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From Jesus to Christ - The First Christians


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DVD 1-Disc Version
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Product Details

  • Actors: William Cran, Gil Edgeley, Paula Fredriksen, Vince Hadley, David Gwyn Harris
  • Directors: William Cran
  • Writers: Marilyn Mellowes
  • Producers: Marilyn Mellowes, Bernadette McDaid, David Fanning, June Cross, Mary C. Brockmyre
  • Format: Color, Surround Sound, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Pbs Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: August 24, 2004
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002ERWT6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,009 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "From Jesus to Christ - The First Christians" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

FROM JESUS TO CHRIST: THE FIRST CHRISTIANS, explore the life of Jesus and the movement he started – challenging familiar assumptions and conventional notions about the origins of Christianity. The film traces Jesus’ life and focuses on the events that occurred after his death and on the men and women who were his first followers and whose belief, conviction, and martyrdom created a major movement that transformed the Roman Empire.

Customer Reviews

It is a long play and I believe you will enjoy it like I did.
Jose Joacir dos santos
The series is a thoughtful, well-researched presentation with spectacular cinemegraphic transitions between interview-style narratives and on-location film.
Dennis R. Roberts
It is extremely well presented and gives a lot of insight into the time of Jesus and the following years of the early Christians.
Greg S

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Paula on December 1, 2004
Format: DVD
"From Jesus to Christ- The First Christians" follows the growth of the early church from the death of Christ to the conversion of Constantine some three hundred years later. Changing attitudes about Jesus and Christianity, from both inside and outside the movement, are examined . Jesus' ministry and death are briefly examined, but in the context of a Jewish culture that was oppressed by Rome.

This is not a faith based program, as the scholars do not debate the divinity of Christ. However, it was a fascinating look at the times in which Jesus lived, taught, and died. I especially enjoyed the information about the young church in Jerusalem. Looking at the facts surrounding the "Jesus Movement" only served to strengthen my faith.
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106 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Anyechka on October 24, 2007
Format: DVD
As a student of world religions, I found this four-part series, which I originally watched on television, to be packed full of great information from a wide variety of disciplines. It traces the evolution of Christianity from its days as just another Jewish denomination to its final break into an entirely new faith, along with the evolution of the historical Jesus (admittedly a rather obscure figure, given that apart from Josephus, he isn't mentioned in any extrabiblical sources) into a figure of much greater importance (hence the title of the series). A lot of programs about early Christianity tend to repeat the same old story over and over, but this series goes beyond what we already know to fill in all of the gaps. After all, a lot of times what isn't said in the Bible is more telling than what actually is said. Biblical literalists and those who believe the Bible to be absolutely inerrant probably won't be happy with some of these new reinterpretations, but what good is your faith if it can't stand up to some challenges? One must have a pretty weak faith if it falls apart or feels threatened by new historical information, or modern-day schools of thought that don't adhere to an absolute black and white view of the Bible. Isn't it better to become stronger in your faith by constantly re-examining and scrutinising what you believe in and forming your own independent beliefs?

The series explores such topics as the journal of Perpetua, an early martyr, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the amazing books found at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945 (it's criminal and heartbreaking how the mother of the boy who found them threw a couple of them into her kindling fire!
Read more ›
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Dennis R. Roberts on January 8, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This boxed, four-tape set is the finest set on the transformation of a localized Jewish sect to the religion that we call "Christianity" today. The series covers the first 300 years of the development of Christianity. The series is a thoughtful, well-researched presentation with spectacular cinemegraphic transitions between interview-style narratives and on-location film. There is so much information imbedded in the film that it takes several viewings to get it all out. Further, there is a website which contains hundreds of pages of support material. This is an fantastic series produced by "Frontline".
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Keith D. Riley on March 13, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I enjoyed the video from start to finish. It does a great job of describing the events that led to the formation of the Christian religion from a fragment of the Jewish faith. I especially enjoyed the fact that it uses the testimony of several theological scholars from distinguished schools such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Duke, among others. This video helped to explain a lot of the questions I had regarding the formation of the faith. It is a must see for anyone curious of the roots and struggles of early Christianity.
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55 of 63 people found the following review helpful By bernie HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 4, 2006
Format: DVD
History is constantly changing as new information is brought to light and our environment allows us to see things differently. This series attempts to help us with the next step in understanding the forces evolved in creating the first Christians.

I was very surprised to find so much new information presented in this series. My original intent was to see what Elaine Pagels [author of "The Gnostic Paul" ISBN 1563380390] looks and sounds like. I found a lot more treasure.

Going beyond the institutionalized church of today we find some of the many elements that struggled to create the understanding we have today. I was not totally aware that the different time periods of the gospels and location was so significant. The second revolt of the Jews also known about was not emphasized as well as in this series. The real positive impact of the series is that it sets a foundation for further investigation.

There are several drawbacks in the series, all to do with presentation. First it is a series of sound bites. Some nice scenery and inspirational music surrounds little 15 second question and answer interviews. The people that they interview contradict each other; this would be o.k. if they weren't mixed up together. One person says that there was no middle class just "Have's and have not's." Then a second person comes in and says that the meeting was attended by all the middle class and not represented by the upper class or the lower class farmers. The nature of what the people are thinking at the time is subject to the interpretation of the speaker with no supporting evidence (of course this may be due to the short time on the review.)

In any event this will need repeated reviewing. Hopefully there will be an updated version with later findings.
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