Here’s a study that’s ideal for Christians who want historical proof of Jesus’ existence to go along with their faith or to share with skeptics. Noted biblical scholars examine literature, history, and archeology to show that evidence for the existence of Jesus is stronger than for any other ancient historical person.
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A journey into history seeking the real Jesus
"If you're open to evidence at all, the evidence for the existence of Jesus... is stronger than for any other ancient historical person. Much stronger, for instance, than for Julius Caesar. And you don't change the whole era of human history over a mythical figure. It happened over a historical person."
- Michael Green, internationally renowned theologian from England
In this illuminating on-location documentary, key questions related to the life and meaning of Jesus are addressed head on. Included are the important issues of:
Did Jesus really exist?
Was He just a human being or more than this?
Did He really rise from the dead?
In this exploration, Michael Green is joined by the American scholar Steven Notley, who is based in Israel, and Dutch scholar and author Jacob van Bruggen. They guide us through the evidence from history, literature, and archeology to examine the case for Jesus Christ and his claims. In the process, they show that the extraordinary claims made by and about Jesus warrant serious consideration today. Fullscreen.
Doubts and questions about the identity of Jesus are addressed in Behold the Man, a DVD that examines literature, history and archeology in an attempt to find the truth. Vision Video releases the DVD this month. English theologian Michael Green, American scholar Steven Notley and Dutch scholar Jacob van Bruggen host the film, and together they answer common questions about the proof of the existence and deity of Jesus. They draw on works such as the first-century writings of Josephus. The validity of Jesus’ miracles is also examined. Scholar van Bruggen asserts that the reality of Jesus’ power was so evident in the first century that no one living at that time even attempted to deny it. Another argument is made in defense of the reliability of the Gospels, examining how these multiple accounts of the same events prove that they really happened and noting that it is also clear that the Gospel writers did not embellish their stories because at times they even put themselves in a bad light. Bonus features on Behold the Man include excerpts from other Vision Video DVDs, including Jesus, the New Way; So, Who Is This Jesus?; and The Incomparable Christ, which features a lecture given by John Stott. Also include on the DVD is a downloadable PDF with an annotated program script with discussion questions. Ideal for Christians who want an introduction to historical studies of Jesus, this 43-minute program was produced by The Netherlands-based Evangelical Broadcasting Organization.
Vision Video is the premier producer of Christian videos. One of their newest DVD titles is particularly impressive and very highly recommended for the non-specialist general viewer. Behold the Man is narrated by British theologian Michael Green who is joined by Israel-based American scholar Steven Notley and author Jacob van Bruggen to present a 43 minute, full color documentary on the history, literature, and archeology relevant to the life and claims of Jesus Christ and specifically addresses the fundamental questions as to the existence of Jesus in the opening decades of the first century, was Jesus more than merely human, and the resurrection of Jesus an actual event. This outstanding documentary is flawlessly produced, informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, and an important addition to personal and community library DVD collections.
British theologian Michael Green teams up with Israeli-based American scholar Steven Notley and Dutch scholar Jacob van Bruggen to examine the historical, archaeological, and literary evidence regarding the life of Jesus in Behold the Man. Did Jesus really exist? Was He more than just a human being? Did He actually rise from the dead? Tasteful art work and on-location filming flesh out the trio’s commentary as they explore these questions, make a case for the Bible as a credible foundation for faith, and study Jesus within the context of His identity as a Jew – ending on a note of hope that Jesus will come again bringing redemption. A good discussion starter for study groups, this is recommended.
Behold the Man sets out to explore historical evidence for the life and ministry of Jesus, and it does this quite well – for a while. Three scholars tackle three big questions about Jesus: Did He really exist? Was He the divine Son of God? And did He really rise from the dead? The documentary takes on an apologetic flavor at the beginning. The scholars discuss Josephus’s account of Christ and defend the reliability of the Gospels. Toward the middle, it becomes more educational and haphazard as it covers random topics, such as Jesus’ family members and His respect for women. By the end, the film shifts drastically off-topic as two of the scholars hold an elongated discussion about the Temple ruins. These individual sections are all good, but they are poorly connected. The bonus materials, however, are quite impressive. The disc contains an annotated PDF script, as well as segments from three other Vision Video films. Overall, the production is well done. The detailed models of ancient Rome and Jerusalem, as well as the onsite shooting, add historical realism. But the occasional shots of costumed actors are too unrealistic to be effective. Whereas the DVD suffers from poor organization, the truths that it sets forth are compelling. Its mix of apologetic and educational content makes it a good choice for study groups.
This DVD examines some of the historical evidence about Jesus. Scholars Jacob van Bruggen, Michael Green, and Steven Notley are the talking heads whose commentaries alternate with footage of Bible lands. Among the historical evidence presented are the writings of the ancient historian Josephus, who mentioned Jesus and his followers. Green holds that the main things we know about Jesus, his acts and words to which multiple Gospels attest, can be taken as true. Skepticism about the reference to Jesus and his followers by Josephus is acknowledged and addressed by the commentators. They maintain that it is possible to infer how he acted from the Gospel accounts. (Van Bruggen asserts that Matthew and John were both written by the Apostles who bear those names.) It is noted that in Jesus' day, carpenters were held in high esteem. We can assume, because he was referred to as Rabbi, that he was informed in Jewish law and scripture. Jesus' reputation as a healer, his intimate understanding of scripture, and the distinctive "humanist" construction of his statements tell us much about the person he was. This DVD would work well as a discussion-starter for a Sunday school class or other small group.
The evidence for the existence of Jesus is stronger than any other historical person according to British theologian Michael Green. Joined by American scholar Steven Notley and Dutch scholar Jacob van Bruggen, Green uses historical resources, literature, and archeology to answer yes to three important questions. "Did Jesus exist?", "Was Jesus more than merely human?" and "Was the resurrection an actual event?" A variety of topics are discussed including Jesus' family, his respect for women, and the construction of the temple and its destruction. We are asked to study first century Jewish culture, to hear the words of eye witnesses as they would have, and to read the gospels as historical biography seeing Jesus as a person in Jewish history. This on location documentary is a mix of apologetics and historical information, making it a good choice for adult education or small study group discussion. Included on the DVD is a PDF file of the script with discussion questions.
Behold the Man presents Christ to modern humanity in a format very common in the Christian media environment. It is a documentary interspersed with pictures, archaeological sites, some primitive role-enactment, and scholarly commentary by three theologians: Englishman, Michael Green, Dutchman, Jacob Van Bruggen, and American, Steven Notley. The presentation moves along within a well structured framework. The DVD asks a number of questions about Jesus and provides some straightforward answers.... Was Jesus just a human being or more than a human being? The answer: More. He was both God and Man as his miracles, healings, and prophetic fulfillment of Judaism's messianic prophecies indicate. And did Jesus really rise from the dead? Answer. He rose. Argument is presented based on Scripture -- the Apostolic witness, the multiplicity of witnesses, the historical veracity of the New Testament, the non-collaborative and self-depreciating nature of the disciple's testimony. The DVD ends with the hope of redemption and faith in Christ's return. The DVD presents a fair apologetic introduction to the Christian message; but it is neither extensive nor exhausting in its presentation. An evangelism team could use this film -- if followed by application -- for a gospel program. Likewise, it would be good for a High School or freshman College Bible Class.... It asks the right questions, and gives the right answers.
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