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Hosted by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann


Yeshua, the Hebrew name for Jesus, offers a fascinating view of Jesus' life. Presented by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, Yeshua reveals ancient customs and beliefs with exceptional clarity and detail. This five-program series moves across more than 2,000 years of history, from the time of Abraham through the efforts of the Jews to possess and hold the promised land, to the birth and life of Jesus. After viewing Yeshua, you will listen to Scripture reading with new insight and read familiar prophecies, psalms and parables with fresh appreciation. To view Yeshua from beginning to end is to enrich your understanding not only of the turning point in all history, but of the singular figure who caused the turning.

The series is hosted by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann (1913-2005), former speaker of The Lutheran Hour radio broadcast and past president of the United Bible Societies.

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Episode 1
The Land and The Promise

Ur of the Chaldees, birthplace of Abraham, is the point or origin of the narrative, which includes footage and photographs from the BBC and the British Museum, along with fabulous artifacts reflecting the advanced technology of Ur. A schoolroom in Ur, such as Abraham probably attended as a boy, is touchingly recreated with students in authentic costume. The narrative proceeds through the fall of Ur; Abraham's entrance into the promised land, the exile of the chosen people in Egypt, and their return to a homeland soon taken over by Rome and harshly governed by the wily and paranoid Herod.

Episode 2
The Promise Takes Root

Jesus, newly born, is taken by Mary and Joseph to Egypt, to escape the suspicions and wrath of Herod. This episode begins with the angels visit to a young woman of "Sprout" (the tiny village later known as Nazareth) and proceeds through the presentation of Jesus in the temple at Jerusalem after the family’s return from exile, we discover the complex chain of political events leading to the census that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem and, later; the psychology of the man responsible for the citywide massacre of male children under the age of two. Scientific data relating to the star of Bethlehem are discussed. The segment ends as the young adult Jesus begins His public ministry.

Episode 3
The Voice and The Light

The heralding cries of John the Baptist lead into a portrayal of the community of zealous Jews at Qumram where John, orphaned as a child, may have grown up. In caves near Qumram in 1947 the astounding Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, containing promises to the chosen people recorded 2,800 years before the birth of Israel. Moving through the events of Jesus' early ministry, we witness the rich and beautiful reenactment of a Jewish wedding celebration as Jesus might have seen it at Cana. This episode contains a fascinating discussion of ancient Jewish culture as currently preserved among the Hasidic Jews of the Mea Shearim district of Jerusalem.

Episode 4
The Bread of Sacrifice

As the life of Jesus draws near is tragic close, He begins to prepare His followers with references to the coming sacrifice. The disciples have great difficulty accepting such an Image, as it recalls the human sacrifices of the Old Testament by which people in the promised land once sought to appease their bloodthirsty gods. We see archeological evidence for the practice of human sacrifice in caves beneath the north African city of Carthage, but draw nearer to the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice In the poignant story of Abraham’s willingness to kill his beloved son Isaac in obedience to the apparent will of God. The segment ends with Jesus' deliberate entry into a Jerusalem now rife with suspicion of Him and His teachings.

Episode 5
Ripples of Darkness, Waves of Light

The familiar mysteries of Christ’s death and resurrection take on strong immediacy in this final episode. A peaceful scene on the shore at Caesarea dissolves into the raucous chaos of a Jerusalem market during Passover. The anxiety and perplexity of Pontius Pilate, and the growing desolation of his prisoner, can be felt in the montage of hectic scenes as well as the unfolding of political events that led to Pilate’s abandonment of Jesus to the misguided multitude. After dramatic reenactments of the torture, execution, burial and resurrection of Christ, the segment explores the research conducted that time done on the Shroud of Turin. (As interesting as it remains, artifacts are not needed to authenticate the person and ministry of Jesus. Scripture itself is sufficient.) The series ends in 20th-century perspective, but with words that came often from the lips of Christ Himself: “Peace, Shalom.”

Video Bible study produced by Lutheran Hour Ministries

an official auxiliary of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) and Lutheran Church – Canada (LCC) 

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