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Robert Powell journeys back to find The Real Jesus Of Nazareth

British actor Robert Powell seeks out the historical truth behind his most famous role

The Real Jesus Of Nazareth is a new four part miniseries on Smithsonian Channel looking to the truth behind Jesus and his followers.

This first episode looks at Jesus’ base of influence in his ministry and rise to prominence. Experts on the show theorise that it would have been the stories of miracles performed that would have spread his fame far faster and further than any preaching.

It is also thought that the largest part of his followers were fishermen and farmers and his base of operations was the stunning town of Capernaum, just north of the sea of Galilee.

40 years ago actor Robert Powell famously played the role of Jesus in Franco Zeffirelli’s six-hour miniseries Jesus of Nazareth and he is the guide in this look beyond the pages of the bible into the historical world.

In 1977 Ian McShane was cast as betrayer Judas

The landmark television event featured Anne Bancroft, Ian McShane, Sir Laurence Olivier and James Earl Jones, but Zeffirelli handpicked an unknown British actor, Robert Powell, his big break as the son of God.

Now, this new four-part series over two nights will correlate and dissect the biblical lore and the real history to examine the life of Jesus and the world he lived in.

Powell explores the execution of John the Baptist who left Jesus alone to carry the apocalyptic message to the Israelites.

Through his sermons and alleged miracles, he wound up with 12 men who would become his apostles and Mary Magdalene.

Powell interviews academic Prof. Jodi Magness who explains why Jesus chose the area that contains the lowest freshwater lake in the world, and how his early ministry gained popularity with his preaching.

He also revisits his character’s real home 40 years later, and said: “It’s gloriously conceivable that even if he didn’t live here, he walked here, and I find that unbelievably exciting,” says Powell, visiting a first-century house in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth.

The series enlists archaeologists and scholars who help Powell reconstruct Christ’s childhood, examine his teachings and what his final days on Earth were really like.

The first episode concerns the earliest years of Jesus as Powell goes from his birth, to the 12-year-old child debating scripture in the temple in Jerusalem, to the lost years, not appearing again until age 30. He goes from Nazareth, Bethlehem, Sepphoris and Jerusalem to Caperneum where he talks to the experts on their opinions of how and what Jesus was doing in this time frame.

The Real Jesus Of Nazareth airs Sunday, April 16 at 8 PM and 9 PM on Smithsonian Channel with the second two episodes airing Monday at the same time.

The Four-Part Series Premieres Easter Sunday, April 16 At 8 PM ET, Timed To 40th Anniversary Of Jesus Of Nazareth

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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