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[XTalk] The Real Jesus Christ

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  • Mark Goodacre
    I am afraid that this one is just for British viewers, but there is a documentary about Jesus this coming Saturday (18th December) called The Real Jesus
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 13, 1999
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      I am afraid that this one is just for British viewers, but there is a documentary about
      Jesus this coming Saturday (18th December) called "The Real Jesus Christ" on
      Channel 4 at 8 p.m. This is the write-up from the Channel 4 web site
      (www.channel4.com):

      An alternative and controversial biography of Jesus Christ, as it would have been told
      by those who knew him better than anyone - his closest followers and his family. Two
      decades after the death of Jesus the movement he had inspired was in crisis, split
      into two bitterly opposed factions. In a final attempt to heal the rift, a summit meeting
      was called in Jerusalem. The leading antagonists were the two key figures in 'the
      Jesus movement' Paul - later St Paul - and James the brother of Christ.
      
      James is one of the most mysterious figures in history. After the death of his brother
      James had become head of the Jesus Movement which became known as the
      Jerusalem Church. Together with the disciples James spread the message of Jesus
      as a strictly Jewish Messiah. They regarded Jesus as a religious and political leader
      whose mission was to liberate the Jewish people from the oppression of the Romans
      who at that time were occupying Palestine. 
      
      Paul's visionary encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus turned him
      from persecutor of the followers of Jesus to one of their leaders. He became an
      emissary of the Jerusalem Church. But, sophisticated, cosmopolitan, erudite and
      well travelled, Paul was a very different character from the pious James and was
      working to his own agenda, one that insisted that Jesus was the Son of God. He
      embarked on a mission to reach all corners of the Roman Empire with the message
      of the risen Christ. Soon his recruits were no longer expected to observe Jewish
      custom. For a period James reluctantly tolerated this in the conversion of non-Jews
      but when Paul began to encourage Jews to break the laws of the Torah in pursuit of
      'Christianity' James had to act. He called Paul back to Jerusalem for the summit
      meeting. The result had far reaching effects on which version of Christ's message
      prevailed and on the whole future of the Christian Church. 
      
      For the last 2000 years St Paul has been credited with being the mainspring of
      Christianity. His interpretation of the message of Jesus moved it far away from
      Judaism and his dynamic determination led to the eventual adoption of Christianity
      throughout the Roman Empire and its continuing position as one of the most
      profound and primary religions of the world. Paul, who never met or heard the
      teachings of the earthly Christ, achieved sainthood. 
      
      However, the influence of James withered and virtually disappeared. By the second
      century A.D. the Jerusalem Church was no more than a small Jewish sect called the
      Ebbionites, viewed as heretics by the mainstream Christian Church.
      
      The Real Jesus Christ looks back at one of the major turning points in history to
      create the lost biography of Jesus: an alternative version of the life as it would have
      been told by his family and disciples. They were the people who knew Jesus best but
      they lost the battle for immortality.
      
      The Real Jesus Christ features interviews with leading academics and theologians of
      modern biblical thought. Contributers include Professor ROBERT EISENMAN of
      California State University, Professor HYAM MACCOBY of Leeds University,
      Professor MICHAEL GOULDER of the University of Birmingham, Professor JOHN
      DOMINIC CROSSAN of De Paul University in Chicago and Dr MARK GOODACRE of
      the University of Birmingham

      --------------------------------------
      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
      University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
      Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

      http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
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