History Project

Digging For Jesus

Season 1, Episode 9 of 10

A generation ago there was a fierce scholarly argument about whether Jesus ever lived. Skeptics pointed out that outside the New Testament there was only one, disputed, reference to him by the Jewish Roman historian Josephus but nowadays the fact of an historical Jesus is rarely disputed. 'Digging For Jesus' explores ten top archaeological digs that take us closer to revealing more about the man from Galilee. Starting the film at the Dead Sea Scrolls Museum in Jerusalem the search for Jesus begins, going onto investigate locations such as Sepphoris and Tiberias - two cities built by Herod. Spectacular discoveries include a Roman style theatre, a massive underground aqueduct and the Dionysian mosaic. Also investigated is The Galilee Boat. In January 1986 severe droughts caused a dramatic drop in the Sea of Galilee's water level and in the newly exposed shore, the remains of a first century fishing boat was discovered. It could certainly hold 13 people. It is now usually called the "Jesus Boat" Will these archaeological discoveries, together with the New Testament and Josephus prove conclusively that Jesus lived and died? He was a son of a man; whether he was the Son of God is, of course, a matter of faith. Nonetheless, in breathing new life into the quest for the historical Jesus, this is a truly exhilarating study.

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