Early Christian World - Resource Bibliography

Publications - Early Christian World

An Introduction to the New Testament

By Raymond E. Brown
Yale University (1997)
924 Pages

Raymond Brown walks readers book by book through the basic content and issues of the New Testament. While a wealth of information is contained in these pages, the work’s most impressive features are the basic summaries of each book, a historical overview of the ancient Greco-Roman world, discussions of key theological issues, and the rich supplementary materials, such as illustrative tables, maps, bibliographies, and appendixes.


Raymond E. Brown covers the entire scope of the New Testament with ease and clarity.

A Marginal Jew

By John P. Meier
Yale University (1991)
496 Pages
Book 1

Who was Jesus? This has been the perennial question of Christians and non-Christians alike for two thousand years. In this massive 4-volume exposition of the historical Jesus, noted scholar John P. Meier pursues the historical Jesus and his impact for today’s world. His well-reasoned account of the life of Jesus is nothing less than startling, as though almost 2,000 years later we were seeing Jesus for the first time.

This seminal volume pushes forward his masterful body of work in his ongoing quest for the historical Jesus.

The Cambridge Companion to Jesus

Edited By Markus Bockmuehl
Cambridge University (2001)
330 Pages

This Companion's starting point is the realization that Jesus of Nazareth cannot be studied purely as a subject of ancient history, or as "a man like any other man". History, literature, theology and the dynamic of a living, worldwide religious reality appropriately impinge on the study of Jesus.

This book therefore incorporates the most up-to-date historical work on Jesus with the "larger issues" of critical method -- the story of Christian faith and study, as well as Jesus in a global church and in the encounter with Judaism and Islam.

The Cambridge Companion to The Gospels

Edited By Stephen C. Barton
Cambridge University (2006)
314 Pages

This volume treats the gospels not just as historical sources, but also as crucial testimony to the life of God made known in Jesus Christ. This approach helps to overcome the sometimes damaging split between critical gospel study and questions of theology, ethics and the life of faith. The essays are by acknowledged experts in a range of theological disciplines.


The first section considers what are appropriate ways of reading the gospels given the kinds of texts they are. The second, central section covers the contents of the gospels. The third section looks at the impact of the gospels in church and society across history and up to the present day.

This canon constitutes a life-giving witness to who God is and what it means to be truly human.

The Cambridge Companion to St Paul

Edited By James D. G. Dunn
Cambridge University (2003)
324 Pages

The Cambridge Companion to St Paul provides an important assessment of this apostle and a fresh appreciation of his continuing significance today. With eighteen chapters written by a team of leading international specialists on Paul, the Companion provides a sympathetic and critical overview of the apostle, covering his life and work, his letters and his theology. The volume will provide an invaluable starting point and helpful cross check for subsequent studies.

The apostle Paul has been justifiably described as the first and greatest Christian theologian.

The Master and the Apostle

By John Pollock
World Publishing (2004)
528 Pages

In The Master: A Life of Jesus, you will meet Jesus in all of His humanity and all of His deity. You'll experience His unfolding story through the eyes of the disciple John - from the day he met Jesus, on to the Resurrection and the Day of Pentecost, when the Church was born. 

In The Apostle: A Life of Paul, master storyteller John Pollock makes Paul and his amazing story freshly alive, so that you can know the greatest apostle much as Luke and Timothy did as they traveled with him. As you turn the pages, you'll sense Paul's motives, his aims and priorities, what mattered to him, and the Church he was willing to die for.

St. Paul the Traveler and Roman Citizen

By William M. Ramsay and Mark Wilson
Kregel Publications (2001)
320 Pages

Ramsay wrote this book to tell the story of Paul's life as it was documented in the Book of Acts. Before Ramsay begins his study of Paul's life, he discusses the date, composition, and authorship of Acts. "The first and the essential quality of the great historian is truth," says Ramsay.

St. Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen contains an excellent study of the Book of Acts as well as of Paul's life and travels in first century Asia, Greece, and Rome!

Saint Peter, the Apostle

By William Thomas Walsh
The MacMillan Co (1948)
307 Pages

This biography of the Prince of the Apostles is one of the few works of its kind on a subject strangely neglected. It is written in the beautiful and lucid prose one has come to expect from the author of Philip II, St. Teresa of Avila, and Our Lady of Fatima. William Thomas Walsh has brought together and skillfully arranged all the scattered facts that archaeology, tradition, and the New Testament narratives provide. The result is a vivid and dramatic record of the development of a simple soul into the majestic saint who was called to be the Rock.

Many mysteries about St. Peter are probed and explained in this fine book!

Mary, Called Magdalene

By Margaret George
Berkley (2003)
672 Pages

Biblical references to her are tantalizingly brief, but we do know that she was the first person to whom the risen Christ appeared—and the one commissioned to tell others the good news, earning her the ancient honorific, “Apostle to the Apostles.”

Today, Mary continues to spark controversy, curiosity, and veneration. In a vivid re-creation of Mary Magdalene's life story, Margaret George convincingly captures this renowned woman's voice as she moves from girlhood to womanhood, becomes part of the circle of disciples, and comes to grips with the divine.

Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute, a female divinity figure, a church leader, or all of those?

The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot

By Bart D. Ehrman
Oxford University (2006)
208 Pages

Ehrman gives the reader a complete and clear account of what the book teaches and he shows how it relates to other Gospel texts--both those inside the New Testament and those outside of it, most notably, the Gnostic texts of early Christianity. he describes what we now can say about the historical Judas himself as well as his relationship with Jesus, suggesting that one needs to read between the lines of the early Gospels to see exactly what Judas did and why he did it.

The Gospel of Judas presents an entirely new view of Jesus, his disciples, and the man who allegedly betrayed him.


The Great Courses - Early Christian World


Documentaries - Early Christian World

Jesus (Footprints of God Series) 

2009 – Ignatius

In the Footprints of God series, join Stephen Ray as he catches fish in the Sea of Galilee, camps along the Jordan, and explores the places Jesus lived and performed his miracles. Follow the incredible journey through the streets of Jerusalem to Calvary and the tomb, to the Resurrection and Pentecost. Gain a deeper appreciation for our Savior and the salvation he purchased for the world. All this in a fast-paced, entertaining biography, travel documentary, Bible study, apologetics course and Church history study rolled into one remarkable adventure!

Killing Jesus

2015 - Nat Geo

The film chronicles the life of Jesus of Nazareth through the retelling of the political, social, and historical conflicts during the Roman Empire that ultimately led to his death. Jesus opposes the laws of Moses and announces their cancellation. Thus, he angers the traditional Jews such as Caiphas.

Mysteries of the Bible

1994 – A&E

Mysteries of the Bible is one of the most successful and enduring series, a fascinating and award-winning exploration of the scriptures that blends historical inquiry with theology and scientific analysis to add a new chapter to our understanding of one of the most important documents on earth.

Jesus: The Lost 40 Days

2011 – History

According to the Bible, Jesus Christ spent 40 days on Earth after his resurrection that first Easter Sunday. Yet the New Testament devotes only a few paragraphs to this pivotal time period. What did Jesus do and say during those incredible 40 days, and can his words then contain his most important teachings now?

God vs Satan

2009 – History

Armageddon. It is a universal theme that has spanned centuries and cultures and has as some say become increasingly more relevant today. Surprisingly however a final chapter of this apocalyptic end has received little examination: the actual final battle between God and Satan good and evil.

The Story of the Twelve Apostles

2004 - History

This documentary from the History Channel does a fine job examining the lives of the 12 disciples chosen by Christ to carry his teachings to the world. Beginning by providing an historical overview of life in Jerusalem under Roman rule, it goes on to cogently explain the circumstances by which Jesus, having become recognized as a teacher, was able to recruit his apostles.

Peter and Paul – Christian Revolution

2003 – PBS

Early Christianity faced powerful obstacles: Roman might and the power politics of ancient Jerusalem. Yet the new faith transcended origins in a Roman province to absorb the capital of the empire. Using the words of Paul and other ancient writers, interviews with contemporary scholars, and dramatic re-enactments, the film explores how two men weathered crippling disagreements and political persecution to lead a resilient religious movement.

The Spear of Christ

2003 – History

Follow one of the world's most holy relics on its two-thousand-year journey down through history. It began as an instrument of mercy in the hands of a Roman soldier at Christ's Passion and became one of history's most powerful relics. The Spear of Christ is believed to have been infused with miraculous power as it pierced the side of Christ and has been linked to some of history's most remarkable episodes.

The Apostle Paul

2003 – History

Paul the Apostle, commonly known as Saint Paul, and also known by his native name Saul of Tarsus was an apostle who taught the gospel of the Christ to the first century world.

Banned From the Bible

2008 – History

In this single collection HISTORY- has gathered a definitive survey of these "extracanonical" texts. Learn of their creation alongside - or even before - the more accepted books of the Bible we know today. Discover their messages and what we can conclude about the early Church from their exclusion. And see the lengths to which ancient editors went to hide them and to which modern scholars have gone to uncover them.

Science of the Bible

2005 – Nat Geo

What is the REAL STORY of the Holy Grail and the Spear of Destiny? Who was Mary Magdalene? Does the Shroud of Turin REALLY bear an imprint of Jesus...does this offer physical proof of the resurrection? Was Jesus really born in December? What was the Star of Bethlehem? Join forensic detectives, scientist, historians, and archaeologists on a quest to reveal truths hidden behind some of the greatest stories ever told.

The Gospel of Judas

2005 – Nat Geo

With special access to the scrolls, National Geographic goes beyond the enclosed glass case to examine the actual texts up close and explores the caves where they were found. Witness as a new clue to the identity of the scrolls' writers is deciphered—a 2,000-year-old cup inscribed with a strange text. Could analysis of this finding unravel the mystery?

The Shroud of Turin 

2005 – History

The Shroud of Turin has long mystified the world, pitting the faithful against science. Is the ghostly image impressed on a burial cloth truly Jesus? A 1988 radiocarbon test dated it to between 1260 and 1390 A.D. But recent studies question the test's validity, and scientists are still unable to explain how the image got there.

Pontius Pilate- Man Who Killed Jesus

2015 – Xive

Throughout history, Pontius Pilate has been portrayed as a weak ruler-the man who allowed Jesus Christ to be crucified at the demand of the Jews. But this documentary portrays a very different Pilate, one who had his own motives for allowing Jesus' fate.

Apostle Paul and the Earliest Churches

2004 – History

Early Christianity faced powerful obstacles: Roman might and the power politics of ancient Jerusalem. Using the words of Paul and other ancient writers, interviews with contemporary scholars, and dramatic re-enactments, the film explores how two men weathered crippling disagreements and political persecution to lead a resilient religious movement.

Theatrical Features


The Nativity Story (2006)

Mary (Keisha Castle-Hughes) and Joseph (Oscar Isaac) make the hard journey to Bethlehem for a blessed event in this meticulously researched and visually lush adaptation of the biblical tale of the Nativity from director Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen). The film follows the pair on their arduous path to their arrival in a small village, where they find shelter in an innkeeper's stable and deliver baby Jesus to the world.

Jesus - The Gospel of Luke (1979)

Jesus of Nazareth,the son of God raised by a Jewish carpenter. Based on the gospel of Luke in the New Testament,here is the life of Jesus from the miraculous virgin birth to the calling of his disciples, public miracles and ministry, ending with his death by crucifixion at the hands of the Roman empire and resurrection on the third day.

Killing Jesus (2015)

Recasting the historic vision of Jesus Christ's fateful life and death, this earnest telefilm vividly depicts the political drama surrounding him and meticulously traces the conspiracy that ultimately led to the Nazarene's crucifixion.

Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

Featuring an impressive international cast that includes Peter Ustinov, Anne Bancroft, Rod Steiger and Robert Powell as the title character, this well-received TV miniseries respectfully and sensitively documents the life of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel of John (2003)

This word-for-word adaptation of the 21 chapters of the Gospel According to John tells story of Jesus's life -- mostly focusing on his final hours, his crucifixion and the events that followed -- from disciple John's point of view.

Barabbas (1961)

This larger-than-life, biblical drama features Anthony Quinn in the titular role as the thief who is spared from crucifixion as Jesus Christ dies in his place. Guilt plagues Barabbas for the remainder of his days, and he becomes a tormented soul as he attempts to validate his existence in the world and to understand his place in it. Arthur Kennedy costars as the sanctimonious Roman governor Pontius Pilate.

The Greatest
Story Ever Told (1965)

This all-star saga depicts scenes from Christ's life, including the choosing of the Apostles, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Filmed in Death Valley and in Utah, Nevada and Arizona, this dazzling epic garnered five Oscar nods.

The Passion of the Christ (2004)

Oscar-winning actor-director Mel Gibson helms this controversial epic that focuses on the last 12 hours of Jesus's life -- from the betrayal, trial and death of Jesus to his brutal crucifixion and resurrection from the tomb. Starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus, Maia Morgenstern as Jesus's mother and Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene, The Passion is spoken entirely in Latin and Aramaic, and the violent Crucifixion scenes are incredibly graphic.

Peter and Paul (1981)

Director Robert Day's epic TV miniseries follows apostles Peter (Robert Foxworth) and Paul (Anthony Hopkins) as they spread the gospel of nascent Christianity while striving to keep the faith despite violent opposition from without and endless tumult from within. The two disciples unite in their attempts to win converts but pay the ultimate price for their beliefs. Herbert Lom, José Ferrer and Jean Peters costar in this Emmy-winning production.

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