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A photograph of a wooden cross with a crown of thorns

Survey suggests Brits don't know Jesus

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Could it be that the little we know about Jesus Christ is wrong? Research released today by HISTORY suggests Britain is confused when it comes to the story of Jesus, with many Brits failing to correctly identify the common beliefs about the historical figure.

One-fifth of Brits do not believe Jesus was born on Christmas Day, while another one in five are unable to name Jesus’ most loyal followers nor did they know he had 12 disciples.

The poll was commissioned alongside the UK premiere of Robert Powell on the Real Jesus of Nazareth a brand-new documentary that challenges perceptions of Jesus and aims to find out more about the life of Jesus Christ. The four-part series follows actor Robert Powell, famous for his portrayal of Christ in the 1977 Franco Zeffirelli produced-miniseries Jesus of Nazareth, as he travels through the Holy Land looking for answers.

One common myth believed by almost three-quarters of the nation (73%) is that Jesus was a carpenter. However, experts featured in the TV series believe it is much more likely that he would have worked as a stonemason.

Claire Pfann an archaeologist interviewed in Robert Powell on the Real Jesus of Nazareth says, “We know that Jesus and Joseph were builders, the Greek word Tektōn means builder, but it doesn’t specify the material used. As we do archaeology in the holy land we see that wood is used very slightly. The primary building material was stone and when we look at the images from Jesus’ teachings we hear about buildings made from stone, not wood.” It appears that this widely held belief is wrong.

Other discoveries from the series include:

  1. Jesus is more likely to have worked as a stonemason than a carpenter.
  2. Jesus’ mother is likely to have been a teenager when she had Jesus
  3. Despite some believing Jesus to have been a vegan, it’s believed he would have eaten meat
  4. In addition to Hebrew, Jesus is said to have spoken Greek