5 Jesus of NazarethMost of what we know about Jesus of Nazareth comes from the Gospels.Born in Bethlehem around 6-4 B.C.E. and raised in village of Nazareth.Began his public ministry at 30.
6 As he traveled, he gathered a small groups of disciples and from these people he chose 12 to help him preach.He preformed miracles and his teachings contained ideas from Judaism.He emphasized God’s personal relationship to each human and the importance of peoples’ love for God and others.
7 Jesus’ DeathAround 29 C.E. in Jerusalem, large crowds greeted Jesus as the Messiah.The Chief Priests of the Jews denied this and said his teachings were blasphemy.Roman Governor Pontius Pilate accused Jesus of defying the authority of Rome and sentenced him to be crucified.
8 The Spread of Christianity Jesus’ followers continued to spread his teachings.His teachings didn’t contradict traditional Jewish law and his first followers were Jews.But soon his followers created a new religion based on his teachings.The new religion spread slowly but steadily.
9 Paul’s Mission Paul greatly influenced Christianity. From C.E. he traveled around the eastern Mediterranean world spreading Jesus’ teachings.His letters or Epistles are important because in them he wrote about how Jesus was a universal savior and that Christianity should accept all converts.
11 Persecution of Christians At first Rome saw Christianity as a Jewish sect but later they realized the difference.The Romans outlawed Christianity and they seized Christian property and executed many.Emperors would also use them as scapegoats and many became martyrs.
13 The Success of Christianity The position of the Christian Church improved under Constantine.312-Constantine wins the battle at Milvian Bridge and credits the Christian God.Edict of Milan380-Theodosius banned pagan worship and made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.
15 Church OrganizationAt first Christians didn’t need an organized church but later they would develop one.Priests conducted services and performed marriages and baptisms.Bishops were above priests and were considered the successors of the Apostles and headed the church in each city.
16 Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem became important administrative centers. The bishops of these cities were called patriarchs and over time the patriarch of Rome assumed the title of Pope and claimed supremacy over the others.
17 Church councils also played an important role. 325-the council at Nicaea established the basic beliefs of the Church.Christianity would continue to grow but the Roman Empire began to weaken.