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The Christian Church.

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Presentation on theme: "The Christian Church."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Christian Church

2 Reasons for Growth of Christianity
Reading Strategy, p. 190 Reasons for Growth of Christianity Peace & order of Rome Message gave meaning to people’s lives Ideas of Christianity were familiar Gave people the chance to be part of a caring group

3 A Growing Faith Christianity spread throughout Rome
Christianity became popular for several reasons Gave meaning to people’s lives It appealed to the lower classes because it offered them hope The ideals of Christianity were similar to what the people already believed and Gave people the chance to be part of a caring group* Roman officials began to feel threatened by Christians *Christianity won many followers and eventually became the official religion of the Roman Empire. Christians worshiped together and helped one another. Roman government began to see the Christians as a threat to the government and wanted them to worship the emperor as a god. The Christians, nor the Jews, wanted to do this.

4 How did Christians Treat Christians?
The Romans began to persecute, or mistreat or treat someone badly, the Christians in A.D. 64.* (TTK, p.191) Martyrs are people willing to die rather than give up their beliefs. (TTK, p.191) Christians buried their dead in catacombs because of their beliefs *At this time, the emperor Nero accused Christians of starting a terrible fire that burned much of Rome. Remember Nero? He was the emperor who was famous for having fiddled while Rome burned…Christianity was made illegal, and many Christians were killed. Despite the problems, Christianity spread and drew people from all different classes. After 250 AD, many Romans grew tired of war and actually began admiring the Christians for their faith and courage. At the same time, many Christians started to accept the empire.

5 Catacombs Christians believed in resurrection, the idea that the body would one day reunite with the soul. For this reason, they would not allow their dead bodies to be burned, which was Roman custom. Also, Roman law did not allow bodies to be buried aboveground. Therefore, starting in the AD 100s, Christians buried their dead beneath the city of Rome in a series of dark, cold, stenchfilled tunnels called catacombs. Each tunnel was about 8 ft high and less than 3 feet wide. Bodies were stacked in slots along the sides of the tunnels. The catacomb walls were painted with images from the Bible or from Greek or Roman mythology. More than 5 million bodies were buried under Roman streets and buildings. Many of the Christians buried there were martyrs who had been killed for their beliefs.

6 Rome Adopts Christianity
*The Roman general, Constantine became emperor in A.D. 312 and accepted Christianity*(PTM,p.191) “In this sign, you will conquer” – flaming cross in the sky Battle of the Milvian Bridge The Edict of Milan in A.D. 313 gave religious freedom to all people and made Christianity legal. *Diocletian carried out the last great persecution of Christians. He failed, and Roman officials *Remember the bridges activity you did with Mrs. Gowland? Well, this is the bridge that she talked to you guys about – the Milvian Bridge. At this bridge, Constantine led his troops to victory after his conversion to Christianity. In 312, Constantine I defeated his stronger rival Maxentius in the famous Battle of Milvian Bridge.

7 Rome Adopts Christianity
Helena, Constantine’s mother, helped build churches in Rome and Jerusalem (TTK, p.191) Theodosius, the emperor after Constantine, made Christianity the official religion of Rome in A.D. 392 (PTM, p.191) Theodosius also outlawed other religions

8 The Early Church Organizing the Church
Loosely organized, but each separate group was part of one body called the church Early Christians turned to the Roman Empire to help them get organized The Church came to be ruled by a hierarchy, which is an organization with different levels of authority (TTK, p.193)

9 Early Church Hierarchy Scanning, p. 192
Pope Patriarchs Archbishops Bishops Priests Laity

10 Sum It Up, p. 192 Why did the Romans see Christians as traitors?
They would not honor the emperor as a god. They criticized Roman festivals and games. They also refused to serve in the army or hold public office

11 Early Church Organizing the church
Church leaders were the clergy (TTK, p.193) Later, clergy were called priests. Several churches grouped together form a diocese, which was led by a bishop. An archbishop was a bishop in charge of an entire region. The five leading archbishops were known as patriarchs. The laity were regular church members (TTK,p.193) A hierarchy is a group of people with different levels of power or authority (TTK, p.193)

12 Early Church organizing the church
Doctrine is official church teaching (TTK, p.193) *Jesus’ followers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, left a written record of his teachings Each of the apostles’ works is called a gospel, and all four gospels together are part of the New Testament of the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (TTK,p.193) *Along with explaining Christian ideas, church leaders preserved a written record of the life of Jesus and put together a group of writings to help guid Christians. Jesus himself left no writings. RETURN TO POWERPOINT *The Gospel means “good news”.

13 Early Church organizing the church
Scholars known as Church Fathers wrote books to explain church teachings. St Augustine was a bishop in North Africa who defended Christianity in his book The City of God.* He recorded his life in AD 401 in the book Confessions. *He spent 15 years writing the City of God, which was a 22 volume work. He talked about how traditional Roman gods were powerless to save Rome from the barbarian attack in AD 410. In the remaining books, he described the history of humankind from its beginnings until the Last Judgment. Augustine believed that Christians were most importantly citizens of the City of God, which was the heavenly Jerusalem. Although life in the City of Man (here on Earth) was filled with disasters and disappointment, Augustine held out hope for a better life in the hereafter. His teaching that life in this world should be focused on reaching the City of God and peace in the next life was important for almost 1000 years.

14 Early Church Who is the Pope?
The pope was the bishop of Rome Gradually the pope claimed power over other bishops. The Latin-speaking churches in the West that were led by the pope became the Roman Catholic Church.

15 Sum it up, p. 193 What are the Gospels, and why are they significant?
The Gospels are four accounts of Jesus’ life written by early followers named Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They are the only written records of Jesus’ life and form part of the New Testament.

16 Section Wrap Up, p. 194 How did Christianity become the official religion of the Roman Empire? Constantine became a Christian after seeing a vision. He made Christianity legal. Then, his successor, Theodosius made Christianity Rome’s official language.

17 Section Wrap Up, p. 194 How was the early Christian Church organized?
It was organized in a hierarchy. Levels included the pope at the top, followed by patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, priests, and then the laity.

18 REVIEW What were the duties of a bishop?
Bishops explained Christian beliefs, took care of church business, and met with other bishops to discuss questions and make decisions about Christianity. What is a martyr? A martyr is a person willing to die rather than give up his or her beliefs

19 Review What writings are included in the New Testament of the Bible? The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, plus the writings of Paul and other early Christian leaders Following Jesus’ death, why was Christianity able to attract followers? Christianity offered hope and comfort. It appealed to the emotions and promised life after death. It gave people the chance to be part of a caring group.

20 REVIEW Few people knew how to read during the time discussed in this section. Discuss why missionaries were, therefore, important for the spread of Christianity.

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