B. Christianity is based off the teachings of Jesus Christ, a Jew who lived about 2000 years ago in what we now call Israel. Jesus taught his followers to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
C. The Jews were looking for a messiah, or deliverer to restore their kingdom.
D. Some viewed Jesus as this “ messiah. ” Some did not.
E. Jesus used parables to give his messages. Parables are stories that use events from everyday life to express spiritual ideas. 1. The Prodigal Son 2. The Good Samaritan
F. Leaders in Jerusalem charged Jesus with treason and crucified him.
G. Jesus ’ followers believed in Jesus ’ resurrection, or rising from the dead. This belief led to the start of the religion, Christianity.
H. Some years after Jesus died, Christians combined the stories of the life and wisdom of Jesus into four books known as the Gospels. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) Gospel means “ good news. ”
Volunteer to read The holy book of Christianity is known as the Bible and has two parts. The Old Testament consists of the sacred writings of the Jewish people, and was written mostly in Hebrew long before Jesus. The New Testament of the Bible includes the Gospels, along with letters by Christian writers. The Bible has been translated into more than 1,500 languages and has been read by more people than any other book.
III. Early Christians A. Christians believed differently than Jews. Christians believed and still believe that Jesus is the Son of God who came to save people. They also believe people can gain salvation, or be saved from sin and allowed to enter heaven, by accepting Jesus.
B. Many Christians believe in the Trinity, or one God who exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
C. Life was not easy for early Christians. Roman officials felt threatened by Christians and began to persecute, or mistreat, them in A.D. 64.
D. Many Christians became martyrs, people who are willing to die rather than give up their beliefs.
E. Nero even accused the Christians of starting the fire that burned much of Rome. Christianity was illegal for a time in Rome, and many Christians were killed.
F. Even though they continued to face persecution, Christians continued to spread their message of hope to the world. Finally, in 312 A.D., the Roman emperor Constantine accepted Christianity.