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Hierophant

Documentary That Everyone Would Enjoy

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I found a documentary that does a really good job explaining the origins of Christianity and some of the theories going around in scholarly circles. It is clean, entertaining, and chock full of good information:

 

https://deepdivedocumentaries.com/

 

You can stream the documentary on the website as a 72-hour rental at $4.99, or buy it for $24.99.

 

Enjoy!

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Judging by the some of the scholars involved, this looks worth watching...

 

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Christians

 

I just want to add, for good measure, that these discussions in the theology section are NOT subject to the same moderation as the Lion's Den. If they're trolled up with irrelevant off topic posts then I promise that moderator actions will be taken.

 

Proselytizing and / or trolling is not tolerated in this section. 

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The mystery religion connection is still fascinating to me. Parables being used to hide the truth was huge in those religions. "An ear of corn reaped in silence" was one mystery parable that was supposed to be the culmination of many teachings, but we are left going "Hmm. Ok."'

 

It seems like they are taking a different mystery angle, with agriculture instead of the amanita mushroom angle. 

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What is the gist of the documentary?   In my studies I decided he may have actually existed, but was later made into a super hero God.  And that he likely was not the only "jesus" character of that time.

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I haven't watched it yet, just the hour long droning interview. The Jews were in shock and upheaval after the destruction of the temple, and looking for some answers since YHWH was supposed to actually live in the middle and hadn't done anything to stop the pagan Romans. There were already factions opposing the Romans, and differing sects of Judaism, with probably even more small cults. The story of Jesus Barabbas (son of the father) and Jesus Christ echoed strongly the Yom Kippur tradition of sacrificing one goat to God to atone for the sins of the priests, and releasing the other into the wilderness to take away the sins of the people. The Jews would have recognized that. Gentiles would not. So this points to the strong Judaic ties that the original cult had. 

 

None of Christianity was written down until Paul (who had never met Jesus) started writing his version of the faith. The apostles (who had met Jesus) got into a tiff with Paul over Gentiles in the church, and how they weren't being good Jews. Paul negotiated with them so that the Gentiles wouldn't have to be burdened with laws. Paul is who made the story accessible to the average Joe, particularly in other countries. Prior to his writings, religions didn't really talk about the afterlife being accessible for most people, only heroes in war or great kings. Most just went to the underworld with the rest of the dead. But here comes a religion saying, yes your life sucks being a peasant, but in the afterlife you will be in paradise with a god that loves you. Huge selling point for faith in that god. The gospels and epistles from various writers seem to be dismissive of other accounts of Jesus, and the tiff between the apostles and Paul, and even other variants of the cult are fairly clear. This is something even the Christian historians realize, though most believers just try to harmonize it all as one story.

 

The documentary points out things like how in Mark, Jesus tells his disciples that he talks to the crowd in parables but to his inner circle he gives them the deep secrets. The "eat my flesh and drink my blood" line is part of that. This guy says that relates to agriculture and winemaking, part of Dionysus worship. The other documentary I watched linked this to the magic mushroom that has a red juice. Hidden truths revealed to the true believers is the basis of every mystery religion ever. "We've got the secrets to the spiritual reality behind this one, and by going through our lessons and paying us, we reveal the truth to you." Scientology is big on this, as is Mormonism. But if Jesus were ever real, then the faith was likely just a very small cult. Paul (if he was even real) made it accessible for the rest of the world, and started a relatively new thing of the average person getting into bliss after a life of hardship which made the religion explode throughout the Roman and Greek worlds. 

 

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Ever since I learned that Barabbas meant "son of the father" and Jesus (or really Joshua) means Savior, I thought the story of Pilate letting one of them go had to be Midrash reworking into the New Testament. There is no historical data indicating there was a tradition of letting a prisoner go on Passover, and the story makes way more sense as a literary ploy tying the release of Barabbas and Jesus to Leviticus 16.

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I watched the documentary yesterday and I think it’s well worth the time and the small rental charge.  Thanks to @Hierophantfor bringing this to our attention!  I wish I could have sent it to my TV screen via my Roku or Apple TV but I couldn’t see a way to do that and watched it on my iPad.   

 

It’s very well done, professional, nicely photographed, entertaining and chock full of information on early Christianity.  It covers a lot of the ground that Bart Ehrman covers in “How Jesus Became God”.  I thought for a while that I might share it with my wife, who is a believer but is somewhat open to questions about the Bible and Christianity.  But I’ve decided this program would be too much coming at her all at once.

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