Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Jesus: the Evidence, Episode 1 on Youtube

I blogged recently about the 1984 Channel 4 documentary, Jesus: The Evidence, first in connection with Morton Smith's appearance on the programme, and then in relation to Geza Vermes's. Since then, someone has uploaded the entirety of the first episode of the documentary to Youtube. It makes fascinating viewing now over 25 years on, especially in giving us the chance to catch appearances from some famous scholars, Werner K├╝mmel, Dennis Nineham, I. Howard Marshall as well as Geza Vermes. There is attention to text-critical matters, Codex Sinaiticus and P52. There is a bit of discussion of P.Oxy. 1 and also Nag Hammadi and the Gospel of Thomas. There are re-enactments of Nicaea and of a young Rudolf Bultmann in the study and the pulpit, and also of the discoveries at Nag Hammadi in 1945 (with a terrible reconstruction of the codices with huge letters):

Fascinating viewing. As I mentioned previously, it is quite different from the contemporary style of documentary in that the scholars speak directly to the camera rather than to an off-screen presenter or director. Moreover, it is clear that they are speaking from a script and not arranging the words as they speak.

There is another version of the episode available here, but the aspect ratio is horrible, even if it is a bit less wobbly.

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