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History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years (2010)

Diarmaid MacCulloch , Gillian Bancroft & Sian Salt  |  G |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years + Christianity: The First Two Thousand Years + From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians
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Product Details

  • Actors: Diarmaid MacCulloch
  • Directors: Gillian Bancroft & Sian Salt
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Ambrose Video Publishing, Inc
  • DVD Release Date: March 1, 2010
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0037ABB6W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,011 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

Anyone having second thoughts about wading into Oxford professor Diarmaid MacCullough's New York Times bestselling doorstop (nearly 1,200 pages) A History of Christianity will be delighted (and perhaps relieved) to discover this six-hour BBC adaptation filmed in high-definition and amiably hosted by the author himself as he follows the path of Christianity through the ages and around the globe... An enlightening and often entertaining survey that mixes trenchant observation with beautiful on-location footage shot in some of the world's most luminous places of worship, A History of Christianity is highly recommended. (3 1/2 stars) --Video Librarian

A solid library purchase, this enlightening program is filled with wonderful location footage and thought provoking concepts. --Booklist

Product Description

A History of Christianity, a six-part series presented by Diarmaid MacCulloch, an Oxford history professor whose books about Cranmer and the Reformation have been acclaimed as masterpieces. A History Of Christianity will reveal the true origins of Christianity and delve into what it means to be a Christian. Intelligent, thought-provoking and magisterial in its scope the series will uncover how a small Jewish sect that preached humility became the biggest religion in the world. Most Christian histories start with St Paul's mission to Rome, but Diarmaid MacCulloch argues that the first Christianity stayed much closer to its Middle-Eastern roots. He describes not only the main ideas and personalities of Christian history, its organization and spirituality, but how it has changed politics, sex, and human society. The series includes subjects from Palestine in the first century to India in the third, from Damascus to China in the seventh century and from San Francisco to Korea in the twentieth. MacCulloch is one of the most widely travelled of Christian historians and conveys a sense of place as arrestingly as he does the power of ideas. He presents the development of Christian history differently from any of his predecessors. He shows how, after a semblance of unity in its earliest centuries, the Christian church divided during the next 1400 years into three increasingly distanced parts, of which the western Church was by no means always the most important: he observes that at the end of the first eight centuries of Christian history, Baghdad might have seemed a more likely capital for worldwide Christianity than Rome. This is the first truly global history of Christianity. Diarmaid MacCulloch is one of the world's leading historians and Professor of History of the Church and Fellow at St. Cross College Oxford. The series is a BBC co-production with the Open University and Jerusalem Productions. Giftbox set of 6 one hour DVDs

Features:
Closed Captioned
Spanish Subtitles

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


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one DVD Collection You Want March 24, 2010
A History of Christianity The First Three Thousand Years is a wonderful six DVD collection that everyone should have on their shelves. It is hosted by Diarmaid MacCulloch, one of the world's leading historians and Professor of History of the Church and Fellow at St. Cross College, Oxford. This series (co-produced by the BBC) has so much information about the history of Christianity in it, that I learned things I'd never known before - and that was just the first DVD!

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!
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A candid friend tells the story of the Church June 12, 2010
Among other things, A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years shows that seeds planted in youth flower in adulthood. This six-part series, co-produced by the BBC, the Open University and Jerusalem Productions, is hosted and narrated by Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St. John Cross College in Oxford.

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.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inriguing and Informative! Excellent Series! April 1, 2010
I'll admit it! I'm a nerd. :) I'm one of those people that absolutely loved Calculus in school and will spend an entire evening watching the Discovery Channel or reading a (gasp!) nonfiction book. That's me! And being a Christian, I am always interested in learning all I can about the history of Christianity. I was very curious when I got the chance to preview the first DVD, The First Christianity, in the new 6 DVD series entitled History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years.

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!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Garbage
this is the worse DVD on Christianity. He stated 3,500 years of Christianity. He only went to what he's know. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Larry D. Sisson
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
I bought this set to show to my religion class and ended up buying a set for myself. It is very well done and not at all "dry" or boring. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Colette Rost
1.0 out of 5 stars Sounded like the disc was wrecking my player
Some type of loud mechanical bumping grinding noise in my player - not in the audio. Discs did not look to be warped, but they may have been a bit thicker than other discs - if... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Southernguy
3.0 out of 5 stars Recommend but...
Rather uninteresting, the photography is great and well produced, Please do not missunderstand I do recommend this set to any one interested in the subject however, when I compare... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Charlie Hawk
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a Christian
I gave this history a 4 instead of 5 because Diarmaid MacCulloch claims that he is not a Christian. Otherwise his presentation is very engaging.
Published 5 months ago by Randy S Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years
Whoa! This is extremely educational and interesting. The Author takes you to different churches along the path so show how Christianity got to where it is today. Read more
Published 5 months ago by A. Lauper
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Program!
This documentary is wonderfully made, with fascinating information about the history of the Christian church and a great complimentary to the book, also by Dairmaid... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Will White
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible
This is a distorted view of Church History. Assumptions are made that should not be made. There are much better programs out there like: Christian History Made Easy. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Steven A. Wilson, PhD
5.0 out of 5 stars Best documentary on the origins of Christianity
Well researched and well produced. The most detailed account of early Christianity I've ever encountered. Professor MacCulloch's presentation is both interesting and engaging. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Web_Bandit
5.0 out of 5 stars Very much enjoying Diarmaid's version.
Thorough presentation of information. Well put together. Good cinematography. (Am just over halfway through. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jacqueline Wees
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