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					                     Peter Jennings Reporting -
             Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness
                                    Air Date 4/5/04


                             Peter Jennings – On Camera
Good evening. I'm Peter Jennings. It is an unusual opportunity to say the least, for a
network reporter to have three hours in primetime to examine the origins of
Christianity. And as you will see tonight, it is a great story, filled with colorful
characters who millions of people have heard about but not many people know
much about. And with all of the very intense debate recently about the Passion, the
final days of Jesus's life, we think we can add some understanding to the most
dramatic moments, which appear to be so controversial. And then, as we come upon
Easter, 2004, we will meet Paul. In the Christian Bible, Jesus is revered as God's
Word on Earth. Without Paul, the Apostle Paul, Christianity might not be what it is
today.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) It was the 33rd year of the first century when a young Jewish preacher
named Jesus was executed in Jerusalem.

                                Ben Witherington III
                       Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
The idea of a crucified God really did not make sense in the first century world.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) It is almost unthinkable that his tiny movement didn't die with him.

                                  Karen Armstrong
                              Author, "A History of God"
I mean, if anyone had said this is a great idea for a new religion, a man who died the
disgraceful death of a common criminal in an obscure province of the Roman Empire
who was in some way divine, people would have laughed in your face.

                                Ben Witherington III
                      Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
What a silly God would it be that got himself crucified?

GRAPHICS: PETER JENNINGS REPORTING
JESUS AND PAUL: THE WORD AND THE WITNESS
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         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Jesus grew up in a region north of Jerusalem, known as the Galilee, in
a town called Nazareth. He appears to have been from a devout Jewish family.
Scripture says they were carpenters. Today, Nazareth is quite large. Then it was
probably no more than a dirt road and a few houses. The Roman emperors were
considered divine. It was unlikely that a boy from here would ever pose a challenge
to them. Nazareth was a dusty village at the eastern end of the Roman Empire. That
empire was vast and wealthy, and crushed anyone who challenged its power,
though some Jews kept trying. When Jesus was a child, there was a Jewish uprising
here, four miles from Nazareth, in a city called Sepphoris. The Romans responded in
typical fashion. They destroyed the city, and anyone left alive became a slave.

                           Peter Jennings – On Camera
Jesus surely heard the stories of what the Romans did here at Sepphoris to the
people who rebelled against them. After all, he didn't live very far away. That is the
present-day city of Nazareth just snaking in across the hills over there. After
Sepphoris was destroyed, the Romans appointed a 17-year-old Jewish boy to be
their puppet governor here. His name was Herod Antipas. He was the son of King
Herod the Great, and like his brothers, he'd been almost completely educated in
Rome. Herod Antipas and Jesus the Jew had virtually nothing in common. But as
Jesus was growing up here, Herod Antipas was rebuilding Sepphoris as his capital.

                                    James Strange
                                      Archaeologist
The first century, by the way, is before our eyes. Look to the left.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) James Strange is an archaeologist and a Baptist minister. He is trying
to piece together a picture of what King Herod Antipas and his City of Sepphoris
represented while Jesus was growing up.

                                       James Strange
                                        Archaeologist
Jesus and his family over here in Nazareth are looking, and they come up over the
hill at a great city on the hillside, which can't be hid, and it looks Roman.

                                    Peter Jennings
But Herod Antipas is Jewish.

                                   James Strange
                                     Archaeologist
Yeah. Yeah, he's Jewish. I don't think he knows anything about it, 'cause he's been
living in Rome, being trained to be a Roman, basically.

                                    Peter Jennings
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          Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


(Voice Over) Here in Sepphoris, Jesus could have seen how Herod Antipas and his
rich friends lived in stark contrast to people in tiny villages such as Nazareth.

                                     Marcus J. Borg
                                 Oregon State University
Peasant existence was really quite desperate. Infant mortality rates were about 30
percent, 30 percent of children would die before age one. Another 30 percent or so
would die by age six. So 60 percent of all children are dead by age six. If you made
it to age six, and you were a peasant, your life expectancy would be approximately
25 to 30 years. Now, people we call the elites, meaning the top two percent to four
percent of the population, their life expectancy was between 60 and 70 years. The
point being that peasant life in Galilee in the first century was very tough. It was very,
very tough.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) In the back streets of Nazareth, Jesus would have heard people talking
about how God would intervene soon to replace Herod Antipas's little kingdom, as
well as the Roman occupation. He'd replace it with something called the Kingdom of
God.

                                      Daniel Schwartz
                               Hebrew University, Jerusalem
In the time of Jesus, there were definitely a lot of people around who thought that
God is physically present in Palestine, and he's supposed to be the King of the
Jews. They're looking forward to redemption. And redemption, while it sounds to us
a religious term, in first century terms, in Palestine, meant putting an end to foreign
rule.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) When Jews in Jesus's time talked about God's kingdom, they weren't
talking about a place you went after you died. They envisioned a kingdom of God
right here on Earth.

                                     Peter Jennings
 Is it reasonable or possible for the average guy on the street in the first century to
have a general notion about this?

                                  Paula Fredriksen
                     Author "Jesus of Nazareth", Boston University
I think so.

                                    Peter Jennings
What would it be?

                                   Paula Fredriksen
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        Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                      Author "Jesus of Nazareth", Boston University
I think it would, the Kingdom of God would mean when God, the King of the
universe, God, the King of Israel, it's the same person, will have overthrown evil
once for all. You have no disease. You have no starvation. You have, you have hills
running with milk and honey. You have peace.

                                  Peter Jennings
Not very practical.

                                   Paula Fredriksen
                    Author "Jesus of Nazareth", Boston University
It would take a miracle. But that's what these people were expecting.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) When Jesus was 10 or 12 years old, there was another violent Jewish
revolt here. The revolutionary slogan was "no king but God."

                               Reverend N. T. Wright
          Author, "Jesus and The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                  And "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
The rebellion was put down brutally by the Romans. They brought in the legions and
crucified probably hundreds of those revolutionaries, those Kingdom people in and
around the places where Jesus knew when he was growing up. So, Jesus grew up
almost literally under the shadow of the cross. He knew that this was what happened
to Kingdom people.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) So, by the time he was a teenager, Jesus would have lived through two
failed Jewish rebellions. And he would have heard the ancient Jewish prophecy,
saying that God would some day send a Messiah to establish his kingdom on Earth.
The word Messiah did not mean the "Son of God." It simply meant "The Anointed
One."

                               Luke Timothy Johnson
          Author, "The Real Jesus", "The Writings Of The New Testament",
             and “Letters To Paul's Delegates", Emory University, Atlanta
There were so many versions. He could be a priest. He could be a prophet. He could
be a king. He's always a he, I think. But he could be a heavenly figure. He could be
an earthly figure.

                                Ben Witherington III
                       Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
There are seven, eight, nine other messianic figures of the era before the time of
Jesus, during the time of Jesus, after the time of Jesus, who saw themselves
fulfilling Old Testament prophecies.
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         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness




                                      Peter Jennings
 So, it's not at all unusual for a boy in Jesus's time to think, "something really ought
to be done here, and possibly I'm the one to do it"?

                              Reverend N. T. Wright
       Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
               and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
"Something's got to be done. Maybe I'll be the one to do it."

                                    Peter Jennings
And "maybe I'm the Messiah"?

                                Reverend N. T. Wright
         Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                 and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
I suspect that half the Jewish mothers in Galilee at the time hoped that their son was
going to be the Messiah.

ANNOUNCER
PETER JENNINGS REPORTING, JESUS AND PAUL, THE WORD AND THE
WITNESS, BROUGHT TO YOU BY ...

COMMERCIAL BREAK

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) There is no description in the Bible or anywhere else of what Jesus
actually looked like.

                                 Peter Jennings
What do you think he looked like?

                                         Tourist
Blue eyes, sort of lighter skin.

                                        Tourist
He was a perfect man, six foot tall, blue eyes.

                                 Peter Jennings
What color eyes do you think he had?

                                         Tourist
Blue.

                                    Peter Jennings
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         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


Was he tall or short, do you think?

                                        Tourist
Like your size.

                                   Peter Jennings
My size?

                                        Tourist
Yeah.

                                 Marcus J. Borg
                              Oregon State University
We do know that the average height of a male in that world about five feet or five
feet, one inch, average weight maybe 110 pounds.

                              John Dominic Crossan
      Author, "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography" and "The Birth of Christianity"
He is dark and swarthy, he is eastern Mediterranean type.

                                 Paula Fredriksen
                    Author "Jesus of Nazareth", Boston University
I picture him as very Mediterranean and very intense, a combination of Pacino and
DeNiro.

                                Reverend N.T. Wright
            Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God" and "Following Jesus"
                              Bishop of Durham, England
If you want to know something of what Jesus looked like, go down the road from
Jerusalem and see a chap coming in from the desert with his head in a scarf and so
on, with his eyes half shut against the desert sand, and his face and his neck and his
arms baked by the sun. And that's probably the first image that you or I would have
of Jesus if we were to meet him today.

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) The Bible tells us that when he was in his late 20s, Jesus of Nazareth
was baptized by a holy man named John, out in the desert. The history books say
John was preaching the end of the world was imminent and people needed to
repent. Historians believe that, for a time, Jesus was part of John's group. But then,
Jesus began preaching his own message and gathering his own movement, here
around the Sea of Galilee.

                               Peter Jennings
What would have been the population around here in the first century?
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         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                         Father Jerome Murphy O'Connor
         Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem
There were a whole string of little villages around the lake, each one with perhaps a
population of say 400 or 500 maximum.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) And Jesus was talking about the Kingdom of God.

                                   Marvin W. Meyer
                            Chapman University, California
When he would talk about God's reign and God's kingdom, God's empire, this is
language that is potentially explosive, because it has political overtones. And there
must have been a lot of people. Maybe some ears around the corner, in fact, that
were listening too.

                                    Reverend N.T. Wright
             Author, "Jesus and The Victory Of God" and "Following Jesus"
                                 Bishop of Durham, England
What Jesus is then saying is, yes, this is the time, when all that stuff is going to be
fulfilled. But it's going to look significantly different, from how you think, because of
who God actually is and the God that you actually have is not a God who's going to
blast everyone else to smithereens.

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) He said things like, "Blessed are the poor, the Kingdom of God belongs
to you." "Woe to you who are laughing now, you will grieve." "Woe to you who have
your fill now, you will go hungry." "Blessed are you who are hungry now, you will
have a feast." To the Jewish fishermen who were likely the first to hear him, it would
all have sounded radical, and a bit dangerous.

                                     Daniel Schwartz
                               Hebrew University, Jerusalem
The poor are going to be honored. The dregs of society are going to be honored. If
that isn't radical, then I don't know what is.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) The Bible notes that Jesus was known for eating with sinners, which
likely meant the poorest and most unsavory characters of the day.

                          Father Jerome Murphy O'Connor
          Author, "Jesus and The Victory Of God", Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem
Sinners are classes of people in the line of business that facilitates theft. So anyone
in the transport business was considered a sinner. There was no such thing as a
good shepherd. Shepherds are, by definition, crooks.
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         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                               Peter Jennings
Why are shepherds considered crooks?

                          Father Jerome Murphy O'Connor
          Author, "Jesus and The Victory Of God", Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem
Because they can steal meat and they can steal wool, without anyone knowing
about it.

                                 Peter Jennings
And are these the people Jesus is attracted to, do you think?

                         Father Jerome Murphy O'Connor
        Author, "Jesus and The Victory Of God", Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem
Yes, because he saw them as victims, you see. They didn't choose to be crooks,
you know, they didn't, they were perhaps very decent people. But this was the only
way they could feed their families.

                              Luke Timothy Johnson
         Author, "The Real Jesus", "The Writings Of The New Testament",
            and "Letters To Paul's Delegates", Emory University, Atlanta
What seems to be radical, if you will, is the willingness to overcome social
convention in order to embrace other humans, to reach beyond stigma.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Jesus apparently included these people in his inner circle. A tax
collector, people in Jesus's day shunned them. He shocked people by defending a
woman accused of sexual misconduct.

                                    Arthur J. Dewey
                        Author, "Jesus and The Victory Of God"
Jesus is saying God is impartial, that God benefits everybody. Once you begin to
start talking about that you begin to reimagine things in a very, very different way.

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) The Gospels also say that as he moved from village to village,
preaching, Jesus also healed, blind men, hemorrhaging women, people with fever,
palsy, paralysis, and all sorts of other illnesses.

                          Father Jerome Murphy O'Connor
        Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem
They believed that sin, sickness and demonic possession all sort of went together.
People thought that sickness was the result of possession by a demon. And so, to
cure a person was to expel the demon. This was just a way of talking.

                               John Dominic Crossan
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         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


      Author, "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography" and "The Birth Of Christianity"
You're dealing with an oppressed people who are malnutritioned because they're
overworked, and they were told on top of that it is their fault. It's a divine punishment
for their sins. And Jesus says, no, it's not. This is not the will of God.

                                Luke Timothy Johnson
          Author, "The Real Jesus", "The Writings Of The New Testament",
             and "Letters To Paul's Delegates", Emory University, Atlanta
The message of good news to the poor and to the grieving and to those who are
rejected is paralleled in the gospel stories by what appears to be Jesus's
characteristic gesture of touching people and of being touched. Great men tended to
be great because they were not approachable in that fashion. Jesus is so
astonishing because he's touched by everybody, children, lepers.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) The Old Testament book of Leviticus says, "A person who has the
leprous disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head be disheveled.
He shall cover his upper lip and cry out, 'unclean, unclean' and he shall live alone."

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Jesus would be walking along the road, according to the Gospels, and
hear lepers calling to him in the distance. And he would do what?

                              John Dominic Crossan
      Author, "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography" and "The Birth of Christianity"
Well, why the lepers should be calling is so he can't approach, so he keeps away
from them. What Jesus does is touch them, which means, technically, he is now
unclean as they are.

                                 Ben Witherington III
                       Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
In his view, because the Kingdom is coming in, new occasions teach new duties and
that means that the old interpretation of clean and unclean are no longer valid.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) This would have appalled a lot of people in other Kingdom movements.
For example, the writers of the Dead Sea Scrolls, who lived in caves outside
Jerusalem.

                               Reverend N.T. Wright
            Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God" and "Following Jesus"
                             Bishop of Durham, England
In one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, there is a description of who gets to be excluded
from the community. And it reads, the blind, the lame, the deaf, the dumb, those who
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         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


have blemishes in their flesh, et cetera, et cetera. It reads like a list of people that
Jesus healed. And Jesus says, blind, lame, deaf and dumb, let's bring them in.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Every year on Palm Sunday, a week before Easter, Christians from all
over the world gather in Jerusalem to commemorate the arrival of Jesus just before
his death. Jesus had come to the city for the Jewish high holiday of Passover. The
gospel says that he rode in on a donkey, greeted by crowds waving palm branches.
The Bible says they were hailing him as the Messiah, calling him the Son of David,
the ancient Jewish king who had once ruled the land on God's behalf.

                                   Reverend N.T. Wright
             Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God" and "Following Jesus"
                                Bishop of Durham, England
When Jesus comes to Jerusalem, it looks as though what he is saying in his actions
is, I'll show you what it looks like when God returns to be King. It looks like a young
prophet on a donkey, riding into Jerusalem in tears.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Scholars disagree on the size of the crowd that would have paid
attention.

                                  Ben Witherington III
                        Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
Of course Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees, and other interested parties would be
interested in the controversial teacher from Nazareth, not least because he's not just
a teacher. He's also a miracle worker, on top of which, he's an exorcist. So, he's a
really controversial figure. Any kind of charismatic, messianic figure of any type,
whether it's John the Baptist or it's Jesus, is going to draw a crowd.

                               Peter Jennings
And when we talk about the number of followers he might have had, how many
might that have been?

                         Father Jerome Murphy O'Connor
         Author, "Jesus and The Victory Of God", Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem
Ten, 15, 20.

                                     Peter Jennings
That's all?

                        Father Jerome Murphy O'Connor
         Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem
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         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


Those who came with him, maybe there were others who were hopeful but
uncommitted in Galilee. But a very small number. And then you should imagine a
group of young men and women walking against the walls of Jerusalem armed with
nothing but faith.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Scholars also debate whether or not Jesus led people to believe that
he was the Messiah. In the Bible, he never says it directly.

                          Reverend John Shelby Spong
            Author, "Liberating The Gospels" and "The Easter Moment"
I do know that he was interpreted as the suffering servant who took on the pain of
the world. Whether that was Jesus who gave them that idea, that's another question.

                                Ben Witherington III
                       Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
And I think he did see himself as a messianic figure. The two phrases most
commonly on his lips were, Son of Man and Kingdom of God, okay?

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Those words appear in the Jewish Scripture known as the Book of
Daniel, in which a figure called the Son of Man comes to earth in clouds of glory to
bring about the Kingdom of God. It was a popular book among Jews living in and
around Jerusalem in Jesus's day. So Jesus was likely familiar with it.

                                 Ben Witherington III
                       Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
And I think he believed he was going to be a messianic figure that God would set up
as a ruler of a kingdom forever.

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) And there is much disagreement about what happened next. The
details of the final days of Jesus's life are found in the Passion stories. It's not
entirely clear when the Biblical accounts, called the Gospels, were written, or who
wrote them. Some conservative scholars maintain the accounts were the actual
recollections of eyewitnesses.

                                   Ben Witherington III
                         Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
Some of the eyewitnesses of the ministry of Jesus lived until, into the latter part of
the first century AD. So even when the latter parts of the New Testament are being
written, they're either written by Apostolic figures or those who were second
generation coworkers with people who were eyewitnesses.

                                   Peter Jennings
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         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


(Voice Over) Others say we can't be sure exactly where the stories originated.

                                Luke Timothy Johnson
           Author, "The Real Jesus", "The Writings of The New Testament",
             and “Letters To Paul's Delegates", Emory University, Atlanta
We really don't know who the authors of the Gospels are. All of these are written 50
years after the events that they report. So, for the first period, if we are being really
strict about being serious historians, all we have are these fragmentary windows into
moments of early Christian experience. But I think it would be wrong to picture an
absolute gap between the events and these narratives.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) That is because there is pretty convincing evidence that the memory of
what Jesus said and what happened to him was passed along in stories that began
circulating among his followers very soon after his death. Everyone agrees that
Jesus came to Jerusalem for Passover, and that by the end of the week, the young
preacher from Nazareth was dead. But who wanted him executed, the Jewish
priests or the Romans? And what did he do to attract their attention?

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) First you have to understand the Romans. The Passover holiday
always made them nervous. Pontius Pilate, the military governor, brought extra
troops down to Jerusalem for Passover every year. There had been demonstrations
in the past. Passover is the holiday when Jews commemorate the time that God
liberated their ancestors from slavery in Egypt. The celebrations lasted a week.
Pilate's soldiers watched the crowded streets for troublemakers and the Gospels say
Jesus waded right into the middle of this and started preaching.

                                    Peter Jennings
Does Pontius Pilate notice him?

                               Paula Fredriksen
                  Author "Jesus of Nazareth", Boston University
He's probably somebody he keeps his eye on, because a crowd collects. If you were
a Roman colonial governor, you want to watch it when the natives start collecting
crowds.

                              John Dominic Crossan
      Author, "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography" and "The Birth of Christianity"
There were probably standing orders from Pilate, anyone who raises their head,
anyone who does anything subversive, dangerous, hit them and hit them hard and
crucify them and hang them out there as a warning. I can imagine Pilate saying, "I'm
not going to have any trouble this Passover."

                                    Peter Jennings
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        Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


(Voice Over) Also watching, the Jewish priests Annas and Caiaphas. They were the
leaders appointed by the Romans to run the Jewish Temple.

                                  Daniel Schwartz
                            Hebrew University, Jerusalem
The Romans have made it their business to appoint political nincompoops to these
posts, people who will not pose threats to Rome and who don't pose threats to
Rome. People like Caiaphas in the New Testament story.

                                     Paul L. Maier
    Author, "Eusebus: The Church History" and, "Josephus: The Essential Works"
                              Western Michigan University
We know more about the priesthood, Annas, Caiaphas and company, than we find
in the New Testament. Fortunately, we have this wonderful outside secular source,
Flavius Josephus, who writes an enormous history of the Jewish people. And he
tells us that Annas was what I like to call the godfather of Jerusalem. He was the
one who pulled all the strings. He was the champion in terms of nepotism. He made
high priests, five of his sons made high priest. His son-in-law, Joseph Caiaphas,
married the boss's daughter. That was the way to get ahead in those days, and of
course what's changed? Six, then, in that family controlled the high priesthood. The
aristocracy supported them, and this is only a small fraction of the Jewish people at
the time.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) According to Jewish and Roman history, they were not popular leaders.

                                   Paul L. Maier
   Author, "Eusebus: The Church History" and, "Josephus: The Essential Works"
                             Western Michigan University
They overcharged the people. They had a kickback on all transactions, all money-
dealings in the temple. So they were not popular with the Passover pilgrims.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Jesus may have attracted the attention of the priests because three of
the Gospels say that when he entered the city, Jesus walked into the temple and
turned over the tables of the money changers.

                               Reverend N.T. Wright
           Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God" and "Following Jesus"
                             Bishop of Durham, England
And he is a marked man from then on, even if he wasn't before, which he may have
been, because word definitely gets back to the chief priests. There's a prophet in
town who's doing things in the temple.

                                  Peter Jennings
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         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


(Voice Over) On the other hand, some historians think it was Pilate, and not the
priests, who wanted Jesus eliminated. The high priest was appointed by the Roman
authorities. In return, was required to keep the peace. His job depended on it.

                                     Peter Jennings
 Put yourself in the position of the high priests in the temple. Jesus is in town, he's
preaching. What are you worried about?

                                  Marcus J. Borg
                              Oregon State University
What I would be worried about is that there might be a public disturbance at
Passover, which would lead to the intervention of troops, which might lead to several
thousands of people being killed.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) We do know that on several occasions, when protesting crowds got out
of hand, Roman soldiers had indiscriminately massacred people.

                                  Peter Jennings
And what role do you think that the leaders of the temple have at this point?

                                   Paula Fredriksen
                    Author "Jesus of Nazareth", Boston University
That's a miserable job, being the go-between government. The priests have the
unhappy responsibility of trying to keep the Jewish crowds quiet on the one side and
keeping the Roman governor calm on the other side. It's their city, they know how to
move around Jerusalem. They help Pilate get Jesus. The way I imagine it is that
they know that Pilate is getting nervous about the crowds around Jesus and they do
an intercept. They say, "no, don't do what you usually do when you get nervous and
upset, not at Passover. Look, we can get you this guy. Promise you won't hurt
anybody else." And Pilate says, "okay, but you get him to me fast."

ANNOUNCER
JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON ABCNEWS.COM AND BELIEFNET.COM. JESUS
AND PAUL, THE WORD AND THE WITNESS WILL CONTINUE AFTER THIS
FROM OUR ABC STATIONS.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) The Gospels say that the night before he died, Jesus gathered his
followers together and ate the traditional Passover dinner.

                                 Peter Jennings
What do you think that last supper was like?
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         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness




                            Father Jerome Murphy O'Connor
           Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem
I think it was a rather stressful meal. Men and women, and then Jesus made this
extraordinary announcement. "This is my body and this is my blood."

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Whatever happened at the last supper, it does seem logical that under
the circumstances, Jesus would have understood that he was in danger. After the
meal, the Gospels say that Jesus and his disciples left the city and headed toward
the Mount of Olives, across the Kidron Valley.

                            Father Jerome Murphy O'Connor
         Author, "Jesus and The Victory Of God", Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem
Now, the Kidron Valley has one most obvious characteristic, it's a huge graveyard.
Now a little bit off the picture to the left is the tomb of the Bena Hazir.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Father O'Connor gives a lecture to Catholic seminary students about
what he believes happened to Jesus in the Kidron Valley that night.

                           Father Jerome Murphy O'Connor
         Author, "Jesus and The Victory Of God", Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem
And this is a tomb, which is called the "tomb of the pharaoh's daughter." So that
even in the first century, when Jesus walked up through the Kidron Valley, he was in
fact walking through a huge well- known graveyard. Seeing those great tombs in the
moonlight, it suddenly hit him. "It might be tonight. I might die tonight, I might die
now."

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) The gospels tell us that the men climbed up the other side of the valley
and stopped in a place on the Mount of Olives called Gethsemane. Here under the
olive trees, the Gospels say, Jesus fell on the ground and began to pray, "father, all
things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me."

                          Father Jerome Murphy O'Connor
          Author, "Jesus and The Victory Of God", Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem
The whole instinct of self-preservation, took over. The oldest level of the story, which
is found in Mark, says Jesus and his disciples came to a place called Gethsemane.
There he began to be deeply shocked and appalled. They depict a person on the
edge of a complete breakdown, psychic and physical, through fear. The personality
is coming apart under terror.

                                   Peter Jennings
                                                                                      16
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


(Voice Over) Here in the garden of Gethsemane, Father O'Connor thinks he sees
evidence that Jesus could have got away if he'd wanted to.

                          Father Jerome Murphy O'Connor
         Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem
Originally, this was a very ancient staircase, you see, and this is the easiest place to
climb the Mount of Olives. Even today, you have three roads going up to the top
from this point.

                                   Peter Jennings
 So, if he was in the garden of Gethsemane and the authorities in some fashion were
coming across the valley to get him, he could have escaped?

                          Father Jerome Murphy O'Connor
         Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem
Oh yeah, all he had to do was stay ahead of them. Ten minutes would have brought
him to the top of the Mount of Olives. Another 20 minutes fast walking along the
ridge would have brought him to Bethany. There he would have picked up food and
water and then off into the desert. They'd never have found him.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Today, Gethsemane is a sanctuary surrounded by high walls. There's a
beautiful old grove of olive trees here, with roots that go back to Jesus' time.

                               Father Edward Dillon
                                 Garden Caretaker
You have to protect the trees because the devout pilgrims would strip them of all
their olive branches.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Father Edward Dillon, from Lynbrook, New York, is in charge of the
garden at Gethsemane, where the Gospels say a detachment of armed men finally
caught up with Jesus.

                                Father Edward Dillon
                                  Garden Caretaker
They could have seen down from the hill here that there were men coming with
torches and swords and clubs. They saw them coming. And so I believe that Jesus
said, "come on, let's go." And he walked right into it. Went down, in fact to meet
them.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Down the hill is a cave, where Father Dillon says they arrested Jesus.
Today, it's a chapel inside.
                                                                                           17
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                 Father Edward Dillon
                                     Garden Caretaker
So, he said, "whom are you looking for?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth." And he
said, "I am." And his disciples all fled, leaving him, as it were, flat. They were scared
to death, you know. That's what happened.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) All the Gospels say that one of his disciples, a man named Judas, led
the guards to Jesus. In three of the Gospels, Judas identifies Jesus by kissing him.

                                     Robert Funk
                             Founder, The Jesus Seminar
Probably a fiction, because Judas looks to many of us like the representation of
Judaism, or the Jews, as responsible for his death. If it is a fiction, it was one of the
most cruel fictions that was ever invented.

                             Reverend John Shelby Spong
               Author, "Liberating The Gospels" and, "The Easter Moment"
It's striking to me that when the name of the ultimate anti-Christ, in effect, the anti-
hero of the Christian story is given, he has the same name as the whole Jewish
nation. Judas is simply the Greek writing of the Hebrew Judah. And it's just
absolutely identical.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) And so, whether or not there was a man named Judas who betrayed
Jesus, is another point on which scholars disagree with one another, vigorously.
Judas meant Jew.

                               John Dominic Crossan
      Author, "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography" and "The Birth of Christianity"
Yes. The trouble is, of course, that that was not the way people in the first century
would have heard it, because that was an ordinary name. There's a lot of evidence
that somebody -I'm deliberately putting this very vaguely -somebody close to Jesus
betrayed him.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) There is an intense debate about whether Jesus was put on trial by the
Jewish priests.

                                  Paula Fredriksen
                    Author "Jesus of Nazareth", Boston University
In Mark, we have two Jewish trials, one at night and one first thing in the morning.
And we have the same thing in Matthew. In Luke, we have only one Jewish trial, just
in the morning. In John, we have no Jewish trial at all, okay? So we don't have any
clear evidence about Jewish trials, per se.
                                                                                       18
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness




                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Some people argue that the trial couldn't have happened because the
priests would never have held a trial on Passover.

                                   Robert Funk
                            Founder,The Jesus Seminar
I think that the Romans executed him probably summarily without a trial at all, just
because he was a public nuisance.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) On the other hand, there are Jewish documents which describe the
high priest turning in fellow Jews to the Romans.

                                   Daniel Schwartz
                            Hebrew University, Jerusalem
That there be a consultation in the house of the high priest, what shall we do about
this guy? I can very well imagine.

                                   Peter Jennings
 Is it possible that the Roman leadership alone would have arrested him and
executed him?

                                    Marcus J. Borg
                                Oregon State University
It is clear that he was executed on the order of Roman authority, because crucifixion
was a punishment inflicted only by the Romans. And it's possible that it was only
Roman authority involved. But, I and the majority of contemporary scholars,
including Jewish scholars, would say that most likely a very narrow circle of the
Jewish ruling elite, centered in the Temple, whose responsibility was domestic
peace, if you will, were involved as collaborators with the Roman governor.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) The most intense debate is about what happened next. In every
version of the story, the Jewish leaders take Jesus to the Roman military governor,
Pontius Pilate, and had to pressure him before he would pass the sentence. Many
historians don't believe it.

                                    Paula Fredriksen
                     Author "Jesus of Nazareth", Boston University
We have evidence other than the Gospels for Pilate. Josephus talks about him as a
thug, a really -you know, in a string of bad governors he was one of the worst. Philo
of Alexandria, who was Jesus' contemporary, writes that Pilate was known for his
theft, his banality and his execution of untried prisoners. Jesus fits into that category
without effort.
                                                                                        19
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness




                            Reverend John Shelby Spong
             Author, "Liberating The Gospels" and, "The Easter Moment"
But the portraits you get of Pilate in the New Testament is that he's almost a saint.
You know, he keeps affirming Jesus' innocence, he keeps trying to find a way to
release him. And then finally, Pilate comes out and washes his hands and says, "I
am innocent of the blood of this just man. See ye to it."

                                  Daniel Schwartz
                            Hebrew University, Jerusalem
The Gospel writers have every interest in giving the Jewish mob a very major role in
Pilate's decision to have Jesus crucified.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Because, goes this theory, if the Roman authorities actually found
Jesus guilty of a crime, then the early Christians would appear to be the followers of
a criminal.

                          Reverend John Shelby Spong
            Author, "Liberating The Gospels" and, "The Easter Moment"
They shifted the blame and tried to escape the wrath of Rome. So they were cozying
up to the Romans at that point.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) But there are also some good historical arguments that Pilate might
have resisted condemning Jesus, just as the Gospels say he did. If Jesus had
become popular, Pilate might have feared that killing him would lead to rioting.

                                    Paul L. Maier
   Author, "Eusebus: The Church History" and, "Josephus: The Essential Works"
                            Western Michigan University
Fortunately, Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, really comes through for us
here. He gives us a tremendous background for Pilate. He's got 600 police in
Jerusalem. That's it. And during the high and holy festivals, the Passover, you have
a population of about 200,000. And 600 police are not gonna be able to control
200,000.

                                Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) And the records show that Pilate had a habit of antagonizing the
Jewish leaders.

                                      Peter Jennings
Pilate has no interest, politically, in saving Jesus?

                               Reverend N. T. Wright
                                                                                       20
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


          Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                   and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
I don't think Pilate has any interest, whatever, in saving Jesus. I think he just wants
to snub the chief priests.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) On the other hand, Pilate also had a habit of finally backing down
under pressure. He had done so on at least two other occasions. In this case, the
Gospels suggest the priests pressured him by saying that Jesus was claiming to be
a king.

                              Reverend N. T. Wright
        Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                 and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
He thinks he's a King. And you have to get rid of kings, don't you?

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) But even those who think the Bible story is accurate say it has been
misread and misinterpreted.

                                       Paul l. Maier
     Author, "Eusebus: The Church History" and, "Josephus: The Essential Works"
                               Western Michigan University
It's again, the fractional group of the authorities in the Temple, that all the others who
love Jesus don't know about this until it's too late. He's arrested about 10:00 PM on
Thursday night. There's no "Jerusalem Times," no Jerusalem tube, you know,
"prophet from Galilee arrested, film at eleven." Luke 23:27 is the verse that is
probably the most overlooked bit of scripture in the entire Bible. Jesus is dragging
his cross to Calvary. And a great multitude of Jewish men and women were weeping
at that time. Now how could the church ever have tried to collectivize any supposed
Jewish guilt on Good Friday? Totally wrong.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Crucifixion was an ugly process.

                               Reverend N. T. Wright
         Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                 and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
Crucifixion was the most horrible form of torturing and killing that the Romans had
been able to devise, and they were pretty good at that kind of stuff. It meant right
across the Roman world, "we Romans run this show, and anyone who gets in our
way gets rubbed out and rubbed out horribly."

                                    Peter Jennings
What's the charge?
                                                                                       21
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness




                                John Dominic Crossan
      Author, "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography" and "The Birth of Christianity"
Well, the official charge, of course, is that he's a political rebel against Rome.

                                    Peter Jennings
Treason?

                                John Dominic Crossan
        Author, "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography" and "The Birth of Christianity"
It is, exactly.

                                    Paula Fredriksen
                     Author "Jesus of Nazareth", Boston University
I think what Pilate's actually doing is addressing Jesus' followers. This is a very, very
effective way of saying, "calm down, guys. The kingdom of God isn't coming this
Passover." Because people would have gone to bed all excited about the approach
of the kingdom and Jesus' authority to announce it. And when they woke up the next
morning, Jesus would have been, you know, on his way to the cross.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) 2,000 years later, Christian pilgrims still come to Jerusalem on Easter
and commemorate the day that Jesus was led through the streets to the place of his
execution, carrying his own cross.

                                   Marvin W. Meyer
                           Author, "The Gospel of Thomas"
He was executed, probably because of "kingdom talk." You know, what kind of a
person is it that keeps on getting people aroused, especially poor people,
disenfranchised people, with talk about a kingdom or an empire? That's a dangerous
person.

                                     Marcus J. Borg
                                 Oregon State University
In a sense, he gave his life for the least of these. Namely, the poor, the
untouchables, the suffering of people in the world.

                                       Paula Fredriksen
                       Author "Jesus of Nazareth", Boston University
And I think the title that's put over the cross, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews,"
is Pilate's final insult to the idea that the Messiah was going to show up that
Passover.

                                    Peter Jennings
                                                                                      22
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


(Voice Over) The Gospels say that Jesus hung on the cross for a few hours before
dying, we assume of suffocation, since the idea behind crucifixion was that your
lungs collapsed under the weight of the hanging body.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

                                    Peter Jennings
The Gospel stories don't end with Jesus' death. They say that afterward, Jesus is
taken down off the cross by his mother and a few others and buried in a rock tomb.
Most of his closest followers had fled.

                                  Ben Witherington III
                         Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
There's a mark of strong authenticity in these accounts because they don't paint a
flattering picture of the magnificent 12. They look more like the dirty dozen than the
magnificent 12. I mean, that's just the truth of the matter about the situation. They're
huddled in the upper room quivering and don't want to come out from behind locked
doors because of the Jewish officials. They're afraid that what happened to Jesus
could happen to them.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Three days later, the women came to the tomb and find it empty,
according to the Bible.

                              Ben Witherington III
                     Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
On Sunday morning, they come back to anoint the body and pay their last respects.
They see the empty tomb, they see angels at the tomb.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Then Jesus' little group of followers came out of hiding to claim that
they had seen their executed friend back from the dead.

                                Ben Witherington III
                      Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
They believed that with their whole hearts. And they went from denying, deserting
and betraying to being courageous witnesses to a crucified and risen Messiah.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) We asked many historians what they thought about the resurrection
stories. There are skeptics who say they were added to the story later.

                             John Dominic Crossan
     Author, "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography" and "The Birth of Christianity"
                                                                                       23
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


The first question is even more basic. Was Jesus buried at all? Roman crucifixion,
the purpose of crucifixion, was state terrorism. And the function was to leave the
body on the cross for the carrion crows and the prowling dogs. It was not simply that
it made you suffer a lot. It meant you didn't get buried. That's what made it one of the
supreme Roman penalties, lack of burial. As I read those stories, I feel terribly
sympathetic for the followers of Jesus, because I hear hope there, not history.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Quite a few historians we spoke with disagree. They believe something
did happen. Because, they say, it is hard to explain the survival of the movement for
any other reason.

                                   Paula Fredriksen
                     Author "Jesus of Nazareth", Boston University
I know, in their own terms, what they saw was the raised Jesus. That's what they say
and then all the historic evidence we have afterwards attests to their conviction that
that's what they saw. I'm not saying that they really did see the raised Jesus. I wasn't
there. I don't know what these people saw. But I do know, as a historian, that they
must have seen something.

                              Reverend N. T. Wright
         Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                 and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
I simply cannot explain why Christianity began without it. I've already said, there
were many other messianic or would-be messianic movements around in the first
century. Routinely, they ended with the violent death of the founder. After that, what
happens? The followers either all get killed, as well, or if there are any of them left,
they have a choice. They either quit the revolution or they find themselves another
messiah. And we have examples of people doing both.

                                  Daniel Schwartz
                            Hebrew University, Jerusalem
The major difference between all of these characters and Jesus is, he's the only one
apparently whose followers were convinced they saw him alive after he was killed.
And that made all the difference.

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) That made all the difference. As we know, the Jesus movement not
only survived, it grew and it flourished. Which bring us to a man named Paul. A Jew
whose Hebrew name was Saul, and who is famous for having a dramatic encounter
with the risen Jesus on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus. After the stories of
Jesus' death and resurrection, it is Paul's story that dominates the Bible.

                                 Paul l. Maier
   Author, "Eusebus: The Church History" and, "Josephus: The Essential Works"
                                                                                          24
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                             Western Michigan University
Some have called St. Paul the founder of Christianity. I call him almost the co-
founder of Christianity. Yeah, I do, along with Jesus of Nazareth.

                                   Pamela Eisenbaum
                                 Iliff School of Theology
                     Author, The Jewish Heroes of Christian History
It is hard for me to imagine the survival of Christianity in the form we know it without
Paul.

                                Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Some go even further.

                                  Marvin W. Meyer
                            Chapman University, California
If you were to reflect upon who founded Christianity, it wouldn't be Jesus. If you have
to find one person who is the founder of Christianity, that person is Paul.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) One thing widely agreed upon is this. Paul did more than anyone we
know of to turn the Jesus movement from a small Jewish sect into a worldwide
religion.

                               Ben Witherington III
                       Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
He is the figure who saw more clearly than, I think, anyone else, that the essence of
Jesus' message was good news for everyone.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) In the history of Christianity, there has been no more eloquent
spokesman for the faith. But Paul started out trying to destroy it. The first time that
Paul shows up in the Bible is a scene at the gates of Jerusalem, where he is
watching a mob stone one of Jesus' followers, Stephen, until he's dead. The Bible
says that Paul approved of this.

                              Reverend N. T. Wright
        Author, "Jesus and The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
And it must have looked to any right-wing, hard line Jew, as Paul was, that this was
blasphemous nonsense. Jesus of Nazareth had been crucified. He couldn't possibly
be Messiah. To be a Messiah meant that you ought to be wreaking God's
vengeance on the Pagan nations, not dying at their hands. So it was obvious that
Jesus couldn't be the Messiah.

                               Luke Timothy Johnson
                                                                                    25
        Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


         Author, "The Real Jesus", "The Writings Of The New Testament",
            and “Letters To Paul's Delegates", Emory University, Atlanta
The one consistent thing that Paul says about his background is that he was a
persecutor of the church. He always brings that up whenever he talks about his own
life.

                               Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Which makes the conversion on the road to Damascus an even more
dramatic event.

ANNOUNCER
PETER JENNINGS REPORTING, JESUS AND PAUL, THE WORD AND THE
WITNESS BROUGHT TO YOU BY ...

COMMERCIAL BREAK

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) The story is that sometime in the middle of the first century, a Jew from
Turkey named Saul had a sudden and bizarre experience while traveling on the road
to Damascus in Syria. Saul was heading there from Jerusalem to hunt down and
arrest some followers of Jesus of Nazareth, also a Jew, who had been executed a
few years earlier as a criminal. Suddenly, the story goes, Saul was blinded.

                       Reverend Doctor Calvin D. Butts III
                            Abyssinian Baptist Church
A light from Heaven knocked him from his beast. And he heard clearly, while others
heard sound, they couldn't make out what it was saying. He heard clearly.

                                      Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) What he heard, according to the Bible, was the voice of Jesus. And
upon hearing it, Saul changed. He stopped persecuting Jesus's followers, and
instead he joined the movement. We know Saul today by his Greek name, Paul. And
for later generations, this first century Jewish policeman would become a Christian
saint.

                            Peter Jennings – On Camera
 This is part of the old Roman road that goes from Jerusalem to Damascus. It's
pretty beat up by time, and pretty beat up in its day by the constant rumbling of
Roman chariots. Now, the Bible says it is on this road where Paul had his sudden
and miraculous conversion.

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) This is what the road to Damascus looks like today. We drove to the
point on the old road, just outside the city, where the Catholic Church says the
conversion took place.
                                                                                           26
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness




                                  Peter Jennings
And precisely what is it we believe is here, Father?

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Father Fernandez is a Franciscan monk, who oversees the place. Yes,
the Catholic church says it happened in the vicinity. Three other Christian sects
claim they control the authentic site of the conversion. They're near Damascus, as
well, but they're in different places. Father Fernandez says the Catholic case is
strengthened because there is also a cave here where early Christians are believed
to have commemorated the conversion. "The Biblical text is very clear," he told us.
"It says Saul was turned blind at the doorstep of Damascus and was taken by hand
into the city, which means he was in walking distance of the city." When I suggested
to him that the conversion was a process and not a dramatic moment ...

                                     Peter Jennings
 People didn't get struck by lightning from the sky, that it happened to Paul over a
period of time. What do you think of that?

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) ... Father Fernandez said we believe every word that is written, we do
not argue with specialists. But specialists argue with one another. Some of them
think the conversion did not occur in a single blinding instance.

                                      Pamela Eisenbaum
                                    Iliff School of Theology
                        Author, The Jewish Heroes of Christian History
People who work in the sociology of religion have often pointed out that while
conversion is often spoken of in the language of this instantaneous transformation,
that, in fact, it is a process, often people are building to it.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Others think that Paul actually did have a vivid, transforming vision.

                                  Peter Jennings
What is one to think of the conversion?

                                   Albert Baumgarten
                              Bar Llan University, Jerusalem
The conversion of Paul I take quite seriously. There is a large body of scholarship
that tries to take revelation as a kind of serious event that rational people, one is to
respect as rational people experience.

                                Ben Witherington III
                               Author, "The Paul Quest"
                                                                                          27
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


I think that he had a close encounter of the first kind with the risen Jesus. I think he
saw the risen Lord, and that's what he claims over and over again is that, that, that
there was this divine intervention that, and he had this unbelievable sighting of the
risen Jesus.

                                        Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) The Bible also says that Paul was taken into the city and stayed here
on a street called Straight. It is still here today, and stayed in the house of a Jesus
follower named Judas, while at the same time across town, God was appearing to
another member of the movement, named Ananias.

                             Brother Tom Courtney
                                     Caretaker
In Latin, Domus Anani, house of Ananias. Of course we have the donation box they
you want to drop something, we'll take it.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Brother Tom Courtney, a former firefighter from Chicago is caretaker at
this small underground chapel which Christians have always been told was where
Ananias lived.

                                    Peter Jennings
Tell me the story, would you?


                              Brother Tom Courtney
                                     Caretaker
And Ananias had a visit from the Lord, a vision rather, telling him to go to the house
of Judas.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) The Bible says that God told Ananias to go and find Paul and heal his
blindness. At first apparently, Ananias gave God a hard time. Remember, just
yesterday Paul had been persecuting Christians.

                            Brother Tom Courtney
                                    Caretaker
Ananias wasn't too happy about going over there because the reputation of Paul
was not too good around here, but the Lord convinced him he's got to go over there.
And Ananias converted Paul, and the blindness was healed.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) And immediately Paul began to preach the Jesus message in
Damascus. At which point the Bible says, his fellow Jews who did not believe in
Jesus turned on him. Paul ended up having to escape from the city. His new friends
                                                                                     28
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


lowered him in a basket over the city gate. Whatever happened here, Paul tells us
himself that he came to an astonishing conclusion. Like the other Jesus followers, he
now believed that the world was in its final days and that Jesus of Nazareth, the
executed criminal, was actually the Savior of humanity. Because Paul was now
convinced that the end of the world was imminent, he was about to lead a very
different life than he had before. The world was about to change, though not quite in
the way Paul expected.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) In his own writings Paul says that after his encounter with the risen
Jesus he went for a time to what he calls Arabia. It's easy to imagine Paul off here in
the desert coming to grips with what had happened to him. He was convinced that
he had met the resurrected Jesus. Today, some Christians believe that Jesus's
resurrection was meant to be a unique event, not Paul and the early Christians.
They thought that all the righteous dead would be resurrected during God's final
judgment. And so they saw Jesus's resurrection as the first sign that soon all sorts of
people would be raised from the grave. In other words, Paul had to figure out what
he was supposed to do now that he believed the Kingdom was about to break
through and the world as he knew it was coming to an end.

                                 Ben Witherington III
                        Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
Paul says the form of this world is passing away as we speak. As we speak. So, yes,
they're saints standing on tiptoe. D-day, the death and resurrection of Jesus is
happening. Now, how long between D-day and VE-day is uncertain. But the powers
and principalities are on the run.

                                  Karen Armstrong
                               Author, "A History o God"
Now that doesn't mean that he was immediately thinking of us all flying up to Heaven
and strumming harps in the hereafter. Not so much a sense of the whole earthly
order crumbling and falling into dust, but the transfiguration of life upon Earth, God's
presence on Earth.

                                Ben Witherington III
                        Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
He believes that he's ushering in, in this incredible period of time. He also talks
about the Kingdom of God just like Jesus did. This is one of the points where they're
very closely parallel. He mentions it some seven times, Jesus mentions it much
more than that, but he means the same thing. God's dynamic saving reign, he's
breaking into human history, changing Jewish lives and non-Jewish lives, and the
focus is now on Jesus of Nazareth. He's the redeemer figure. He's the one who will
save the world, and we need to get behind him.
                                                                                         29
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness




                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) These are the things that Paul now had to think about. He says that
after an extended retreat in Arabia he finally went to Jerusalem to introduce himself
to the Apostles. That's the Greek word for messengers. This is the group of men
who had traveled with Jesus in life and thought he had selected them to preach on
his behalf when he died. Paul apparently told them that now Jesus had made him an
Apostle, too.

                                 Reverend N. T. Wright
          Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                   and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
I think the earliest disciples who had actually been with Jesus during his lifetime
must have originally felt very, very suspicious of Paul. You know, if you know that
there has been somebody who has been leading the attack against you, and then
you hear, oh, he now thinks he's one of us, then naturally your first reaction is this
guy's a spy.

                                    Elaine Pagels
  Author, "The Gnostic Paul" and "Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas"
                                 Princeton University
They thought, of course, that he was trying to infiltrate the group, find out who they
were and arrest them all.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) According to Paul, the other apostles finally accepted him as a member
of the group, but the meeting was the first uncomfortable experience in what looks to
many historians like a running battle between Paul and Jesus's closest friends. Oh,
Paul didn't let disagreements stop him. He was soon off on a trip into Asia Minor.
That's Turkey today. Paul was a man in a hurry.

                                Albert Baumgarten
                           Bar Llan University, Jerusalem
Paul thought of himself as someone whose job was to spread the word of the
redemption of the world as widely as possible and as quickly as possible.

                                  Pamela Eisenbaum
                                Iliff School of Theology
                   Author, "The Jewish Heroes of Christian History"
He thinks that history is on God's time, the clock is ticking and time is running out.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) In spite of what would happen later, when Paul set out for Asia Minor
he had no intention of founding a new religion that would separate from Judaism.
                                                                                     30
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                     Karen Armstrong
                                 Author, "A History of God"
We mustn't think of Paul sitting down and saying, right, now I'm going to start a new
religion called Christianity. I don't think Paul had any such idea in mind. And he
wasn't setting up a church with bishops or priests or the liturgy, because any minute
now, Jesus was going to return. The Kingdom of God was going to be inaugurated.
The world as we know it was passing away. It wasn't, it wasn't, this is not the
moment to set up a new religion.

                                    E.P. Sanders
           Author, "Paul The Jew And The Jewish People", Duke University
In his day, Christianity was a Jewish movement, a movement within Judaism. He
was a Jew. Peter was a Jew. Jesus, of course, had been a Jew. They were all Jews.
All the leaders of the movement were Jews.

                                   Peter Jennings
 But what is Paul telling this community or group of people that is different than what
they would have been hearing from other people preaching Judaism?

                                    E.P. Sanders
          Author, "Paul The Jew And The Jewish People", Duke University
Well, the add on is Jesus, who is the appointed Savior of the world.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) That did not go over very well with most of the Jews that Paul met.

                                Pamela Eisenbaum
                               Ilif School of Theology
                  Author, "The Jewish Heroes of Christian History"
There's a repeated pattern that occurs in Acts. The first thing that Paul does when
he blows into town is he goes to the local synagogue and he preaches. And when he
preaches in the synagogue he aggravates everybody there and they throw him out.

                                  Reverend N. T. Wright
          Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                  and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
We're not just talking about people saying, Paul, we won't invite you to our cocktail
parties if you say that kind of thing. We're talking about people saying, we're going to
beat you up. In fact, we're going to kill you.

                         Reverend Doctor Calvin D. Butts lll
                              Abyssinian Baptist Church
I'm sure that I might be more part of the culture of that day who kind of looked
askance at Paul.
                                                                                        31
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                Peter Jennings
What do you think would have put you off?

                          Reverend Doctor Calvin D. Butts Ill
                                 Abyssinian Baptist Church
It's a cult. Who is this weird-looking guy, running around talking about this other guy
that some God raised from the dead? I've never seen this guy that, you know, this
guy says God raised from the dead. Where is he now?

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Paul writes later that he repeatedly got a whipping, which was
punishment for misbehaving in the synagogue. But that didn't stop him, either. He
did, however, stop concentrating on Jews and began working on converting non-
Jews instead. He said God had told him to do that. Now, this was when everything
changed.

                                 Karen Armstrong
                             Author, "A History of God"
It was Paul who had this extraordinary vision of taking Judaism as he saw it,
centered on Jesus, out to the non-Jewish world. Had it not been for Paul, Christianity
would very likely have remained a small sect within Judaism, appealing only to
Jewish people who believed that Jesus had been the long-awaited Messiah for the
Jewish people.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) The Old World is littered with broken chunks of temples and altars to
various gods and goddesses. This is all that remains of the ancient religions that we
now refer to as Paganism.

                               Reverend N. T. Wright
         Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                 and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
If you want to get married there is a particular god you go and offer a sacrifice to,
you want to take a sea voyage, if you want to start a business, there are gods for
everything.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) By the time Paul began traveling, the Roman Empire stretched from
Spain to the very heart of the Middle East.

                                 Karen Armstrong
                            Author, "A History of God"
Suddenly, people could see that they belonged to a huge worldwide entity, and
once, and Paganism suddenly appeared too parochial and local, with local gods.
You need, there was a movement towards more universal ideas.
                                                                                      32
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness




                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) And this meant Judaism. At the time, the Jews were the only people
who believed there was one God responsible for the entire universe.

                                   Karen Armstrong
                                Author, "A History of God"
People known as God-fearers were flocking into the synagogues. They were very
interested in the antiquity of Judaism and its great moral vision.

                             Peter Jennings – On Camera
 Throughout the history of the Middle East, religions are always building on one
another. Christianity, of course, comes out of Judaism, and all across the region
there were these synagogues, these Jewish places of worship, where Paul could
come to preach the word of one God. He could not have helped but notice that in
some of these crowds there were always people in the back who were interested in
the message of one God, but they were not in a hurry to convert. They thought there
were too many rules in Judaism, what to wear, for example, or what to eat. And
particularly if you were a man and you wished to become a Jew you had to be
circumcised.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Jews believed that God had laid down this rule in the Torah, the sacred
Jewish Scripture. It is hard to imagine, but it is a fight about circumcision, which is a
routine medical procedure today, that actually led to the split between the Jesus
followers and other Jews.

                                 Pamela Eisenbaum
                               Iliff School of Theology
                   Author, "The Jewish Heroes of Christian History"
An infant boy is circumcised when the foreskin of the penis is removed. Circumcision
is kind of the marker of Jews and Judaism.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) And Jesus was a Jew, and therefore was circumcised as a baby. So
were Paul and the other Apostles. Remember, at this stage, Christianity was a
Jewish movement. So even an adult Pagan would have to be circumcised if he
wanted to join. Not to be taken lightly.

                                    Rodney Stark
              Author, "One True God", University Of Washington, Seattle
There were serious risks for adult males to become Jews. I mean, circumcision was
not a joke in an era when they don't know what germs are and they don't have any
antibiotics. Wounds often didn't heal. If you got an infection or anything you were
gone.
                                                                                          33
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness




                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) But as he traveled around trying to convert non-Jews to the Jesus
movement, Paul decided to change the rules. He decided that non-Jews who
accepted Jesus would not have to be circumcised in order to be saved. A very
practical move that changed the course of history.

                                   Rodney Stark
              Author, "One True God", University Of Washington, Seattle
I think that was because he realized, oh, my word, there are all these semi-Jews,
and who don't want to become Jews. And I want them. Now, how can I get them?

                                Ben Witherington III
                       Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
I don't think he would have viewed it as, okay, we're marketing a new religion now.

                         Reverend Doctor Calvin D. Butts Ill
                              Abyssinian Baptist Church
Paul says, look, if you cut away a little skin, foreskin, that's going to make you, you
know, favored? Jesus knew better than that. Paul says, now listen, you don't need
any circumcision. The circumcision needs to be in the heart, fellows.

                             Ben Witherington III
                    Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
He saw Jesus as the Messiah for Jews, as well as the Savior for non- Jews.

                                Peter Jennings
Now, how much trouble does this cause him?

                                      Alan F. Segal
                  Author, "Rebecca's Children", Columbia University
Well, it causes him a lot of trouble among Jews. And of course, most of early
Christianity was Jewish during his, during his day. That's what we all forget.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) As far as we know, Jesus himself left no instructions on this point.
There is no record of him discussing circumcision.


                        Reverend Doctor Calvin D. Butts Ill
                               Abyssinian Baptist Church
Jesus was confined to a little narrow strip of land. And Jesus himself said, look, I
have just come to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. I'll bump into a Samaritan
every now and then, you know, and show them the grace of God. But I'm really here
talking to you Jews. You know, my people right here. Paul had a much larger
                                                                                    34
            Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


mission field. And he had to deal with a lot more things. And that's the only way the
Gospel could have spread.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Ask most people what they know about Paul, and even here at the
Vatican in Rome, where he is revered as Saint Paul, you really don't get much of an
answer.

                               Peter Jennings
Do you know anything about Saint Paul?

                                           Tourist
I don't really. No, I don't really.

                               Peter Jennings
What do you know about Saint Paul?

                                           Tourist
(speaking French)

                                     Tourist
Our priest in Birmingham is named Father Paul.

                                  Peter Jennings
 Your priest is named Father Paul. You went to Dartmouth, so you have to know
something about Saint Paul.

                                           Tourist
Not much.

                              Peter Jennings
Would you mind answering a question for me?

                                           Tourist
If I can.

                                Peter Jennings
Can you tell me, what do you know about Saint Paul?

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) We got quite a lot of blank stares when we asked about Paul, the man
who took the message about Jesus to the non-Jewish world, whose ideas of
Christianity are what Christians live by today.
                                                                                    35
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness




                                    Peter Jennings
Just for future reference, that statue over there? That's Paul.

                                        Tourist
Oh, that's Paul.

                                   Peter Jennings
That's Paul.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Yes, Paul, who came along and declared you did not have to be
Jewish to become part of the Jesus movement. There's always been a debate about
whether Paul changed Christianity into something that Jesus never intended.

                                 Peter Jennings
Do you think Paul embellished or distorted Jesus's message at all?

                                 Reverend N. T. Wright
          Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                  and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
It wasn't a matter of did he corrupt or embellish what Jesus did. It's more like Jesus
as a composer of a piece of music and Paul is the one who is teaching everybody to
sing it. Or Jesus as the scientist who discovers the wonder drug, and Paul is the one
who's the doctor applying it to people who need it.

                                Peter Jennings
Do you think that Paul ever embellished or distorted the original message of Jesus?

                         Reverend Doctor Calvin D. Butts Ill
                               Abyssinian Baptist Church
I'm sure he did. He would have to. He was a human being. And I think, like any
preacher worth his or her salt, he probably added a little hyperbole here or there. Did
a little exaggeration. And that's all right. He was a human being.

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) This debate began right at the beginning. Among the people whom
Paul made angry were the men who had been closest to Jesus before the
crucifixion, the apostles. Paul's toughest critic was the apostle James, whom the
Bible identifies as the brother of Jesus and the leader of the movement in
Jerusalem.

                             Reverend N. T. Wright
        Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
                                                                                     36
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


James was the brother of Jesus himself. And James became the great leader in the
Jerusalem church.

                                   Marvin W. Meyer
                             Chapman University, California
And James wasn't always so fond of Jesus, it seems. Early on, James and the other
brothers and sisters of Jesus apparently thought that Jesus was beside himself. He
was wacky, he was perhaps touched in some way. I mean, this member of the family
who was out there preaching and maybe doing some exorcisms, and some faith
healings, and so forth. I mean, all of it was just a little embarrassing for the family.
But later on, James came around, and he said, you know, my brother was right. My
brother had it right, and he took over the leadership, it is said, of the church in
Jerusalem.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) As for Peter, who was an original follower, and according to the Bible,
very close to Jesus, he and Paul are almost always depicted together. Here they are
cheek to cheek in a medieval painting. But this may be wishful thinking by the
church. Paul writes that he went to Jerusalem to meet with Peter and James about
letting non-Jews into the movement. And it is clear their relationship went downhill
from there.

                                Karen Armstrong
                             Author, "A History of God"
He meets the leaders of the Jerusalem church, Peter and James and John, and
they're having an argument. Paul wants to get these pillars to accept his non-Jewish
converts as fully paid up members of the Jesus sect.

                                     Paul l. Maier
   Author, "Eusebus: The Church History" and, "Josephus: The Essential Works"
                              Western Michigan University
That's what the first Jerusalem council, Acts, chapter 15, was all about, to decide if
you could come directly into Christianity, or if you first had to go through the entire
Hebrew law, and be bar mitzvahed and then go through and then accept Christianity
as some kind of spiritual dessert.

                            Reverend Robin Griffith Jones
                            Master, Temple Church, London
The fight is this, do non-Jews, men and boys, have to be circumcised? And do non-
Jews, men and women, have to obey the full Jewish law?

                                    Peter Jennings
Was it a revolutionary idea, a truly revolutionary idea, to preach the gospel of Jesus
without circumcision?
                                                                                        37
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                Father Scott Brodeur
                      The Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome
Absolutely. It was revolutionary. It was new. It was bold. That also shows the great
courage of Paul.

                                 Peter Jennings
And was that threatening to the Jewish community?

                               Father Scott Brodeur
                      The Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome
It was very threatening. Some of his opponents at the beginning would say wait a
minute, Paul. You claim to know this risen Jesus. But we know that you really
weren't walking the roads of Palestine with us when things were tough.

                                     Elaine Pagels
    Author, "The Gnostic Paul" and "Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas"
                                  Princeton University
And what's absolutely astonishing about Paul is that he has not the slightest
hesitation to say that the people who knew Jesus best, including his brothers,
including his closest followers, who've, who knew him for years and were following
him around when he was undergoing all kinds of difficulty, you know, in his public
life, Paul dares to say that he knew Jesus better than any of them, understood his
message better and that basically they're wrong and his message is right.

                                 Karen Armstrong
                             Author, "A History of God"
You can imagine Paul, who is an extremely clever man, it would be like someone
from Harvard or Yale bursting in on a company of former fishermen and artisans and
suddenly this genius springs upon them with some arguments that they find very
difficult to resist.

                               Ben Witherington III
                     Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
The good news is that the towering figures at the heart of early Christianity, Peter,
Paul, and James, came to an agreement on what basis could non-Jews be part of
this religion.

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Paul was under the impression that he'd won the battle and off he went
on the road again, to Antioch this time, in what is now Turkey. But then Peter came
for a visit to Antioch to preach to Jews about Jesus, and there was one huge
problem. The crisis centered on a dinner.

                                Marvin W. Meyer
                           Chapman University, California
                                                                                  38
        Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


Peter came by. And they decided they would have a meal together. That is Jewish-
Christian folks who observed kosher food laws and non- Jewish but Christian folks
who are free, and can eat whatever they want.

                                 Peter Jennings
And are followers of the new way, of the new movement?

                                   Marvin W. Meyer
                            Chapman University, California
Absolutely. That's right. And Paul says isn't this wonderful that we can share this
moment together? And they're eating together and they're all one in Christ, and
things are lovely. Until word, apparently, gets back to Jerusalem that things are
running amok up in Antioch and some of our folks are not observing the food laws
any longer. They're eating whatever they want, with whomever they want, and it just
isn't right.

                          Reverend Robin Griffith Jones
                          Master, Temple Church, London
There was a whole network of messengers, ambassadors, spies, Paul will call them,
of course, because they oppose himself, who are keeping tabs on the churches of
that eastern seaboard of the Mediterranean.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Jesus's brother, James, sent a delegation to Antioch.

                                 Marvin W. Meyer
                          Chapman University, California
And they say to Peter, how in the world can you eat with these Gentile Christians?
These non-Jewish Christians, when you're supposed to follow the food laws? And so
Peter says, mea culpa. And pulls back and says, never should have joined the meal.
A bad idea from the beginning. And Paul says, Peter, how can you do that? Implying
that somehow my brothers and sisters who are Greco-Roman Christians are second
class Christians? That somehow you can't eat with them? That you pull back
because we're unclean in some way?

                                     Alan F. Segal
                    Author, "Rebecca's Children", Columbia University
So in some sense, the question for early Christianity wasn't who is saved and who
isn't saved. It's rather whom can you have lunch with and under what circumstances
can you eat with your fellow Christians?

                             John Dominic Crossan
     Author, "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography" and "The Birth Of Christianity"
                                                                                         39
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


And I think at that moment in Antioch, say around the year 48, 49, Paul starts going
westward, westward, westward, staying away from everyone else as far as I can
see. Staying out of their, their way.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Whether or not Paul intended it, he had laid the foundations for the
separation of Christianity from Judaism. And as he headed west across the
Mediterranean, his letters record a running battle between those in the movement
who had a different view of Jesus.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) If you had told the original disciples of Jesus back in the first century
that Paul was going off to found a religion in Jesus's name that would last 2,000
years, they would have thought you were crazy. First of all, they thought that the
world was coming to an end. And secondly, they clearly thought Paul was strange.

                      Reverend Doctor Calvin D. Butts Ill
                           Abyssinian Baptist Church
What we know is that Paul was not, how do people say, easy on the eyes.

                                   Marvin W. Meyer
                           Chapman University, California
He is said to be short and bald, to have kind of bowed legs.

                      Reverend Doctor Calvin D. Butts Ill
                           Abyssinian Baptist Church
He had a complexion of weather-beaten sailcloth.

                               Marvin W. Meyer
                          Chapman University, California
Eyebrows that sort of meet.

                                Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) So Paul was not beautiful. But he had a beautiful way of describing
things.

                                  Alan F. Segal
                 Author, "Rebecca's Children", Columbia University
Clearly, he has seen a superhuman Christ figure. And that this person would have
looked as an angel does to us. And that it has the face of the crucified Messiah on it.

                                  Elaine Pagels
   Author, “The Gnostic Paul” and “Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas”
                                                                                       40
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                    Princeton University
Paul speaks as one in whom Christ was born and took over. He said, I used to be
living a normal life in the flesh, but now Christ is living in me. He saw himself as
Christ on Earth in a way.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) And so, guided by visions, armed with the passion of his newest
convictions and having lost a battle with the original Jesus disciples, Paul set off for
his second great journey across the Roman Empire. It was probably about 20 years
after Jesus's death in about 50 AD when he got off a boat in Greece. Here he was in
Europe. He had a handful of contacts and a lot of work to do. He went first to Philippi
in the north, which had recently been settled by Roman army veterans and then to
the old seaport of Thessalonica.

                                       Elaine Pagels
   Author, “The Gnostic Paul” and “Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas”
                                    Princeton University
These cities, they're full of sculptures of the Roman emperors and jammed with the
gods and, and religions from all over the world and the most sophisticated possible
culture, and you wonder how could this Christian movement take root in a culture
that complex?

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Slowly, seems to be the answer.

                                Rodney Stark
            Author, "One True God", University Of Washington, Seattle
There were not mass conversions with 3,000 or 4,000, 5,000 people converting in an
afternoon.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Rodney Stark is a sociologist who has calculated that the earliest
Christian movement would have to grow just a little more than three percent a year
to account for the explosive growth all across the Roman empire in the second and
third centuries.

                                      Rodney Stark
               Author, "One True God", University Of Washington, Seattle
If it's 40 percent a decade, and if you've got 1,000 people in the year 40 then you'll
have 1,400 in the year 50. That's not so much. That means that, basically, every two
Christians go out and find one convert and you've done it. You get to almost seven
million people by the year 300. And that's about as big as we think they were in the
year 300.

                                   Peter Jennings
                                                                                        41
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


(Voice Over) Which means that Paul himself didn't need to convince too many
people.


                                    Rodney Stark
            Author, "One True God", University Of Washington, Seattle
He was trying to get two or three people. If they're the right people, that's all he
needs because now he's got the thing started.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) There are several stories of Paul converting one person and then
getting access to their friends and family.

                                         Rodney Stark
                  Author, "One True God", University Of Washington, Seattle
It's a little bit, I mean, I don't want to trivialize this, but it's a little bit. We take
suggestions from our friends and relatives and neighbors and loved ones about all
kinds of decisions. I mean, who we should vote for, what car we should buy. And the
same thing happens in religion. How do you know that you should be doing this?
Well, you see the people around you doing it, and it seems to be working for them
and so you do it, too.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Paul says in his own writings that he supported himself on his missions
by working with his hands. The Book of Acts says that Paul was a tentmaker in
those days. Making leather tents for merchant caravans was a pretty good business.
So historians think that Paul probably got a foothold in cities like this by setting up
shop and talking to his customers.

                                    Peter Jennings
What does he say?

                                      E.P. Sanders
                      Author, "Jesus and Judaism", Duke University
He says, I can tell you the most wonderful thing that you have ever heard. I have no
idea what his first sentence was. But after he gets past the first sentence he is going
to convey to them there is only one real God. He is the God of Israel. And they will
say, a Jewish God? We know they have this weird God. But, you know, he is against
all kinds of things that we do. Let me finish, says Paul. Recently, he sent his Son,
Jesus. And Jesus will save us. Jesus has now died and is at the right hand of the
Lord. But he will be back. And the world is going to change dramatically. And those
who are on his side who have faith in him and become part of his body, the church,
they will be saved from the wrath to come. It is going to happen. And those who are
not part of him will be destroyed.
                                                                                       42
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                      Peter Jennings
I am a skeptical Gentile in this little tentmaker shop. Why did this fellow Jesus die?


                                    E.P. Sanders
         Author, "Paul The Jew And The Jewish People", Duke University
He was killed by wicked and iniquitous men who rejected his message that the
Kingdom of God was at hand.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) How does Paul get around convincing his audience that Jesus wasn't
just a criminal executed by the Roman authorities who, by the way, I, as a Gentile,
worship their gods.

                                      E.P. Sanders
              Author, "Paul The Jew And The Jewish People", Duke University
It is a little bit tough.

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) What Paul did was actually quite brilliant. He took this weakness and
he turned it into a strength. As far as anyone knows it was Paul who first described
Jesus's disgraceful death on the cross as a symbol of victory.

                                   Karen Armstrong
                               Author, "A History of God"
He was able to make this extraordinary, sad little tragic story into a great myth, that
is a timeless truth that appeals in enormous ways to people all over the world.

                              Luke Timothy Johnson
          Author, "The Real Jesus", "The Writings Of The New Testament",
            and “Letters To Paul's Delegates", Emory University, Atlanta
For Paul the pivotal moment of Jesus's life is clearly his death, which Paul
understands as the radical acceptance of God's will and obedience.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Paul saw this brutal act as the most beautiful moment in human history.

                                     Karen Armstrong
                                 Author, "A History of God"
The idea that when you suffer and are in extreme sorrow and disgrace and misery
and defeat and humiliation, that in that dreadful experience somehow God is
present, that somehow through that salvation lies. Now, as the lot of most people on
this planet is a lot of suffering and depravation and often despair and exclusion, this
idea clearly had enormous attraction.
                                                                                          43
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                Luke Timothy Johnson
          Author, "The Real Jesus", "The Writings Of The New Testament",
             and “Letters To Paul's Delegates", Emory University, Atlanta
The crucifixion is not just a mistaken execution. It becomes an instrument of
transformation.

                                     Peter Jennings
It is hard to imagine Christianity today without two central ideas set out first by the
man we call the apostle Paul. First, Paul's message about the power of the
crucifixion. Second, his idea that you could join the Jesus movement without
converting to Judaism. But in the first century, there were a number of groups with
very different ideas about what it meant to be a follower of Jesus.

                                 Pamela Eisenbaum
                               Iliff School of Theology
                   Author, "The Jewish Heroes of Christian History"
We don't know how Christianity got to certain areas. And so, Christianity is
spreading, apart from Paul.

                               Reverend N. T. Wright
        Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                 and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
Probably the majority of people who were actually making waves in the first century
as Christian leaders and teachers are unknown to us. We simply don't know who
they were, because we don't have a full historical record. We don't have a blow-by-
blow account of everything that was going on. We have an extremely selective
account. And there were probably lots of great teachers and traveling evangelists
who we know nothing of.

                               Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) We do have some clues. One is an ancient manuscript called "The
Gospel of Thomas."

                                Richard A. Horseley
                           University Of Massachusetts
These are sayings that one is to meditate on until one gets that "ah- ha" experience.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) In "Thomas," Jesus isn't the divine savior, he's more of a Zen master or
a teacher of wisdom. The "Gospel" is a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus but
never mentions his death or resurrection.

                                 Marvin W. Meyer
                            Chapman University, California
                                                                                    44
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


It is said in "The Gospel of Thomas," whoever understands these sayings, whoever
finds the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death. That's how you're
saved, according to Thomas. You encounter Jesus, Jesus the teacher. You
encounter his sayings. You interpret those sayings, find the meaning in your life and
your life is changed. You become renewed and vivified, thereby.

                                   Peter Jennings
Very different from Paul?

                                 Marvin W. Meyer
                            Chapman University, California
A very different kind of gospel.

                                  Pamela Eisenbaum
                                Iliff School of Theology
                  Author, "The Jewish Heroes of Christian History"
There is no one original Christianity. There's diversity from the very beginning.

                                   Elaine Pagels
  Author, "The Gnostic Paul" and "Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas"
                                Princeton University
The Paul vision is the most exportable, the simplest, the least demanding in a way,
and the most inclusive.

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) It is amazing, 2000 years later, to consider how Paul's message
circulated as widely as it did. It was because of the Roman empire.

                            Peter Jennings – On Camera
 Today, if you wanted to travel, say, north from Jerusalem across Jordan and then
into Syria and north to Turkey, you'd have to go across all kinds of borders. You'd
need all sorts of visas, and you'd certainly run into all sorts of security officials
wanting to know something about you. In Paul's day, this was all Rome, there were
no border crossings. And so Paul could quite literally walk all the way across the
Middle East and then turn west into Europe without anybody stopping him.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) When the Roman army marched in to subjugate a nation, its engineers
led the way. They built the roads and the bridges through the forests and across the
deserts and over the mountains.

                                  Marvin W. Meyer
                           Chapman University, California
There's an information revolution there also, materially based on the Roman roads,
which made communication from one area to the next rather quick.
                                                                                        45
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness




                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Every great Roman engineering feat made it easier for all sorts of
people to be on the move and for the message to travel, as well. We went to the
Roman port of Caesarea, on the coast of Israel. In Paul's day, it was the biggest and
the busiest port here. Ed Reinhart is a geologist. He is here to excavate the huge
sea walls that the Romans built.

                                   Ed Reinhart
                                     Geologist
Imagine, I mean, the ships coming in and out of the harbor, the breakwaters, the
hustle and bustle on the breakwaters, you know, the people hawking food. And the
ships coming, you know, from all parts in the Mediterranean, selling goods,
exchanging goods and, you know, ultimately, ideas. I mean, it's a real melting pot,
and harbor towns are like that.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) The Romans were able to built this port and others on the
Mediterranean because they invented something called hydraulic concrete that
hardened under water. When you put your hand on the beautifully joined pieces of
wood of one of the platforms they sunk here to make it, that's quite unbelievable.
The result of all this engineering genius was the globalization of the first century.
Before long, people and ideas were going all over the place.

                                  Pamela Eisenbaum
                                Iliff School of Theology
                    Author, "The Jewish Heroes of Christian History"
It's a world in which people are having more and more contact with people who are
not like themselves.

                                      Elaine Pagels
  Author, "The Gnostic Paul" and "Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas"
                                  Princeton University
When you look at those cities of the ancient world, they were absolutely
multicultural. Africans, Parthians, Iranians, Greeks, an enormous range of people.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Paul is on the move, too, from one city to the other.

                                  Father Scott Brodeur,
                          Pontifical Gregorian University Rome
And once he's gone to a particular town, he's going to announce the gospel to them,
start a little community and encounter some opposition. And when things get hot, at
some times, you know, his life is in danger. He's a smart man. So he's gonna pack
his bags and move on.
                                                                                       46
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness




                                Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Time and again, Paul makes someone angry. He often ends up in and
out of prison.

                                        Alan F. Segal
                  Author, "Rebecca's Children", Columbia University
If you were a civic official living in Thessalonica, and you heard that somebody was
standing in the public marketplaces making a whole lot of people very angry, you
might get suspicious. Often, it's unclear whether his opponents are Jews or other
Christians or Jewish Christians or gentile leaders or leaders of the Roman empire.
All of them, at one point or another, are his enemies. He has to move a lot, and each
place that he goes, the situation develops a little bit differently. He doesn't seem to
make friends easily.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Paul was always writing to the people he left behind. His letters are
now an integral part of the Bible. Christians consider them sacred. Paul might be
surprised to find that Christians now read his letters out loud in church and try living
by them, too.

                                 Pamela Eisenbaum
                               Iliff School of Theology
                  Author, "The Jewish Heroes of Christian History"
He never anticipates that 20th century Americans are going to be his audience. He
has no idea, because he thinks the world is going to end.

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Originally, the letters were Paul doing crisis management.

                                Marvin W. Meyer
                          Chapman University, California
Everything was not just peaches and cream in these churches. There were a lot of
problems that developed, and they had to be addressed.

                                      E.P. Sanders
         Author, "Paul The Jew And The Jewish People", Duke University
We have his -in his letters, his efforts to salvage situations in churches that laid
behind him on his path.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) There were all sorts of problems. The end of the world was not coming
soon enough for some. Others wanted to know if the rules for life had changed now
that they had been saved by accepting Jesus.
                                                                                      47
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                Richard A. Horseley
                             University Of Massachusetts
Should we continue to have sexual relations? And what do we do when we do have
conflicts in the community, one person wanting to sue another one?

                               Luke Timothy Johnson
          Author, "The Real Jesus", "The Writings Of The New Testament",
             and “Letters To Paul's Delegates", Emory University, Atlanta
Should we all be monogamous? Should we sleep around? Should we sleep with the
cult leader? Should we all be like angels?

                                    Albert Baumgarten
                               Bar Ilan University Jerusalem
If the world is really to end soon, does it pay to get married? Does it pay to have a
family? Is there any point in living what we would call a normal family life so close to
the end of days?

                                     Elaine Pagels
    Author, "The Gnostic Paul" and "Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas"
                                  Princeton University
What's interesting is that Paul's passionate, intense responses to immediate
situations and immediate questions have been taken since then as blueprints for
2,000 years of how people should act and what their sexual behavior should be and
what other behavior should be. People have taken Paul's letters as if he meant them
to be blueprints for the Christian church, as if he expected a 2,000-year church so
far, which he certainly didn't.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) In some ways, Christian theology was written on the run.

                                      Elaine Pagels
    Author, "The Gnostic Paul" and "Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas"
                                   Princeton University
I would think of him writing on napkins, somehow. I mean, what I mean is, you know,
on the run, during the travels, trying to dash off a message. Not a great deal of
reflection and long thought.

                               Luke Timothy Johnson
          Author, "The Real Jesus", "The Writings Of The New Testament",
             and “Letters To Paul's Delegates", Emory University, Atlanta
Paul didn't have any notion of what was gonna happen next. And we know that
because he gives us about eight different version of what's gonna happen next. And
he clearly was making it up as he went along.

                                  Karen Armstrong
                                                                                       48
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                               Author, "A History of God"
Paul was genius because he wasn't doing this in a book line study or in library or in a
university, with -sort of peacefully able to pursue his vision. He -his public life, and
he gives an account of it. He's being chased out of town, he's in prison for -causing
an uproar and disturbing the peace. He's on the run. He's staying in people's
houses. He's traveling, he's getting shipwrecked. And from a series of ad hoc
inquiries from the churches about various practical matters of discipline, he creates a
new theology which has worked for millions of human beings.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

                                      Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) If the Apostle Paul, as we now know him, was the creator of modern
Christianity, it must be said that a lot of his most creative work was done here in this
town in southern Greece.

                            Reverend Robin Griffith Jones
                              Author, "According To Paul"
Corinth is a wonderful melting pot for the nations of the earth. And for a very good
reason. It lies on the isthmus in Greece, exactly halfway between Rome and the
Middle East. It's the most natural trading post in the world.

                                       Paul l. Maier
    Author, "Eusebus: The Church History" and, "Josephus: The Essential Works"
                              Western Michigan University
It was the red light, open City of antiquity. Everything that could possibly be a
religious or parareligious or wild phenomenon was taking place in Corinth. It was
also the sexual capital of Greece.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Paul made some converts in Corinth. We know this because he
corresponded with them later. But the Corinthians posed all kinds of challenges for
Paul. And many of the big ideas that Christians take for granted today would have
sounded very new and a little strange at first to the Corinthians. First, the idea that
Jesus, a long-awaited savior, had become a new king of the world. In Corinth, many
people thought they already had a king and a savior.

                                Marvin W. Meyer
                         Chapman University, California
The savior was Caesar. Caesar is the one who had already brought peace and
prosperity to the world.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) All the Caesars, the political dynasty founded by Julius Caesar.
Augustus, who was emperor when Jesus was born. Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, they
                                                                                    49
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


were all great patrons of Corinth. And they had been named gods by the Roman
senate.

                               Reverend N. T. Wright
         Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                 and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
It was the new religion. Caesar was now being worshiped and the cult of the
emperor was the fastest growing religion in Paul's world.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) This temple in Corinth was dedicated to the cult of the Caesars.

                               Marvin W. Meyer
                         Chapman University, California
The presence of the emperor was just everywhere in each of the Greek cities. Like
Coca-Cola, like McDonald's.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) And it seems that Paul was purposely challenging the cult of the
emperor. A lot of the language that Christians use today goes back to Paul's writings
at the time. And it is language the Romans used to talk about Caesar.

                               Reverend N. T. Wright
        Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                  and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
He says, it is from Heaven that we are expecting the lord, the savior, the king, Jesus.
Now, those are all Caesar titles. Lord, kurios in Greek. Savior, satyr in Greek.

                                Richard A. Horseley
                            University Of Massachusetts
We usually think of Paul as founding religion, but he doesn't uses religious language.
Rarely does he use a religious language. The language he uses is mainly political.

                              Reverend N. T. Wright
         Author, "Jesus And The Victory Of God", "The Challenge Of Jesus",
                 and "Following Jesus", Bishop Of Durham, England
The son of God, that was another Caesar title. The son of God who is the lord of the
world, that was a Caesar thing. Who now demands allegiance and loyalty, which is
the same word in Greek as faith.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) This is not to say that Paul wanted people to run out and stage a revolt
and overthrow the Roman government.

                                  Karen Armstrong
                                                                                      50
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                Author, "A History of God"
I don't think Paul had any such vision in mind. Anyway, he thought that Jesus was
going to return at any moment, the presence of God would convince everybody, the
authorities included, that -this was the way to go.

                                    Elaine Pagels
   Author, "The Gnostic Paul" and "Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas"
                                 Princeton University
Paul's obsession was not the Roman empire. He thought the Roman empire, its
rules, were transient, were nothing compared to the kingdom of God which was
coming very soon.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) And in Jesus, Paul was offering an entirely different sort of lord or
savior.

                                     Elaine Pagels
    Author, "The Gnostic Paul" and "Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas"
                                  Princeton University
It seems to me that this movement, it's quite remarkable. You look at the gods of the
ancient world, and you ask, who did they look like? They looked like the emperor
and his court. They drink out of golden goblets and they have feasts and weddings
and love affairs and wars, and they do what the noble people do. But this God of
Paul sends a human being. And not just any human being but the most - despicable
human being, an illiterate man with no nobility of family, with no background. A man
who was executed on charges of, you know, treason against Rome, betrayed by his
friends, abandoned. It's an extraordinary story. But to say that God is with us in that
most despised person is quite an astonishing statement.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) It was true that the Caesars had brought this part of the world peace
and prosperity. But that was not all the empire brought with it.

                                     Rodney Stark
             Author, "One True God", University Of Washington, Seattle
Rome created political unity at the cost of cultural chaos. Those cities were filled with
dozens of different little groups who couldn't speak one another's languages. It was
a total mess. It was a time of real stress.

                                 Richard A. Horseley
                              University Of Massachusetts
Everybody's cut off from family. Everybody's cut off from roots. Everybody's an
individual on his or her own.

                                    Peter Jennings
                                                                                        51
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


(Voice Over) And so, Paul's congregations offered something very appealing.

                                   Rodney Stark
            Author, "One True God", University Of Washington, Seattle
Christian communities had a lot to offer you very tangibly. They took care of you.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Paul says this idea came directly from Jesus.

                                     Rodney Stark
             Author, "One True God", University Of Washington, Seattle
You kind of knew that if you got old and sick that there was going to be somebody
there. This was a world without any social services. And either if your family didn't
take care of you, you just weren't taken care of. But the Christians had this large
sense of communal family where they did take care of people. And it mattered.

                               Luke Timothy Johnson
          Author, "The Real Jesus", "The Writings Of The New Testament",
            and "Letters To Paul's Delegates", Emory University, Atlanta
Paul translates the Jesus movement into human communities based upon the sign
of the cross, in which individuals seek to make others stronger rather than weaker.

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) All this talk about a new savior and new brothers and sisters was
working for Paul in Corinth. He established a very active congregation there. But
things obviously deteriorated after he left. "I hear that there was fornication among
you," Paul writes in a letter back to the Corinthians. "And such fornication the like of
which you do not even find among the heathens, even that one man has had his
father's wife."

                                  Richard A. Horseley
                              University Of Massachusetts
When he writes first Corinthians he's really upset that at least some serious minority,
if not the majority of the people, just haven't understood what he's been saying. And
after all, he had been there for 18 months. Working away, talking with them in those
houses.

                                      E.P. Sanders
          Author, "Paul The Jew And The Jewish People", Duke University
He finds out the terrible things they are doing. "You are doing what? I can't believe
you are up to this."

                                Ben Witherington III
                     Author, "Conflict And Community In Corinth"
                                                                                          52
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


What happens there is that they are putting these Jewish ideas that Paul was
promulgating to them through their non-Jewish mental Cuisanarts and coming out
with something that is not quite, if I can put it this way, kosher. It's not quite what
Paul intends. So he's got all kinds of problems.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Paul gives his confused converts some rules to live by.

                                   Marvin W. Meyer
                            Chapman University, California
And is rather hard on folks that are married. He says, "well, look, if you have to have
sex, you can have sex. It's better to have sex, I suppose, than to be burning up with
passion." But he said, "I would rather that you not have sex."

                                  Ben Witherington III
                        Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
First Corinthians is a major problem-solving letter. He's putting out theological and
ethical and philosophical fires right, left and center. And so it's quite clear that these
are Christians under construction and they've got a lot of ideas and practices that
need to be weeded out.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Paul said, "if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it
is better to marry than to be aflame with passion." What about having children? Paul
never mentions it.

                                   Pamela Eisenbaum
                                 Iliff School of Theology
                   Author, "The Jewish Heroes of Christian History"
Paul didn't believe that the reason for sex was procreation. Procreation has nothing
to do with sexuality, because if you think the world is going to end, there's no point in
procreating. There's no point in procreating. Paul thinks the reason for sexuality is to
control passions that might otherwise be uncontrolled and lead you into all kinds of
destructive behaviors.

                                      Elaine Pagels
   Author, "The Gnostic Paul" and "Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas"
                                  Princeton University
He's thinking, it may not be long, it may be a year, it may be five years, it may be
ten. There is not time to have families, there is not time to do other things. When
Jesus returns, those who believe in him will be vindicated and those who don't will
face a day of judgment. And that's why, as Paul says in Corinthians, don't bother to
get married, don't think about sexual activity.

                                  Ben Witherington III
                                                                                          53
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                         Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
We don't know when this is going to happen. We know is it's going to happen. It
could be in our lifetime, it could be later than that. In either case, the message is, the
Boy Scout motto, "be prepared." Be prepared, 'cause we don't know when the thief
in the night is going to break in.

                                      Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Paul can be very hard on those who do not follow his rules for good
behavior. "I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of
brother," he says. "If he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, a reviler, a
drunkard, or a robber, not even to eat with such a person." In the same letter he
says, "drive out the wicked person from among you."

                                  Peter Jennings
So he was a puritan or a moralist?

                                    E.P. Sanders
          Author, "Paul The Jew And The Jewish People", Duke University
Very strong moralist. No adultery. No divorce. If divorce, very slow on the
remarriage, please. Better not.

                            Reverend Calvin O. Butts Ill
                         Abyssinian Baptist Church New York
Paul says, no homosexuality, now. Boom. You know, God has given them up to their
depravity. No homosexuality, none. Women, shut up. If you need to know what's
going on in the church, ask your husband. Slaves, be obedient to your masters and
all fear and trembling. These are problems.

                                 Peter Jennings
Those are problems for you in the modern church, is that right?

                           Reverend Calvin O. Butts lll
                        Abyssinian Baptist Church New York
Well, these represent problems for many in the modern church, so to speak, yes.

                              Peter Jennings
What do you do when you come upon something like that?

                           Reverend Calvin O. Butts Ill
                       Abyssinian Baptist Church New York
Well, you have to say what you believe, that Paul was simply an apostle. He wasn't
Jesus.

                                     Peter Jennings
Is that how you get around it?
                                                                                             54
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness




                             Reverend Calvin O. Butts Ill
                         Abyssinian Baptist Church New York
Well, you've got to. Would Christ reject a homosexual? I don't think so. Would Christ
tell a woman to be silent, particularly when many of the interactions of Jesus was
with women that he liberated? Whether it was the prostitute, so to speak, caught in
adultery, or whether it was the woman at the well. You know, what are you saying,
Paul?

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) But at times, Paul's writing sounds very different.

                                   Paul l. Maier
    Author, "Eusebus: The Church History" and, "Josephus: The Essential Works"
                            Western Michigan University
On the one hand, he can be very strict, very legalistic, in terms of following the law.
Be pure, not impure, don't commit adultery. And on the other hand, he can be very
forgiving.

                              Reverend Calvin O. Butts III
                         Abyssinian Baptist Church New York
Paul's letters throw us off a little bit. One of Paul's most powerful passages, of
course is, the hymn of love. And in it, he just tells you what love is. It's patient, it's
kind, does not seek its own. It is not proud.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) This is one of Paul's most famous passages. In it he says love and
kindness are more important than all kinds of pious speech and behavior. "If I speak
in the tongues of man and of angels but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a
clanging cymbal. And if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but I have not
love, I am nothing."

                              Luke Timothy Johnson
          Author, "The Real Jesus", "The Writings Of The New Testament",
            and "Letters To Paul's Delegates", Emory University, Atlanta
He says, when you do what you think is right but you don't care how this affects your
brother, you are harming the brother for whom Christ died. And so, he's trying to get
them to think, what would Jesus do?

                                      Paul l. Maier
   Author, "Eusebus: The Church History" and, "Josephus: The Essential Works"
                              Western Michigan University
Paul is talking about this pure love that so loves the other person that you're not
looking for reciprocity.
                                                                                       55
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                     Karen Armstrong
                                 Author, "A History of God"
What I like about Paul is that he is not interested in doctrines. The churches over the
centuries have constructed, hewn out of St. Paul's occasional writings, cast iron
doctrine. All this is mistaken. Paul is caught up with the notion of living properly. And
with, above all, I think if we look to Paul, the whole emphasis on charity, on respect,
on loving kindness as the way to find the divine.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Nearly 2,000 years later, Christians still struggle to reconcile Paul's
encouragement for tolerance and forgiveness with his puritanical moralism.

                                  Pat Buchanan
                                    Evangelist
There is no equality between what has been sanctified by God and what is
fundamentally wrong.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) It is pretty clear today that people have wildly differing ideas about what
it means to be a Christian. But that is how it has always been. 20 years after Jesus
was executed, Paul was right in the middle of a very messy fight about what it meant
to be a legitimate follower of Jesus.

                                   Pamela Eisenbaum
                                 Iliff School of Theology
                    Author, "The Jewish Heroes of Christian History"
Paul has enemies. And I'm not talking about Jews who don't believe in Jesus. I'm
talking about other people who believe in Jesus, in some fashion, but have a
different interpretation of what believing in Jesus means.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Namely, the Jewish Christians. Some scholars believe including Jesus'
brother, James, Peter and some of the other disciples. Paul, who's been working for
15 years to expand the Jesus movement, accuses them in his letters of following
him around and trying to undermine him.

                                    Peter Jennings – On
 In one of those letters, written to a small Christian community in Galatia, in what is
now modern Turkey, Paul is so critical and so nasty about those people who have
been contradicting him that he is portrayed, 2000 years later, as being positively
anti-Semitic. In fact, it is Paul's language that gets him branded as the first Christian
anti-Semite, interpreted as the voice of Christianity's rejection of Judaism.
                                                                                        56
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                    Pamela Eisenbaum
                                  Iliff School of Theology
                      Author, "The Jewish Heroes of Christian History"
From a Jewish perspective, Paul is the apostate. He's the one who leaves Judaism.
He's the one who can be, for many, he's credited with being the first true anti-
Semite, you might say. And leads to the history, to a horrid history of Christian
brutality, hostility, and eventually organized persecution against Jews.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting me," Paul says in
the letter to the Galatians. "There are some who trouble you and want to pervert the
Gospel of Christ." Apparently somebody, somebody Paul refers to as the "Judaizers"
had told Paul's converts that contrary to what Paul had said they still all had to be
circumcised.

                                  Marvin W. Meyer
                           Chapman University, California
He says, "I wish those folks, you know, those Jewish-Christian folks that are
preaching, who are so happy with their knives because they want to circumcise, I
wish that they would use the knives on themselves and emasculate themselves or
castrate themselves." This is not polite stuff.

                                    Pamela Eisenbaum
                                  Iliff School of Theology
                   Author, "The Jewish Heroes of Christian History"
In the history of Christian interpretation of Paul, this has been understood to mean
that Paul rejects circumcision and Judaism and everything else. He just left that all
behind.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) This letter to the Galatians has made Paul a favorite saint of the worst
Christians in history, from the monks of the Spanish Inquisition to the people who
carried out the 20th century Holocaust against the Jews in Europe. All those,
including Hitler, who have claimed that Christian theology made it imperative to
destroy Jews and Judaism. But does Paul deserve the blame? Every expert we
talked with said he does not.

                                 Pamela Eisenbaum
                               Iliff School of Theology
                  Author, "The Jewish Heroes Of Christian History"
Paul is, from a Jewish perspective, and even for many mainline Christians, the bad
guy. The one who sort of took it in this direction and said all these nasty things about
circumcision and Jewish law and all these things, right. I think that's a gross
misinterpretation of Paul.
                                                                                       57
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) It is true that Paul could be very nasty. But when you look more closely,
you see that Paul is really arguing with fellow Jews.

                                       Alan F. Segal
                    Author, "Rebecca's Children", Columbia University
He is himself still a Jew. I don't think he ever thought that he left Judaism. And
everything he says, he says as a Jew. So when he gets angry at Jewish leaders or
Jewish Christians, who are angry at him, that's understandable.

                                  Ben Witherington III
                          Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
I honestly think that it's an oxymoron to call a devout Jewish person like Paul an anti-
Semite. He vigorously argues for his views, but this was characteristic of Jews
debating important matters anyway. And many other people's, as well, of that
particular era. They argued vigorously, okay? But it's an in-house argument. It's
Jews arguing with Jews.

                                Peter Jennings
Do you ever think he became anti-Jewish?

                            Reverend Calvin O. Butts Ill
                         Abyssinian Baptist Church New York
No. He lived and died a Jew. No. He had great regard for the law, even though he
thought that we didn't need it any longer. I don't think it ever dawned on Paul that he
was anything but a Jew.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) In fact, in a second letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes that he's a
better Jew than those folks in Jerusalem. "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they
Israelites? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one."

                                   Marvin W. Meyer
                            Chapman University, California
"And I think that I should be considered an apostle, too. Besides those great folks
that are in Jerusalem, you should look at me as an apostle." He's always fighting to
be recognized as an apostle. A very tough thing for him.

                                  Ben Witherington III
                       Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky
I think that Jesus and Paul would be horrified by many of the ways that their words
were used in later generations. I think, of course, in light of the 20th century, in light
of the Holocaust, we're still dealing with the problem of an anti-Semitic use of various
portions of the New Testament. And it's horrific what's been done.
                                                                                        58
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) And Paul continues to think of the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem as
the mother church. In his letters he tells us he is heading for Jerusalem to give the
apostles money that he has collected from his Pagan converts.

                                Richard A. Horseley
                            University Of Massachusetts
He's very concerned to go repair the bridges with the apostles in Jerusalem, Peter
and James, the lord's brother. And he takes that collection as a sweetener.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) The backlash against Roman rule was creating tension in Jerusalem.
There was in-fighting among Jewish groups, with some factions trying to overthrow
the Jewish authorities they accused of being in cahoots with the Romans. In Acts of
the Apostles from the Bible, it says that in Jerusalem Paul was welcomed by James
and the others, but then beaten by a crowd after somebody accused him of bringing
a Pagan into the Jewish temple.

                                  Marvin W. Meyer
                           Chapman University, California
The rumor goes around that he has brought in some uncircumcised Greco- Roman
person and has profaned the temple. And the Jewish and Jewish- Christian folks are
very upset about this and arrest him for that reason.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Paul is taken from the angry crowd by Roman soldiers and brought
here to Caesarea, on the coast, to be put on trial before the Roman governor. The
Bible goes on to say that Paul waited here for several years, while Governors came
and went. This is the seaside villa where the Roman governor lived when he was in
Caesarea. And it was here that Paul, presumably an old man by then, would have
been brought to finally plead his case. Acts of the Apostles says that facing
execution, Paul asks, as a Roman citizen, which he was, to be sent to Rome to
stand trial before the Emperor Nero. And the governor agreed.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) It was probably about 30 years after the death of Jesus, when as the
Bible tells it, the man we know today as Saint Paul began a long trip from his prison
in Caesarea to Rome across the Mediterranean. He was a prisoner, going to plead
for his freedom before the Emperor Nero. The Bible describes the long journey by
sea that involves a shipwreck on the island of Malta, and then a stop in Sicily.
Today, Christian believers on the island, like these people celebrating the feast of
Saint Paul -revere him. Here he's known principally for curing snake bites and
blessing babies. They say they even used to have a tooth of Saint Paul's, which they
                                                                                      59
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


carried around in a small box. But it was stolen. Afterwards, Paul was probably taken
in chains on foot along this road, the Via Appia, into Rome.

                                     Peter Jennings
 So, this is the heart of Imperial Rome in the first century. Imagine what it's like for
Paul to show up here, having come all the way from Palestine on the other side of
the Mediterranean. Here is Rome in all of its glory. Here are temples of the Roman
gods. And he, Paul, is going to tell the Romans that the world is going to come to an
end, and no time, all this is going to be gone.

                               Richard A. Horseley
                            University Of Massachusetts
Paul believed when Christ comes with the clouds of Heaven, somehow that Roman
empire is going to disappear. Poof.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Here amid the artifacts of Roman power, we get some sense of how
extraordinary it was that ultimately Christianity would prevail and even become the
official religion of the Roman empire.

                                   Peter Jennings
So, where are we?

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Gianni Ponti is an archaeologist.

                                     Gianni Ponti
                                     Archaeologist
Back into the first century on the sacred way.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Ponti is part of a team that is trying to reconstruct what Rome looked
like in Paul's day.

                                    Gianni Ponti
                                    Archaeologist
The forums are surrounded by temples, civic buildings known as basilicas, and
honorary buildings to honor victorious generals.

                                  Peter Jennings
 And are we now down at the first century level? This is what anybody arriving in
town would see?

                                     Gianni Ponti
                                     Archaeologist
                                                                                      60
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


Yes, absolutely.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) When Paul got here, there was already a Christian movement in Rome
but it was minuscule.

                                  Peter Jennings
 Is there any evidence that the emperors or official Rome believed that the
population was susceptible to being converted to something else?

                                     Gianni Ponti
                                     Archaeologist
Probably they are not realizing this as early as the first century AD. But by that time
a specific sect who followed a certain Christo were already active in Rome. There
were rumors about this particular sect which followed Christ and there is prejudice
towards this practice.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Not very far down the road from here is the Vatican, the symbol of the
triumphant Christian church that eventually displaced the glory of Rome. But in
Paul's day, the Vatican area was the site of a public park and a racetrack and a
graveyard for the city's poor.

                                    Peter Jennings
 Unbelievable. How does this go from these itinerant Jewish preachers showing up
here to the point of being the state religion? Unbelievable. It really is unbelievable,
you know?

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) The Bible says that when Paul got here, the Romans kept him under
house arrest but allowed him to meet with and preach to the tiny Christian
community.

                                  Karen Armstrong
                             Author, "A History of God"
The last sentence of the Acts of the Apostles gives us an impression that there he
was greeted by the community and there he sat and taught.

                                     Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) That's all we know from the Bible. So when the Bible story ends, Paul
is still something of a fringe character in the very small, nearly invisible Jesus
movement. A man of little importance waiting for his hearing with a Roman emperor,
Nero, who doesn't seem in any hurry to see him. But later Christian writings, picking
up where the Bible leaves off, tell us that Saint Paul would become Nero's victim.
                                                                                         61
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                    Peter Jennings
What sort of guy was he?

                                     Gianni Ponti
                                     Archaeologist
Crazy.

                                    Peter Jennings
Really crazy?

                                   Gianni Ponti
                                   Archaeologist
Crazy like most of the extremely eccentric successors of the emperor Augustus.
Inter-marrying and producing some rather quirky guys.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Roman writers of the day confirm that Nero was basically a madman
and greedy. This is his largest palace, the -house of gold.

                                     Peter Jennings
Nero kills his first wife, his mother, second wife maybe.

                                      Gianni Ponti
                                      Archaeologist
Exactly, with a kick in the stomach. Exactly. And has his mother drowned on a ship
that is built on purpose to sink in one of the lakes.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Roman writings say that in order to clear the land for this great palace,
Nero had his servants set a fire that burned much of Rome to the ground. When
people suspected Nero was to blame for the fire, he blamed the Christians.

                                   Gianni Ponti
                                   Archaeologist
There were people one night who were seen in different parts of the city with
torches, the servants of the emperor starting the fire. And the fire blazed on for six
days and seven nights.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Nero ordered all the Christians rounded up and executed.

                                 Peter Jennings
The hardest single image for me is Nero using Christians as torches in the garden.

                                     Gianni Ponti
                                                                                     62
        Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                  Archaeologist
Yes. In the gardens. He had gardens up next to the Vatican area. He obviously had
gardens here. One wonders if here is how Christians were torched.

                                  Peter Jennings
Used as torches to light the gardens for Nero's parties?

                                    Gianni Ponti
                                    Archaeologist
Yes.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Christian tradition, which means the stories that were handed down
verbally, says that Paul and Peter, the apostle of Jesus who was also in Rome at the
time, were caught in Nero's dragnet. Another story handed down says that Peter and
Paul were then held together in this prison. It may be true that at the end, the two
men, fierce competitors for much of their careers, faced death together. Historians
cannot tell us for certain.

                                  Peter Jennings
Who gets executed here?

                                 Gianni Ponti
                                 Archaeologist
Common criminals and Christians who were considered criminals.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Many of the Christians who didn't die as human torches were probably
executed in a place called the Circus Maximus, the chariot racing track located right
beside where the Vatican is today. Executions were the Roman form of halftime
entertainment in those days.

                                   Gianni Ponti
                                   Archaeologist
It was common practice to plan the executions of criminals during intervals in the
games that were scheduled in the circus or in the amphitheaters.

                                  Peter Jennings
Keep folks in their seats?

                                    Gianni Ponti
                                    Archaeologist
To some extent, yes.

                                  Peter Jennings
                                                                                       63
           Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


(Voice Over) The apostle Peter may well have died here. The official story says that
Peter was taken out and crucified, upside down at his own insistence because he
did not wish to be executed the same way as Jesus. The story told about Paul is that
the Romans took him to a place outside the city and cut off his head. There is no
record from the time stating this is what happened. It is part of Christian tradition, the
story handed down. There is a church here marking the spot that Christians revere
as the place of his execution. Don Alisandro is the Italian priest in charge.

                                      Don Alisandro
                                          Priest
This is the last ...

                                 Peter Jennings
The last street on which Paul would have walked, according to the church tradition?

                                      Don Alisandro
                                          Priest
Yes, according to the tradition.

                                   Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) It is called the Church of the Three Fountains because there is another
tradition which says that Paul's head hit the ground three times when it was cut off.

                                      Don Alisandro
                                          Priest
And the head made three steps.

                                     Peter Jennings
Bounces?

                                      Don Alisandro
                                          Priest
Exactly.

                                  Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) And each time it bounced, so goes the tradition, a spring began flowing
to mark the place. And it bounced here?

                                      Don Alisandro
                                          Priest
Yes. Three.

                                     Peter Jennings
And bounced down here, too?
                                                                                     64
         Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


                                    Don Alisandro
                                        Priest
Yes.

                                Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) Does Don Alisandro believe it? Not really.

                                     Don Alisandro
                                         Priest
Actually, we have some waters, is not working very much because they make like an
engine, little engine for the water.

                                Peter Jennings
You have to have an engine to keep the water going?

                                    Don Alisandro
                                        Priest
Yes, yes.

                                   Peter Jennings
That's cheating.

                                    Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) But the tradition is important, says Don Alisandro. To teach the faithful
about suffering and sacrifice.

                                 Karen Armstrong
                             Author, "A History of God"
We have no idea what happened to Paul even at the end. What we do know is what
he left to us. What we do have are some extraordinary letters. And we have our -the
Christianity that he bequeathed to us and which people have built on for the last
2,000 years.

                                 Peter Jennings
(Voice Over) And as far as we know, Paul never stopped believing that the world
was going to come to an end and Jesus would return. The last letter we have says
"the end is nearer now than when we first believed."

                                        Alan F. Segal
                    Author, "Rebecca's Children", Columbia University
One of the interesting things about Christianity is it had to keep changing its view as
the lord delayed and delayed and delayed. And it didn't keep people from believing
in it. No, they just said our timing is off. Look a day in the sight of lord is like a
thousand years. I mean, you think might be a year, that's 365 times a thousand,
                                                                                65
        Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul: The World and the Witness


that's 365 times a thousand. So we -you know, who knows how long this is going to
be, but it will happen.

				
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