Biblical scholar to co-host Discovery channel series on Jesus Christ

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Washington, March 29 (ANI): A University of Illinois at Chicago biblical scholar will co-host "Who Was Jesus?," a new Discovery Channel documentary series that explores the life of Jesus and life in the first century.

The documentary, co-hosted by University of Illinois at Chicago biblical scholar Rachel Havrelock, premieres on April 5, Palm Sunday.

It will air in three consecutive one hour segments, 7 - 10 p.m. CDT, that cover Jesus' childhood, mission, and last days.

"This is a new way of looking at it," Havrelock said of the program. "It's a more productive way, and closer to the social context of the time, so I think the viewers will get that from the story," she added.

Havrelock, assistant professor of English and Jewish Studies at UIC, teamed with a Harvard University theologian and a Wofford College archeologist of Roman Palestine to guide viewers on a journey through the Holy Land.

She contributed to the program's coverage of daily life in first century Palestine, early Christianity, and the Jewish background of the Gospels and the Jesus movement.

The filming took place last August with visits to many sites in Israel and the West Bank related to Jesus and includes interviews with other experts in history, archeology, and theology.

Some of the notable moments Havrelock recalled of the filming include discussions about Jesus' miracles aboard a fishing boat in the Sea of Galilee, a Temple sacrifice at a contemporary sheep market in Bethlehem, and archeological finds related to the Temple in Jerusalem.

According to Havrelock believes the series, which delves into archeology, social and economic history, gender relations, and literary and Gospel analysis, will be of interest to a wide audience.

"It's historically interesting to see how things unfolded and how the language of the Gospel is representing a vision of a better world, but it also reflects the social reality of the time," she explained.

"For people to whom the Gospels and the life of Jesus are so central, it really reflects how scholars are looking at these things now," she added. (ANI)

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