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tv   Finding Jesus Faith Fact Forgery  CNN  March 19, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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begins tomorrow morning at 9:00. itill be anchored by wolf blitzer and jake tapper. james comey is the headliner. will he testify about whether president trump was wiretapped by president obama, a claim for which there is no evidence. what will he say? we'll find out. i'm john berman. goodnight. nazareth, 2015, one of the greatest discoveries of the century is revealed to the world. could this be the remains of the childhood home of jesus? >> that is entirely possible. >> were these ancient artifacts, the personal belongings of his mother, mary? >> we do know that it was a
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house of the kind that mary and joseph could have lived in. >> i personally think it's very possible this was the childhood home of jesus. >> and what might the childhood of jesus tell us about jesus the man? >> we are looking at such an important part of human history. according to to the gospels, jesus spent his childhood in the village of nazareth, in the region of galilee. today, nazareth is a bustling city of more than 70,000 people in northern israel.
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here, in a deep cellar beneath a 19th century convent lie the remains of what may prove to be one of the extraordinary discoveries ever made. the very home in which jesus was raised. >> if this were in fact the childhood home of jesus. it would allow us to picture the world that will jesus came from in a way that no other discovery has. >> how people fed themselves. what people worked at. the political and the economic circumstances would give us a greater appreciation of who this jesus is. >> the discorey of jesus' house in nazareth reminds us that jesus lived it a real life. he wasn't mythical, he lived in real life in a real place, in a real home. >> to be able to fill in something from the context in which he grew up would be very,
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very exciting. >> for the english archaeologist who made the discovery, it's the find of a lifetime. >> i don't expect that i will ever again work on site which isoth so fascinating and catches the imagination of quite so many people around the world. >> first uncovered in the 19th century, the true significance of this site was ignored by mainstream archaeology for more than 100 years. only when ken dark began investigating in 2006 did career evidence emerge from the dust. the ruins of a first century jewish house. was this simple home where jesus spent the formative years of his life? >> it was originally --
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>> for cannon john peterson, it's confirmation of an ancient christian tradition. >> it's not only exciting and special, but it is mystical because one enters into dealing with the questions of where did the holy family live? isn't this exciting though to be able to think that we are looking at such an important part of human history at this point? >> yes. >> it's possible that this house is the real deal because we have to remember that mary was alive during much of the period of the early church. and would have passed down the memory of where these places were to the disciples who would have venerated them and passed them down further. >> the gospel of mark, the oldest of the gospels, starts its account of jesus' life when he meets the john the baptist. what happens during his
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childhood is a mystery. >> it's a matter of just speculation as to what the early years of jesus were like since none of the gospels tell us anything about that. >> the new testament tells us very little about jesus' childhood years. these are the missing years of jesus. so to get an idea of jesus as a child and to find out about the world in which he lived, we have to look to archaeology, we have to look to history outside of what the gospels tell us. >> one of the very few gospel stories about jesus' childhood describes mary and joseph's journey to nazareth from egypt after the death of herod the great. >> according to to the gospel of matthew, they don't go because the son is ruling there and he's even more of a tyrant than his father. >> so instead they go to nazareth, which was, according to luke, mary's childhood home.
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>> when matthew has the family coming back from the flight into egypt, it really is a moment where the story shifts over to mary's world. >> jesus will spend the next 30 years of his life living in nazareth. >> the town of nazareth in the first century 80 is a mystery. we know nothing about it before the fir century a very little about it in the first century a.d. >> nazareth was a very small village. so small it doesn't show up in any of the literature of the day. and it's peasant society, it was all commutal, and they didn't have much. >> something i think we have to remember about mary returning to nazareth is that in judaism, the glory of womanhood is having children, and coming back with your first son is really a
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wonderful moment for her. and it's a sign of favor in the eyes of god. >> the family making their home in nazareth is one of the last things reported in the gospels about jesus' early life. is this archaeological site in the modern day city the place where he spent those missing years? >> you can't understand jesus if you do not understand the cultural situation in which jesus lived. and of course the rootage of that is here. in this home. what is the "verizon way"?
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nazareth, israel. found here may be the uncovered ruin of the childhood home of jesus christ. the story goes back more than a century. in 1881, a congregation of nuns called the sisters of nazareth take possession of this site and build their convent on it. they discover that underground there are remnants of something. but they don't know what. >> i have the keys of the kingdom with me. >> they were told at the time that it was the site of a great church and that a burial of a saint lay on that ground.
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but these were just local stories and i'm not sure anybody really believed those. >> in 2006, british archaeologist ken dark conducts a routine inspection of the cellar and gets the surprise of his life. >> i went over to the sisters of nazareth convent and to my great surprise, instead of a small locker or two, there was a huge cellar of archaeological features including what was immediately apparent was an undiscovered cave church. i naturally was amazed to see archaeological features of which mainstream archaeology had been unaware. >> theremains occued a large section of one-half of the cellar. but who built it and how old it
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was remained a mystery. >> i began to look through pilgrimage accounts to see if there was any evidence for this large building, and whether any of them told us what this church was dedicated to. >> the description is called the sacred locations. >> in addition to the biblical account, we actually only have a seventh century pilgrims account, and he says that there stood two churches. one which was built over the childhood home of jesus, and the other big church in the center of nazareth, the church of the annunciation. >> today, the church of the
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annunciation still stands in t center of nazareth, attracting tens of thousands of visitors a year. >> this is the traditional spot where the angel gabriel was believed to announced to mary that she was about to give birth to the messiah. >> as the mother of jesus, mary occupied the special place in the hearts of many christians. >> mary is really the closest to god. she is known as the queen of heaven and is foremost among all of the saints. >> mary's an incredibly important figure for the early church because she's a symbol for women. there's this idea of a loving individual who is seen as the special protector of the week. of someone who protects women who prtects children who protects elderly. >> today, the church of the
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annunciation is the largest in the middle east. the question is if the seventh century description of nazareth is accurate, what happens to the other church that once stood nearby? >> the church that was said to be built over the childhood home of jesus was called the church of the nutrition. so called because it was where jesus was nurtured as a child. the big question is where that church is today. it disappeared from history somewhere around the time of the crusades. we're not really sure what happened to it, but we do know is that there are some clues from the medieval manuscript that gives us a few hints about where this church once stood. >> and it was fairly easy to see if it had the series of attributes that they attribute to the church of the nutrition. did it have a well? well, yes, there is a well at the site. did it have a vault under it?
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yes, the site included a large vaulted area. did that vault include two tombs? yes, there are tombs incorporated in the fort. this did alerme to the possibility that we'd found the church of the nutrition. >> what ken dark says he's found in this underground site matches the description of the church of the nutrition, which according to legend was built on the site of jesus' childhood home. >> according to a later tradition, there was also a tomb deep beneath the church belonging to none other than mary's husband. >> it was believed that the site contained the tomb of joseph. >> one of the strong clues that it is is because of the oral tradition that said this is the home of the just.
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and joseph of course is described in the scriptures as a just man. it's important particularly relationship to the house because you would not have a church being built here simply because and the church is built here because it's a holy place. >> whether st. joseph was ever buried here is impossible to know. the tomb has been empty since the crusades. >> but above it, the archaeological investigation uncovered a series of features that predated both joseph's tomb and the church of the nutrition. could they belong to a house? >> this is part of a cave, which is very typical, very common here in the hill country, and so we have a cave built into a house. >> realizing that there was a t century house that was
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is he zit -- site, was exciting in archaeological terms because it raises the possibility that this was the very house in which jesus had been brought up. >> by painstakingly distinguishing different walls, ken dark was able to recreate the outline of a floor no one had seen in centuries. >> there was a series of walls that had been built by people out of blocks of stone and mortared together. those walls, when one looks at them in plan formed the outline of the house. >> it is now possible to recreate the house that jesus may have lived in more than 2,000 years ago. >> a house of two stories with
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bedrooms, family room, a cave carved into the rocky terrain. >> the house that was recently excavated seems to me exactly the sort of house that jesus would have grown up in. on for u. let's take the $1000 in cash back. great! yeah, i want to get one of those gaming chairs with the speakers. oh, you do? that's a surprise... the volkswagen 3 and easy event, where you can choose one of three easy ways to get a $1000 offer. hurry in to your volkswagen dealer now and you can get $1000 as an apr bonus, a lease bonus, or cash back. nobody does unlimited like t-mobile. while the other guys gouge for unlimited data... t-mobile one save you hundreds a year. right now get two lines of data for $100 dollars. with taxes and fees included. that's right 2 unlimited lines for just $100 bucks. all in. and right now, pair up those two lines with two free samsung galaxy s7 when you switch.
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could this be the house where jesus lived as a boy? and what would it have been like? the gospel of matthew describes joseph as a tech tone, but there are different opinions about how wealthy this made him. >> interestingly, the craft of tech ton was seen as below that as a peasant. >> it is not a technical term for carpenter, it means an artisan of some kind working in stone or wood. and so joseph has a trade, he has a home, and he's got enough money to get betrothed and to marry a wife. >> i think 100 years ago scholars might have thought of joseph and mary as a poor family, as a family who were just keeping their heads above the water as it were.
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whereas modern scholars are beginning to think that they had a little bit to work with. >> the family of joseph was claiming a royal dissent. obviously the line of david was a very significant one. >> and so by definition, that would tend to set them apart from others within a given village or community. >> joseph we know a bit more about than the origins of mary. >> within the archaeological site, a series of domestic objects have been recovered. kept in this simple cabinet, they are tangible evidence that a woman once lived here, and they give us an insight into her life. >> a spindle well is a disk with
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a hole in the center, used as a weight in spinning of the yarn. >> if you think about a woman's domestic possessions, one of the most important is going to be her spinning gear. think of the spindle whirl, it's something that she uses every day, it's part of the fabric of her life. weaving was the ideal activity for an elite woman in antiquity. had a lot of honor to it. had a lot of respectability. >> women who wove fabric were virtuous women. you were a good wife if you were making clothes for your family. so the significance of finding a spindle well in this house isn't just that this is part of day-to-day life, it says something about the moral character of the women who live there. >> if you think about joseph and mary's life in nazareth, it's entirely possible that they were involved in the kind of consumer
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economy that existed in roman galilee. and so i think you shouldn't be shocked to find objects, for example, on an archaeological site that would indicate some kind of prosperity. >> amongst the other artifacts are items of jewelry. >> the bracelets are probably roman in date. although bracelets of similar form were manufactured for several centuries, so we can't be sure. >> we have countless texts that suggest a woman's appearance was important. wealthy jewish women, no doubt, wore jewelry of gold and silver, but poorer women also wore jewelry of wood or glass or metal. >> earlier work also found some glass beads at the site. this would be part of a necklace, typical of women's dress across the roman world.
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>> in galilee in the first century, the jewelry that women wore would have been probably stuff that was locally sourced. wood or beautiful glass beads or fiber, perhaps. >> i think it's conceivable that mary had jewelry on that she used to wear jewelry. >> early finds from the site include a series of metal rods with flattened ends. which probably are make-up spatulas. >> if in your opinion a rural place like galilee, you wouldn't want make-up on laboring in the fields, for instance, it would have been reserved for special occasions, perhaps for feast days. >> it's fair to think of a woman from a family of craftsman, for example, as having access to at least a modest amount of cosmetics. >> a woman's life in first century nazareth was centered on the home, and her children.
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>> mary, like most jewish women would have spent her day providing for her family which would have included weaving, fetching water and cooking. >> mary as a jewish woman of the first century, would have been responsible for jesus' religious upbringing. so she would have introduced him to basic moral questions, how to be a good person. >> if joseph was away practicing his trade, the person who would be raising the children in the fear of the lord would have been mary herself. >> she might have sung songs so him. might have told him life lessons using biblical stories, much as people do today. mary would have been responsible for teaching jesus what a meant to be a jew and how to live your life in accordance with god's plan. >> beyond the safety of the house where he was raised, the world of jesus' childhood was in turmoil. it's an important question you ask,
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modern day nazareth, location of an archaeological site believed by some to be the very house where jesus was raised. what appears to be a house built
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into the side of a hill with a courtyard and multiple rooms. though the bible tells us very little about jesus' childhood, we know from historical sources that turbulent events were taking place in galilee. how might these events have influenced the man jesus became? >> precisely because galilee was relatively fruitful, it was also a target of opportunity for the roman occupiers. >> jesus. >> i think jesus would have known about the harshness the romans had.
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>> jews in the first century a.d. galilee, farmers, artisans, stone masons were among those just trying to eke out a living. they're then retired to pay taxes and rent their roman occupiers. this would have been a massive burden on their daily life. >> the most insidious thing about taxation and roman provinces is that it's contracted out to private individuals who bid for the job. and so there's a real motivation to believe the locals, to engage in dirty practices collecting the tax. and fundamentally, the system is prone to corruption. >> they would have felt a great deal of resentment towards the roman occupiers. >> sometime after 4 b.c., a violent rebellion breaks out in a town close to nazareth. >> over there, beyond these buildings, is the ancient city of sefhorus.
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it would have been the major city in the region while nazareth was a small village. >> it was an important town four miles from nazareth. it was the capital of roman galilee in the first century a.d. >> this area was plunged in the turmoil. a certain man named judous led a rebellion against both rome and the sons of herod. he entered into the city, breaking into the armory, stealing all the weapons, and arming his men. >> judas was a famous rebel against rome. who insisted that the empire had no proper right to be ruling israel. >> we know about judas' revolt, it is written about in historical documents.
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>> here was a native jew who could be king over judea, a new messiah that jews wanted to support. >> today we could not imagine someone going up against a force such as the roman empire in that way. but in judas' time, the romans have not been in israel very long. relatively speaking. >> for a while it may have looked like the rebellion would have been successful. but then the romans have 15,000 troops down into syria into sephorous to squash the rebellion. >> i think it would be terrifying to face the roman army. you would know that they were there to utterly destroy you. >> judas was hopelessly outclassed in military terms by the romans.
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>> i have a feeling after those first few jewish rebels fell and the roman army just continued to advance, they knew the gig was up. >> the romans levelled the city in response because it had been taken. so that everyone who saw this would understand that revolt against rome was impossible. >> the romans round up 2,000 individuals and crucify them. they then take the entire population of the city and sell them into slavery. judas probably met his fate on a cross. >> romans would not let people take down, take down the corpses when they died. so what you had in nazareth was the smell of rotting corpses. defecation, urination, and the
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moans of those dying. sometimes it took days to die. >> if you put up that spectacle, rome's theory is, no one will dare do this again. >> even if jesus didn't see it firsthand, he would have heard the stories. this would have been something that people talked about for years afterwards. >> you can imagine the impression that the destruction might have left on a small child. this would have been part of his upbringing. it would have been part of his world view. >> when it was destroyed, it put people in nazareth, jesus, and his family included, in the position of needing to judge, how can we assert who we are as israel and at the same time, coexist with the romans?
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>> jesus knew what happened when you tried to fight fire with fire. when you tried to take on the romans, maybe it was this failed rebellion that caused jesus to formulate this idea of non-violent resistance. >> he eventually comes to preach a religion of non-violence and non-violent resistance to brutal roman power. >> i think that's what accounts for jesus', the kinds of things he says, turn the other cheek and walk the extra mile which really is a way for the oppressed to maintain some sense of dignity and agency in their own lives. >> but does the house believed by some to be his childhood home contain any other clues about how the religion of the child shaped the beliefs of the man? >> jesus!
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at the sisters of nazareth convent in israel, a decade of archaeological has uncovered the site as jesus' childhood home. among the finds, spinning gear, jewelry, and most important for dating the site, pottery.
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>> the type of pottery associated with the house only came into use at the very turn of the first century b.c. and the first century a.d. these are pieces of cooking pot, and in fact, you can see on the outside evidence of charring where they've been exposed to the flames of a fire. >> as well as helping to date the site precisely to the time of jesus, stoneware found here also provides the strongest evidence that this house was lived in by a jewish family. >> limestone containers indate that these were people following jewish purity laws. >> a jewish family would ideally use limestone vessels because limestone vessels did not contract or convey ritual purity like ceramic. limestone was preferred for storing water, for cooking, for
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drinking, and so on. >> could the family who owned these limestone vessels have been the family of jesus? mary and joseph's piety is revealed in the gospel of luke in the only story in the new testament of jesus' childhood. >> now his parents went to jerusalem every year for the feast of the passover. and when he became 12, they went up there according to to the custom of the feast. >> the fact that the family of jesus regularly going to jerusalem for passover suggests that what we've got here is a pious family who has the history to the hebrew bible. >> the journey from the galilee to jerusalem on passover would have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 miles, and taken on foot, about seven day this was a really big undertaking. >> evidence of first century
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jerusalem can be found deep under the modern city. >> archaeologists tunnelled down for years until they finally came to this point here. this is the street level from the time of jesus. you can see the columns here that held up the roofs shops where shopkeepers would have been selling their goods. you can imagine children running through the streets and people yelling at one another, and of course these are the streets where jesus would have walked towards the temple to go up to worship. i mean, this is a very sacred place. >> in first century roman occupy judea, jerusalem at passover must have been an incredibly busy, chaotic, almost glorious place. there was so much to see. so much going on. so many pilgrims crowding them.
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>> the experience of being in jerusalem for a 12-year-old child like jesus would have been overwhelming. the sights, the sounds, the smells, but most of all the sheer number of people. >> during passover, jerusalem's population would have ballooned from 40,000 to around half a million people. >> we know that there were thousands of pilgrims in jerusalem at this time, and it would have been absolutely thrilling to a young jew like jesus. >> just imagine what it was like for a 12-year-old boy to be coming from the provinces, from the countries, from the boon docks to arrive in the big city at a time like this. >> one cannot overestimate the importance of the temple in the first century. it was the religious center of judaism. the place where god's presence was understood to reside on earth. it was also the political center of judaism. it was also one of the major commercial and economic centers of judaism.
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>> around the vicinity of the temple, there would be people coming in on special trips. there would have been priestly authorities they would have been filled with animals brought there for passover sacrifices. at some point mary and joseph lose sight of jesus. it's not difficult to imagine such a thing happening. it's very crowded during the passover in jerusalem. in the temple in particular. there would have been a bustling crowd. so it's very easy to imagine that jesus would get separated from his parents in that kind of scene and become lost. >> jesus! >> and he's not lost for a short period of time, he's lost for three days. they must have been insane with worry. >> i'm looking for my son, he's 12 years old. >> where did jesus go? he's got to be with one of the
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relatives right? and he's not. >> jesus! >> well, the first thing you need to realize is that these ancient jewish families were extended families. and when you had a child that was on the cusp of manhood anyway, you might well assume he's with his relative or with that relative, and not look at the possibility of that. they're not infants anymore. >> when jesus' parents find him in the temple, he says elsewhere do you think i would have been? there's a sense of him wanting to be in the temple. enjoying conversing with the wise people in the temple. >> and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. >> didn't you know that i had to be in my father's house? >> this for joseph and mary is a little peculiar, and probably quite offensive because he has been lost for three days. >> there is already this budding sense of calling and a special mission that jesus believed he had, and the end of the story says and he grew in wisdom and
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stature and in favor with god and human kind. >> jesus returned home to nazareth. but is this the house where he grew to adulthood? moms know their kids need love, encouragement and milk. with 8 grams of natural protein, and 8 other nutrients to provide balanced nutrition. moms know kids grow strong when they milk life.
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nazareth, location of a newly uncovered site and archaeological remains of what may be jesus' family home.
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the place where he would have lived, not just as a boy, but worked as a young man following in his father's footsteps. >> it's very important to remember that jesus worked for 18 years from ages 12 to 30 and we tend to think of him as this pious weakling who kind of appears on the scene. but this is a carpenter who understood what it meant to work a full day and be tired after that. >> the turning point in jesus' life is not when jesus' father passed away prematurely. i think it's because of the rise and growing fame of the ministry of his cousin, john the baptizer. >> the meeting between jesus and john the baptist is clearly a pivotal moment in jesus' mission. after this moment, you see him
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really going for his mission with this real force and energy and conviction. >> a changed jesus returns to nazareth, perhaps to this very home. jesus goes to the synagogue and starts to preach. >> he comes back to nazareth to deliver this manifesto, it's really the sermon in relationship to who and what this jesus is all about. >> jesus had a famous saying, a prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and amongst his own relatives. he returned to nazareth and he preached in the synagogue in nazareth. according to luke's account of the incident, he proclaimed that today's the day, now is the year of god's favor. and they found offense in it.
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>> even though he knows that his message is going to be rejected, he says it anyway. >> the rejection is so strong that they think he's presented >>mself as a false prophet. his is the kind of event, rabble in a small town that news would have quickly spread throughout the town. >> this young boy, mary's son, growing up, living a regular life. how is it now that he's transformed into this figure? i think it was difficult for them just to process it as human beings. and to make that transition. >> they got up and drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built so that they might hurl him off the cliff.
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>> this is mount precipice, just outside of the city of nazareth. this is the spot where the men from the synagogue drag jesus with the intention of throwing him off the cliff and killing him. >> i think mary, like any mother, would have horrified at what was happening to jesus. i think she would have been afraid for her son. things would have been happening very quickly, and she wouldn't really have understood what was going on. he's in a situation that's essentially a riot in the making. >> but he passed through the midst of them, and went on his way. >> you could see this story as one of the early indications of the miraculous power that jesus is going to have. it's partly a way of showing that he's a peacemaker, but he's not going to fight back, but it's also a way of showing that he's somehow stronger than that. he's not a weakling that they can bully in that way.
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>> jesus' time in nazareth had come to an end. >> as far as we know, he never returned there again. >> they reject him, and he says, right, i'm carrying my ministry forward, but it'll bsomewher else that i will bring what i've come to do to fruition. >> but has modern archaeology uncovered the home he left behind? first mentioned in a medieval text, then lost for centuries, is this cave church what remains of the ancient church of the nutrition? and if so, are the ruins found within it the very house where mary and joseph raised jesus? >> it's possible that it genuinely was the childhood home of jesus.
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on archaeological grounds, that is entirely possible. but it can't be demonstrated. >> it's difficult to be sure who this house belonged to in the first century. it was a house of the kind that mary and joseph would have lived in. >> the pottery, the limestone vessels, the construction of the house, the dimensions all make it likely that this is jesus' house. and it makes sense that early christians would have treasured that location and pass it on to later pilgrims. a lot of it fits together and a lot seems to make it likely that this would be the house of jesus, mary, and joseph. >> i think that the sisters of nazareth convent is most likely a church of the nutrition mentioned in the area. the big question is whether or not this is actually the childhood home of jesus. and we may never know the answer to that question.
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a battle is raging for the souls of the haitian people. one side claims the country is in the grip of satan, that all of its social, political and economic problems are the result of a blood pact made with the devil. the other side sees the faith that hped te tliberair ancestors from the shackles of slavery threatened by outsiders. they are now struggling to simply keep that faith alive. i'm in haiti to explore the conflict that has gripped this nation between evangelical


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