded new understandings of Jesus’ class and social status; fresh interpretations have transformed earlier ideas about the identity of the early Christians and their communities.

Through engaging on-camera interviews with twelve scholars–New Testament theologians, archaeologists, and historians–the series presents their contributions to this intellectual revolution. For example they talk about the quest for the historical Jesus – what can we really know? And how do we know it?

The scholars together represent a range of viewpoints and diversity of faiths and a shared commitment to bring new ways of thinking about Christianity to a public audience. They discuss the value in a historical approach to Jesus and the Bible and whether Christian faith can be reconciled with such an approach. Examine how Judaism and the Roman empire shaped Jesus’ life. Jesus was an ordinary Jewish resident of his time, but new archaeological findings show that Jesus was probably not the humble class. Nazareth, where he grew up, was about four miles from the cosmopolitan urban center of Sepphoris, one of the Roman provincial cities While Rome defined one dimension of Jesus’ world, the other was symbolized by the great Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus was born, lived, and died a Jew, and he was influenced by the diversity and tensions of Judaism at that time.

Jesus was most likely arrested and executed by Roman authorities whose principal concern was to keep peace in the empire Rome had little tolerance for those it judged disruptive of the Pax Romana, (Roman peace) punishing them in many ways, including crucifixion.

The ‘death’ of Jesus was a Roman act; there was little if any notice taken by Jewish people. Jesus was another victim of the Pax Romana.

The story of the first attempts to write the life of Jesus–the Gospels:

The Gospels were products of social and religious reconstruction in the period after the war, ranging from roughly 70 to after 100 C.E. The program looks at how these stories were passed down before they were written. And how the writing of each Gospel reflects the experiences and circumstances of early Christians. They do not all tell the same story of Jesus because each one is responding to a different audience and circumstances. For example, Matthew’s gospel is clearly written for a Jewish Christian audience; it is the most Jewish of all the gospels.
During this time, a growing tension appeared between the emergent Christian groups and their Jewish neighbors. The result was a process of debate, identity, and separation that shaped both religious traditions forever. And there were still other external forces, including a second, devastating Jewish war, the Bar Kochbah revolt, which erupted in 132 C.E.

Reference:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/

We have saved the above documentary in the Muslim Times as well:

Categories: Catholicism

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