The Bible: A History

Episode Guides

The story of the most influential book ever written, interpreted by seven prominent figures from different walks of life

About the Show

The story of the most influential book ever written, interpreted by seven prominent figures from different walks of life

Series 1 Summary

The Bible: A History tells the story of the most influential book ever written: a collection of over 60 books which tell the story of the creation of the world, the birth of mankind, the promise of a homeland for the Jewish people and the remarkable life of Jesus Christ, before culminating in a terrifying vision of the end of the world.

Since its origins thousands of years ago in the Middle East, the Bible has crossed continents, created and healed divisions and ignited controversy.

This series explores the origins, ideas and influence of seven sections of the Scriptures, tracing how they came into existence and how they have shaped the world we live in today.

Each film is written and presented by a prominent figure with a particular interest or experience relevant to the part of the Bible being examined. They offer a personal interpretation of some of the best-known aspects of this ancient book, which still guides the lives of millions of believers across the globe.

  • Howard Jacobson

    Episode 1

    Novelist Howard Jacobson tries to find a path between religious and atheistic fundamentalists

  • Rageh Omaar

    Episode 2

    Rageh Omaar examines Abraham, one of the most revered patriarchs of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Is his legacy a source of division or does he hold the key to peace and reconciliation?

  • Ann Widdecombe

    Episode 3

    Ann Widdecombe goes in search of the law of Moses, tracing the historical origins of the Ten Commandments and their profound influence on British society for over two millennia.

  • Bettany Hughes

    Episode 4

    It's fashionable to dismiss the Bible as a manifesto for misogyny. But Bettany Hughes introduces a dazzling cast of feisty women: warriors, adulterous wives, mothers and 'good' women. [SL]

  • Gerry Adams

    Episode 5

    Gerry Adams, politician and supporter of the IRA throughout years of sectarian conflict and the subsequent peace process, investigates the life and death of Jesus Christ.

  • Tom Holland

    Episode 6

    Tom Holland examines the significance of St Paul, who, despite now being seen as an essentially conservative figure, was - in the context of his times - actually a revolutionary thinker.

  • Dr Robert Beckford

    Episode 7

    Dr Robert Beckford sets out to discover what message really lies at the heart of the Book of Revelation, one of the most complex and controversial books in the entire Bible.

The Bible: A History synopsis

The story of the most influential book ever written, interpreted by seven prominent figures from different walks of life

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