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The Rise of Christianity. Chapter 6 Unit 3 Notes. The Rise of Christianity. Main Idea RELIGIOUS AND ETHICAL SYSTEMS: Christianity rose in Rome occupied Judea and spread through the Empire Why Now? Christianity has over a billion followers TERMS:

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The Rise of Christianity

Chapter 6 Unit 3


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The Rise of Christianity

  • Main Idea

    • RELIGIOUS AND ETHICAL SYSTEMS: Christianity rose in Rome occupied Judea and spread through the Empire

  • Why Now?

    • Christianity has over a billion followers

  • TERMS:

    • Jesus, Apostle, Paul, Diaspora, Constantine, bishop, Peter, and pope

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The Rise of Christianity

  • Setting the Stage:

    • Roman gods were worshipped in an impersonal way and without emotion

    • Christianity developed out of a movement in Judaism, emphasized personal relationships with God and people

      • Attracted Romans

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The Life and Teaching of Jesus

  • 63 BC Judea under Roman control, maintained independence till AD 6 = province of the empire

  • Jews believed that a Messiah (savior) would arrive and restore the Kingdom of the Jews

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The Life and Teachings of Jesus

Jesus of Nazareth

  • Between 6-4 BC a Jew names Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Judea

  • Raised in Nazareth (N. of Palestine)

  • Baptized by John the Baptist and became a carpenter

  • 30 began public ministry

    • 3 years taught, did good deeds, and performed miracles

    • Monotheism

    • 10 Commandments

    • Emphasized personal relationship with God

    • Love (for ALL, even enemies)

    • Reward of eternal kingdom after death for those who repent

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The Life and Teachings of Jesus

A Growing Movement

  • Main source of information is from the Gospels

  • Apostles: Jesus’ disciples (pupils) wrote the Gospels

  • Message appealed to poor (Jesus ignored wealth and social status)

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The Life and Teachings of Jesus

Jesus’ Death

  • His popularity concerned Roman leaders

  • AD 29 he was greeted as a King (Messiah) in Jerusalem

    • Chief Jewish priests denied he was the Messiah and said his teachings were blasphemy

  • Roman Governor Pontius Pilate accused him of defying the authority of Rome

    • Arrested and crucified

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The Life and Teachings of Jesus

Jesus’ Death con’t….

  • Placed body in tomb - according to Gospels his body was gone after 3 days and he started appearing to his followers

    • Then he ascended into heaven

  • Ascension made his followers believe he was the Messiah

    • Jesus Christ (Christos, Greek for “messiah” and “savior”) derives Christianity

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Christianity Spreads Through the Empire

  • Followers continued to spread beliefs about Jesus

  • Teachings were based on Jewish traditions BUT soon began to create a new religion

    • Christianity spread slowly but steadily

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Christianity Spreads Through the Empire

Paul’s Mission

  • Apostle, didn’t follow Jesus, but had a vision of Christ and then devoted his life to Christ’s teachings

  • Pax Romana allowed ideas to spread safely

    • Common language - Latin and Greek

    • Paul wrote Epistles (Letters) to believers

      • Stressed Jesus as son of God who died for our sins

      • Welcomed converts Jews or Gentiles (non-Jews)

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Christianity Spreads Through the Empire

Jewish Rebellion

  • In 66 a group of Jews revolted against Rome

  • In 70 Rome stormed and destroyed the temple

    • All that is left is the western wall (today the holy shrine of the Jews)

    • 1/2 million Jews were killed in the rebellion

  • 132 tried again to break free from Rome

    • 1/2 million died again

    • Religion survived but Jews were driven from homeland in what is known as the Diaspora.

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Christianity Spreads Through the Empire

Persecution of the Christians

  • Christians refused to worship Roman Gods\

    • Rome saw as an opposition

      • Also used to scapegoat political and economic problems

  • Conclusion of the Pax Romana persecution intensified

    • Made martyrs (person who sacrifices life for beliefs) for Christianity

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A World Religion

  • Late 3rd c. million Christians in Roman Empire

  • Christianity grew because:

    • Embraced all people

    • Hope to powerless

    • Appealed to people who didn’t like extravagance of Rome

    • Personal relationship with God

    • Promised eternal life after death

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A World Religion

Constantine Accepts Christianity

  • 312 emperor Constantine was fighting in a battle and he prayed for divine help

    • Saw a cross in the sky (symbol of Christianity)

    • Ordered his men to put crosses on their shields and they WON

    • Credited his success to the Christian God

  • 313 ended the persecution of the Christians

    • Edict of Milan: declared Christianity to be one of the approved religions of the empire

  • 380 Theodosius made it the official religion

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A World Religion

Early Christian Church

  • Hierarchy: organized in ranks in an order where the levels are subject to authority of levels above

    • Local level: priests

    • Bishops: supervise priests and local churches

      • Peter was the 1st bishop “rock” on which to build the church

    • Pope: father (head) of church, is the bishop of Rome = should be the leader of the entire church

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A World Religion

A Single Voice

  • As Christianity grew disagreements grew

    • New Testament: official standard beliefs

      • Added Hebrew bible, Christians call it the Old Testament

  • 325 Constantine called a meeting in Nicaea, Anatolia = Nicene Creed or basic beliefs of the Church

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A World Religion

The Fathers of the Church

  • Augustine, bishop in Hippo, N. Africa

    • People needed the grace of God to be saved

    • Had to received Sacraments to belong to the Church and achieve grace (salvation)

    • The City of God written after the fall of Rome, fate of Rome not important because God’s city could never be destroyed

  • Meanwhile Rome was crumbling….

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  • Christianity

  • belief that Jesus is Messiah

  • Acceptance of Gentiles and Jews alike

  • BOTH

  • Belief in one God

  • 10 Commandments

  • Jewish

  • Belief that Jews are the chosen people

  • Adherence to Jewish laws

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What is Judaism

  • First religion to teach the existence of one god

  • The Torah (5 books of Hebrew Bible)

  • 3 sects of Judaism: (split happened in 19th c. over intepretation of the Torah)

    • Reform: Tried to adapt to western world

    • Orthodox: Follow dietary (kosher) laws and follow Torah literally

      • Kosher Laws:

        • “beast of earth” that chew cub and have cloven hooves

        • Fish must have fins and scales

        • All fruits and vegetables are kosher (excluding grapes) unless there is a bug on it

    • Conservative: Tries to balance the Reform and the Orthodox Jews

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What is Christianity?

  • Belief that Jesus is the son of God

  • It is based on the life and teaching of Jesus

  • Largest world religion - 2 billion followers

  • Christianity can be broken into 3 groups:

    • Roman Catholic

    • Protestant (Lutheran, Episcopal, Mormon, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist)

    • Eastern Orthodox