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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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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Watch: The Newsboys believe in new A.D. trailer

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The two biggest “Christian movies” at the box office last year were God’s Not Dead, which was named after a song by the Newsboys, and Son of God, which consisted almost entirely of footage from the History Channel miniseries The Bible.

So it makes sense that one of the ads for the follow-up to The Bible — an NBC series called A.D.: The Bible Continues — would mix footage from the new series with footage from a Newsboys music video. Check it out below the jump.

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A.D. will cover only part of the book of Acts.

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Last year, producer Mark Burnett gave every indication that A.D.: The Bible Continues would cover the entire book of Acts and then some. He told one interviewer that the series would tell “the story of the first 40 years after the crucifixion.” (Acts itself covers only the first 30 years or so.) He told another that he and his team “planned to get to [the year] 70 as the temple falls”. (Acts itself comes to an end circa AD 62.)

And then, he said, he hoped the series would be renewed for several more years, until it reached the death of the emperor Constantine in AD 337. But lately there have been signs that the series will be much more limited in scope — at least for now.

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Watch: The early Christians can feel it coming in the air tonight in the Super Bowl spot for A.D.: The Bible Continues

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NBC aired another TV spot for A.D., the follow-up to the History Channel miniseries The Bible, during the Super Bowl today. Check it out below the jump.

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