6ABC History: Early Christianity – the birth of Jesus of Nazareth

We all celebrate Christmas, but what is it really about? This is both a cultural and historical question that leads us into our next history topic: Early Christianity.

We will view a dramatic film called “The Nativity” that attempts to mix historical fact with the Biblical story (primary resource) to tell about the events leading up to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth – the founder of the Christian religion. (ps. this is the original Christmas story 🙂 )

Before you watch consider these historical questions:

1. The ” Nativity” takes place in Israel. Israel was a conquered territory of Rome. What did the Romans give and what did they expect from conquered people? What would happen to the Hebrews if they would not cooperate with their Roman rulers?

2. What religion did the Hebrew people practice? What was their ideas about a Messiah? How might a Messiah not be someone the Romans would want?

Now watch the film. Take notes and try to answer the above questions.

Also a shorter animated version of the basic story:

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