This full color illustrated hardcover based on the History Channel's miniseries The Bible traces the New Testament story of Jesus from the Angel Gabriel's prophecy through Christ's birth in Bethlehem. A Story of Christmas & All of Us is illuminated by more than 100 previously unpublished images taken by photographers during the filming of the series.
A Story of Christmas and All of Us: Companion to the Hit TV Miniseriesby Roma Downey, Mark Burnett
From the annunciation by the angel through the birth of Jesus, this beautiful full color book chronicles the journey of Mary and Joseph, the appearance of the shepherds, and the story of the wise men, in a way the Christmas story has never before been "told." Containing extraordinary images from the hit TV series, The Bible, A STORY OF CHRISTMAS AND ALL OF/i>
From the annunciation by the angel through the birth of Jesus, this beautiful full color book chronicles the journey of Mary and Joseph, the appearance of the shepherds, and the story of the wise men, in a way the Christmas story has never before been "told." Containing extraordinary images from the hit TV series, The Bible, A STORY OF CHRISTMAS AND ALL OF US is a book that will take a deserved place among the finest celebrations of Christmas.
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A Story of Christmas and All of Us
Based on the Hit TV Miniseries "The Bible"
By Mark Burnett, Roma Downey
FaithWordsCopyright © 2013 Mark Burnett Roma Downey
All rights reserved.
Five hundred years have passed since the Jewish prophet Daniel's vision of a great beast, dreadful and terrible and incredibly strong, that would devour the entire world with its iron teeth. Through long momentous years of war, conquest, and subservience, this vision had become a reality as the Romans had extended the mightiest empire in history to include Palestine. Rome values the land of Israel for its important military and trading routes between the provinces of Syria to the north and Egypt in the south and its tax revenues.
But Daniel had also had another vision in which he saw one like "the son of man," who would come to save the world and be given glory and authority and sovereign power. Peoples, nations, and every language group would worship him. He will be called the Prince of Peace, Holy of Holies, and the Lord God Almighty. Descended from the lineage of David, this man, like his forefather, will be called the King of the Jews, though he will rule over a very different kingdom, the kingdom of God.
Prince of Peace, Holy of Holies, and the Lord God Almighty. Prince of Peace, Holy of Holies, and the Lord God Almighty. Prince of Peace, Holy of Holies, and the Lord God Almighty.
The Jewish people have learned patience during their long years under the boots of the Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and now Romans. At this time, they are ruled by a Roman puppet named Herod the Great, the so-called King of the Jews, who is only half Jewish and comes from a family that converted to the faith. He has been married ten times, murdered one wife, and will soon murder two of his sons. He suffers from fits of paranoia, has been in power for forty years, and owes his position to none other than Julius Caesar.
The Jews live under Herod's oppression, which causes fear and tension, but they are allowed to practice their religion without fear of prosecution. So they pay the austere tax demanded by Rome, knowing the soldiers will go for now and leave them alone. They long for freedom in their land and for an end to poverty and wait in the hopes that the Messiah will come and rescue them from the senseless deaths at the hands of their oppressors. Little do they know that change is coming—and from the least likely of places.
THE REVOLUTION starts quietly and without notice in the small village of Nazareth surrounded by fields and olive groves in the province of Galilee. Joseph, a carpenter, sits in a small synagogue as an elder reads from the Torah, the Israelites' holy book. Joseph is a direct descendant of King David, and his life revolves around Scripture, work, and family. His time in the synagogue would normally be spent in quiet prayer and meditation, as is true of the men around him who have come to worship, lost in their communion with God.
But today, Joseph is lost— in love.
A latticework screen separates the men and women. Joseph has purposely seated himself next to the divider, allowing him to sneak a look at his bride to be—Mary. She's the most beautiful girl he's ever seen.
"Mary, my betrothed," Joseph whispers to himself, making sure not to slip and begin mumbling the words loud enough for all to hear, causing a stir in the synagogue. "You have the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen. And the sweetest smile."
Mary, who is pure of heart, has been praying for an end to wickedness and sin and for the restoration of David's royal lineage. Her focus suddenly changes, and she catches Joseph staring at her. She blushes and turns away, but then glances back and meets Joseph's gaze. A sense of deep connection passes between them.
It is Mary who looks away first. Joseph forces himself to focus on the words of the elder, but he finds it almost impossible. He longs impatiently for the wondrous life that he and Mary will build together once they are man and wife. Joseph is not a man of great vision; but even if he were, he still could not possibly imagine how extraordinary their lives will soon become. Every bit of his faith in God will be required to understand what is about to happen.
OUTSIDE THE SYNAGOGUE, dust blows through the streets. The sound of marching feet is heard, then the clatter of metal. Swords, shields, and battle armor glint in the hot Judean sun as a body of Roman soldiers moves in lockstep up the empty lane accompanied by two well-dressed civilians—despised tax collectors. The enforcers have come to collect unpaid tribute to Rome.
The doors of the synagogue suddenly burst open, flooding the room with light. As the Roman officer enters and looks around the stunned congregation, the cantor stops his singing in mid flow. Nothing like this has ever happened before in their synagogue.
"In the name of Herod and Rome ... taxes are owed!"
Joseph is the first to react, jumping to his feet. "What is this?"
"We will take this man!" the Roman officer commands, pointing to a poorly dressed farmer, whom two soldiers immediately grab and drag out into the street.
"Can't you see you're interrupting the Scriptures?" Joseph cries.
Excerpted from A Story of Christmas and All of Us by Mark Burnett, Roma Downey. Copyright © 2013 Mark Burnett Roma Downey. Excerpted by permission of FaithWords.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
Roma Downey - A multiple Golden Globe and Emmy nominated actress, Roma starred for almost a decade as the angel "Monica" in the hit CBS television series, Touched By An Angel. She is also producer of the children's DVD and book series "Little Angels" and its companion Little Angels Storybook Bible.
Mark Burnett - Multiple Emmy Award winning producer of some of the biggest prime time network television shows in history including Survivor, The Apprentice, Shark Tank, and The Voice has produced over 2,000 hours of American prime time programming airing in over 70 countries.
This husband and wife duo recently collaborated for their most ambitious project to date: producing together a ten hour global television mini-series titled The Bible.
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Beautifully illustrated. It tells the true meaning of Christmas. Well done!