Empires-Peter & Paul and the Christian Revolution (Roadshow) (2002)

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Released 10-Jun-2004
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Two thousand years ago, in the Roman province of Judea, Jesus was crucified by imperial troops. Thousands before him had suffered the same fate. But unlike his predecessors on the cross, Jesus did not disappear from history. Instead, his memory was kept alive by a small band of Jews - men and women who held fast to their conviction that Jesus was the Messiah. These early Christians faced powerful obstacles. The might of the Roman Empire and the dangerous politics of ancient Jerusalem lay a heavy burden on those who believed in Jesus. But the new faith would not die. In a brief span of time, this new religion would transcend its origins in the provinces of Rome and absorb the capital of the Empire itself. With the words of Paul and other ancient writers, interviews with contemporary scholars, and dramatic re-enactments , Peter and Paul and the Christian Revolution explores how two men weathered crippling disagreements and political persecution to lead one of history's most astonishing religious movements.

Episode 1 ~ The Rock and the River
With their Messiah executed and their cause deemed subversive by the Roman Empire, the followers of Jesus face a bleak future. However, an explosive moment of hope saves the movement from extinction. On the shores of the Sea of Galilee, Simon, Peter and others envision the risen Jesus. The sighting convinces them that Jesus has not been beaten. Re-infused with hope and determination, Peter becomes an indomitable figure, uniting the group into a tight community of ardent believers. Persecution, imprisonment, and dispersal follow, but support arrives from an unexpected source. A fervent Jew and a former persecutor of Jerusalem's Jesus community, Paul has a startling revelation that leads him to embrace Peter's faith as his own. Educated, passionate and determined, Paul is also dogmatic. For the fledgling religion, it is a turning point, as Paul uses his formidable talents to spread his new beliefs around the Roman Empire.

Episode 2 ~ The Empire and the Kingdom
Led by missionaries, Christian ideas continue to spread among Jews and non-Jews throughout the Empire. However, hostile locals, imperial forces, and conflicting ideas threaten to tear the young movement apart. On the issue of conversion, Paul falls into open and angry disagreement with some of the oldest members of the movement. Despite Peter's efforts to mediate the crisis, Paul splits with his one-time allies. He establishes churches in his image around the Mediterranean and writes letters that will become central to Christian theology. Finally, in 70 AD, disaster strikes. After decades of rising tension, Judea erupts in revolt against Rome. For four years, war rages. When Rome finally re-establishes control, it destroys much of Jerusalem, torches the sacred Temple, and enslaves the population. The scorched ground of Judea can no longer support a Jewish Christian movement, but the communities established by Paul will survive and grow.

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Disc Rating
Sean A
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Directed by
Margaret Koval
Dana Kaproff
Genre Year Running Time Format Region Coding RSDL
Documentary 2002 110:37 576i (PAL) 4
Widescreen 1.75:1, NOT 16x9 Enhanced
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English for the Hearing Impaired
Main Menu Introduction, Main Menu Audio, Trailer-The Empires Series
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