The Gospels | Episode 1 | TBN

The Gospels | Episode 1

Watch The Gospels | Episode 1
December 7, 2015
27:48

Drive Thru History: The Gospels

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The Gospels | Episode 1

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  • Who would you say is
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  • the most significant person to have ever lived?
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  • Aristotle?
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  • Caesar Augustus?
  • 00:00:08.060 --> 00:00:10.200
  • How about Winston Churchill or George Washington?
  • 00:00:10.230 --> 00:00:14.110
  • Or Genghis Kahn, or Mahatma Gandhi?
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  • Or how about Chairman Mao?
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  • Of all the influences that have shaped our world as we know it,
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  • even most skeptics agree that it was a simple carpenter
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  • from the nearby town of Nazareth who was
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  • the most influential person to have ever lived.
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  • I'm Dave Stotts and in this series of "Drive Thru History"
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  • we're going to explore the extraordinary life
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  • in the order it took place,
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  • and in the places that it was lived.
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  • This is the story of Jesus of Nazareth, also known as
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  • the Child of Bethlehem, and the man from Galilee.
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  • This is "Drive Thru History: The Gospels."
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  • [orchestra plays in bright rhythm]
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  • [engine accelerates]
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  • [engine accelerates]
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  • Jesus of Nazareth was a man born in the Middle East
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  • and lived 30-something years.
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  • and had a short 3-ish year career as a teacher, traveling
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  • with a group of 12 working- class guys, never venturing
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  • much more than 200 miles from his birthplace.
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  • He was eventually abandoned by all his friends,
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  • and was executed for violating
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  • the religious laws of his own people.
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  • So why, more than 2.000 years later, does almost 1/3rd
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  • of the entire population of planet earth
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  • identify with the religious faith
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  • centered on the teachings of this man?
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  • What did he say? Where did these things take place?
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  • What is the evidence for these events?
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  • Now, the tricky thing about history
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  • is that nearly all of it's in the past.
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  • But history leaves us a trail of evidence,
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  • evidence that points to the truth.
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  • its secrets are simply waiting to be discovered.
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  • All you've got to do is go look.
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  • But before we steer into the historical world
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  • of the 1st-century context of Jesus' life,
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  • I'd like you to meet a new friend.
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  • I'd like to introduce you to my sweet ride in Israel.
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  • This is a 1976 Land Rover.
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  • It's 4-wheel drive and it sports an aluminum body
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  • for durability and to keep the weight down.
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  • Now let's check under the bonnet.
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  • This Land Rover sports a 2.5 liter turbocharged diesel.
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  • This was its second engine, the first engine was
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  • a 2.5 liter petrol engine.
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  • I like saying the word "petrol," English accent--
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  • petrol, petroli, petrol... cheerio!
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  • you know, this Land Rover even has a nickname--
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  • Steve McQueen, and its owner speaks of it lovingly
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  • as you might speak of a faithful family dog.
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  • And I am very privileged to be trusted with the keys.
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  • And I will do my best to honor that trust.
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  • Ah! Good boy.
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  • Atta boy!
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  • [engine rumbles]
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  • back in the 1st century people were often referred to
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  • by the town in which they resided or grew up.
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  • Jesus was not an uncommon name,
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  • so putting "of Nazareth" next to it
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  • was a way of making it clear which Jesus was being spoken of.
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  • Today we have last names, otherwise I'd be
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  • Dave of Quaker City, Ohio,
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  • which doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.
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  • To set the stage for our series
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  • I wanted to start in present-day Nazareth,
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  • the largest city in the north district of Israel
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  • with a population of over 80.000 people.
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  • One of my favorite places to visit is the Nazareth Village
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  • where they have built
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  • an exquisitely re-created 1st-century synagogue.
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  • Jesus himself would've frequently darkened
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  • the doorway of a synagogue just like this as he grew up.
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  • The Gospels are 4 historical documents.
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  • They comprise the first 4 books of the New Testament Bible.
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  • They describe the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus
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  • and they were written by 4 of his followers--
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  • Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
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  • The word Gospel comes from the Greek word "euangelion,"
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  • which means "good news."
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  • It's also the source for our modern English word
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  • "evangelism," which refers to the telling of the good news.
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  • The first 3 books, Matthew, Mark, and Luke
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  • are commonly referred to
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  • as the "synoptic" Gospels.
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  • The term synoptic comes
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  • from the Greek word "syn"
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  • which means "together" and "optic" which means "seen."
  • 00:06:00.030 --> 00:06:03.000
  • The Synoptic Gospels include
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  • a lot of the same stories,
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  • appearing in a similar chronological order, told
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  • from the slightly different perspective of each author.
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  • The dating of the synoptic gospels
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  • is a long-debated subject,
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  • but a reasonable range looks like this...
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  • Matthew was written first
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  • according to the early church fathers.
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  • That is why Matthew is placed first in the New Testament canon
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  • and was most likely written first somewhere around the 40s.
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  • There is compelling evidence
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  • for a very early date of around 41 AD
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  • which is a very few years after Jesus' death.
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  • Mark may have been written next, using as a source
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  • the witness of the Apostle Peter,
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  • and Luke was written probably
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  • between 60 or 62 AD and the final trial
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  • and eventual execution of Paul in 67 AD.
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  • There is a very interesting theory that Luke
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  • and the Book of Acts were written together
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  • as part of a defense for Paul in the trial for his life.
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  • The Gospel of John is often placed last, prior to 70 AD
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  • and the destruction of Jerusalem.
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  • In contrast to the Synoptic Gospels,
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  • John was written from a very unique perspective.
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  • One theory for this is that since John was
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  • probably written after Matthew, Mark, and Luke,
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  • the author may have been aware of those documents,
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  • and simply not wanted to write a lot of overlapping material.
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  • Or maybe John had a different reason altogether.
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  • One way the distinction between the Synoptic Gospels
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  • and John's Gospel has been described is this...
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  • Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written
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  • using descriptive language, while John's language
  • 00:07:45.120 --> 00:07:47.120
  • was much more reflective in nature.
  • 00:07:47.150 --> 00:07:50.030
  • John seems to want his readers to understand the events
  • 00:07:50.060 --> 00:07:54.030
  • of Jesus' life as he now did, looking back on it all.
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  • As we explore the life of Jesus,
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  • we'll be using these 4 books as our primary guide.
  • 00:08:00.290 --> 00:08:04.030
  • No other ancient documents have been as thoroughly scrutinized.
  • 00:08:04.060 --> 00:08:07.200
  • No other ancient documents are as well-attested
  • 00:08:07.230 --> 00:08:10.250
  • or have existing manuscripts
  • 00:08:10.280 --> 00:08:12.260
  • dating so close to their original composition.
  • 00:08:12.290 --> 00:08:16.020
  • There are literally hundreds of ancient Greek manuscripts,
  • 00:08:16.050 --> 00:08:18.240
  • compositions, and quotations of the Gospels
  • 00:08:18.270 --> 00:08:21.090
  • from the first few centuries after they were written.
  • 00:08:21.120 --> 00:08:24.110
  • And we'll be bringing in other ancient documents as well
  • 00:08:24.140 --> 00:08:27.000
  • to see what they can contribute to the story.
  • 00:08:27.030 --> 00:08:29.230
  • So where exactly do you start when you're exploring the story
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  • of the most significant person who ever lived?
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  • Let's go with the beginning-
  • 00:08:36.220 --> 00:08:38.280
  • ah, along with some stuff before the beginning.
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  • When we open up a Bible to the New Testament,
  • 00:08:42.040 --> 00:08:44.250
  • the first book we come to is Matthew.
  • 00:08:44.280 --> 00:08:47.170
  • Here's how the writer begins the story:
  • 00:08:47.200 --> 00:08:49.210
  • "This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah,
  • 00:08:49.240 --> 00:08:52.200
  • the son of David, the son of Abraham."
  • 00:08:52.230 --> 00:08:56.000
  • Abraham was the father of Isaac,
  • 00:08:56.030 --> 00:08:58.030
  • Isaac the father of Jacob,
  • 00:08:58.060 --> 00:09:00.170
  • Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
  • 00:09:00.200 --> 00:09:03.160
  • Judah the father of Perez and Zerah,
  • 00:09:03.190 --> 00:09:06.260
  • whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron.
  • 00:09:06.290 --> 00:09:10.180
  • Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz,
  • 00:09:10.210 --> 00:09:15.250
  • Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
  • 00:09:15.280 --> 00:09:20.130
  • Abihud the father of Eliakim
  • 00:09:20.160 --> 00:09:23.150
  • Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob,
  • 00:09:23.180 --> 00:09:28.040
  • and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary,
  • 00:09:28.070 --> 00:09:32.280
  • and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
  • 00:09:33.010 --> 00:09:37.150
  • A list of Jesus' ancestry may not mean much to you,
  • 00:09:37.180 --> 00:09:41.160
  • but Matthew was writing to a Hebrew audience.
  • 00:09:41.190 --> 00:09:44.170
  • Matthew wanted his words to carry the weight,
  • 00:09:44.200 --> 00:09:47.240
  • the gravitas, that they deserved.
  • 00:09:47.270 --> 00:09:50.080
  • Matthew knew that he was making a case to a very skeptical,
  • 00:09:50.110 --> 00:09:54.240
  • and knowledgeable and a tough crowd,
  • 00:09:54.270 --> 00:09:57.180
  • that Jesus held the right credentials.
  • 00:09:57.210 --> 00:10:00.030
  • He also knew that that his Hebrew audience
  • 00:10:00.060 --> 00:10:02.070
  • would want to know the ancestry of Jesus
  • 00:10:02.100 --> 00:10:04.280
  • so they would see if he was qualified to make the claims
  • 00:10:05.010 --> 00:10:08.040
  • that he did based on the writings of their holy texts.
  • 00:10:08.070 --> 00:10:11.000
  • Genealogical records were very important to Jews
  • 00:10:11.030 --> 00:10:13.260
  • in the 1st century, because lineage was key
  • 00:10:13.290 --> 00:10:17.090
  • to a person's role and inclusion in Jewish society.
  • 00:10:17.120 --> 00:10:20.180
  • Who could be a priest?
  • 00:10:20.210 --> 00:10:22.140
  • Who could have political authority?
  • 00:10:22.170 --> 00:10:23.280
  • Who could marry whom?
  • 00:10:24.010 --> 00:10:25.280
  • These were all determined by your lineage.
  • 00:10:26.010 --> 00:10:27.180
  • Today, we keep our family records
  • 00:10:32.020 --> 00:10:33.290
  • in the local county building.
  • 00:10:34.020 --> 00:10:36.000
  • But back in the 1st century, Jewish family records
  • 00:10:36.030 --> 00:10:39.120
  • were likely kept somewhere in the temple complex.
  • 00:10:39.150 --> 00:10:42.040
  • Your ancestry determined if you could be a priest.
  • 00:10:42.070 --> 00:10:46.090
  • For that to happen, you were supposed to have
  • 00:10:46.120 --> 00:10:50.230
  • descended of the tribe of Levi.
  • 00:10:50.260 --> 00:10:54.010
  • If you were ever to become the high priest, you were supposed
  • 00:10:54.040 --> 00:10:57.140
  • to have descended actually from Aaron himself,
  • 00:10:57.170 --> 00:10:59.220
  • Aaron the first high priest and the brother of Moses.
  • 00:10:59.250 --> 00:11:03.230
  • So the Gospel writer Matthew was attempting to establish
  • 00:11:03.260 --> 00:11:07.080
  • the royal heritage of Jesus,
  • 00:11:07.110 --> 00:11:09.290
  • an unbroken ancestry back to David, the king of Israel,
  • 00:11:10.020 --> 00:11:14.000
  • from some 10 centuries earlier.
  • 00:11:14.030 --> 00:11:16.150
  • So for Matthew to give
  • 00:11:16.180 --> 00:11:19.030
  • a compelling account of the life of Jesus to a Hebrew reader,
  • 00:11:19.060 --> 00:11:22.230
  • it was incredibly important to put that
  • 00:11:22.260 --> 00:11:24.290
  • out there right from the start.
  • 00:11:25.020 --> 00:11:27.000
  • That's why Jesus' ancestry is there,
  • 00:11:27.030 --> 00:11:29.180
  • and that is why it was worthy of attention.
  • 00:11:29.210 --> 00:11:32.100
  • This list is pregnant with meaning
  • 00:11:32.130 --> 00:11:34.150
  • as it speaks to the history of the Jewish people.
  • 00:11:34.180 --> 00:11:37.160
  • The ancestry of Jesus is a study unto itself.
  • 00:11:37.190 --> 00:11:40.200
  • And it points to the amazing preservation in the line
  • 00:11:40.230 --> 00:11:44.050
  • of the Jewish people that led to his birth.
  • 00:11:44.080 --> 00:11:47.050
  • At this point you need some more background
  • 00:11:47.080 --> 00:11:50.140
  • to understand a little more about the history
  • 00:11:50.170 --> 00:11:53.240
  • of the Israelite religious beliefs and the history
  • 00:11:53.270 --> 00:11:57.000
  • of the Jewish culture into which Jesus arrived.
  • 00:11:57.030 --> 00:12:00.080
  • So if you don't mind, allow me "set the table."
  • 00:12:00.110 --> 00:12:03.280
  • The first verse of Genesis in the Hebrew Scriptures
  • 00:12:09.240 --> 00:12:13.020
  • states very simply: "In the beginning,
  • 00:12:13.050 --> 00:12:15.140
  • God created the heavens and the earth."
  • 00:12:15.170 --> 00:12:18.210
  • Genesis goes on to say that God also created mankind.
  • 00:12:18.240 --> 00:12:22.230
  • "So God created man in His own image,
  • 00:12:22.260 --> 00:12:25.120
  • in the image of God He created him;
  • 00:12:25.150 --> 00:12:28.010
  • male and female He created them.
  • 00:12:28.040 --> 00:12:29.270
  • And God blessed them.
  • 00:12:30.000 --> 00:12:32.000
  • And God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply
  • 00:12:32.030 --> 00:12:34.230
  • and fill the earth and subdue it,
  • 00:12:34.260 --> 00:12:37.080
  • and have dominion over the fish of the sea
  • 00:12:37.110 --> 00:12:40.010
  • and over the birds of the heavens and over
  • 00:12:40.040 --> 00:12:42.270
  • every living thing that moves on the earth.'"
  • 00:12:43.000 --> 00:12:45.000
  • Genesis 1:27 through 28.
  • 00:12:45.030 --> 00:12:48.200
  • Man is given the special designation in scripture
  • 00:12:48.230 --> 00:12:52.040
  • as being the only thing that is made in God's own image.
  • 00:12:52.070 --> 00:12:56.220
  • According to the Hebrew Scriptures,
  • 00:12:56.250 --> 00:12:59.080
  • shortly after man was created, he was given a choice,
  • 00:12:59.110 --> 00:13:03.160
  • and he chose to reject God's will in favor of his own.
  • 00:13:03.190 --> 00:13:07.220
  • "Now the serpent was more crafty than
  • 00:13:07.250 --> 00:13:10.010
  • any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
  • 00:13:10.040 --> 00:13:13.070
  • He said to the woman, 'Did God actually say
  • 00:13:13.100 --> 00:13:16.030
  • you shall not eat of any tree in the garden?'
  • 00:13:16.060 --> 00:13:19.000
  • And the woman said to the serpent,
  • 00:13:19.030 --> 00:13:21.040
  • 'We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,
  • 00:13:21.070 --> 00:13:24.120
  • but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree
  • 00:13:24.150 --> 00:13:27.150
  • that is in the midst of the garden,
  • 00:13:27.180 --> 00:13:30.010
  • neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'
  • 00:13:30.040 --> 00:13:32.000
  • But the serpent said to the woman,
  • 00:13:32.030 --> 00:13:35.060
  • 'You will not surely die.'" Genesis 3:1 through 4.
  • 00:13:35.090 --> 00:13:38.060
  • Most of us know the rest of the story of Adam and Eve,
  • 00:13:38.090 --> 00:13:41.220
  • and how God cast them out of the Garden of Eden.
  • 00:13:41.250 --> 00:13:44.240
  • As a result of Adam and Eve's rebellious choice,
  • 00:13:44.270 --> 00:13:48.210
  • that is, to disobey and sin against God,
  • 00:13:48.240 --> 00:13:52.000
  • the unity between God and man, which had been
  • 00:13:52.030 --> 00:13:55.270
  • quite literally perfect up to that point, was now broken.
  • 00:13:56.000 --> 00:13:59.170
  • It was here in the book of Genesis,
  • 00:13:59.200 --> 00:14:02.290
  • that the Israelites got their very first hint of a man
  • 00:14:03.020 --> 00:14:06.140
  • who would come to be known as Messiah.
  • 00:14:06.170 --> 00:14:09.000
  • In this mysterious passage,
  • 00:14:09.030 --> 00:14:10.250
  • God is speaking to the serpent,
  • 00:14:10.280 --> 00:14:13.130
  • known as Satan, who had tempted them.
  • 00:14:13.160 --> 00:14:16.050
  • He said: "I will put enmity between you and the woman,
  • 00:14:16.080 --> 00:14:20.100
  • and between your offspring and her offspring;
  • 00:14:20.130 --> 00:14:23.220
  • he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."
  • 00:14:23.250 --> 00:14:27.010
  • Genesis 3:15
  • 00:14:27.040 --> 00:14:30.030
  • This man who would literally "crush"
  • 00:14:30.060 --> 00:14:32.160
  • or grind or strike the head of the serpent
  • 00:14:32.190 --> 00:14:36.090
  • just as the serpent would crush, grind, or strike his heel.
  • 00:14:36.120 --> 00:14:40.130
  • The man who would crush the head of the serpent
  • 00:14:40.160 --> 00:14:43.280
  • became known in Hebrew scriptures as "Moshiach,"
  • 00:14:44.010 --> 00:14:46.140
  • or "Messiah," which means "anointed" or "chosen one."
  • 00:14:46.170 --> 00:14:50.280
  • This man would be a descendant of King David,
  • 00:14:51.010 --> 00:14:55.110
  • who would restore the unity between God and His people.
  • 00:14:55.140 --> 00:14:59.080
  • But this promise had gone unfulfilled
  • 00:14:59.110 --> 00:15:03.020
  • for a very long time.
  • 00:15:03.050 --> 00:15:05.180
  • No fuel gauge, no speedometer,
  • 00:15:22.110 --> 00:15:24.290
  • no rearview mirror, no seat belt.
  • 00:15:25.020 --> 00:15:27.280
  • No air conditioning-- no problem!
  • 00:15:28.010 --> 00:15:30.140
  • This is a beast of a car.
  • 00:15:32.160 --> 00:15:36.150
  • I think it was manufactured back in 1976,
  • 00:15:36.180 --> 00:15:40.010
  • so this car is only about [mumbles] years younger than me.
  • 00:15:40.040 --> 00:15:44.050
  • But what I do like about it, it's got visibility...
  • 00:15:50.110 --> 00:15:53.120
  • lots and lots of visibility.
  • 00:15:53.150 --> 00:15:58.000
  • During the time of the Gospels, the Israelites
  • 00:15:58.030 --> 00:16:01.120
  • had lived on and off-- mostly on--
  • 00:16:01.150 --> 00:16:04.280
  • as subjects under foreign rule, for about a thousand years,
  • 00:16:05.010 --> 00:16:09.140
  • having been conquered by the Egyptians,
  • 00:16:09.170 --> 00:16:12.060
  • the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians,
  • 00:16:12.090 --> 00:16:15.280
  • the Greeks, and now, the Romans.
  • 00:16:16.010 --> 00:16:19.130
  • For the Israelites, restoring their relationship with God
  • 00:16:19.160 --> 00:16:22.210
  • also had come to be connected with something else--
  • 00:16:22.240 --> 00:16:25.270
  • deliverance from foreign oppressors so that
  • 00:16:26.000 --> 00:16:28.210
  • they would be free to live as God had promised them.
  • 00:16:28.240 --> 00:16:32.200
  • The birth of Jesus took place during a time
  • 00:16:32.230 --> 00:16:36.220
  • when the Roman Empire extended all the way to Israel.
  • 00:16:36.250 --> 00:16:40.130
  • Remnants of Roman structures can be seen
  • 00:16:40.160 --> 00:16:43.150
  • all over Jerusalem today.
  • 00:16:43.180 --> 00:16:45.230
  • The Romans with their vast armies of slave labor
  • 00:16:45.260 --> 00:16:49.120
  • built great things and left their mark
  • 00:16:49.150 --> 00:16:52.050
  • everywhere that they went.
  • 00:16:52.080 --> 00:16:54.060
  • The Roman Province of Judea, along with Galilee,
  • 00:16:54.090 --> 00:16:57.020
  • was actually a very small part of the empire,
  • 00:16:57.050 --> 00:17:00.150
  • about 8.000 square miles,
  • 00:17:00.180 --> 00:17:02.250
  • and it was on the eastern edge of Rome's vast territory.
  • 00:17:02.280 --> 00:17:06.240
  • Scholars estimate that there were about a million or so
  • 00:17:06.270 --> 00:17:09.240
  • people living in the region when the Romans took over.
  • 00:17:09.270 --> 00:17:12.170
  • With the appointment of Julius Caesar as Supreme Ruler,
  • 00:17:12.200 --> 00:17:16.000
  • the Roman Empire had its beginnings
  • 00:17:16.030 --> 00:17:19.030
  • just 40 years or so before Jesus was born.
  • 00:17:19.060 --> 00:17:23.020
  • empire officially began when Caesar Augustus
  • 00:17:23.050 --> 00:17:27.130
  • received his title from the Roman Senate on June 16, 27 BC.
  • 00:17:27.160 --> 00:17:33.020
  • This period of time began what was known as the Pax Romana.
  • 00:17:33.050 --> 00:17:37.070
  • Pax Romana is Latin for "the peace of Rome."
  • 00:17:37.100 --> 00:17:40.240
  • It was a time of relative peace and quiet, for Rome that is,
  • 00:17:40.270 --> 00:17:45.080
  • because the Roman Empire was so large and so powerful
  • 00:17:45.110 --> 00:17:48.270
  • that they effectively, and violently,
  • 00:17:49.000 --> 00:17:50.170
  • crushed any viable opposition.
  • 00:17:50.200 --> 00:17:52.230
  • The Jews, who had conquered this land thousands of years before,
  • 00:17:52.260 --> 00:17:57.130
  • were now paying taxes in tribute to Rome,
  • 00:17:57.160 --> 00:18:01.140
  • for Rome's roads, aqueducts, theaters, government buildings,
  • 00:18:01.170 --> 00:18:04.090
  • public plazas, and military garrisons.
  • 00:18:04.120 --> 00:18:07.230
  • When the Gospels were written, Israel was a territory of,
  • 00:18:10.000 --> 00:18:13.210
  • and under the control, by force, of the Roman empire.
  • 00:18:13.240 --> 00:18:16.230
  • During the time of Jesus, the Roman Empire stretched
  • 00:18:19.250 --> 00:18:23.000
  • from Spain in the West, to Belgium in the North,
  • 00:18:23.030 --> 00:18:26.220
  • to Egypt in the South, and to Syria in the East,
  • 00:18:26.250 --> 00:18:30.270
  • with an estimated population of over 70 million people.
  • 00:18:31.000 --> 00:18:34.240
  • The Roman Empire accounted for 1/4th
  • 00:18:34.270 --> 00:18:37.120
  • of the total world population at the time.
  • 00:18:37.150 --> 00:18:40.130
  • The Romans had brought their own religion with them.
  • 00:18:40.160 --> 00:18:43.050
  • It included many gods.
  • 00:18:43.080 --> 00:18:45.010
  • After the time of Caesar Augustus,
  • 00:18:45.040 --> 00:18:47.210
  • even the emperors of Rome were considered gods.
  • 00:18:47.240 --> 00:18:50.250
  • The forceful military subjection by Rome
  • 00:18:50.280 --> 00:18:53.150
  • and the Roman introduction of their pagan religion
  • 00:18:53.180 --> 00:18:57.010
  • into Israel was a great offense that could not be reconciled,
  • 00:18:57.040 --> 00:19:01.040
  • from the Jewish point of view,
  • 00:19:01.070 --> 00:19:04.070
  • with a one country, two systems political approach.
  • 00:19:04.100 --> 00:19:07.020
  • The Roman occupation was yet another
  • 00:19:07.050 --> 00:19:09.170
  • in a long line of unholy insults to the identity
  • 00:19:09.200 --> 00:19:13.160
  • of a people who believed that they were called by God
  • 00:19:13.190 --> 00:19:17.090
  • to be separate and apart.
  • 00:19:17.120 --> 00:19:19.210
  • The Jews secretly hoped that someday a savior, a Messiah
  • 00:19:19.240 --> 00:19:24.070
  • would rise up and lead an overthrow of Rome.
  • 00:19:24.100 --> 00:19:28.190
  • But in the meantime they lived under the thumb of Rome
  • 00:19:28.220 --> 00:19:32.060
  • as well as a local leader, Herod the Great.
  • 00:19:32.090 --> 00:19:35.030
  • Under the established system of Roman governance,
  • 00:19:35.060 --> 00:19:37.240
  • Herod the Great was king of the Judean region.
  • 00:19:37.270 --> 00:19:41.110
  • But he was a local power broker, a "client king."
  • 00:19:41.140 --> 00:19:45.020
  • This meant he had regional power,
  • 00:19:45.050 --> 00:19:47.020
  • but he was still under the authority of Rome.
  • 00:19:47.050 --> 00:19:49.250
  • Herod's family acquired power in the region
  • 00:19:49.280 --> 00:19:53.040
  • beginning with the takeover of Jerusalem
  • 00:19:53.070 --> 00:19:55.190
  • by the Roman General Pompey in 63 BC.
  • 00:19:55.220 --> 00:19:59.000
  • Herod was ambitious and power hungry,
  • 00:19:59.030 --> 00:20:02.030
  • and he eventually gained the support of Rome.
  • 00:20:02.060 --> 00:20:05.180
  • By 40 BC he was the reigning "king of the Jews."
  • 00:20:05.210 --> 00:20:10.060
  • Although Herod enjoyed the support of the Romans,
  • 00:20:12.040 --> 00:20:15.080
  • including Caesar Augustus, the Jewish people
  • 00:20:15.110 --> 00:20:17.130
  • never really accepted him.
  • 00:20:17.160 --> 00:20:19.160
  • Since he was raised by an Idumaean father, that is,
  • 00:20:19.190 --> 00:20:23.140
  • a man from Idumea and a Nabatean mother.
  • 00:20:23.170 --> 00:20:27.030
  • The Roman historian Josephus described Herod as a "half Jew."
  • 00:20:27.060 --> 00:20:31.130
  • And since ancestry determined destiny under Jewish law,
  • 00:20:31.160 --> 00:20:35.010
  • Herod did not have the ancestral rights to be a Jewish king,
  • 00:20:35.040 --> 00:20:39.260
  • and pretty much everyone knew it.
  • 00:20:39.290 --> 00:20:42.220
  • Herod understood what the Jews thought about him,
  • 00:20:42.250 --> 00:20:45.230
  • and he never really felt secure in his position.
  • 00:20:45.260 --> 00:20:49.110
  • So he built multiple protective fortresses around the region
  • 00:20:49.140 --> 00:20:53.040
  • in case of a rebellion, and he continually suspected that
  • 00:20:53.070 --> 00:20:57.150
  • treason and insurrection was afoot.
  • 00:20:57.180 --> 00:20:59.210
  • Herod was considered a genius by many,
  • 00:20:59.240 --> 00:21:03.000
  • but it was genius of the evil variety.
  • 00:21:03.030 --> 00:21:05.290
  • He was a great builder,
  • 00:21:06.020 --> 00:21:08.130
  • and he understood how to acquire and wield power.
  • 00:21:08.160 --> 00:21:12.040
  • But he also demonstrated a history of paranoia,
  • 00:21:12.070 --> 00:21:15.130
  • opportunism, and violence throughout his life.
  • 00:21:15.160 --> 00:21:17.160
  • He had a high propensity
  • 00:21:17.190 --> 00:21:19.200
  • to murder the people that he did not like,
  • 00:21:19.230 --> 00:21:22.190
  • and was always looking for ways to increase his power.
  • 00:21:22.220 --> 00:21:25.210
  • In 37 BC, he appointed his brother-in-law Aristobulus III
  • 00:21:25.240 --> 00:21:30.240
  • as high priest in Jerusalem to eliminate a powerful rival.
  • 00:21:30.270 --> 00:21:35.260
  • Herod cast aside his first wife Doris in favor of Mariamne
  • 00:21:35.290 --> 00:21:39.260
  • who was of important Jewish descent
  • 00:21:39.290 --> 00:21:42.270
  • in order to strengthen his claim to the throne.
  • 00:21:43.000 --> 00:21:46.180
  • Then later Herod had Mariamne, her mother Alexandra,
  • 00:21:46.210 --> 00:21:51.070
  • and his brother-in-law Kostobar executed.
  • 00:21:51.100 --> 00:21:54.130
  • He even had his own sons, Alexander, Aristobulus,
  • 00:21:54.160 --> 00:21:58.170
  • and Antipater executed for treason.
  • 00:21:58.200 --> 00:22:01.240
  • In all, Herod executed at least 7 members of his own family
  • 00:22:01.270 --> 00:22:06.090
  • and perhaps over 100 of his political rivals,
  • 00:22:06.120 --> 00:22:09.260
  • all in order to protect his own position.
  • 00:22:09.290 --> 00:22:12.130
  • What is apparent today when traveling in Israel is
  • 00:22:15.060 --> 00:22:19.040
  • that Herod was indeed a prolific builder.
  • 00:22:19.070 --> 00:22:22.110
  • Remains of his colossal building projects
  • 00:22:22.140 --> 00:22:25.050
  • can be seen all over the country.
  • 00:22:25.080 --> 00:22:28.040
  • King Herod built the Jewish Temple,
  • 00:22:28.070 --> 00:22:30.240
  • or the Second Temple, or Herod's Temple,
  • 00:22:30.270 --> 00:22:33.180
  • in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount.
  • 00:22:33.210 --> 00:22:35.200
  • This was no small project,
  • 00:22:35.230 --> 00:22:38.010
  • taking nearly half a century to complete.
  • 00:22:38.040 --> 00:22:41.000
  • This massive retaining wall behind me
  • 00:22:41.030 --> 00:22:43.180
  • known as the Western Wall
  • 00:22:43.210 --> 00:22:46.020
  • is the largest remnant of King Herod's Temple complex.
  • 00:22:46.050 --> 00:22:49.000
  • Images of Jews praying at the Western Wall
  • 00:22:52.180 --> 00:22:56.130
  • are some of the most iconic imagery captured in Jerusalem.
  • 00:22:56.160 --> 00:23:00.200
  • But what exactly is going on there?
  • 00:23:00.230 --> 00:23:03.100
  • The Western Wall, or the Wailing Wall,
  • 00:23:03.130 --> 00:23:06.100
  • located here at foot of the western side of the Temple Mount
  • 00:23:06.130 --> 00:23:10.150
  • is what remains of the ancient wall
  • 00:23:10.180 --> 00:23:13.100
  • that surrounded the Jewish Temple's courtyard.
  • 00:23:13.130 --> 00:23:15.230
  • Many consider it the most sacred site by the Jewish faith
  • 00:23:15.260 --> 00:23:19.200
  • outside the Temple Mount itself.
  • 00:23:19.230 --> 00:23:21.200
  • It is then a site for Jewish prayer
  • 00:23:21.230 --> 00:23:25.110
  • and pilgrimage for centuries.
  • 00:23:25.140 --> 00:23:27.170
  • The earliest source mentioning Jewish attachment to the site
  • 00:23:27.200 --> 00:23:31.100
  • dates back to the 4th century, just a few centuries after
  • 00:23:31.130 --> 00:23:36.000
  • the Jewish temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
  • 00:23:36.030 --> 00:23:40.060
  • That's why the Wailing Wall
  • 00:23:40.090 --> 00:23:42.110
  • became known as a place of weeping.
  • 00:23:42.140 --> 00:23:44.280
  • It was, and is, a site to mourn and bemoan
  • 00:23:45.010 --> 00:23:48.210
  • the destruction of the temple.
  • 00:23:48.240 --> 00:23:50.210
  • Many pilgrims place tiny prayers
  • 00:23:50.240 --> 00:23:52.290
  • written on paper inside the cracks of the wall.
  • 00:23:53.020 --> 00:23:56.190
  • More than one million notes are placed here each year.
  • 00:23:56.220 --> 00:24:00.210
  • And today, some organizations even provide the opportunity
  • 00:24:00.240 --> 00:24:03.170
  • to email notes to be placed into the wall.
  • 00:24:03.200 --> 00:24:06.150
  • Now, Herod's handiwork becomes
  • 00:24:17.160 --> 00:24:20.000
  • even more impressive upon closer inspection.
  • 00:24:20.030 --> 00:24:23.140
  • Look at this one piece of stone right here.
  • 00:24:23.170 --> 00:24:27.250
  • These stones here at the base of the Temple Mount are massive.
  • 00:24:27.280 --> 00:24:32.200
  • In fact, not far from here one of these stones
  • 00:24:32.230 --> 00:24:35.120
  • weighs over one million pounds.
  • 00:24:35.150 --> 00:24:38.060
  • That's million with an "M"!
  • 00:24:38.090 --> 00:24:41.170
  • And an "I" and an "l-l-i-o-n."
  • 00:24:41.200 --> 00:24:44.210
  • That's pretty heavy.
  • 00:24:44.240 --> 00:24:47.090
  • Besides his work on the Temple,
  • 00:24:49.020 --> 00:24:52.050
  • Herod also constructed a palace in Jerusalem,
  • 00:24:52.080 --> 00:24:55.090
  • which later became the Praetorium of Pontius Pilate.
  • 00:24:55.120 --> 00:24:58.150
  • Additional construction projects included
  • 00:24:58.180 --> 00:25:01.050
  • the famous Harbor of Caesarea, the Herodium,
  • 00:25:01.080 --> 00:25:05.010
  • Masada, and other fortresses, stadiums, theaters, and temples.
  • 00:25:05.040 --> 00:25:10.040
  • Of course, pagan temples
  • 00:25:10.070 --> 00:25:12.050
  • and stadiums were not
  • 00:25:12.080 --> 00:25:13.290
  • appreciated by observant Jews.
  • 00:25:14.020 --> 00:25:15.270
  • These were permanent reminders of their status
  • 00:25:16.000 --> 00:25:18.250
  • as subjects in their own land.
  • 00:25:18.280 --> 00:25:21.050
  • Toward the end of the reign of King Herod the Great,
  • 00:25:26.150 --> 00:25:30.120
  • the Jewish people were desperate for a leader
  • 00:25:30.150 --> 00:25:33.100
  • who would bring them spiritual renewal
  • 00:25:33.130 --> 00:25:35.190
  • and political freedom that they craved.
  • 00:25:35.220 --> 00:25:37.280
  • It was into this world that Jesus arrived.
  • 00:25:38.010 --> 00:25:40.290
  • And in the next episode of "Drive Thru History,"
  • 00:25:41.020 --> 00:25:43.290
  • we will begin to tell the story
  • 00:25:44.020 --> 00:25:47.020
  • of the most influential person who ever lived.
  • 00:25:47.050 --> 00:25:49.210
  • We barely scratched the surface
  • 00:25:56.020 --> 00:25:58.000
  • in terms of exploring the riches
  • 00:25:58.030 --> 00:26:00.220
  • contained in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
  • 00:26:00.250 --> 00:26:03.180
  • But it is critical to understand the context,
  • 00:26:03.210 --> 00:26:07.090
  • the world into which Jesus arrived in those sacred pages.
  • 00:26:07.120 --> 00:26:11.140
  • As I explored Israel in my Holy Land Rover
  • 00:26:11.170 --> 00:26:14.120
  • I was brimming with excitement,
  • 00:26:14.150 --> 00:26:16.080
  • knowing that our next step in the journey
  • 00:26:16.110 --> 00:26:19.040
  • was to explore the events surrounding the birth
  • 00:26:19.070 --> 00:26:21.240
  • of the most important and influential man
  • 00:26:21.270 --> 00:26:24.060
  • to have ever lived.
  • 00:26:24.090 --> 00:26:26.020
  • I couldn't wait to discover more!
  • 00:26:26.050 --> 00:26:28.290