Watch: The earliest known Bible movie still in existence

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Want to see a Jesus movie produced in the 19th century? My friend Matt Page has discovered that just such a film — or at least a ten-minute collection of footage from such a film — is available for download at the Library of Congress website.

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Watch: The threat of violence hangs over the early Church in the latest A.D.: The Bible Continues “special preview”

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Another week, another video for A.D.: The Bible Continues. Like some of the previous videos, this one emphasizes the threat of violence, whether actual (as committed by the Romans and other authority figures) or metaphorical (note the title card calling the early Jesus movement a “rebellion”). Check it out below the jump.

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Watch: A new “first look” at A.D.: The Bible Continues

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Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent on the western church calendar, which apparently means today is the day to release new videos promoting TV shows about Jesus that will air at the end of Lent. First we had the trailer for Killing Jesus, which airs on Palm Sunday, and now we have a new video for A.D.: The Bible Continues, which premieres Easter Sunday. Check it out below the jump.

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Exclusive: The poster for the National Geographic Channel’s adaptation of Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s Killing Jesus

This post has been updated to include the brand-new trailer for the film.

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Killing Jesus has an airdate, and we have the poster announcing it. The National Geographic Channel’s three-hour adaptation of the book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard will premiere March 29 — that’s Palm Sunday on the western Christian calendar — at 8pm. The film is notable for, among other things, being possibly the first major movie about the life of Jesus to cast a Middle Eastern actor in the lead role. I had a chance to visit the set in Morocco a few months ago and will have more to say about that in a few weeks. In the meantime, check out the poster below the jump.

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Cornelius and Caligula: biblical and secular history come together in two shows called A.D.

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One of the things I have always loved about the 1985 miniseries A.D.: Anno Domini is the way it links the conversion of Cornelius, a Roman centurion who became the first Gentile Christian, to Caligula’s efforts to have a statue of himself placed inside the Jerusalem temple. In this telling, Cornelius reacts to the insanity of Caligula’s decree by abandoning paganism altogether, while Peter and the other Christians argue over whether they, as Jews, should still regard the temple as “theirs” in some sense. Caligula’s plans to desecrate the temple, which we know about from writers such as Philo and Josephus, provoke a number of identity crises that are so interesting, you begin to wonder why the book of Acts itself never mentions this episode.

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Our first look at Rodrigo Santoro as Jesus in Ben-Hur

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Timur Bekmambetov’s remake of Ben-Hur is now nearing the end of its second week of production, and the unofficial photos keep on coming. Last week we had pictures of Judah Ben-Hur, his girlfriend Esther and possibly one of the rebels who ends up crucified next to Jesus. This week’s batch includes our first pictures of Jesus himself, as played by Rodrigo Santoro. You can check ’em all out at the Daily Mail.


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