This film is a semi-documentary containing scenes from the life of Christ as well as two scenes of the destruction of Jerusalem in year 70 during the reign of Titus. It was presumably shot on location at Sheepshead Park and not in a studio using the same settings as Sidney Olcott successful Ben Hur. The film was screened with, and presented in the same reels as "David and Goliath".
Jerusalem In The Time Of Christ (1908)
Categories1. Century 1. Century BC Black and White Cleansing of the Temple Destruction of Jerusalem Docudrama Documentary Drama Entry into Jerusalem Herod the Great History Jerusalem Jesus Christ Jesus Life Jesus Miracles Short Silent Film St. Mary Magdalena The Road to Golgotha Titus DocumentaryDramaHistoryShort1. Century, 1. Century BC, Black and White, Cleansing of the Temple, Destruction of Jerusalem, Docudrama, Entry into Jerusalem, Herod the Great, Jerusalem, Jesus Christ, Jesus Life, Jesus Miracles, Silent Film, St. Mary Magdalena, The Road to Golgotha, Titus
The descriptions are from The Moving Picture World, November 21, 1908
Entrance of Herod, the Roman Ruler to Jerusalem
This is the Gale of Joppa, the principal entrance through the walls of Jerusalem. Clustered about, intent on selling their wares, we see merchants of Arabia, India and Turkey, for Jerusalem is a very cosmopolitan city, a city of many nations. Now, however, excitement prevails. Soldiers enter hurriedly and announce the approach of the new ruler, Herod, appointed by Rome. Soldiers lead the way, followed by courtiers and the High Priests. Now come the dancing girls, lending color to the scene, and now, mounted high on their camels, the King and Queen. More courtiers and ladies, and staid senators. And now the populace join in, and proceed with them to the royal palace.
Diversions of the Court of Herod
Here we have assembled the court of Herod, awaiting the appearance of their majesties. They are preceded by the dancing girls, who bow low as the royal couple seat themselves, and then, at the command to dance, proceed to arouse the stagnated emotions of the Romans. Then come the gladiators and at the given command they engage in a fierce combat, until the less skillful falls, pierced by his opponent's blade. He is not dead, but the court will grant no quarter. Death is his lot; and as they turn "thumbs down," the victor plunges his sword into the vanquished one's body.
The Christian Era.
The Christian Era.
Christ on the Mountain
To a far-off mountain top, away from His disciples, Christ has gone alone to hold communion with God.
The Healing of the Two Blind Beggars
This scene shows a road leading into Jerusalem. Christ and His disciples are on their way thither. Already the news of His miracles is about and everywhere great throngs welcome Him and beseech Him to exert His wonderful powers for healing. Now appear two poor blind beggars, each trying to lead the other. They seat themselves by the highway to ask for alms of the passersby. Now a crowd of citizens signals the approach of the wonderful Stranger, who can perform such miracles. One of these runs to the poor blind men and excitedly tells them of their chances for being healed. Now, seated on the white ass His disciples have bought Him, the Saviour appears, calm and holy and robed in white, He inspires the respect of every one in that motley crowd. Weeping an pleading, the beggars approach and prostrate themselves before Him, the crowds giving way, and standing awestruck as the Master gives heed and raising His eyes to heaven, performs the miracle restoring their sight. See their mad gratitude, as they fall upon their faces in the dust and kiss the hem of His garment. But the Master does not tarry, and with His twelve disciples, surrounded by an awestruck, wondering crowd, He proceeds toward the Holy City. We are now coming to Christ's entry into Jerusalem, to the miracles He performs there, and His final sad departure, as, crowned with thorns He is led to Calvary. You will remember that He has not visited Jerusalem since as a boy He was brought to the Feast of the Passover by Joseph and Mary, and after being lost for three days was found by them, preaching to the wise men in the Temple. But Jesus' heart had always hungered for the Holy City, and He had longed for the time to come when He might go thither and expound His teachings to His people. Heretofore His work has been among the people of Galilee, Judea and the surrounding countries. About Him He has gathered the twelve chosen Disciples, has performed His miracles, and taught the word of the Gospel to vast multitudes who have accepted Him and what He has told them. And now the time has come for Him to go into Jerusalem. Already the word has gone before, and the people are expecting this Prophet of Nazareth and Galilee. So with His disciples and followed by the multitude, He prepares to enter within the walls.
Christ's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
Here we have the gateway of the city. The usual merchants are about, vending their wares. Now there arrives one of the disturbers who are so much a part of the life of Jerusalem. The subject of his harangue is this new "King of the Jews," who is on his way thither. The populace picture a king clad in royal raiment, and surrounded by a vast army, coming to take possession of the city as its ruler. Their anger against Him gives way to astonishment as, seated on an ass, and surrounded only by a joyous multitude singing hosannas and hymns of praise, and casting before His pathway their cloaks and robes and garlands of flowers, He enters His beloved city. They, too, join the throng that follows Him to the Temple.
Christ Drives the Money Changers from the Temple Steps
This is the magnificent temple built by King Herod, it is still the place of worship, but the steps have become a common market place, and desecrated by merchants. See them vending their wares in the holiest of places, wrangling and quarreling and driving their bargains. Here is an Arabia, seated on his camel. He joins in the bartering. Even the shepherds drive their goats through the archways. Now the High Priest appears, and all bow in reverence as he bestows his blessing, then back again to their barterings. Christ and His disciples, intent upon worship at the Temple, enter upon the scene. At sight of such desecration of the Temple, He is horror-stricken. In anger, He turns to the disciples, and at His word they spring to rout the intruders, overturning their wares and causing wild confusion. Christ Himself seizes a lash and whips from the steps, they flying in terror before the blows and His righteous anger.
Christ and Mary Magdala
"Let him among you who is without sin, cast the first stone." Christ has gathered about Him a throng, and is teaching to them in the simple language they best understand. All are listening eagerly to the words as they fall from His lips. They have caught the attention also, of a poor fallen woman, one of those creatures most despised and looked down upon in the city. Indeed, the sight of her is apt to provoke violence. But she forgets her danger in listening to the Nazarene, words that seem to breathe salvation even to her. Nearer and nearer she comes, drawn by His voice, and then, in a paroxysm of shame and grief, she throws herself at His feet. Many in the crowd see her, and, angered that one so lowly dare look upon the Master, raise clubs and stones to hurl at her. She in terror grovels in the dust at His feet, but Christ, with hand upheld to stop them, speaks: "Let him among you who is without sin cast the first stone." Slowly hands come down, and gently the Master raises the lowly one, asking the Father to forgive her, and tells her to "Go, and sin no more." See the hesitant look on her face as, scarce able to believe that all that her sins are forgiven her, she kisses the hem of His garment, and then, face uplifted with new hope, she departs "to sin no more."
Christ Raises the Widow's Son
Here we have another one of the many gateways of Jerusalem, and, wending its way towards that is a funeral train. The only son of a poor widow on his way to his last resting place. The mother, bowed with grief, is being comforted by friends. Christ, approaching with His disciples, pauses an instant, and, moved by some impulse, draws back the covering from the dead boy's face. Something in the quiet, dead features holds Him, and He gazes long and earnestly. Now the mother raises her face, a struggling hope lighting it. This is the Nazarene, the One who restores the sight of the blind and the health of the sick. Perhaps His power is so great He may even give her back her son. She appeals to Him and He gives heed. A deep stillness falls upon the crowd and all await breathlessly the result of the Master's prayer. We see! As He raises the wasted body, the blood courses once more through his veins; the boy moves and looks wonderingly about, then with a glad cry, the mother folds him to her heart, and both raise their hands in gratitude to the One who has brought the miracle.
Christ on His Way to Calvary
The final sentence has been passed by Pilate; Christ is condemned to be crucified. Along this road they will pass on their way to the crucifixion. And thither Mary, His mother, has come to take her farewell of her son. With her are Mary Magdala and His best beloved disciple, John. Staggering under the weight of the cross, on His head the crown of thorns, and about Him the hooting, jeering mob, she sees Him for the last time. Now, unable to go farther, He clasps her in His arms, then gives her into the keeping of John. Now Mary Magdala kneels before Him, kissing the hem of His robe, and he bestows on her a final blessing. But the mob has grown impatient; angrily the guards order Him on, and with a prayer for strength, the Saviour again takes up the burden of the cross and drags His faltering feet to Calvary.
Jerusalem the Wicked: A.D. 65.
Jerusalem the Wicked: A.D. 65.
The Court of Cestius
Here we have the court of Cestius, the Procurator, appointed by Rome to rule over Jerusalem. Under his rule the city, always wicked, has grown even more so. Depravity rules the court, where licentiousness and riotous living prevail to an appalling degree. Cestius is upon his throne, surrounded by his favorite courtiers. The feast is over, and all are now feeling the effects of the wine. At his call, his favorite slave appears with a great goblet, and he bids her call his dancers. So she does. But her royal master is still unsatisfied; she must dance for him and his companions. Greedily he watches her as she sways back and forth in the sensuous dance. Drawn by the dark beauty and grace, he approaches nearer and nearer and as she spins round in the final steps, catches her in his arms and presses mad kisses upon her red lips, amid the plaudits of the company.
Invasion of Jerusalem by Titus, A.D. 70
Always a bone of contention with Rome, Jerusalem was consequently the seat of many invasions by that country. Sometimes repulsing, more often capitulating, she was never at peace, never sure of her safety. Until this year, however, she had remained a City Beautiful, clustering around her Temple and dearly beloved by her people. But a terrible change was coming; her doom was sealed. In this year A.D. 70 Titus, sent by Rome, led an invasion against her, which was destined to lay low her beautiful buildings, destroy her Temple, slay her inhabitants, and by a terrible spreading conflagration bring destruction upon the entire City. Now we have a view of the Gate of Joppa, through which the invaders break. Immediately intense excitement prevails; men clamber up and down the walls; chariots dash by with their excited drivers, the inhabitants, from Jewish merchant to staid senator, casting aside all fear, pluck weapons from the hands of falling soldiers, and take up the defense of the city. The women run shrieking and terror-stricken to remote places, well knowing the fate, worse than death that awaits them. Now flames are seen breaking through the carnage, and boiling oil, thrown by the enemy's machines, is scattered to add to the general destruction. As the flames gain in headway, the Jews know all is over. To the last man, they fight however, but it is all in vain the enemy is too strong, the flames impossible to check. The Romans are the victors. Before many hours all that will be left of the once beautiful city will be a mass of ruins and a heap of dead bodies. Jerusalem the beautiful, Jerusalem the city beloved of our Savior, will have passed from the face of the earth. In time to come, another city will be reared on its site, but the Jerusalem of Christ is gone forever.