I had viewed & taped off air, the program on Mary Magdelene, with commercials. I didn't even know there were more programs in, what I guess is best called a "mini-series". The title characters in this series are barely given notice in scripture. With Mary Magdelene, her identity has become s much legand, that we really don't know her. She has been a mixture of various unnamed women in the Gospels - the woman whoentered a house where Jesus was having supper & washed her feet with her tears & dried them with her hair, the woman posessed by demons, thewoman caught in adultry. Could Mary Magdelene have really been all of these women "rolled into one"? Yes, it's possible, but unlikely. In this series, she is portrayed as a wife, whose womb was barren. Her husband divorced her for this, plus, he had fallen in love with another woman. She enters a life with a Roman officer, and then becomes a servant of Herodian, the second wife of Herod. Then, she meets Jesus & becomes one of his followers.
Joseph of Nazareth, is of course, Jesus' earthly father, who with Mary raised Jesus. In scripture, he isn't even quoted as saying even one word. We know he betrothed Mary. Mary rceived the annoncement that she was going to give birth to the Messiah. She traveled and visied a relative, Elizabeth & stayed with her until after Elizabeth's baby was born. When she returned to Nazareth, she was definately pregnant. Joseph knew he was not the father of the baby in her womb. He was going to divorce her, until an angel spoke to him. Then, he took Mary & brought her to his home. She was ready to give birth & they went to Bethlehem to register for the census. She gave birth there. The magi visited Herod to ask where the King of the Jews was. Herod didn't know, but his scribe told him the new King of the Jews would be born in Bethlehem. The magi find the child & present their gifts. They don't return to Herod. Herod orders all babies of two years or younger be slaughteres. In this program, Herod is portrayed as being really vicious. Scripture dowsn't tell us when Joseph died. This program shows him dying shortly after he, Mary & Jesus return to Nazareth from a visit to Jerusalem for one Passover. Scripture is silent after that trip. We are told, at one point, that Jesus' mother, brothers & sisters are looking for him. Joseph is not mentioned. We think he had died at some point before. Since scripture is silent on Joseph, this entire program is conjecture, but very nteresting.
Judas is forever known as the man who "handed-over" Jesus to the Jewish Temple priests, for thirty pieces of silver. Why did Judas need this money? This program explains that a friend's father had been imprisioned & was scheduled for crucifixion in a few days. The daughter felt she could buy her father's release by bribing one of the Roman guards. In this program Judas is portrayed as coming from a rich family in Jerusalem, who renounced his affluence to follow Jesus. Jerusalem is "bulging" with all the pilgrims who have come to the city for Passover. Pontius Pilate is trying to do everything to keep the people in Jersalem "in line". Turns out, the man supposedly in prison isn't in prison at all. Pilate's guards capture Jesus in Gethsemene & Jeus is tried, flogged, crucified. Barnabas is released as a Passover pardon. Judas commits suicide when he realizes what he has done.
Thomas is remembered as the man who doubted that Jesus had been risen from the dead. He sees Jesus being carried to the tomb that Joseph of Armithea had volunteered. This entire show addresses the time period of just before the Last Supper to Jesus appearing twice to his apostles. Thomas is on a quest to find what happened to Jesus' body. He even crosses a desert to findthe Roman who crucified Jesus, because he is in a community of crazy people. In this program, a bit more supposed story of who Joseph of Armitheas is. It's possible his story is at least partially true. Thomas returns to the apostles after Jesus has appeared to them & doesn't believe they actually saw th "master". Jesus appears to them & summons Thomas to come & touch his wounds. he does & the apostles are shown leaving Jerusalem after the Passover celebrations.
Each episode is about 90 minutes. They don't need to be viewed in any sequence - each episode is an individual program. It was definately worth the time & money!