I hope that Christians, or anyone, with an open mind (not necessarily contrary to being a believer) will watch this. The information is presented clearly and is backed up by research and archeology. I knew some of this already, but it is good to see what the current knowledge and theories are. There is also a lot of history of the early Christian church, which I did not know. This is an academically based film, and there is a time and place for that, and certainly when religion claims to be THE answer and thus a good reason to pledge 10% of your income, or more, to churches and preachers. We do the proper research when buying stocks or making purchases, yet consider skepticism or critical thinking of religion before contributing, outlandish.
So this film injects some sanity into the subject. True, the Bible should be viewed as a book of faith, not science, but in these times can we reject science so completely? Times were completely different when the church arose. Superstition was high, science was in its infancy, most people were uneducated and illiterate, and visions were "proof", not a symptom of mental illness. If you uncritically believe the Bible and most religions, then what is to stop you from having and writing about "visions from God"? Or declaring yourself the Jewish Messiah (which is what Jesus was)? Oh, wait, we call that crazy... Why were ancient times any different? Did God only truly speak to people then? Where did He go?
This film discusses the current prevailing thinking that Christianity was one of the many rebellious sects of Judaism. People were tired of endless rules and empty ritual and that real religion was for only for the upper classes, so it was a natural development. Jesus, if he existed, was a minor preacher/rabbi, chosen to represent this new religion. The NT is basically an argument, and the books chosen as such, that Jesus spoke the "truth", as the early Christian leaders saw it. And it was then compelling justification upon which to build a new religion.
The "real" Christian Old Testament, of course, is the Torah. Christianity has cherry picked it down to its needs and to differentiate it from Judaism. That this happens at all should prick people's ears and send up red flags. Not that the restrictive and ritually bloated Torah stopped being relevant as times progressed, but that the Word can change so willy-nilly. Of course there are no original scrolls of those who witnessed Jesus or even Jesus himself. Nor was he written about by any historians of the time. Those two facts alone should make people very, very suspicious of what they have been told. But those in religious power have an answer, namely, "The writers were writing the Word of God!". How this flimsy explanation can stand in modern times amazes me. You can still believe and cling to the culture you were born into, without zealously swallowing all the medieval (and earlier) propaganda. If you want to believe in an intelligent creator, then do, just keep it separate from actual science, which most used to do before the rise of the Religious Right in the 80s. We have certainly gone backwards and allowed a then small, extreme sect to take over Protestant Christianity (Pentecostals).
So much has been added to the Bible that is not there. You can see this process now with Creationists, who have recently added dinosaurs to the Bible (after denying they ever existed; guess they couldn't resist the proof forever). I now see the same thing clearly with other myths, beliefs, and additions, and I am dumbfounded. This film talks about a few of these things relevant to the discussion, but most of this is outside the scope of this film. I'll watch it again as there is so much info here. A great discovery, indeed. I was raised a Protestant Christian, but have been an atheist for 50yrs. I try to have respect for all beliefs, as belief is a very personal thing. It is human to seek spiritual truths and answers and I have continued to do so in a philosophical way. This is not contrary to that and people should not be afraid that it is.