A.D. Anno Domini (1985) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

(light easy music) (light easy music) (creaking) (water splashes) (dramatic music) (horse galloping) (dramatic music) (loud dramatic music) (crash) (footsteps) (thunder) - Cleopas.
Look.
(light thunder) - [Guard] Move along.
Move along.
Move! - Come, there.
- [Man] Get on, get on there! I said move! (groan) (thunder) - [Guard On Horse] Get on! Move! Get on there you beasts! - Oh no.
- [Guard On Horse] Move! Move.
- No.
No.
- [Man On Horse] Move up there.
- No.
(gasp) - Shalom Aleichem.
Peace be with you.
Where are you going? - To Emmaus.
- Good, we'll go together.
The light is with us, come.
Come.
You look worried.
Sad.
- [Man] We have nothing to be cheerful about.
What sort of man are you? Where are you from? - You heard my greeting.
- A Jew? And you haven't heard what happened? They killed him.
They nailed him on a tree.
Jesus.
- A teacher from Galilee.
- Teacher? He was the only one.
The only We hoped that he was the one who would redeem Israel.
- Let us rest for a while.
Come, tell me.
(dramatic drumming) (dramatic drumming music) - [Man With Black Beard] We wanted to be with the master and the Apostles for Passover.
- We were delayed.
Stopped by some Roman troops.
Why are you going to Jerusalem, and the rest of the Roman nonsense? "For the Passover", we said.
"Are you sure?" they said.
"You look to us like a couple "of these Zealots, trouble makers.
" "No," we said.
"Just for the Passover.
" We didn't tell them we were looking for the 12.
We got there in time for the bad news.
Whipped him, nailed him up, took him down, put him in this tomb in this garden.
- Joseph of Arimathea.
- Yes.
His garden.
The tomb's a kind of cave in it.
We went there.
The least we could do.
Pray.
- The body wasn't there.
Nobody could have taken it away.
Not with all those guards.
He's gone, left us.
Nothing's left, not even his body.
- You're slow of heart.
Listen, remember the scriptures.
All this was foretold, you know that.
Nothing has happened that was not planned before the beginning of time.
He's still with you.
In a way that you have yet to understand.
You've cause to be cheerful.
- Cheerful? What do we do now? Where do we go? - Seems you're going to Emmaus.
There's good a place as any.
- We were told that some of the near ones was hiding there.
The disciples.
You understand? What we're after is - News, comfort, companionship? Come.
If we hurry we'll be there before nightfall.
- [Man Black Beard] Let us stop a bit in for supper.
- Stay with us, day's almost over.
- Night's falling.
(light music) - Blessed are thou oh Lord, our God, ruler of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.
All set down in God's hand, meaning the hand of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Asaiah, Micha, Zakara.
It was all prophesied.
The Lord himself will choose the son.
A child shall be born to a maiden and she shall call him Emmanuel, meaning God is with us.
The people who walk in darkness shall see a great light.
Israel will be filled with joy.
Everything had been foretold.
The birth, and the suffering until death.
- We despised and rejected him.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
- He was wounded for our sins.
He was lashed, we were healed.
- He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter.
- It was the Lord's plan to fill him with grief.
He shall live again and make many to be count and righteous before the Lord.
For he shall bare all their sins.
You see how everything that happened had been announced? From beginning to end.
And to the new beginning.
Trust the Lord's word.
Believe.
- But there's nothing in the scriptures about the power of Rome, the wickedness of Rome.
Not even he could stand up against it.
It's finished.
We are lost.
It's all over.
- All over.
(light dramatic music) (bright music) Eat.
- Eat? Now that we Oh my dear.
Dear.
(slow bright music) Stay with us Lord.
Don't go.
Please.
You can't go now.
The night, the dark.
- From the phantoms and wild beasts, Cleopas? But they can do no more harm.
He's banished the ghosts, tamed the beasts.
You know as he disappeared, I was thinking that we had to know fear and death, and darkness to see his love shine.
I was thinking that soon it'll be night.
- It is night.
- And we shall be questioned about love.
- Love.
- Yesterday, I saw him.
(all exclaim surprise) At first I didn't recognize him.
But then he called me, Peter.
The rock.
And then I understood that I was with our master.
Jesus was there.
Facing me, risen, just as he had promised.
(knocking) - Thank God we found you.
We've searched everywhere.
- All over Jerusalem, and then this seemed the only place.
- You are? - Nothing, humble followers.
Cleopas, Zacchaeus.
But we bring great news.
- You saw him? - Yes.
- You didn't see him.
Thought you saw him, there's a difference.
- You doubt our word, man? - Thomas, is the name.
Thomas, no I don't doubt that you thought you saw him.
- I saw him too, Thomas, remember that? - Yes, Peter.
Must take your word for that.
But seeing is believing.
- I saw I tell you.
- And I didn't.
And that's what matters to me.
- Sit with us, Cleopas and-- - Zacchaeus, sir.
- Oh not sir, my name's Peter.
Well, now we know the truth.
He's back in the world, and it's our task to spread the good news.
But we're ill prepared to shout the glory of his rising from the grave, and the truth of the message that he taught.
No one would listen to us.
Sometimes I long to revisit the Lake of Galilee.
See my old friends.
Help them with their nets.
How wonderful to be in ignorant peace again.
To be without responsibility.
Whilst I We accept the burden.
Trouble is we do not know well how to carry it.
- You have broad shoulders, Peter.
Strong enough to bare the weight of your mission.
(dramatic music) Shalom, peace be with you.
Sit.
Sit.
I said we would all be together once more, there is nothing to fear.
My old friend Thomas.
Ever doubting.
The man I chose because he would not believe easily, but now you must believe, Thomas.
- How do I know? My heart's troubled, my mind confused.
He died, on a cross.
- Come close, Thomas.
Touch.
The nails also pierced my feet and they speared my side.
- Master, and my Lord.
- Because you see you believe, Thomas.
Blessed are they who have not seen and yet believe.
(light soft music) Stay here in the city.
Soon the time will come for the spreading of the good news, outside of Jerusalem.
The holy spirit will descend on you, giving you the power of speech, taking away your fear of the enemy, and I myself will be with you, even to the end of the world.
(all talking excitedly) - Compromise, compromise! Some of you wrinkle your noses and curl your lips as if compromise were a dirty word.
- It is a dirty word.
- Right.
- Well if it's only through compromise that we may keep the faith alive, we are ruled by an infidel race.
One stroke of the sword, it could sever the cord that binds us into one people.
They could destroy the temple.
- [All] No! - Yes, yes, we live uncomfortably with the Romans but at least we live.
- This is no life.
- That's Sadducee talk Seth, well I almost forgot, you are the son of a Sadducee.
- And what's wrong with Sadducee talk? Without a Sadducee you'd be burning incense before Tiberius' statue.
- No, Seth.
- Our Jewish love of freedom can always defeat Roman arrogance.
You Zealots would have us all crucified.
- No, you're wrong Seth.
(all exclaiming angrily) - My sons.
Throughout our history, we have been called to defend the integrity of our inheritance against foreign oppression and against our own weakness.
Necessary as it was, our rejection of the claim made by Jesus of Nazareth showed us once again the reality of the bitter conflicts among us.
And you may be sure that the Romans, too, are aware of it.
- Your words are from your heart Rabban Gamaliel.
May I? - I trust that you too will speak from your heart and from your mind also.
You are? - Stephen, from Alexandria, and like Saul here a Pharisee, son of Pharisees.
- And a Greek, at heart.
- No, Samuel, a jew.
I know how you resent all that's foreign.
- All that threatens our freedom.
- Caleb is right.
- And what else could your future brother in law be Samuel.
(laughter) - I learned the language of the Greeks.
I read their books.
- They say you also learned wrestling from one of their Olympic Champions.
- He could teach you, Caleb.
- Whenever he likes.
(group exclaims) (clapping) - Although their philosophers received sparks of the truth, I know they are far from the light.
- With your permission, Rabban.
Our brother Caleb should not forget that the Torah has been revealed to the world of the gentiles by our own Hebrew scholars, who translated it into the language of the Greeks.
To know the Greek culture is an advantage for us.
- Rabban, may I? You may be right, Saul.
Paul, is it not? You are a Roman citizen or at least the barer of a Roman name.
- I am a jew.
My father lives in Tarsus, in Cilicia.
His father was a great benefactor of their city so, Rome bestowed on him the highest honour it could grant a subject in its empire.
Now you and I may doubt, but it is indeed an honour.
Some may prefer to call it a blemish on our name.
Either way, I did not choose it.
- You misunderstand me, Saul.
Or Paul.
I agree with you, that to know other places, other languages is valuable, but foreign customs can be infectious.
(mumbling and groaning) - The divisions we show are not only doctrinal and political, beyond these divisions, there is doubt and uncertainty even among those of you who are belonged to the same sect.
We forget that we were called as a holy nation, and the call is one.
- Exactly.
- Well, exactly what our high priest Caiaphas said, when he realized that this false Messiah from Nazareth was threatening the very existence of our nation.
We must be ready for any sacrifice, in order to prevent our nation from perishing.
- We just decided too quickly to hand him over to Pilate's butchers.
- [Man] We welcomed him as our deliverer when he entered Jerusalem.
- Jesus betrayed his promise.
- He was one of us, another Jew was delivered to a Roman cross.
There is no redemption in it.
- No one could forgive his sin.
Blasphemy.
- [Man] Yes! - Blasphemy upon blasphemy.
I've had enough of these false prophets.
Who was he? Some ignorant carpenter who breaks the Sabbath, always blubbering about love.
- You sneer at his trade? You yourself are a tent maker, Saul.
- Not the same thing at all.
I practice a skill that is ordained by our Jewish tradition.
However, I do know other things besides a stitching of canvas.
- He knew the Torah.
Our holy scriptures were never out of his mouth, and what's wrong with blubbering about love as you called it? - I'll tell you what's wrong.
By love he meant submission, turning the other cheek, putting up with Roman injustice.
- Right.
(men all arguing) - Admit, all of you, much in what he said, we must change ourselves, even as we change our system of rule.
The soul and the body are inseparable.
- A soul in chains? - The chains are our own sins, as well as foreign oppression, and don't speak so disparagingly of love.
On a practical level it may be love that will save us.
We Jews play into Roman hands by hating one another.
Sect against sect.
Division, not unity.
- But how can we accept this exultation of a false prophet.
- The son of God, the messiah.
- You repeat his blasphemy, Stephen.
- Well the messiah was prophesied.
- Is prophesied Stephen.
Is.
(men arguing and yelling) - We've let the Romans kill another Jew.
- This man speaks blasphemy.
- Enough! Stephen, Saul, all of you, it's time to let your minds rest.
We firmly reject any claim that Jesus was anything but a good man.
We all need unity and heart.
Let us pray for this now.
- [All] Shema Israel.
Hear, Israel.
The Lord is our God.
The Lord is one.
- [Gamaliel] Go in peace.
(all talking amongst themselves) - Saul, I learned something today.
I see now that you're a man of great faith.
I would like us to be friends.
- Friend is more necessary than fire and water.
Xypherous said that.
A great Roman.
So you see not everything that comes from Rome is bad.
(all talking amongst themselves) - [Man] Excuse me.
- That's Greek style wrestling, Caleb.
I'll have to show him Jerusalem street wrestling.
Come along, Caleb.
(all talking amongst themselves) Hey this Greek style wrestling is very pretty, Samuel.
Do you think it works? Let's see.
You don't really want to wrestle do you, Caleb? Come on.
- No, no, no I can't.
(all chatting excitedly) - [All] Oh! - Stephen.
- [Stephen] Ready, Caleb? (all chatting excitedly) - [Man] Teach him a lesson, Stephen.
(all cheering excitedly) - [Woman] Take him down.
(all chatting excitedly) - Yes, yes.
(cracking)(groan) (all exclaim) (cheering) - Come on.
- Own him, Stephen.
(all exclaim excitedly) - [Man] Caleb, take him to his knees.
(all shouting) - You can beat him.
- I know.
- [Man] Get serious now.
(all shouting) - [Man] Attack, Stephen.
(all shouting excitedly) - [Man] Push! Push! Push! - Out of my way, out of my way.
(shouting ends) Let him go.
- [Man] He let go.
- [Soldier] I'll kill you.
(all shouting) Arrest him.
(all shouting) - [Guard] Stay there! (dramatic music) (groaning) - Back to your houses.
Go back to your houses.
(all talking amongst themselves) - Forgive him.
He (mumbling).
Look, he's in pain, surely an apology would be enough.
- Who and what are you? - I'm a Roman citizen.
- You're a Jew.
- Yes I am.
But I'm also a citizen of Rome.
My name if you must know is Paul.
His duty in Rome-- - Well, Paul, if that's what you're really called, we have our duty, and this one needs teaching a lesson, and he'll learn it while he's looking down from that hill out there.
Go on you.
(all talking angrily) - They hide up here on Mount Gerizim noble Pilate.
They've hoarded a huge treasure in it.
Gold, silver, Greek and Roman money, and gems they say such as no oriental monarch has ever seen.
- They're not like the other Jews these Samaritans.
Not unlike the Galileans, rejected children of Israel so to say.
Yet not as cunning or able.
- The dislike that surrounds them could make our decision to attack them acceptable.
- There are many here in Judea who would secretly rejoice at it.
- I've learned to wait Quintillius during my office in this land.
Let them hide up there Mount Gerizim is it? Let them increase their secret treasure 10, 1,000 fold.
The more they toil, the richer our harvest at the right time.
Meanwhile we shall continue showing Roman strength, celebrating imperial power in the name of the divine Tiberius.
- May he live long before joining his brother Gods.
Lucius Aelius Sejanus has sent word to manifest to you his satisfaction for the way in which you conducted yourself when faced the disturbances regarding the man Jesus.
- Smartly stifled, quickly forgotten.
Just a few crosses.
- We need more.
These people are never convinced that their destiny has been sealed by Rome.
They breed revolt.
Our good prefect the noble Sejanus has a particular contempt for the Jews.
He had to deal with a few of them in Rome.
They are like weeping willows he once told me.
They bend easily only to snap back with more strength.
- Truth graces your lips, Pontius Pilate.
Only today we have arrested another hot head.
- A young man who attacked one of our Gods.
A zealot by the looks of it.
- Good.
I've often reproached myself during the past few days for having let go that bandit, the zealot called Barabbas.
Though I still think the man from Nazareth was a higher potential risk for us.
His case puzzled me.
His death relieved me.
And now, Fortune, our wise Goddess gives us back the zealot.
Bring him here, Calpernius.
No, wait.
Wait.
Patience is a goddess we must honour as often as we can so that she may reward us generously.
In two days, our Jewish subjects will celebrate the feast of the first fruits of spring.
Herawa they call it.
We shall judge this young zealot then.
He will have a new reason to remember yet another solemn date in their calendar.
(laughs) This young zealot, has he a family? - His mother, two sisters.
- Are they beautiful? The girls, I mean.
- They're young I'm told.
- Seize them, mother and daughters.
Send them to Rome.
My good friend Sejanus will appreciate the gift of young slaves.
Good way to show my gratitude for his consideration.
- My son, Caleb fought outside the temple? He knows how dangerous it is to arouse attention.
How welcome for the Romans any pretext is to bare down on us.
- You sound just like Caleb, mother.
- It was not a fight, just a friendly scuffle, an occasion to relive our tension, the passion of our discussion.
Stephen was desperate after this.
- Did he provoke Caleb? - I told you, no one provoked anyone.
We were like children at play.
Just a scuffle it was.
- What will they do to Caleb? - No one can tell.
Nothing if they believe our story.
Caleb got carried away, he didn't realize the man he was pushing away was a Roman guard.
- And they'll never believe it.
(cries) - I will asked to be heard by the procurator himself if necessary.
I will tell him that my son Caleb has never done anything we could be ashamed of.
I will plead with him.
- Stephen and I bribed a guard, we spoke to Caleb through the bars.
He said to warn you not to plead, not to beg for him, he would hate you for that he said.
- Mother, may I walk Samuel to the door? - Your betrothed to him don't you remember? Go, go with him.
(cries) (light music) - You must leave this house.
It's not safe.
I shall ask your uncle to let me take you to my home, tomorrow if we can.
- You know that we cannot.
Not until Caleb is safely back with us.
- Time is racing past us, Ruth my love.
Rome has conquered our nation and our time.
You must believe what I'm saying.
Come away.
- Mother grows weaker every day.
You saw her, heard her.
She is ready to fall on her knees and beg the Roman procurator for mercy.
I love her, and you Samuel, I love more than life, but she needs me.
Besides, I must prepare myself to be a good wife.
I'm not yet ready to surrender.
- Ours is not a war Ruth.
There's no attack.
There will be no surrender.
- What I mean is that I'm so young.
I still have little girl's dreams.
It is hard for me to think of being alone with you, a woman and a man.
- We are meant to be one flesh, one being, a new creature formed by a man and a woman.
Your sister can take care of your mother.
- No.
My place is still here with them.
I will not leave them as long as Caleb is in danger.
- I shall find a way to move you, all three of you to a safer place.
- [Mother] Ruth! Ruth! - I'm here, mother.
Go now, and pray for Caleb, for us.
I, I do love you so much.
(crickets chirping) - [Saul] Stephen.
Stephen.
- [Stephen] I'm here, Saul.
Will Rabban Gamaliel help? - He's powerless.
It's what he feared most, and it's happened.
- There was nothing we could do.
- Oh nothing, Stephen? One of our fellow students is about to be crucified.
Caleb the crucified.
Or not so terrible perhaps.
It was good enough for your mauge messiah.
- His death was no mockery, Saul.
It still haunts me.
You say another Roman cross, you're a Roman citizen, can't you do something? - It could be useful sometimes but not now.
No.
A word should be sent to Caleb's family though.
Sometimes Roman power yields to the power of gold.
- But they have no money.
- Uncle Mathias does.
- We can try and ask for his help.
But I heard that like many others, he wants to follow Jesus.
- Oh! - And give up everything he owns.
- A contagious madness.
- Madness? Fathers of Jesus give shelter to the sick and bread to the needy.
(footsteps) - Only the Lord will help us, and Caleb.
The Lord who is one will guide us.
(clattering footsteps) (light gasp) (clattering footsteps) - [Mother] No! No leave me, leave me.
- Let's move out.
- {Mother] Where are you taking us? - [Ruth] Mother! Mother! Leave her alone! Please! No! Please! Where are you taking us? - [Girls] No! - [Ruth] Mother! (clattering footsteps) - We could not do anything.
they dragged them away and that is all I saw.
- Ruth's comb.
- He says they were dragged from the house, like beasts.
Just like beasts.
They've taken them to the coast of Galilee where they will end up in Rome.
In a slave market.
Ruth.
My Ruth.
I told you Stephen.
There's only one way.
Strike back! Kill them! - Violence breeds violence.
They hold the axe.
Let's not give them more victims, Samuel.
- I'd rather die than live with this shame.
- The Lord will rescue us, Samuel.
He's come to our help in harder times.
- He's deaf! The Lord is deaf to our cry, Stephen.
We're alone.
(sad music) And Ruth is - May he forgive you, for he hears you well.
He's not forgotten us.
We have to walk his way.
The way that he sets for us.
And I'm convinced that it is not by killing that we shall win.
Not by killing.
- He tore his hand on this nail.
Was a little nail but you should have seen the tears.
And heard his howls.
I took him in my arms and quieted him, but his crying gave him a good appetite for his dinner.
(laughter) It was a mutton stew with herbs and a little wine.
I can see him now, his mouth full and his lips stained with what he was eating.
Wolfing bread.
- [Man] Wolfing? (laughter) - Like any other boy.
- Seems so strange now.
So ordinary.
You never know.
- We never know.
- [Man] Listen.
- [Man] What is it? (wind blowing) - The wind is growing stronger.
There must be a storm coming.
Outside, all's quiet.
- The wind.
Remember his words.
- The wind.
Blows whenever it pleases.
You hear its sound but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.
- You're right, James always brother, those were his words.
(wind picks up) (mid tempo bright music) (all shouting excitedly) (dramatic music) (all shouting excitedly) - [All] Hallelujah! (all talking excitedly) (drumming) (all shouting excitedly) (horn blows) (drumming) (all talking excitedly) (shouting excitedly) (drumming) (all shouting excitedly) (drumming) (shouting excitedly) (drumming) (shouting excitedly) - Hallelujah! (all shouting excitedly) Let me speak! Please, please hear me.
My Jewish brothers, men and women of Judea and all to dwell in Jerusalem, give ear to my words.
- Drunk, they're all drunk.
It's the new wine.
- I heard that.
(laughter) I'm not drunk, nor are any of my friends here.
It's only the third hour of the day, the taverns have hardly been open yet.
(laughter) No! No! This is no drunken talk, but the giving forth of the good news.
(all shouting excitedly) (drumming) (all shouting excitedly) You know, most of you, what was said by the prophet Joel.
"I will pull forth my spirit upon all flesh "and your sons and your daughters shall prophesier "and your young men shall see visions "and your old men shall dream dreams.
"And I will show wonders in the heavens above "and signs on the earth below.
"Blood and fire and vapour of smoke.
"The sun shall be turned into darkness "and the moon into blood when the day of the Lord comes.
"That great and notable day!" (shouting excitedly) (drumming) (shouting) Yes, yes, I say it again that great and notable day is upon us.
Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God by mighty works and wonders and signs.
Jesus, crucified, slain by lawless men, him, God has raised up having loosed the pangs of death.
This Jesus did God raise up, of this we are all witnesses.
Being therefore exulted of the right hand of God and having received of the Father the promise of the holy spirit.
He has poured forth this which you see and here, let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and messiah.
This Jesus who was crucified.
(dramatic music) - Seth.
- Now! Now! (screaming) Get down.
Caleb, stay still.
(shouting) Paul another rope.
Stephen, the rope! Pull him up! - [Guard] Stop it! - Samuel, behind you! (groaning) (struggling) (screaming) Samuel! Samuel.
- [Man] Stephen, hurry.
- Save yourselves, men and women of Judea for the wonders and the signs are upon you.
- What do we have to do? - Repent.
Be baptized.
Be baptized every one of you.
In the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the holy spirit.
Save your souls, save yourselves from these blind leaders.
(dramatic music) - [Stephen] The Romans took them away.
They're still looking for you waiting for you to fall into one of their many traps.
God will not abandon them.
- [Caleb] Where was he when they were taken? - [Stephen] With them as he is now with us.
- This ingenious rescue, you thought of it? - There was no other way.
Saul and I went to your uncle Mathias, begged him to buy your freedom.
But he has joined the Nazarenes.
- Samuel gave his life for me, and now you too will be in danger.
- No I help you as a friend not as a fellow zealot.
I think the Zealots are wrong.
Or should I say impractical.
You won't prevail, Caleb.
The true road lies another way.
- The Sadducee way, the Pharisee way.
- I have been thinking a lot about the man from Nazareth.
There was hope in what he said.
- Saul would say that was blasphemy.
I suppose it is blasphemy.
- Let's all call it what he likes.
Jesus brought light to us.
- There only seems to be darkness for me and my family.
- They are alive and life is what counts.
Pray for them.
- You may trust your prayers, Stephen.
I chose my sword.
- Go to the place called Messaid Hasidim on the hills by the dead sea.
You'll reach it by dawn.
I have a friend there, Ananias, he will take care of you.
- [Caleb] One of us? - [Stephen] No, he's no zealot, He belongs to the Essences, the Essences will protect you.
They live the life of the spirit, cut off from the flesh, waiting for a new world to come.
That's as impractical a way as yours.
To many the Essences represent the very essence of our Jewish faith.
They believe that life is a fight between light and darkness.
They strive to purify themselves by living in caves, isolated from the outside world.
They own nothing and share the little they need to survive.
They're own treasures are their water wells.
They are obsessed with cleanliness.
- I am Ananias, Stephen's friend.
He is right.
The Essences are constantly preoccupied with the cleansing of the body.
The body is a poor thing destined to decay.
You must transcend it and live in the spirit but you must purify the body as it serves as a symbol of our inner purity.
- It's not easy to forget we are bodies.
These men, never take a woman in their arms? How do they breed? - We do not breed.
After all, the end of the world is coming is it not? - The beginning of the world so I was taught.
The building of a free Jewish nation.
- They have no time for these dreams of nationhood.
There has to be a purification of the soul before the last day comes.
- Sometimes you say we, sometimes they.
Do you truly belong here? I know I never could.
(dramatic music) - You have not eaten anything since we left.
I do not want you to die of starvation.
- I began to die when Caleb was taken, and mother died.
Uncle Mathias - I was thinking of him last night, our Nazarene uncle.
- Remember how he used to read old stories to us.
One evening shortly after father died, he told us of an ancient king of Israel who said that the day of death is better than the day of birth.
(chains rattling) He had come to hate life he said, for all that he's done in this world is evil.
All is vain.
I've never forgotten it.
- What are you doing? Go back.
- Ruth! (wailing) Oh Ruth.
- Sorry, this stupid girl tried to kill me.
(cries) - Help me.
In the name Lord, give, give.
My brothers help me, help a poor cripple.
Help me.
In the name of the Lord, help me.
Help a poor cripple.
Give, give in the name of the Lord.
Give.
Help me, help me, help a poor cripple.
In the name of the Lord, give.
Help me.
- I have no silver or gold.
But But what I have, what I have I give you.
In the name of the Lord, rise.
(light music) Rise.
(light music) (bright music) - Oh! My Lord! (laughs) In the Lord! (bright music) (laughter) - Peter! - I'm nobody, I'm nothing.
I'm no power, it was the power of our Lord! The power and grace of his son, Jesus Christ.
- To the Lord all things are possible.
If it's the hungry eats and gives drink to the thirsty.
He makes the blind see and the lame walk.
Praise to his name! - [All] Praise to his name.
- Praise to his name.
(all shouting excitedly) - Your name? - Stephen.
- I baptize you, Stephen, in the name of our Lord.
(bright music) - So I ask the noble senators of Rome to grant me their protection.
It is to this assembly that I entrust my honour, my life.
I am here today, alive able to talk to you, inform you only thanks to some obscure informer who alerted me of a murderous attempt on my life.
- [Man] What is he doing in here? - Oh our guard sees the criminals but just within a few hours before their hands could strike, but by attacking me they were threatening the majesty of Rome.
The plan was to bring back Agrippina and her two sons from exile.
Tiberius himself had sentenced them for treason.
I have informed the Emperor of this latest danger which was averted only by the graces of the Gods and his equally divine favour.
(all chatting amongst themselves) I ask you to listen to Lucius Sejanus.
- Lords of the Senate, I bare to you news from Capri, a message from Tiberius Caesar.
"In recognition of his many merits "of his people and loyal services to Rome, "and myself, it's Emperor, I have decreed that our prefect of the praetorian, the noble Lucius Aelius Sejanus, my partner in the labour of ruling, be associated to me in the council ship, for this new year.
I salute Lucius Sejanus, council of Rome, and exhort you, Lords of the Senate, to acclaim with me worth, wisdom, and valour.
Hail and be well.
" (applause and cheers) (panting and crying) - Now look what you've done.
I'll have to do it all over again.
(panting) - Who are you? What are you running from? - There she is.
(dramatic music) Report to procular.
Damn girl.
She broke her precious vows.
Still I should thank her she made me run like a polo chasing Daphne.
Healthy exercise in the morning.
Do you have news for me? - No, I came to the lady Antonia.
They accuse you of treason.
A messenger will leave tonight for Capri with a letter from Antonio to Tiberius.
It will delivered into the hands of Curtius Atticus.
- Your loyalty and alertness will be dually rewarded, Valerius.
- Valerius.
My Valerius.
You make me happy.
You remind me so much of your father.
I have been preparing a spelt soup, your favourite.
Yes.
Smoke is always a problem on windy days.
Soon, I hope, I shall make you a spelt cake.
Oh that will be a good day for me, your wedding.
What is it, Valerius? - I have met a girl.
I cannot put her out of my mind.
- Surely worthy of a Roman officer to be.
If you love her she has my blessing.
This house is empty, with your father still away.
- I have only just met her, mother.
I don't even know her name.
She's a slave.
- A slave? Bad awakening she will provide for your father.
He wrote to me that the only relief for him, in the cold nights of gore, was dreaming of you, walking well ahead of him in your officer's garb.
He has sacrificed his best years to help you achieve what was denied to him, by a low birth and lack of education.
I thought you were happy to be well on your way to a higher rank.
Your winning the noble Sejanus' favour made us certain.
- I am very uncertain mother.
Something crept into my mind this morning, I've been thinking about it all day.
I wanted to see you, perhaps because I need your reassurance.
Come.
Let's talk.
Suddenly I realize there is something dark in what I have been commissioned to do.
Spying on people, reporting, informing, this cannot be what father fought and suffered for.
It makes me feel unclean, ashamed of myself.
What I read in the eyes of that girl was a cry for help, then sudden mistrust and fear.
(light music) I am a spy, mother.
Working for a man who is a leader of spies.
- He is our prefect.
The first man in Rome after our Caesar.
- I trusted him, mother, believe me I did.
Only this morning I saw him.
I caught him.
It was as if a mask had suddenly dropped from his face.
The girl was running away from him.
He looked like a wolf ready to kill.
- I have known of sudden jealousy-- - A sudden awakening, mother.
I feel like I don't trust him as I did before.
I was convinced I was serving Rome.
I suspect I'm serving an unscrupulous tyrant.
- [Man] Olives! Ripe juicy olives! (yelling out to crowd) - [Man] Delicious Tuscan hen.
(crowd chatting) (light music) - Procular told me I could find you here.
She also told me her-- - I'm a slave.
I must learn to accept this as a fact.
I have to go back to his house.
- Procular promised me she'd watch over you.
And up in Carta his wife knows.
You will be safe, at least until something can be done to rescue you.
I wish I knew how.
I've never know anyone like you.
- You are a free man and a Roman, I'm a Jew, Rome enslaves us.
Rome killed my mother and my sister.
- Emperor's procurators are not Rome.
Not the true Rome.
I want to tell you this, since I saw you I have been unable to keep you out of my mind.
- They took my slave collar off to make me look more attractive.
But I'm still a slave, no more than an object to be bought and sold.
You, you do not even know my name.
- Sarah.
It is Sarah.
- It means princess in our language.
How little of one's destiny is in a name.
- Destinies can change.
Come, I will walk you home.
- How are you called? - Valerius.
It has to do with wishing well.
Valer, be well.
- Valer.
(light music) (light flute) (distant talking) - [Man] He has enough men in Jerusalem to destroy all of us, and when his reinforcements arrive, he will have more.
You must listen to us, Caleb.
Listen to reason.
Face reality.
- I know the situation better than you.
After all Jerusalem is my city.
If the Gerizim here in Samaria is as small as you say, well you can destroy it, before Pilate gets his Syrian reinforcements.
He can send no troops from Jerusalem.
He needs every man he has to defend himself from our threats.
- And you propose leading us? - No, help is what I offer.
I am a Judean.
And Samaria is the affair of the Samaritans.
But you must all start to think in terms of a bigger freedom.
National, not provincial.
Now, remember that our worst enemy is our lack of discipline.
The Romans found their strength in it.
They are welded in iron structure, we fight in bands.
Look here.
The Roman legion numbers about 5,300 men.
The fighting force of that legion is divided into 10 lots named cohorts.
Each cohort numbers 480 men and is itself made up of six groups named centuries.
Each century numbering 80 men.
The officer in charge of the centuries called a century.
To know how they organize themselves is to learn how to oppose order to their order.
Discipline, but their discipline.
- [Man] Quiet.
(horse steps) - They are strong, not invincible.
If we strike at their leader, seize their standards, we shall break their ranks.
Now, this is how we shall move.
(dramatic music) - Holt.
Let me have a look.
(grunting) (wind whipping) - [Man] Take the armour, quickly.
(light dramatic music) (loud dramatic music) - Jewish bandits are taking our outposts and killing our auxiliaries.
Why they keep sending me news of defeat after defeat how much more are we going to tolerate? Have I not done more for these, these Jews then, then - Yes, Tiberius.
You've given them back their own property.
Some of it.
- Don't try your stoic sarcasm on me Nerva, senility does not grant you immunity.
- Have me killed, Caesar.
If it relieves your frustration.
Frustration you brought on yourself.
The revolt in Palestine is only one symptom of a total sickness.
Revolting armies on the Rhine, thugs in the Senate.
I said before and I'm sick of saying it, that-- - I will not go back to Rome.
Let's see what Pilate the fool has done.
The third legion moved in from Syria, he wants a military division record from Egypt.
Roman rule, Roman order, Roman blood spilled in Somalia wherever Somalia is.
- It's part of your empire Caesar.
And I say again, whatever the penalty you must look to that Empire.
Go to Rome.
(yells) - It is necessary to state and to state empathically that the aims of the Zealots, those of the Nazarenes, are utterly opposed.
The Zealots are concerned with inflaming the hearts of the people, and shouting, need of insurrection.
Followers of the man Jesus seek to cultivate charity for all.
Beautiful dream.
- These imposing words cannot hide a dangerous reality, Rabban Gamaliel.
Doctrinally the Zealots are still inside the law.
Doctrinally the followers of Jesus preach heresy.
They have gone outside the law, they practice blasphemy.
- Healing the sick for instance? - [Man] Rabban Gamaliel is right, we must wait before judging them.
- Whether they heal the sick or not is hardly the point.
They breed superstition.
There are those who seek to have their aliments cured by standing in the shadow of a man, Peter, a common fisherman.
You have filled the synagogues with your blasphemy, what do you say? - This, Caiaphas.
We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus who died on the cross and after three days was resurrected from death.
(all chatting excitedly) - [Man] They are against the priest and the temple.
- The belief in resurrection has it's roots deep in our traditions.
Remember the prophet Isaiah, fresh lives shall they have Lord that are thine in death, lost to us they shall live in thee, awake and after your praises, you that dwell in dust.
- God exulted Jesus at his right hand to be a prince and a saviour.
To give repentance to Israel and the remission of sins.
We are witnesses of these things.
- Such blasphemy, you put yourselves in peril of death.
- Death as you call it is in the hands of the Romans.
Are you ready to give them more victims for their crosses? - That you challenge the authority of the Sanhedrin, which is answerable to the occupying power.
(yelling loudly) - May I be heard? Men of Israel take heed.
Do nothing you will regret.
What I say is this, leave these men alone.
For if their council and their work is of human origin, it will collapse.
But if it is the Lord, you cannot overthrow it, and you risk finding yourselves at war with God.
- God is not with them.
(yelling loudly) - [Man] Yes, Jesus was a good man, but we cannot accept him as messiah.
- [Man] Rabban Gamaliel he speaks wisdom.
- You are hereby charged to speak no more in the name of the man Jesus.
Let them be warned by the punishment of the whipping and then let them be gone.
(footsteps) (all chatting quietly) - You see the weakness.
Weakness which you encourage.
- What I hear is the harshness of authority.
Seems your student days are over, Saul.
- I respect and honour you as ever Rabban.
You are my only teacher but I must be permitted to make my own judgements.
- Your own? I see.
My advice to you, Saul, is to read more and judge less.
- The whole of Israel is endangered by false doctrine.
And they're given a lick of the whip and told to go.
- Let the Lord judge these men.
In my part I find little fault in their actions.
- They subvert the truth.
They preach a false messiah.
Projected by male logic.
Why are you so lenient towards them? - You must read your scriptures, Saul.
We were promised a messiah, but it would be wrong to accept him without sufficient evidence.
It would be even worse to reject him altogether.
Without consideration these men do no evil, they do only good and you've seen it.
- Sheer cunning.
They buy followers with their good works.
They cram the poor first with bread and then with false doctrine.
You must speak against them.
- Must, Saul? Must? - Must.
Israel must not be divided.
Or the weight of the Roman Empire will crush our people.
- Peter says that there is no difference whatsoever between (all chatting excitedly) It's as I've always said, our Jerusalem brothers and Jesus think themselves to be the only Jews.
To them we're Greeks, the Hellenistic Jews.
When they forgive their pride but when it comes to a matter of genuine injustice-- - No, neglect more than injustice, Nikinore.
- Injustice.
Take the case of Pheophalar there we do it for six weeks.
Our community promised to help but nothing has been done about it.
This morning I had to plead our course with the temple fund.
Our differences of nation and language more important than charity and love.
- Do you wish Philip and myself to speak out? To Peter and the others? - Do that, speak out.
Remind them that Jesus calls for universal love.
- Timon's right.
Forget philosophy speak fisherman's language.
(chatting amongst themselves) - We'll put the matter of the distribution of the funds into the hands of you-- - Hellenistic Jews? (laughter) - We can't have a 12, so we'll have a seven, another holy number.
Stephen, Philip? - Um, Procuris, Nikinore, Timon, Parmanus, Nikilaus, seven deacons.
- Greek names.
- Ought that not to mean something, Peter? - Yes, it means that we have many Greek Jews.
(laughter) - But doesn't it really mean that Greek, Hebrew, Samaritan, have no meaning anymore? That we're all united in Jesus, that the gospel is to spread beyond Jerusalem? (all exclaiming surprise) - We're not ready for that yet.
- It's spreading in Samaria.
The Samaritans have been subdued by the Romans.
They're learning the gospel of suffering, and this Jew is a Greek, and I'm ready to go to the Greek islands and speak the word in Greek.
(all chatting discontently) - If you want to preach, preach in the synagogues here.
There's enough work to do in Jerusalem without sailing across the world in ships.
And for my part, I've had enough of water.
(laughter) (yelling) - Not only my reading of the stars, the entrails of the beasts slaughtered.
- So the same omens, yes, yes.
Yes.
- They will never be better.
- They will never be better Caesar.
- Catch your tone up Amantus, my good physician, I listen to Zueaus but not to stoic reason.
You are to be pleased, the result is the same.
- Praise be to the Gods.
- When do we go back to Rome? - How are the winds? - The winds are set fair.
(dramatic upbeat music) - [Soldier] Get up.
Get up you fool! (whip) Said move along.
(whip)- [Man] Ow! - [Man's Voice] Tiberius, beware of Gaius Caligula, you are nursing a viper for the Romans.
- Nursing a viper for the Roman people.
Who said that Conobar, hm? (light music) - Carry on, come on.
Fast, come on.
(dramatic music) - [Caesar] Stop, stop.
- Why are we stopping? - Caesar's orders.
- Caesar, this is the seventh milestone from Rome, we can make our entry before night fall.
- I don't want to go on, take me back.
- We've come a long way, you are tired.
- Find me a place to rest along the road back to Potaili.
- Perhaps you could rest for the night at the villa of Cortasius Nazo.
- Villa of Cortasius? Is Cortasius in the residence? - Cortasius was executed five years ago, on your orders.
- Is there some other place? - A mile back, the villa of Dionasis.
(horse neighs) - The home of Cortasius will due.
Will all be ready for me there? - Your servants will be sent ahead to anticipate your needs.
- How do you know what I need? How does anybody know what I need? Nerva, my only friend, where's he? - Nerva? He's dead.
- Did we We did not kill him? - No, no.
He chose to remove himself from this world.
He killed himself, great uncle.
You should remember.
- My good Nerva dead? He knew how much I needed him, how could he? (easy dramatic music) (muttering in sleep) (easy music) Conobar.
Conobar.
Conobar.
(light music) Conobar.
Oh.
Tiberius you are as clever as your serpent, but do not accuse the patience of the wrong people.
Remember mobs are like ants, countless and destructive.
Who said that? Who said it? Guards, slaves? Take me home, back to Capri.
I want to die in my own bed.
- No, of the gospel of love and forgiveness you must first know two things, that it goes beyond the law of Moses and-- - Nothing goes beyond the law of Moses.
- My old friend Saul.
I'm glad you're here.
No, you know as well as I that the law of Moses will always be the foundation of our life.
Jesus himself said that he came to fulfill it, not to abolish it.
But he came also to give us a new law, the law of forgiveness, of love.
He told us to love one another, to be ready to die for our friends, even for our enemies.
Love grows from sacrifice.
Jesus said, "Unless a grain of "wheat falls to the ground and dies, "it will not bear fruit.
" - What is the other thing? The other thing, you said there were two.
- Yes.
That the law rests not in the temple nor in the ministers of the temple.
The true temple is not been made by human hands, it is a temple that can be destroyed, but rise again on the third day.
- Go on.
It's merely out of duty.
- We appreciate that.
But duty is too often a cloak for vindictiveness, you will rage against these Nazarenes as if you bore some personal grudge.
Forgive my candour.
- It's your duty to be candid.
I've examined my conscious on this matter.
Stephen was a fellow student.
Even a friend, though not a close one.
Our first duty might well be to talk to him as a friend point out his errors, lead him back to the right way.
You see, he voices the belief of the whole sect.
He's encouraged to speak as he does.
Also, he's eloquent.
He's taken on the shining look of the fanatic.
What the man Peter said could be tolerated.
Did not my master Gamaliel preach tolerance to the entire assembly.
But Stephen, he strikes deeper.
- How deeper? - Our fathers carried the sacred arch in the wilderness, the testimony of their covenant with the Lord.
They carried it wherever they went, from place to place following the Lord's command, and the Lord rejoiced as his arch travelled with his people.
I speak only according to the scriptures.
The people have gathered not in one place and nor is the home of their worship, for God revealed himself to Abraham, long before he came to the holy land.
God gave his law to Moses when the children of Israel were wanderers in the desert.
Was not the arch of the covenant carried for 40 years through the wilderness and was not a tent made of skins as pleasing to God as this temple of stone that Solomon first built? Our faith is the faith of a pilgrim people.
The earth is the Lord's.
And the Lord's people are of the earth, not of a fixed and stony place in a popular city.
Did not the Lord say that heaven is my throwing the earth my foot stool? When the Lord makes his own temple with his own hands what right have men to mock him by saying this that we have built is the Lord's only place? - You hear? - The Lord help him, he blasphemes against the temple.
- Let him speak.
- [Man] Hear him out.
- [Man] Let him speak.
- You obstinate people.
You always resist the holy spirit.
Can you name a single prophet that our fathers have not persecuted.
You are the men who received the law of the Lord by the hands of angels.
And you are the men who have failed to keep it.
- Stephen.
- Enough! You shall speak no more.
(easy music) - Look.
Can't you see? The heavens are opened and I can see the son of man.
Standing at God's right hand.
(all exclaiming loudly) - Your blasphemy cannot be tolerated any longer.
You have wounded our hearts Stephen.
Only the Lord may forgive you.
You have made it impossible for us.
- [Man] He's one of us.
- [Man] Unhand him, he's innocent.
(all shouting) - [Woman] Come quickly, it's your son.
- My Lord it's Stephen.
(all shouting) Where are you taking him? What has he done? My son! My son! Stephen! - [Man] Get out of the way.
- [Mother] What are you doing to him? - No, mother! - [Man] Who gave you the authority for this? - [Mother] Please! - [Woman] Leave our city.
- [Stephen] Mother, mother no! - [Man] Stephen, (mumbling) come for you.
(cries)- [Man] Madness.
- Rabban! Please, come.
They've dragged Stephen out of jail.
Saul and many others.
- They have no authority.
- Help him, Rabban.
- God help us.
- Untie my hands, Saul.
A small request, from a friend.
God bless you, Saul.
And all of you my brothers.
(light music) (gravel crunching) - No! No! Saul, stop this madness, stop them! - [Man] Stephen! Stephen! (easy music) Lord help us.
- Lord Jesus, receive my spirit and forgive them.
This sin.
- Lord, mercious.
- Shamal Israel.
Here oh Israel.
- [All] The Lord is our God.
The Lord is one.
- First martyr and not our last I'm afraid.
(easy music) - The view is commendable but it is the zeal holy destructive we are taught to build not to destroy.
- We are taught to destroy evil.
Weeds choke the wheat, they must be pulled up.
- So you seek a destructive commission.
What does your master Gamaliel say? - I cannot go back on what I said before.
I do not know if we are dealing here with the works of men or the works of God.
We should do nothing in haste.
I wish I had been given time to save Stephen.
- You are the great advocate of compromise, Rabban.
I do not seek wholesale destruction of the sect but this disobedience to the Torah cannot be tolerated.
These Greek Jews uphold the view that the temple is nothing and the priests of the temple even less.
- Exactly why I could not forgive Stephen.
- That is a heresy I admit.
Islam, temple, and the holy priesthood is our evidences of God's presence in our midst.
They were given to us by the Lord while we wandered in the desert.
- You put it well, Rabban.
These Greeks would have us back in the desert.
- And precisely what does Saul of Tarsus propose? - Saul of Tarsus proposes this.
That the entire Nazarene sect be rooted out.
First the Greek Nazarenes.
They must be prevented from spreading their heresy.
Captured, imprisoned, bring them back to the light, and with the most stubborn cases, let the people act according to justice.
- You mean stoning.
- I mean according to justice, as we did with Stephen.
We acted according to reason.
- Not many of us thought that reasonable.
Men will always find reason for destruction.
Especially the destruction of things they don't understand.
Mob does not reason, it destroys, law, justice.
- Destruction is what we want to prevent, Rabban Gamaliel.
The destruction of our religious unity.
- I shall need a special detachment of temple guards and men skilled in interrogation.
- You mean violence.
- A great and holy end justifies the harshest methods.
That is laid down somewhere.
- No where that I know of.
- I want you to act with compassion, Saul.
- In the name of the most high.
- May he guide you.
- He has forgotten all that I taught him.
- [Man At Table] Jesus Christ forever, Amen.
- I apologize for disturbing your ceremony.
On behalf of the holy council, the priesthood, and the guardians of the temple, there are certain inquiries that have to be made.
You, most of you are Greek Jews I take it.
Your name? - Nikinore.
You needn't introduce yourself, Saul of Tarsus is well known, also your zeal and enthusiasm for the old tradition of the fathers.
- Saul.
Would you say it was idolatress to worship in a temple made by human hands.
- There is no harm in such worship.
- But no great good.
- If you expect me to contradict the words of our brother Stephen.
- Yes! - The truth is the truth.
Do you wish to arraign us as you arraigned him before the council of the priest? - The council will sanction what we already know.
You condemn yourself out of your own mouth.
- I've said nothing.
- Oh you have said enough.
Arrest the whole assembly.
(children shouting) - Our children are innocent.
- Leave them, leave them! So you admit crime? You're responsible for their sins also? Take only the men.
- [Man] Guards, now! - Philip! Tell the others! - So this is how you turn the other cheek.
He won't get far.
- Peter! Saul has started a persecution.
Men with swords they're arresting people.
- Arresting? - Who? - Those who speak Greek.
- Ah, like Stephen? - Nobody's safe.
Leave Jerusalem.
- No.
You must go Philip, we have work to do in Jerusalem.
(all chatting) (people talking amongst themselves)