The First Christianity

Image for The First ChristianityNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Episode 1 of 6

Duration: 1 hour

When Diarmaid MacCulloch was a small boy, his parents used to drive him round historic churches. Little did they know that they had created a monster, with the history of the Christian Church becoming his life's work.

In a series sweeping across four continents, Professor MacCulloch goes in search of Christianity's forgotten origins. He overturns the familiar story that it all began when the apostle Paul took Christianity from Jerusalem to Rome. Instead, he shows that the true origins of Christianity lie further east, and that at one point it was poised to triumph in Asia, maybe even in China.

The headquarters of Christianity might well have been Baghdad not Rome, and if that had happened then Western Christianity would have been very different.

  • Photo: Diarmaid MacCulloch and the head of the Syriac Orthodox church

    Photo: Diarmaid MacCulloch and the head of the Syriac Orthodox church

    Searching for the origins of Christianity, Diamaid MacCulloch visits the head of the Syriac Orthodox church, His Holiness Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East.


Diarmaid MacCulloch
Gillian Bancroft
Gillian Bancroft
Executive Producer
Jean-Claude Bragard


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