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Chapter 1. Jesus Christ & the Founding of the Church. Part I. The Life of Jesus Christ. Jesus Born in Bethlehem in Judea Very few accounts of his childhood Adult Ministry Transformed the O.T. notion of justice. A new law based on love & grace.

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Jesus Christ & the Founding of the Church

Part i

Part I

The Life of Jesus Christ

Chapter 1

  • Jesus

    • Born in Bethlehem in Judea

    • Very few accounts of his childhood

    • Adult Ministry

      • Transformed the O.T. notion of justice.

      • A new law based on love & grace.

Chapter 1

  • Jesus’ teachings were brought to fulfillment through the example of Christ’s passion.

  • Jesus’ Resurrection showed victory over death, thereby calling every person to repentance and the fullness of being with the Father

The four gospels

The Four Gospels

  • Most of what is known about Christ’s life comes from the four canonical gospels (good news).

    • Each gospel shares the same subject with its own point of view & emphasis.

The four gospels1

The Four Gospels

  • The accounts of Jesus were first told orally as the apostles began to witness to His life, death and Resurrection.

  • But as the apostles and other eye witnesses began to die off, their memories had to be written down in order to preserve them.

The gospel writers

The Gospel Writers

  • Gospel of Mark: (65-70)

    • written for Gentile Christians, source document for Matthew and Luke, emphasizes Jesus’ suffering.

The gospel writers1

The Gospel Writers

  • Gospel of Matthew (80-100)

    • written for a Jewish and Gentile Christian community, emphasizes Jesus as Messiah and fulfillment of O.T. prophecies.

The gospel writers2

The Gospel Writers

  • The Gospel of Luke (c.85)

    • written for Gentile communities, emphasizes Jesus as universal savior.

The gospel writers3

The Gospel Writers

  • The Gospel of John (90-100)

    • emphasizes Jesus’ divinity, written by the “Johannine school”.

Part ii

Part II

Pentecost, The Birth of the Church



  • Fifty days after the Resurrection, the Apostles waited in Jerusalem for His promise of the Spirit.



  • The Father & the Son fulfilled that promise & sent the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity (Holy Spirit) to the apostles.

  • The Apostles began to preach to the multitude of pilgrims in Jerusalem.



  • “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)



  • 3,000 people were baptized that day

    • Pentecost is when Christianity began and is called the birthday of the Church.

Part iii

Part III



The church

The Church

  • Scripture teaches us that the Church is the Body of Christ & Temple of the Holy Spirit.

  • It is through the Church that God carries out his plan of salvation for all people.

The church1

The Church

3.The Church as 2 dimensions:

  • Visible, hierarchical institution

  • Spiritual, community with the healing & sanctifying power of God’s grace.

The marks of the church

The Marks of the Church

  • The Church is One

    • One God, one creed, and the pope as the supreme authority.

The marks of the church1

The Marks of the Church

  • The Church is Holy

    • Those who live by the Church’s teachings in their entirety become holy.

The marks of the church2

The Marks of the Church

  • The Church is Catholic

    • The word Catholic means “universal”

The marks of the church3

The Marks of the Church

  • The Church is Apostolic

    • Built upon the foundation of the Apostles

    • The hierarchy can be traced back to the Apostles.

Part iv

Part IV

The Apostles

Apostolic tradition

Apostolic Tradition

  • The word “apostle”

    • Greek word for one who is sent.

  • The apostles were the pillars of His Church & were sent to preach the Good News to all nations.

  • They were the first witnesses of Christ’s life, message & Resurrection.

Apostolic tradition1

Apostolic Tradition

  • The Apostles were the ultimate authority on the meaning of Christ’s message.

  • Upon completion of their earthly missions, they passed on priestly powers & mission to their successors through the office of bishop.

The first christians

The First Christians

  • The first Christians saw themselves as Jews who followed Jesus, the Jewish messiah’s way of life & teachings.

  • These Jewish Christians still practiced their Jewish religion.

The first martyr

The First Martyr

  • As the Church grew, it became clear that certain organizational steps needed to be taken to care for the material needs of its members.

  • The Apostles chose St. Stephen & six others to become the first deacons (pastoral ministers).

The first martyr1

The First Martyr

  • St. Stephen worked amongst the people working “great wonders & signs”

  • He was dragged before the Sanhedrin & accused of “speaking words against this holy place & the law”.

The first martyr2

The First Martyr

  • Stephen was stoned to death for his comments against the Sanhedrin.

  • His death marked the beginning of a severe persecution of the early Church.

St paul

St. Paul

  • St. Stephen’s stoning makes mention of a man named Saul who approved of Stephen’s death & held the coats of the executioners.

  • Saul was a pious Jew who learned under the renowned Pharisee Gamaliel.

  • Paul was also a Roman citizen

St paul s conversion

St. Paul’s Conversion

  • Damascus

    • Paul began persecuting Jewish Christians because he saw them as a danger to Judaism.

    • On his way to Damascus to arrest Jewish Christians he met the Risen Jesus.

St paul s conversion1

St. Paul’s Conversion

  • While in Damascus, Saul met a Christian disciple Ananias, who through the Lord’s instructions, helped Saul regain his sight.

  • Saul was immediately baptized & took his Roman name, Paul.

St paul s conversion2

St. Paul’s Conversion

  • After he was healed of blindness and baptized, Paul went to Arabia for about 3 years studying, praying and reflecting on his Damascus experience.

Gentile converts

Gentile Converts

  • Acceptance of Jesus of the Messiah did not sever the early Christians from their Jewish heritage, but Jewish law forbade the Jews “to associate with or to visit Gentiles”.

  • Were the Apostles responsible for reaching out to the Gentiles?

  • Wasn’t Jesus’ message for everyone?

Gentile converts1

Gentile Converts

  • The first gentiles to be baptized was Cornelius, a Roman centurion, and his family.

  • The vision from God showed Peter that the Church must be open to the Gentiles.

  • Many Jewish Christians objected to this.

St paul s contributions

St. Paul’s Contributions

  • Paul will be the link between Jewish Christianity and the Gentile World.

  • His background will enable him to become the Apostle to the Gentiles.

St paul s contributions1

St. Paul’s Contributions

  • Saint Paul was a brilliant writer & theologian

    • Scripture contains 13 of his epistles(letters) written to early Christian communities, all dealing with local problems.

    • Paul’s letters are the oldest writings in the New Testament

St paul s contributions2

St. Paul’s Contributions

  • St. Paul’s writings would become central in the development of the Church’s teaching to this very day.

    • Examples ~the doctrines of the Cross, the Mystical Body of Christ, the power of grace, & the value of charity.

  • Paul can be considered the most influential man in Christianity, besides Jesus.

Paul s first journey

Paul’s First Journey

  • Paul and Barnabas began on Cypress and then worked their way through the seaside towns of Asia Minor.

    • Many Jews rejected their message but many Gentiles accepted Jesus and small Christian communities were started.

Chapter 1

First Journey

Paul s second journey

Paul’s Second Journey

  • Paul’s companions on his 2nd journey were Silas, Timothy, and joining him later, Luke.

  • Phillippi

    • First place where the Good News was preached in Europe.

    • Paul was well received by the Jewish community and a small Christian community began to grow there.

Paul s second journey1

Paul’s Second Journey

  • Thessalonica – well received by the Gentiles, but Jews were hostile, was accused of treason and smuggled out of town.

  • Athens – few converts, laughed at, no community.

  • Corinth – rejected by the Jews again, Paul turns to the Gentiles, converts many and in 18 months a sizable Christian community had started.

Chapter 1

Second Journey

Paul s third journey

Paul’s Third Journey

  • Ephesus-

    • Jews rejected him again but Paul’s message was accepted by the Gentiles and a large Christian community begins

    • Paul faces persecution by the magicians and silversmiths of Ephesus whom he denounces.

    • Paul is run out of Ephesus.

Goddess Diana

Chapter 1

Third Journey

Council of jerusalem

Council of Jerusalem

  • Cornelius’ baptism did not end the Gentile question.

  • Questions remained whether the Gentiles who converted to Christianity also had to observe Mosaic Law, including dietary laws & laws requiring circumcision.

Council of jerusalem1

Council of Jerusalem

  • The Jewish Christian community in Jerusalem called a meeting to discuss the problem.

  • Paul and Barnabas came down from Antioch and described the deep faith of the Gentiles.

  • Peterspoke out in favor of the Gentiles.

  • James, the head of the Jerusalem community, supported Peter and settled the matter.

Council of jerusalem2

Council of Jerusalem

  • The Decision

    • Gentile Christians did not have to observe the complete Jewish Law and circumcision was not required.

    • The essential criterion for baptism was belief in Jesus Christ.

    • This decision was a major turning point in Church history.

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