Presentation on theme: "The Rise of Christianity Christ, the Church, and the Victory of Monotheism in the Roman Empire, c. A.D. 30-410."— Presentation transcript:
The Rise of Christianity Christ, the Church, and the Victory of Monotheism in the Roman Empire, c. A.D. 30-410
Jesus of Nazareth Born in the time of Augustus Caesar in the Roman province of Judaea Jewish carpenter and preacher Preached a message of salvation, peace, and the coming of God’s kingdom, as related in the Gospels (first four books of the New Testament) Gathered twelve disciples (later known as apostles) who shared in his ministry Claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God, foretold by prophets in the Old Testament Charged with blasphemy by Jewish leaders and crucified by order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea, on “Good Friday” Jesus’ followers claimed that he rose from the tomb on the following Sunday (Easter), announcing victory over sin and death, and later ascended to heaven, promising to return in glory
The Apostolic Church The New Testament traces the rise of the early Christian church under the leadership of the apostles, especially Peter and Paul Consisted of Jews who accepted Jesus as the Christ (Messiah), as well as Gentiles Paul’s missionary journeys spread the Gospel message beyond Judaea to Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome itself by A.D. 60 Early churches were based on the equality of all believers, no matter what their ethnicity or social class Based on the video clip, why was St. Paul such an important influence in the early history of the Christian church? St. Paul (above left) wrote many epistles to the early churches; St. Peter (above right) was the first leader of the early church
Roman Persecution of Christians and Jews Early Christians raised concerns among Roman authorities because of their refusal to worship the emperor and their belief in Christ as the “king of kings” who would return to rule Emperor Nero persecuted the early church leaders and blamed the fire of Rome (A.D. 64) on the Christians Persecutions forced the church to go underground (quite literally in the case of the Roman Catacombs) Meanwhile, Jewish Zealots rebelled against Roman control of Judaea, resulting in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and Herod’s Temple in A.D. 70 A failed revolt in A.D. 132 led to the Diaspora of the Jews to all parts of the Roman Empire Christian martyrs in the arena (right); Catacombs tombs and worship site (far right)
The Spread of Christianity Despite intense persecution, Christianity continued to spread during the second and centuries - Why did it appeal to so many people despite the obvious risks?
The Triumph of Christianity In A.D. 312, Constantine the Great defeated his last rival at the Battle of Milvian Bridge and became sole Roman emperor Based on his vision of a heavenly cross before the battle (“In this sign, conquer”) and his success, Constantine legalized Christianity with the Edict of Milan (A.D. 313) He founded his new capital at Byzantium (renamed Constantinople) In A.D. 325, the Council of Nicaea established basic Christian doctrine, codified the New Testament, and sought to eliminate heresy By A.D. 380, Emperor Theodosius outlawed polytheistic (pagan) worship
St. Augustine’s Worldview Separation of Church & State City of God Eternal Ruled by God’s perfect authority Motivated by desire to obey God’s will Real City: Jerusalem Ruler: Christ Institution: Church City of Man Mortal Ruled by man’s imperfect authority Motivated by love of power and riches Real City: Rome Ruler: Caesar Institution: State