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Peter Jenning's Special on Jesus and Apostle Paul tonight 4/5

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I saw him last night on Larry King, and this is a special on the Jesus movement in the first century. It actually looks pretty interesting.

He's careful to point out that he's doing it from a reporting point of view, and that different scholars/historians have different viewpoints.

It really looks interesting so I just thought I'd throw it up here. It's on ABC tonight from 7pm-10pm so I'm probably going to tape it.

There's a couple things I'm unclear about with Paul and I'd like to ask but I'd kind of feel stupid asking so maybe I'll ask tomorrow after the special.

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Awww, thank's Dot! That's sweet of you to say that.

I'm going to ask part of my stupid question now. Aposlte Paul and Jesus didn't know each other right? Did apostle Paul go to the desert or something for a number of years before he started his "Christian" ministry? I seem to remember some teaching or something about how Jesus taught him in the desert. Am I screwed up on this? Anyone??? Anyone???

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For those of us that won't watch the show tonight.


How Paul spread the word of Jesus

Peter Jennings special looks at beginnings of Christianity

NEW YORK (AP) -- Bringing a reporter's eye to biblical stories is Peter Jennings' passion.

ABC is taking the extraordinary step of devoting all three hours of prime time Monday to Jennings' latest religious saga, "Jesus and Paul: The Word and the Witness."

Jennings said the special's timing and content was locked in before Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ" became a huge success. Still, the movie can't help but affect how the ABC show is perceived, and may bring in more viewers.

"In the wake of 'The Passion,' which created such intensity, we bring some further education to the debate that people are having," he said.

Jennings saw Gibson's movie, but declines to give his opinion of it.

The ABC project is essentially the sequel to "In Search of Jesus," the 2000 special on Jesus Christ's life that finished third in the week's television rankings, an unusually potent performance for a documentary.

Jennings immediately asked to examine St. Paul, who did more than anyone to spread Jesus' message to a non-Jewish world.

"Paul is a wonderful story, just a wonderfully interesting story, and a story very relevant to today," Jennings said. "So much of what we're debating in the country today -- marriage, sex, religiosity, the role of women -- was precisely what was going on in Paul's day."

Radical message

During the documentary, set to a contemporary soundtrack with the likes of Joan Osborne, R.E.M. and Curtis Mayfield, Jennings tries to describe what life and politics were like in Jesus' time.

Jesus' message of compassion to the poor was even more radical then, and was likely to threaten a brutal Roman regime that didn't hesitate to snuff out threats. The documentary does not explicitly lay full blame for his death on either Roman or Jewish leaders.

Jennings walks in Jesus' footsteps in the present-day Middle East, even showing how it might have been possible for him to escape into the desert when he saw authorities coming to capture him.

The special is careful to note the several areas where scholars disagree, particularly about Christ's resurrection. Many believe literally in everything written in the Bible, while others believe the Resurrection was metaphorical.

Something must have happened, otherwise it's hard to explain how Jesus' story endured for so long, Jennings said.

ABC distributed a list of 24 biblical scholars quoted in the three-hour special. Fewer voices were heard during "In Search of Jesus," and Jennings was criticized for being too reliant on a liberal interpretation of biblical history.

"We did not consciously try to widen our net," Jennings said. "It's just as you go along, you meet more people and hear more opinions."

Jennings, who scuba-dived in the Mediterranean Sea and walked the ruins of ancient Rome for the documentary, interviewed tourists near the Vatican to ask what they knew about Paul.

Most were stumped.

"You knew Paul only as this slightly abstract writer of letters when I was growing up," he said. "I never knew him as a personality, his struggle as a person to take this religion beyond the Jewish world."

Paul's paper trail

Jennings discovers three different tourist traps that claim to be where Paul allegedly saw the spirit of Jesus and began preaching his message. It also details how Christianity spread in large part because Paul said followers did not have to follow Jewish laws -- meaning men did not have to be circumcised.

Partly because of that decision, Paul feuded with some of the people who knew Jesus when he was alive. The film showed how some of the angry words Paul used during this debate became the fuel for anti-Semitism centuries later.

Every expert ABC spoke to believes that Paul -- a Jew like Jesus and most of his early followers -- should not be blamed for later anti-Semitism.

The letters Paul wrote play a prominent role in church services today. The ABC documentary helps bring some of the letters that churchgoers take for granted to life.

"If you just accepted only the Bible, you would not be doing a reporter's job, which is why you have to look at Roman history and Jewish history that was outside of the gospels," Jennings said.

"Which is why Paul in many ways is such a fascinating story, because he left this extraordinary paper trail," he said.

Jennings said he hopes viewers realize through the documentary how it's unlikely that the movement Jesus founded would have survived beyond the first century if it weren't for Paul.

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I've got that on for tonite too, rottiegrrl! Looks interesting. Paul's been a subject I've studied over the years, very interesting figure in the N.T. to me. I'm looking forward to the show.

You're right, Paul didn't know Jesus personally that it's recorded. They lived in the same time frame certainly, but it's never mentioned that Paul knew, met or saw Jesus while He was alive.

The Pharisees were an interesting bunch. They formed somewhere inside 200 BC and were part of the whole Maccabean revolt against the Greek rule which was very hard against the Jews and finally the desecration of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in 167 BC led to mass rebellion . It was a religious uprising, spiritual but in a political context. They must have been a rowdy bunch in that day. Then along comes Rome in the mid-60's BC. In Paul's day they were relatively free to carry on with their traditions but under Roman rule of course. Between the Sadducees, Pharisees and the Essenes you've got quite a range of Jewish leadership.

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I understand DMill. Usually when that happens you it's time to buy a whole new VCR. Which is a pain in the butt.

Thanks for the info socks. Did Jesus actually teach Paul in the desert though? I taped it last night but didn't watch it yet. I'm wondering if anyone who saw it could give their opinion on how accurate they thought it was.

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Do not buy another VCR buy a DVD player or a T BO !

I saw it My ear was hurting so I missed some of it , but I thought it was really well done it gave several different expert ideas.

It went into the book of james etc. andeven said Paul was not so good looking and bald!!!!! haha I laughed I have no idea how they found that out.

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Yes, I watched it. It was interesting. It covered the growth of Christianity and looked at Paul as the primary builder, architect. How accurate, dunno. It gave more of a view of the social and political conditions of the time and opinions about how Paul might have thought and worked, Christianity was looked at forming out of Jewish thought and faith and that was interesting. They discussed the conflicts of the time and the devlopment of the "Jesus sect", which I thought was really interesting. A lot of ideas, information were put out on the table which was good.

Paul says in Galatians he went to "Arabia" and spent time in that area. The period after the road to Damascus and his next mention in Acts is figured to be somewhere around 10 to 13 years from what I know. During that time, there's not a lot of detail as to exactly what he did, went, etc.

Edited by socks
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If I buy anything new to replace this VCR (it's about 10 years old) -- I plan on buying a TV that has both VCR, and DVD built into it.

Jennings was decent on the show, and the ball game went the way I figured it would. icon_frown.gif:(-->

Still thinking about where Paul got his teaching. Good question. Galatians 1:12 says he received it by "the revelation of (from) Jesus Christ. Was this all in one instant, or did it take the 14 years? icon_confused.gif:confused:-->

Remember Paul was VERY well versed, and perhaps only needed to be shown how the OT verses pointed to Jesus as the Messiah. I don't know.

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Another interesting portrayal was that Paul was not well liked .The conflict between Paul and Peter about allowing the gentiles to enter into this new christian religon was only one problem he brought the new church. Peter fought Paul on the idea of gentiles or outsiders being allowed in even after His revelation.

It must not have been an easy thing for the jews to allow those unwilling to be "cut by the knife " it stated the sugery was life threatening at the time and death was a threat that was a very real concern and now the "others" did not have to do this by Pauls estimation and it was presented as a serious problem between them..

One interesting precher said He does not believe in all of what Paul writes esp. about homosexuals not being allowed into the kingdom..he contrasted the idea of Jesus going into the leper colonies and meeting and touching those "unclean" with Pauls strict laws... that was a great point to be made I think.

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I liked it I learned some new things about the diversity of early christianity. I have to admit that IN MY PERSONAL OPINION much of Christianity are followers of Paul rather than followers of Jesus Christ.

Paul had his moments when he just vented. I wish thay had gone more into what happened to the writings of the rest of the apostles-- I often wonder if we would be a diferent kind of Christianity if say JAmes comprised most of the NT.

Just pondering aloud--but I did enjoy it

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To the tune of the Beverly Hillbillys...

"Come and listen to a story

'bout a man named Saul, of the

tribe of Benjamin, he was

zealous of the Law.

He was walkin to Damascus when a

light shown all around, and Christ

chewed him out and he landed on the ground!

Blind that is...slain in the spirit!..

Naw, just "Joshuin" ya..

Well the first thing ya know

old Paul's a joint heir,

the Lord said Paul you better

move away from there!

He said Damascus is the place

you oughta be, and then

go unto the Gentiles an preach the Mystery!

One body that is...Christ in you...

...the hope of glory!

He's comin' back

now, ya hear? Amen!"

Uh, sorry bout that one. A buddy of mine and I used to sing that one with guitar and banjo or mandolin back in the day...doing coffee houses and such..

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OK, great inputs from people thanks a million! I am going to watch some of it tonight. Seems like Paul was a real hardball guy who didn't compromise the Word. Something that many people if not all of us have done at one time or another.

Well, I guess I can only speak for myself so maybe something that I DO all the time. Maybe that's why he came off so a-holish to me about certain things. I don't know. I really am looking forward to seeing this though, especially after reading these reviews.

Johnny Lingo, what a great song! Whoever wrote that really has some talent for improv!

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Chek it out, RG! One thing I really enjoyed hearing discussed was the diversity of beliefs, ideas and opinions and conflict (gasp!) icon_smile.gif:)--> that were present in the first century church. Paul was right in the middle of that and all of the religious, political and social turmoil of the times.

Many people look at those guys and gals thru an idealized filter as if they all somehow knew what they were doing and were planning for all of us someday to sit down and read all about what they wrote and did. Not so. The early church had serious conflicts and Peter, Paul and James are mentioned in the second half of the show quite a bit as to the possible underlying questions of doctrine they were dealing with. Good stuff to see.

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I was disappointed in the show's content and presentation.

The scholars were not particularly insightful in my opinion. Though I respect Karen Armstrong (an agnostic theologian), her written works are far better than her appearances on TV. The believing Christians were rather light on apologetics also.

Yeah, there was conflict ... it's all pretty well documented in Acts and the Epistles. It probably was news for folks have a Bible in the closet somewhere.

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