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The God Who Wasn't There


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bowling for Columbine did it to the gun culture. Super Size Me did it to fast food. Now The God Who Wasn't There does it to religion.

Holding modern Christianity up to a bright spotlight, this eye-opening documentary asks the questions few dare to ask. "Did Jesus even exist?" is just the beginning for The God Who Wasn't There. Your guide through the world of Christendom is former fundamentalist Brian Flemming, joined by such luminaries as Jesus Seminar fellow Robert M. Price, author Sam Harris and historian Richard Carrier.

In addition to the film, which won the Best Documentary award at the 2005 Grassroots Cinema Film Festival, this feature-packed DVD includes:

-Special commentary tracks with Richard Dawkins and Earl Doherty
-Over one hour of compelling additional interview footage
-An in-depth Web-enabled slide show
-Music from the soundtrack
-Bios of all participants

This provocative DVD takes off the gloves and gives religion an unprecedented, no-holds-barred examination. So hold on to your faith. It's in for a bumpy ride.

Review

"Irreverently lays out the case that Jesus Christ never existed." -- Newsweek, June 27, 2005

"Provocative - to put it mildly." -- Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2005

"This DVD delivers the film in a quality presentation, with extras that quadruple the amount of content." -- DVD Talk, August 20, 2005

"What if Jesus Christ never existed?" -- Christianity Today, June 7, 2005

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Carrier, Richard Dawkins, Alan Dundes, Sam Harris, Robert M. Price
  • Directors: Brian Flemming
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Digital Sound, Dolby, Full length, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Beyond Belief Media
  • DVD Release Date: August 23, 2005
  • Run Time: 320 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (388 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CAPZBC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,358 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The God Who Wasn't There" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

This interview ends abruptly.
goonius
If you are a Christian, Jewish, or even Muslim, this film is certain to provoke you to think and I urge you to watch it and/or question your religion's beliefs.
Mike Renzulli
It ended badly and Flemming put the interview in the movie even though the principal asked him not to.
Kurgan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

250 of 276 people found the following review helpful By Craig A. Milliman on November 27, 2005
In ten years of teaching world literature at the college level, I have learned that very few Christians from the most casual liberal believer to the most devout fundamentalist know anything at all about the early years of the Christian religion. While this film lacks the scholarly depth for which I had hoped, it does open the door to the beginnings of Christianity and to the sources of its sacred texts. I suspect many viewers will be surprised to learn what even casual Biblical scholars have known for many decades: that the Gospels, which come first in the New Testament, were not written by companions of Jesus; that the oldest of the Gospel stories is Mark; that Mark could not have been written before 70 AD, and was probably written much later, perhaps ca. 110 AD; that the letters of the Apostle Paul (a number which were not actually written by Paul), were most prbably written in the firs century, beginning about 20 years after Biblical dates for the Crucifixion; that Paul never met Jesus; that none of the Biblical epistles say anything of Jesus' life on earth. The film does not settle the question of Jesus' existence, but I doubt that it was intended to. Consider it a solid introduction. If you don't like the facts stated in the film, read the scholarly literature, which backs up all the evidence in the film, though thus far most scholars have stopped short of asserting that Jesus was a myth. It's a good film; I would recommend it to anyone the least bit interested in Christianity.
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933 of 1,045 people found the following review helpful By R. BAKER on November 12, 2005
Verified Purchase
The reviewer who felt "let down" by this DVD and who worried that it was "teasing Christians" is either totally clueless or is engaged in a subtle attempt to discourage viewership.

I was impressed by the manner in which the director laid out his case for the non-existence of a historical Jesus. The information comes from scholars, researchers, and amatuer investigators, and is all available elsewhere, but this DVD brings the ideas together quickly and concisely. He then engages in a series of short interviews with those same scholars, researchers, and amatuer investigators, essentially allowing them to state their part of the case directly. (More in-depth interviews are available in the special features section of the DVD).

Equally illuminating are the interviews with believers in Jesus, who are allowed to make their own statements of belief without interruption. The fact that none of the believers were able to demonstrate any knowledge of the known history of Jesus or the early church demonstrates just how effectively Christian leaders have been able to divert attention from these controversial issues.

But the most compelling part of the film is the ending, where the director (a former evangelical Christian himself) visits the fundamentalist school he attended as a child and interviews the current president of that school. I won't reveal the dramatic ending to that interview (and to the film) but it truly tied everything together (the history, the controversy, and the impact on individuals today).

If you are a big fan of the Rev. Pat Robertson, (who just advised the people of Dover, PA.
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117 of 130 people found the following review helpful By Mike Renzulli on March 24, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Like many Christians I was profoundly affected and moved by Mel Gibson's portrayal of Jesus in his well-made first film: "The Passion of Christ". Until recently, I thought my faith was even more affirmed by Gibson's version of Jesus' passion. However, this film affirmed my suspicions about Jesus, the Bible, if not God himself.

I recently decided to take it upon myself to do extensive research on Jesus to see if he is recorded anywhere in history as an actual historic figure. While I have found evidence of a person who closely resembles a man that is similar to Jesus, he was not divine. As this film points out, there are no records of Pontius Pilate having ordered the execution of anyone named Jesus at all and that the story of Jesus correlates with other pagan super hero mythologies such as Mithras, Horus, Dyonisus, and Hercules.

Despite the film's terrible production values, it makes some interesting and factual points. For example, I was also stunned to learn about the 40 year gap between the year of the alleged 'death' of Jesus and when the Book of Mark was authored. The other points the interviewees brought up were interesting as well such as the Jewish Pharisees holding their trial for Jesus on Passover eve would have been contrary to Judaism.

My father was an Episcopalian priest. I was born and raised to believe in God, the Bible and Jesus himself and that Jesus and God actually exist. However, after watching this film and conducting my research I have concluded that, there are not any gods or supernatural phenomena to believe in at all.

If you are a Christian, Jew, or even Muslim, this film is certain to provoke you to think and I urge you to watch it and/or question your religion's beliefs.
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261 of 302 people found the following review helpful By David Mills on May 10, 2006
Format: DVD
I found this DVD both richly entertaining and extremely informative. Having been an atheist myself for over thirty years now, I considered myself knowledgeable on the subject matter of this DVD. Yet I was surprised - and quite delighted - by how much new insight I gained from this superb documentary.

For example, I did not previously realize that the Pauline Epistles make no reference at all to the virgin birth, to Mary and Joseph, to Bethlehem, to Herod, to *any* words allegedly spoken by Jesus, to anything pertaining to Jesus' earthly ministry, nor to any of the miracles Jesus supposedly performed. Paul mentions only the cruci-"fiction," resurrection and ascension, tales handed down to Christianity from older mythologies, as Brian Flemming powerfully demonstrates here.

Better than any other source I've seen, this DVD explains how the time-gap between Jesus' alleged death and the writing of the Gospels lends credibility to the assertion that Jesus probably never existed. Moreover, even if Jesus did exist, the stories surrounding him, such as the slaughter of the innocents, have no historical corroboration and therefore lead an objective viewer of this DVD to conclude that the Gospel accounts couldn't possibly be true (whether or not Jesus existed).

This documentary was also extremely funny where appropriate. When Brian Flemming summarized the highlights of Jesus' career, the footage running in the background - along with Flemming's casual manner of speaking - left me laughing more boisterously than I have since watching the original Monty Python episodes. What was especially funny was that Flemming's summary of the Gospels was perfectly on-target and did not distort scripture in any way.
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Topic From this Discussion
320 minutes?!
I rented this and I believe the documentary itself was about an hour, but the DVD also contained several hours of extended interviews that were as good as the movie itself.
Aug 20, 2006 by D. Marshall |  See all 5 posts
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