History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years
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(Mar 01, 2010)
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Programs in the series: Program 1: The First Christianity Program 2: Catholicism: The Unpredictable Rise of Rome Program 3: Orthodoxy: From Empire to Empire Program 4: Reformation: The Individual Before God Program 5: Protestantism: The Evangelical Explosion Program 6: God in Dock
A solid library purchase, this enlightening program is filled with wonderful location footage and thought provoking concepts. --Booklist
Top Customer Reviews
In the first DVD we are taken to Jerusalem where Christianity began. MacCulloch begins his journey in the church of the Holy Sepulchre and sweeps across four continents where he goes in search of Christianity's forgotten origins.
I was particularly moved when he talked about the early church in Jerusalem that probably would have remained a unified church if not for the 70 AD uprising by the Jews against the Romans which ended in a siege against Jerusalem. As Jesus predicted, Jerusalem fell and the Temple went up in flames. Christians, quit the city before the siege, spreading throughout the eastern world beginning in Turkey and reaching as far as China (and yes, MacCulloch brings the archaeological evidence to prove that early Christians were there).
MacCullogh has done his research and this first DVD alone required watching twice because there is so much information! He even enlightened me about the origins of Church music. You will be surprised where it started. Not only that, he even claims that the headquarters of Christianity may well have been Baghdad not Rome!
Oh yes! This is one set of DVD's you want to get for your collection!
When MacCulloch's father, an Anglican minister, and his mother took their young son Diarmaid on their explorations of historic churches, they probably never realized they were sowing the seeds of his future. Diarmaid became fascinated with church history and so began his life work, of which this series is a part.
Now, instead of his parents leading the way, it is MacCulloch taking viewers through ancient structures and landmarks around the world. Ever the explorer, he searches for meaning in places that hold clues to the past, interviewing local experts and people who provide a diversity of thought.
MacCulloch is not only a well-respected historian, but an excellent narrator and a likeable guide. He unashamedly professes his fondness for the Anglican faith, he being the last of three generations of Anglican clergy. If he has a bias, it may be against the western form of Christianity as practiced by the Roman Catholic Church. He seems more charitable toward the eastern wing, exhibited in the Orthodox Church. The good news is that over the course of the six episodes shown below, he gives equal coverage to each of the major branches of the church.
1. The First Christianity
2. Catholicism: The Unpredictable Rise of Rome
3. Orthodoxy: From Empire to Empire
4. Reformation: The Individual Before God
5. Protestantism: The Evangelical Explosion
6.Read more ›
Each of the DVDs runs for about 60 minutes and covers a wide stretch of time in Christian history. I was pleasantly surprised at how intriguing the history was, and this definitely wasn't the "same old same old" I thought I was going to hear. There was almost nothing about the story of Christ, and most of the information was regarding the history of the church and its growth and development over the years. The host of the series, Diarmaid MacCulloch, reminds me of the character Noah Wyle plays in The Librarian movies, except with an accent. Diarmaid MacCulloch is one of the world's leading historians and Professor of History of the Church and Fellow at St. Cross College Oxford. He's quite entertaining and very scholarly.
The First Christianity starts in Jerusalem and ended surprisingly in China, covering the start of Christianity to about 1500 A.D. For me, it was very interesting and I think anyone who loves history or is just plain interested in finding out the history of the Christian church would really enjoy this DVD series. Even my 8 yr old daughter became very interested and ending up watching a majority of the DVD with me. I also think it would be a great basis for a course of lessons for a middle school or high school student wanting to learn about the history of the Christian church!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this to be a very biased "history" written by a protestant and University of Oxford professor who happens to also be member of the "Gay Christian Movement. Read morePublished 1 month ago by reviewer
I have read Diarmaid MacCulloch's History of Christianity several times in addition to several of his other books. Read morePublished 3 months ago by William Brown
MacCulloch presents a surprisingly straightforward and clear history of a very weighty topic that others render intensely boring. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
A much quicker look at history than his book, but very nicely done. Looks at msome of the key things that have shaped Christianity over the course of history.Published 4 months ago by R. L. Kelbaugh
So much detail, very interesting and keeps your attention.Published 8 months ago by Richard Partney
Narrator Diamaid MacCulloch take the viewer on an in-depth historical journey on the origins of Christianity, which began its roots in the Middle East. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Baroness of Topaz