John Mccarthy's Bible Journey

A series in which former Beirut hostage John Mccarthy returns to the Middle East in a bid to make sense of the Bible, which he read cover to cover - twice - after his Muslim captors gave him a copy during his captivity.

The repeat was presented as one 12ep series.


0101In The Beginning1999112920000515
0102The Wilderness Years1999120620000522

During his captivity, McCarthy first read the story of Moses.

Now he goes in search of the truth and meaning behind Exodus.

Having been to the mountain top and the Sinai Desert, he gains surprising insights from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and from Hollywood's Moses - Charlton Heston

0103It Ain't Necessarily So1999121320000529

Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, and the walls came tumbling down...

McCarthy searches for the truth and meaning behind the Bible stories of ancient Israel, visiting the sites and sifting the evidence.

0104The Prophet Margins1999122020000605

This week, McCarthy asks Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Hanan Ashrawi and Bill Clinton's spiritual guru Tony Campolo: where are the prophets of today who, like the biblical prophets, might fearlessly call on mighty and the lowly alike to face up to their moral duty?

0105Who Do You Say That I Am?1999122720000612

Two days after Christ's supposed 2,000th birthday, McCarthy visits the places where he lived and died, in search of the real Jesus.

Did the Gospel writers faithfully preserve his message or embellish it with their own views?

0106 LASTThe Road To Damascus2000010320000619

McCarthy returns to Damascus, scene not only of St Paul's conversion but also of his own release from captivity eight years ago.

He shares a moment of revelation in a prison cell and compares notes with the Book of Revelation.


A second series of six programmes continuing John Mccarthy's bid to deepen his understanding of the Bible.

This series looks at the different ways the Bible has been read, from the earliest manuscripts to the latest websites.

1: How each version tells an intriguing story about the people who made or owned it.

0202Blessed Are The Poor2000021420000925

McCarthy travels to El Salvador, where the Bible's message of liberation for the oppressed inspired the martyrdom in 1980 of Archbishop Romero.

In a world of rich and poor he asks, `Whose side is God on?'.

0203War And Peace2000022120001002

McCarthy was held hostage in a conflict involving Jews, Muslims and Christians.

He questions the tensions and violence found in the the religions of Abraham and searches for a God of peace with the help of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Prince Hassan of Jordan and Lea Rabin.

0204The Tree Of Knowledge2000022820001009

Is there conflict or compromise between the world of science and the Bible? McCarthy looks at Genesis to see whether the Bible's view of God has survived the age of reason.

He then examines the future of faith in an age of technology.

0205All About Eve2000030620001016

Religion and sex were never easy bedfellows, but the Bible is particularly ambivalent about matters of the flesh.

From Eve to Mary, New Age feminism to old-fashioned manliness, McCarthy discovers a confusing array of ideas, images and influences.

0206 LASTLoose Ends2000031320001023

John Mccarthy ends his series exploring different interpretations of the Bible by attempting some conclusions from the diverse people and beliefs he has met along the way.

He also reflects on his own spiritual journey.