Presentation on theme: "Rise and Spread of Christianity. MAIN IDEAS Christianity built upon the Jewish belief in one God and the concept of a Messiah. The disciples of Jesus."— Presentation transcript:
Rise and Spread of Christianity
MAIN IDEAS Christianity built upon the Jewish belief in one God and the concept of a Messiah. The disciples of Jesus came to believe that he was the Messiah. According to the Gospels, Jesus was executed but rose from the dead. Christians believe that this makes freedom from sin and death possible for everyone.
Christianity emerged at a time of widespread unrest in the Roman province of Judaea (Palestine). Christianity is based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth Christ comes from the Greek word “christos” which means “messiah” or “anointed one”
Christianity’s Jewish Roots
Looking for a Messiah Christianity grew from Judaism and ideas of Jesus—a Jewish teacher Romans conquered Jewish kingdom of Judah (Judea) in 63 B.C. –Jewish kings had to be approved by Rome Many Jews sought freedom from foreign rulers Sacred writings promised a Messiah who would free them –Some believed the ruler would be descended from King David
The Life of Jesus
Birth and Early Life There are few written historical accounts of Christianity's early history. What we know comes from the writings of disciples (followers) – Gospels—accounts of Jesus’ life by Matthew, Mark, Luke, John –Writings are called Gospels (good news) Gospels—accounts of Jesus’ life by Matthew, Mark, Luke, John Along with other writings, they make up New Testament
Gospels say Jesus was born in Bethlehem –raised in Nazareth by Mary and by Joseph, a carpenter –Christians later celebrated his birth on Christmas
The Teachings of Jesus Jesus preached justice, compassion, coming of God’s kingdom –delivered teachings in parables—stories with morals –asked people to love and pray for enemies; to live simply, humbly Some Jewish leaders angered by Jesus’ teachings –were upset that some followers claimed Jesus was the Messiah
The Death of Jesus
Arrest and Trial The claim that Jesus was the Messiah was a threat to Roman rulers –power, authority of Roman rulers was questioned –followers called Jesus “king” when he came to Jerusalem During Passover, Jesus criticized running of Jerusalem Temple –Jewish leaders appointed by Rome arrested Jesus –turned him over to Romans for punishment
The Story of the Resurrection Jesus was executed by Roman governor Pontius Pilate –executed by crucifixion—hanging on cross until suffocated –buried in tomb with stone blocking entrance Gospels say that the third day after death, followers went to tomb –tomb was empty; some followers say Jesus walked, talked with them Account of resurrection proved to followers that Jesus was divine –Resurrection—return to life –Followers believed Jesus gave life to create new world –in new world sin and death are defeated Christians believe crucifixion was on Good Friday –Resurrection was on Easter Sunday
The Resurrection The apostles belief in the physical resurrection of Jesus was the foundation of a church to promote his teachings. The message of the apostle Peter’s first sermon was that Jesus had died and risen to be with Yahweh and that baptism marked the adherence of those who accepted his resurrection.
REVIEW QUESTION What event made Jesus’ followers believe their leader was divine?
The Early Christians & The New Faith Romans followed a number of religions and also allowed a great deal of freedom to other religions. Jews and Christians began to disagree on religious grounds, and Christianity slowly became a separate religion. Jews and early Christians shared the same basic beliefs, but differed on the idea of the messiah. At first, Christians concentrated on trying to convert other Jews. After serious debate, the early Christians decided to preach Christianity to the Gentiles.
Christianity might have remained a purely Jewish sect had it not been for Saul of Tarsus
St. Paul: Apostle to the Gentiles
Paul of Tarsus a Jewish Roman citizen converted to Christianity and took the name Paul made three long journeys throughout Asia Minor and along the coast of the Aegean to spread Christianity and establish Christian communities.
The Works of Paul Paul's Roman citizenship, the good roads, and listeners open to new ideas helped Paul spread Christianity in the Greek-speaking world. Emphasized that Christianity was not just a sect of Judaism
The Works of Paul Taught that Jesus, by his death and resurrection, had fulfilled the prophecy of Judaism and initiated a new age. Taught that Jesus was the son of God, the giver of a new law, and preached that Jesus’ teachings were open to all
The Works of Paul Made a significant break with Judaism –Seek converts According to tradition, while in Rome, Paul preached and taught for two years before being executed.
Rome's Early Response At first the Romans paid little attention to the Christians. Some Romans were quite suspicious of Christians, and Nero blamed them for starting a major fire that destroyed much of Rome. Although by A.D. 100 there was a law condemning admitted Christians to death, it was seldom enforced.
PERSECUTION Great persecutions of Christians began in 3 rd century AD Christian intolerance of pagan beliefs bred powerful retaliatory hatred of Christians –Accused Christians of cannibalism, atheism, and of being haters of mankind –Charged with being sneaky and with dishonoring the emperor –Also blamed with all the evils that afflicted the state
The Attack on Christianity In A.D. 250 Emperor Decius ordered the execution of all Christians who refused to worship the Roman gods. Up until A.D. 311, Christians suffered two more waves of persecution under two different emperors. Roman mobs destroyed Christian churches and sacred books. Christians were fired from jobs, forced to leave the army, attacked, and killed.
REVERSAL OF FORTUNE In the end, the persecutions did not succeed in eliminating Christianity –Too many Christians protected each other –Persecutions also created martyrs who inspired others –Came to an end with death of Galerius and then Constantine officially protected them Constantine credited with being the first Christian emperor Constantine
Constantine Leading his army into battle when he saw a blazing cross in the sky. Beneath were the words: In Hoc Signo Vinces
“In this sign, conquer”
Constantine Placed himself and his army under the protection of the Christian God After his victory, he declared himself a Christian and supported Christianity throughout the empire. Baptized on his deathbed in A.D. 337
Constantine and the growth of Christianity issues the Edict of Milan allowing for religious toleration made it legal for Christians to worship, gave money to the church, and became involved with church decision-making. gave Christianity the support of the Roman authorities, but also combined religion and government.
VICTORY Theodosius became emperor in 379 AD and proclaimed Christianity to be the official religion of the state –Christians immediately begin to persecute pagans Destroyed temples or converted them into churches –Church firmed up its organization and settled disputes with powerful intellectual strength
How did the Roman Empire help spread Christianity? During Pax Romana, missionaries traveled safely Roman Roads helped to spread quickly Constantine converted Constantine built churches in Rome and Jerusalem Religious freedom Christianity becomes official religion of the Roman Empire