Back in 1998, there was a lot of talk among American e-listers about the PBS series From Jesus to Christ, a four-part exploration of the origins of Christianity that was generally thought to be a well produced documentary. The programme made a bit of an impact overseas too, partly because of a fantastic website and partly because it was repackaged and sold abroad. In the UK, we had it on Channel 5, with Terry Waite providing extra linking materials. I have always been a fan of the website, and I continue to recommend parts of it to my students to this day.
The blurb about the series says: “From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians” tells the epic story of the rise of Christianity. The four hours explore the life and death of Jesus, and the men and women whose belief, conviction, and martyrdom created the religion we now know as Christianity. Well-known scholars discuss Christian origins and there are visuals of the areas in which the events took place. As well as looking at orthodox Christianity, it also explores the origins of other strands. The discovery of the Nag Hammadi documents is dealt with in Part Two, Chapter 7, Christianity in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries. Mark also links to a Youtube clip of somewhat dodgy quality that talks about the discovery of the Nag Hammadi documents with footage of the Egyptian farmer who made the discovery and several of the important early scholars of the Nag Hammadi texts – James Robinson, Gilles Quispel and Elaine Pagels.
NT Blog contains posts about issues that Mark finds interesting, so some of them are probably of limited interest to those who are not engaged in the academic study of New Testament/Christian origins. I read it regularly, though.
NT Pod contains podcasts (not surprisingly) that Mark describes as “ Condensed comment from an academic perspective for everyone interested in historical approaches to the New Testament.” They don’t require an academic background but they do give you an understanding of what academic scholars think and know about the New Testament.
NT Gateway is “an award winning web directory of internet resources on the New Testament.” It enables you to both browse and search annotated links on “everything connected with the academic study of the New Testament and Christian Origins.”