Documentary presented by Anglican priest Pete Owen Jones which explores the huge number of ancient Christian texts that didn’t make it into the New Testament. Shocking and challenging, these were works in which Jesus didn’t die, took revenge on his enemies and kissed Mary Magdalene on the mouth – a Jesus unrecognisable from that found in the traditional books of the New Testament.
Pete travels through Egypt and the former Roman Empire looking at the emerging evidence of a Christian world that’s very different to the one we know, and discovers that aside from the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, there were over seventy gospels, acts, letters and apocalypses, all circulating in the early Church.
Through these lost Gospels, Pete reconstructs the intense intellectual and political struggles for orthodoxy that was fought in the early centuries of Christianity, a battle involving different Christian sects, each convinced that their gospels were true and sacred.
The worldwide success of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code sparked new interest, as well as wild and misguided speculation about the origins of the Christian faith. Owen Jones sets out the context in which heretical texts like the Gospel of Mary emerged. He also strikes a cautionary note – if these lost gospels had been allowed to flourish, Christianity may well have faced an uncertain future, or perhaps not survived at all.
Based on Karen Armstrong’s acclaimed book, this feature-length film guides viewers along one of humanity’s most elusive quests.
For over 4,000 years, adherents of the world’s monotheistic faiths have wrestled with the question of God. This extraordinary, feature-length film, based on Karen Armstrong’s acclaimed book of the same name, traces that elusive and fascinating quest.
A History of God examines the familiar images of deity as presented in the Bible and Koran and traces the evolution and interrelation of the various Christian, Jewish, and Islamic interpretations of the divine figure. Through balanced analysis of historic and holy texts and extensive use of ancient art and artifacts, we’ll follow the long road to today’s understanding of God and what the journey–and the destination–have to tell us about humanity and its never-ending search for meaning and comfort.
From the time of Abraham to the present, this is a thought-provoking look at the God at the heart of the world’s three great monotheistic religions
In this landmark two-hour special, NOVA takes viewers on a scientific journey that began 3,000 years ago and continues today. The film presents the latest archeological scholarship from the Holy Land to explore the beginnings of modern religion and the origins of the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Old Testament. This archeological detective story tackles some of the biggest questions in biblical studies: Where did the ancient Israelites come from? Who wrote the Bible, when, and why? How did the worship of one God—the foundation of modern Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—emerge?
Robert Beckford learned the Bible at his mother’s knee and grew up believing that it was literally true.
But, 20 years on from his Baptist upbringing, Beckford is no longer so sure that ‘the good book’ is the pure, unadulterated word of God untouched by human hand.
For Beckford, who wrote the Bible matters more today than perhaps at any other moment in living memory.
His journey takes him from Birmingham to the West Bank, from Jerusalem to Turkey, and from Rome to Bible Belt America.
Can we find the Garden of Eden? Bible scholar Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou thinks so. In the final episode of her series re-examining conventional readings of the Bible, she argues that the Garden of Eden has nothing to do with the origins of humanity, but is rather a story concealing dramatic events about a particular figure in a particular place, two and half thousand years ago.
Marshalling compelling evidence from archaeology, Islam and the Bible text itself, she identifies and visits the exact site of Eden.
It’s a revolutionary theory which challenges some of the most cherished preconceptions about Eden in both Christianity and western culture.
Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou asks whether the ancient Israelites believed in one God as the Bible claims.
She puts the Bible text under the microscope, examining what the original Hebrew said, and explores archaeological sites in Syria and the Sinai, which are shedding new light on the beliefs of the people of the Bible.
Was the God of Abraham unique? Were the ancient Israelites polytheists? And is it at all possible, that God had another half?
part 3 coming next week
Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou goes on the trail of the Biblical King David and his fabled empire. A national hero and icon for the Jewish people, and a divine king for Christians, David is best known as the boy-warrior who defeated the Philistine giant Goliath. As king, he united the tribes of Israel. But did he really rule over a vast Israelite kingdom? Did he even exist?
Stavrakopoulou visits key archaeological excavations where ground-breaking finds are being unearthed, and examines evidence for and against the Biblical account of King David. She explores the former land of the Philistines, home of the giant Goliath, and ruins in the north of Israel and in old Jerusalem itself purporting to be remains of David’s empire.
episode 2 coming next week