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"The Miracles of Jesus"

Just watched the Miracles of Jesus (part 1), a BBC documentary on, well, the miracles of Jesus. Rageh Omaar presents this overview that’s principally concerned with what the miracles meant, rather than if they happened or not.

I have to say I actually enjoyed it, although the programme was about twice the length it needed to be – I got the distinct impression they spent a lot of money filming Rageh smooching around Israel (and environs) looking reflective, and even more generating the clips of Jesus doing the miracles, so they were going to give them both as much air-time as possible. Not that the clips weren’t impressive, quite the opposite, it’s just by the tenth viewing they wear a little thin…

The BBC’s version of the miracles certainly looks quite different from my own – and I quite enjoyed trying to decide what was artistic license, what was speculation, and what’s actually there in the gospels. The thing that really struck me though was just how charismatic Jesus must have been. Even if you think the miracles themselves are bunkem, the people at the time believed them – and more than that Jesus was able to march in with Dr Who like authority and order people around (I know this is getting the mythological types back to front!). Christopher Ecclestone in particular never had his authority questioned, and everyone (on earth) meekly submitted to him, and the portrayal of Jesus was a little like that – for instance striding into a funeral procession, and pulling the death shroud back from the body…

Anyway, it’s on BBC 1 at about 18.30 for the next two Sundays. Worth a watch.

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