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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  December 27, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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is just, whatever is pure... if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. >> we're beginning to get, for the first time in the new testament, the language that will become the hallmark of all the later christian tradition. you see, it's paul who starts the writing of the new testament by writing letters to these fledgling congregations in the cities of the greek east. >> paul alludes in a number of his letters to the message that he would have communicated verbally, probably. he emphasizes two things: on the one hand, very clearly the importance of the death and resurrection of jesus; on the other hand, he also emphasizes the... the importance of understanding the end time and
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the immediacy of the end time, and that one must be prepared for it. and the way one prepares for it is to be good. we find a lot of ethics in... in paul. and it's around this issue of how one... one lives in anticipation of the end time that's just around the corner, for paul. >> narrator: the death and resurrection of jesus lie at the very heart of paul's preaching, but it is a story that pre-dates paul and goes back to the first followers of jesus in jerusalem. >> ( dramatized ): joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock.
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>> the movement that originated around jesus must have suffered a traumatic setback with his death. not so much that a messiah couldn't die, but that nothing happened. the kingdom didn't arrive immediately as they might have expected. >> the effect that the crucifixion had on jesus' followers was the desired effect, from the roman perspective. that is, that people who were associated with jesus were terrified. i mean, before the easter proclamation, there must have been some kind of easter panic, you see, that folks were hiding out, as they should have, because now they were the accomplices of... of an executed criminal.
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>> the followers of jesus, who don't go away as they're supposed to when pilate does this, have to deal with that fundamental question of what does this mean that the one that we had all of these expectations about has been crucified? how do we deal with this, not merely the end of this life, but the shameful end of this life? >> the only place they can go, eventually, is into the hebrew scriptures, into their tradition, and find out, "is it possible that the elect one, the messiah, the righteous one, the holy one"-- any title they use of jesus-- "is it possible that such a one could be oppressed, persecuted, and executed?" they go into the hebrew scriptures, and, of course, what they find is that it's almost like a job description of being god's righteous one, to be persecuted and even executed.
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>> and the amazing thing is, they said, "hey, pilate's right. he was the king of the jews. and, moreover, god has vindicated this claim that he is the king of the jews by raising him from the dead." >> ( dramatized ): an angel of the lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone. he said to the women, "jesus who was crucified, he has been raised. come, see the place where he lay." >> the stories about the resurrection in the gospels make two very clear points: first of all, that jesus really, really was dead; and secondly, that his disciples really and with absolute conviction saw him again afterwards.
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the gospels are equally clear that it's not a ghost. i mean, even though the raised jesus walks through a shut door in one of the gospels, or suddenly materializes in the middle of a conference his disciples are having, he's at pains to assure them, "touch me, feel me, it's bones and flesh." in luke, he eats a piece of fish. ghosts can't eat fish. as an historian, this doesn't tell me anything about whether jesus himself was actually raised. but what it does give me an amazing insight into is his followers, and, therefore, indirectly, into the leader who had forged these people into such a committed community. >> narrator: according to the book of acts, christianity began at a single place, at a single moment in time. 50 days after the death of jesus, now known as pentecost, a miraculous event took place. >> ( dramatized ): and suddenly
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from heaven, there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. >> that's the picture that we get in acts. the historical reality is probably much more complex. and the christian movement probably began not from a single center, but from many different centers where different groups of disciples of jesus gathered and tried to make sense of what they had experienced with him and what had happened to him at the end of his public ministry. >> the acts' account of early christianity presents a very cogent, coherent image of earliest christianity, when, in fact, the more we find out about early christianity, the more wildly variegated a phenomenon
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it appears to be. >> as far as we can tell, the beginnings of christianity occurred in many different places, in many different groups. there were wandering charismatics who went around from door to door preaching without an ordinary occupation, depending on people with whom they stayed for hospitality, for food. there were settled groups in little towns. there were radical groups trying to give up ordinary occupations and family life following the teachings of jesus. it must have been an amazing mixture, amazingly diverse range. >> it's clear from the very beginning of christianity that there are different ways of interpreting the fundamental
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message. there e differenkis practice. there are arguments over how jewish are we to be? how greek are we to be? how do we adapt to the surrounding culture? what is the real meaning of the death of jesus? how important is the death of jesus? maybe it's the sayings of jesus that are really the important thing and... and not his death and not his resurrection. >> i think we're right to call it the jesus movement here, because if we think of it as christianity-- that is, from the perspective of the kind of movement and institutional religion that it would become a few hundred years later-- we will miss the flavor of those earliest years of the kind of crude and rough beginnings,
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the... the small enclaves trying to keep the memory alive. >> we're hampered by our vocabulary.? we know that this group will eventually form a gentile community, and they'll be known as christians. but this group didn't think that. this group expected jesus to return and establish the kingdom of god. >> he is a jewish messiah. they are followers of a jewish apocalyptic tradition. they are expecting the coming of the kingdom of god on earth. it's a jewish movement. >> the jewish sect, then, is a group which sees itself as jews, recognizes that there are other jews out there, but claims that those other jews out there have it all wrong. they don't fully understand what judaism is all about, and only the members of the sect do.
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>> sectarian groups are always in tension with their environment. that tension is manifested in a tendency to want to spread the message out, to hit the road and convince others at t tru is real. >> ( dramatized ): go nowhere among the gentiles and enter no town of the samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of israel. >> one of the characteristics of the roman empire is, there is suddenly great freedom of movement, more so than in any period before that. and in some ways, more free than
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any period that will happen again, until the invention of the steamship. >> ( dramatized ): as you go, proclaim the kingdom of heaven has come near. >> one would have encountered on... on the via egnatia or... or any other major roman road, a wonderful variety of journeyers. some would be certainly engaged in commerce, taking their commercial products from... from place to place. some would be involved in goods and services, taking their particular services to different places. one would have found philosophers. rpe found persons such as paul-- preachers, missionaries of particular religious views and religious what, in a sense, is sort of ironic is that the... the network that was established for the mobility of the roman army finally became the network that was probably most instrumental in the spread of christianity. >> narrator: jews had traveled
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>> narrator: jews had traveled along this network for centuries, and jewish communities were spread >> by the time of the first century, there were probably then, as now, more jews living outside the land of israel than within the land of israel. there's a very energetic jewish population in babylon. there is a very wealthy, vigorous jewish population living in the major cities around the mediterranean. it's because of diaspora judaism, which is extremely well established, that... that christianity itself, as a... a new and constantly improvising form of judaism, is able to spread as it does throughout the roman world. >> narrator: paul himself was a diaspora jew. convinced that god had chosen
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him to spread the word about jesus, he traveled to antioch, the capital of roman syria. >> antioch has one of the largest jewish communities outside of the jewish homeland-- it's been suggested that maybe something like 40,000 people in this jewish community. so we can... we must imagine a number of different jewish congregations and subsections of the city in and through which paul could have moved and still felt very much at home within the jewish community. >> wherever you have a sufficient number of jews, you would have a jewish community. wherever you have a jewish community, you would have a jewish synagogue. >> narrator: by the fourth century, the synagogue had become a formal place of worship. but in paul's day, especially in the diaspora, it was more of a community center.
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>> another remarkable feature of the synagogues in the diaspora is not only that they attracted large crowds of people, but ong these crowds will have been gentiles. there is no barrier between jews and gentiles, and gentiles found the jewish synagogues-- and the jews themselves, apparently-- as open, friendly and why not go to the jewish synagogue? especially because there are no non-jewish analogs. there's nothing equivalent to this communal experience anywhere in pagan or greek and roman religions. >> narrator: gentiles attending synagogues would have been exposed to judaism's variety of beliefs. in antioch, this new jewish sect, the jesus movement, found a following in some synagogues. paul felt that the time was right for these jews to bring the gentiles into their movement. >> paul's message of the conversion of gentiles seems to
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be predicated on the isaiah language of what will happen when the kingdom comes, when the messiah has arrived, and there will be a light to the nations, a light to the gentiles. and in that sense, paul views the messianic age having arrived with jesus as being a window of opportunity for bringing in the gentiles into the elect status alongside the people of israel. >> why do gentiles join the movement? there's this tremendous religious prestige, thanks to the antiquity of the jewish bible. by entering into the church, these christians enter into that history, as well.
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that's tremendously prestigious and important. >> i think perhaps originally they were attracted to the claims of salvation, regeneration, eternal life. you're baptized, you're illuminated. probably they were attracted to the rituals and to the communities. >> narrator: like most jewish communities, the early followers of jesus assembled for worship in each other's homes. >> among the things that make the christians different are a couple of rituals which they developed early on, before the very earliest sources that we have about them. and one of these is an initiation ceremony which ey call baptism, which is simply a greek word that means "dunking."
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the second major ritual which they developed is a meal, a common meal which they have together, which is designed as a memorial of the last supper which jesus had with his disciples. >> now, the situation seems to be that initially when people were attracted to the jesus movement, they first became jews. >> narrator: becoming a jew was no easy matter. it meant conforming to strict jewish laws. >> ( dramatized ): this is the law, to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the living creature that may be eaten, and the living creature that may not be eaten. >> there are several issues involved here. one is the notion of the dietary laws, the eating restrictions that would have obtained for
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eang ctain kinds of food if one was an observant jew; also with whom one could eat. >> narrator: in paul's view, it was now possible to allow gentiles who didn't observe all the jewish food laws to participate in the communal meals of the movement. >> but because it's at a meal, it also runs headlong into some jewish sensitivities about what kind of foods you can eat and with whom you can eat. >> narrator: dietary laws were not the only regulations that marked jewish identity. >> ( dramatized ): every male among you shall be circumcised, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. >> of course, the major issues in converting to judaism for a gentile, for a non-jew, is that one must, if a male, become circumcised.
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and, of course, this was a... an obvious distinction if one is working out in a greek gymnasium, where everyone was nude to begin with. so, the ritual of circumcision is one of those major hurdles that people would have thought about from the greek world. >> narrator: paul argued that the rite of baptism could replace circumcision. this breakthrough allowed gentiles to more freely join god's chosen people. >> we now have, paul says, a new map of the world. the old distinctions between jews and gentiles are now obterad. they have now been supplanted by a new and truer and more wonderful and more beautiful map, in which we have a new israel that will embrace both jews and gentiles, all those who now accept the new covenant and the new faith.
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>> ( dramatized ): there is no longer jew or greek. there is no longer slave or free. there is no longer male and female, for all of you are one in christ jesus. >> and that would spark one of the most important controversies of the first generation: do you have to become a jew in order to be a follower of jesus as the messiah? >> ( dramatized ): i went up to jerusalem with barnabas, and i laid before the acknowledged leaders the gospel that i proclaim among the gentiles. >> paul says explicitly that he went down to jerusalem to meet with the leaders of the church there. he calls them the pillars. >> we have some names of people who must have been the big shots in the movement: peter, james.
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now, this james is not the james who's in the list of the apostles. this james is the brother of the lord. >> it's somewhat surprising that we should hear of jesus' own family members among this earliest group in jerusalem precisely because, in the gospels, the family is... is usually portrayed as being antagonistic toward his public ministry. at one point, in mark's gospel, they think he's gone crazy, and they try to take him away before he can do himself some harm. and they go down to ask the question of how do we deal with these gentile converts? and they manage to get some sort of rough agreement with the jerusalem leadership. they agree that it's okay for paul to convert these gentiles and yet not to force them to be circumcised. >> narrator: as part of the
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compromise, paul agreed to collect money from his gentile congregations to support the church in jerusalem. >> so when paul goes back to antioch, he seems to think that he's won a major victory in the understanding of what the christian message will be. shortly after his return to antioch, however, peter arrives from jerusalem. >> one of the most vivid episodes he sketches is in the epistle tohe gatia, when he's talking about a face-off he and peter have in antioch. >> a classic showdown in the history of earliest christianity. and paul tells the story this way: he says that in antioch, he encountered peter, who was having a meal with non-israelite jesus people. peter thought this was all right until the contingent from jerusalem came.
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>> and they tap peter the shoulder, and peter stops attending these... these banquets. and then we get a great passage of esprit de l'escalier. it's probably what paul wishes he had thought to say to peter at the time, but in the letter, it's presented as what he says to peter. and he's yelling at peter for not being true to the gospel and not being true to christ and not being true to this vision of things, and what he's really yelling at peter about is food. >> and the way paul tells it is, he says, "well, you know, i... i... i confronted peter publicly. i told him he was a hypocrite. i told him off to his face. i told him off in front of everybody." end oftory. well, the story doesn't really have an end. you know, we... we'd like paul to tell us that, after he told peter off, he... he sort of skulked back to jerusalem with his tail between his legs, and then paul gave james and his party the what-for, and then he threw them out, or something like that. nothing like that. paul's completely silent. now, this suggests to us that paul had... indeed had a
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showdown in antioch. he did face off with peter. he didn't win. he didn't carry the day, at least not that day. so this suggests to us that james' party was influential, and influential outside the... its jerusalem jurisdiction, and that perhaps james' posse were there because they felt that their authority should be exercised outside of the jurisdiction of jerusalem. >> the blow-up in antioch over eating with gentiles probably is the turning point in paul's career. paul left and went to western turkey, or asia minor, and greece.
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for the next ten years, from 50 to roughly 60, paul will concentrate all of his efforts in this region of the aegean basin. it's probably ephesus and the areas immediately around ephesus that will be his most important base of operations. ephesus was a cosmopolitan environment. the inscriptions and the statues and the artwork and the buildings all tell us that this is really a crossroads of culture and religious life
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throughout the mediterranean world. >> when you read jesus' parables, you immediately think of agriculture, you think of peasants, you think of landowners, you think of farming. when you read paul's letters, you think of the school, you think the philopher, you think of the orator, you think of the city. >> in paul's view, at least, the city was the natural environment, if you will, for christianity. he has a way of coming back to the same city, he has a way of visiting new cities and talking about visiting new cities, and it was cities that he was going to, not just general geographical areas. it's important to understand, i think, that it was from these cities that christianity ultimately was spread. >> paul mostly travels around in a kind of circuit of these
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congregations around the aegean rim, or he sends out his helpers and his coworkers, people like timothy and titus, to take information or check out what's happening over in philippi or someplace like that, sometimes perhaps even to go and help start a new congregation someplace over in, say, colossae or maybe up toward the interior in galatia. so we have to imagine the pauline mission as a kind of beehive of activity. >> ( dramatized ): greet andronicus and junia, my relatives who were in prison with me.
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greet my beloved epaenetus, who was the first convert in asia for christ. greet apelles, greet ampliatus, my beloved in the lord. greet urbanus, our coworker in christ and my beloved stachys... >> the traditional view of the composition of the early christian communities is that they are from the proletariat. early marxist interpreters of christianity make a great to-do with this. it's a movement of the proletariat. it's essentially from the lowest classes. but if you actually look at the book of acts, and you look at paul, and you begin to collect the people who are named or identified in some way, here you have erastus, the city treasurer of corinth. >> narrator: an ancient inscription with the name of paul's follower, erastus, can still be seen in the ruins of corinth. >> you have gaius of corinth,
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whose home is big enough to let him be not only paul's host but the host to all of the churches of corinth. all of the little household communities can meet in his house at one time. you have stephanos and his household who have been host to the community. you have lydia in philippi, who is the seller of purple goods, a luxury fabric. you have prisca and aquilla, and we wonder why the woman is usually mentioned before her husband. she must be a woman of some consequence. you begin to get the impression that y have quite a variety of different social levels represented in these early christian communities. not people at the absolutely top level. you have, with the exception possibly of erastus, no one from the aristocratic orders; no one who would be a member of the
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city council. you have no agricultural slaves who are at the bottom of the hierarchy. but in the rest of the social pyramid, everything in between, you seem to have representatives in these early christian groups. so we begin to get a picture of upwardly mobile people, to use a modern anachronistic way of describing them-- people who have mixed status, who probably will be viewed by the aristocracy outside as nouveau riche; not people who don't quite belong, but in their own eyes perhaps deserve more status than they are getting from the larger society, and have found within this community a role of leadership and a role ich recognized. >> the worship of an early
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christian house church probably centered around the dinner table. the term "communion" actually comes from this experience of the dining fellowship. we also know that all other aspects of worship that we think of as going with early christian practice probably happened around the dinner table as well. paul refers to one person having a song and another person bringing a prayer. everyone is contributing to the banquet-- whether it's in the form of food or in the form of their piety and worship. >> throughout the new testament, particularly in paul's letters in the book of acts, we find out that women owned the houses in which the early christians met. this, i think, is significant because i don't think the women who owned the houses were simply providing coffee and cookies, in effect, for the christian community. i think that this probly gave them some avenue to power in actual roles in the church. >> paul speaks of women as his
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fellow evangelists and teachers and patrons and friends, as he does of men. but i don't see a picture of a golden age of egalitarianism back there. i see a new, unformed, diverse and threatened movement which allowed a lot more fluidity for women in certain roles-- for a while-- in some places and not in others. >> narrator: paul's way of building a community was just one of the many interpretations of the jesus movement. he had to fight a running battle to keep his fledgling congregations from falling under the influence of rival preachers. >> ( dramatized ): you foolish galatians! who has bewitched you?
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>> his relationship with these folks is not entirely unproblematic. for one thing, he's got to manage a long distance relationship-- and we all know how difficult that is-- and he has to do this by letter. >> in his letters, he's often recapitulating for the recipients fights he's had prior to the fights he's having currently with his congregation. >> the early christians did have turf warover who h irigh and you see this from the very beginning. the apostle paul, his opponents in galatia, who say, "wait a minute. if you're really going to be a real christian, first you have to be a real jew, and that means you have to be circumcised, and you have to keep certain regulations out of the torah." so paul has not got it right. paul has to say, "no, you don't understand how radically new
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this thing is which god is doing here." >> narrator: paul preached the imminent arrival of god's kingdom on earth, and salvation for those converted to jesus. >> ( dramatized ): you know what time it is-- how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers. >> it's clear that one of the concerns that keeps showing up throughout this period of paul's ministry is, "when is this kingdom going to arrive? what's going to happen? how soon?" >> they are still, 25 years after the fact, anticipating the imminent return of christ, and
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the imminent arrival of the kingdom. and it's this kind of, you know, "don't slow me down with the facts" impatience and energy that we get in paul's letters. >> paul's very first letter-- the earliest single writing that we have in the newestament-- is i thessalonians, and already in i thessalonians paul is having to console them when people are starting to die within the congregation and the kingdom hasn't arrived yet. >> narrator: paul believed the earthly world order was about to change, that time was running out, and the end was at hand. >> clearly the... the message about the... the coming end time was the part that would have been threatening to a roman official, and would have been threatening to any native population that had vested some authority in roman officialdom.
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>> narrator: paul attacked those who preferred peace and security to the coming kingdom of god. >> ( dramatized ): when they say, "there is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them. >> scholars have wondered who this people is who are saying "peace and security." some interpreters think that it's the first lapsed christians, and they're no longer serious about the end time coming immediately. i tend to think, though, that it refers to those who are supportive of the imperial rule, the peace and security of augustan and imperial governments. paul is saying those who are on the side of augustus will reach their end first. divine wrath will come upon them
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first. so paul is very clearly drawing here a remarkable antithesis between the rule of the emperor on the one hand, and the rule of god-- the kingdom of god-- on the other hand. >> narrator: apocalyptic expectations were fueling political turmoil throughout judea. jewish resistance to roman rule was growing daily. >> the situation in jerusalem was becoming increasingly tense through the mid-60s also. josephus tells us that there was growing tension over the last few governors of the countryside. he tells us that they were pretty abusive and... and corrupt administrators, robbing the people, as it were, for the... in order to line their own pockets.
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josephus also tells us that there's another source of growing tension in the country at this time, because there's an increasing number of bandit and rebel types coming out of the woodwork in the country. and so between growing banditry, the rise of the zealot movement, a... a politically active insurgency movement, and then the corruption of the administration, the situation in jerusalem is becoming very, very tense indeed. >> narrator: in the year 60 of the common era, after a decade building communities in the greek east, paul decided that his work there was done. >> ( dramatized ): now, with no further place for me in these regions, i am going to jerusalem in a ministry to the saints. >> paul wants to fulfill the promise that he had made to peter and james back in the
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jerusalem conference. for these ten years that he's been in the aegean, he's had his congregations collecting monies together to take back to jerusalem. now we find him gathering all that up, each congregation sending an emissary with their part of the contribution, and they're all going as an entourage to lay it at the feet of james in jerusalem. >> ( dramatized ): i know that when i come to you, i will come in the fullness of the blessing of christ. >> what seems to have happened is, when he went back to jerusalem with the contribution, he was arrested as some sort of rabble-rouser. >> narrator: according to the book of acts, paul was taken to
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rome to stand trial before the emperor. within a short span of time, the leading figures of the early jesus movement were wiped out. >> the tradition holds that peter and paul both died in about the year 64. about the same time, josephus tells us that james, the brother of jesus, at jerusalem, has also been killed, all in about the same two- or three-year period. with the passing of this first generation, the expectation that all of those coming events must be close at hand probably was a concern for a lot ofeople. >> narrator: in the year 66 of the common era, jewish resistance broke out into open
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conflict against rome. the rebels seized jerusalem. the first jewish revolt had begun. >> ( dramatized ): truly the battle is thine! their bodies arerushed by the might of thy hand, and there is no man to bury them. >> narrator: it seemed that the fiery predictions of the essenes were about to come true. >> most people in the first revolt really thought it was the apocalyptic event; it was the coming of a new kingdom on earth. several of the leaders within the revolt really claimed to have messianic identity or prophetic identity. >> ( dramatized ): they shall be a flaming torch in the straws to consume ungodliness.
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>> narrator: true to their beliefs, the essenes marched out to fight the romans, and were annihilated. >> even many christians thought that the war was the actual apocalyptic event. >> ( dramatized ): valiant warriors of the angelic host are among our numbered men, and the hero of war is with our congregation. >> narrator: a prisoner of war who defected to the roman side, the jewish historian josephus personally witnessed the sack of jerusalem. >> josephus describes walking around the walls of jerusalem and pleading with people on the inside to give up rather then go
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through the suffering and agony that would come from a long, protracted siege. for two years then, jerusalem was under siege. starvation, disease, murder were the order of the day. the loss of life must have been catastrophic to the jewish population as a whole. by the month of august in the year 70, the fate of jerusalem was a foregone conclusion. the roman armies were massed. they were ready to break through. everyone knew it. it was just a matter of when, but they were going to fight to the death, and many of them did die. so on that fateful morning when they broke through, josephus describes the events of them breaking through the walls, the roman soldiers running through the streets, going into every house.
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>> ( dramatized ): pouring into the alleys, sword in hand, they massacred indiscriminately all whom they met, and burned the houses of all who had taken refuge within, running everyone through who fell in their way. they clogged the alleys with corpses, and drowned the whole city in blood. the dead bodies of natives and aliens, of priests and laity, were mingled in a mass, and the blood of all manner of corpses formed pools in the courts of god. >> it's a pretty awful slaughter, and we have lots of evidence of it now, between the artifacts that one finds of the first revolt that are scattered throughout this layer of the archaeological record-- arrowheads, spears, other kinds of indications of pretty serious hand-to-hand combat in all parts of the city.
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>> ( dramatized ): towards evening, they ceased the slaughter. but as night fell, the fire gained the mastery, and the dawn broke in flames upon jerusalem. >> one of the most recent and poignant examples of this comes from the archaeology-- something called the burnt house-- which actually shows us one of the houses that apparently was burned during this. all of the furniture and the implements are here in place, with a layer of ash and residue of the burning still quite clear. >> ( dramatized ): the romans
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set the temple on fire. all that was left was the platform wall that once supported the symbol of the center of the nation of israel. >> narrator: roman troops sacked the temple and carried off the sacred symbols of judaism. >> jerusalem, the sacred city; the temple, the center of piety and identity is gone. it's very important that we remember that up to and through the first revolt, christians are still part of judaism, and the revolt and its aftermath is just the beginning of a split, as each group tries to rethink its earlier traditions in the light of the failure of the first revolt.
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we have to imagine the refugees fleeing from the burning ruins of jerusalem. and as they looked back at the smoke rising against the horizon, they might have remembered the words of the psalm from the first destruction back in the time of the babylonian exile-- "by the waters of babylon, there we sat down and wept when we remembered zion."
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>> narrator: next time... >> ( dramatized ): the romans expected to make an assault upon the fortress... >> narrator: masada. >> ( dramatized ): ...which they did. >> narrator: the end of jewish resistance to rome. >> the failure of the first revolt really was a traumatic event for everyone living in the jewish homeland-- jews and christians alike. as a result, they had to start rethinking their own assumptions. >> narrator: and the beginning of the gospels. >> ( dramatized ): i am the light of the world. heho follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. >> the gospels are very peculiar types of literature. they're not biographies. they're a kind of religious advertisement. what they do is proclaim their individual author's interpretation of the christian message. >> narrator: telling and
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retelling stories about jesus. >> ( dramatized ): "why are you afraid, have you no faith?" and they were filled with awe, and they said to one another, "who is this, then, that the wind and sea oy him?" >> narrator: and it is the story of the broken relationship between jews and christians. >> ( dramatized ): but the unbelieving jews stirred up the gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. >> luke is reflecting the development of the christian movement more away from the jewish roots. >> narrator: and the conflict between the roman empire and the kingdom of god. >> christians could be arrested simply because they bore the name christianus, christian. that was enough, under roman convention, to convict one of a2 capital crime. >> narrator: next time on "from jesus to christ: the first christians" on frontline.
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>> there's much more to explore at our web site. watch the program again on line, and explore the archive of material offering a portrait of jesus' world... >> you peel back layer after layer after layer of interpretation. >> ...details on the first christians... >> we can tell the story by looking at the way they kept his memory alive. >> ...why christianity succeeded... >> originally, they were attracted to the claims of salvation, regeneration, eternal life... >> ...and the origins of the gospels and their different tellings of jesus' life and message. >> the words that were put in jesus' mouth in mark, "why have you forsaken me?" >> plus, explore maps, pictures and background on the rise of christianity. then, join the discussion at n "from
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jesus to christ: the first christians" on is available on dvd. to order, visit or call 1-800-play-pbs.
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>> frontline is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. major support for frontliis provided by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information is available at additional funding is provided by the park foundation, dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues. and by the frontline journalism fund, supporting investigative
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reporting and enterprise journalism. additional funding for this program was provided by the arthur vining davis foundations. >> you're watching pbs. available now from shoppbs they believed they could face any hardship, weather any storm, but nothing could prepare them for this. an epic saga of dreams buried and hopes reborn, the dust bowl. to order, visit shoppbs or you can download on itunes
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bonneville: i think in season 3, the mood changes, and there's a lot of uncertainty still as time creeps forward. lord grantham doesn't deal with the changes very well. he wants everything to maintain the same, and of course, that will never happen. i refuse to be the failure. bonneville: robert isn't a natural businessman. i can tell you that there are some big financial problems on the horizon. we have my mother-in-law coming to stay. robert, aren't you going to kiss me? and any man who has a mother-in-law coming to stay knows that there's fireworks on the horizon. you americans never understand the importance of tradition. yes, we do. we just don't give it power over us. bonneville: and of course, we've got the whole "will they/won't they?" with mary and matthew. i'm looking forward to all sorts of things. don't make me blush. she's still very adamant that things stay the same and that she wants to bring up her children at downton.
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and matthew is not quite decided upon that. what about us? what about our children? you know i would do anything for this family. anything except help us. bonneville: will edith ever find proper love and happiness? i do hope to be seeing a bit more of you. bonneville: what will happen to mr. bates? anna: one day, something will occur to us and we'll follow it up, and the case against you will crumble. do you never doubt? no. bonneville: and sybil and branson, of course. they come back--an interesting sort of territory to play, because branson having been the chauffeur downstairs is now married to the daughter, so that creates a whole social unease and how you cope with that. branson: no, i don't agree, and i don't care who knows it! is there any way to shut him up? bonneville: i suppose an overarching theme is the family trying to find its feet again after the upsets of the war. so, there's still plenty to play for. ha ha!
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on pbs its a stunning new season starting with the impossible to resist downton abbey. violet: nothing succeeds like excess. and an engrossing story of defiance and courage from american experience. douglass: it is not light that is needed, but fire! and a series filled with role models for all women clinton: we were breaking new ground. this season, there's only one place that can take you anyplace. attenborough: isn't it wonderful? pbs for artists, one tremendous thing about pbs is that it makes art accessible by putting it on a platform where millions of people can access it for free. on pbs, many people have seen something they would never see otherwise. the language of music so universal, it can touch someone anywhere. and we need it. we need music, we need dance,
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we need great theater. we need all these things for our soul, you know, for joy and peace in our lives. after all these millennia, art is still something that survives. a lot of people don't have the means or aren't even aware that's something out there, and they may flip on pbs and e something that wakes up that integral part of being a human being which is enjoying the arts of other human beings. i feel like that's important to me. so i'm grateful for pbs {thank you} as an artist and as a viewer.
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